The Hateful Eight (2015) - All of Quentin Tarantino's trademarks united in one movie - 8/10 (20/01/16)
''The Hateful Eight'' is a typical Quentin Tarantino movie. It has a slow build-up that carefully introduces the eight different characters. The dialogues are very elaborated and mix crude vocabulary with more intellectual expressions to create an emotional balance. The tension of the movie is based on the cold landscapes, the long dialogues, the restricted setting, the excellent gloomy soundtrack and an overall simple yet efficient story with a little twist. It takes nearly two hours before the first main character dies and the killing scenes are then very graphic, purposely exaggerated and chillingly refreshing in contrast to the lengthy conversations. Anyone who knows Quentin Tarantino gets exactly what one can expect from him.
This factor has its advantages and disadvantages. The dialogues are among the very best in modern Hollywood cinema. The camera techniques are epic, the settings add to the atmosphere of the film and the score composed by Ennio Morricone is great. The eight characters are unique and very different from each other. They are incarnated by eight actors who really shine in this movie. All of them do an outstanding job but I would like to point the acting of the only female lead character played by Jennifer Jason Leigh who perfectly portrays a sneaky, sadistic and opportunistic criminal that constantly tries to manipulate people around her. The relations between the different characters are what makes this movie even more outstanding. Unlikely rivalries and alliances come and go during the movie and none of the characters is predictable.
On the negative side, the movie is comparable to several previous movies by Quentin Tarantino. In my opinion, the film has too many similarities with his last western ''Django Unchained'', including the setting, discussions about slavery and the Civil War background. Another negative element is the length of the movie. While the film builds up a lot of atmosphere, some momentum gets lost in the middle of the film before the first character dies. The movie could have been shortened by at least twenty to thirty minutes to assure a more fluid experience. Another element that bothered me a little bit was the perspective change in the movie. Right before the climax, the film introduces an entire chapter set in the early hours of the same day that reveals all the twists in about twenty minutes which decreases the impact of the following climax and interrupts the flow of the movie in an odd way. This background story could have been told differently, quicker and especially at a different moment in the movie.
In the end, ''The Hateful Eight'' might not be Quentin Tarantino's best movie so far but it's a good or slightly above average film by him. The dialogues of the script are worthy of an Academy Award, the camera, light and sound techniques have both a retro style and are up to modern standards and the actors and actresses deliver some of their very best career performances. If you like westerns, the stunning landscapes and the story are two more reasons for you to adore this movie. If you are looking for a more graphic, short-paced and violent movie, ''The Hateful Eight'' might bore you since the film is unusually long and at points hard to sit through, focuses almost only on dialogues and character developments and only gets physically intense in the last sixth of the movie. Personally, this was one of last year's greatest movies in my opinion but you will only admire this movie if you are familiar with other works of Quentin Tarantino, like western stories and settings and adore elaborated dialogues.« Concert review of Ice Nine Kills, Earthworks, Trentia and Southpaw at Club Saw in OttawaThe Forest (2016) - This should have been a Japanese movie - 6/10 (21/01/16) »
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