Quentin Tarantino is back and has returned with another western. This time however the movie is more of a mystery. But will The Hateful Eight impress me as much as his other works?
Set some time after the civil war eight strangers are trapped together at a stagecoach stopover. But what are their motives for being there and who will survive the night?
I’ve always been an admire Tarantino’s movies. He has his own distinct style, he writes cool quoteable dialogue and has excellent soundtracks to his films. He’s not perfect (I’m not a fan of his constant use of the n word) but he’s a truely original and exciting voice in Hollywood. The Hateful Eight has it’s flaws, more on which later, but it’s full of passion, good ideas and an excellent ensemble featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell.
From the outset the movie really sets the scene of this cold, hellish, blizzard, every time a character stepped outside I felt freezing, which is good as you have to believe that these strangers are literally trapped together. The harshness of the weather is nothing compared to the ruthlessness and coldness from inside the Stopover. Each character is well drawn and you can imagine the actors relished playing their roles. Every actor is good but Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Daisy just edges out the competition to be the stand out character. Leigh throws her all into the character as she gets hit, has stew thrown on her and spits her teeth out all with an insane grin on her face. The mystery aspect is also good with the majority of the action taking place in one location and shows Tatantino has still got plenty of ideas in him yet.
As much as I liked this movie I didn’t love like some of Tarantino’s other work. It feels too long, especially at the beginning, the main characters are all pretty unlikeable and overall the movie it doesn’t wow me as a whole, although there are some great moments throughout.
It may not be as engaging or feature as many iconic characters but The Hateful Eight shows that Tarantino is not one to rest on his laurels as this entertaining movie shows.
3.5/5 – The Hateful Eight shows there’s life in the old western genre yet and in Tarantino’s imagination
I really enjoyed the From Dusk Til Dawn movie (thanks to my mum and dad for letting me watch violent movies at a young age!). Directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino this fun 1996 film is half crime thriller and the other half vampire frenzy! Now Roderiguez has turned his own movie into a tv series, shown in the US on his EL Rey channel and for the rest of the world on Netflix.
Brothers Seth and Richie Gecko (D.J Cotrona and Zane Holtz) are on the run after Seth has broken out of prison and a bank robbery has gone wrong, killing several people including law enforcement officers. In order to cross the border to Mexico unnoticed they take a family hostage. But escaping from the law is not the Geckos only problems as unbeknownst to them-there are mystical forces at work, who may also be giving visions to Richie making him unstable and dangerous.
It’s a bit hard to describe the TV series. In a word I would say: Interesting. The TV series basically takes the movie and spreads it out over 10 episodes. Some episodes are basically just scenes from the movie expanded and added some extra subplots so it doesn’t feel like the series is just recreating the movie’s greatest hits. The show truly diverts from the film’s plot at about episode seven.
The show enables Roderiguez to expand the myth behind the vampires and there is a lot to do with Aztec snake Gods, goddesses and the nine lords. Some of gets a bit boring and pretentious, trying to make something more epic out of a simple idea that is fine how it is. Some of the changes are also a bit off-putting at time.
One of the main problems is Richie, the deranged and psychopathic Gecko brother. Now again it’s odd because Zane Holtz is actually really good in the role, strangely creepy and intense but with model looks. He’s a better actor than Tarantino in the same role (sorry Quentin-I still love your movies!). But it’s strange seeing this version of Richie being an anti-hero rather than a straight up murderer/serial rapist like in the movie. He even shares a kiss with innocent preacher’s daughter Kate and she describes him as just ‘a tortured soul’. I guess they needed to change the characters a bit for the tv series but it’s just a bit jarring. As his brother Seth, Cotrona is ok but not as naturally charismatic as George Clooney was in the same role. The real weak link in this series is actress Eiza Gongalez, who is just there to look pretty as Santanico Pandemonium. She may be good-looking but when she is made to act it’s a bit painful to watch. Basically she’s just not as memorable as Selma Hayek who would have been great reprising this expanded role.
Even with the changes to the Gecko brothers, they are still not going to be the most sympathetic protagonists. So the Fuller family from the movie are brought back and a new character in the form of ranger Freddie Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia). The Fuller’s consist of ex preacher Jacob (Robert Patrick-who was also in the rubbish From Dusk Til Dawn 2 but as a different character ), daughter Kate (Madison Davenport) and adopted son Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo) who are on a road trip after the death of the family matriarch when they are held hostage by the Geckos and the ranger is avenging the death of his partner at the hands of the brothers. All these characters are likeable and sympathetic but you get the feeling that Roderguez is much more interested in the Gecko brothers, hence the changes made to their characters, more on their back story and the possibility of them being some kind of ‘hero brothers’ according to some legend. The last few episodes which focus on some lame labyrinth saw my interest start to dwindle and I was annoyed that the ranger and the Fuller’s family were left as spare parts and – to me-their arcs were unsatisfactorily concluded and rushed. Kate also could be annoying at times although she does get a good fight scene with a chainsaw.
I’m not sure how much of interest it would be to anyone who hasn’t seen the original movie. If you’ve seen the film that this makes for an interesting companion piece but it didn’t keep me entertained enough to be watching the second season anytime soon.
I haven’t posted for a little bit, been feeling a bit of the winter blues, which seems to have affected my wallet so was unable to see anything new recently. Luckily I’ve just been able to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest Western Blaxploitation Django Unchained.
It isn’t until I saw this that I realised how much I miss Tarantino when he’s away. His witty screenplays, exaggerated blood splattered violence and even his own best forgotten cameos.
So Jamie Fox is Django, a slave in 1858 who encounters Christopher Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz a German dentist turn bounty hunter (hey, could it happen!). He offers Django his freedom and a chance to rescue his Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) if he helps Shultz hunt down the Brittle brothers.
The film has a great cast, it’s fun to see Leonardo DiCaprio let loose at playing a villain as plantation owner Calvin Candie. Him and Samuel Jackson’s as Caddie’s loyal house slave, Stephen are a thoroughly disturbing pair. As the hero Fox is solid as Django but the film is really stolen by Christopher Waltz, possibly the nicest character in the whole film, and when your kindest guy is a bounty hunter who shoots one wanted man dead in front of his son you can imagine how horrible the rest of the cast is. Waltz brings warmth and humour into the film which is much needed in a film about slavery and violence. Tarantino’s film may be controversial for some for its violence but it just serves a reminder of just how bad slaves were treated (not that most of us should need reminding).
Surprisingly for a Tarantino film the lead female character Broomhilda is underdeveloped and I wish I could have known more about her apart from that she is Django’s wife and speaks German. Some flashbacks to her life as a slave without Django would have been good but then again that may have been distracting. Broomhilda is more a plot devise, she is what Django is aiming for.
There are many great scenes in this film; the funniest for me being the Ku Klux Klan scene which just goes to show one of the underlying themes of Tarantino’s film-racist people are just stupid.
4/5-Tarantino is back and hopefully he’ll have some Oscars for his efforts