Seeking Justice, The Hateful Eight

Seeking Justice

This is yet another New Orleans-based Nicolas Cage movie. I haven’t seen every movie in his oeuvre, but this makes at least four to be set there (The Runner, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, and Stolen were the other three for those playing along at home). Maybe the dude loves New Orleans, who knows? Anyway, this is a pretty pathetic excuse for a movie. Cage’s wife is raped, and he is approached by a mysterious stranger who promises to get revenge in exchange for a favor later. The bad guy, of course, wants Cage to kill someone, and he refuses. This turns into a boring back-and-forth between Cage and bad guys leading to a shootout in an abandoned mall. The problem with this movie is that it seems to not care about doing anything unique. They have a good setting and a decent premise, but just piss it away for generic plot points. Its ham-fisted plot and straight-forward directing style make it as generic as they come. Cage is perfect, though, he’s never been bad in anything.

Verdict: Shitty

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino’s newest film proves he doesn’t understand the definition of the word “brevity.” A sprawling three hours in length, his latest Western is a tale of loathsome people stuck in a cabin, riding out a snowstorm. It’s a story that could be taut and thrilling, easily told in a lean 90-minutes, but for some goddamn reason, it’s twice that long. Sally Menke had been Tarantino’s editor from Reservoir Dogs until Inglourious Basterds. After her untimely death, Tarantino has been off the reins. His new editor, Fred Raskin, either doesn’t have the balls or the wherewithal to tell Tarantino when enough is enough.

The movie contains all of Tarantino’s trademarks: rambling speeches, a growing sense of dread, anachronistic music, events out of synch, and ultra-violence. When this movie works, it absolutely works. From the point where Samuel L. Jackson’s character figures out who the bad guys are until the end, the movie is enthralling. But that comes over 90 minutes in. Almost everything up to that point is needless, and getting there is laborious.

The characters are great, the performance are great, and the music, by the legendary Ennio Morricone, is great. The problem is the fucking editing. I needed to take Adderall to stay awake during the first half of this movie, because nothing even remotely fucking interesting happens for the first 90 minutes. That’s an entire feature length! He really needed a better editor here. Even at two hours, this could have been a masterpiece. As it stands now, it’s needlessly bloated. Tarantino often indulges himself, frequently going in delightful tangents, but there is no delightful tangent here, The Hateful Eight just wastes time.

Verdict: Average


7 Responses to “Seeking Justice, The Hateful Eight”

  1. August 27, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for calling out Tarantino on self-indulgence and lack of editing. Thought this was an overly-long bore fest. Not his best.

  2. August 28, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    The length here worked for me, but I have similar criticisms of Django Unchained.

  3. 5 Paragraph Film Reviews
    September 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

    HOT DAMN. Been trying to shorten my review of Hateful Eight to a paragraph for weeks now but it’s proving difficult. It’s like QT is surrounded by Yes Men that just let him to anything he likes- nobody wants to force him to cut dialogue, or leave scenes on the floor (agree that Menke’s passing has left him up shit creek). It’s like he got to keep every scrap of an idea in here, at the detriment of the film.

    The best description I can think of is “Brat Director”, where he does his own thing and doesn’t care how much of a massive dick he is about it – like that scene where KR smashes up an IRREPLACEABLE 140 year old guitar, but he wanted it in one take. What a bell-piece.

    I can’t remember ever loving the actors and performances of a film, but hating the director so much at the same time. And resurrecting a fucking ultra-wide format for snow white-outs and interior shots. FFS.


    • September 23, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Maybe your review of Hateful Eight should break your one paragraph rule. I’d love to see you rant about it. I think that KR wasn’t told it was a priceless guitar; I thought I read somewhere that he didn’t know and wouldn’t have done it if he had. Maybe I’m making that up, I’m not sure. Anyway, yeah QT missed the mark with this one. Damn shame, because he had an incredible cast and great premise, but completely squandered both.

      • 7 Paragraph Film Reviews
        September 24, 2016 at 12:26 am

        The guitar was supposed to have been swapped out just before he smashed it, but QT and JJL were the only two people that knew it was the original; instead of yelling cut or stopping the scene he let KR smash it up “so he could get a single take”. What an utter cock.

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August 2016


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