Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

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Bitch and moan however much ya like about how this review is up really fuckin’ late compared to everyone else, but I’m not apologizing for having bad luck in not seeing it so soon. Anyhow, time for Tarantino and his second attempt at a western… let’s go.

Ladies and gents… “The Hateful Eight”.

Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) is going through the freezing Wyoming with his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). However, there is a blizzard approaching, so they find shelter in a large cabin. In this cabin there are a whole bunch of other interesting people. And without saying too much, soon it’s a bit of a “whodunnit” of all these characters. I think youtube-based movie critic Chris Stuckmann put it the best when he called it an R-rated version of “Clue”. And was the plot any good? Of course it was, what else would you expect me to say? It’s a mystery, set in one location, that also happens to be a western… of course it’s great. But to elaborate it a bit better: the mystery itself (not really saying anything specific for those who might not have seen it) is really intriguing, entertaining and even a bit suspenseful. It’s one of those mysteries that really makes one think who it could have done that did the thing. Was I correct in the end? Not quite, but god damn it, I loved the plot of the movie!

I think it’s safe to assume at this point that characters in a Tarantino film are going to be interesting and entertaining. And “Hateful Eight” really does confirm that statement. All of the characters in the movie are incredibly interesting and endlessly entertaining, thanks to some great writing and of course some great acting. Kurt Russell fucking nailed it, by being both funny, badass and even a bit of a jerk. Jennifer Jason Leigh, terrific as this really terrible person (AKA piece of shit). Samuel L. Jackson is the best he’s been in years, giving a fantastic performance, even getting to give a great monologue about something that happened in his (the character’s) past… he was so amazing. Everyone else was great too; Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern… they were all so damn great!

The original score was composed by none other than Ennio Morricone, a composer who’s done so much great stuff that I could sit here all day talking about it all, but I’m not gonna do that. What I want to say is that the score for “The Hateful Eight” is another masterful thing from the maestro. It’s cool, suspenseful and badass. And since this is a Tarantino film, expect there to be music from other films in here too. One of those films he took music from was John Carpenter’s “The Thing”… also starring Kurt Russell… with music composed by Ennio Morricone… I am starting to see a pattern here, guys. What I’m saying is that the this music has some damn great music.

As I’ve stated about 42 and a half times already, this film was directed by Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the screenplay (fucking duh). And his directing is as on point as ever… if not even better. While you might prefer some of his earlier films, I think we can all agree that he’s improved a lot as a filmmaker. His direction is slow, tense yet still quick and snappy… probably thanks a lot because of the snappy dialogue. Because the writing is great, random conversations about the smallest things hold my interest without ever getting dull. There are also a whole bunch of pieces of dialogue that are hilarious in my opinion. But that is amostly because I have a really dark sense of humor and can laugh at a lot of the darkly comical stuff that happens/is being said in the movie. And when it comes to the Tarantino-violence, it’s there, but much more spread out than usual. Also, it’s not as fun as in, let’s say “Django Unchained” as an example. In fact, a good amount of the violence in this movie is really brutal and disturbing… but that jsut kinds of adds to the quality of the film in my opinion. And for the little bit of action in the movie, it’s really good. And the cinematography by Robert Richardson… phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the cinematography for “Live By Night”.

This is a movie that has received mostly positive reviews. It has a 75% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Score (hell yeah!). It also got an additional 2 nominations in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Leigh) and Best Cinematography.

“The Hateful Eight” is another win for Tarantino. It has a great plot, fantastic acting & characters, fantastic music, terrific directing terrific cinematography and great writing. Time for my final score. *Fires gun*. My final score for “The Hateful Eight” is a 9,89/10. This of course means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Hateful Eight” is now completed.

Long-time followers knows I usually add an extra segment (Gunfights/Shootouts) for westerns, but I feel like it’s superfluous and that it might not always work, as I noticed with “The Assassination of Jesse James”.

Movie Review: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

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Quentin Tarantino is one of those directors that really came out of nowhere when he first started out and immediately became a big shot in Hollywood. His directorial stardom rocket was his 1992 movie “Reservoir Dogs” and followed in 1994 by his great “Pulp Fiction”. And over the years he has continued making weird, yet good movies. Such as “Django Unchained”. And today we are taking a look at one of his odd movies. A movie about revenge and blood…lots and lots of blood.

Ladies and Gentlemen…”Kill Bill, Volume 1″.

This movie follows a woman only known as “The Bride” (Uma Thurman). On her wedding day she and everyone else at the little chapel in Texas gets killed by a band of assassins called “Deadly Viper Assassination Squad”. Thing is…she used to be part of that merry band of assassins. So after being beaten, shot and left for dead, she falls in a coma. While in this coma, her unborn baby of course (unfortunately) dies. A few years later she wakes up in a hospital. She screams from finding out her pregnant belly is gone. When a male nurse named Buck (Michael Bowen) gets paid to let a guy rape her in her supposed “sleep”, she of course kills them both. She steals the keys to Buck’s “Pussy Wagon” and goes with a wheelchair to the car named “Pussy Wagon”. So after sitting in it for circa 13 hours and finally getting her legs working, she starts the car and is off to seek out revenge on the people that tried to kill her. Especially her former boss/lover Bill (David Carradine). Now, this story is good…but does not appeal to me in execution. Sure, there are things in this movie that I really like that relate to the story. For example, there is a scene that gives us the backstory to one of the supporting characters…and that is honestly the best part of the movie. Also, based on promotional posters and DVD covers, this looks like it is gonna be a shit-ton of fighting…but their isn’t that much. Yes, fighting is prominent in the story…but not as much as advertised. Not saying there has to be only fighting, as you may recall from a few of my reviews, I am one for subtlety…but with this weird execution of the story, a little more fighting or something in that direction would have helped a bit. But when there is fighting…it is highly satisfying to watch. Another thing you will notice is that the dialogue is very Tarantino-y…which is a good thing in a Tarantino movie.

The characters I honestly don’t care about. Sure, their dialogue is awesome, but the characters themselves are nothing special…they are pretty meh. I usually like the characters in Tarantino movies…but here I can’t. Maybe it is because they don’t get too much development…they barely get any for that matter. Again, the only part where I care about the character is the animated section that gives the backstory of one of the supporting characters who ends up the main villain in this movie. Also, for a movie called “Kill Bill”, Bill is not very prominent in this movie.

Now time for some praise…the music. The RZA did a fantastic job with it. It is so good that it was nominated for a BAFTA. And what kind of music are we looking at here?  A random mish-mash of musical styles…which is not necessarily a bad thing. In this movie this random mish-mash really works, seriously.

Now like I said, I would have loved a little more fighting in this movie. But the fights in this movie are really well done. Whoever choreographed them deserves an applaud and a raise. Not kidding. Also, like most Tarantino movies, this is very bloody…bloodier than his other movies to be completely honest…which doesn’t rub me the right way. Look, I know Tarantino movies are supposed to be brutal…but having fountains of blood coming from the people you kill is a little overkill (Pun not intended).

Reception for “Kill Bill” was pretty good to say the least. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 85% rating and have certified it “Fresh”. Metacritic gave it the score 69/100.
Roger Ebert gave this a perfect 4/4 star rating and said this:

“Kill Bill, Volume 1” shows Quentin Tarantino so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through “Flight of the Bumble Bee” — or maybe an accordion prodigy setting a speed record for “Lady of Spain.” I mean that as a sincere compliment. The movie is not about anything at all except the skill and humor of its making. It’s kind of brilliant.

imdb.com holds the score of 8,2/10 and has it ranked #166 on their Top 250 list.

I have given my different opinions of the different aspects on this movie that I felt like giving. And now here comes my little score. I give “Kill Bill Volume 1” a 7,84/10 and a recommendation to rent it. This is a movie that you can have fun with on the weekend…but not really worth a buy. So that is my opinion on it.

Review of “Kill Bill Volume 1” is done.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” – Old Klingon Proverb.