Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Hateful Eight— Tarantino mailed it in

I like westerns and I like Quentin Tarantino films, so I had high expectation when I rented The Hateful Eight. Bummer. It's not only a crummy movie … punishment is compounded by its interminable length. Long is usually good for Tarantino, but it’s a bad sign if you ever consciously wonder when this thing will be over. The movie desperately needed editing by someone unintimidated by the grand master.

The Hateful Eight came across as a parody of a Tarantino movie instead of the genuine article. His good films are characterized by stylish cinematography, clever and incongruous banter, startling and extreme violence, and artful revelation of plot through time displacement. The Hateful Eight included all of these elements, but without charisma. It felt flat and uninspired. Tarantino dispassionately applied his formula without the artistic essentials that make it work.  Too bad. He’s tried twice to hit one out of the park with a western. Django Unchained was a ground-rule double, and he may have barely beat out an infield grounder with The Hateful Eight.

I have watched Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill films many time. I’ve also re-watched other Tarantino movies. I can’t imagine spinning up The Hateful Eight again.

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