The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight ★★★★★

So I lucked out and discovered that my local theater was playing this in 70mm. Ticket price was a bit higher but I figured it was worth it to see the "Roadshow" cut. They even gave out these little booklets with info on the movie and everything. Very cool stuff.

There's something very exciting about seeing honest-to-god film being projected on the big screen. It isn't quite as...crisp (I think that's the right word) as digital, but it feels so much more genuine. As the image flickered on the screen and the overture started playing, I knew I was in for something special. I could even hear the 70mm projector running behind me, and not only did it not detract from my viewing, it actually made it somehow better. Easily one of my favorite movie-going experiences.

But what about the movie?! Well, it's definitely a Tarantino movie. In fact, this might be Tarantino at his most Tarantino. 3 hour film which is 90% dialogue? Sounds about right. But if there's anyone who could make that compelling, it's him. His dialogue has this flow to it that makes it so extremely pleasing to listen to, so I can't think of anything better than watching a group of fantastic character actors (and what a cast this is) spout Tarantino dialogue for 3 hours. A little self-indulgent? For sure. Doesn't make it any less fun.

It's also a testament to the pacing of the film that it never feels long, despite the 3 hour runtime. It's split up into chapters, just like Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, and aside from Chapter Three, none really drag at all. Chapter Three is probably the longest chapter (or felt like it anyway). Don't get me wrong, a lot of great stuff happens here, but there was definitely a point where I felt the film slowed way down. Luckily, it was brief, and it's quickly followed by one of the absolute best scenes in the film, a show-stopping monologue by Samuel L. Jackson that is equal parts uncomfortable and darkly hilarious.

The second half of the film takes a turn for the deranged, and to spoil anything more would be a crime. It's a wonderfully gruesome whodunit, capped off with a late game appearance from a not-so-surprise actor. I also have to mention Ennio Morricone's score, so so good with a very hummable main theme. And it goes without saying, but everyone in the movie knocks it out of the park. If I had to pick a standout, it'd probably be Walton Goggins, only because his character ended up being much more hilarious than I anticipated.

I went back-and-forth between a 4.5 or 5 rating, I don't really wanna jump the gun and I might need a second viewing to cement my feelings on it. But that half star isn't even important, regardless, it's one of the best films of the year.

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