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The Hateful Eight

Opening Date
21 Jan 2016
R21 Sexual Scene and Violence
167 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Quentin Tarantino
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth
In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?
By Eternality Tan  22 Jan 2016
Its epic length may be of disservice to Tarantino’s latest work, but this is his most maturely-crafted film to date, though not necessarily one that is thoroughly compelling.
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“Move a little strange, you're gonna get a bullet.  Not a warning, not a question... A bullet!”
Quentin Tarantino's eighth film may have been a mixed bag for many, including his fans, but to be fair, this is his most maturely-crafted film to date.  He has grown up, suppressing his inner excitability and reverential enthusiasm for homage and genre-mashing, and channeling much of his focus and energy on craft and characterization. 
The theatrical version of The Hateful Eight is as lengthy as Django Unchained (2012), both films culpable of overstaying their welcome, but the former's epic length may be of more disservice to itself as the film functions largely as a contained chamber piece compared to the more journeyistic Django.
Told in several trademark chapters, The Hateful Eight marks the third instalment of his unofficial fantastical 'Western' trilogy which also includes Inglourious Basterds (2009).  Starring an ensemble cast with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and the Oscar-nominated Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film sees their characters (and many others) forced to seek refuge in a coffee house in the middle of a blistering blizzard. 
Tarantino takes pains to make us aware of how freezing it is outside, and how uncomfortably intense it is inside.  From a broad perspective, The Hateful Eight is a meditation on the politics of violence, both the unforgiving violence of nature, and the unfathomable depths that human nature (in all of its inherent racism and misogyny) would rear its ugly head. 
Set right after the Civil War, Tarantino pushes the politically incorrect to very provocative levels in a bold attempt to understand the psyche of America, marked by its torrid history and modern amnesia.  Surely, The Hateful Eight is his most political film yet, though it is not necessarily his most compelling. 
Sometimes overtly indulgent with his written dialogue that could go on for long stretches, the only way that the film works is to surrender yourself to the auteur – don’t judge because you very well know what you are in for, and it does take a while for things to become intriguing and suspenseful.
Ennio Morricone’s unexpectedly harrowing score, and Robert Richardson’s astounding exterior cinematography create an experience unlike previous Tarantino pictures – this is more grounded and elemental, rather than fun and free-wheeling.  Which is why when the violence and gore hit you, it can be rather disturbing. 
While the jury is still out on whether The Hateful Eight would reward as many repeated viewings as his previous pictures, this is another notable achievement in what has been a remarkable career for American cinema’s foremost enfant terrible. 
Verdict:  Its epic length may be of disservice to Tarantino’s latest work, but this is his most maturely-crafted film to date, though not necessarily one that is thoroughly compelling.
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By Thompson Wong  21 Jan 2016
The Hateful Eight offers a uniquely refreshing experience that will leave you disgusted, amused, and most importantly, entertained.
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Sometimes you watch the opening minutes of a film and instinctively understand that something quite special is about to happen. Is it any wonder that this feeling settles itself assuredly with Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight?
And the reason is clear very quickly. The Hateful Eight delivers an immersive, unrivalled storytelling experience that is almost cathartic in its ability to make audiences realise that there is simply so much more to cinema than formulaic blockbusters. Caveat emptor: as a moviegoer not well acquainted with grindhouse-type movies, The Hateful Eight’s themes might be more familiar to others, due to its old-school inspiration. But the end result still remains extraordinarily refreshing, and will find an appeal with audiences past and present.
Tarantino’s eighth feature film (the director previously announced an intention to retire after ten) is set in an unrelenting blizzard in Wyoming after the American Civil War. A stagecoach carries three dodgy passengers: John Ruth (Kurt Russell), a burly bounty hunter voluntarily handcuffed to his prisoner Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), whose quiet nature belies a disquieting secret, and Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a fellow bounty-hunter looking to cash in on three dead bodies himself.
As the title implies, there are no good guys in this film. In fact, everyone seems to be a villain, each concealing their own nasty secrets. As the stagecoach trundles on, it picks up Chris Mannix (Walter Goggins), a man claiming to be the new sheriff of Red Rock, the town and destination where Daisy is to be hanged.
Soon the group finds shelter amidst a worsening storm in Minnie’s Haberdashery, an inn-like outpost offering temporary respite. There we are introduced to more unsavoury characters, all disguised with agendas that belie their true selves. We soon learn that there is a whodunnit murder mystery, and that there is more than meets the eye.
Even as The Hateful Eight prides itself on its release in 70mm Ultra Panavision (a pretty format last used in 1966 and famed for its immersive aesthetic), most of the cinematography really revolves around two types of shots: the merciless Wyoming winter snowscapes, and Minnie’s Haberdashery.

One interesting detail about Tarantino’s films is his love of dialogue, and more importantly, how successful he makes it work. The Hateful Eight continues this trend by ratcheting the tension with nothing but conversation, veering from the mild to murderous. But make no mistake, it is far from dull. Jackson in particular is a treat to watch – he lets rip a monologue halfway through the film that manages to be vicious, memorable and hilarious all at once. That is how the film achieves its thrills - by imbuing a sense of impending dread as the climax slowly but surely builds up.
To say there are scenes of violence and bloodshed would be an understatement. These are men of mayhem after all. Accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s ominous score, the brutality takes a while to occur, but when it eventually happens, it does so in a completely over-the-top manner.
So despite the movie’s excellence, there are a few pointers to note. Do not watch this if you are averse to violence. Do not watch this if you thrive on dazzlingly fast-paced, action-packed scenes. If you’re still reading, then go and do yourself a favour and buy a ticket. For what it’s worth, The Hateful Eight offers a uniquely refreshing experience that will leave you disgusted, amused, and most importantly, entertained.
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