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Movie Review: “The Hateful Eight”

Dec 282015
 By , December 28, 2015

the hateful 8

“The Hateful Eight” – a film review by Gary Chew

So you say you need to see yourself a Western that’ ll make a Sam Peckinpah movin’ picture look like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, huh? Well shucks, have I got the movie show for you. It’s The Hateful Eight, written and directed by that whippersnapper, Quentin Tarantino.

If”n I wuz to be honest with ya, I’d have to say that the Hateful Eight just might, by God, make Pulp Fiction look like a Roadrunner cartoon. But then again, I know every hombre has his own taste in them movin’ picture shows.

The Hateful Eight Excuse my conversational dust. I was heavily influenced by the way most of the characters in Hateful talk. It’s been several hours since walkin’ out of the thee-ater where I saw it, and I’m still not quite able to shake off that Gabby Hayes way o’ communicatin’. When it comes to film, Quentin does not believe in any failure as to how he communicates. (May Strother Martin rest in peace.) Tarantino let’s it all hang out … way out, in fact.

When you get Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Lee, Walter Goggins, Michael Madsen, crusty old Bruce Dern and Tim Roth playin’ an Englishman with the name of Oswaldo Mobray, it’s “Katy bar the door” time. Actually there ain’t no Katy in the movie, but there’s a big ol’ bunch of folks nailing a door shut (a lot) to keep the cold and snow out of the lodge where just about every damn thing in The Hateful Eight happens. In fact, and believe it or not, Tarantino almost has a stage play on his hands here. No too much for outside stuff in this movie. But that’s OK because the dialogue, plot and the dastardly characters who show up for this tizzy are right, plumb entertainin’, especially with intermittent blood spurtin’ from most of ’em.

The Hateful EightWhen ya boil it down, every skalawag in this photo play is a bounty hunter of sorts, especially Jackson and Russell. Before it’s over though, Tarantino has ya laughin’ (even if ya don’t know why) that what he’s really doin’ is pokin’ fun at how the dastardly lower levels of American capitalism can work on a body, and even a gal like Lee who’s character’s name is Daisy Domergue; but ya don’t say it like the French folks do. Domergue has three syllables in it, not just two. Her name is: DOOR-muh-gooooo.

Now, I haf’ta tell ya that The Hateful Eight was shot amongst them mountains around Telluride. CO. Mighty magnificent mountains in that piece o’ real estate, and a good deal of the flick takes place outside in a friggin’ blizzard. (Looks real to me.) And the cinematography is good enough to shine a silver dollar on , I tell ya.  And Ennio Morricone’s original music is done perfectly in pure dirge-like fashion.

Here’s more on the cast: Jackson is a bounty hunter who only brings ’em in dead. Russell is too, but he’s bringin’ in Ms. Domergue for murderin’ somebody and he wants to see her hang in Red Rock, where the whole bunch is goin’ as the stage gets caught in that real lookin’ Colorado blizzard — even though the story takes place in Wyomin’. Now Dern is an old codger Rebel General from the War. Goggins is the new sheriff who’s just’a comin’ into to dispense justice in Red Rock. He’s a former Reb himself.

Tim Roth plays that English dude, and we hear that he’s the travelin’ hangman just rollin’ up to Red Rock to take care o’ some bid’ness. A fella I ain’t heard tell of who’s real name is Demian Bichir play “The Mexican” who handles the horses and such at the stage station where they’re all stranded by the weather just before Christmastime. There’s another varmint in this movie who you will recognize on sight, but I can’t tell his real name. It’s a surprise. In fact, that Tarentino guy does all sort o’ things to trick you as this really pretty damned good movie gallops by your eyeballs. If I wuz you, I’d go see it. And if you got little ones at’chur house, by God, I’d make ’em stay home.

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.

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