Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jason versus The Hateful Eight

There's only one director alive who can drive a movie with dialogue, and his name is Quentin Tarantino. Love him or not, love his movies or not, you gotta admit the man has a gift for great gab. How much you like his work depends on how much you like talky movies with bursts of graphic violence.

I've only disliked one -- Jackie Brown. And it wasn't even bad. Just not memorable. Sure Pulp Fiction made the writer/director a star, but I think his movies got increasingly better with time. Self indulgent? Sure. But I believe his skills have matured like a good Scotch.

So how does his latest foray into cinema, The Hateful Eight, stack up to the likes of Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill and Django Unchained? Stick with me!

I think The Hateful Eight is the least accessible of Tarantino's movies. Audiences who love Tarantino will likely enjoy it, but I don't think the mainstream American moviegoer will. Nor fans of Westerns, as this isn't a traditional Western.

This movie is tension built through dialogue, and it largely takes place in one location during a bad snowstorm. Things start slowly and build over the course of three hours -- less if you cut out the intermission -- and then explode in a climax only Tarantino could cook up. But if you don't like watching quirky characters stand and sit around talking, you'll get bored.

Which would be too bad, because it's great dialogue spoken by great actors playing great characters. There's not an off note in this movie, to tell the truth, nor a performance that rings false. It's funny, tense and exciting, even if it's not action driven.

I can't really say more than that without spoiling things for people. If you groove on Tarantino, you'll like it. If you don't, then don't invest the time. It's as simple as that. And if you go in expecting an old-school Western, DON'T. This isn't that.

No comments:

Post a Comment