REVIEW – HATEFUL EIGHT (ROADSHOW 70mm)
The filmhouse cinema has the 70mm edition for a couple weeks and I thought it’d be too good a chance to miss the experience that Tarantino has bragged about for months now.
Is it worth it? I hadn’t seen his latest offering until this edition came to Edinburgh, but I’m sure glad I waited. As soon as the lights dim, and the first overture by Morricone starts to play you know you’re in for a treat. Tarantino has always tried to bring back the old school into modern cinema, to varying degrees of success. Grindhouse, his collaboration with Robert Rodriguez failed to make an impact on American audiences, leading to it being canned internationally, with the double feature being split up to make up the losses. With the extra touches he has put on the 70mm reIease, it’s clear that he’s succeeded to bring the cinematic experience he’s envisioned for a long time. Never probably seeing 70mm before I can see why it’s so talked up now – The quality is not only astonishing, but the width of the screen is almost double what we’re used to. There’s just so much to see on screen at any time, it’s unlike any film my poor 4:3 eyes have ever seen before.
The film as well, is amazing. The cast is well rounded by veterans of the Tarantino Universe, from his first film (Tim Roth, Michael Madsen) and from his last (Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins) as well a stunning few newcomers (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum). The story takes place in the midst of a blizzard in post-civil war Wyoming, as a group of gunslingers are forced to come face to face with one another in a cabin. All the characters have charm oozing from the eyeballs, Jennifer Jason Leigh gives a rousing performance as the Bounty of Kurt Russell’s ‘Hangman’ – and Tim Roth being charming in his cutesy English way.
The one thing about the hateful eight I felt was that it felt quite like Pulp fiction, a film celebrating it’s 22nd birthday this year. Tarantino is truly a master of structure, placing scenes in certain places to get something different from the film when you watch it again. Much like in Pulp fiction, the hateful eight sees characters perish and come back to life through the non-chronological way the story is told. It’s these attentions to plot that made this mystery-western of 3 hours long worth sitting through.
There is an intermission, and the projectionist comes out to tell us when the films back on, and then more of Morricone’s fantastic score comes to lead us back into the fray. The little things really made this movie for me – I didn’t realise how privileged we were to see extra footage not included in the digital cut, but no scene felt like it went on too long – I relished every minute of it. For most films I see these days, I feel a bit of apathy for the cinema going experience, – people talking and on their phones, bad writing and too much CG. The hateful eight made going to the cinema make me feel like a kid again, even though it was to see an incredibly gory movie and for that I am greatful. Truly, the magic of cinema is not lost – not as long as we have Mr. Tarantino pushing the forgotten lives of cinema houses back into the present.