The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)

What's it about? In a wintry, post-Civil War Wyoming, eight motley characters, including bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell), his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), ex-solider Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson), a self-declared Sheriff (Walter Goggins) and others (Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern) are forced to shelter form a blizzard in a stopover cabin. But who is not who they say they are? Tensions rise, people swear, blood is spilled.

Is it any good? No need to review this - you've seen it before! Let's play Things The Hateful Eight is Like. Here's a hateful eight list that Tarantino stole influenced by.

  1. Sergio Corbucci's revisionist Spaghetti Western The Great Silence - the wintry Western setting
  2. Agatha Christie stories - the locked room murder-mystery
  3. The Thing - a grizzled Kurt Russell growling in the snow
  4. Blazing Saddles - the comic moments and the new Sheriff of Red Rock
  5. TV westerns - Those episodes of Bonanza and The High Chaparal where everyone ended up in one room
  6. The Dollars Trilogy - Ennio Morricone's magnificent score
  7. The Magnificent Seven - the title. Duh!
  8. And of course Quentin Tarantino - all the things we've come to expect, for good and bad: the long, dialogue-heavy scenes, the profanity, the non-linear timeline, the (over-)use of the n-word, the self-indulgence, the stand-offs, the violence, the blood, the black humour and a couple of great old songs on the soundtrack.

So if you like those, you'll like this. Although it isn't as good as any of the above.

I don't trust you. What do others think? A mixed reception. Hiding out in the saloon, there were those who admired Tarantino's film-making craft, his use of 70mm film and his mastery of set-pieces. Shooting at them from across the corral were those who didn't like such a gratuitously violent, overlong exercise in self-referential film-making, especially since none of the characters were as memorable as Tarantino's previous creations. Everybody liked Morricone's Oscar-winning score though. But no-one seemed as outraged as me at the numerically dodgy title - am I the only motherfucker in this motherfuckin' place who can count? It's basic maths, motherfucker! *shoots everybody*

Anything else I should know? Best keep your eyes closed during the opening credits which rather spoil a key development in the latter part of the film.

What does the Fonz think? Ten Little Cowboys

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