Move over Star Wars, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is a must see

Tarantino’s eighth film, ‘The Hateful Eight’ amazed viewers in its ‘Roadshow’ debut

Sarah Lentz, Opinion Editor

Everyone and their dog was looking forward to the new “Star Wars” movie. I was not.

“The Hateful Eight” was my “Star Wars.”


When I heard that writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film was going to be a revenge film a la spaghetti western I knew I’d be in for an interesting viewing experience.


What I didn’t know is that I’d have the opportunity to see the film in a format that I never seen in my lifetime.


In pre-production, Tarantino announced his plan to shoot and limitedly release “The Hateful Eight” on 70 millimeter film.


Not stored on a hard drive, not digitally enhanced to look like old school film, honest to goodness film, shot with wide-frame lenses that hadn’t been used since 1966.


The Roadshow, as it became known, ran in only 100 theaters prior to the nationwide release. The Roadshow was the only opportunity to see “The Hateful Eight” as Tarantino envisioned it, via a film projector.


The experience of the Roadshow was amazing. It wasn’t just the audience shuffling into the theater to see a movie, it was an event.


The film had a prologue and intermission. There was a special commemorative booklet passed out before the doors to the theater were opened that had production stills of the movie.


I hope the idea of a roadshow catches on with other filmmakers. Tarantino stated that the reason he created a roadshow for this film was because he wanted going to the movies to return to feeling like something special.


In our Netflix, on demand-culture, it’s easy to forget that movies weren’t always at audiences’ disposal. It used to be something special.


In the past, big movies had screenings like “The Hateful Eight’s” Roadshow, and there was some degree of glitz and glamour to them.


The movie itself defied any expectations I had for it.


“The Hateful Eight” was the second western-themed movie in a row for Tarantino, which is a little unusual. Really, the comparisons to 2012’s “Django Unchained” ends there.


Let me stress that if you have been squeamish at any of Tarantino’s other films, “The Hateful Eight” isn’t for you. If you are someone who can’t handle being made uncomfortable by a movie, don’t see it.


If you can’t abide course, offensive language, stay away.


“The Hateful Eight” isn’t for the faint of heart.


Personally, Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers because his work is so in your face and I would rather see a movie with a strong plot that makes me feel uncomfortable than a movie with a weak plot.


No one does opening shots like Tarantino, and “The Hateful Eight’s” opening shot is his best to date.


Because it was shot on film, in ultra-Panavision, it is beautiful, and more importantly sets the tone.


Between the score and landscape shots, the viewer is almost instantly made to feel isolated and on edge.


The film follows travelers in Wyoming, a few years after the Civil War, seeking refuge from an oncoming blizzard.


The majority of the movie takes place in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a mountain business and lodge where the eight and their companions basically get trapped.


Racial tensions and lingering hard feelings from the war flare as the group settle in to wait out the weather.


The biggest source of continual tension is Kurt Russell’s character John Ruth, the Hangman. He’s a bounty hunter taking a criminal Daisy Domergue (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the next town to be hanged.


Russell was perfect for his role. Ruth is arguably the only “good guy” in the film, yet he is the easiest to hate. He’s pushy and berates all of the other characters constantly, even fellow bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren, played by Samuel L. Jackson.


As the tension continues to rise, the pair of bounty hunters agree to watch each other’s back when Ruth becomes convinced that one or more of the people they’re stranded with is working with Domergue to get her free.


As the blizzard starts to ramp up, Domergue and her accomplices make their move. “The Hateful Eight” then becomes something of a violent drawing room murder mystery in the context of a spaghetti western.


It sounds strange, but if you are familiar with Tarantino’s previous work, you know that these weird style mashups work.


The entire cast does a spectacular job in a movie that is so dependent on a strong ensemble.


Walton Goggins stood out as Sheriff Chris Mannix, newly appointed sheriff and former confederate soldier.


He balances being deplorable and charming with skill and Goggins does a fantastic job expressing the change his character goes through.


Channing Tatum has the most surprising performance. He has very limited screen time in the film, but with “The Hateful Eight” he proves, really for the first time, that he does, in fact, have actual acting chops.


Both Tarantino and the actors put on a masterclass with “The Hateful Eight.”


If you can stomach the usual Tarantino flare, like language and gore, this is a must see.