Saturday, January 2, 2016

That Door, is a Whore, or My Hateful Eight Review

There are a handful of elements I’ve come to expect from Quentin Tarantino: repetitive, circular conversations “Ya gotta use two pieces!” “Two pieces!” absurd, giallo style violence, random foot fetishism and a kick-ass retro score with almost geologic layers of film reference.  For example, reusing Ennio Morricone’s themes from John Carpenter’s TheThing, in a snow scene, in another movie starring Kurt Russell.  Or Roy Orbison’s “There Won’t be Many Coming Home” over the closing credits, referencing his only starring role in The Fastest Guitar Alive, which has got to be one of the coolest titles in both cinematic and rock & roll history. 
Also, did you notice that Minnie smoked Red Apple tobacco?  While Senior Bob smoked manzano roja?
Needless to say I’m a fan of his work, and this is one of his best films since the days of  Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction & Kill Bill.  It’s a quiet, modest film set up like a stage play, with great dialogue and hidden depths that require multiple viewings.  Excellent performances all around, especially Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.  I kept wishing David Carradine were still alive because he would have been excellent as General Sandy Smithers or really, any of the roles.  It was also nice to see Zoe Bell’s smiling face cavorting in buckskin.
Like him or not, we need Quentin Tarantino in our lives, he makes original movies in a market dominated by sequels, remakes and reboots.  He references movies that deserve to be appreciated and resurrects actors that have been cast aside for whoever the focus groups or the accountants have determined to be “stars”.
Westerns haven’t been in vogue now since before Reagan was in office.  There was a time when the genre dominated American Cinema, and that was the image we presented to the world: the stalwart personification of manifest destiny fighting Indians (aka communists).  Now we make superhero movies, and again, history repeating itself, this is how the world views us:  spoiled playboy billionaires in armored suits using overwhelming force to defeat CGI bad guys (aka terrorism). 
There’s going to be a backlash against superhero movies, there has to be.  Hollywood can’t just keep remaking Spiderman with younger & younger Peter Parkers.  Until then we have filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino to show us what we’re missing and how it used to be, when adults went to movies, and writing, character and plot were more important than youth worship & CGI.



my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.