The Hateful Eight, Blu-ray (2016)

A typical bloody Tarantino film, but a good story, fine acting and lovely widescreen 65mm cinematography make it a great experience.

The Hateful Eight, Blu-ray (2016)

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay 8063848, 2 discs (3/29/16)
Video: Shot on 65mm film at 2.76:1 for 16:9 display, 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: “Beyond the Eight” – Behind the Scenes, “Sam Jackson’s Guide to Glorious 70mm”
Length: 187 min.
Rating: ****1/2

If you didn’t already get it, this is the eighth feature film by Tarantino. For the story’s winter Wyoming landscape, the film was shot using 65mm lenses and cameras which hadn’t been used since the 1970s, around Telluride, CO. And it was presented in 70mm as a Road Show Attraction at the few special theaters equipped for it, such as the Hollywood here in Portland. It has five chapters and is set around a decade after the Civil War. The film got three Academy Award Nominations but was aced out by The Revenant.

The film opens with bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) trying to get his handcuffed-to-him bounty, Ms. Daisy Domergue, to Red Rock where she is scheduled to hang. Their six-horse stage is rushing thru the snowy hills pursued by an impending blizzard, but on the way picks up (after some lengthy negotiations) two strangers: a black bounty hunter who was a former Union soldier (played by Jackson) and the son of a Confederate renegade general who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock.

The blizzard forces them to stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. Minnie is not there. They are greeted by four strangers, of whom the Jackson character is immediately suspicious. One of them is British and claims to be the new hangman of Red Rock. The awful blizzard rages outside and there is a continual bit about nailing boards over the front door so it isn’t blown in by the blizzard. The eight travelers begin to see they might not make it to Red Rock after all…

—John Sunier

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