I have a few quick thoughts that I wanted to add to David’s excellent review of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. First off: yes to the 70mm film and to the special “Roadshow” stagings across the country. It would be nice if other directors had the nerve to take such aesthetic and experiential gambles.
But no, I fear, to pretty much everything else. At a full three hours, this is famously Tarantino’s longest film (with the exception of the reattached Kill Bill, which the studio was considerate enough to release theatrically in two portions). It’s also his most violent, which is saying quite a bit. And, as David noted, its most memorable scene “indulges all of Tarantino’s worst impulses to shock his audience with embarrassingly gross content.” (More on this in a subsequent note. Update: It’s here.)
But as important as The Hateful Eight’s excesses are its paucities. The dialogue is the flattest that Tarantino has yet committed to screen. The plot, insofar as it exists at all, is dull, plodding, and repetitive: In the hands of a less self-serious auteur, it could have been knocked off in a slender 90 minutes or less. And the resolution of the movie’s central mystery—the payoff for which we are made to wait so very long—is a shocking letdown, a deus ex machina that would have Agatha Christie spinning in her grave.