|The Hateful Eight
| In the theater again! This time going downtown to the Ritz to see this in the 70mm roadshow presentation. I have somewhat complicated thoughts that I'll get into below but the short version is that I liked the movie quite a bit.
About the film, I really only have one complaint and that's the narrator. Why'd it have to be HIM? I mean, I know why, but still... Just imagine for a second that it's Jody's voice. How cool would that have been? Instead, a complete ego move that took me right out of the immersion.
Otherwise, I thought it was great. It's fun to see everybody playing together. The script was great. The music was great (thanks to the Universal DVD of John Carpenter's The Thing, I immediately noticed when Morricone's unused score for that film came in). Fun fun movie.
Now, about the technical specifications which seemed to have taken center spotlight for the film's marketing. First of all, why pick a movie that's like 75% shot in a one-room set to shoot in ultra panavision? Secondly, why not put that film in IMAX rather than force normal theaters to show it on screens too small to see any of the added benefit? And thirdly... was it really SO long ago that Avatar forced everyone to switch the DCP that everyone forgot how to run film through a projector? My screening didn't have any problems (a big reason why I went to the Alamo versus the Tinseltown), but I've read from numerous sources online that some screenings have had to default to digital by the end because of technical issues. Ouch.
My personal theory is that Tarantino fell in love with the idea of making a movie in ultra panavision and showing it Ben Hur style with an overture and an intermission and program book and all that... but then just thrust it into his next project more out of opportunity than thematic fit. Django would have been an excellent film to shoot with those lenses. This one... is for the most part wasted. Now don't get me wrong, what little location photography present is absolutely beautiful and Bob Richardson shoots the hell out of that set and it's fun to be able to see the other actors on the edges of the frame, but it's still just mostly actors talking to each other.
During one scene, Bruce Dern has a reaction to a character entering the scene. He's in a long shot and I think it was designed that we notice him because of the format, but the Ritz's screen is not big enough to suitably take advantage of the format so I could still barely see Dern's face. I couldn't help but wish that I was watching this at the Paramount where it really SHOULD have been shown.
The program book is a nice touch however, and I'm still glad I got to see this format of the film. I definitely live in a fortunate city for film fans. I don't want to come off whiny or ungrateful... but I really don't think 90% of audiences will notice a difference between this and DCP.
So, now I'm curious to pick up the blu and give it another viewing to see what 5 minutes was only in this cut. I'm guessing it's mostly scenery, which is a shame because the film needs as much of that as it can get.