By Marty Mulrooney
The Hateful Eight is a Western mystery film directed by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained). His eighth feature film, the titular ‘Hateful 8’ are played by Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern. Some time after the American Civil War, eight strangers seek shelter from a blizzard at a stagecoach stopover know as Minnie’s Haberdashery. Bounty hunter John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth (Russell) is transporting fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh) to Red Rock, where she will be hanged and he can collect his $10,000 reward. But not everyone seeking shelter from the blizzard is who they say they are…
By Marty Mulrooney
Django Unchained is a Western directed by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds). Set in America’s pre-Civil War Deep South – positioning the film as more of a ‘Southern’ – the film stars Jamie Foxx (Ray) as Django Freeman, a freed black slave who sets out to rescue his enslaved wife (Kerry Washington) from a cruel and deranged plantation owner named Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Teaming up with German bounty hunter and ex-dentist Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), Django embarks upon an epic journey frequently punctuated by Tarantinos’ trademark cartoon violence and dark humour.
I have often lamented Tarantino’s fixation on violence when he is such a fantastic writer and storyteller. Pulp Fiction is perhaps so fondly remembered because it seldom felt gratuitous in it’s gore and blood-spilling. Later offerings such as the ultra-violent Kill-Bill and the hyper-reality of Death Proof always felt like experiments rather than fully rounded films. Tarantino had no problem with bending the rules so Uma Thurman could get on an aeroplane with her katana sword, and here he does the same with Hitler and the Nazis. Continue reading