The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce DernJames Parks, Zoë Bell, Channing Tatum
Seen on: 2.2.2016
[I saw the roadshow version.]

Plot:
Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) finds himself with a dead horse, a few frozen corpses he means to deliver to collect the bounty and in the cold in the middle of nowhere. It’s just his luck that John Ruth (Kurt Russell) comes along with his carriage, also transporting a body for the bounty, but a live one – Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Warren manages to hitch a ride with them to the next inn, Minnie’s Haberdashery where they are promptly snowed in. Trapped with a group of strangers in a snow storm, tensions start to rise.

The Hateful Eight was one of Tarantino’s weaker films. Definitely his weakest in a while. But a weak Tarantino is still a strong, well-made film. But it didn’t make me enthusiastic and I did have my issues with it.

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She’s Funny That Way (2014)

She’s Funny That Way
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Peter Bogdanovich, Louise Stratten
Cast: Imogen PootsOwen WilsonKathryn HahnRhys Ifans, Jennifer AnistonWill Forte, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Shannon, Lucy Punch, Illeana Douglas, Cybill ShepherdRichard Lewis, Austin Pendleton, Tatum O’Neal , Joanna Lumley, Quentin Tarantino
Seen on: 2.9.2015

Plot:
Isabella (Imogen Poots) is a rising star and as such, she gives an interview about how she made it big: how she met director Arnold (Owen Wilson) when she was working as a call girl, how he offered her a lot of money that she may be able to follow her dreams and stop working as a call girl; how they ran into each other at an audition the very next day; how Arnold’s wife and lead actress Delta (Kathryn Hahn), her co-star Seth (Rhys Ifans) and writer Joshua (Will Forte) were immediately taken by her acting talent; and how she got the job, including the ensuing awkwardness.

She’s Funny That Way could have been a charming, old-school screwball comedy, but unfortunately it was a little too boring to really be charming or funny.

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Re-Watch: Sin City (2005)

Sin City
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, (Quentin Tarantino)
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica AlbaElijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Powers Boothe, Michael Clarke DuncanRutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Devon AokiJosh Hartnett, Alexis BledelJaime King, Carla Gugino, Brittany Murphy, Nick Offerman, Nick Stahl

Plot:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. After the last good cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) saved Nancy (Jessica Alba) from a pedophile and Senator’s son (Nick Stahl), he had to take the fall for it. But now he is out of prison and full of worry for Nancy’s continued safety. Nancy works as a stripper in a local club. At that same club, Shelly (Brittany Murphy) works as a waitress and she’s freshly in love with Dwight (Clive Owen). But her ex Jackie (Benicio Del Toro) is not done with her yet and Dwight suddenly finds himself in over his head in the part of town run by the sex workers. One of them (Jaime King) was just murdered – while Marv (Mickey Rourke) slept next to her no less. Now Marv is determined to find her killer and to exact vengeance.

I remember when I first saw Sin City – I was completely blown away by it (back then I was also a rather unaware baby-feminist, so I barely noticed the incredible sexism). Now I look at it with a more critical eye, but it’s still an awesome film.

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Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, James Remar, Amber Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, Zoe Bell, Don Johnson, Jonah Hill, Franco Nero, Quentin Tarantino

Plot:
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a bounty hunter who’s looking for a trio of brothers that he can’t identify. But he knows that the recently sold slave Django (Jamie Foxx) can. So he goes after Django and frees him in return for his help with the bounty hunting. Django agrees and the two of them start working very well together. But Django really wants to get his wife (Kerry Washington) back who has been sold separately. So he and Schultz hatch a plan how to get her out of the clutches of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Django Unchained was pretty damn great. It wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, had a great cast, beautiful cinematography and, as usual for Tarantino movies, an amazing soundtrack.

DjangoUnchained

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Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Inglorious Basterds is the newest movie by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, August Diehl and Michael Fassbender.

Plot:
Contrary to what the marketing wants you to believe, Inglorious Basterds is not about the Basterds, a kind of guerilla troup of American soldiers with German or Austrian roots (Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Samm Levine) headed by a half-Native American (Brad Pitt), but it’s the story of Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent). Shosanna’s family was killed by Col. Landa (Christoph Waltz) and his men, Shosanna herself barely escaped with her life. Now she’s in Paris and owns a cinema. One day, she gets advances by German soldier Fredrick Zoller. Advances, she can’t refuse, even though she tries. Through Fredrick, Shosanna is confronted once again with her past and starts to form a plan for her revenge.

Somehow, before seeing this movie I only saw reviews along the lines of “This time Tarantino goes too far”, “Inglorious Basterds sucks” etc etc. But I seem to be the only person to have seen those and since it is so not true, I’ve decided that I must have imagined it. Inglorious Basterds is interesting, entertaining and pretty much awesome. Tarantino at his best.

IngloriousBasterds

[SPOILERS]

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Grindhouse

I just watched the two Grindhouse movies.

Planet Terror actually met the German standard of Grind (meaning disgusting stuff). Man, that was a gore fest. Some scenes were pretty cool, I liked the helicopter-slicing-zombies-thing and when Josh Brolin gets the pus in his face (twice) I really had to wretch. Insofar, it was really good. But I think what will stay with me the longest is the question: How does Cherry’s (Rose McGowan) machine gun leg know when to shoot? She never pulls a trigger on this thing. Is it a telepathic gun?

Death Proof was fun. I really liked it, it had the usual Tarantino-dialogues which may be nothing new, but they are always good. I also liked that it had two parts, it felt like it was a “what if” situation, especially because in the beginning, some of the dialogue is the same and the way the girls sit in the car etc.

Summarising: Death Proof worth watching though not the best Tarantino (I still think that’s Reservoir Dogs). Planet Terror only if you are a huge fan of gore and fighting midgets (Freddy Rodriguez. Don’t take this personally but 1,68m is not tall…).