Now On Blu-ray: THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Tarantino's Latest Hits Home Video

Editor, U.S. ; Dallas, Texas (@HatefulJosh)
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Now On Blu-ray: THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Tarantino's Latest Hits Home Video

After a fairly successful theatrical experiment over the holidays, Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight lands on Blu-ray this week, but does the film hold up at home? Well, yes and no.

As is the case with any new film from Mr. Tarantino, there was a lot of hubbub surrounding the theatrical release of The Hateful Eight. This snowbound Western tale of distust and deceit was a bit of a test for Tarantino in terms of how far he could push his distributors and exhibitors by sheer willpower to do what he wanted. What Tarantino demanded was an exclusive rollout for his new film in 70mm to cities around the country, a full week before it was released on the standard 35mm and DCP digital projection formats. For a while there, the commotion of the method of the release got much louder than any real criticism of the actual film.

I was among those who ended up doling out the extra cash to view the film in its initial 70mm rollout, not because I was particularly committed to the experience of this unusual format, more because it fit my schedule. While I was dubious at first about whether it was worthwhile, I ended up enjoying the film quite a bit for reasons that -- it seemed at the time -- had nothing to do with the actual projection.

Fast forward to this home video release and I'm starting to question my own memories and how much my enjoyment truly owed to the theatrical experience. Having now watched the film a second time, I found myself distinctly underwhelmed on my own modest (when compared to a cinema) home video set up. It looks fine, but it certainly lacks the punch of the full projected experience that I had in the theater on that cold December afternoon.

Our own Jim Tudor reviewed the film at the time of the release and he said:

While by no means his best movie, The Hateful Eight more than satisfies any nagging itch for new work from this uniquely recognizable voice.

Even on a second viewing, I'd have to say that is an accurate assessment. It is not Tarantino's finest work. To be honest, much of the embellishment that surrounds the film in terms of its rollout seems more self-indulgent than artistic. However, it's fun, and it'll certainly sate my desire for Tarantino until he gets around to making his next film.


The Disc:

The first question on most people's minds regarding this home video release of The Hateful Eight is that of which version of the film we get. The Blu-ray release is of the wide release version of the film, clocking in at a not-too-shabby two hours and forty-eight minutes. The 70mm roadshow edition was always advertised as something that was only going to be seen in theaters, in Tarantino's own words:

You’ve paid the money. You’ve bought your ticket. So you’re there. I’ve got you. But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not that. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. Or you’re at Hot Dog on a Stick and you just want to catch a movie.

Now, there's no guarantee that the film won't get rereleased in the road show edition somewhere down the line, but for now, this is what you get.

As I mentioned above, the film looks great on Blu-ray, but there is some depth lacking in the way the Blu-ray renders the image. It it by no means a bad visual presentation, and I hate to be the guy saying things like this, but the 70mm film print definitely had additional detail, especially in the shadow areas when compared to this presentation. That being said, I really cannot identify faults on the disc, just a general sense of being underwhelmed. The audio, on the other hand, is fantastic, especially Ennio Morricone's score. There arent' a ton of whizz-bang audio flourishes in the film, but the dialogue, effects, and score are pristine, which is a definite plus.

In terms of extras, the disc definitely disappoints with a paltry eleven minutes of bonus material overall. There is a four minute "making of" featurette, which is basically an EPK (electronic press kit) that give the viewer a few canned interviews from the cast. The other extra is a seven minute explanation of the 70mm Super Panavision process used to shoot the film. This second extra is more substantial, but at seven minutes, it is also pretty disappointing.

In conclusion, if you enjoyed the film or the work of Tarantino in general, you're going to buy this no matter what I say. However, if you're interested in the Road Show version or a comprehensive look at the film and the way it came together, you can probably give this disc a pass.

Jim Tudor contributed to this story.

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Blu-rayQuentin TarantinoThe Hateful EightSamuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason LeighWalton GogginsCrimeDramaMystery

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Around the Internet

One-EyeMarch 29, 2016 10:39 PM

I guess I'll be the guy who asks "When is KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR coming out?"

r0rschachMarch 30, 2016 12:45 AM

Gotta agree, never ever buy the first release of Tarantino films. It's a complete waste of money, they always save all the best shit for a later release. Also his films always end up being $8-$10 at Best Buy, etc. in really short order.

Ard VijnMarch 30, 2016 10:56 AM

The French have already got themselves planned a super-duper special edition for the 25th of May, which includes (among many other things) Morricone's soundtrack on a vinyl record.

AleksMarch 30, 2016 1:41 PM

Tarantino tackling a whodunnit sounded amazing but the execution ended up being so shockingly simplistic and unengaging. Most seemed to not like the first half, for lack of action, and love the second half. For me it was the complete opposite: up until the intermission I was absolutely loving it, not a whole lot happened but the dialogue, performances and snowy vistas sizzled off the gloriously wide screen. Then after the intermission, QT's cheesy VO kicks in, the blood (literally) starts flowing and it was all downhill from there for me. After Django, I figured he was finally done with heads exploding like melons... I was so very wrong.
7/10, which, for a QT movie, is more like a 5/10.

J HurtadoMarch 30, 2016 1:59 PM

I hated the voiceover. It's the one part of the film that I genuinely, 100%, do not like. Everything else is at least enjoyable if tedious at times

J HurtadoMarch 30, 2016 1:59 PM

No way I'm shelling out $80+ for this movie.

wabaliciousMarch 30, 2016 2:02 PM

I was so disappointed with this film, i'm a big fan of Tarantino but i thought this was a total misfire. While i was watching it i enjoyed parts of it, but as it dragged on and on and on i was just bored. Overall, and i can't believe i'm saying this, i absolutely HATED it. It's one of those films where the more i thought about it afterwards, the less i cared for it. It really reveled in brutality and the overuse of the dreaded "n-word"... but as far as QT sees it, that's ok, because Samuel L Jackson used it too. It was boring, even while it rolled around in the gutter trying its hardest to be shocking.

Unflinching_EyeMarch 30, 2016 9:26 PM

Agreed, it really took me out of the movie. I wanted to shout "shut up Quentin and get on with it"!

Unflinching_EyeMarch 30, 2016 9:34 PM

I guess I'm the only one here who loved it (although I don't know how it'll hold up on repeat viewings). I watched the 167 minute cut, and I'm glad I did. An additional 20 mins on what I watched does seem gratuitous, but for that 2 hrs and 47 mins I was riveted, not bored once.

My caveat is that I think I have a built in bias towards it. I'm an inveterate fan of Carpenter's The Thing, and I found it a real rush to pick out all the references all the way through.

Michael LangMarch 30, 2016 10:04 PM

Bad movie. Big bomb at the box office. Big waste of time.

Trung RwoMarch 31, 2016 12:08 AM

damn, reading the comments really makes me surprised. The Hateful Eight is the finest script of Tarrantino in ages and I enjoy every minute of it.

marshy00March 31, 2016 2:00 AM

I thought the flashback was totally unnecessary - and poorly acted - but otherwise I really enjoyed the film, while conceding that it was plotted rather simplistically.

AleksMarch 31, 2016 6:51 AM

The Roadshow Version only has an additional 6 minutes of footage. The rest of those 20 minutes are comprised of the (gorgeous) overture and a 12 minute intermission.

AleksMarch 31, 2016 6:55 AM

I didn't realise the VO was in the DCP version as well. Seems pointless without the intermission, which temporarily takes you out of the movie/story and warrants a quick recap.

Unflinching_EyeMarch 31, 2016 7:19 AM

Ah, thanks for clearing that up.

J HurtadoMarch 31, 2016 12:08 PM

Certainly too simplistic to spread over 2:48

J HurtadoMarch 31, 2016 12:09 PM

As I mentioned in the article, theatrically it was an experience; but at home it lacks the same punch. I didn't need to spend an hour in the coach, and a lot of Kurt Russell's acting is just too damned broad for me

J HurtadoMarch 31, 2016 12:10 PM

Even in the roadshow version it stuck out like a sore thumb. I see movies with intermissions almost every week, and they never assume their audiences to be dumb enough to require the VO. It was a quick way out of a problem that could've been better solved with better writing.

Unflinching_EyeMarch 31, 2016 3:12 PM

That it was. More Jack Burton than R.J. MacReady. I far prefer his cooler, more understated performances.

AleksApril 1, 2016 3:08 PM

The intermission was a mere 12 minutes according to QT's strict instructions, so the VO was never really about being a recap for recap's sake. He probably intentionally left out the whole poisoned coffee bit initially, to be able to talk about it in the VO. It's simply yet another demonstration of his increasing lack of restraint (otherwise represented by the bloated runtime). You could almost hear the giddiness in his voice as he was talking about his story and characters.

Brendan DayMay 21, 2016 4:50 AM

Disappointed with the lack of extras . Two short behinds the scenes fewtures hardly count thats old DVD EPK BS .. THEY STILL DO THAT ?

Brendan DayMay 21, 2016 4:52 AM

Annoying thy didnt put the extra scenes and intermissions on Bluray