The Hateful Eight

I was glad that I was able to get the record player I bought from Barnes and Noble to work the way it was supposed to. I put my blankets into the washing machine. I was then ready to go out to the Grand Lake Theatre for “The Hateful Eight.” There were quite a few people lined up outside the theatre waiting to get inside. The tickets cost ten dollars, and we got programs to go along with the tickets. The format of the film was called Ultra Panavision 70, which was used for movies like “Ben-Hur,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” and “Battle of the Bulge.” The last movie released in the format was “Khartoum” in 1966. The only other cities in California that were part of this roadshow presentation were Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Barbara. The theatre was filled up with people for this afternoon screening, indicating that there are a lot of Quentin Tarantino fans out there. Things started with an overture, making me feel that we had gone back in time to about 1966. This audience wasn’t as respectful of an overture as an opera audience, because they talked right over the music. I thought it was pretty good music, too, from Ennio Morricone. We wouldn’t be hearing any pop songs like “I Got a Name” on the soundtrack for this film. I guess you could say that “The Hateful Eight” was like a Western version of “Reservoir Dogs,” although Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” also came to my mind. This movie had the familiar Tarantino trademarks, like the darkly humorous dialogue, Samuel L. Jackson getting loud, the unusual timeline, and the extreme violence. It took a long time for this movie to get going, although many people in this audience loved every moment, and they laughed louder than they should have at the jokes. The violence that was directed at Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character Daisy Domergue was disturbing. Kurt Russell is the bounty hunter attempting to bring in Daisy for one thousand dollars. I’ve never been able to take Kurt Russell seriously as an actor after his very early movies, and also “Escape from New York.” I will have to give Tarantino credit for framing some of shots very well. He used the wide screen to good advantage at some moments. A lot of this movie, however, takes place indoors in one place. A lot happens after the intermission, or I guess you could say that a lot is explained after the intermission. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Warren shouldn’t have told that story that angered Bruce Dern. I didn’t want that frontal nudity. This movie seemed to push the R rating as there were outrageous moments, one involving shooting someone in the head. I’m not sure why Channing Tatum didn’t shoot earlier than he did. Warren must have had superhuman strength to continue talking the way that he did. He should have been doing nothing but moaning in pain. Everything is heading towards a bloody and deadly conclusion. If this is the concept of entertainment that Tarantino fans expect, I think it’s depressing. I thought there was a lot of emptiness behind the razzle dazzle to the Tarantino gimmicks. The conclusion is kind of nauseating. I kept thinking that the movie wasn’t worthy of the epic presentation. We weren’t getting the big movie stars or David Lean. I’m not so sure that we were privileged to see this cut of the film if it had more violence and more of the hateful dialogue. I wondered if David Carradine would have been in this movie if he had lived. I also wondered about people like John Travolta and Uma Thurman. Watching this movie was exhausting to me, both for its length and its violence. I am not so sure that it’s worth it to seek out this roadshow cut. I wouldn’t want to drive for two or three hours to sit through this movie. I recall what Bruce Dern said about genius directors, but I had to question whether Quentin Tarantino could even be described as a good director. He is certainly not a Renoir. It was about 3:07 when I got out of the theatre, just in time to catch the 57 bus and make my way back home. I bought a Beatles T-shirt and some cleaning supplies. I had a beef burrito before I took a nap. “The Man from Snowy River” was one of the movies that was on television. I had borrowed three DVDs from the library, but it was already getting too late to watch any of them. My father sent me a message that my mother had improved a little bit. That didn’t make me feel any better because he said the same thing about my brother. I thought about whether I should try to see “The Hateful Eight” again. I also wanted to see “Carol.” Jennifer Lawrence was going to be a guest on the Stephen Colbert show. I’m not really motivated to see “Joy.” Are people watching these late night talk shows? I don’t feel like seeing any of them, now that David Letterman is gone from the scene. It seemed like either Jennifer Lawrence or Seth Rogen was in every movie that I saw this year. One thing I can say about them is that they aren’t lazy. An American Masters program about Margaret Mitchell was on KQED at four o’clock, but I didn’t think I wanted to wake up at that hour to watch it. I saw a new edition of the Beach Boys’ “Party!” album. I sat down to listen to a George Harrison album as I worked on my writing and prepared to go to sleep. Some of the people who died on December 30 include Robert Boyle (1691), Richard Rodgers (1979), Lew Ayres (1996), John Gregory Dunne (2003), Artie Shaw (2004), and Frank Campanella (2006). Today is a birthday for Tiger Woods (40), Tracey Ullman (56), Matt Lauer (58), Meredith Vieira (62), Jeff Lynne (68), Patti Smith (69), Michael Nesmith (73), and Sandy Koufax (80). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 30, Brenda Lee was injured when she tried to save her poodle from a fire at her Nashville home in 1962. In 1979, Richard Rodgers died in New York at age 77. In 1999, George Harrison was stabbed by an intruder at Harrison’s home. In 2002, Diana Ross was arrested for drunken driving in Tucson, Arizona.

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