The Hateful Eight follows the story of eight strangers who, during an intense blizzard, are forced to stay together in a remote and isolated cabin. Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) is a bounty hunter seeking a ride after the death of his horse. John Ruth (Kurt Russell), also known as the Hangman, is taking Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to be executed, who as it turns out will be executed by Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth). Also with them is Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), the newly appointed sheriff of the town they're all heading to, Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a cowboy on his way home for christmas, Bob (Demián Bichir), the man temporarily in charge of the place they're staying at, and finally, there's General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), who fought on the opposite side of the civil war to Marquis Warren. It's eight dangerous and despicable people trapped in a room together. With Tarantino at the helm, anything goes.
Just as a technical achievement, The Hateful Eight is a masterpiece. It's the first film to use Ultra Panavision lenses since the 60s, and even back then, these lenses weren't commonly used. Most famously used in Ben Hur, Tarantino has finally brought them back out from their eternal slumber for one more shot at filmmaking, and it's glorious. Ultra Panavision lenses are the widest lenses available, and when you see the cinematography in this film, you'll know why. Even the close ups can fit two people into the shot. It's rather impressive and Tarantino uses them to the best of his ability, creating some down right stunning shots that you just can't see in any other movie.
Like most of his movies, the laughs don't always come from the dialogue. The laughs, a lot of the time, came from the over the top violence. I don't wish the give away the film's best moments, but I will say that if you're a fan of Kill Bill, you won't be let down. There's this one scene in Kill Bill that features the bride taking on a hell of a lot of enemies and it's outrageously exaggerated in terms of gore. The Hateful Eight is that scene, but with less people and for three hours, and I loved it. It's Reservoir Dogs in the west.
There's not much else I can say about this movie without delving into spoilers, although I won't be doing a spoiler review. It's typical Tarantino. It's dark, violent and a lot of fun. It will offend some, it will delight others, but there's no denying just how well made it is. The roadshow release for this movie is everything I wanted it to be and more. Tarantino attempted to bring back the cinema of old and it works. I don't want this for every movie, but for special ones, such as The Hateful Eight, this format could work well. No matter what you think of this film, I have no doubt that everyone who sees this in its intended format will appreciate what Tarantino did. I know I appreciated it.