The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino is a student of history but certainly not in any conventional sense. His bloody revisionist histories of both Nazi Germany (Inglourioius Basterds) and the Antebellum South (Django Unchained) delighted his many fans who relish the visual and auditory barrage his films offer. The Hateful Eight is a reading of the post-Civil War westward expansion that features his signature verbosity and violence. Eight snowbound travelers -- criminals, bounty hunters, lawmen and some unaccountable others -- huddle together in a remote mercantile in Wyoming and relive the horrors of the War Between the States, racial and ethnic animosities and the wholesale denigration of womanhood when death comes a-calling. The story actually has the structure and perhap the intentions of a classic drawing room murder mystery but is in fact an orgiastic 70 mm visceral feast of revenge and vindication as only Tarantino can stage it. It features several of the auteur's old reliable players -- Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth -- and a few new faces, most notably Kirk Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walton Goggins. QT is an acquired taste and his eighth feature, while quite often brilliant, is not for the self-serious or the squeamish.