deconstructing trailers: HATEFUL EIGHT (teaser)

I know what I’m getting for Christmas this year. HATEFUL EIGHT! And I can’t hardly wait. 

The teaser trailer finally gives us our first glimpse at footage. “Glorious 70mm Super Panavision” footage. Check out the size of those black bars in the trailer. This movie will be super wide. From the wintery vistas, it looks to be a wise decision. Intense close-ups will also engulf us with tension. This Quentin Tarantino picture looks full of it.

The story follows “8 Strangers. 1 Deadly Connection.” It looks like all these bounty hunters are after the same target, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Ruthless killers are held up in the same cabin, caught in a crazy snowstorm outside.

Watching how one survivor will claim the bounty should be a pure joy to watch, especially conducted by mad scientist Quentin Tarantino. 

Kurt Russell stars as the so-called Hangman. His legend goes that he gets up close and personal to collect his bounty, while most others perch far away and cowardly take a shot. Samuel L Jackson tells us this legend, after he is picked up on the snowy cliffs by Russell’s horse drawn carriage.

Russell is one of my favourite on screen heroes, with his own legend extending into the b-movie universe. His roles in John Carpenter films are a real highlight of his action career: THE THING, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Here, he reunites with Tarantino after his Grindhouse starring role as Stuntman Mike in DEATHPROOF (pictured above). Now that was a great flickin’ exploitation movie there.

With HATEFUL, Russell might enjoy a resurgence like Travolta did back with PULP FICTION. It’s too early to tell if his role here is Oscar worthy. For now, let’s just say he’s got that Western look and John Wayne style delivery nailed.

NERD ALERT 2000: Russell has another Western this year, BONE TOMAHAWK (pictured above).

Jennifer Jason Leigh is an underrated actress. She’s had several standout roles in her career, but has yet to blow everyone away. She stole the show in the 90s thriller, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, if you’re interested in checking her out. Sci-fi fans might remember her from Cronenberg’s EXISTENZ.

The best moment in this trailer is when she mocks being hanged, after being intimidated. Looks like it’ll be hard to phase this character. Let’s hope she’s tough as nails.

Do you guys think she could be a mute? That would add an interesting layer to her performance, and create some interesting situations where she might need to warn someone but can’t yell out, or she could have some sort of breakthrough where she decides to finally speak.

With Tarantino scripting the events, the surprise will be worth it — whatever it is. I’m expecting great things out of Leigh in this role, possibly a nomination worthy performance. 

It looks like Jackson is the obvious traitor amongst this cast. He talks of cowardly bounty hunters to throw off his own scent. Jackson is hunting Russell, with the same up-close methods “The Hangman” employs. He’s going to wait for the perfect moment to strike, and steal away Leigh.

Jackson also looks to be back on the top of his game, rather than phoning it in like one of his b-movie appearances.

HATEFUL EIGHT has such a strong, yet simple, premise. The conflict is top notch. If one of these inglorious basterds takes out Russell to get the bounty, the next man will kill him, and so on. This suggests these men will look for the opportune moment, waiting until the blizzard outside passes through, leaving a trail just as destructive as Leigh’s character(?).

The ensemble cast is littered with Tarantino veterans, like Jackson, Russell, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen. Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, and Damian Bichir round out the roster. Even minor characters are sure to get some development.

Maybe Madsen will cut another ear off? Maybe Mr Orange is the real traitor? We’ll have to wait and see how this all develops.

EIGHT also champions cinema history, and film in general. The trailer advertises 70mm film-stock, shining pride against the now digital medium. It’s like JJ Abrams and STAR WARS proudly proclaiming the use of practical effects.

Are we heading into an era of respecting the medium? Will movies turn away from the over-use of CGI? Comment below.

Tarantino has a proven track record. Each of his films are Oscar calibre. Each and every one. He masterfully stages each scene. His style mixes the best flavours from all genres of cinema. His dialogue has enough life in it to resurrect the dead. His contemporary set films are amazing, but his period pieces are something else. EIGHT continues that tradition.

Are you ready for another Tarantino Western?


What do you think?

Leave a comment below.

most of these images came from this issue, available online at EW.com

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5 thoughts on “deconstructing trailers: HATEFUL EIGHT (teaser)

  1. The snowy setting puts me in mind of Corbucci’s Alpine Western “Il Grande Silencio.” A film which featured a mute character played by Jean-Louis Trintignant. Knowing Tarantino I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Leigh’s character is a mute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha nice… sometimes I read too much into stuff.. but mute would be interesting… thanks for checking out the breakdown, James… I love what you had to say on your site, especially the Ennio Morricone score analysis… I love how the trailer ends with the score and the chilling whistling

      Liked by 1 person

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