The Hateful Eight

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As the new year begins, we take one final look back at 2015 to identify once and for all what the best nerdy movies of 2015 were. Despite our complaints about Hollywood’s lack of originality, or its overdependence on franchises or previously established intellectual properties, this is still not an easy list to tabulate; in the year 2015, there were more than enough contenders to make two Top 10 lists. Since we’re in the business of playing favorites, however, 10 and only 10 could be chosen, and so we chose.

Making the cut this year were a fair number of sequels and spin-offs, but also a hardcore science-fiction film, an allegory-filled horror entry, a bloody western, a charming animated movie, a documentary, a mockumentary, and the only movie that took A.I. and all its implications seriously in a year full of killer, self-aware robots. Submitted for your approval, here are the Top 10 Films of 2015 (and the 5 Worst ones). (more…)

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Quentin Tarantino returns to the biggest screen possible – 70mm Ultra-Panavision, a long-dormant format that promises moviegoers the crispest, finest widescreen images, a delight for cinephiles and non-cinephiles alike – with The Hateful Eight, a locked-room mystery-western, shot, choreographed, and performed in Tarantino’s inimitable talk-first, talk-second (and third), and shoot later style, a filmmaking style Tarantino introduced to moviegoers and critics alike more than twenty years ago in Reservoir Dogs. A master manipulator when it comes to audience expectations, not to mention (but we’ll mention it anyway), a filmmaker with a singularly perverse sense of black humor, Tarantino opens The Hateful Eight on a remote snow-covered road in Wyoming sometime after the end of the Civil War only to willfully retreat from three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson’s (Django Unchained, Hugo, Shutter Island, Inglourious Basterds, The Aviator) stunning, striking imagery for a stagebound, single-set location, a lonely, desolate road stop, Minnie’s Haberdashery, on the way to the small town of Red Rock.

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The force is definitely not with Quentin Tarentino.

The acclaimed director who made such hits as Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction in the days when Disney owned Miramax is now accusing Disney of stabbing him in the back. His new film, The Hateful Eight, was set to start its run at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. Now, instead of a movie featuring drama, betrayal and guns, the ArcLight Cinemas outlet will show a blockbuster featuring drama, betrayal and lightsabers.

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Forget about anything from Marvel Studios or involving the Star Wars universe, the real event movie for film buffs this year is the latest movie by Quentin Tarantino. The former video store clerk is now an auteur of such proportion that he’s a one man franchise series event, every movie he makes is an occasion and it seems like The Hateful Eight is going to be no exception. Now, after a very powerful and positive presentation at San Diego Comic Con, those unfortunate enough to not make it to Nerd Mecca this year can get their first look at the movie in a very cool-looking trailer with its beautifully captured snowscapes which will make you feel the chill even if its 100 degrees outside.
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The story goes like this: The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s latest script, found its way to the open air, leaking out after the director had shared it with a few members of his inner circle. This infuriated the Pulp Fiction helmer, causing him to take his ball (script) and go home. Maybe the western would become a novel, maybe it would someday become a movie again, but for the time being, Tarantino was moving on.

Enter… all of the internet, who reported on the leak and Tarantino’s decision to push the project to the back burner. No harm, no foul. That’s kind of the internet’s jam, but Gawker not only reported on the leak, they reportedly linked to another site that had posted the leaked script and then they closed their article with, “For better or worse, the document is 146 pages of pure Tarantino. Enjoy!”, prompting Tarantino to sue them for “contributory copyright infringement”, a suit that was dismissed yesterday, though it is entirely possible that this is merely a speed bump and not a brick wall in Tarantino’s quest. (more…)