Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (8.4/10)

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Very long, low on action, but nail-biting dialogue and intense scenes is my summation of “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, and definitely one of his better ones.

If you walk into this film expecting action sequences like those from “Kill Bill” or “Django Unchained,” expect to be disappointed.  But the movie didn’t need much action at all, as the drama all takes place in the form of intense conversations between the characters.  As almost the entire film is set in a cabin with no rooms, there is a strong dramatic irony for the audience.  Because there is nowhere to hide, there is always the possibility of someone getting shot during any of the tense moments.

The acting by the large ensemble cast is fantastic, and the film is very effectively shot; I found myself leaning left and right trying to get a peek over things that are intentionally placed in the background or obscured.

Not sure if this is a resurgence, but lately there have been a few well-praised, ‘artsy’ films that are shot like plays, setting the film in a small space and relying on long takes to add life and tension to the shots.  Other films include last year’s Oscar winner “Birdman,” and this year’s “Steve Jobs.” It’s worked out for these films so far, but I’m not sure if this can be sustained.

 

 

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Movie Review: Deadpool (8.7/10)

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Uncompromisingly violent and vulgar, “Deadpool” is unlike any comic movie you have ever seen, and it’s a damn good time.

It’s hard to under-emphasize the explicit nature of the film; no other major comic book movie has been tagged with an R-rating (or whatever mature audience rating is in your country) as they usually want to appeal to the mass audience.  This film, however, is definitely not for kids.

The cast, headed by Ryan Reynolds, who seemed born to play the titular character, is a joy to watch, with witty dialogue and spot on comedic timings.

The film is bolstered by one of the most catchy and innovative viral ad campaign of all time.  Shown above and below are some of the posters used.  If you haven’t seen their trailers and TV spots, check them out as well.

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The film was shot well; the action was well choreographed and edited.  And it doesn’t feel over-scaled; often times comic book movies lose sight of its scale, and its audience along the way.  The stakes are muddled and we stop caring about the characters (Spider Man 3, Avengers Age of Ultron to some extent).  With “Deadpool”, we knew what we were going to get with this anti-‘hero’ (those who have seen the film will know why the quotation marks are still necessary) and we were behind him all the way.

Though immensely entertaining, the the third act of the film was a little bit cliched and predictable.  But aside from that, this Deadpool film definitely redeems the character from the hands of the writers of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and I look forward to seeing more films like this! A definite recommendation!