Monday Morning Critic – The Hateful Eight and the One Aspect of Quentin Tarantino’s Cinematic Legacy No One Discusses

MMC New>

It’s Christmas week and the best film week of the year is upon us. The one plus side of more people watching movies during Christmas Day is that Hollywood has adjusted this and it’s now one of the best weekends of the year to watch movies. Mainly because the big Oscar contenders that have substantial budgets are released wide for all to see. Since my family only meets for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day has become one where I can dine on Chinese food after spending an inordinate amount of money on movie tickets.

The most wonderful time of the year … indeed.

And the most wonderful film of the year, at least in terms of excitement for me, is The Hateful Eight. Already haven been leaked online, most likely by Quentin Tarantino himself, the film got a substantial buzz from it because it was really well written. Now, a couple days from the start of a platform release, Tarantino is in line for what should be a strong opening and likely Oscar buzz. He might even secure an Oscar nomination for the film, his third, and QT is arguably the best director without an Oscar win for Direction right now.

He has an Oscar on his mantle for having written Django Unchained and another for Pulp Fiction. He’s had the best career of any of the 1990s independent film darlings, as well, and QT is a filmmaker of note by any stretch of the imagination. Almost every superlative you can think of has to be adorned onto Tarantino’s legacy as a filmmaker. In some circles it’s blasphemy to even point out the negatives of his films, or that his story of being in jail is fake, as QT is almost god-like to a certain portion of the fan base of cinema in the same way that Joss Whedon has conquered the nerd market or Michael Bay has won over the professional bro population.

But you know what no one will ever call him? An artist … an original one, at least. When all is said and done Tarantino is the best tracer in Hollywood history.

As much as he makes great films, and he does, the one thing no one has ever really said the QT is original. He’s not a hack, recycling old material and pushing it on people as new, as QT always does the “homage” bit when questions of his source material come up. When all is said and done he’s going to go down with one of the strongest resumes in film history, if he walks away after his 10th film as he’s said in the past, as his level of quality is fairly strong throughout his career. QT led the wave of independent filmmakers surging to the forefront of Hollywood, inspiring the studio system to take a look at the indie world for talent and inspiration.

He revived the career of John Travolta, turned Christoph Waltz into a two time Oscar winner with two of the best written roles for an actor in the past 30 years and took a number of genres into very interesting & different directions with his takes on them. Tarantino has had a hall of fame career, if film had a true hall of fame to call its own, but it’s not through anything on his own.

Christopher Nolan may have gotten famous by using material written by others, of course, but Inception and Interstellar are proof that his creative juices flow without needing to borrow from other films. It’s why we call him an artist and why we call QT a director; both are brilliant in different ways but Tarantino is the guy who takes what others have done and rewrites it for his own purposes.

He’s cinema’s greatest inker.

Hat Tip to my boys at Midnight Movie Cowboy Podcast … a simple Facebook conversation turned into a column. Their podcast is on iTunes, subscribe and stuff.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound

Concussion – The story behind the ongoing concussion legacy of the NFL

See it – Will Smith is in full “GIVE ME AN OSCAR” mode.

Daddy’s Home – Will Ferrell is the step dad to some kids who hate him. Mark Wahlberg is a deadbeat dad who they adore. Shenanigans ensue.

Skip it – This feels like it could be an interesting film about the nature of parenting dynamics that was changed into a stupid comedy to fit its stars. It’s like someone took this “yeah right” kind of story and made it into a heart warming story of sorts.

Joy – Jennifer Lawrence in the biopic of Joy Mangano, who invented the Miracle Mop.

See it – The perception of Jennifer Lawrence has changed in the past 12 months, mainly because she’s gone from plucky actress who people couldn’t help but liking to a more typical Hollywood actress that seems a bit snotty, but this is a role that should put her in Oscar contention. Plus she’s coming off another hit, albeit one that under performed, in the final Hunger Games film and another Oscar nomination for a brilliant performance seems like the narrative that’s going to be written.

Point Break (2015) – A remake of the original … but with extreme sports.

Kill yourself instead – Anyone buying a ticket because they’re genuinely excited to see this needs to reevaluate their priorities in life … and is fired from discussing film for two years.

The Revenant – Leo DiCaprio gets raped by a bear … or does he?

Skip it – This has had its release date bounced around several times so far, which is never a good sign, and is being platform released starting on Christmas Day. It feels more like someone is hoping it finds an audience via word of mouth in January. That’s never a good sign.

The Hateful Eight – QT makes another western. This time eight people get trapped in a cottage in a blizzard. Shenanigans ensue.

See it – QT may not have an original bone in his body but he makes good films. Usually.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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