Hateful Eight, The (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 25-May-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Beyond the Eight: A Behind the Scenes Look (4:58)
Featurette-Sam Jackson’s Guide to Glorious 70mm (7:32)
Trailer-Start-Up Trailers x 3 for other films (6:47)
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 167:46
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Kurt Russell
Samuel L. Jackson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Walton Goggins
Tim Roth
Michael Madsen
Demian Bichir
Bruce Dern
James Parks
Case ?
RPI ? Music Ennio Morricone


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English for the Hearing Impaired
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.76:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.76:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Descriptive Audio Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     A stagecoach driven by O.B. (James Parks) thunders across a snow-covered Wyoming landscape. It is just after the American Civil War and inside the coach are bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell), aka “The Hangman”, and his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who Ruth is taking to the nearby town of Red Rock to be hanged. They come across on foot in the snow, separately, ex-Union soldier and now bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and ex-Confederate Jayhawker Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who says that he is the new sheriff of Red Rock. Ruth reluctantly allows them both into the coach but when they are overtaken by a blizzard they seek shelter at a stagecoach stopover called Minnie’s Haberdashery. Minnie is absent but inside are Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman travelling to Red Rock, cowboy Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), aged Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern) and Mexican Bob (Demian Bichir) who is looking after the place for Minnie. But Ruth is soon convinced that not everyone is who they say they are and that Daisy has a rescuer, or two, among those in the room. Of these hateful eight, how many will survive to see the end of the blizzard?

     The Hateful Eight is writer / director Quentin Tarantino paying homage to epic westerns following the more tongue in cheek spaghetti western feel of Django Unchained (2012). Shot on film using 65 mm Ultra-Panavision lenses and projected in 70 mm in selected theatres in a widescreen ratio of 2.76:1, which this Blu-ray preserves, The Hateful Eight is long (167 minutes in this version), slow moving, quite gory, including a head blown apart and an arm hacked off, violent and spectacularly beautiful. Filmed in Colorado, the snow covered exteriors, shot by cinematographer Robert Richardson, are breathtaking but even the interiors which consist of the majority of the film have a stunning depth of field, with every corner of the room and snowflakes filtering through broken windows finely detailed. Richardson is a three times Oscar winner, for JFK (1991), The Aviator (2004) and Hugo (2011), and he was nominated again for The Hateful Eight but lost out to The Revenant (it was obviously a year for snowy landscapes in Hollywood).

     In many ways The Hateful Eight is a traditional western, although Tarantino cannot resist twisting the genre somewhat. The Hateful Eight has an old fashioned opening title sequence and the film provides chapter headings as it goes along. But part way through it introduces a voiceover narration by Tarantino which provides us with information and a perspective not initially shown on screen, the film backtracks on itself and there is more than one unexpected twist. The score, by veteran master composer Ennio Morricone (528 entries on the IMDb and counting) is also quite traditional and epic, and won Morricone an Oscar, but there are interesting Morricone touches and Tarantino, being Tarantino, cannot help but add contemporary songs by The White Stripes and David Hess and, with the closing credits, Rob Orbison which do, however, nicely compliment the visuals.

     The Hateful Eight is beautiful to look at and the powerhouse cast, all in good form, keep things intriguing and interesting during the gradual build-up to the action and the denunciations. While it has some humorous moments this is a gory and bloody film with violence against women, and racist, nasty and hateful killers so it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find anyone to sympathise with. So I guess in this sense, at least, The Hateful Eight is not a traditional western as there are certainly no heroes anywhere!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The Hateful Eight is presented in the wide aspect ratio of 2.76:1 in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     One word: awesome! Colours are naturally not vibrant; this film is set in a blizzard in the middle of winter after all, so whites dominate in exteriors and browns in interiors, while the reds of blood look dull but natural. Detail is pristine in both the wide shots of a lonely stagecoach in a sea of white and the richly presented interiors with a wonderful depth of vision. Every whisker or blood splotch is finely detailed, but I love the snowflakes filtering into the darkened room and the subtleties of lighting. Blacks are solid and shadow detail excellent, skin tones are natural, brightness and contrast consistent.

     I did not notice any artefacts or marks.

     English captions for the hearing impaired are available in a clear white font and yellow subtitles automatically translated a couple of sentences of Spanish.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Feature audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1; also available is descriptive narration for the vision impaired using a male voice (Dolby Digital 2.0).

     A lot of the film is set indoors. Dialogue is not always clear but gunshots reverberate and there is always the sound of the blizzard and music in the rears. The exteriors are more enveloping with the horses’ hooves, the stagecoach wheels and the storm. The sub-woofer supported the storm, the rumble of the stagecoach and the shots.

     The score by Ennio Morricone was epic and orchestral, but added touches like the twinkle of harness like bells. Songs by The White Stripes, David Hess and Rob Orbison were used effectively.

     I saw no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Start-Up Trailers (6:47)

     Trailers for Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, Triple 9 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

Beyond the Eight: A Behind the Scenes Look (4:58)

     An EPK style featurette using on-set and film footage plus sound bites from Quintin Tarantino, a producer, DP and four of the cast to briefly look at the story, the characters and the cast.

Sam Jackson’s Guide to Glorious 70mm (7:32)

     The Hateful Eight was shot in 65 mm using Ultra-Panavision lenses, equipment not used since filming Khartoum (1966), and projected in 70 mm in selected theatres. Samuel L Jackson, Tarantino, Bob Richardson (DP), three other cast members, three producers and three Panavision employees talk about finding, preparing and using the ultra-wide angle lenses in the filming of The Hateful Eight.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Blu-ray releases of The Hateful Eight are the same in all regions except for minor audio and subtitle options.

Summary

     The Hateful Eight has a wonderful cast and looks stunningly beautiful. It is brutal and bloody, with nasty characters and really no-one to sympathise with; I guess it is not called The Hateful Eight for nothing! The film had a theatrical release in two versions as the IMDb notes: “From the week of December 25th to 31st 2015, the film was shown exclusively in a 'Roadshow' version at 100 locations across North America (about half of them were 70mm film projection, the other half digital). This version played without previews and ran 187 minutes, including a 4-minute Overture and a 12-minute Intermission. The 'Multiplex' version (digital only) runs 167 minutes, and was shown from January 1, 2016 onwards. In addition to not having the Overture and Intermission, it removes approximately six minutes of footage that Quentin Tarantino felt played better in the 70mm format.”

     This Blu-ray release (worldwide) is the 167 minute version of the film. The video is spectacular, the audio very good, the extras minimal. I wonder if we can we expect the extended version any time soon, with more extensive extras?

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, June 02, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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