Netflix has recently released an extended version of The Hateful Eight. The streaming service has offered this version of the movie in the form of four individual, hour long, episodes; one for each chapter of the film. The theatrical run-time for the 2015 movie, directed by Quentin Tarantino, was a brisk two and half hours. I had watched the original film upon its release, but I didn’t really care for it then. It ended up towards the bottom of the pile for Tarantino’s movies for me. This extended version felt like a new film. And I can honestly say I appreciate the movie a whole lot more after this extended viewing.
The western genre is a hard one to master. It gave birth to legends like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood but there have been many films that have been forgotten. Some more recent western movies try to recreate the essence of the genre and whined up making a story which too boring, or throwing in too much action and missing the point. The Hateful Eight sits perfectly in the sweet spot of intense and intriguing story build up and morbid destruction. The cast alone should give an indication of the quality. Kurt Russel, Sam Jackson, Jennifer Leigh, Tim Roth, Walter Goggins, Micheal Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Channing Tatum are eight of the best actors in Hollywood. Regardless of any other films, this one really gave each a chance to perform some of the best characters I’ve ever seen them portray. But part of that praise belongs to the man that directed put them in a room together.
Quentin Tarantino is one of the most recognizable and respected directors in the industry. Some would even say he is revolutionary. When the movie came out in 2015, all the advertisement had to say was “Tarantino’s eighth film” and tickets were bought instantly. The Hateful Eight is one of his movies that really showcases his talents. There are some very long conversations throughout that fit his script writing style. There is also some play with chronological timing of scenes. But the main thing that really makes this a ‘Tarantino film’ is the respect for the audience. The movie starts off introducing doubt and suspicion into the characters and never lets the audience feel left out, or forgotten, on the mystery. Even when it gets slightly complicated, Tarantino himself narrates the events and helps the audience. You feel like the movie was made for you, and that is honestly rare. The plot is pretty simple, it’s not an extravagant plot to kill Hitler, or several stories revolving around a boxer and a briefcase. It is fairly human and base in nature, which makes it a great western.
As mentioned, I did see the original version of the film in 2015, and I don’t remember loving the movie. In all fairness I don’t really remember it. So when I saw an extended version on Netflix, cut up into four digestible episodes, I figured there is no harm done giving it another try. And being broken up into a ‘mini-series’ format really helped absorb the story. I cannot tell you which sections of the movie make up the added hour and a half but I will tell you that those 90 minutes mattered. I am a giant fan of extended versions of films. I will always choose the extended version, ultimate edition, or director’s cut of a film. I truly think all films should release extended versions of the film when it is released for ownership at home (whatever format that may be). the shots were films, the editing exists, just give the audience the full experience. Zach Snyder gets made fun of for it, but Ridley Scott, George Lucas, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson all released extended versions of heir films and now they are the definitive editions. What Netflix did for the Hateful Eight was reinvigorate people’s interest in the movie and respect the audience enough to give them the full version of the film. I hope we see more extended cuts like this on all streaming services in the future.
If you have never seen The Hateful Eight, I highly recommend you watch it. If you did see the original version of the film, I highly recommend you watch this extended version. I would even be bold enough to say that the extended cut is the only version to survive The Snappening, the theatrical cut doesn’t. This is a cold blooded movie about betrayal, murder, and justice. In a lawless time when men were allowed to be their most evil, eight people in a cabin show us how malicious the human race can be. Sometimes the only real law comes from the rope. When it comes to mean bastards out there, it’s the only thing that does the job. You only really need to hang mean bastards; but mean bastards, you need to hang.
Four hours watched and review written by: Troy Smith