Review: Hateful Eight, Django but Chained

A film that was nearly scrapped by director Quentin Tarantino is both a fun time at the movie theater, yet just doesn't feel as fantastic as it was claimed to be. A well cut out story falls apart when it needs to define itself the most, and a plot twist that was as vaguely awkward as it gets.

Director Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) is back with a 70mm camera and a story that starts out as a "Who Dunn It in the Old West" and then evolves into a traditional Quentin Tarantino film. The cast is comprised of Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel's The Avengers), Kurt Russel (Furious 7), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk), Walton Goggins ( Justified), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), all of which do a solid job at conveying their roles.

The plot consist of Samuel L. Jackson's Major Marquis Warren being stranded due to a arriving blizzard and receiving a ride to a travelers lodge from Kurt Russell's John "The Hang Man"Ruth. Upon arriving at the lodge, the film turns into a mystery of what happened to Minnie, the owner of the lodge, as well as who is in association with Jennifer Jason Leigh, and trying to get her free. The films major connection with the audience is trying to convey which individuals are involved and which are innocent bystanders. The is film is broken into six chapters and has the fifth chapter serve as the big reveal for the film.

In essence the film is over done in the style of Tarantino at the very most and almost spoils the good taste of the film.The film felt as though Django was taken and smothered in Tarantino sauce once again, when it didn't have to be, doubling the gore, sexual jokes, mistreatment of women, and a whole lot of bloody gun play and you have The Hateful Eight. The cinematography does do the film justice in a widescreen scenario but at the same time the film feels better justified as a play.

In Django Unchained (A film that will constantly be referenced in comparison), the audience roots for Django to find freedom and rescue the love of his life. Yet in comparison, The Hateful Eight does not know who exactly they want the audience to root for at this point. The film attempts to rotate the audiences respect between each character and attempts to have us develop their motives for saving the captive, Yet this is where the film fails because most of the characters seem one dimensional and each feels as though they were barely explored in depth

It is sad to say that the film does nothing to develop the world of The Hateful Eight, only to give us a glimpse of what the character holds through dialogue that reveals minimal back story, that is almost pointless when you are trying to figure out who is lying among them.

Ambitious and enjoyable, yet not a memorable and ground breaking film that it attempted to be. Just like how it split audiences down the middle,

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight shoots its way to a 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review: 'Chi-Raq', Spike Lee Doesn't Do The Right Thing

In the year 2015, gun violence and African American culture is a topic in which is heavily being expressed through both the news and social media. Director Spike Lee sought to express this idea through a film to describe the outcries of the time in a highly stylized film, and ultimately the result is a mess. Instead of creating a timeless films expressing the struggles in the struggling communities of Chicago, we were delivered a film that simply assimilates all the problems of the time and puts it in a 2 hr film.

Teyonah Parris(Dear White People),Samuel Jackson (Hateful 8), Nick Cannon(Drumline), Jennifer Hudson (Dream Girls) ,Wesley Snipes (Blade), John Cusack (Love and Mercy) , Angela Basset (American Horror Story), Dave Chapelle (The Chapelle Show) are a cast assembled by Director Spike Lee is so convoluted that is beyond recognition. Beyond Teyonah Parris , everyone else in the film feels as though Spike Lee was filming and called up some friends who weren't busy on his contact list. The dialogue is a satirical musical drama which is the worst possible choice for a film like this which needs to create the clearest possible message which is....

This leads to the second biggest problem with the film which is trying to figure out the problem in which the film is trying to address. The plot revolves around Teyonah Parris character attempting to solve gun violence in Chicago by having the women of two clashing gangs by refusing to have sex as long as gun violence is present. The film from there is smothered with dialogue utilizing sexual innuendos that feel off or outdated. A lot of scenes could've been broadened upon, while others could've been drastically cut.

For the first time in a long time, I feel as though no performances in this film moved me or made me seek out change in the community. The film was tedious and made it difficult to watch as serious
moments were cluttered by what seemed to be jokes thrown in by the cast.

In a time where a serious film that demands change is needed, a film like Chi- Raq attempts to make a difference without being blatantly clear on what its trying to say. Without a clear voice the film feels as though it is just another lost whisper against the ever growing sounds of gun violence reigning through the U.S. Spike Lee has delivered some timeless classics filled with emotion and creativity, yet I am not sure this was the film appropriate to try and do the same.

Chi- Raq earns a 1 out of 5 stars
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Review: 'The Revenant' Brings Story Telling Back From The Dead

In a era where films use explosions and gun fire in order to attract audiences, The Revenant uses old fashion story telling in order to provide a great thrill that you don't often see in cinemas. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who also directed one of 2014's most creative films, Birdman. The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, Inception), Tom Hardy (Legend), Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), all of which I would say deliver standout performances.

The plot of the film revolves around a group of frontiersman who were pushed away from the settlement, from here we watch DiCaprio take lead battling Nature, the elements, other Frontiersmen, Native Americans, and the harsh reality of the world surrounding him.
To say the least, Leonardo DiCaprio did the up most possible in order to convey a convincing Hugh Glass through the various events in which he faces. Dialogue is key, but more of the body language conveyed as well as the little things that DiCaprio does in the film help form a convincing character to the audience.
Through out the film Tom Hardy also gives a great performance as a disturbing John Fitzgerald , a frontiersman who was partially scalped by Native Americans, and holds a chip on his shoulder for anything that doesn't involve money. To say the least, the cast was phenomenal throughout the film.
A big key factor that also makes this film one of the best is the cinematography. The principal filming was initially suppose to take place in Canada, yet due to weather circumstances, and the purpose of green screens seeming too unrealistic, the filming moved its location. Instead they used places such as Argentina, parts of the United States, and British Columbia, all of which are seamless when looking at the transition between sets. 
The subtle looks upon nature as well as the score composed by Japanese artist Ryuichi Sakamoto in addition to Bryce Dessner help convey the grand nature of the film truly making it a standout. This film is definitely a film worth watching in IMAX in order to get the full effect of the film.

A film that exploits the danger of nature and the harsh frontiers of the 1800's, with Leonardo DiCaprio displaying why he is one of the all time greatest actors, The Revenant is one of the must see films of the new year.

I give The Revenant 5 out of 5 stars:

Let us know what you think of the Revenant?