Movie Review: The Hateful 8

There are many things to like about Quentin Tarantino’s 8th movie. His sharp dialog is there in a big way and very often strange, unique and funny. The way he tells a story is still there and this movie is kind of like Pulp Fiction which came out in 1994 in that the story is told in a circular fashion although his method in this movie is different than Pulp Fiction.

The problems with this movie will be immediately obvious to everyone who sees it. The repeated and constant use of the “N” word which caused great controversy in Tarantino’s last movie “Django Unchained” and even caused Spike Lee to come out and object to the constant use of this most horrible word. This movie uses the “N” word so much its almost as if Tarantino is trying to snub his nose at Spike Lee for objecting to his use of the word in his last movie. The point of all this is very obvious. How much is too much? The “N” word is probably the most horrible and hateful word in the English language and even though it was definitely used in the 1850-1900’s in this country much more than it is now, especially in the West and the South; but at a certain point you have to realize that the word is being overused and perhaps being used only for the sake of using it. I estimate that during this almost 3 hour movie that the “N” word might have been used as many as 150 times, which is way too much.

Other issues with this movie include the incredible gore and grotesque scenes of death and violence and murder which are very typical of all Tarantino movies but this one may have gone a little too far in some scenes. The only woman in this movie played by Jennifer Jason Leigh is beaten up mercilessly by her captor played by Kurt Russel almost from the beginning of the movie. Jennifer’s character, Daisy Domergue is beaten repeatedly in the head and face more than any woman has ever been beaten up in probably any movie. There are scenes of blood on two occasions being sprayed over her face, which for most would also probably be considered way over the top and too disgusting than is necesary. So how much is too much? In the Hateful 8, Tarrantino seems to be trying to find out where the boundaries are and exactly how far any movie can go without being censored. If that is not enough there is a scene of male frontal nudity followed by oral sex between two men that I cannot remember ever seeing in any movie. If there was ever a point that I thought was way over the top in any R rated movie, this was it. There is a chance that Tarrantino had to fight to keep this movie from being rated X mainly because of this one scene.

The majority of this movie, perhaps as much as 90% are played out in an old huge log cabin where the 9 inhabitants are snowed in because of a blizzard outside. From this point on, the movie is carried by biting and very well written Tarrantino dialogue as the 9 inhabitants, not 8 as is the title of the movie, argue and talk back and forth and invoke anger and eventual violence. The actor with by far the best and most dialogue in this movie is Samuel L. Jackson who was also the star of Pulp Fiction. Some of his lines in this movie surpass his performance in Pulp Fiction and he steals this movie with his acting and speaking ability, reciting some of Tarrantino’s best lines.

For fans of Quentin Tarrantino movies this one is must see. For people who hate violence this movie should definitely be avoided. For people who hate the overuse of the N-word this movie should definitely be avoided because its clear that this word was way overused in this movie.  For me I recommend this movie, but mostly because of my respect for the writing ability and hard work of Tarrantino and dialogue in this movie which is excellent. Also prepare yourself for a long movie as this one runs almost 3 hours.


The Hateful 8 IMDB

Movie Review: The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne should win the best actor Oscar this year just as he did last year for the “Theory Of Everything”. Right how he is the only actor that could have pulled off this role as a man who is married to a woman and over a period of years, decides he has to become a woman. He has the perfect physique for the role and is able to pull off an effeminate look and is very believable in the role. What is the most compelling about this story is that a sex change operation of this magnitude in 1926 had never been done before and because of this the risk involved was extremely dangerous. In 1926 Copenhagen Denmark when this movie began, a sex change operation involved 2 procedures. The first was to remove the male organs and the second was to give the patient a vagina. Either one of these operations could kill you. The main character in this role was Einar Wegener as a man and Lili Elbe as a woman. Through a series of events involving modeling for paintings, at times wearing women’s clothing, because the couple were both painters, it became a revelation that Einar’s true identity was as a woman.

At times this movie was rather slow and plodding as Einar very slowly discovered at first his preferences for wearing women’s clothing and then after a period of time his desire to become a woman, despite his very attractive wife. The love story between the two of them was always constant and at the forefront of this movie and never waned even when Einar became Lili. This was the best part of this movie.

There is significant nudity in this movie for both main characters and one scene with Einar which involved male frontal nudity which gave you a certain amount of respect for Eddie Redmayne taking a role like this in the first place. In the end the story of the first sex change pioneer was well done and well acted by both Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander , who has starred in 4 movies this year and nominated for 2 Golden Globes, the first being the movie Ex Machina, which is also reviewed in this blog. Its very obvious that Alicia has a very promising future in the movies.

This is a good movie and i do recommend it.


The Danish Girl: A Novel (Movie Tie-In)

Movie Review: Joy

“Joy” is a true story based on the life of Joy Mangano, but the story is only loosely based on her life and career as an inventor of household products, which all started with the miracle mop.

What is the essence of a great movie? Why do so many movies fail at being great or even good? I go to the movies as often as I do because the 10% payoff of seeing that one great movie is so compelling and unfortunately rare that its worth sitting through the 90% of the average and bad ones. The movie Joy is a great movie because it captured the essence of what lower middle class squalor feels like. What desperation looks like. What a lifetime of never having your fair share and the lifelong injustice of what this represents can mean to an entire family who are just barely scraping by. This movie pulls off the very rare movie experience of providing an escape from the mundane reality of life by visiting the harsh reality of life at the same time. I cannot remember the last time I have ever experienced something like this in any movie.

The movie “Joy” starts with a scene from a very strange and badly acted soap opera where even Susan Lucci makes an appearance. The apparent point of this was to show that life can sometimes be a strange soap opera and this is opening scene is tied to the fact that the main character in this movie, Joy, had a mother that did nothing all day but watch soap opera’s but despite all of this, the opening scene of this movie was completely unexpected and unusual which was just another reason why this movie was so superior and different than anything we have seen before.

Joy is Joy Mangano who is a person that despite her her broken family; her father was married and divorced 3 times, she herself is divorced with 3 kids, managed to somehow break out of a lifetime of misery to invent a miracle mop with after many trials and bad times was a huge success. Joy took incredible financial risks and through the a contact she got through QVC via her x-husband, managed through a series of unlikely events to become a QVC star and the inventor of many new products .

What makes this movie so great is that it does not show any clear or “Hollywood-like” path to miracle success; instead what is shown, are the very harsh realities of what its like to pull off a new business of manufacturing mops in your fathers car repair garage, and the fighting with investors; the main one being her fathers current wealthy girlfriend (played by Isabelle Rosellini ) who he met through a dating service. Joy also had to fight with the criminals who were constantly raising the prices of the plastic parts that were the components of the miracle mop she was trying so desperately to sell for a profit. Just like real life, even when Joy thought that her dreams were realized by a miracle presentation on QVC that started out so badly, the criminals who were trying to ruin her revealed themselves again and then her jealous half-sister made matters worse by getting involved in a business that was not hers and she had no knowledge of. The point of all this is that real life is hard and breaking out of a bad reality is even harder. Very few people are able to create and sell a product that they invented and start their own business, no matter how great the idea. The enormous pitfalls and financial risks are depicted perfectly in this movie and I was so impressed with how well this story was told and the reality of life and business that was always at the forefront of this story. The question was asked to the audience, “could you do this”? Could you take out second mortgage out on your house and risk permanent financial ruin to follow your dream even if it meant putting your entire family in even a worse financial condition? Most people would answer no to this question.

One scene that stands out the most in this movie was a great speech by Joy’s father, played by Robert Deniro . After it appeared that Joy’s business had failed and she would lose everything and have to declare bankruptcy, Joy’s father tells her that it was all his fault. He never should have allowed her to believe that she was anything but average or below average. That she should never aspire to achieve anything great and that essentially she was like everybody else in the family, destined to never achieve anything. This speech represents what is perhaps the biggest and constant obstacle for anyone trying to break out of a bad situation; overcoming the people around you, who want you to fail because if you succeed, they would feel less about themselves.

This movie consists of many of the same actors and director of the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” and receives my highest recommendation. This movie is a must see one of a kind revelation. Jennifer Lawrence has never been better and deserves to win her 3rd Academy Award for best actress and if she does not win its only because she won 2 awards already. The rest of the cast is also outstanding and this movie will be nominated for best picture.

Joy: The Unofficial Biography of Miracle Mop Inventor, Joy Mangano
Joy Magnago is available on Amazon.

Joy – IMDB