THERE is only a single new addition to the movie schedule this week, and it is one Cineworld screens will not be showing.

The leading cinema chain has opted against carrying Quentin Tarantino’s latest epic over an Odeon-exclusive distributor dispute, but the good news is the film is available in most other venues.

In The Hateful Eight, Tarantino relocates his cineliterate musings from the American Deep South to the Mountain States, carving out a tale of stagecoaches, bounty hunters and wooden lodges.

Like Django Unchained before, this is a venture governed by the laws of the western, though the dusty desert is more of a wintry tundra on this occasion.

Set primarily in an isolated cabin, the film revolves around an elongated discussion (no doubt packed full of tension) between many unsavoury characters.

It wouldn’t be a Tarantino film without a barnstorming ensemble cast, some familiar, some not so: Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, and more.

Critics have been fairly positive – Tarantino movies tend not to receive wholesale praise anyway – citing a raft of excellent performances and the film’s technical prowess as its two main successes.

Irvine Times:

Veteran composer Ennio Morricone scores his first western in 35 years and frequent Scorsese partner Robert Richardson lends a hand behind the lens.

Some might be put off by the three-hour runtime, though in truth you will already know if you want to see The Hateful Eight based on your affection for the director and/or his portfolio.


I touched upon the productive alliance of David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro last week, the success of which is again plain to see in Joy.

Silver Linings Playbook remains their best collaborative effort but there is a lot to like about O. Russell’s latest offering, no less an endearing turn from its premier star.

Lawrence plays Joy Mangano: mother, daughter, divorcee, plumber, inventor – in that order.

Family life is shambolic at best. The whole gang are parked in Joy’s abode and she is the one who has to run around after them all (apparently doing the washing is not easy when you are also mediating a three-way verbal joust).

Flashbacks and idiosyncratic dream sequences don’t quite integrate as well as the screenplay would like, but when the film reaches act two it is consumed by a frenetic and enticing energy that culminates in an electric QVC sales pitch prompted by Cooper’s TV exec and delivered naturally by Lawrence.

The piece gets a little muddled over its consumerist agenda: as it denounces the idealistic role of television in family life, it also celebrates corporate-based marketing (Joy’s invention is the mass market Miracle Mop and everybody must have one).

We forgive this slight misstep because the film clearly has more investment in the woman at its centre and her aspiring nature, but it is still there.

Full of snarky humour, De Niro is as good as he has been in a long time playing Joy’s indecisive father.

There perhaps isn’t that underlying solemnity prevalent in other O. Russell outings – even the raucous domestic drama has a fun streak – but the picture should treat you well should you willingly hop along for the ride.