First off, there are 9 strangers in this movie. I guess no one cares about O.B. And that's not even counting the entirely present Channing Tatum.
So about this movie... My movie friend and I went and watched it in 70mm, overture, intermission and all. I'm still working through how I feel about it, but suffice to say it isn't my favourite, or even a very good Tarantino movie. More than anything I felt a suspicious absence of Tarantino's signature dialogue. Sure, this movie is unmistakably his verve and humour, but the dialogue lacked a certain agility I minimally expect from Tarantino. In every other film I've seen of his, half of the fun of the movie is digesting those exceptionally witty lines read by scene chewing actors. Even with some of his more apt collaborators on board, there was a feeling of reservation in their deliveries (though, not in the direction or the cathartic violence, which are as joyously absurd as ever). The actors who stood out to me were Roth and Goggins (especially Goggins). Though the actors could only do their best with the script, which I just felt lacked the imaginatively vivid Tarantino signature.
Then there is that flashback and all of the narrative it exposes, which begs some significant consideration of the film's second third (the cabin stuff pre-tatum). The plan seems convoluted, and was executed about as poorly as it could have been. Everything that happened from the Nutshot on (until the hanging sequence) felt completely artificial and mechanical, which is strange considering the whole movie should have been setting up the mechanics of a glorious final showdown. Why would Tatum shoot Jackson from beneath the floorboard at that moment, and why would he not continue to shoot until he (Jackson) stopped screaming? Instead he pops his head out of the cellar like a gopher oblivious to the fully loaded shotgun behind him. Why did Goggins have to faint? I get he was delirious because of bloodloss or whatever, but that happened without notice, and seemingly just so Leigh could machete off Russel's forearm and create 2 extra minutes of tension...
Whatever, I digress; there are a lot of plot issues in my opinion. That's not so significant. I guess what I want to ask is, given his clear love for capital C cinema, what about this movie was worth the class Tarantino invested into it? For someone who sought out an Ennio Morricone score, who insisted his beautifully photographed movie be shown with an overture and intermission in 70mm film, what part of Hateful Eight is remotely concerned with the point those mechanics deliver? Isn't this, like, the definition of a gimmick? Using a tool because other people used it well, without understanding why that tool was necessary? I have a whole lot of respect for Tarantino as a difficult and actually important artist to modern film, but this entire movie feels like someone was trying to parody Tarantino's style, without understanding what made his past movies so effective. We'll hire Sam Jackson, Tim Roth and a bunch of older actors, shoot them on expensive film, have them monologue about blowjobs and say the N word a bunch, and then have them all violently kill each other off. Because that's why Tarantino is so successful, right?