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A Western set some time after the American Civil War, eight people take refuge in a stagecoach stopover during a sudden blizzard, where two in the group are a bounty hunter and the bounty he caught, a young female murderer, though it appears he is not the only bounty hunter.
David: It’s Quentin Tarantino so there’s some obvious curiosity as he is truly one of this generation’s greatest visionary directors. While I was somewhat disappointed with his last effort, Django Unchained, the premise for this film is intriguing and the setting is ripe for some suspense, both trademarks of the director. That said, I am on the fence. I really like the casting of Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh especially, but admit that I am exhausted with Samuel L. Jackson’s presence in every Tarantino film. He’s a fine actor but he’s become a parody of himself lately and in this trailer lacks any punch. I am also skeptical of Tim Roth, another Tarantino favorite, who seems to be overdoing it a bit but that might be the point. I’ll be curious to see how the claustrophobic setting will play out. I also really like the music, which sounds a lot like The Heavy’s Same Ol’ to me.
Dan: Tarantino is my favourite writer/director of all time. All I needed from the trailer was a black screen and his name. That said, I’m really impressed and blown away by the first teaser here. From the wide wintery vistas, to the promise of boiling tension in the confines of a cramped cabin, this sneak peek gave me everything I wanted. The concept is nice and simple, but I’m expecting Tarantino’s flavour to spice up the proceedings. The ensemble cast of QT vets and promising rookies is another big draw for me… Sam Jackson included (Sorry, David). But I’ll get into that below. I’ll close on the last seconds of the teaser trailer. We are left with a few super effective notes from Ennio Morricone’s score: a haunting whistling. I can’t wait to see Morricone’s score matched with Tarantino’s imagery. Two legends of cinema working together is just another bonus point in the Should-I-Watch-This-Movie tallie board.
David Says: At the 1:08 mark, Russell’s character (chained to Leigh) approaches a table with Jackson and remarks that “one of them fellas” in the lodge “is not what he say he is,” with a slash cut to Michael Madsen, which is probably a misdirection. It’s a great moment and had me hitting the replay button. Russell says it with such confidence and dischord, laying his rifle down with a kind of “well, we’re in for a fight” attitude. It’s fantastic.
Dan Says: This is a compelling Sneak Peek Moment for sure. Earlier in the trailer, Russell meets Jackson on the road, before the blizzard really kicks in. Jackson talks of Russell’s character, calling him “The Hangman”: a bounty hunter so bold and brave he takes his “prize” up close and personal, while most other “repo men” cowardly shoot from a perch far away. I think Jackson is a bounty hunter himself, trying to trick Russell here and throw off his own scent. I’m guessing Jackson will use “The Hangman’s” methods himself. Regardless, watching this guessing game unfold under Tarantino’s mad scientist orchestration will be a pure delight for a movie nerd like me. Simply put: I cannot wait.
Bonus: Watch for Jennifer Jason Leigh mocking her own hanging. It was the lightest moment in this serious trailer. Makes us think she doesn’t take the scenario too seriously either. Maybe she will be the last survivor, and she knows she’ll just kick all their asses pretty easily? Maybe this is an escape movie, where Russell and Jackson go toe-to-toe trying to track her down in the blizzard? This could happen after they’re the only 3 remaining.