Review: Go home, ‘American Night’, you’re drunk.

AMERICAN NIGHT

Art and life collide in this stylish and wildly entertaining neo-noir thriller. When a highly coveted Andy Warhol painting suddenly surfaces, it triggers a chain reaction of danger-filled events for a colorful group of characters including: a forger turned art dealer (Jonathan Rhys Meyers); a mobster and painter (Emile Hirsch) with a penchant for scorpions; a seductive museum conservator (Paz Vega); and a stuntman and wannabe ninja (Jeremy Piven). Filled with daring double-crosses and surprising twists and turns, the race for the painting comes to an explosive conclusion…one American Night.


Playing like a graphic novel, with characters’ names scrawled next to their introduction, the gunfire is chaotic and aplenty. I watched this a 2-hour film a second time to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I think I still am. Even after my second viewing, American Night remains confusing in its non-linear storytelling. Listen, I wanted to love this film. The potential is there.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers does his best to make American Night engaging. His character, John, attempts to make amends in love and begin an honest career. He’s strong as ever, in true neo-noir fashion. Though try as he might, he cannot hold up an uneven narrative that relies on cliché over concept. Jeremy Piven steals the show. The seriousness in which his character desires to be a ninja becomes the much-needed levity in all these convoluted shenanigans. I would happily watch an entire film about him. Emile Hirsch is the son of a New York City Mafia boss Michael Rubino, whose love of art plays above all else. That, and perhaps, his ego and an incredibly random love for scorpions. The performance goes from levelheaded to absurd based on the script. Hirsch takes it all in strive with 100% commitment.

Here’s what doesn’t work for me; it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes for the stories to finally overlap after living them from different perspectives. The runtime would benefit from a 20-minute shave. Some of the delivery from ancillary characters reads as hokey. Okay, a lot of the dialogue does. The film includes one of the most ridiculous sex scenes ever. It seems like a laughable excuse to have Paz Vega appear naked onscreen.

Here’s what’s great; the framing of scenes, the use of neon, and the main cast. The final reveal occurs 5 seconds before the credits. Oh, the credits. If the visual continuity of the rest of the film was as snappy as this, American Night would have made a slicker impact. This is the pop art-inspired, cool factor that could have punched up the film into cult status. It’s got a real Pulp Fiction energy, but a lot has to be done for this to be a cinematic work of art.


In Theaters, on VOD, and Digital October 1, 2021


Directed by: Alessio Della Valle

Written by: Alessio Della Valle

Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emile Hirsch, Jeremy Piven, Paz Vega, Michael Madsen

Run Time: 123 minutes

Rating: R

Genre: Thriller, Action


 

Christmas Day Must See: ‘The Hateful Eight’ keeps you in the dark while in a bright white blizzard

In THE HATEFUL EIGHT, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

As you may guess, Samuel L. Jackson is brightest star, but his presence is the foundation of the other fantastic performances that bring together The Hateful Eight. With such a history behind the cast, it’s fun to hear Kurt Russell talk about his scene with Michael Madsen: “Snake Plissken is challenging Mr Blonde. Holy shit!”

A rising star, Walton Goggins has been making a name for himself as a very versatile actor, with roles in Predators, and the FX shows Justified and Sons of Anarchy. He also has another western coming out this January starring opposite Scott Eastwood and Danny Glover in Diablo. He has a swagger and personability that’s striking.

The Hateful Eight has many differences from Tarantino’s previous work, but none more noticeable than the score. There are only two songs (one Apple Blossom by The White Stripes) and the rest is musical score from the legendary Ennio Morricone. I recently traveled through Nashville and picked up a copy of the soundtrack on vinyl from Third Man Records. I can’t wait to get home and check it out.

Also unlike his other films, this one has much more drama and suspense. Tarantino talks about how suspense is like a rubber band: “If I can stretch that rubber band to 25 minutes and it still holds and doesn’t snap, then it should be better. Part of that rubber band is the threat of violence hanging over the characters. Violence doesn’t even need to happen but you’re prepared for it.”

I recommend seeing the 70mm roadshow if you can. Quentin Tarantino wanted it to be “like Neil Diamond coming to town.” There’s a beautiful grittiness to film and it’s something that’s not really noticed until you switch back to digital. My biggest issue with 70mm showing is the intermission. I don’t like upsetting the flow of the story. I would prefer to continue being in the onscreen world without interruption. C’est la vie.

I love that Tarantino is creating an experience with this film. It’s being show in the format in which he shot, 70mm, and whether you’re a fan or not, you’ve got to respect his commitment to film. He’s got to a certain level of his career and he has a big studio (The Weinstein Company) backing him up. Could this lead to a resurgence of theaters showing the older format? Probably not. It’s very expensive and the theaters have to put up that cost. Even with rising ticket prices, there’s not enough to cover it. But it’s an event that won’t likely be duplicated.

Last but not least, Tarantino is not finished with westerns and would love to do a mini-series based on the Elmore Leonard novel, “Forty Lashes Less One,” based at the Yuma territorial prison. “If you’re going to call yourself a western director, you need to direct at least three.”

The Hateful Eight hits theaters December 25th, Christmas Day.

 

‘The Hateful Eight’ 70mm theater announcement – Roadshow features 8 different special programs & t-shirts (maybe)

IMG_4533-During a press conference today in New York, Quentin Tarantino announced that “44 markets and over 100 theaters” would show the 70mm version “for two weeks, exclusively for one week.” He went on to explain that sometimes if theaters were not capable, they would bring in screens and projectors.

Thomas from in70mm.com and I have been tracking the 70mm showings, but the new website has a much more extensive list.

Tickets on sale here: Tickets.thehatefuleight.com

Tarantino was very appreciative of the effort The Weinstein Company had put in getting the film out in 70mm. He explained that Warner Brothers tried to push 70mm for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, but in the end, that was only show in a handful of theaters.

To mark the occasion, Quentin and TWC are commemorating the opening with the “12 Days of HATEFUL EIGHT Giveaways”, where each day a different HATEFUL EIGHT prize, memorabilia or once-in-a-lifetime experience will be given away to moviegoers who buy roadshow tickets in advance leading up to the Christmas day opening.

TWC and Tarantino’s presentation of THE HATEFUL EIGHT will mark the widest 70mm release that the industry has seen in over twenty years.  The film will open in 44 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore, San Diego, Nashville, Kansas City, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Austin, New Orleans, Providence, Knoxville, Santa Barbara, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver.  Quentin and cast members from THE HATEFUL EIGHT will be touring the country making surprise appearances in select cities at 70mm roadshow showings.

Not since the 1966 film KHARTOUM starring Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier has a film been shot in Ultra Panavision 70 format.  In 2012, TWC distributed Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed film THE MASTER in a similar 70mm format. Beloved by filmmakers and cinephiles for its wide-scope and high-resolution image quality, Ultra Panavision70mm stock captures nearly twice the landscape of the more common 35mm and digital styles.  Because of its unique quality and its importance to the art of filmmaking, Quentin, TWC, and a number of other major Hollywood directors and studios have negotiated deals with Kodak to continue production of 70mm and other film formats despite their higher costs and complexity of use.

The lead cast for THE HATEFUL EIGHT will include: Samuel L. Jackson (DJANGO UNCHAINED), Kurt Russell (ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK), Jennifer Jason Leigh (MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE), Walton Goggins (Justified), Demian Bichir (A BETTER LIFE), Tim Roth (RESERVOIR DOGS), Michael Madsen (RESERVOIR DOGS), and Bruce Dern (NEBRASKA). Written and directed by Tarantino, THE HATEFUL EIGHT is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh.  Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and Georgia Kacandes are executive producing, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producing.

There are 8 different versions of the program featuring a different character in the middle of each one!

 

New Featurette: ‘The Hateful Eight’ has an all-star cast

thehateful8-teaser-poster

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THE HATEFUL EIGHT
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Release: December 25, 2015 (70 mm release), January 8, 2016 (nationwide)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum
THE HATEFUL EIGHT

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Synopsis:

In THE HATEFUL EIGHT, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General
Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

‘The Hateful Eight’ Character Posters Have Arrived

8fulheader

The Weinstein Company has released the posters for Quentin Tarantino’s new western The Hateful Eight and we have it for you below! Each poster features members of the lead cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern.

In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

Written and directed by Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is produced by long-time Tarantino collaborators Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh. Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and G. Mac Brown are The Hateful Eight’s executive producers, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producers.

The Hateful Eight will be released in select theaters on December 25, 2015 with an exclusive two-week roadshow opening in 70mm. Following the two-week engagement, the film will open with a digital theatrical release nationwide on January 8, 2016, while continuing to be shown in 70mm as well.

The Full Cast and Plot of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ Officially Revealed

bannerthehoatefulThe Weinstein Company today revealed the full official cast for Academy Award-winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming post-Civil War western, The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight are: Read More →