Archives For December 2015



Kurt Russell (l) and Samuel L. Jackson are two of THE HATEFUL EIGHT, the 8th film from auteur/director Quentin Tarantino (Rated R, The Weinstien Company. In theaters now)


[A note from Tim Jackson: My friend, Joe Aaron — who’s guest posted here before — caught a 70mm Roadshow Screening of THE HATEFUL EIGHT over the weekend. I asked Joe if I could post his spoiler free takeaways here. He graciously agreed. Enjoy.]


No one can pull off a Quentin Tarantino hack like Tarantino himself. I was one of the blessed few to see “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992 at Sundance with Q.T. and cast present for the Q & A that followed. And though I like his other 7 films, none of them has lived up to that film or experience.

“The Hateful Eight” is good. Worth seeing. If you can see it projected on 70mm, do it. That said; is it great? Memorable? Not like some of his other work. There are flaws that bugged me that I won’t mention here. But I will offer some reasons to see it.

  1. The score. As most of you know Q.T. never has a score (never or almost never?) preferring to go with needle-drop music instead. (To great effect I might add.) Not only is it cool to see a film of his with its own score, the score itself is awesome. A big, fun, popcorn movie score!
  1. Acting. This is always true of his films. Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh stand out, but all are awesome.
  1. Staging. This is not normally something I’d say about a film but rather a play. But in TH8 Q.T. makes use of his ultra wide frame and stages many scenes with actors all over the set – Upstage, Center, Downstage, Left, Right, etc. This was done skillfully and makes me wonder if theater is not in Mr. T’s future? (He keeps talking about retiring after his tenth project.)
  1. Cinematography. Beautiful. I won’t talk about the story other than to say it didn’t hold up to the end for me as I found it impossible to “get on-board” or “stay on-board” with any of the characters till the end. They truly were a hateful bunch.

Also, I’m not one of the “one in ten million” who can tell the difference between 70mm shot and projected vs. 35mm shot and blown up to 70mm projected. The richness is lost on me. Perhaps I’m paying more attention to the story than the film quality.

I’m glad Tarantino is still out there making films. I’m glad he and others are championing film. I’m glad I saw “The Hateful Eight”. But it’s not on the Joe Aaron Top 100.


Joe Aaron is a screenwriter, author and teacher living in Los Angeles, CA. He is a graduate of the American Film Institute and co-created “Doug” for the popular Disney series. Joe wrote GUTTERSNIPES — a screenplay he developed with his friend and fellow AFI grad, Shuchi Talati. The film is expected to go into production in 2016 with Tim Jackson producing. Joe’s unique take on writing low-budget feature films is captured in his book, The Low Budget Screenplay: How to Write a Produceable Script – available on Amazon.


THRcoverSTAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will have its official premiere roughly a couple of hours from now. The film will unspool simultaneously at 3 of the 4 big houses on Hollywood Blvd: the Dolby, the Chinese and the El Capitan. (I wonder how the Egyptian missed out — is it a Disney thing?) Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells runs the numbers, and tells us that the three venues have a total of 5653 seats. I’m sure every one will be filled. Wells also takes note of this interesting tidbit from a Disney-issued email to the press and participants in tonight’s big event: no phones with cameras will be allowed in any of the theaters.

I predict there will be an unprecedented riot on Hollywood Blvd tonight as underpaid, overworked security teams attempt to confiscate 5600+ phones from Hollywood movers and shakers. May the Force be with them. (Forgive me. I kind of had to say that.)