Mini-Review and Premiere: The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight

R, 168/187 Minutes, 2015

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I had a chance to go the NY Premiere of The Hateful Eight at the Ziegfeld Theatre. If you’ve never been to the Ziegfeld, it is an experience of epic moviegoing proportions.ziegfeld_v7_460x285.jpg

I have never been to a premiere before so this was lots of fun. The was tons of free popcorn, soda, and candy. We received souvenir tickets and a program booklet.IMG_0917.jpg

Before the movie began, Harvey Weinstein welcomed us and then introduced a very energetic Quentin Tarantino. Quentin gave a short speech and then invited up 7 of 8 of the “Hateful Eight” along with Channing Tatum. (Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t there).

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The movie began with applause for every name in the cast (they were sitting right there) and much of crew. The film had an overture and then later an intermission.

 

There’s a lot of waiting around at a premiere – getting there early to get a good seIMG_0924.jpgats, movie starting late – but it was all good fun. Michael Madsen came right next to my seat and was being encouraged to sit in the empty chairs next to me, but he declined (and I don’t think watched the movie). After the film, I ended up right behind Harvey Weinstein, but only got this picture (to the left).

But we’re here for the movie review…

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The Oscar Red Carpet Experience – Star Search

Sally FieldSo I saw a lot of celebrities on the Red Carpet from the bleachers. It wasn’t always easy. Some were in a big ole hurry. And the carpet was jammed with people, so it easy to miss someone – especially a man in a regular tux. So when Aaron Tveit walked by on the carpet, I’m sad I missed him, but I can see how he was overlooked by everyone. (Just as his amazing performance in Les Misérables wasn’t given its due)

Of the 25 nominees for director and acting, we saw 21 of them. The only ones we never saw apparently did not walk the carpet: Denzel Washington, Emmanuelle Riva (no surprise), Michael Haneke, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. There is a side door off of Hollywood Blvd. for people to come and go without touching the press or the crowds.

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The Oscar Red Carpet Experience – Part 2

The Red Carpet for Real

After 7 hours, it was finally happening. While people had been walking down the carpet clearly dressed for the Academy Awards for a long time, we now had a collection of known quantities around the Carpet ready for action. (Al Roker, Kristen Chenoweth, Robin Roberts, Kelly Rowland, Michael Strahan, etc.) Never saw Ryan Seacrest though – he was much closer to the beginning of the carpet.

Ballot BoxThe first “famous” (non-“reporter”) people were the Ballot Box guys walking their precious cargo with great determination. And then doing it again for a better camera shot.

Then we had a series of interviews with nominees…but not the ones we wanted. Still, it was nice to hear from Benh Zeitlin, director of Beasts of the Southern Wild, who looks like he is 20, Michael Dana, composer of Life of Pi, Rich Moore, director of Wreck-It-Ralph, and…okay, I wasn’t that interested either. The banter was basic and we wanted the A-Game.

And then superstars of Hollywood were upon us.

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Best Films of 2012

bestmovies 2012As an armchair film critic, it takes me a while to finish seeing most of the “best” films of a year. There are still a half dozen smaller films that got great reviews I haven’t seen from 2012, about 15 films I’d still really like to see, and others I’ll discover down the road. So my Top Films list is always a work in progress. I feel no obligation to establish it in stone right this second.

As a whole, I thought 2012 was an outstanding year – one of the best overall in a while in depth. And, unlike some recent years, the best films weren’t all completely depressing. Of the 9 films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, 8 of them made my top 20. Only Amour (AKA 2 hours of incredible sadness) didn’t quite make it.

Just before the Oscars, I will reveal my picks and predictions, but here is (ever-evolving) Top films of 2013.

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