The first trailer for “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino’s newest shoot-‘em-up, was released earlier this month to generate buzz for an end-of-year release. Famous for taking graphic onscreen violence and gore to the extreme, the upcoming Western promises more of the same, with the director explaining it will “Trap [the characters] together in a room with a blizzard outside, give them guns, and see what happens.” . . .
To those who like to watch such films — and based on box office successes, plenty do — it sounds like another hit, particularly with a cast that includes proven popular stars like Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson. The only thing that doesn’t add up – or perhaps the main thing that does – is seeing that distribution is being handled by The Weinstein Company.
The reason that’s curious is because Harvey Weinstein reportedly swore off making further blood-drenched spectacles.
“I have to just choose movies that aren’t violent or as violent as they used to be,” Weinstein told Piers Morgan. “And I know for me, personally, I can’t continue to do that. The change starts here. It has already.”
That was in response to observations that making millions glorifying simulated “gun violence” for entertainment purposes is hypocritical for someone pledging to make an “anti-NRA movie with Meryl Streep.” Not like the political sentiments of a Hollywood elitist who hosted a $35,000 a plate fundraiser for Obama should be a surprise.
““They are going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” Weinstein told Howard Stern about the project. “I don’t think we need guns in this country, and I hate it.”
By “we,” for some reason Harvey didn’t specify if his security teams and bodyguards are included.
Weinstein can dream about having the kind of power and influence to make gun owners wail and gnash their teeth, but at this point, it’s not even certain if the film is going to be made. Both IMDB and Movie Insider show no progress beyond that’ it’s been “in development” for over a year-and-a-half, with no indications that a screenplay, director, and cast beyond Streep have been secured. That and lack of buzz are pretty good indicators the company would rather people didn‘t talk about it.
Still, you have to admit, a plot scenario that “The NRA (National Rifle Association) uses its influence with politicians to defeat a bill to expanded background checks on gun sales” just screams Blockbuster! And it’s not like using propaganda film projects to gin up enthusiasm for a state monopoly of violence doesn’t have historic precedent.
More likely though, investors cringed at the proposal and wondered if the guy was going out of his mind — particularly after Weinstein avoided criminal charges over groping the “breasts and privates” of a 22-year-old Italian model (something he did not deny it in a telephone call NYPD monitored). Fortunately for Harvey, aside from having the finest lawyers and connections money can buy, his much younger wife, who obviously married him for love, has (publicly) forgiven him, citing the welfare of their children — that and her appreciation of the birthday flowers he sent her.
Tell me that doesn’t work with your wife.
As for “The Hateful Eight,” I confess a certain juvenile attraction for Tarantino movies, even though I know, like junk food, they’re not good for me and need to be consumed in moderation. As such, and not wanting to give aid and comfort to the enemy to the extent that theater tickets provide, I can wait for them to come out on Netflix, and watch it on the big screen in HD, without having to give the potentially dangerous, offensive and overpriced hassles of “gun-free” theaters a second thought.
I can rationalize that the few cents streaming would put in Harvey’s pocket would be more than offset by the millions his company will lose if he green-lights his anti-gun drama – as if there are enough Bloomberg MILMs buying their own tickets to put it in the black. So go on, Harvey, give it your best shot. Make us wish we weren’t alive. Produce “The Senator’s Wife.” And make sure to include plenty of graphic, blood-spattering “gun violence” to horrify audiences and manipulate their sympathies – as well as upping the budget. Maybe you can even get Tarantino to direct it.
What are you waiting for?