I’m Trying To Find A Nice Way Of Telling Quentin Tarantino To Cut The Shit

25 Jan

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I should probably preface this by saying: Keep in mind it’s a stream of consciousness rant. It’s me thinking out loud and maybe even talking out of my ass just a little… But it’s just – this situation has infuriated me in a way I didn’t expect and I wanted to get it off my chest.

Now then…

Here’s the situation for the two or three of you who remain unaware.

A few weeks ago, maybe a month but couldn’t have been more than that, Quentin Tarantino announced what his next film would be. He said the script was finished and he would be going into production very soon… It was to be a Western, called The Hateful Eight. 

He was in talks with Christoph Waltz and ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE Bruce Dern, so they may star in this Western.

And there was much rejoicing.

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Not so much from me. I mean, yeah, I love this man’s films and I’m happy to hear he’s making another one; and – more importantly – sooner than later. But one thing I’ve liked about him is how every time at bat he brings something new. He’s never made the same kind of movie twice.

So here he was again making another Western?

I know Django Unchained takes place in the SOUTH but, give me a break with that, it’s a fucking Western! If John Carpenter can call Escape From New York a Western, even though it takes place in the anti-utopian future of a metropolitan city; and he can say In The Mouth Of Madness! (exclamation mine) Is a fucking Western, even though it is IN NO SHAPE OR FORM AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES a Western (John Carpenter is clearly a crazy fucking lunatic, by the way) then I think I can call a movie with cowboys in it, that takes place in the nineteenth century and has cowboys and horses and six guns and cowboys and shootouts, a Western.

The point: Django Unchained is a Western.

So, I wasn’t too thrilled to hear he was going to make another one. It’s fine when you’re Woody Allen and shit out one or two movies a year, for good measure, to make two back-to-back films in the same style if you want… When you take 700 years between films, I kind of hope you won’t repeat yourself is what I’m saying.

But, you know what? He’s a good filmmaker. So far, two good actors were going to be in it, certainly several more (he knows his casting, hasn’t made a wrong move yet)… It would be a good movie, I thought. I was sold. I was there.

Fine.

Then, a couple of days ago, something horrible apparently happened. Someone leaked the script.

There’s no official word on who is responsible.

Quentin had only given it to a couple of “very trusted” people. Including actor Tim Roth and the aforementioned Bruce Dern. And he “knows” it wasn’t Tim Roth (how does he know?). So, all fingers are now apparently pointed at ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE Bruce Dern.

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And here’s what happened next… Quentin Tarantino decided he wasn’t going to make the movie anymore. He released a statement, which I will now paraphrase. If you want to, you can do a search on Google and I’m sure you’ll find the actual word for word statement, but I won’t print it here. I’ll just paraphrase because I’m lazy and would rather just finish writing this and get on with my day.

He said, basically, that this was a BETRAYAL. That he felt BETRAYED and HURT and APPALLED. And he can’t BELIEVE that someone leaked his script, which he had only shown to a couple of very trusted people and one of them was Tim Roth and the other was Bruce Dern and there’s no WAY Tim Roth leaked it, so it must have been Bruce Dern or his agent or someone connected to Bruce Dern but anyway let’s all blame Bruce Dern…

BruceDern

And he is HURT and APPALLED and he feels BETRAYED.

And, because of that, he has decided to just shitcan the whole damn thing and not bother making the movie anymore. He’ll publish the screenplay as a book now, will never make it into an actual movie, and just focus on making some other movie; because he’s got plenty of other great movie ideas where that one came from.

Breathe in. Do you smell the bullshit? Because I find it to be overpowering.

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Here’s the thing I don’t understand. Please help me. I’m trying to see where the big deal is. I’m trying to grasp how the fact the screenplay was leaked now means he won’t make the movie anymore. I’m trying to see how that has anything to do with anything.

Because it isn’t the first time this has happened. Several years ago, he announced he would be making a “Dirty Dozen type of movie called Inglourious Basterds” Obviously, a lot of people shit their pants because that’s what a lot of people do when they hear Quentin Tarantino wants to make an old-school World War II action picture called Inglourious Basterds. And, not too long after that, long before the film went into production, when they were still looking at casting, before talking to Brad Pitt; when they were thinking that it would be cast mostly with unknowns, except for Leonardo DiCaprio – who was in serious consideration for the role of the villain: Jew hunter Hans Landa….

Before all of that, and certainly at least a year and a half before the movie even came out, the script was leaked.

I know because I remember skimming a review of it on Ain’t It Cool News, in which whoever was the asshole who wrote that review spoiled the film’s closing line – and that led to my severe disappointment at having the film’s punchline basically spoiled for me, like two years in advance, by some asshole at Ain’t It Cool News.

But I don’t remember any press releases by Tarantino back then. I don’t remember him going on about being BETRAYED and feeling HURT and APPALLED that someone he thought he could trust would do something so horrible to him.

There were also script reviews of Django Unchained floating around long before that film was ever made. Again… No betraying, hurting or appalling was in evidence.

So, why is this different? Why is this particular case such an extreme and awful circumstance that forces Quentin Tarantino to cancel an entire project? What is he, M. Night Fucking Shyamalan now?

Awards Room - Cesar Film Awards 2011

Here’s what I think…

I think Quentin Tarantino never had any intention of making The Hateful Eight his next movie. This is all a big, stupid smokescreen.

He planted a seed and announced his “next project” in a not atypical manner just to get people all excited. You know, like he did with KILL BILL THREE and that Pulp Fiction prequel we mercifully never got; or like when he said he wanted to make a James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan but have it take place in the sixties… Or when he said he wanted to make “The Ultimate Jason Movie” and a bunch of other stuff he’s said over the years.

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Because that’s what he does. He gets out there and says stuff. He’s an enthusiastic guy and I can imagine he genuinely does have all these ideas jumping up and down like speed freaks in his mind and they excite him and he wants to excite his fans. And he thought making a Western called The Hateful Eight was a cool idea. Then, he changed his mind and found an elaborate excuse so he wouldn’t have to just go out there and say: “Yeah. I changed my mind. I think I’m going to do something else instead.” Because that would sound lame and anti-climactic.

Or… Who knows? Maybe he orchestrated this entire elaborate rigmarole from the start. The announcement and subsequent cancellation all part of the act.

But, why would he do this?

The easiest and, I suppose, outwardly facetious answer is: Because he’s a dick.

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But I won’t go there. I like him. I don’t want to call him a dick. That’s not nice.

No one will ever accuse Quentin Tarantino of being stupid. I think he has made it clear that he’s very savvy… Very smart. He knows what he’s doing. And he knows his fans. He knows how to play them like a piano up and down and all around; and he knows how to use the internet as the powerful tool that it is to reach out to those masses and give them what they want, while also feeding his ego and keeping his very specific film literate persona alive and kicking.

Go back and see some of those interviews where he talks about himself almost in the third person. One that comes to mind is the hour long wank on the Jackie Brown special features… Where he says his intention with that was to make his “middle aged movie” then, when he was still in his thirties. How, if he had made that movie when he was pushing fifty, the critics would have said something like: “Oh… Tarantino is MATURING in a very interesting way…” and he wanted to show he could do that kind of movie earlier on. It’s like he has his whole career path sort of mapped out in his head and he wants to make sure there are the appropriate sign posts and icons on the road.

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So maybe, at this point in time, he felt he needed something like: THE LEGENDARY LOST MOVIE. Sort of like an actually good version of The Day the Clown Cried. Except he wouldn’t have to go as far as actually shooting the thing and then locking it up in some safe in his living room. He could just achieve that with a script – The wonderful screenplay for a wonderful masterpiece that was never made. And of course the rabid fan base and hardcore film buffs in general would play right into his hands.

And they already have.

An article was published recently at Badass Digest, where they talk about how the movie would have been shot in 70mm CINEMASCOPE. They reproduce the first page of the script and, man, the word “cinemascope” appears more times than that word should ever reasonably appear in a single page, referred to again and again in the scene descriptions… “We are looking at a glorious CINEMASCOPE shot of a snowcapped mountain…” and “The man jumps onto the horse from the wagon as we pull back to observe this action in all its stunning CINEMASCOPE grandeur…”

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Again. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

And, since the script has leaked, regular film fans have already been reading it. I saw comments on Facebook declaring that it “would have been a great Western, too bad” and perhaps more hyperbolic words to that effect.

The fact Tarantino has claimed he will publish this screenplay officially kind of seals the deal, don’t you think? We’ll probably get it soon enough. A nice glossy hardcover, complete with concept art and storyboards… Hell, maybe he’ll cajole his friends to do a reading of the screenplay so the audiobook version can showcase THE CAST THE FILM COULD HAVE HAD AND HOW IT WOULD HAVE SOUNDED WHEN THEY SAID THEIR GREAT LINES.

I don’t know.

All that’s left for me to say is I have no plans to read the screenplay. I didn’t read the Basterds screenplay when it leaked because I didn’t want to spoil the movie… Same with Django. Because that’s what I like to do. I like to go to the cinema and actually watch the movies filmmakers I like choose to make. I like to go in cold, unknowing… To be sucked into the world and the story and be surprised. And I frankly have no interest in some movie that someone has no plans to ever make…

And I don’t like to be jerked off.

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So, if I’m wrong about this, I’m an asshole. And, if I’m right, I’m still an asshole. But I’m not that pissed at Quentin now that I’ve gotten this off my chest. So he doesn’t have to worry. Whatever his next film actually is, I’ll be there opening day with my popcorn. And I’m kind of glad it won’t be another Western.

But, basically, I don’t give a fuck about The Hateful Eight anymore.

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3 Responses to “I’m Trying To Find A Nice Way Of Telling Quentin Tarantino To Cut The Shit”

  1. Charles Lonberger January 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    But Tarantino IS full of shit…and meth. Full of himself…and meth. Don’t worry about offending him, he’ll be too busy tweaking and geeking

  2. mikedrewflynn January 25, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Pleasuredome and commented:
    This Quentin Tarantino/Hateful Eight controversy’s sounded a bit extravagant this week, hasn’t it? Erix Antoine, close associate of The Pleasuredome, offers his smartly conceived deduction on the matter and it’s better than anything we could say because we’re the Pleasuredome. We don’t like to have to talk about… HATEFUL things.

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