Film | by Shane “America’s Ass” Hnetka

If you’re a lover of classic cinema and film in general, then I can’t recommend the Criterion Channel enough. I’ve mentioned it more than a few times but man, what an amazing streaming service. Where else can you watch Rashomon, The Rules of the Game, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Suicides, In a Lonely Place and Eraserhead? Plus more Godzilla than you can imagine.

Stream Of Hate

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight has had a long and at times difficult life. While Tarantino was working on the script in 2014, a version leaked online prompting him to cancel the project. A few months later Tarantino, along with a group of actors, did a live script reading performance. After that Tarantino rewrote the script and decided to make the film anyway. Shot on 65 mm film stock, Tarantino created a longer “roadshow version” for theatres that could play the larger format film. A shorter cut was given a wide release. Reviews were mixed, and I have  friends who didn’t really care for the film. I like it, though. Not Tarantino’s best work, but it’s still pretty good.

All this leads to the news that an even longer version of The Hateful Eight is coming to Netflix. Everyone assumed that it was the roadshow version, but that isn’t the case. The longer version released on U.S. Netflix is in episodic format: four 50-minute episodes to be precise. What was once a beautifully shot motion picture, which Tarantino demanded audiences see on the biggest screens possible, is now a Netflix miniseries.

When You Get To Hell, Tell Them Daisy Sent You

The website SlashFilm asked Tarantino what the deal was, and he says it’s an entirely new version made specifically for Netflix, because they asked him to. He recut the film into four parts and added new footage, changed scenes, etc.

It’s more than a little weird that Tarantino did this to The Hateful Eight, but he has released different cuts of his movies before — Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair for example. He also has a longer director’s cut of Django Unchained coming. But to take a film that he wanted in theatres, on the big screen, shot with cameras and lenses that hadn’t been used in decades to showcase how awesome film can be, and then turn it into a TV streaming miniseries that folks can watch on their phone or TV is just so… strange. I can’t comment on this new version of The Hateful Eight because it’s only on the U.S. Netflix and currently not available in Canada.

Strange to think a movie that he shot in the 70mm format which he called “film’s saving grace” is now just another miniseries on the streaming service that Steven Spielberg thinks is killing the film industry.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. His column “Sunday Matinee” appears weekly on our blog.