QT8: The First Eight (aka 21 Years: Quentin Tarantino) takes a look at the first eight films directed by Quentin Tarantino, a man who started off with a perfect trilogy of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.
Reservoir Dogs, despite borrowing the stand-off ending from City On Fire, showed how Tarantino had an incredible vision, even to the point where there’s a scene of Mr White and Mr Pink having a conversation in the back room of the warehouse while the camera is positioned on the floor, down the long corridor fom said back room; Pulp Fiction has so many scenes that still come back into my head on an almost daily basis, and Jackie Brown is a film I’ve only seen a couple of times, but do need to see as often as the first two.
Inglorious Basterds was a return to form, but both Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight blew major chunks and saw the director run the film closer to three hours than two hours – when it really should’ve run for just under two, as well as using a ridiculously large and dull amount of the N-word. I’ve still to see his latest, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. I would’ve gone to the cinema, but like with the last two, I don’t want a numb bum, so I’ll wait for the Blu-ray with that one, as well as following my earlier disappointments with his work.
Tarantino said he only ever wants to make ten films (with both Kill Bill movies being treated as just one) so will he quit after the next one? Only time will tell. Then again, he has already made at least ten because his first movie was 1987’s My Best Friend’s Birthday.
In QT8: The First Eight, There’s chat from so many cast and crew collaborators in this two hours as they go through every one of the films (so, naturally, expect spoilers), including the late, great Robert Forster, and it’s good that Taraninto tries to avoid using CGI as much as possible, although as we see from footage of a Kill Bill driving stunt with Uma Thurman, she sustained permanent neck and knee injuries when her car crashed into a tea.
Michael Madsen talks about after his final scene with Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs, and how they were so covered in syrupy fake blood that when they hugged after it ended, it was so sticky that they had to be prised apart!
He also talks about how there were plans for a ‘prequel’ film with the Vega Brothers, so seeing him and John Travolta together onscreen would’ve been fantastic. Sadly, time has long since moved on, so we won’t get that now. Why didn’t we get it within a few years of Pulp Fiction? That would’ve been awesome.
As well as with Reservoir Dogs, there’s so many scenes in his films which will be ‘stolen’ from previous ones – and Tarantino, himself, says that he doesn’t pay homage, he “steals” from them. I can understand that. We’ve all made scenes from films in our heads, and thought how they’d like to see EXACTLY like something we’ve seen from another film.
Of course, you can’t talk about Tarantino’s films without mentioning the production company Miramax, and Harvey Weinstein – and they do go into the allegations, not just in conversation, but also in pseudo-Manga-style animation as they do with other films, before the topic returns towards the end of the film.
One thing we don’t see is Tarantino, himself, though.
Even though I only love around half his movies, with the other half not really doing it for me, this is still a roaring rampage of a retrospective through Taraninto’s career, and hugely enjoyable.
At the time of posting this review, the Blu-ray is only £10 on Amazon, and the DVD is £7, so get this as an early Xmas present!
Running time: 120 minutes
Release date: December 13th 2019
Studio: Wood Entertainment
Format: 1.85:1 (film clip ratios vary)
Director: Tara Wood
Producers: Tara Wood, Jake Zortman
Writer: Tara Wood
Music: Doran Danoff, Tyler Wenzel
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Samuel L Jackson
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.