With some cold weeks ahead of us, it is safe to say that fall is in full swing. For those of you who look to movies to pass the time during this part of the year, I’ve got two great ones for you: “Good Will Hunting” and “The Hateful Eight.”
“Good Will Hunting”
Added to Netflix just this month, “Good Will Hunting” (1997) stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams. The star-studded film, written by Damon in an English class while studying at Harvard, was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and for good reason.
Damon stars as Will Hunting, a poor kid from South Boston with a rough past and a dead-end job as a janitor at MIT. When a math professor leaves a very challenging problem on the board, Will is able to solve it. That professor, Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), discovers Will’s talent and takes him under his wing in an attempt to unleash his potential, but Will is hard to work with. Will gets caught up in an altercation and is sent to jail, but Lambeau is able to get him out. However, Will is required to go to therapy and talk about the troubling issues which have haunted him since childhood.
This movie takes you on a trip. It is funny, sad, inspiring and powerful. Williams, who plays Will’s therapist, really does something special with his role. It is written in such a way that you invest yourself in what is happening with the characters, and you care more than in most films. Because of that, you’ll be thinking about this one long after the credits roll.
“The Hateful Eight”
“The Hateful Eight” (2015) was directed by Quentin Tarantino, so I immediately knew what I was getting into. I expected a big twist, scenes with a comedic amount of gore, lots of dialogue and a Mexican standoff. I got it all.
The movie opens with a stagecoach travelling through a blizzard, with bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), inside. They stumble upon an inn where they plan to ride out the storm. Waiting inside are several others with the same idea. They all have sneaking suspicions about each other that fuel their titular hatred towards one another. The cozy inn quickly becomes just as cold as the storm.
Tarantino paces this movie slowly —it lasts almost three hours — but you shouldn’t let this turn you away. His use of dialogue to advance the plot is very unique to his style. This is one of those movies where, in the last ten minutes, you’ll feel like a fool for not seeing all the moving parts before. He has a profound attention to detail, and I think it is something all viewers will appreciate. This movie deserves a shot, especially if you haven’t seen anything from Tarantino before.