Watching a Tarantino film is a cinematic experience, better yet, a right of movie-passage; an experience that may not be as recognizable or appreciated now by the vast majority, but can surely be pointed out and appreciated by a fine few who can find similarities and influences with some of the last great auteurs and great directors of the past. And yet, like his films, Tarantino intended to present his sly and ultra-violent eighth film in the most roadshow way possible; with an overture, intermission and in 70mm no less. Maybe your wondering, after eight films, has Tarantino out done himself, especially after the exceptional critical and commercial praise of Django Unchained, for which he won an Academy Award in the Original Screenplay category? The answer my friends is, as Samuel L. Jackson so coyly says within the first lines of the film, “Got room for one more?”, cause Tarantino ain’t going anywhere yet!
The question at the surface of Alexander Payne’s newest feature is; what would you do with a million dollars? Although the very fabric of this question is at the core of Payne‘s newest film, whether or not Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) receives his loot and the events that lead as result of his winnings are actually the least interesting aspects of Payne’s little piece of Americana. Instead, what comes to the forefront of Payne‘s quaint independent feature is the relationship between this ailing alcoholic and his son David (Will Forte) and the small adventure they share together that wouldn’t be too far fetched as a trip with your own old man.