4 thoughts on “Movie Review – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

  1. A bit too boring? How, Rodney? This movie seems like just the kind of thing you’d love. It isn’t pointless. It’s about two men’s struggle to fight against irrelevancy, as placed against the backdrop of Sharon Tate’s murder. I will concede the whole Tate/Manson thing was a big build-up to not so much payoff. Perhaps the film could have been improved by being a laser-focused examination of Dalton and Booth’s relationship. But I really liked what Tarantino did here. As a sprawling, big-budge, love letter to Hollywood, you could hardly do better. It’s not boring. It’s Tarantino doing what he does best!

    1. I think we’ve been spoiled by QT of late, given the brilliance of Django, Barsterds and Hateful 8, which perhaps elevated my expectations for this one. TBH I really love films about Hollywood, especially Hollywood’s past and glory days, so I was really, really anticipating this one enormously. I just felt the focus was all over the place and the narratives connecting them weren’t strong enough to hold it all together. I could have done without the first hour being sooooo drawn out with meaningless dialogue and lengthy scenes of “look how cool my production design is” from Tarantino. It felt too uneven for my liking, and I couldn’t get into the story as deeply as many others. had the film solely focused on Booth/Dalton, in particular as it pertained to the Tate murder, I’d have likely enjoyed it a lot more, but it’s hard to say for sure. Yeah, I found it… boring.

  2. Didn’t you have a similar issue with pacing with The Hateful 8 too, Rodney? That’s another of QT’s films that I seem to like more than most. I certainly wasn’t expecting Hollywood to top it but top it, it did. I actually thought the pacing of Hollywood was spot-on; I wanted to spend time with these characters as they were constructed, the melancholy of their existence working both to elevate their stories and the zeitgeist of the period QT was trying to get across. It’s also so damn funny, but unlike some of QT’s previous work the humour has pathos and poignancy and a bittersweet taste as their fates appear set. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a QT film where I’ve cared about its lead characters so much; there’s wonderful, uncharacteristically raw. restraint here. His best since Pulp Fiction for me and probably my favourite film by him.

    1. You do make a good point about the humour there is a fair bit in this one that’s amusing (not laugh out loud raucous but definitely make-you-smile stuff) so I guess that’s one thing going for it.

      I think Tarantino’s tendency towards extravagant casting and pace work against his films more than they do for them. Hateful 8 was a bloated affair (that I did enjoy to a degree) that could have been chopped down considerably without really losing a lot of its interest, and I think the same could be said here. I too wanted to spend time with these characters but in a more meaningful way: character development needn’t take two hours before you make your point, IMO. Frankly, I could have done without a lot of the extraneous stuff (like Bruce Lee, Al Pacino’s character, a LOT of Brad Pitt driving) and gone right to the real “meat” of the plot – the Manson stuff – and it would have been a tighter, far more electrifying film. Did I need to see Sharon Tate sitting in a cinema watching herself on film for ten minutes? Not really.. I mean, there’s some sweet meta enjoyment in it, sure, but it’s not essential. A bit like this film; I found it filled with things I probably could have done without.

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