Leave it up to the master ,Quentin Tarantino, to deliver something uniquely odd that will only quench your imagination. The ninth Tarantino movie is Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. A homage to the Hollywood of that Tarantino grew up and fell in love with. So where does Once Upon A Time In Hollywood stack up against other Tarantino classics? Find out below.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT:
Old school Hollywood meets Charles Manson? Kinda. It’s set in 1969 and a change in showbiz is occurring. For TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime buddy and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are running into down times. It’s not the Hollywood they succeeded in. Dalton is losing it and constantly questioning his dwindling career, while Booth is floating around and stirring up trouble with the people he encounters on and off-set, including a sparring with Bruce Lee!
On the other hand, a wide-eyed bubbly beauty, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), arrives in LA with big hopes and dreams. As her career starts to peak, the notorious serial killer Charles Manson is lurking. How will all this come together and make sense? Leave it up to Tarantino to show you.
SCRIPT AND STORY:
Once Upon A Time is long! Close to three hours long. Could some of it been trimmed? Sure. It is fine though the way it is. The movie doesn’t feel like a drag. The story starts and stays with Dalton and Booth for the majority of the movie. Tate’s turn is sprinkled throughout, but never get a full focus on her. She’s more of a talked about character, than a featured one.
The script is meticulously crafted. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Tarantino. Lots of thought and precision went into each scene, from dialogue to set design. It’s a work of a movie artist.
Per Tarantino, what doesn’t seem to make sense initially has a big purpose leading up to the climax. That’s exactly what happens here. The final act goes haywire. It’s loud, bloody and grand. Most compellingly he plays with history like no one else. Sizzling with with flair.
HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:
This is an easy one to answer. A rockstar cast of the biggest superstars in the industry. Lead by DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie. Oscar worthy performances from DiCaprio and Pitt. While Pitt plays a co-lead/supporting role, he’s the one that shines the brightest of all stars. This is a version of Pitt where he just gets to cut-it-loose and play. One of the most entertaining and fun performances from Pitt.
Robbie is well-cast as Tate, but just doesn’t get enough screen time to show a complete character portrayal. Tate is a vessel to the story’s flow and ultimate payoff, but not a central character that’s leading the way.
The supporting actors could make an all-star roster of leads in any other movie. If you have Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern and Luke Perry coming off the bench, you have yourself a special cast. Sadly, this is also Perry’s final performance.
WAS IT ENTERTAINING:
It’s very fun and wild. Is it Tarantino’s best movie? No. Top 3? I’d say so. The action really gets crankin’ in the last half hour, but it’s worth the wait. If you’re a Tarantino fan, this is a must-see. I really enjoyed the twist that it ultimately all leads up to. Very fun and interesting concept you’ll be pondering about afterwards.
I was hoping to see more of the Tate story and the Charles Manson connection, which largely goes unfilled. Manson barely appears in the movie. Tarantino assumes that the viewer is familiar with Tate’s story and murder.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT:
Once Upon A Time will certainly garner awards buzz. Performance wise it’s top notch. We get to see the fun and goofy sides of Pitt and Leo, which is a special treat. It’s a unique movie in terms of story and filmmaking style.
It’s bloody and violent, but Tarantino has had more violence in some of his previous films. It’s one of the more pure cinematic visual looks at vintage Los Angeles. This is a personal love story with a city he grew up in and undoubtedly the movie showcases that. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood lives up it it’s title. It was a different world, both in and outside the industry, and that’s how Tarantino portrays it, just with a heavy dose of blood mess.
GENRE: Comedy, Drama
RUNTIME: 2 hr 41 min
RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2019