Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (Review)
Tarantino is back so all cinema fans can now rejoice but was his 9th film the same caliber as his previous 8 films? The answer is yes…yessss...YESSS!
This Movie from top to bottom was damn near flawless from the directing, cinematography, writing, set design and performances...I was in typical awe of Tarantino's tone and style that washed over this movie.
Tarantino pumps out another long one with slow pacing and scenes that seem to go nowhere at a long nearly 3 hour clip and yet Tarantino somehow turns them into strengths whereas almost any other director would be staring down the scope of a terrible movie with those ingredients, but yet Tarantino is still turning water into wine and is not only beating the odds by churning out good movies with this style but great ones at that.
His directing and writing skills are as crisp as ever here as he continues to get the most out of his Actors, as good as they are they always seem to be at the top of their game movie in and movie out in his films and that is no different here particularly with his two leads. His writing in this one produces his normal awesome lines but he graced his characters with some of the funniest lines he's ever put into any of his movies in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I mean sure having DiCaprio and Pitt helps but just as much as it wouldn't have been as good without them acting the scenes out, it also wouldn't have been as good without Tarantino providing the dialogue for their respective characters.
Another thing I don't think should go unnoticed is how real, in terms of what movies looked like back then the movies looked with DiCaprio acting in them inside of the film, so in other words the movie within a movie scenes. It would seem easy enough to give a movie that late 60's/early 70's look but most times I see it try to be duplicated in other movies you can still tell that this is a 2019 movie trying to make this look like a late 60's/early 70's film, but here the movies Leo stars in within the movie look like you could throw them in the mix with a channel like TV land and nobody would call it's bluff or think otherwise. Add all that together with the different nature of Tarantino's films and you'll find yourself having a blast in no time.Tarantino truly plays by his own unique set of rules and the guy never ceases to amaze me.
This movie as I briefly touched on carries on a little bit of a different feel compared to Tarantino's movies because it is more comedy driven and not as SUPER violent as most of his other films but have no fear because everything else is right in line and just because it's not AS super violent, doesn't mean it doesn't ever get super violent. There is a couple things mixed in that'll have you wincing from the carnage and possibly even have you laughing simultaneously???... you'll see…
But speaking on that comedy I do strongly believe that this is Tarantino's funniest movie bar none. It's pretty funny throughout but there's a couple scenes in particular that will have your gut cramping from laughing so hard with a certain scene in particular that was probably the best scene I've seen all year.
How about the set design here? To go along with everything else about this film that makes you feel like you are smack dab in the middle of that era, the set design is beautiful and really encapsulates that era to a tee or at least exactly how I would have imagined it in my head and the little tidbits with Bruce Lee for example are great and of course everything that goes on with the Manson Family definitely delivers.
To talk about characters for a bit though, Pitt and Leo steal the show! I won't go into each and everyone of them cause I'd like for everything to be as fresh as possible for the most part. The guy that played Bruce wasn't a dead on look alike but in shades he was passable and his impression of Bruce was amazing, the guy playing Manson really gave off the vibe and looked pretty similar and was believable, Pacino is Pacino in a somewhat smaller role and is as great as usual, Timothy Olyphant comes in and gives your typical short served but memorable performance, Kurt Russell manages to come in and give a couple funny moments of his own and many many more including the Manson Family looking the part as well.
As far as our heavy hitters go
Rick Dalton - DiCaprio owns this role as a guy who is used to being loved in the limelight but feels that limelight slowly fading and has a big of a gushy side to him that he hardly even tries to hide to those close to him down the stretch of the movie. DiCaprio really nails this character and has quite a few hilarious moments in this awesome movie to boot.
Cliff Booth - as good as DiCaprio was, is it fair to say that Brad Pitt was somehow even better? As Rick's stunt man, Cliff is a bit more of a badass and even keel kind of guy at the same time. He just wants to enjoy the sunset, cruising around and soak in life as more of a free spirit but that can sometimes be hard with Leo breaking down almost every other scene. Pitt is phenomenal in his role as well all while being hilarious as ever. I couldn't tell you how many times I literally laughed out loud because of his Cliff character.
Sharon Tate - Margot Robbie didn't do anything wrong with this performance, in fact she did great with how little she got but that's just the thing even though I say little I don't mean it in terms of screen time cause she's in the movie a lot, but she never feels near as important as Leo and Pitt's characters and doesn't get many lines, but other than that she's naturally easy on the eyes and nails the look pretty damn well. It was definitely believable that I was looking at THE Sharon Tate.
Then there's that ending. Once it hits the last 20 minutes, strap the hell in! I wish I could say more but I don't want to spoil anything. It's one of the best endings in recent memory in my opinion and it's not necessarily what you'd expect it to be at all but it's surprisingly all the better for it. Plus a certain something makes a return from earlier in the film as the icing on the cake to the scene.
Overall Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is another home run for Tarantino and I can't wait to see what he cooks up next