Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
BetterButter

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Recommended Posts

Length or gratuitous scenes were not my issues. My biggest issues were loose threads and moving from point b to point g by skipping the in between. I also know the Sharon Tate story and don’t mind the alternate history.

Anyway, for me, there was greatness brewing right underneath for this movie but just never happened.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I was disappointed by the film.  It wasn't bad mind you but it took a long time to get going and I was surprised that it didn't contain even half the humor of Tarentino's usual films.  The audience I saw it with was mostly quiet and about seven people walked out.  Even with a shorter runtime for a Tarentino film, a number of moments felt like they dragged on and a LOT of sequence were just dedicated to characters riding around in a car.

Brad Pitt was GREAT in the movie...he definitely shined the brightest.  Very entertaining and I loved the dark backstory of the character with his wife.  The Bruce Lee scene was probably the highlight of the film.  Very entertaining.  The Manson compound scene was well-shot, strong location shooting and definitely generated a lot of tension.  DiCaprio was terrific too.  The Italy montage was also a lot of fun.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Honestly I think Tarantino peaked with Basterds.

Speaking of which, anyone notice that the Italian director Rick went to work for was Antonio Margarini, Donnie's alias at the Nazi movie premiere?

Share this post


Link to post

Phenomenal film!

I love that QT decided to be indulgent.  The extended sequence at the Spahn Ranch was a joy.  How many times did I expect something to bust out?!  Cliff (Brad Pitt) as Dirty Harry was incredibly satisfying for me.  So much about the Manson cult came out and not a lot actually happened.  Masterful storytelling.

Was Cliff a killer?  The savagery he displayed in that climactic fight told me, "YES."  I am so pleased QT never was explicit on this point, though.

My God what a vision Margot Robbie was!  Literally almost irresistible.  She was plenty gorgeous for me.  The ever-peppy, fun, full-of-life Tate she portrayed was enchanting.  Given where things were obviously headed, she engendered an unusually immense sense of dread in me.  I soooooo didn't want anything bad to happen to her.  😞

The Steve McQueen character we briefly experience was uncannily real.  The Great Escape scene was unexpected and THRILLED me.  It totally fit within the scope of the movie, too.  I never wanted it to end.

I was deeply moved in the lunch scene on the Western set with the young actOR.  Her later aside when they shot a scene together was similarly impactful.  It all felt entirely congruent.  Real.

Has anyone displayed more "cool" that Pitt bopping up and down the retro Hollywood/West Hollywood/Sunset in his little MG?  Goodness.

I am gushing and I do not care.

The one piece that never really worked for me was Pacino's producer character.  I appreciated the effort, though.

What a great coda to Luke Perry's career!  Again, I was thrilled.

The anticipation of what phenomenal song would come up next kept me literally (there's that word again) tingling.  I loved the Paul Revere and the Raiders-heavy soundtrack.  I was reeeeeeeeally hoping to hear a tune from Thousand Oaks' own, The Grass Roots.  "Midnight Confessions," anyone?  Alas, 'twas not to be.

The biggest unanswered question?   What would have happened if Bruce Lee fought Cassius Clay?  😄

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Honestly I think Tarantino peaked with Basterds.

Not coincidentally, Sally Menke's last Tarantino film as editor.

  • Useful 3

Share this post


Link to post

Even though not much really happened except maybe at the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Both Leo and Brad were really good and had great chemistry together. They should do another film together.

I actually loved all of Leo's bits of him acting in different roles because not only did it show how good an actor Rick was, but it showed how great an actor Leo truly is.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Bruce Lee's daughter wasn't really happy with the way they portrayed him, and I can't say I don't blame her.  I got all excited about the Bruce Lee stuff in the trailer, but to wind up having him portrayed as a prima donna whom Brad Pitt beat in a fight?  No.  Just no.

In the real world, Bruce would have wiped the floor with Brad.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
 
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
 
1
On 7/27/2019 at 3:51 PM, Enigma X said:

I get why Rick depended on Cliff, but, as noted, I don't neccessarily understand Cliff's motivation enough. Again, the actors did well with the material, but I just felt there was more to all of Cliff's story that even a short conversation or line would have given the audience a better understanding.

I think why Cliff hung around with Rick was actually addressed in the movie.  Cliff tells Rick something like he doesn't mind driving him around and doing odd jobs because he gets to house sit in the Hollywood hills, and drive Rick's car around (plus he can't get a job as a stuntman, so gofer might be his only option).  I also think Cliff was a little protective of Rick.  We see that the real Rick is a kind of shy guy with poor self-esteem and a bit of stutter.  The Cliff we're presented seems like he likes to protect the little guy.  He risks his life just to make sure George Spahn was alright, and heck it's his job as a stunt man to do the dangerous stuff so other people don't get hurt.   Which is why his backstory with the wife doesn't make much sense.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

Chris Stuckman's review really did a great job of setting up my expectations for the movie:

I largely agreed with his viewpoint. He was right- Quentin Taratino largely ignored conventional storytelling and then threw that big curveball final 10-15 minutes, which I really enjoyed. Luckily I enjoyed hanging out with these characters before we got there. I love that era of Hollywood.

Anyway, the ending really kind of made me think of a "happy ending" Twilight Zone. It's nice to think that Sharon Tate could get to be a 76-year old woman somewhere, and her son would just be about hitting 50.

Quote

Bruce Lee's daughter wasn't really happy with the way they portrayed him, and I can't say I don't blame her.  I got all excited about the Bruce Lee stuff in the trailer, but to wind up having him portrayed as a prima donna whom Brad Pitt beat in a fight?  No.  Just no.

The actor was really excited about his part but he gets one scene and then another wordless flashback to him training Sharon Tate. I was kind of uncomfortable with it, too. This is a guy who has been held up as the gold standard of Asian male representation and they turned him into a punching bag. On the other hand, I think it's supposed to foreshadow that Brad's character never loses in a fight, even with a legendary martial arts figure.

Austin Butler was almost completely unrecognizable as Tex. You've come a long way since your days as Wilkie on Switched at Birth, Austin!

I liked the switch in Andie McDowell's daughter as first the free-wheeling enchanting hippie chick, and then seeing the cult chick come out. I'm surprised she wasn't one of the murderers. I also liked her nod to the period/character type by growing out her armpit hair.

Maya Hawke having a cameo in a Tarantino film feels so full-circle of life. The scene of her driving off was pretty hilarious.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Bruce Lee would never lose a legit martial arts contest.  Ever.  But, the terms he set were quite limiting.  He may have underestimated his opponent, which itself would have been an unusual error.  and...this is Once Upon a Time.

Cliff had a majorly long fuse.  Yet, once it went?  BLAMMO!  I can see he would have been utterly miserable with that woman all along.  The opportunity presented on the ocean and that particular aggravating moment appear to me to have been more than enough to enrage him into murderous action.

I'm still marvelling at what QT pulled off in this movie.  🙂

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The Bruce Lee scene alone should get Pitt on the BSA Oscar shortlist.  I do agree that Bruce losing a fight and Sharon living is all part of the Once Upon a Time mystique.

7 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

I liked the switch in Andie McDowell's daughter as first the free-wheeling enchanting hippie chick, and then seeing the cult chick come out. I'm surprised she wasn't one of the murderers. I also liked her nod to the period/character type by growing out her armpit hair.

I thought she was supposed to be Lesley Van Houten but aside from Tex, Clem and Squeaky all the other family members went by nicknames.  "Sadie" was Susan Adkins and I'm guessing "Flower Child" (Maya Hawke's character) was Linda Kasabian.

I am always amazed at the actors Tarantino pulls in, even for bit parts.  He's like Wes Anderson in that he always throws in a cameo for his "regulars".  I know Jay Sebring doesn't do much in the film but I can't even remember the last time I saw Emile Hirsch in anything, I barely recognized Dakota Fanning as well.

Edited by kittykat
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Could have trimmed and edited some scenes, but I liked it overall. It wasn’t anything special, but I enjoyed the music. Could have done without the endless driving.

Edited by Robert Lynch
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I loved it. I saw it twice in 24 hours, and would see it again, and soon. I"m a ride or die QT fan, i'll admit...I found PF life altering, and have been a diehard fan no matter what, ever since. I'd rank this one just behind PF, Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs.

It's meandering and leisurely, sure, but I love the attention to detail, the music, the cinematography. I love the obvious passion and love for the art of storytelling. I loved the ultimate sweetness of it all, which is kind of an odd thing to say about a QT movie, but he tellus us upfront that it's a fairy tale.

Leo is brilliant, especially in his scenes with Anna-Kat, and tho I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, this is his best role in years, or maybe ever, and I loved the chemistry between them. They're a latter day Butch n Sundance. I loved the huge cast, the second generation stars (Uma's daughter Maya, Andie Mcdowell's daughter Margaret Qualley, and I loved seeing Kill Bill's BB, all grown up, show up as the hippie chick selling Cliff his acid cig. I need Kill Bill 3!!)

So, yeah. I loved it.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, luna1122 said:

I loved the huge cast, the second generation stars (Uma's daughter Maya, Andie Mcdowell's daughter Margaret Qualley

Rumer Willis.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I was a bit disappointed. I expected to really adore this.

The narration sucked. Inconsistent. Not well defined. seemed liked after thought. The editing lacked, just lacked.

I wanted a great close up shot of a luminescent Sharon welcoming Rick into the circle.

Margot's makeup could have been more on point, imparticularly her eyelashes.

I wanted more Identification of the almost victims and the perps. Only Sharon, Jay and Tex had any definition. More time spent on Sadie and Linda and Patricia and I would have enjoyed the switch better. Hell, Brandy the dog got more time than Abigail.

That said I did enjoy Brad and Leo. Dakota was fabulous, the whole Spahn ranch was great. And Looooooved The Great Escape. All the general Hollywood stuff was fun.

Surprised at Damien being able to sell McQueen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

If you are fortunate enough to read this post before seeing any of the preceding posts, here's my advice based on seeing the movie "cold" yesterday. (I knew nothing about it other than it was by Tarantino, it was set in 60s Hollywood, and it starred DiCaprio and Pitt.)

DON'T READ THIS TOPIC. DON'T READ ANY REVIEWS. IF YOU HEAR A PODCAST DISCUSSING IT, STOP LISTENING. IF A FRIEND IS TALKING ABOUT IT, COVER YOUR EARS AND RUN AWAY. JUST SEE THE MOVIE.

You're welcome.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, let's try this again, but a different way:

On 7/27/2019 at 6:55 PM, Luckylyn said:

1. I feel like I need to watch it again to get a clearer idea of how I feel about it.  My initial thoughts are that I don’t hate it but don’t love it either.  I feel like there’s the potential for it to be something really good, but it just doesn’t get there.  The western scenes went on way too long.  I felt like the point was to show that Leo really had acting talent and that he’s his own worst enemy.  Way too much time was taken to make that point.  Those scenes could have easily been trimmed down.

2. Also I hate that 2/3 into the movie all of a sudden we have Kurt Russell as the narrator.  It felt so random.   If a movie is going to have a narrator then that needs to be established earlier unless the director can find a creative reason for the narrator to suddenly pop up later like make the narration about entertainment show covering Leo’s Italian gambit to revive his career.    

3. Unfortunately it is was also bloated, and I think the script needed some tweaking.  

1. God, yes.  Definitely.

2. I felt like there were a lot of weird editing issues and things that seem to be just thrown in randomly.

3. That's how I felt when I left the theater.

On 7/29/2019 at 7:52 PM, nilyank said:

Both Leo and Brad were really good and had great chemistry together. They should do another film together.

I actually loved all of Leo's bits of him acting in different roles because not only did it show how good an actor Rick was, but it showed how great an actor Leo truly is.

Agreed!

Well, I didn't love this.  I thought it was too slow and as someone else mentioned it was missing a lot of QT's typical humor.  I felt like it could have been a lot better and definitely a bit shorter. 

What I did like:

  •  The sets, costumes and music.
  •  Leo's acting was fantastic all around.
  • The scene between Leo and the young actor (not actress. lol)
  • Brad and Leo's chemistry.
  • I understand feeling uncomfortable about the way Bruce Lee was portrayed and why his daughter was upset, but the actor did a great job. 
  • As someone who'd given up on QT because I was getting tired of all the violence, I went to see this because of my love of movies and Hollywood and my fascination with the Manson Family.  I'm thrilled that the violence was held off until the last 10 minutes instead of the typical over the top stuff sprinkled throughout the movie.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I hadn't seen a Tarantino movie since the Kill Bills because like many, I have issues with him and they've been enough to make me stop seeing his films. But I decided to see this one today and OMG, what a great movie.

When I first heard a while back that Tarantino was doing a take on the Sharon Tate murders I was like "meh". I didn't think that tragedy needed the Tarantino treatment. However, he found a different way to go at it which didn't exploit what happened. (IMO it would've been better though if he'd left Polanski out altogether but I guess he's still defending the guy.)

Great period detail and music, Brad Pitt still keeping it tight at age 55, the usual Tarantino oddities popping up here and there. Fantastic. I loved it. If I had to complain about anything it was a few scenes that dragged on too long, as others have mentioned upthread. He probably could've dropped 20 minutes' worth stuff without hurting the movie at all.

It was sad to see Luke Perry in his last movie role, and I'm ashamed to say I'd thought Bruce Dern was dead already. Damien Lewis was born to play Steve McQueen, and Al Pacino...pretty much played a Jewish version of himself I guess.

Does anyone know who the child actress, er, actor was supposed to be referencing (if anyone)? Meryl Streep doesn't work age-wise. Jodie Foster does but it looks like she was only doing TV work at that time.

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Does anyone know who the child actress, er, actor was supposed to be referencing (if anyone)? Meryl Streep doesn't work age-wise. Jodie Foster does but it looks like she was only doing TV work at that time.

It still works as Rick was guest starring on a western tv show.

  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post

So Rick Dalton was in the pool with headphones on (so he knows nothing of what was happening in his house), and his first reaction to seeing a lady flailing in his pool is to grab his flamethrower and finish her off?

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, revbfc said:

So Rick Dalton was in the pool with headphones on (so he knows nothing of what was happening in his house), and his first reaction to seeing a lady flailing in his pool is to grab his flamethrower and finish her off?

If she’s Susan Atkins, sure.

  • Like 2
  • Laugh 5

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, cpcathy said:

If she’s Susan Atkins, sure.

WE know Susan Atkins is awful, but she’s a nobody flailing in excruciating pain to him at that moment.

Share this post


Link to post

1 hour ago, revbfc said:

WE know Susan Atkins is awful, but she’s a nobody flailing in excruciating pain to him at that moment.

I think her having a gun in her hand while in his house was enough of a reason for him to guess she was an intruder. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Because I was headed off to college during this era, I'd love to see this film.

However, I really hate the thought of reliving the Manson murders. I don't want the gore, blood, and screaming in front of me on the big screen.

Should I see the movie or wait until it's on TV and avoid those scenes?

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Enigma X said:

I think her having a gun in her hand while in his house was enough of a reason for him to guess she was an intruder. 

When did Leo’s character see her gun?

Also, his first reaction to seeing a stranger in agony is to grab his flamethrower?

Edited by revbfc

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, revbfc said:

When did Leo’s character see her gun?

Also, his first reaction to seeing a stranger in agony is to grab his flamethrower?

She fires into the air when she surfaces in the pool,  iirc. That's when Rick jumps out of the pool and runs into the shed and comes out with the flamethrower.  I mean it's over the top,  but honestly if someone had come crashing through my patio door waving a gun wildly and firing it, and I had a flamethrower handy....

  • Like 5
  • Laugh 3

Share this post


Link to post

I love Quentin Tarantino, flaws and all, probably just because the two of us have the same interests in the same weird niche things. Old TV and movies, the weirder and more kitch the better, surfer and hippie music that half the world has forgotten exists, lots of ambling scenes that create atmosphere and just revel in performances and scenery, long ass conversations about random crap, dancing scenes, screwing around with history, its all kind of my jam. This is definitely going to be a movie (I haven't read the comments here yet) that some people will really love, and some people will really hate, and I can get both. Personally, I really loved it, with just one or two complaints. 

When I was trying to describe this movie to someone, I realized it was actually really hard. Its basically a slice of life film, just using these two guys to explore the Hollywood scene of the late 60s, and all of the goings on, with the Manson murders looming around to add some actual stakes in the background. I really enjoyed just watching this little view into this really specific time and place, where Hollywood and the counterculture were mixing and mingling and trying to figure out how to deal with each other, and a lot of that was shown through Rick Dalton, who is peripherally and directly involved in a number of major cultural moments and movements. Most obvious is him being the neighbor of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate (and the ending of course), but he was also a 50s cowboy star, a big part of the television landscape at the time, and he was a part of what looked like an over the top action film (thats basically Tarantino riffing on his own movie) that got big for awhile for a post war audience, then he was a victim of the fall of cowboy stories in Hollywood, while also having run ins with various icons of the time and even almost getting one of the parts that made Steve McQueen, until he ended up in Italy doing Spaghetti westerns (another major cultural moment) getting back in time just in time for the Manson family murders, the ultimate implosion and ruination of that relationship between the hippie counterculture and the Hollywood jet set, one of the big things that led to the end of the cultural 60s.

Not only that, but we also follow Sharon Tate around and get to see the Playboy Mansion at its height, more of the glitery side of Hollywood than the rougher TV world that Rick is stuck in, and in one of my favorite scenes, we get to watch her watch the actual Sharon Tate on screen in a classic swinging 60s style film, and one of her best known, along with the also mentioned Valley of the Dolls. Its a really great scene, and Margo Robbie is just so good in it. 

I will say some of the long bits could have done with a bit of cutting, except for the whole sequence with Cliff at the Ranch, that was perfectly executed in my opinion. One of those long drawn out scenes that Tarantino loves so much that is just drenched in tension, but unlike in a lot of those scenes, the character we are following has no idea why the tension exists, while the audience does. Unlike the painfully tense bar scene in Inglorious Basterds, where all of the main characters know exactly what the stakes here are and how badly this can go for them if things go bad, Cliff has no clue what he just walked into. From his perspective, his biggest worry is that an old guy he used to know is being taken advantage of in his old age by these weird hippies, and he might leave and call the cops. He has no reason to suspect that these people are anything but another commune of slightly weird and even creepy at times, but basically harmless hippies, but we know who these people really are and what they are capable of. So while Cliff is just wandering around, we know that he could get killed any second now by these crazies who will commit a series of famously bloody and senseless murders in just a few months. I also appreciate that they dont use Charles Manson very much himself, or even say his name in his one scene. His presence looms over the whole movie as we see the Manson girls going about their business and we later meet some of the big players at the ranch like Squeaky and Tex, but he isn't overused, because he doesn't need to be used. His danger is there the whole time, and his one scene where he cheerfully meets Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring is deeply creepy not because he says his name while cackling, its because we know where this is going while the characters have no idea whats coming. 

My other criticism is that the Bruce Lee cameo was pretty disappointing. The actor did a good job, but for someone who loves martial arts flicks as much as Tarantino does, he doesn't seem to know much about what the guy was like in real life.

I can get why a lot of people dont much care for this movie. Its not very plot heavy and you kind of need to have at least a decent amount of knowledge of 60s Hollywood and history to get a lot of what is going on and to get all of that tension I just went on about, but I enjoyed it a lot. Theres a lot to chew on here, and I will probably have more thoughts if I watch it again.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I will say some of the long bits could have done with a bit of cutting, except for the whole sequence with Cliff at the Ranch, that was perfectly executed in my opinion. One of those long drawn out scenes that Tarantino loves so much that is just drenched in tension, but unlike in a lot of those scenes, the character we are following has no idea why the tension exists, while the audience does.

This was one of my favourite sequences in the film. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. There was no violence, only the threat of violence looming over the whole scenario, something the Brad Pitt character is initially unaware of, but the audience can see all too well. In my opinion, way more effective than any flamethrower scene.

That and Leo DiCaprio's scenes with the little girl on the TV western were the best parts of the entire film (although the Western section should have been edited way the hell down -it dragged on for an eternity). 

I know a lot of people felt the driving scenes should have also been cut, but I actually enjoyed those, for establishing the period atmosphere of L.A. and the soundtrack tunes.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I loved this film.  I blow hot and cold on Tarantino, but I did love this.  Yes, it was meandering and some scenes could have been made shorter.  I was a kid in the 60s (and watched Mannix!) and have read a lot about the Manson murders, so it was a bit like a trip down memory lane in parts.

Quote

It's meandering and leisurely, sure, but I love the attention to detail, the music, the cinematography. I love the obvious passion and love for the art of storytelling. I loved the ultimate sweetness of it all, which is kind of an odd thing to say about a QT movie, but he tellus us upfront that it's a fairy tale.

Agree to all of this. 

One added bonus for me was that I was weak, and shortly after it showed at Cannes, I looked up a spoiler for the ending.  AND THE SPOILER WAS WRONG!  (Spoiler said that the murders would happen and that Rick and Cliff would go and wipe out the Manson family in vengeance, in a way much similar to Rick's violent movies.)  So when they decided to hit Rick's place instead, I was quite pleased and couldn't wait to see what happened.

Since this is a fable, my reading of the last scene is that now that Rick has been introduced to his neighbors, he may end up in one of Polanski's films and end up being a character actor in that wave of quirky independent movies of the 1970s.  And he can still employ Cliff!

Edited by Yokosmom
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Yokosmom said:

Since this is a fable, my reading of the last scene is that now that Rick has been introduced to his neighbors, he may end up in one of Polanski's films and end up being a character actor in that wave of quirky independent movies of the 1970s.  And he can still employ Cliff!

This was absolutely my interpretation too. I believe we are meant to see that walk up the driveway as a rebirth, a resurrection. A happy ending on top of a happy ending.

Edited by Milburn Stone
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I will say some of the long bits could have done with a bit of cutting, except for the whole sequence with Cliff at the Ranch, that was perfectly executed in my opinion. One of those long drawn out scenes that Tarantino loves so much that is just drenched in tension, but unlike in a lot of those scenes, the character we are following has no idea why the tension exists, while the audience does. Unlike the painfully tense bar scene in Inglorious Basterds, where all of the main characters know exactly what the stakes here are and how badly this can go for them if things go bad, Cliff has no clue what he just walked into. From his perspective, his biggest worry is that an old guy he used to know is being taken advantage of in his old age by these weird hippies, and he might leave and call the cops. He has no reason to suspect that these people are anything but another commune of slightly weird and even creepy at times, but basically harmless hippies, but we know who these people really are and what they are capable of. So while Cliff is just wandering around, we know that he could get killed any second now by these crazies who will commit a series of famously bloody and senseless murders in just a few months. I also appreciate that they dont use Charles Manson very much himself, or even say his name in his one scene. His presence looms over the whole movie as we see the Manson girls going about their business and we later meet some of the big players at the ranch like Squeaky and Tex, but he isn't overused, because he doesn't need to be used. His danger is there the whole time, and his one scene where he cheerfully meets Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring is deeply creepy not because he says his name while cackling, its because we know where this is going while the characters have no idea whats coming. 

Totally agree, this was my favorite scene as well. The blank stares of all the Manson girls were pretty chilling.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Add me to the list of folks who loved the ranch scene....it was the best one in the movie IMO.  Margaret Qualley was a standout in her scenes and held her own against Pitt.  Brad was at the top of his game in this movie. It didn't really bother me they were semi-ambiguous about whether he killed his wife or not as in Pulp Fiction we never knew what was in the case....a little mystery makes for good speculation.  I honestly left the theater very disappointed in this movie but once I had a day to dissect it, I started to realize it really was good.  Not Inglorious Basterds great or Pulp Fiction great but still good.   Pitt was the standout, Leo was great but he didn't enthrall me quite as much as Brad.  I love Margot as Sharon.....yes, she was more of a side character but you just could not take your eyes off of her while onscreen.  Dakota Fanning was pretty chilling in her role.  I liked QT made a much more 'Hollywood Ending' for Sharon & Co and would like to think Rick Dalton was able to go on to have the comeback he so desperately wanted with Cliff along for the ride.....                

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

This was absolutely my interpretation too. I believe we are meant to see that walk up the driveway as a rebirth, a resurrection. A happy ending on top of a happy ending.

That's how I saw it, too. Jack Dalton's longer hair was a sign of him getting with the times, and his walk up was signifying that he was going to be part of the coming 70's movie scene, which I have always loved.

53 minutes ago, AnnieHeights said:

Margaret Qualley was a standout in her scenes and held her own against Pitt

I've never had much use for her mother, but I really enjoyed her scenes, too- especially when she makes the switch to cold cult member once she realizes that Cliff isn't going to play by her rules. I also liked her commitment to the period/character type by growing her armpit hair! LOL.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

In a way, this movie feels a bit like an older Tarantino taking stock of his career and looking back on his life a bit, making the character of Rick slightly autobiographical. Not that QT is in any ways a has been or someone who is on the downward slope of fame and success, or even particularly old, but like Rick, he has been in Hollywood for many years now, and has seen the industry change several times, and I dont know if its out of the realm of possibility that Tarnatino is looking at a Hollywood landscape that he does not totally understand, and is maybe even passing him by. He is bitter towards the hippies and the whole scene that you can interpret has pushed his style of films out of fashion, even his clothes seem to be a bit old fashioned, and he balks at wearing late 60s style clothes on the set of his new job, and maybe QT sees a bit of that in himself, that his movies about violence and revenge and swearing are becoming less part of the cultural zeitgeist, especially as some of his older movies are being re-examined as "problematic" and the style he created has been mimicked so many times its hard to remember how fresh it all once was. However, with Rick eventually finally meeting Sharon, doing some new westerns, and getting a haircut and some more updated clothes, he is finally moving on with the times, and instead of trying to reclaim his lost glories, he is trying to move on and try to fit into this new era. And with the alternate universe where he can get to know his successful and connected neighbors, maybe he has a future in film now? He clearly has talent, he just needed to drive to move on and look towards the future. I dont know what that means for the future of QT and if ee is even ready to really examine his own films and issues but maybe it means he is open to try?

If you read that interpretation, its QT looking back on his legacy with fondness, as like Rick he has made westerns, WWII films where heroes kill Nazis with fire, and lots of violent anti heroes, but is also interested in doing something different now in a changing cultural landscape, and just as he changes as an artist. In a way, this seems like a much happier, lighter Tarantino, at least compared to his previous films. For the most part, his movies have been filled with violence, swearing, murder, and a rouges gallery of criminals, psychopaths, drug dealers, and murderers, with even his more sympathetic protagonists having some serious blood lust, usually out of revenge. Thats another stable of later QT films, revenge fantasies. Django Unchained and Inglorious Basters are the most obvious for the audience, but Kill Bill, The Hateful Eight, and Death Proof also have revenge as major features of their stories, and while this also has aspects of revenge fantasy (the Manson Family gets the absolute shit kicked out of them for being evil pieces of crap) its less of a major plot point and more of a climax of the sinister undertones of the film, and leading to the alternate, happier universe where Sharon and her friends live, and Rick gets another shot at his career. For a QT film, the characters are pretty much normal people who can be jerks at times (mostly Rick and Cliff, especially if Cliff really did kill his wife, but even thats ambiguous) but have a significantly lower body count than any other QT heroes, the violence is only at the end and only directed at evil people that initiated the violence, and no one who wasn't a bad guy is dead by the end. There isn't as much swearing as there normally is in a QT film! Its especially interesting coming right after the Hateful Eight, probably his most violent and angry film filled with a thousand swears a minute and a cast of truly awful humans who are all in battle to decide who is the ABSOLUTE worst human in the room, and it ends badly for basically everyone. In this one, it only lives bad for the bad people (as long as  Cliff is alright) while the non evil people get happy endings. This is basically QTs version of a fairy tale, as while the Once Upon A Time could easily be read as a reference to the classic western Once Upon a Time in the West, its also because its as close to a fairy tale as we are going to get from QT, where the big bag wolf shows up but is defeated, and they all live happily ever after.

There is also probably a lot to discuss about violence in media and in film in this movie and how it pertains to QTs work, but thats probably a post for another day!

Edited by tennisgurl
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

20 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

II will say some of the long bits could have done with a bit of cutting, except for the whole sequence with Cliff at the Ranch, that was perfectly executed in my opinion. One of those long drawn out scenes that Tarantino loves so much that is just drenched in tension, but unlike in a lot of those scenes, the character we are following has no idea why the tension exists, while the audience does. Unlike the painfully tense bar scene in Inglorious Basterds, where all of the main characters know exactly what the stakes here are and how badly this can go for them if things go bad, Cliff has no clue what he just walked into. From his perspective, his biggest worry is that an old guy he used to know is being taken advantage of in his old age by these weird hippies, and he might leave and call the cops. He has no reason to suspect that these people are anything but another commune of slightly weird and even creepy at times, but basically harmless hippies, but we know who these people really are and what they are capable of. So while Cliff is just wandering around, we know that he could get killed any second now by these crazies who will commit a series of famously bloody and senseless murders in just a few months.

Wasn't it Hitchcock who said something to the effect of suspense is when there is a bomb under the character's chair and the entire audience knows it but the character does not?  The Spahn Ranch scene was the bomb under Cliff's chair.  One thing I think Tarantino does so, so well is create these tense moments that he sometimes pays off and sometimes doesn't.  There are scenes in Inglorious Basterds where you know--you KNOW--something is going to wrong and then it does.  Then there's a scene where he gives you that same spidey sense (or "Peter Tingle", if you will, for those who have seen Far From Home) but then he pulls the string back and nothing happens.  I love that because it really knocks you off balance as the viewer.  Same thing in Once Upon a Time.  The audience is sitting there not only worried about Cliff but wondering how ugly it's going to be and then...relief.  And then to go back to the whole Hitchcock metaphor, almost the entire movie was the bomb under the characters' chairs. The shadow of Manson and the family was there the entire time and since it's an alternative history, you just didn't know how or when that bomb would detonate.  Meanwhile, all the characters are oblivious to the entire thing.  I agree that I liked the very limited presence of Manson and that's for two reasons.  One, from a story telling standpoint, you didn't need it. His presence was draped over most of the movie regardless (certainly in the ranch scene and in the climax) and it created even more tension in a less is more way.  Second, from a human stand point, I'm glad he got as much recognition as he deserves which is none.  I have to admit, for as much as I like Tarantino films, I was skeptical going in since we have a way these days of making even the worst of the worst villains interesting, even relatable, if not likable, and I had absolutely no interest in a film that humanizes Manson.  Loved Pitt's line to Tex when he asks for Tex's name again and Tex gives the "I am the devil..." line and Pitt replies, "Nah.  It was dumber than that."  That and "He said he was the devil and he was here to do devil shit" might be my favorite lines in the film (a) because I found them both funny as hell and my friend and I are even debating which one is better (I give it to the latter by a hair) but also because, like the minuscule use of Manson himself, it undercuts any reverence that putting any of these people on film might give them.

Edited by kiddo82
  • Like 5
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

The ranch scene was also one of my favorites. The whole suspense of what will happen to Cliff next had me on the edge of my seat. Also, the idea that maybe Spahn was dead and a rotting corpse crossed my mind.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Something I have not seen comments on sort of tickled me at the end of the  movie:  The comical "professionalism" of the cops and the ambulance attendants.  

Forensic re-creation?  Nope.  Detailed drawings of the scene?  A veritable army of detectives for such a happening?  Nuh uh.  I am well aware things are far more precise nowadays.  But, even for that time, it was absurd.  Where was the coroner?

That final exchange between Rick and Cliff?  If real, it happened hours after he was wounded.  There was nobody else there when that ambulance drove off.  It was a nice coda for the duo.  But, give me a break on the timeline.

Was QT making a commentary in any of this?   A last reminder that this was, in point of fact, a fairy tale all the way?  

I also want to heartily endorse the posts which refer to the black and white EVIL lines drawn in this movie.  Tate is essentially a saint.  Manson and his brood are satanic.  No equivocations in this.  QT glories in the gruesome demise of the evil ones.  He is going against the decades-long tides of "understanding" and "education" as to forgiveness and judgementalism.  

QT, in the tradition of the Old West, said some people need killin'.  He's right.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Pitt is great in character rolls. He's brilliant in Inglorious Basterds and ridiculously funny in Burn After Reading.

I like Leo a lot, but never caught him being brilliant after What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He deserved that dang Oscar for that role. He was really great in this film, the scene where he's getting angry with himself over the flubbed lines was very funny.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, cpcathy said:

Pitt is great in character rolls. He's brilliant in Inglorious Basterds and ridiculously funny in Burn After Reading.

Snatch too!

I thought Leo was good in this role but I liked him even better in Django.  Two entirely different characters though which is a testament to his range.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

9 hours ago, cpcathy said:

Pitt is great in character rolls. He's brilliant in Inglorious Basterds and ridiculously funny in Burn After Reading.

I like Leo a lot, but never caught him being brilliant after What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He deserved that dang Oscar for that role. He was really great in this film, the scene where he's getting angry with himself over the flubbed lines was very funny.

Comedic stuff is seriously Pitt's strength - I wish he'd do more of those kinds of roles. He made me laugh out loud playing a stoner dude on the couch in True Romance, (which honestly, probably wasn't much of a stretch).

And Leo definitely deserved some awards for Gilbert Grape. He was truly amazing in that role.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This makes me laugh every time I think about it:  When Bruce Lee says his hands are registered as weapons and he risks jail in a fight, and Pitt expresses his annoyance with people registering their hands, saying, "Anybody kills anybody in a fight they go to jail.  It's called manslaughter."

His swagger was really appealing.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

This makes me laugh every time I think about it:  When Bruce Lee says his hands are registered as weapons and he risks jail in a fight, and Pitt expresses his annoyance with people registering their hands, saying, "Anybody kills anybody in a fight they go to jail.  It's called manslaughter."

Unless you're "licensed to kill." 😄

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/28/2019 at 8:17 PM, kittykat said:

Seems like I'm on the minority but I loved this.  It definitely runs long but pacing wise it's very reminiscent of Jackie Brown and Inglorious Basterds which have similar runtimes.  Plus I'm a sucker for a Tarantinofied History Revision.  

I really enjoyed the slice of life along for the ride feel and didn't mind certain scenes dragging out, it wasn't broken down by chapter as most his films are but I liked that.  I liked Cliff's wild ride with the Manson girls, Sharon's trip to the theater and Rick's struggle on set and showing he could be a great actor when he's not being his worst enemy.  I thought each second act story with these characters really delved into each of their cores.  I'm still processing it but I thought the actors all pulled in great work.  DiCaprio was good but Pitt was great.  Ive never been a Pitt superfangurl but this may be one of his best roles.  

I initially wasn’t sure about it, but thought about it almost constantly for a week.

It’s my favorite now. I wouldn’t change a second of it. Thank god Tarantino is still putting out beautiful movies that provoke and entertain. My theatre was full of Baby boomers, Gen exers, and millennials. Everyone was into it. 

Oh, and a full Zoe Bell scene! IMO, she should have been the lead for Kill Bill. Kill two birds with one stone. I’ve never cared for Pitt or DiCaprio, but they are phenomenal here. Live or hate QT, he always brings out bravura performances. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Mu Shu said:

It’s my favorite now. I wouldn’t change a second of it. Thank god Tarantino is still putting out beautiful movies that provoke and entertain. My theatre was full of Baby boomers, Gen exers, and millennials. Everyone was into it.

One thing that made me feel it was not a second too long was Tarantino's command of pacing. You've got all this frenetic action and adrenaline and then suddenly, a long, quiet conversation with just two people: Rick and the kid actor. Which is one of the most memorable sequences in the whole movie. Tarantino's a genius!

I wish there were some writer-director even close to his level, because I want a backup when he retires. But I think he's it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Milburn Stone said:

One thing that made me feel it was not a second too long was Tarantino's command of pacing. You've got all this frenetic action and adrenaline and then suddenly, a long, quiet conversation with just two people: Rick and the kid actor. Which is one of the most memorable sequences in the whole movie. Tarantino's a genius!

I wish there were some writer-director even close to his level, because I want a backup when he retires. But I think he's it.

I don’t like his persona. I hated the hateful eight. Have no intention of ever seeing Reservoir Dogs, Django, or Inglorious Basterds.   But damnit, he is a genius and we need him.

I read several reviews calling for him to be “cancelled”.

I reject their hypothesis. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size