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BY Mriceguy nobody
No stranger to rewriting history, Tarantino takes on the Manson murders but it really is just a mere backdrop for what is a trip through the golden age of Hollywood with literal recreations of old film and television.
Starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio; a veritable dream team of Hollywood heartthrobs and neither of whom is a stranger to the Tarantinoverse. We have a snivelling DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, a fictional Hollywood actor famous for a Western... More television show who has now fallen from a leading man to taking on cameo villain roles. Pitt is Cliff Dalton, a cool, calm and collected stuntman for Dalton and he's never looked hotter. 55 years old for goodness sakes. Margot Robbie portrays real actress, Sharon Tate, but spends most of the film disconnected from our duo and the main plot—an ethereal angel floating throughout Hollywood, observing herself as the world sees her.
My favourite piece of cameo casting would have to be Timothy Olyphant as the stock hero in a Western opposite DiCaprio. No stranger to the TV Western, Olyphant takes up the literal reigns once again, having previously starred in HBO's Deadwood and a more modern Western in FX's Justified.
Tarantino lets this film bloat, with extensive scenes of characters driving from A to B. It's merely an excuse to explore 1969 LA and a bit of easy breezy fun but I reckon you could still chop this film up and still have room to breathe. For a film based around a cult of murderers it's a pretty relaxed affair. Tarantino is known for his use of violence and you might be forgiven for thinking he's lost his meanstreak here. But it does eventually escalate and boy does it escalate.
That all being said, the misogyny in this film is pretty hard to miss. And it's not just the treatment of Sharon Tate. Women are objects without agency; seen through a male lens as the camera traverses their bodies. Women are made out to be 'hysterical' and brutally murdered for laughs. Yes 1969 was a different time but this movie came out in 2019 and still fantasizes about a time of hyper masculinity where men where men and women were seen and not heard.
As lightly enjoyable as it was, for me anyway, this film serves as a jumping off point to learn about the real history of Hollywood and not a history romanticised or rewritten.Hide
BY arlomclean superstar
What I said to myself about half way through watching Tarantino's latest was "where is this going?" that feeling continued all till the ending and I honestly feel I got as much out of the trailer as I did the movie itself. Its well made and acted, so on paper good, but its completely bloated and has no actual narrative. Plus a few controversial elements make this one more off a miss then a hit.
BY Oscarsm nobody
BY zactor6 nobody
BY Lewi3 nobody
BY lookaliveads wannabe
Not quite a Manson murder story and not quite an exploration of a fading Hollywood star, it's a bit of a mish-mash that doesn't quite know what it wants to be, so settles for being a good time. Tarantino continues to under-serve his female characters (except their feet, which are over-served) but at least recognises that watching Brad Pitt driving around sunny LA is somehow everyone's happy place.
BY mloughrialto nobody
BY PcSwinburne nobody
The film feels oddly benevolent. It’s an affectionate film, and not just towards Tarantino’s retro musical and cinematic fetish objects as we’d expect, but towards its characters, real and fictional. But is it enjoyable? As with the Coen Brothers’ Hail Caesar, it depends whether you have enough goodwill towards the filmmakers, and similar enough sensibilities, to go along with their indulgent bit of Hollywood time travel for its own sake, and not ask for much in the way of narrative action.
Intimate and relatively low-stakes, maybe in hindsight this will be called the first film of Tarantino’s mature period. You can’t call it “restrained,” though. The film’s as baggy as a hippie’s trousers, and the small scale of its action doesn’t justify the epic runtime more befitting a film like Inglorious Basterds. That said, there are worse places for film lovers to spend two and half hours than Tarantino’s recreation of 1969 Hollywood. Just make sure you choose a theatre with quality projection and sound, respectful audiences, and comfortable seats.
So let’s say Tarantino offers you a ride through the Hollywood hills in a shabby old car, and the steering is unwieldy, and some stuffing’s coming out of the seats and a spring might poke you in the ass now and then, and the engine will cough and sputter and Tarantino won’t stop shut up and you’ll probably have to stop and change a tire at some point, and you’re going nowhere in particular. But hey, it’s called the scenic route for a reason, and you know there’ll be some killer tunes on the radio. You’re getting in the car, right?Hide
BY dames nobody
I enjoyed the film, not the usual Tarantino style we're all used to. But one thing I will say as with all his movies, it got a kick ass soundtrack...The music is on point!! It could of had more of that Tarantino flair we all know and love though. Is it my favourite QT movie at of the now nine he's done...?? No. Would I watch it again...?? Definitely!! Will I get it on Blu-ray... ?? Hell yeah. I give it a solid 4 stars.
BY Shirlo48 nobody
BY Logg nobody
BY Angepants nobody
As a fan of Tarantino and Brad Pitt I was hoping to enjoy this movie. I freaking loved it. Leonardo Dicaprio was amazing, Brad Pitt was brilliant and Margot Robbie was simply perfect as Sharon Tate. I loved the old Hollywood vibe, the humor, the brilliant little homages to so many things. Thanks so much flicks.co.nz for giving me the opportunity to attend one of your preview screenings. The applause at the end of the movie was so well deserved!
BY angelaj nobody
I was a bit nervous heading into this movie at 2 hours 40 minutes long, I am not very good at sitting still that long, but I didn't have anything to worry about, the time flew as the movie is great. Loved the characters, their story and their flaws. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio make a great team. Had us guessing on how it was all going to end, and it doesn't disappoint. Loved it.
BY Allan-Forsyth grader
BY Kler nobody
Once Upon A Time... in Hollywood is truly enjoyable... if you're a Tarantino fan. If you're not, you'd probably be bored right up until the last 45 minutes. Take note of the music, take note of the advertising placements, the costumes, the dialogue, the props, the cinematography - this guy is just a massive film buff making god damn great films.
BY Newt superstar
Whilst ardent fans of Tarantino's movies may not warm to this due to a meandering plot and a focus on paying homage to old school cop TV shows and spaghetti westerns, there is much to like. Pitt's Cliff Booth and DiCaprio's Rick Dalton being good pals and Margot Robbie playing a free-spirited Sharon Tate are indelible long after the 2hr 40min run time. Also contains several patented DiCaprio over-the-top implosion sequences.
BY Moose lister
Meandering and disappointing for a long awaited return. I see where Tarantino was going with it, one of his typical homages with re-written history and plenty of cameos and side-scenes that were obviously on his bucket list. Good performances in the lead roles by Pitt and DiCaprio but overall it didn't have the sharpness or intensity and great dialogue we know and love in his other great movies. Meandering.
BY Andrew-Cozens lister
BY dribblestick nobody
Classic Tarrantino without classic Tarrantino. The cinematography and direction is very Tarrantino as is the homage to the 'golden era' of cinema, however the classic Tarrantino splatter is less evident for much of the film. Because of this there would be people who may see this as slow and non eventful movie, but I for one enjoyed it. DiCaprio and Pitt are steller as you'd expect and as such carry much of the film on their shoulders.
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
But then, rewriting history as fairy-tale is nothing new to Tarantino. Hell, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ ended with the assassination of Hitler and his top brass at a movie premiere.
A rose-tinted recreation of late Sixties California, featuring real characters, from Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) and Steve McQueen (Damian Lewis, with one of the best lines in the movie: "I never had a chance"),... More mingling with Tarantino’s fictional creations, TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt-double, Cliff Booth, (Brad Pitt).
Way too long, at times veering uncomfortably close to sexualising Charles Manson’s underage, teen followers, there’s a lot to criticise, including an overtly white, male cast, a treatment of women that veers from misogynistic to wildly misogynistic, and a world in which people of colour pretty much only show up to park the protagonists cars.
It’s no ‘Pulp Fiction’ and it’s unlikely to convert any Tarantino-haters to his oeuvre, but if you like Quentin’s style, it’s a beautifully shot and acted. So as long as you’re on board to spend time in Tarantino-land, the indulgent run-time doesn’t matter, and for once the wall-to-wall pop-culture references really fit. From the costumes to the music, it’s a poptastic portrayal of 1960s kitsch.
Amongst a host of cameos, it’s Kiwi, Zoë Bell who steals the show, despite the presence of heavy hitters from Kurt Russell through Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, Emile Hirsch, Lena Dunham, Bruce Dern, the late Luke Perry, and Al Pacino as Rick’s round-spectacled agent, Marvin “it’s pronounced Shwars” Schwarz trying to rescue his client’s career slump by getting him to move to Italy and make spaghetti westerns.
There are so many pop culture, movie and US TV show references and myriad connections to Tarantino’s work, it’s like the director has established his own Marvel-style multiverse. Talking of which - stay for the end-credits and you’ll catch a witty link to past Tarantino fare.
With knowing nods to reality and fantasy, the experience is one of walking through a dizzying hall of self-referential meta-mirrors. It’s perhaps best summed up by a scene in which Brad Pitt’s Cliff lands a role on ‘The Green Hornet’ TV show, and fights a big-mouthed, egotistical Bruce Lee.
A crazy scene that pretty much encapsulates the whole film.
‘One Upon a Time…’ is Tarantino celebrating Tinseltown as both a fan and an auteur. It’s a love letter, a satire, a joyous romp and a fond farewell to a Hollywood that may only have ever existed in a young video store worker’s fevered imagination.
In the end it’s a buddy movie, with DiCaprio and Pitt clearly having a ball. As for how high ‘Once Upon a Time…’ ranks in the list of Tarantino’s films? At the top of my list I'm still placing 'Pulp Fiction’, ‘Inglourious Basterds’, ‘Kill Bill’ and 'Jackie Brown' (the film it's most reminiscent of in its character-based meandering).
But, run-time aside, it’s a fun film for movie and TV nerds, Tarantino nuts and anyone who loves to be totally immersed in a fabulously realised, richly detailed alternate universe.Hide
BY Alan-Parr lister
Tarantino’s love letter to the rise and fall of the TV Cowboy. Deliberately soaks in the era, and takes you on a trip down a memory lane you probably aren’t old enough to remember.
A cracking finale that reminded me of another Tarantino final reel; with all the painstaking attention to accuracy, it’s still pure escapism.
BY filmlover superstar