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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood"

I am not afraid to say that I am a Quentin Tarantino fan. He may have a tendency to make longer films, but each and every scene he shoots that make it to his final cut has a purpose. He is also a guy that makes the movies HE wants to make, much in the way that one of my all-time favorite directors, Stanley Kubrick, does, and I am always excited to see where his journey takes him next. And now it takes him to “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”.

His latest film has an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Timothy Olyphant, Al Pacino, and Kurt Russell, and takes place in Los Angeles in 1969. Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) is a washed-up actor who had a hit western show in the ‘50s and is still friends with his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Pitt). The house next to Rick’s end up being purchased by director Roman Polanski and his new bride in Sharon Tate (Robbie). From there, it is the multi-layered story of what was going on in the town at that time.

Being able to see this film in 35mm film really gave it the old look that was required and shows off Hollywood in a really good way. Even the movie sets that are made to be that way looked really great. And with a cast like this, pretty much everyone does what I expected them to do. There was nothing that really stood out, but Robbie does a good job in a role where she doesn’t have much dialog at all and has to rely on her body language to convey what Tate is thinking at any moment.

Unfortunately, the two-and-a-half-hours here don’t work for Tarantino. With the way he usually does his films, I actually can say that an hour could have been cut out of this and been better. There IS a payoff, but I am not sure that the destination is worth the journey with this film to the point where I had a few points where I was wondering what the point actually was. Due to all of this, I can only barely recommend “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” as the now famous chirping crickets sound effect to get to cable.

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