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    Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - Quentin Tarantino
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    Rockin the Boat
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    There's a thread on dvxuser in this section, but it's just for the trailer originally made back in March of last year, so I thought maybe a post dedicated to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood would be OK.

    I thought it was a fantastic movie. The best QT has done since Jackie Brown, IMHO. The camera work is outstanding, some of the very best I've ever seen from a QT film, and stellar in its own right. I found the story quite engaging, and the acting uniformly excellent, particularly DiCaprio (who deservedly got an Oscan nom for it). Some folks were offended by the counterfactual third act (SPOILERS!!) - but I was not, because hey, it's a TALE - a fairy tale if you will, it's right there in the title "once upon a time", so no reason why QT should not be allowed some artistic license, after all, the main characters played by Pitt and DiCaprio were invented too. And frankly, I found the narrow escape from the Sharon Tate murders quite charming and enjoyable, much more enjoyable than trying to see how accurate QT would have been had he stuck to the literal history of those events. All in all, I thought it was a really well done film, with a pretty spot on impersonation of Polanski, down to his tics, gestures and mannerisms.

    Was it perfect? No. Some of the trademark QT exaggerated violence is wearing pretty thin, and comes across as a bit juvenile, but it wasn't a huge deal and still fit OKish with the mood of the film. The relationship between the Pitt and DiCaprio characters was fantastic I thought and the mood of the times well captured - insofar as I could tell, as I was too young to actually have lived through them. And I didn't find it too long, but I can agree that it might be tightened up a bit here and there (especially the Sharon Tate sequences of her wandering around Westwood, could have been shortened by 50%).

    The Bruce Lee controversy is not as much of a big deal to me - yeah, I think it's a bit much because BL would've demolished pretty much any stuntman in his day, but, well, artistic license and all that, so I'd give QT a pass on this - that said, I didn't think the actor who played BL was any good, in fact he was kinda poor. I'm curious to see if it wins big at the Oscars, because it's politically not in a favorable position - too male (a very male movie), too white, too unPC for these very senstive times, oh well, such is the world we live in. I liked it, and I'll rewatch it many times, I'm sure, the way I would not The Hateful Eight.


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    "Some of the trademark QT exaggerated violence is wearing pretty thin, and comes across as a bit juvenile." I think 'juvenile' is the word of the day here with the film. I just don't want to be in this guys QT's company. That battering of that woman was just the worse to have to sit through.
    I really wanted to enjoy it. But I just found it all a drag. I enjoyed Pitt - but I always do. Anyway - it has not been my year at the movies. Thought Parasite and Joker terrible and was so so with Uncut Gems. The only thing that gave me pleasure this year was discovering the blogger Bald and Bankrupt. Loved the guy so much I just came back from India because of his videos.


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    I disliked the end not because of the change from history but because of the gleeful violence toward women. I have enjoyed previous QT movies but this one had a significant level of anti-female content to the point that I found it quite uncomfortable.

    I don't mind extended sequences when they have enough tension and build to sustain my interest. The visit to Spahn Ranch worked well in that regard. But there are other sequences that dragged on and on for no real purpose, and the movie ultimately committed the ultimate cinema crime -- it became boring.

    I look at the artistic success of a movie like Inglourious Basterds and I see a perfect mix of subverting cliches while reveling in them, hugely over the top performances, long dialogue sequences with tension so high you're on the edge of your seat throughout, and gleeful violence that's somehow earned. Once Upon a Time... is a different kind of movie with a different tale to tell, but it unsuccessfully tries to use several of the same elements in an unproductive way.

    I don't have a particular nostalgia for Los Angeles in the late 1960s. I didn't feel it a grand commentary on that time, more just a wallowing in a personal memory. QT can write some brilliant characters, dialogue and scenarios so the movie definitely has some great sequences within it. But on the whole I found it to be not one of his best works. I didn't hate it and I didn't love it, but I would rank it fairly low in his oeuvre.
    Mitch Gross
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    I disliked the end not because of the change from history but because of the gleeful violence toward women. I have enjoyed previous QT movies but this one had a significant level of anti-female content to the point that I found it quite uncomfortable.

    I don't mind extended sequences when they have enough tension and build to sustain my interest. The visit to Spahn Ranch worked well in that regard. But there are other sequences that dragged on and on for no real purpose, and the movie ultimately committed the ultimate cinema crime -- it became boring.

    I look at the artistic success of a movie like Inglourious Basterds and I see a perfect mix of subverting cliches while reveling in them, hugely over the top performances, long dialogue sequences with tension so high you're on the edge of your seat throughout, and gleeful violence that's somehow earned. Once Upon a Time... is a different kind of movie with a different tale to tell, but it unsuccessfully tries to use several of the same elements in an unproductive way.

    I don't have a particular nostalgia for Los Angeles in the late 1960s. I didn't feel it a grand commentary on that time, more just a wallowing in a personal memory. QT can write some brilliant characters, dialogue and scenarios so the movie definitely has some great sequences within it. But on the whole I found it to be not one of his best works. I didn't hate it and I didn't love it, but I would rank it fairly low in his oeuvre.
    I dislike graphic violence very much, especially when it's gratuitous, as it often is with Tarantino.

    I'm also disgusted by violence against women because they're women.

    But in this case, while the violence was indeed gleeful, it wasn't gleeful because it was against women. It was gleeful violence against characters who happened to be women; gender was irrelevant to it.

    Tarantino didn't invent those characters; they were there because they were the actual people who murdered Sharon Tate. That two of them were women was factual. It seemed to me he was doing to them what he thought they deserved for what they did in real history, and would have done the same thing had they all been men.
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    Senior Member cyclone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Jimerson View Post
    the violence wasn't gleeful because it was against women. It was gleeful violence against characters who happened to be women; gender was irrelevant to it.
    I liked the film very much. I really appreciated the 60's art direction. I've lived my entire life in L.A. and they really nailed Sunset Blvd in that time period. As people often say, "we would all make our own version of a film; but a film must be judged on what it is, rather than what you want." (SPOILERS AHEAD) With that in mind, I have to say that the altering of the facts for the ending didn't bother me, but I couldn't help feeling that it would have been a MUCH better ending if, rather than the Manson family arriving at the wrong house as in the film, the film would have been stronger if they had arrived as it was in real life (entering Sharon's house), and were just about to attack when suddenly Pitt and Dicaprio's characters enter through the front door (motivated because they heard unfamiliar noises or didn't like the look of the characters entering their neighbor's house, especially with a body laying on the front lawn). That gets us much closer to what actually happened and the audience would be a nervous wreck with mounting tension...until our 2 protagonists arrive "in the nick of time." I would have cheered in the theater! That would have been my movie. But i gotta tell ya, when Tarantino did that reaction shot of the Manson girls (no offense intended...that's what the group was called back then) standing at Spahn Ranch, silently watching Brad Pitt emerge from Bruce Dern's house just standing there watching...doing nothing...it actually sent a chill through me! Here's an odd piece of history that I mentioned elsewhere: my high school girlfriend ended up marrying one of the LaBianca kids. She said that the LaBianca family was pissed about the film.


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    Senior Member Mike Krumlauf's Avatar
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    Hmm.. while I understand some people can't stomach QT's over the top violence, I feel like the gender of the people was not the point here. You have to remember that the people who killed Sharon Tate were women and one man (Tex). QT grew up in LA in the 60s when all of that went down with the manson family so the events are very personal to him as he saw his town and his country make a huge shift in many areas due to the events of that night in 69. You cant just pretend that women didnt partake in the killing of tate and the others.. All QT was doing was creating a fairy tale where the outcome everyone would have wanted that night happened. Its obvious that QT takes the manson murders personal, almost like his family was involved and was hurt by it, so he is seeking out revenge on celluloid. It would be like a New York filmmaker one day making a fairy tale where 9/11 was avoided and the terrorists never made it onto those planes that morning and died grusome deaths on screen. Now you can say "well thats different because those were men who killed all those people in NYC and DC" but at the end of the day, I really dont see how gender needs to play a part in bad mouthing the film. If QT rewrote the manson family as all male it would just look stupid. If a group of men had killed Tate that night then QT would have casted men for that last scene in the film. I do not in anyway see QT as someone who is racist or sexist or even homophobic. Hes a byproduct of his culture and his surroundings (LA). Hes been on record that he hates real world violence, and hates even seeing animals get killed in films... and while I stand with all of you against violence toward women, I cant just sit here and say that means women characters need to always be treated like queens in cinema... sorry, doesnt work like that. There are some very evil women out there, like the ones who did the real killings in the manson family... so no offense to anyone but I think we need to lighten up with that.

    I agree with the first poster in that i think OUATIH is his best since Jackie Brown. Which reminds me... who has the majority of female characters as the ones empowered and taking control, being the victor in his films... oh yeah, QT!!!!

    Jackie Brown and Kill Bill 1&2 are perfect examples.

    Im not trying to light a flame under anyone here, I think that we need to differentiate fact from fiction and film from reality. Just because you might enjoy and find narrative merit in evil female characters getting their heads smashed in on film, doesnt mean you condone that type of behavior in real life. Its the exact argument QT has been fighting with critics for almost 30 years. The two worlds are disconnected. Kind of like how when Columbine happened in 1999 here in Denver... people where blaming video games and Marlyin Manson's music to the killings. No, the kids were just mentally ill.
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