After a long wait, Christmas 2015 to be precise since Quentin Tarantino’s last offering The Hateful 8 which I also saw in 70MM at the Music Box Theater the time had come to see his 9th film ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’. Chicagos 90 year old Music Box Theater which just happens to be in my neighborhood is only 1 of 5 theaters in North America (The USA and Canada) that has the capability to host 70MM films.
After work I biked over to Southport Ave where tonight show was sold out to buy a ticket for the next mornings 11AM showing. The attendant told me there was one seat left that I could take but I told him I wanted to get a full nights sleep so I could enjoy the 2 hr 45 min love letter to Hollywood. I went home grilled some burgers and chilled out with a few cocktails before heading to bed.
The forecast was for it to be fucking hot again so I closed up the house, placed the fans and left before I remembered I didn’t put on the AC.
It was almost 3 before I left the theater very pleased and it was damn hot as I biked to the pharmacy to pick up my Rx, paid my mailbox rent and biked home. Danny Lee Hill was coming to stay the night since he was going to be the guest on my PodCast the next day so I sat and watched Smallville till he arrived and then we grilled chicken legs and all was good.
This time around, taking a step back from his usual tendencies in a way, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood actually felt like a breath of fresh air to me, and that’s coming from someone who absolutely enjoys the violence he presents throughout his films. This movie is worth your time if you’re a fan and also for those who are turned off by the excessive violence. Here’s why I believe this film may reach a broader audience than most of his works. Almost completely devoid of a story at all, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood follows Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fading Hollywood star, and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as his stunt double who no longer receives any work.
Throughout a series of events and the introduction of Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), this is a film that disobeys every rule that most films follow, making for a highly enjoyable experience. To really dive into details would be to ruin where the movie ends up, so the best way to describe this movie is to say that it consists of a lot of great scenes of people talking, which eventually slowly builds to a climax that you may or may not expect. Now, where I feel this film may be for more viewers than most Tarantino flicks is in the fact that the majority of this 161-minute feature doesn’t have a lot of violence. It really did feel like Tarantino was trying to go for a more subdued film as a whole, which will please some viewers. With that said, there are absolutely some brutal moments that don’t hold back, but they are few and far between enough to not have queasy audience members wanting to walk out of the theatre.
As always, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’s very best aspect is the screenplay itself. Yes, Tarantino always works with a talented crew in order to make his films look fantastic, but the dialogue spoken by the characters in this film just felt so authentic. At nearly three hours, this is a movie that doesn’t feel like it drags, simply due to the fact that these actors are bringing their A-Game as always and the screenplay they’re working with is top-notch. Every performance here deserves some recognition, but I also believe the script has something to do with that. In the end, if I had to nitpick about anything, I would say that the lack of overall storytelling may hinder the film for people, and even though I was questioning where the film was going, I was always won over by everything else.
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is simply one of the best movies I’ve had the chance to see so far in 2019 and I will continue to say that until the year’s end. With stellar performances all around, phenomenal writing/directing, a visual style that feels different than most movies that will come out this year, and a pace that never feels too slow, given the slow nature of the movie, I can’t really find many things to complain about. This film is fantastic.
Ty arrived about 45 min late but we knocked out and hour show as Cassie filmed and then everyone was on their way and I could enjoy a chill balance of the day at home to prepare myself for work the next day. When I woke the temp dropped and I opened up a few windows before heading out.
Down the block from my office today getting my mouth watering for Hot Dog Fest 2019 a week from Saturday!