Once Upon A Time . . . . In Hollywood

I recently went to see the latest Tarantino film at the Cineworld cinema in Not-Rochester [it’s really in Strood, a bit like Sainsbury’s Larkfield is really in Aylesford]. Apparently this is the ninth film from Tarantino and I’m just going to have a look. I make it ten but only if you count Kill Bill as two films, I mean, they were released separately. Here’s the list of his films I’ve seen:

  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Pulp Fiction (I can’t really remember much about this one)
  • Kill Bills
  • Django Unchained
  • And now Once Upon A Time . . . In Hollywood

I’m not sure if I should go ahead and watch more of his films. I’m certainly not part of the “Tarantino’s great” movement. I like the films and see them for what they are.

As I drove along the riverside I checked to see what the tide was doing. Well, I mean it never really is doing much, it’s more slowly wandering around rather than having visible changes but I looked to see where the river was compared to the riverbank. The river was very low which means the tide was “out” or “low” depending on how you want to phrase that. There was a drone flying around over the marsh area and I’m curious about what it was doing. There was also a seal resting on the edge of the marsh area, possibly after having a big swim. Maybe the drone and the seal are connected? I don’t know.

After the movie and a little extra time to mul this film over in my head I rated the film on IMDB, as is custom. Then I tweet the thing. It looked a little something like this:

I have a feeling that a lot of this film was just showing off. It made the whole thing look amazing and Tarantino has created a faithful reproduction of Hollywood but there were some scenes where I just thought it was gratuitous money. Here I’m thinking of all the scenes with massive backgrounds and time-correct cars and posters. I mean, the effort is astounding but it is also very proud as a film of managing to look so real.

As is usual with a Tarantino film the music plays a very key part and his motif is obvious all the way through this film. Most scenes carry music over from one place to another. I found the reproduction of sound a little annoying as the soundtrack was loud and punchy when in a car the sound would have been terrible. If you go to all that effort to reproduce massive backgrounds and freeways full of period cars then maybe the sound of the car stereo should be exact?

I liked the idea of the faded actor still trying to make his mark in Hollywood. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in this movie. He managed to convince me fully. There has been some controversy about Margot Robbie’s role having so little to say and almost being a pin-up in the movie. I’m not sure I felt that. It is true she had little of a speaking role in the movie but the film was mostly about Rick and his fight in Hollywood.

As the climax of the film approached I was actually worried that it would glorify the Manson murders. I hadn’t read anything about the film, I’d only seen the trailers, and it wouldn’t have been right for any Tarantino violence glorification. Then, it ends the way it does. It was at that point I understood what Tarantino was doing. I had thought he was trying to write an historical document to give us the facts about the case but what he did was pure Hollywood. The film ended in classic Tarantino violence but at a level that worked perfectly in the film.

I possibly underrated this film slightly. Maybe it should have been an 8. I’m still thinking about it and that’s a good thing, it means the film affected me in some way. I did go down a bit of an internet rabbit hole after this looking through the Wikipedia articles on the Manson murders and the people involved. It was during this that I realised the band Kasabian named themselves after one of the Manson family. There are lots of bands, seemingly innocuous, who are named after awful things; Rammstein, Spandau Ballet and many more.

I’ll tweet again if I decide to increase the score on this film. I’ll add that tweet below so keep an eye out. Remember to keep looking at this terribly boring website.