Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

So, a Tarantino film. To me, Tarantino is somewhat hit or miss. Some of his films, I really enjoy. Others, not so much. 

I had high hopes for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. I love movies about making movies, or the movie industry, and I’m really interested in film history and film making in general. Being chock full of references and film history, this love letter to the Hollywood film industry in the 50s and 60s should really hit the mark with me. Right?

Sadly, it didn’t…

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are amazing in their leading roles as a washed up Hollywood actor and his stuntman in the 50s and 60s. And to be sure, Tarantino is a masterful director. What he does, he does very well. But Tarantino has one specific style he does over and over again, and one of his movies tend to feel very much like the previous one. He’s a true one-trick pony, like a Ronald Emmerich of trashy dialogue and retro music. 

“Don’t cry in front of the Mexicans.” (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 2019)

At 2 hours and 40 minutes, I found myself looking at the timer on my bluray player several times during the film. Maybe there exists some mysterious film making masterclasse I missed back in film school, or some genius techniques nobody told me about. It felt pretentious, it felt over the top. It even felt fake.  

To me, this movie felt like a disjointed mess. A well directed, well acted disjointed mess, but a disjointed mess nontheless, with random scenes and dialogue that just didn’t add mucht to the story or add character development. But of course, this seems to be the Tarantino way. 

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywoodt spent plenty of time saying very little, and the biggest emotional response I had during the movie was seeing a fake rat in a glue trap in one of the scenes. Of course, that rat was put there to create some kind of emotional response (I hope!), but maybe not the biggest one?

I had the nagging feeling while watching this film that I missed some crucial point that would make me enjoy it more. I know the story is connected to a real crime, but I’m not familiar with the details. If the setup would have been better, maybe it could have worked? But halfway through the film I was already too bored to care.

The hippies are up to no good! (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 2019)

But again, this is great film making, Tarantino style. I appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this movie, but it would be nice to see Tarantino come out of his comfort zone a bit.

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