Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: 9th time a charm?

The Stream: 2 hours and 40 minutes can be a long time to sit in a theater.

The Big Screen: Tarantino, Leo and Brad are at their best while providing a suspense filled movie with comedic gold.

The Final Bill: Tarantino fans and true Cinephiles, this is a must see in the movie theaters for the great acting and storytelling.

-Trip Fontaine and S2S

Notable Movie Trailers: The Kitchen Aug. 9, Hustlers- September, Knives Out- Thanksgiving, Gemini Man- Oct. 11, Queen and Slim- November, Charlie’s Angels- November, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood- November.
Movie Runtime: 2 hours and 37 minutes
Official Trailer

S2S: This weekbefore you Trip Fontaine was able to review the summer blockbuster, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie by director Quentin Tarantino. So let’s see what Trip has to say.

Trip Fontaine: Most fairy tales begin with those famous four word: once upon a time. Quentin Tarantino’s 9th film as writer and director, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, alludes to the promise and magical romanticism of those children’s stories. While not necessarily a fairy tale, this film leans into the romanticism of Hollywood and the despair of when the realization of the Hollywood dream begins to slip or is otherwise threatened.

Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is an aging television and movie actor in the 1950’s and 60’s, whose career is on a downturn. His confidante, assistant and longtime stunt double is Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt. The main plot of Dalton and Booth is a little bit character study of two actors, who must come to terms with the impending end of an era, and a little bit of a buddy dramedy in which each willfully supports the other. The subplot involves a rising starlet, Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. Tarantino firmly sets the main action of the film in 1969, a turning point in American counterculture, which is particularly resonant considering the other characters that are encountered throughout.

For the uninitiated, it may be a good idea to do a quick Google search: Who is Sharon Tate? If you don’t already know a little bit about the actress, it may be helpful in orienting yourself on the time and significance of both Tate and the mysterious hippies Cliff meets. While not strictly necessary for enjoyment of the film, it does add some rich texture to where Tarantino is taking us. There’s some joy, but also impending doom.

At 2 hours and roughly 40 minutes runtime, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood tells its story with a deliberate pace. This runtime is pretty standard for a Tarantino film. It doesn’t feel like there is a wasted moment. The core contrast between Dalton’s downward career trajectory and Tate’s promise of future stardom is enhanced by DiCaprio’s almost manic desperation as Dalton tries to save the parts he is getting and Robbie’s luminous sequence reveling in watching Tate on the big screen. Pitt has never been his Pitt-est than as Cliff – he’s confidant and brash, no nonsense with a sense of humor. There is a hilarious scene between Pitt and Mike Moh, as Bruce Lee, that will be one of the most talked about. It all comes together, so surprisingly, in the last 20 or so minutes that you walk out a bit dazed and giddy. And, if you know the history, it is satisfyingly bittersweet as well.

S2S Rating Scale

For Tarantino fans and true Cinephiles, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a must see in the movie theaters. Get your tub of popcorn (and other snacks) and settle in for movie stars being movie stars and a film-loving director directing a film about loving films. For the rest, I still suggest seeing this movie in the theaters. Tarantino films are meant to be seen on the big screen.

Thanks Trip for your review, I agree with you completely. The acting are Leo and Brad at their typical best and thus Tarantino also rebounding to his best after the Hateful Eight. There are two points I want to drive home for general moviegoers, aka the non-Tarantino fans or non-Cinephiles. First, general moviegoers, this is honestly a borderline matinee film for you based on the length of the film and because of point number two. Point two is that you if you don’t know who Sharon Tate is, you will be lost in the theater and will overlook the brilliance of the story being told to you to make this a definite big box film. I almost want to say don’t look up who she is until after the film because that just might enhance you intrigue in the movie and make you want to see it again for certain easter eggs.

Long story short, for general moviegoers catch the matinee if anything, but if you know the story of Sharon Tate, then this will be a great film to see in theaters.