Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | Review!

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | Review!

hey everybody I'm Dan Morrell and welcome to my review of once upon a time in Hollywood here on phantom entertainment this is the ninth movie from Quentin Tarantino by his count he considers Kill Bill to be one movie so I guess we have to as well and this is a film set in Los Angeles in 1969 it is a combination of the fictional story of Rick Dalton a TV actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio who's entering a transitional point in his career and his best friend slash stuntman slash driver cliff Boothe who's played by Brad Pitt Rick Rick's driver his constant companion much of the movie follows these two characters and their daily lives in Hollywood as we see Rick navigating his way through guest-starring appearances on TV movies taking meetings and hanging out at his Hollywood Hills home along with cliff but as Hollywood Hills home also happens to be next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate two real-life people in the Sun in the summer of 1969 Sharon Tate was of course infamously a victim of the Manson Family murders at the very house that is portrayed in the movie and there's been a lot of questions speculating what kind of movie is Quentin Tarantino making here it's combining fiction in reality it's set in real-life Los Angeles centering around real-life events the Manson Family is involved in this movie as has been revealed but I will not reveal myself what kind of movie this is or where the movie takes you what the twists and turns of the movie are because I think the movie largely relies on the audience not knowing what is going to happen next now I think it's kind of ironic that this is probably the most star-studded as far as the top-line cast of any of Quentin Tarantino's films when you look at people like Margot Robbie who is playing Sharon Tate Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt Al Pacino also makes an appearance in this movie there are a lot of stars in this movie however I think it's also Quentin Tarantino's in a way least mainstream movie now he's challenged the conventions storytelling a lot of movies before pope fiction largely made a splash back in 1994 because he challenged the idea of the conventional narrative the kind of time shifting that so many movies have taken on in a post pulp fiction era so it doesn't seem like that much of a revolutionary technique at least not as much as it did back in the early 90s the movie that this movie reminds me of the most in quite Quentin Tarantino's filmography is actually my least favorite of Quentin Tarantino's movies which is death Proof that was Tarantino's half of the grindhouse double feature that he did with Robert Rodriguez the death Proof was then released as its own movie but I actually really like this movie they do share some similarities I think what we've seen in the later parts of Quentin Tarantino's career in the last really for me since inglorious basterds post death Proof it's him taking all the skills that he's learned over his career as a director and applying them in new ways and interesting ways in experimenting with format or in bringing different kinds of history different kinds of stories to the screen and I think what he employs here and once upon a time in Hollywood that didn't quite work in death Proof is a very deliberate and I would say almost tonal storytelling style Once Upon a Time Hollywood does not have one narrative that just thrusts you forward a movie like inglorious basterds which was several different plots all with advancing narratives all converging at the same time that was a very propulsive movie even the dialogue scenes crackled with its tension and suspense and fear that's not what Tarantino was going for with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood more than anything else he really spends a good chunk of the movie establishing the characters establishing who they are and establishing the feel of the city he really wants to evoke Los Angeles and Hollywood in particular in 1969 this is a character piece this is also a tone piece it's not so much about one plot that drives everything forward there aren't a whole lot of machinations that are happening that all culminate although this movie certainly does culminate what I found once upon a time in Hollywood to be more than anything was a series of setups and payoffs both on a scene-by-scene level often times there are big chunks of the movie that are conversations or investigations that aren't thrill-a-minute it doesn't have the Ratatat stuff speed and quickness that a lot of Tarantino movies have instead they're very deliberate but they pay off they pay off either in comedy sometimes they pay off in a great character moment they pay off later in the movie when you realize that it's established something that's going to come into play and the third act or beyond sometimes it's just to endear you to the characters or to bring you into their lives there's a sequence that follows Sharon Tate who again was a real-life actor who just following Margot Robbie around town for part of the day as she goes to see one of her own movies which is playing at a theater this idea of who these characters are are they tragic characters are they not tragic characters where they are in their lives it's a very introspective movie it strips away a lot of the style that Tarantino has used throughout his career its observational even though it has such a big cast and a big budget and it's a big Hollywood release in some ways it's his smallest movie and I found that really interesting at the same time this is still Quentin Tarantino and there are definitely parts of the movie that feel very Tarantino esque but he almost it's like he knows when to use those and when to employ those and the whole movie really is a wind up it's a wind up to the third act and what happens in that third act now the question I think for a lot of the audiences is going to be is the wind up worth the payoff is the first let's say two hours of the movie worth what the last 40 minutes of the movie contain that is a good question and I think it's a question that a lot of people are gonna have to answer for themselves it was a question that I was asking myself when we were watching the movie because as I said there are stretches of this movie that are more character based and I found myself sitting there sometimes wondering where are we going with this what is this establishing why are you choosing to show me this particular scene in this particular way but at the end of the movie when I saw where he was going with the film I really did think the Tarantino constructed a complete portrait of this place and time something that makes the title make sense by the time you get to certain things that happen in the film I really do think that he has succeeded in doing what he set out to do which is evoking a certain time and a certain era building a small stable of characters really despite the large number of the cast the three main characters DiCaprio's Rick Dalton Brad Pitt's cliff booth and Margot Robbie Sharon Tate are the core of the movie and really the relationship between Rick and cliff is the heart of the film and I really really really at the end of it found myself enjoying what they had done it is a journey III think it is gonna test a lot of people's patience I understand if a lot of people might come out of this a little confused or a little disappointed because it is unlike stuff that Quentin Tarantino has done in the past but I found it refreshing I actually like that in the later part of his career and he's teased that you know maybe this is his last movie or that he doesn't have a whole lot of movies left that he may only do one or two more movies if this is indeed the later part of Quentin Tarantino's career as a director I like that he's taking the tools that he's employed in other movies and using them in new and interesting ways and that's what I felt like this film was but if you're going into this movie and expecting a pure adrenalin shot of Quentin Tarantino that's not what you're in for in this movie I think you're still in for something that's interesting something that's different something that's risky but at the same time something that I think you will leave knowing unmistakably that this was a Quentin Tarantino movie because as I said he knows what to do and when to employ the things that you know him for maybe more so than ever in this film and I think the way that he uses those touches and the way that he uses that style pays off in this movie in a big way for me we'll do that in a big way for you I don't know the performances I thought were really good Leonardo DiCaprio in particular we know he's a great actor he's an oscar-winning actor there's very few movies that he's not great in however I thought he was fantastic in this movie I loved him as Rick Dalton I thought he explored some things that we haven't seen him explore as an actor before on-screen I thought Brad Pitt was great in this movie Margot Robbie there's really the entire cast down to some actors like Damian Lewis who just have one scene in the film that really nailed their roles so it's a big recommendation for me from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood however I acknowledge that this is a little something different from Quentin Tarantino it is long it did feel its length a little bit but the end result was worth it for me I guess the question is will it be worth it for you so that's my thought on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood did you see the movie what did you think let me know in the comments below and of course as always stay tuned here on phantom entertainment we'll be bringing you the latest news and reviews every week until next time thanks for watching you


44 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | Review!”

  • Spoiler: I’m getting a little tired of the Tarantino fantasy revenge trope. He’s done it in three of the last four films of his.

  • Always remember that there are two Tarantino universes: the Movie Movie universe (Pulp Fiction) and the Realer than Real universe (Jackie Brown).
    This one exists in the Realer than Real. That said, I loved it!


    Dan, how would you respond to perceptions that the film is sexist? I know the issue was raised at Cannes, and some female critics seemed unhappy with the film.

  • The murders never happen because Rick and Cliff save the day and kill the Manson crew that came to murder them.

  • I just saw it. 10AM – first show in my local cineplex. I loved it! For so many reasons. An extra bonus for me was the first time I ever came to LA was visiting one of my best friends for his Bar Mitzvah in 1969. Then I spent all of the 80's in LA. And I fell in love with it. And this movie is a love letter to an older LA.
    Jackie Brown was my favorite Tarrentino movie before today. Now, this is.

  • Victor DiGiovanni says:

    This is the most Kool-Aid Tarantino fans have had to drink to be able to enjoy this film. Thoughts and prayers.

  • Casually Challenged says:

    Just saw the movie and watched your review after. I honestly do not know how to feel about the movie. I think I like it, but it is definitely not going to be for everyone.

  • I just got back from seeing this film. This movie is a masterpiece.
    Its pacing kind of reminds me of Roma, which also had a long wind-up (like Dan says in this video) then pays off in the dramatic third act.

  • Tristan Lusted says:

    You guys should do a review on a film called ‘The Hunt’, it stars Mads Mikkelsen. Its about a guy (Mads) who gets wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit and then the entire community and his friends turn against him and becomes almost like a witchhunt. Very emotional film worth the watch. Love to see your review on that 😁

  • Loved it. It's a departure for Tarantino here but also classic Tarantino there. The ambient audio is the best for a period film since American Graffiti (1973).

  • Cut The Beard To Watch a Movie says:

    nice review. I appreciated how you made it clear that Tarantino is at a crossroad: a way of making cinema more contemplative and less quotationist. which indicates his maturity as an artist. while I m loving his appreciation for Italian cinema and westerns, I am more curious to see some visceral notes, from his childhood or personal experience.

  • Hawaiinshiirts says:

    Saw it last night. It was a perfect 1969 movie. Every little detail is amazing. Thought it would have been more intense and creepy but it was good

  • Miamistyle117 says:

    This is a waste of money period. 3 hours of dragging content you get 10 minutes of the Manson's in the whole film.. This guy is like the movie blah blah blah no where dont spend your money

  • Deathproof is one of my favorite QT movies since the very first time I saw it. I know it doesn't get much love, but what can I say, I love blood, fast cars, Tarantino, good soundtracks and hot girls, that's what im all about. And just like Once Upon a Time is a love letter to the 60s and the industry, Deathproof is also a love letter to the 70s and the movie industry revolving around cars, since american cars peaked in the late 70s and they were using them in movies, left and right

  • I thought the movie really felt its length at a few point and the sporatic narration was weird, but I agree that the cast absolutely delivered

  • allicherryblossom says:

    Great review! I loved deathproof and absolutely loved this film, the comparison between the two is spot on

  • nopaincobain72 says:

    This is the 3rd review of this movie that I've seen that contains the words "where are you going with this"

  • I like his story telling. I haven’t seen one of his films at the movies in a while. Always waited for rent. But this one I’ll watch at the movies. I do need an easy going well written movie to relax.

  • hippiecheezburger says:

    Actually the film is great it takes a very well known piece of history and that time period but has an ending we all would rather have had. It’s like his own way of writing poetic justice. Tarantino has done this in a few other films of his like Django and Inglorious Basterds

  • GiantRobot Vs. Kaiju24 says:

    Good review Dan. "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" was a good summer hangout time at the movies. Emphasis on the hangout, as this is a Richard Linklater like "era hangout" movie done Tarentino style for sure.

    Though I disagree that it isn't "mainstream" Tarentino too much, to me he still stays in his usual comfort zone: long dialogue scenes, deep cut references, uncomfortable scenes, tension build scenes (with comedic relief), text graphics on a freeze frame, and his usual over the top cartoonish, ultraviolent (revisionist history?) 3rd act. Yes you've seen this before from him.

    Add great detailed prod design & cinematography, a catchy "of it's era" soundtrack you'll listen too rest of the summer, and that sums it up.

    If you like the friendship of Rick & Cliff (which I did) you'll like the movie. This would be a fitting double feature with Shane Blacks summer 2016 '70s era mystery comedy "The Nice Guys". I liked hanging with Jackson (Crowe) and Holland (Gosling) from that film – also Margaret Qualley is in both movies playing nearly the same character type.

    A little different narrative/pacing wise like Dan mentioned, but to me it was still more of the same comfort food from Tarentino, and that's okay, as I enjoyed hanging out with Rick & Cliff. I'll def see this a few more times with my AMC Pass, just to be in a near 3 hour movie with air conditioning, (L.A. just started it's July/August heatwave) great music, and a cool recreation of 1969 Los Angeles.

  • The movie is mostly about how they used to make tv westerns in the 60s with the manson thing looming in the backround.

  • christopher pittatsis says:

    went to the music box in chicago see it in glorious 70mm. loved it. the acting,the soundtrack and of course the dog. can't wait for his next one.

  • Such a great film. I dont know if you saw my review but I perceived it as a love letter to the memory of Sharon Tate.

  • Gotta say one of my favorite films this decade. Like an awesome slow burner but also very intense at the same time, and very very funny too. It also features quite frankly one of the best scenes I've ever watched in a long time. A+ stuff

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