For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is the 9th film by Quentin Tarantino. It tells the story of aging actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double/friend Cliff Booth as Rick tries to keep his career alive in the late 1960s era. Helmed by Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio, this film has an inordinate amount of potential but I couldn’t bring myself to like it. There were elements and characters that I liked, but on the whole I did not like this film. Perhaps this can be chalked up to a misunderstanding of the source material. Granted, I’m no expert on late 1960s Hollywood but I understood most of the references and homages, so I don’t think it is a lack of knowledge. I have loved every Tarantino film that I have seen thus far, and before this film came out I thought he was infallible as a director and as an artist.

The film is 2 hours 40 mins and boy does it show. I’m no stranger to long films and some of Tarantino’s previous works have been equally long but I never felt the time dragging on like I did in OUATIH. Pulp Fiction feels almost breezy in comparison, and when watching Once Upon A Time I found myself bored and restless on several occasions. The length of the film wouldn’t be so bad however, if not for the apparent lack of a plot. The film has no clear drive or plot point pushing it forward.

While the apparent focal point is Dicaprio’s Dalton trying to revive his career there is no clear way that he tries to do this. We do see him on set for a Western tv show but apart from that he has no clear goal and seems an altogether passive protagonist. This makes the story drag on at a snails pace.

The other plotline in this film is Pitt’s Booth and his increasingly frequent encounters with the Manson family. From the outset, it appears as though this film is going to heavily involve the Manson family cult and the seeds are there for an excellent story but this is shunned in favour of the meandering exploits of Dalton and Booth. That is, until the ending scene which, frankly, is amazing. The entire film has dragged on, up until the last 10 minutes. These last 10 minutes see the Manson cult go to kill actress Sharon Tate and her friends as they did in real life. In this depiction however, they break into Dalton’s house first wherein they get absolutely slaughtered by Booth and his dog before one of them gets torched by Dalton wielding a flamethrower. The scene is wonderful. It’s brutal. It’s gratuitous and excessive yet has a touch of artistic beauty. In a way, it’s textbook Tarantino. It falls flat though, when contextualised by the 2+ hours of aimless preamble before it. This scene is the pinnacle of the film’s love letter to the 1960s and also the hate mail to hippies.

VERDICT: The performances I cannot fault, Pitt, Dicaprio, Margot Robbie and all of the other actors who were superb. The soundtrack and score was also great and fit the tone of the era perfectly. The visuals were outstanding, the night shots in particular were beautiful. My only gripe with the film is the aimless, drifting nature of the plot. By the standards of other directors, this film would be exceptional but for Tarantino it is, frankly, subpar. This review has only mentioned a fraction of the film, and there is much more to be said about it, but overall I would give this film a 6/10 for technically being an excellent film lacking in a narrative capacity.

P.S. Tarantino stop with the feet. It made my skin crawl seeing all of the unwashed feet in this film. Would it kill you to write in some socks?


Related Posts
Zu – Warriors of the Magic Mountain (1981)

Yuen Biao plays a champion fencer who disposes of his rivals with startling ability. Biao is also a student, writing an essay on the Ming Dynasty, which is received favorably by his tutor, Read more

Zoolander 2 trailer released

Zoolander is back but a lot has happened since 2001! Rest assured the Ben Stiller comedy features familiar faces and a few new ones with plenty to get you excited. Read more

Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966)

At a dinner party with their wives, NASA scientist Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) reveals to his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) that he has secretly been in communication Read more

Zone Troopers (1985)

In Italy during World War II, an American military patrol discovers a spaceship that has crash-landed in the woods, along with its alien crew. A nearby Nazi unit also Read more

Zone 414 trailer released

Zone 414 is an upcoming American science fiction thriller film written by Bryan Edward Hill and directed by Andrew Baird. The film stars Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Olwen Fouéré, Colin Salmon, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Read more

Zomboat! Episode 6

It is the final episode of Season 1, and as expected following the somewhat calmness of last week's episode this week is about to go off the scale. Our crew Read more

Zomboat! Episode 5

Episode 5 of Zomboat! is the penultimate episode of Season 1 and it gave the audience a chance to catch their breath before the grand finale. Instead of the fast Read more

Zomboat! Episode 4

In Zomboat! Episode 4 we discover that even a shopping trip can be hazardous to your health in post-apocalyptic Birmingham. With the boat moored and apparently safe Amar (Ryan McKen) Read more

Zomboat! Episode 3

After our diversion last week our Zomboat crew begin travelling in the right direction and end up back where they first got on the boat. This also happens to be Read more

Zomboat! Episode 2

Zomboat! burst onto our screens last week and while we loved it we noted that it felt "a bit rushed with lots crammed in." As Episode 2 washed over us Read more

Zomboat! Episode 1

Debuting on ITV2 in the UK, Zomboat! is filmed in the 2.35:1 widescreen ratio of most zombie movies and answers the life long question of what would happen if you Read more

Zomblogalypse trailer released

Homemade horror-comedy feature Zomblogalypse received its UK premiere at Dead Northern Film Festival - in association with Fangoria and Shudder - at City Screen York on 26th September 2021. The Read more

Zombies-Outlive The Undead trailer released

Tony Todd is back in an all new zombie movie: When the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, only the strong will survive, but just how Read more

Zombieland: Doubletap “Keeps Getting Better” featurette released

Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family... Read more

Zombieland 2: Double Tap trailer released

In Zombieland 2: Double Tap, Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of Read more

Zombiegeddon (2003)

Directed by Chris Watson and distributed by Troma Entertainment, Zombiegeddon begins as Satan creates a human-like race called zombies. When the zombies begin taking over the world, dirty cops Jeff Read more

Zombie With A Shotgun trailer released

Zombie With A Shotgun is the feature adaptation of the popular web series of the same name. Aaron and Rachel are on the run due to the fact that Aaron is Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave (2019)

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, Zombie Tidal Wave aims to pick up where the Sharknado franchise left off. More serious in tone, the film plays more like the original Sharknado Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave “Zombie Tsunami” trailer released

It's a Zombie Tsunami! From the same twisted minds behind Sharknado comes an all-new disaster: Zombie Tidal Wave starring Ian Ziering. Watch the world premiere Saturday August 17th at 9/8c Read more

Zombie Fighter official trailer released

11 years ago, a zombie virus killed many people, while others had their family members turned into zombies. Society is still angry, and so outside the city, a zombie fight Read more

%d bloggers like this: