Kathy vs. T.K.’s View of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – Rated R – 2 hrs. 41 mins.

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“Expertly crafted from its first frame to its last, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s finest use of screen time to date!”  Kathy Kaiser – MatineeChat.com

 

This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser and is SPOILER FREE

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – Rated R – 2 hrs. 41 mins.

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Quentin Tarantino

STARRING:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, and Bruce Dern

As we visit LA circa 1969, the television and film industries are in the midst of big changes, as TV and film Star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes fixated on his fledging career.  When Rick’s stunt double, and bff Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) steps in to help Rick navigate his way, as they find that their fictional lives on screen, are about to intersect with the reality of their everyday lives…

I rate Once Upon A Time In Hollywood a DEFINITE MUST SEE ON THE THE BIG SCREEN!

Yep, all the hype about Tarantino’s 9th film is totally warranted, as it basks you in the nostalgia and vibe of days gone by.   Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is definitely Tarantino’s finest use of screen time to date, as he manages to embody all the sights, sounds and ambiance of movie making, into one expertly crafted ode to Hollywood.

From his creative genius in casting Pitt opposite DiCaprio, to selecting the beautiful and equally talented Margot Robbie to play real-life actress Sharon Tate, to his slew of supporting cast phenoms who brought fabulous performances to this joy ride too –  Tarantino manages to extract exceptional performances across the board, creating a truly masterful tale every step of the way.

I was also amazed by the way this film effortlessly entwines fictional characterizations with the harsh realities of its depicted “era in time“, as it literally manages to exude frame after frame of sometimes intense, yet other times hilarious moments onto the screen.

Coming from a person who either absolutely loves Tarantino’s work (Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards), or refuses to ever sit through them again, (Kill Bill, The Hateful Eight), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood totally enticed me this time around, with its perfectly developed characters, and expertly constructed storyline.  Once again Tarantino’s innate masterfulness for infusing his fictional mindset, with real-life events, makes his latest creation seamlessly flow in a way, we may never see again.

But with all the accolades that I will continue to bestow upon this incredible creation even after I release this review ~ I would be remiss if I didn’t share too ~  that I felt there were a few scenes that beckoned to be edited, as they seemed to drag on a bit too long, taking away some of the finesse for those particular depictions on screen,  But, even  with the acknowledgment of those few slight flaws for me, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is still my favorite film for 2019 so far…and make sure you stay put until the credits are through, as you don’t want to miss the last frames of this f-ing fabulous film!

 

This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Rated R – 2 hr. 41 mins     

Director:  Quentin Tarantino

Cast:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

NO SPOILERS BELOW

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD is Quentin Tarantino’s 9th film and just like the rest of his films, it doesn’t disappoint, but I am one of the very few people that does not agree with most fans when it comes to this movie being his best film to date.  There is absolutely NO WAY it is better than PULP FICTION!!! I think this is a perfect example of how the hype for an upcoming movie has made it “more” than what it truly is. I love all of Quentin’s movies and they’re all special in their own way, but to say this one is the best of the bunch is wrong in my humble opinion.  That being said, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD does deliver on the following: cast performances, costumes, story, soundtrack, and direction. It’s hard to pinpoint why I’m not as taken with ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD, but if I was forced to really look at why it doesn’t reach as high on my Tarantino list as his other films I would have to say its because the length of the film is so long.  There are moments in this film that are not necessary to drive the story forward. They seem to be there only for the sole purpose of playing more music and to see people driving in cars really fast. You shave off some of that time and I would bet you dollars to donuts that this movie goes up a few notches on my list of Tarantino movies. No more negative, I hate negative comments when it comes to a film that I really enjoyed.  Let’s talk about something fun instead like the star studded cast because that was my favorite part of ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD. I’m going to begin with Margot Robbie. She does a great job of being both innocent and true to a real-life person that suffered such a horrific fate. Her performance is an extremely sweet tribute to Sharon Tate and I think she would’ve been very pleased with the way it turned out. Moreover, Margot is eye poppingly beautiful.  You cannot take your eyes off her when she is on the screen and that has to do with not only her beauty, but the late 60s early 70s clothes she wears. As for our other two leads of this film, Brad and Leo are amazing together. Their chemistry is phenomenal, and they just jump off the screen. It’s surprising they have never worked together before, but I guarantee you this will not be the last time they do. It can’t be. They’re just too damn good. Both of them are hilarious and if I’m allowed one minor spoiler, for the first time since 1993, I got to see one of my favorite Brad Pitt characters of all time…Floyd from TRUE ROMANCE made an ever so slight appearance through Brad’s acting at the end of this film.  It’s brief. It’s probably not intentional. I may be the only one that notices it and it’s only a few lines and a small giggle, but Floyd returned, and I loved it. So, thank you Brad and Quentin. As for Leo – he is a movie star, plain and simple. The guy just gets the job done every time and the audience walks away being satisfied. It’s incredible to see just how far he has come throughout his career and he just keeps getting better and better. It’s definitely a high compliment when Martin Scorsese even says Leo rejuvenated his career as a director.  The guy is 100% acting gold and I love watching all of his movies.  My suggestion for ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD is to go see it in theaters.  I will warn you, it’s very long and does take awhile to get you hooked, but it’s still worth going to see in theaters.  Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – Stick around during the credits for a Quentin Tarantino Easter egg credit scene.

 

THE REVENANT ~ Rated R

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“I ain’t afraid to die anymore…I done it already.”

Based on the 2002 Michael Punke novel by the same name, and written and directed by Academy Award Winning Director Alejandro González Iñárritu ~ we embark upon an epic tale of adventure, torture, betrayal and survival ~ as lived by real-life trapper & frontiersman Hugh Glass ~ THIS IS THE REVENANT!!!

The time of 1820 ~ as we meet frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DeCaprio), who is leading a trapping expedition through the wilderness of the great Northwest.   When his team ends up in the midst of a battle against a local Indian tribe, Glass, his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), and comrades Capt. Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), and a few other of their comrades, barely make it out of with their lives…

Striving to make it to the nearest manned Fort, Glass and the others attempt to find the nearest manned Fort, to seek refuge from the cold. While on excursion for food, Glass is mauled by a massive Grizzly, and barely survives the attack. When Glass unexplainably survives, the men attempt to carry him through the wilderness, only to find that this scenario may be the demise of them all. As the good Captain must come to terms with the option of saving one man, or loosing many, he decides to retain a few of his men to keep a watchful eye over Glass until he meets with his ultimate demise, when they can provide a proper burial…

When it seems that death is eminent, Fitzgerald and Bridger (Will Poulter) leave Glass for dead, and head into the wilderness to find the others…

Bound and determined to survive, but without any supplies, or a gun for that matter, Glass struggles to heal from his wounds, as he forges his way back to civilization through hundreds of miles frozen tundra ~ hell bent on making Fitzgerald pay for killing his son, and leaving him too for dead…

I give THE REVENANT a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN: Even though frontiersman and Indians aren’t really a storyline I gravitate to, this true story of betrayal, torture and an epic will to survive, compounded with some of the most extraordinary cinematography I have seen in a very long time, made this FILM a MUST SEE FOR ME.   DeCaprio’s portrayal of Glass is sheer PERFECTION in every way ~ this is by far HIS BEST WORK yet ~ very deserving of his Golden Globe Nod for BEST ACTOR for depicting Glass, as I am sure that his ACADEMY AWARD Nomination for this role is right around the corner as well. Tom Hardy is outstanding too as his rival Fitzgerald, which brings to light just how powerful Inarritu must be with his Directing, as it seems he can bring out a BEST PERFORMANCE in all of the actors he works with ~ does anyone remember a little known film by the name of BIRDMAN, and it’s lead actor MICHAEL KEATON from last year’s award season ~ I must share too, that if you think the that this film is graphically violent in nature from watching the trailer ~ IT IS ~ so don’t say I didn’t warn you… but, there is also so much raw emotion and gripping storyline conveyed on screen by DeCaprio, the breathtakingly beautiful cinematography, and the amazing soundtrack of this film, that I had to name THE REVENANT as MY PICK for the #1 FILM OF 2015!!!

Kathy Kaiser