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Topic: Once Upon a Time.. In Hollywood (SPOILERS begin Pg 2) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Phil Kreisel
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Joined: 03 February 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1666
Posted: 05 September 2019 at 11:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

My wife and I saw this last night (she was out of town for the last few weeks).  I'm totally glad that I avoided reading any reviews of the film, as we were both pleasantly surprised as to how the summer August night played out.

Since there is a spoiler alert, it's nice to know that in some alternative universe, Tate and company are alive and well at the start of the 1970s.

We were very familiar with events associated with the Manson family, which for the most part was keeping to the facts up to the third act.  I wonder whether theatre-goers (especially those under 30) would get al lot of the references.  We were going to take my 28 year old son with us, but he decided not to go at the last minute.  

The only other thing that took me briefly out of the moment was Dakota Fanning as Squeaky Fromme.  Dakota's a bit "thicker" than Squeaky was, but I'm only going by old photos.  Since Squeaky tried to assassinate Ford, I've got to assume she was pretty tough.

I loved the interweving of factual events with the DiCapio/Pitt characters throughout the film.  For a nearly 3 hour film, it moved along at a good clip.
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Thomas Price
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Joined: 02 September 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 15
Posted: 06 September 2019 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Not my favorite Tarantino film, but pretty high up there.  I had avoided spoilers, so that 'twist' was unexpected.  I was a bit taken aback, at first, on such a re-write of history, but then the premise of the title clicked into place.

My only real complaint is that I would have preferred more focus on Pitt's seedy and possibly sinister stunt man than DiCaprio's has-been actor.  Some of the recreations of 60s TV shows dragged on and didn't have much purpose beyond virtuosity.  A minor quibble though in an otherwise pretty darn good film.
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Rob Ocelot
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Joined: 07 December 2008
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Posted: 06 September 2019 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I loved this film, but I think this was because I walked into it with no preconceptions, other than a knowledge of the era it's set in and the broad strokes of the characters in the film.

A friend with me (a self-professed Tarantino fan) disliked it.   She said she was expecting a 'Tarantino flim' and I counter argued that's what we got -- except she was expecting Hippie Pulp Fiction with a detailed recreation of a famous murder at the end.   She didn't like Inglorious Basterds either, precisely because she couldn't reconcile the alt-history aspects of that film so I guess OUATIH was already going to push the wrong buttons with her from the get go.

She also said she felt bored during the film because she was waiting for some crazy shocking out of the blue thing to happen (again, shades of PF) which never did.   She used the example of the scene on the boat with Cliff and his wife -- she wanted to see Cliff definitively kill her in gory detail.  

It's completely not the point of the scene or why the film focuses on that aspect of Cliff's personal life.   It's left ambigious because you, the audience are supposed to make up your own mind as to the truth (much like the other characters in the film) -- and in a way it's kind of an audience personality test courtesy of Mr. Tarantino.   

Two different viewers will have two different ideas as to what 'really happened' and their perception will colour how you view Cliffs actions at the end of the film.   Is he a misunderstood reluctant hero who steps up to the occasion?  Or is he a murderer who redeems himself?  Both?  Neither?   

It's amazing how much the flavour of the film changes based on your perception of that crucial scene on the boat.   It says as much about the 'Tarantino fans' who apparently don't like the bulk of his work as it does about the people who snap to a quick judgement about what kind of person you are when you tell them you enjoy Tarantino films.

He knew that people would be walking into this film with specific expectations, based on his name and reputation and of the leaked subject matter of the film.   Quentin's no different than the character of Cliff in that respect -- you either pigeonhole him as a maker of violent, sometimes gory films or you recognize him for his appreciation for the art and history of cinema.   


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 06 September 2019 at 12:01pm
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Daniel Gillotte
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Joined: 11 October 2005
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Posts: 1982
Posted: 18 September 2019 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I loved this film. It's detailed and obsessively detailed look at this time and place was a delight. I,too LOVE that Manson himself is shown to be the piece of crap slimeball he was and given next to NO screen time. And his "family" are shown to be mixed up and creepy and scummy all at once. I was surprised just how affecting it was for the ending to happen the way it did. For the good guys to "win". BUT, the graphic violence at the end especially against the females was horrific, too even if they deserved it.

I really think Tarantino is on an interesting path with this, Inglorious Basterds and Django. He's basically creating a better alternate universe ending for some of the worst atrocities of the last 150 years.

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