Quentin Tarantino, the ur-Gen X movie geek director, has, for some time, suggested that he wants to make 10 films then retire. (He insists that Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 are one movie, though I remember buying two tickets.) By his count he’s got one more to go, but walking out of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood there’s a feeling of “Gee, what exactly is there left to say?”
There’s a lot to unpack in this two-hour-and-45-minute film, especially when you get past the dead end of counting Margot Robbie’s spoken lines to ascertain if the film respects women. (Lillian Gish didn’t talk much in a lot of her movies either.) These are some topics that kept us buzzing.
Sharon - Tate - Player - Once - Time
That Sharon Tate is a key player in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and doesn’t end up dead isn’t, weirdly, that big of a surprise. Tarantino could never outdo himself in the revisionist history department after Inglourious ****, a movie in which a squad of Jewish American soldiers machinegun Adolf Hitler into hamburger. But going into this film, you kinda-sorta know that the gruesome Tate murders are unlikely to play out as they actually did in August 1969, however the fun (and, yes, it is fun, no disrespect to the families of those who were actually killed) is in watching it play out.
Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth is the ultimate Tarantino hero. He works in movies, but in the most workmanlike department – as a stunt man. He lives behind a drive-in. He spends his days driving around Hollywood doing odd jobs, looking cool, smiling at women (but mostly regarding them from afar). And when duty calls and the job requires it, he can swiftly unleash preposterous amounts of deadly violence. His attack with a can of dog food to prevent...
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