★★★★ | One Upon A Time In Hollywood

Brad Pitt star in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Nutshell – Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio together for almost three hours and one of them goes shirtless… not enough? Well, this is Quentin Tarantino’s 9th and apparently, his penultimate movie a homage to the last Golden days of Hollywood, set in 1969 with the Manson murders of Sharon Tate & friends washing around in the background. Two hours of fantastically nostalgic beautiful cinematography & set dressing followed by some standard Tarantino blood lust at the denouement making it possibly the directors weirdest film to date. Leo is a fading movie star and Pitt is his stuntman. The former lives in the Hollywood Hills right next to a house just let to Mr Polanski and Ms Tate,

Running Time – 161 Minutes so bring a cushion – Cert – 18, and yes you get plenty of language and violence for your buck.

Tagline – ‘The 9th Film From Quentin Tarantino’ yes that is what they are going with to get you through the doors.

The Gay UK Factor – The two leading men are and have always been gay icons and eye candy ever since we saw the unknown Brad’s abs in Thelma & Louise where he was playing an escort (we should be so lucky) and DiCaprio ‘s hair was wafting in the wind of a certain sinking ship. In many ways, they have never looked fitter than they do in this film and the camera lingers on every part of their body with a gorgeous soft glow throughout especially their (and everyone’s else feet) which has always been a kink of QT’s so heaven for foot fetishists everywhere. Brad Pitt has an elongated shirtless scene which is a distinct highlight and later LDC jumps into the pool to compete for you masturbatory fantasies.

Cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie (Hugely underused), Emile Hersh, Dakota Fanning plus cameos from Bruce Dern, Al Pacino & Damian Lewis and the very sexy hunks that are Luke Perry & Timothy Olyphant.

Key Player – This is the writer, director & co-producer show and if you like QT then you have been waiting for his new movie for a while, if not a fan then the weird structure here may not convert you. It is definitely his most beautiful but is it lazy, overlong or indulgent… probably a bit of both.

Budget – $90 Million and you often wonder how he produces such a fantastic 1969 look right throughout the film so cheaply, simply it looks a lot more expensive. QT films always make money (except the niche Jackie Brown) and at double the cost at the Box Office already then this is a hit but will it out gross Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained we think that running time and confusing word of mouth may halt it?

Best Bit 1.28 mins; A very tense and languid confrontation between Pitt’s stunt man character and some of the Manson families followers on their derelict ranch home. As this film is not factual you don’t really know where this or other scenes are going and it is all the better for that. Rewriting history could be not big and not clever but it sure works here.

Worst Bit – 0.40 mins; The Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski scenes are a bit undercooked and feel tacked on although they are of course vital to the film. Sharon has a long drawn out visit to a cinema to see a movie she is starring in which is certainly where the editor’s scissors should have started to maybe bring this marathon movie down under two hours.

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Little Secret – This maybe QT’s ‘9th film’ according to publicity but in fact, he has 22 directing credits and even more writing credits at 30… he has acted in 37 movies but it is difficult to remember any of them as he is not gonna give Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his money. Most of his films are 18 Certificate including this one.

We checked the most successful 18 movies in History and found that there is only one ‘Horror’ film in the top 20 (Hannibal) the rest are made up of films there sometimes for violence but most commonly for swearing and the number one 18 Cert adult film of all time surprisingly is The Wolf Of Wall Street… no sex, no violence, no horror just Leo DiCaprio’s filthy mouth did his Mum not wash it out with soap enough when he was young.

Further Viewing – Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, The Hateful 8, Kill Bill 1 and 2, Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained you get the idea plus anything by Robert Rodriguez or Chris Nolan, Helter Skelter, The Manson family, The Black Dahlia, Hollywoodland and in fact any film that glorifies Hollywood’s past from Sunset Boulevard right through to La La Land.

Any Good – Is it Tarantino’s best? No, but it is certainly way ahead of most other movies and a pleasant change to endless sequels and instantly recognisable blockbuster fare. In one word this is Art and it is not about making money although it will do that. Its structure is strange the longest build-up in cinema history slowly VERY SLOWLY introducing us to all its characters as they head into the last 30-minute typical Tarantinoesque showdown which is a major shot to the gut when the style change finally arrives.

This reviewer is not the biggest QT fan but we enjoyed it more than any of the other eight but it is not for everyone as we said at the top this film is weird. If he directs another film it will be a Star Trek of all things and we hope he does as we cannot wait to see what he makes of a sci-fi franchise but we bet Kirk calls Spock a fucking big-eared c..t at some point as they get beamed up.

Rating – 74/100