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Blu-ray review: ALPHAVILLE
Blu-ray Review- POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU
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Movie Review: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
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PHOTOGRAPHY
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Movie Review by David Blackwell

161 minutes, Rated R
STUDIO: Sony/ Columbia pictures/ Heyday Films/ Bona Film Group
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 7-26-2019
Washed up Western actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) has ended up being a heavy guest star/ day player on several TV shows in the 1960s after his TV show BOUNTY LAW and his movie career has dried up. A casting agent (Al Pacino) wants him to go to Italy to make Westerns. Rick is suffering from ongoing alcoholism and confidence issues which his friend/ stunt double/ driver Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is trying boost Rick's confidence. Meanwhile, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her husband Roman Polanski the director move in next door to Rick. While Rick is playing the bad guy in the pilot for the Western show Lancer, Cliff has an encounter with Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) that leads Cliff to meet several members of the Charles Manson cult (aka the Manson Family) who are staying at the Spahn Ranch where BOUNTY LAW used to shoot years ago. Cliff becomes suspicious of the squatting hippies/ cult members and he wants to talk with the now blind George Spahn (Bruce Dern). Meanwhile, Sharon Tate goes to buy a book and watch her performance in her latest movie THE WRECKING CREW.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is more about the 1969 setting of Los Angeles/ Hollywood and the various characters (real and fictional) than having an actual central plot to follow. Writer/ director Quentin Tarantino has crafted his ninth movie as a fairy tale love letter to the old days of Hollywood. Brad Pitt and some of the female actors are the real stand outs in the movie while Leonardo DiCaprio isn't as good as he was as a white plantation owner in DJANGO UNCHAINED. It is an enjoyable movie that is fun to be sucked in by the production design and attention to detail while the movie does go on a little long, but it doesn't feel as long as the overlong THE HATEFUL EIGHT (which ran on for 30 minutes too long and its inspiration THE GREAT SILENCE is a better film). ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD does continue Tarantino's love affair with old time Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s as the movie shifts between clips of fictional show BOUNTY LAW (which Tarantino even wrote five episodes of as research while writing the movie script and wants to do a short eight episode series of), TANNER (one of Dalton's Westerns), and LANCER being played partly as an actual Western/ filming the pilot; and Clive Booth being a Western type hero having his encounter with the Manson family (who are like Western bad guys).

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD isn't Tarantino's worst, but it isn't classic Tarantino either when the movie decides to play loose with history in the third act like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS did to better effect with World War 2. I am wondering what Tarantino will do with what may or may not be his tenth and final movie (with a possible sidetrack journey to direct an R rated STAR TREK movie is another discussion waiting and just not in this review). 1969 Hollywood feels like another character in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD where the setting makes you feel like you're living that time. It is a welcome alternative to a movie summer dominated by sequels and remakes.

This review is (c) 7-27-2019 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and check for further content at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com