Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) Movie Review

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino

Plot: 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.


Tagline – The 9th Film from Quentin Tarantino.

Runtime: 2 Hours 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Look at Hollywood

Story: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood starts as we head to Hollywood in 1969, television actor Rik Dalton (DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) as we follow Rick trying to put his career back on track, he is shown the reality of his situation through his agent Marvin Schwarz (Pacino). Rick must face his own future in the business when he learns that Sharon Tate (Robbie) and Roman Polanski have moved into the house next door to him.

As we follow the three around LA, Rick working on another television appearance, Sharon watching her own movie in a theatre and Cliff stumbling in to the Spahn ranch where he once worked that has been overtaken by the hippies control be Charles Manson. With Hollywood being the home for dreams, Rick, Cliff and Sharon will end up having a night that will change their lives forever.

Thoughts on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Characters – Rick Dalton was once the star of a popular television show, now his show is cancelled, he has been left to work on guest spots usually playing the villain, the film roles have dried up and he must rely on Cliff to drive him around LA, he knows he is better than what he is getting and does believe that he will one day get a big role, he is a great look at how actors can see their careers turn into a rollercoaster in Hollywood. Cliff Booth is the stuntman for Rick, he helps drive him around town too, with he two being best friends. When he isn’t helping Rick, he cruises around town and isn’t far from breaking the law once again, he does seem grounded in this world and isn’t afraid to get into a fight, including challenging Bruce Lee. Sharon Tate is the beautiful actress that was on the rise to stardom, she parties with her husband and friend Jay and is the talk of the town. As for the rest of the characters, we meet actors of the era, on set members that help or hinder the roles for both Rick or Cliff and members of the Manson family.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio proves once again that he can become any character he wants with a performance that shows that he could be an actor trying to be an actor and know just how to play this role. Brad Pitt steals the movie with the personification of cool in every single scene he is in, the laidback nature and the relationship he has with his dog, just makes you want to see more of him. Margot Robbie looks perfect for the role of Sharon Tate, she doesn’t put a foot wrong even if she doesn’t end up having a big of a role that we are made to believe.

StoryThe story here follows an actor suffering with a career identification that teams up with his stuntman to go in search for the next career move, all with the background of the growing actions of the Manson Family. This is a story that does feel misleading at times, firstly because it felt like it should be heavily about the Manson family murders, while instead that is just the background story, while we are much more focal on the idea that an actor is trying to rebuild his career. This does make everything feel more entertaining though, because we get to flashback to certain life decisions which might have left the characters in the position they find themselves in. if you are a fan of 60s Hollywood, you will get plenty out of this story which will be filled with references for the golden era of Hollywood.

ComedyThe comedy in this film flows through how Rick and Cliff get involved in everything, we will get laughs through certain things, without it being a laugh out loud comedy.

SettingsThe settings for the film truly do put us back into the 1960 Hollywood era, be it the sets, the streets, the vehicles or the houses, it truly feels like we are there.


Scene of the Movie – Cliff visits the ranch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – What is Tarantino’s obsession with feet.

Final Thoughts This is an truly entertaining Tarantino movie, it pays tons of respect to the golden era of Hollywood and will keep you laughing along the way.

Overall: Entertaining Respect to Hollywood.

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Blue Iguana (2018)

Director: Hadi Hajaig

Writer: Hadi Hajaig (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Phoebe Fox, Ben Schwartz, Peter Ferdinando, Peter Polycarpou, Al Weaver, Robin Hellier

 

Plot: Ex-jailbirds Eddie and Paul are on parole and working in a New York diner. Their lives are a dead end. That is, until English lawyer Katherine Rookwood walks into the diner with an offer they can’t refuse.


Tagline – Mullets. Bullets. And One Gem of a Heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky Crime Comedy

 

Story: Blue Iguana starts when to ex-cons in New York Eddie (Rockwell) and Paul (Schwartz) are hired by a timid English lawyer Katherine (Fox) to do a job in England, it should be simple in their strength, only things don’t go to plan when local criminal Deacon (Ferdinando) gets involved throwing everything out the window.

To get revenge Katherine brings Eddie a new plan which will be a larger pay day and could set both sides up for life, can they pull off this job with their different mindsets.

 

Thoughts on Blue Iguana

 

Characters – Eddie is a thief out on parole working in a diner in New York, he is trying to go straight only for his latest job offer to take him across the sea to England. When it comes to making the deal, he is the smartest one of the pairing, he handles the combat better than anyone else on his team and is willing to say no if the deal doesn’t suit. Katherine is a timid lawyer that hires the two men to get a job done, she is strict with her rules and wants to get her own back on the people she is planning on stealing from, for some reason we have her eating in nearly every scene. Paul is the partner of Eddie, he is quicker to say yes, not knowing the art of the deal, he talks a lot more which can get them in trouble. Deacon is a local pub owner with plenty of criminal activities going on, he sports a proud mullet which sees him be aggressive towards anyone that fails him, even if he must answer to his own boss.

PerformancesSam Rockwell is front and centre of in this film, he is clearly the best part of the movie. Phoebe Fox is entertaining because she makes her character feel uncomfortable in the world she is entering, which adds the layers to her character. Ben Schwartz is meant to play a lot of comic relief, sometimes it works other times it just gets annoying. Peter Ferdinando makes the for villainous criminal with ease.

StoryThe story follows two Americans that get hired to complete a job in England which sees them put a team together to rob a diamond to help a timid lawyer getting her own back the mod boss that has put her through hell. This is a heist crime movie that does follow the traditions well, we try to give each character their own unique quirk which in certain moments does add to the comedy, in other times it just makes the story feel like it is dragging along. The world created is filled with the criminal world characters that does play into the story well, while seeing how each side operates gives us an insight into just how much it means to the characters involved.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film follows how the crime gets completed which is mostly fights when needed, they do work and make sense, the criminal world we enter does show us how everybody operates. The comedy is the biggest hit or miss which is disappointing in most places.

SettingsThe film is set in London which gets a chance to bring us British gangster humour for the most part, it shows the shady locations criminals would act in.


Scene of the Movie –
The Tottenham references.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The relentless eating scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun easy to watch crime comedy that gets plenty of British humour going on throughout, it is simple enough when it comes to story which isn’t going the bring anything new to the heist genre.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating