On “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”
First, I find the film incredibly long. That seems to be a pseudo staple for QT these days but for what reason? I suppose he is giving us a story as opposed to the Russo Brothers Infinity War, which was long and centered only on fight after fight as opposed to the people or its characters. (Probably why when we get to the end of it I gave zero shits about who died – though I will say that Endgame did help make up for this... though it may just be because they had a story structure.)
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was enjoyable in its portrayal of the “New Hollywood” era, plus DiCaprio and Pitt are excellent, as usual, in their performances. I respect Tarantino for not sensationalizing Manson and instead making it his own thing. Though a friend of mine thought the ending violence to be a bit too much and extreme, and we both attributed this feeling to possibly being our age. Though, I do agree somewhat, I was mostly okay with it. It did make me cringe, sure, but when these things are happening to people like a fictional representation of Tex Watson or Susan Atkins, who in reality discussed having told the pregnant wife of (rapist) film director Roman Polanski that she may as well face it, she's going to die, after she begged them that she just wanted to have her baby. When this happens to someone on camera (because of the inability to change reality) it phases me only slightly and I sit here hoping that Tarantino's fairy tale were the true story.
(Maybe this is my opening and chance to make Once Upon A Time In L.A. wherein we all watch a fairy tale version of what should have happened to Polanski in 1977 and 1978 instead of him fleeing the country.)
Overall, I find that the film is enjoyable, the way Tarantino builds suspense on the Spahn Ranch is a contender with some of the very best in horror films.
But what did we learn from this?
-Don't overstay your welcome... the length didn't make up for it... some old advice on writing states that if the screenplay can still function without the scene, then you don't need it... I don't believe that is necessarily true, every writer makes their exceptions, but there seems to be a lot of scenes in this that honestly don't push the story further. So make sure to “Kill Your Darlings”. You may love the scene but at nearly 180 minutes in runtime, I am okay not watching someone drive for the entire length of a song on the radio... (Tarkovsky is the exception... he will always be the exception.)
-Please don't CGI... Tarantino very rarely ever does, and it shows... in a good way... Absolutely beautiful.