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Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 60s/Manson movie

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Just watched this and really enjoyed it, feels like Tarantino's most subdued film to date. I think the performances of both leads really pull the film along and I never found myself bored once. Pitt was particularly great, his scenes on the ranch were the best in the film and I enjoyed the flashback involving Bruce Lee (not sure what peoples issue with that scene was, it was fun). I think @Skull Commander is spot on with his analysis of the scene with the little girl too.

 

The one thing I didn't really like was the voice over part, it felt like Tarantino was running out of time so needed to rush the film along to get to the final scenes. However those final scenes were really great.

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3 hours ago, Stigweard said:

Just watched this and really enjoyed it, feels like Tarantino's most subdued film to date. I think the performances of both leads really pull the film along and I never found myself bored once. Pitt was particularly great, his scenes on the ranch were the best in the film and I enjoyed the flashback involving Bruce Lee (not sure what peoples issue with that scene was, it was fun). I think @Skull Commander is spot on with his analysis of the scene with the little girl too.

 

The one thing I didn't really like was the voice over part, it felt like Tarantino was running out of time so needed to rush the film along to get to the final scenes. However those final scenes were really great.


Agree with all of this, but the problem people had with the Bruce Lee scene is, there is no record of Lee being beaten up by a stunt man. Lee is a real human being, and master of craft, so its not really cool to use him as a character device. Imagine your uncle was an undefeated and lifelong master of physical combat, and someone wrote a fantasy of kicking his ass. Its just not cool.

Bruce Lee was an actual person, with an actual family and heritage. Which QT disrespected to write a fantasy sequence. I'm not entirely sure thats ok. 

I should caveat by saying I Love this film more than I have loved a QT film since Inglorious.

 

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Spoiler

Sharon Tate also survives this movie and Hilter gets blasted in the face in IB. He has a habit of changing history and makig things up so I'm not sure it really matters if he made up a Brice Lee story. Didn't really bother me anyway, I found it quite fun.

 

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The Bruce Lee scene was like something from a sketch show when you have Kurt Russell and Zoe Bell turn up yelling at Brad Pitt, it’s so clunky. It felt like something that wasn’t funny enough to warrant being in the film really, as cool as it was to see a very good lookalike, the surprise which was ruined for most people anyway. Like with Tarantino throwing himself and his terrible Aussie accent into Django at the end, he probably thought.. whatever. 
 

The trailer makes it seem the film is packed to the brim with fun stuff. With every film i watch i think; is this the absolute best version of this film based on this story that could have been made? Once Upon A Time In Hollywood comes nowhere near that for me. 

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Quote

China blocked the October theatrical release of “Hollywood” for unspecified reasons, although it was understood the government had an issue with the film’s controversial Bruce Lee scene. Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon reportedly filed a complaint to China’s National Film Administration due to Tarantino’s portrayal of her father, a national hero in China. Tarantino refused to edit the Bruce Lee scene out in order to secure a theatrical release in China.

 

Indiewire

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It’s gentle ribbing at best though. And no historical figure should be treated as a sacred cow that’s beyond a bit of parody. Tarantino said that he had read interviews with Bruce Lee where he came across as a bit of an arrogant Hollywood type, so why not have some fun with that.

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3 minutes ago, Raoull duke said:

She should also file a complaint about their persecution of the Uyghur people or some of their enumerable other crimes against humanity. 

Indeed .

 

Fuck China and fuck anyone that bows down to their horrible and cruel regime, just to make more money.

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2 hours ago, Bazjam said:

It’s gentle ribbing at best though. And no historical figure should be treated as a sacred cow that’s beyond a bit of parody. Tarantino said that he had read interviews with Bruce Lee where he came across as a bit of an arrogant Hollywood type, so why not have some fun with that.

 

Also that scene is remembered from Cliffs perspective, its entire plausible he's remembering it differently to how it actually went down.

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11 hours ago, Stigweard said:

 

Also that scene is remembered from Cliffs perspective, its entire plausible he's remembering it differently to how it actually went down.

This has blown my mind not just a little bit.

This isn't a great film, but its a film I sort of love more and more.

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1 hour ago, kerraig UK said:

This has blown my mind not just a little bit.

This isn't a great film, but its a film I sort of love more and more.

 

He definitely seems the type to tell people he fought Bruce Lee and won, when in reality he could have easily just been a prick and got his arse handed to him but he doesn't remember it like that at all. In his head, all he sees is himself in a fight with Lee.

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4 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

 

He definitely seems the type to tell people he fought Bruce Lee and won, when in reality he could have easily just been a prick and got his arse handed to him but he doesn't remember it like that at all. In his head, all he sees is himself in a fight with Lee.


I love this read so much. Never occurred to me.But you're so right.

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Brad Pitt's character in this is quite similar to Tyler Durden. He's this ultra virile male fantasy figure that the other lead (Ed Norton / Leo) would like to be. He's also got the toxic masculinity aspects. In Fight Club he's revealed to be the antagonist and Chuck Palahniuk's point is to trick the reader/viewer into idolising him, then pulling the rug out. But in OUATIH the message seems to be "wouldn't it have been great if this guy with capacity for extreme violence was around to protect Sharon Tate instead of that Jay Sebring sap?" In both stories he's kind of imagined - either an expression of Ed Norton's psyche, or a fictional character inserted into a historical situation.

 

I can see how some people find his character problematic. He's a cool, capable, good-looking guy, yet he's clearly violent and may have killed his henpecking wife. I don't think Tarantino gives a fuck about all that - Pitt's character is designed to be provocative and controversial.

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I think that, much like Inglorious, this film will age really well and become loved more and more as time goes on.

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2 hours ago, Pob said:

Brad Pitt's character in this is quite similar to Tyler Durden. He's this ultra virile male fantasy figure that the other lead (Ed Norton / Leo) would like to be. He's also got the toxic masculinity aspects. In Fight Club he's revealed to be the antagonist and Chuck Palahniuk's point is to trick the reader/viewer into idolising him, then pulling the rug out. But in OUATIH the message seems to be "wouldn't it have been great if this guy with capacity for extreme violence was around to protect Sharon Tate instead of that Jay Sebring sap?" In both stories he's kind of imagined - either an expression of Ed Norton's psyche, or a fictional character inserted into a historical situation.

 

I can see how some people find his character problematic. He's a cool, capable, good-looking guy, yet he's clearly violent and may have killed his henpecking wife. I don't think Tarantino gives a fuck about all that - Pitt's character is designed to be provocative and controversial.

 

Both leads represent archetypes, tropes, rumours and anecdotes about Hollywood personalities throughout the ages - it's kind of like taking Hollywood Babylon, and deliberately treating it as truth rather than sketchy and tawdry.

 

So the Bruce Lee section is one of the more obviously, "Once Upon a Time..." bullshit sections, but the 'Wife on the Boat' segment is actually quite similar to circumstances around the death of Natalie Wood.

 

This deliberate playing around with 'rumour as fact' makes the film for me. As I keep saying, it's right there in the title! It's a ludicrous fable that doesn't attempt to be realistic, or accurate, in any way. It's a mostly plotless, ambling cruise through the myth that is Hollywood - so, so good. 

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Wait...I interpreted the Bruce Lee bit to be Cliff day dreaming, it hard cuts to him on the roof doing Rick’s dirty work rather than being on set. 
 
That was why it was so ott.

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When it ends he shrugs to himself and says "fair enough". I saw it in the cinema like half a dozen times. Every time it played a little differently for me. It could be

  • Him accurately recalling the events that led to him being kicked off set. What a badass. He sure does also happen to have that well trained monster of a dog. Would be mighty unwise of any hippies to cross this guy. Manson enters the scene.
  • Him recalling events as an unreliable narrator and making more from it than what actually happened, as he goes back to his menial labour. 
  • He was never even put in wardrobe at all, he had a little day dream while soaking up some LA sun and drinking a beer. He's just copping to the fact that he actually did kill his wife. No hard feelings Kurt.

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Tarantino now wants to make Bounty Law, the western show in the movie. He says he's written 5 half-hour episodes and wants to direct them all.

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43 minutes ago, Bazjam said:

Watched this for my third time tonight. Think this may actually be my favourite Tarantino film.


You should definitely watch Reservoir Dogs as you obviously haven't seen it.

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25 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


You should definitely watch Reservoir Dogs as you obviously haven't seen it.

Many many times.

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21 minutes ago, Waggo said:

I have seen Reservoir Dogs and prefer OUATIH.  Favourite QT film though is Kill Bill part 1.

 

Probably mine too. But OUATIH is up there with it for me.

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