Tarantino is a name that instantly evokes an emotion. Maybe you love him, maybe you hate him, but you’re more likely to land on one of those extremes than in the middle. For us, we’re pretty firmly in the love him category. Not every movie lands, but we love his style and were excited when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was announced.
Leading up to the film’s release we just got more and more hype. The trailers all looked good. Early reviews were positive. As filmgoers, we know by now to keep our expectations at least a little in check so we were excited but not like CRAZY. Good news for us, because neither of us liked the movie all that much.
It’s not that the movie was bad per se. There were hints of things that we were enjoying, but everything felt dialed back in order to make room for something else. Both the story of Rick/Cliff and the Manson family story felt under developed just so there would be time for the other. And for as long a movie as it is (2h41m) it really feels like nothing happens. So there’s two interesting storylines that never develop which hurt the other by simply existing.
It’s not a total loss. The performances as you might expect are excellent, it’s well shot, and Tarantino’s writing as usual is whip smart. Unfortunately the way it all came together was a disappointment. So grab yourself and acid-soaked cigarette and settle in for today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!