I just got back from seeing Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. (Or Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood. Some versions of the title include the ellipsis, some don’t.) (And yes, I saw it on the 25th. Even though all the publicity says its official u.s. release is the 26th. Go figure.)
I don’t want to say too much, because spoilers. But I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a movie this much.
I mean, I do have some issues with it. From a feminist standpoint it’s actually pretty crap. I might talk about that later. But there’s a lot about it that’s really great – and not just because it hits my L.A. nostalgia buttons (though it does).
I’m usually not too averse to spoilers, but I’m glad I went into this movie not knowing much about the plot. I mean, I knew that it had something to do with a has-been movie actor and his stunt double, and that it also had something to do with Sharon Tate and the Manson Family murders. And those things are fine to know going in. Indeed, if you don’t know anything about Tate or the Manson Family, you’ll get a lot less enjoyment out of the movie, so I’d advise you to look up the basic details before seeing it. But it’s best to know nothing about the movie beyond that, going in.
I’ve seen a number of forgettable movies lately. I mean, literally forgettable. As in: the other day I saw some reference to Men In Black: International, and I thought, “Oh, I’m sorry I missed seeing that when it was in theatres.” And then I remembered that I actually did see it. And pretty much enjoyed it. Thor / Valkyrie team-up, cool. But it obviously didn’t make much of a lasting impact. (Of course that might say as much about my decaying brain cells as about the movie. Or maybe they used one of those devices on me.) After seeing Captain Marvel I was enthusiastically recommending it to friends; and while I certainly haven’t forgotten seeing it, I have a hard time remembering why I was so enthusiastic. But I feel pretty sure this one will stick with me.
Tarantino has said that if things don’t work out with his Star Trek project, this might be his last movie. I hope it’s not; but if it is, it would be a fine note to go out on.
Incidentally: the movie has a mid-credits scene, so you should stay for that. (Actually you should always stay through the entire credits of any movie, be there bonus scenes or not, because it spoils the mood to walk out early; but that’s another discussion.)
I have a couple of more spoilerific things I want to say, so I’ve buried them in the comments below.