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Once upon a time in Hollywood was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. And this tells the story of Rick Dalton, an actor in the 60s most known for television westerns, and his stunt double Cliff booth played by Pitt and their various misadventures as they tried to remain relevant in the fading Hollywood golden age of 1969. 
If you can tell that a filmmaker is in love with movies, just by watching their movies, those are usually my favourite filmmakers. 
It's one of the reasons Tarantino has always been one of mine. I love how he approaches movies. I love his thoughts on movies. I've been inspired by him as a filmmaker ever since I was young. And I first saw Pulp Fiction on TV, heavily edited, but still very effective. I didn't really know what to expect from this film based off the trailers because they seem like a collection of moments that seemed entertaining, but I wasn't exactly sure what the film was about. 
And as most fans of his films know, sometimes these films don't really seem like they're about any one thing. Sometimes they are just a collection of moments, extremely well written, very well acted, and a great time to watch, which is exactly how I feel about this movie. It's in a way akin to the Big Lebowski. Hold your horses. This is a brand new movie, it's not even out yet. I can't say that. It's something as you know, culturally important, as The Big Lebowski is that film being probably my favourite comedy. But I will liken it to that film in the sense that this feels very much like a laid back chill movie where people kind of hang out and talk, Jackie Brown had a lot of scenes like that, where people were just kind of sitting around. 
It wasn't necessarily about anything. A friend of mine after the screening tonight said that was kind of like Seinfeld. And I can understand why they thought that because in a way, the film doesn't always feel like it has a narrative. And that's one of the things I love about Tarantino is movies don't follow the rules. 
They don't follow classic cinema structure. You can look at his screenplays and think how does he get away with this? And that's what's beautiful about what he does. This is different from everything out there today, as is every Tarantino film that was ever put into a theatre at that time, you can go to this movie, and even if it isn't, hight Tarantino which it's not, this is not his best film or anything. But you can go to this movie and know that it's going to be better than just about everything else out right now. Because it is a friend of mine after the movie said something interesting to me. And I thought about it on the way home and he's completely right. 
A lot of people nowadays are sort of arguing against the Hollywood star, do we really need this super famous person to sell a movie? Not so much anymore. That's obviously a fading thing. We're not seeing as many of these gigantic Hollywood stars anymore. And movies are based around concepts or a genre that everyone loves, or how profitable it can be. But in the case of this movie, in particular, it is a fantastic argument for the Hollywood star because Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt make this movie. So elevated. 
There are scenes where these two characters just sit down and watch an episode of a TV show that they worked on. And the entire shot is just the TV and we're watching the TV show that they're in, and they're waiting to appear. And you hear their commentary in the background, this would not work as well without those two actors doing it. And my friends and I who often do that when we watch movies, we're just very entertained by seeing these two mega stars do the same thing that we do when we sit down and watch something that we're excited about. The film is filled with scenes where characters are just kind of hanging out talking. If the lack of a constantly compelling narrative is an issue for you, you might find this film boring. And there are aspects of the film that did sag a bit. 
The second act does have a lot going on that doesn't really feel like it's of much interest. There's a sequence in which time jumps and an absurd amount of voiceover is required to explain where things are going. Oh, Taryn Tino has done this many times before. And sometimes we give him a pass on that. Because we just say, well, that's just something Tarantino does. Well, yeah, he does. But it's it's also kind of lazy. And there's aspects of the second act that feel like okay, where's this going? Let's let's get back to where we were. I love the first and third act. They are phenomenal. I love watching these characters. I love just about every choice he made with placing them in weird scenes. But throughout the second act, there's a severe lack of tension. That film didn't have enough build up. There's even a scene that felt like it was leading to something in this old house in the middle of the desert, but it just kind of went that I would say is my biggest flaw with this movie is that there is a lack of tension. You go to a Tarantino movie, expecting some things.

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