First off, I just want to say that it’s no fun to have to make a review like this.
First off, I just want to say that it’s no fun to have to make a review like this.
– Okay, biggest movie
controversy of all time? Could Jack have fit on that
door at the end of ‘Titanic’? – Oh my gosh, I thought it. I remember balling my eyes out when I was, a girl.
– I have no comment. (laughs) – That’s telling, I think. – That is the biggest controversy. – Ever. – In modern cinema. History. – [Brad] Could you? Could
you have squeezed in there? (laughs) – No comment, Brad. – Did you mentioned it at the time, were you like, “Should we
make the door smaller, so I– – Like I said, I have no comment. (laughs) – It’s movie magic, my friends. – This movie is amazing. It’s, you probably heard this before, but it is definitely a love letter to movies, movie-going, movie making, the unsung heroes that make movies. – Television, LA. – There’s a lot there. But what I really wanna
do with you guys is, ’cause I feel like all four
of us are big movie fans, is let’s revel in our love
of movies for a second, okay? – Yeah. – What’s the movie that you grew up with that made you obsessed with movies? What was the first movie that.
– Ooh. – Got you obsessed? – ‘East of Eden’. – All right, James Dean. – Well, the first film
that I remember seeing was the black and white
original ‘King Kong’ with my dad downtown and bursting into tears, and falling in love with
movies at that point, but when I, you know,
got to become an actor was watching that very
vulnerable James Dean in ‘East of Eden’, who would just, blew me away–
– [Josh] Yeah. – Blew me away. – The first movie I remember
being my favorite movie that I watched like 50 times over, was ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and, (laughs) I was like five and it was, kind of inappropriate of a movie for a five year old to watch everyday. – That’s really funny.
– But I loved it. – That’s really funny. For me, it was the drive-in, we would see films at the drive-in, early age, and it was, it was
the ones that made me cry, ‘Guargantuan’, ‘Guargantuans’? ‘Guargantuans’.
– [Josh] Oh. It was a good guargantuan,
bad guargantuan. – Don’t remember it. – It’s.
(laughs) Only Quentin would know about it. And the good one has to sacrifice himself to take out the bad one. Tears, and then I went straight from that to Butch And Sundance, then the ending, tears again. – There’s a great moment in the film, where your character Sharon sees her face and name on a poster, on a marquee, and on this big screen. Do you remember that moment for you guys, when the first time you saw your name, or face, and was that a big moment? – I do, it was ‘Parenthood’ and on the Warner Brothers lot, there was a big poster of me, and I stood there for hours, and I had my mother take a picture. (laughs) – “Sir, you’re gonna have to leave.” – Good on you for admitting that. (laughs) – There was a poster of
‘Pan Am’ in Times Square, and I remember like, I just gotten to America
and now I’m in Times Square, and I’m like 30 feet high up there, and I was so, and I
remember asking someone to take a picture of me. I was like, “Could you
take a picture of me, like I’m gonna stand right here.” And they kept cropping out the poster, and I kept having to be like, “No I need it, I need
that, all of that in there, that’s the point of the picture.” And they’re like, “Why?” And I was like, “I just
need it in there, please.” (laughs) – That’s sweet, that’s
a little Sharon Tate– – Yeah.
– Going to see your own film. – Is there a classic
movie that you would be sad to admit right now you’ve never seen? – ‘Gone With The Wind’. – What?
– You’ve never seen ‘Gone With The Wind’?
– I’ve never seen ‘Gone With The Wind’ either. – Are you serious? – I got–
– You guys have never seen– – Oh my God.
– You have an excuse, (laughs)
I don’t have an excuse. (laughs) ‘Gone With The Wind’ or ‘Sound
of Music’, I’ve never seen. – I have never seen ‘Sound of Music’. – What? (laughs) – I figured, have you seen it? – Like a thousand times! I remember when we did
‘Wolf of Wall Street’, you would get angry at me all the time, any time I’d mention
any movie I hadn’t seen. He’d be like, “How have you
not seen ‘Citizen Kane’? (laughs)
How can you work in this industry and not
have seen ‘Citizen Kane’? I’m like, “I just got in this industry. You’ve had more time to watch this stuff.” And I went home, and I’d
go watch ‘Citizen Kane’, and watch all the movies, he’s like, “You have to see this,
you have to see this.” – I figured I’ve gone this long, why start now? I’m going all the way. I refuse to see it.
– I’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’. – What? – And I kind of don’t watch it now, just because it infuriates people so much. Like, “How? How have you not watch
any, any ‘Star Wars’?” And I just kinda wanna see
how long I can make it. – Let’s go deep, some big
movie-going existential or profound controversies over the years. And one that struck me watching the movie, Sharon puts her feet up,
her bare feet up on a seat, in a movie theater. – And they’re dirty. – I don’t even care if they’re dirty, man. (laughs) I mean. – Dirty feet. – Dirty feet. – Quentin likes some dirty feet. – How dare you dirty feet. (laughs) – But is that ever appropriate
in a movie theater, for someone’s bare feet
to be put on a seat? – In the 60’s it sure was, right? I mean, I wouldn’t know.
– I don’t know, it’s a good question. I did think about it, I was like, “Does this? I don’t wanna convey that
she’s rude or impolite because she’s neither of those things. – If you had the space, if
you don’t have neighbors close by, I’m gonna say.
– No one is seating in the front. – I’m gonna say it’s okay.
– Okay! – Maybe not shoes anyways, it’s not shoes.
– Right. – Just your feet.
– Right. – Larry David may have a problem with it. – But they were dirty. – They were dirty feet. – A couple other important
movie discussions, perennial movie arguments, True or false? Floyd from ‘True Romance’ is the greatest stoner
character of all time? – Absolutely true.
– Really? Thank you.
– Absolutely true. 1,000%, “Get cleaning products.”
– ‘Cause there’s been some good ones. – “Condescend me (bleep).” – “Condescend, I’ll (bleep) kill you.” – Godfather One.
– Written by Quentin Tarantino.
– Of course. – My favorite movie of all time. – [Josh] ‘True Romance’? – Really, is that right?
– I walked down the aisle to the ‘True Romance’ music.
– Come on, oh that’s a good guy.
– What? – Comic book movies, I was
saying it to Margot earlier, there is a connection in that, Margot’s next film, or upcoming
film is ‘Birds of Prey’, which was shot under of the title, correct me if I’m wrong, Fox Force Five. – Correct.
– Do you guys know what Fox Force Five is, do you remember? – No. – Fox Force Five, you tell them, Margot.
– Guys! In ‘Pulp Fiction,’
– Ah. – When Uma and John Travolta having their five dollar milkshake, she’s explaining the pilot that she, which I think in real life Uma had done, I think that dialogue
was based of the fact– – That she’d done a pilot like that. – She’d done a pilot like that. And then he turned into dialogue, and then she talks about, Fox Force Five. (laughs)
And it’s like a whole scene. But, in our movie there’s
five prominent women, and, like everything we
always throw reference to like, oh Tarantino moments that we pray to like inject into the film. So it felt fitting, and then, also I asked
Quentin, I was like, “Would you mind if we
used the working title, Fox Force Five?” And he was like, he thought
it was really funny. – Does it have a little
bit of the anarchic subversive Tarantino
spirit in ‘Birds of Prey’? – I mean, yes, the spirit’s
definitely there, yeah. – Leo, on this group is the only one that’s eluded comic book movies. You’ve done your time as
Vanisher, congratulations. – Thank you. – Your role was amazing in ‘Deadpool 2’. – Thank you very much. – Oh yeah, I was like,
what are you talking about? That was really funny, actually. – Is that it for you? Have you capped out, have you topped out? – I think I’ve taken it
as far as I can take it. (laughs) – It’s kinda mic drop that, that was a good scene. Ryan Reynolds came up with it. A part that I could fill. – It’s very funny. – I’m completely lost in everything that’s being talked about. (laughs) – You’re so Rick Dalton right now. – Oblivious Rick Dalton. (laughs) – Oh my God, Leo’s still in character. (laughs) – By the way. – I carry my characters a year after. – Last thing for you, there’s an epic kind of
a brain freeze moment for your character in this film, where he’s just like melts down, and he can’t get through it. Did that remind you of
any particular moments of your career’s work, like you just could
not get through a scene for what ever reason? – [Leo, Brad, Margot] Yeah. (laughs) – Yeah. A few of them come to mind. – Definitely, so many come to mind. – I think we’ve all had those, and they’re the worst. They’re the nightmare of going
to school in your underwear. (laughs) The real live version of it. – And just can’t get out of your own head. – You got a 100 people on the set. – Yes. – And you’re, everyone wants to move on to the next or go home, you have a co-star who’s
already done theirs, and done it well, and they’re waiting on you. – I once had to do a scene where I had to be speaking Lingala, and there was also like stunt stuff happening at the same time, so it was really crucial, and I just couldn’t speak. I couldn’t like, I was like, and I practiced this for so many months, and I cannot get my mouth
around this language right now, and I kept messing it up. – It’s usually has to do with
being incredibly exhausted, I remember doing on ‘The Aviator’ a massive dialogue sequence, and I then I just had
two lines the next day, that was my whole day, and I couldn’t, literally
couldn’t say those words. Of course Scorsese was
just sitting there waiting, like 40 takes later like, “Oh my God!” I could not say these two lines. – Did it make the movie?
– It did.
Hello and welcome to this entertainment weekly round table for Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie once upon a time in Hollywood My name is Clark Collis, I’m a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly magazine and it is my huge huge pleasure to be joined by writer director Quentin Tarantino and Three of its cast Margot Robbie Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt folks. Thanks so much for coming. I really appreciate it so as you may have Tailed by my accent. I’m not from Los Angeles But I moved here a year ago, and I’ve had some ups and downs, but I just love this movie so much It is such a like it’s really profoundly affected me and the way that I see Los Angeles and I was kind of driving around Yesterday with Neil Diamond cranked up wishing I had a convertible I started getting a bit choked up just thinking about what happens in the film and it really I mean it said in 96 and I will get into your you know characters in a Moment but Quentin, were you always intending for this to be like a basically a Valentine to Los Angeles? Yes, it was I mean I I I grew up in Los Angeles and I loved it I loved it the way that the only people who truly loved it are the people who who loved it the right way or the people who grew up here and Know you can love it in your own way But The thing is especially says like when it came to 1969 I was like between 6 & 7 years old and And so the film became a big memory piece and You know a big part of my memory of Los Angeles at that time is being in the car with my stepfather being in the car with my mom and driving around and listening to the radio playing all the time and how we listen to the radio back then which is different than the Way we listen to the radio now where you just you you you you kept it on one station You didn’t move around looking for songs and then when the the commercials played you played the radio really loud and when the commercials played you didn’t turn the radio down you Just talked over. It’s over the already loud radio and and I you know, I remember the bus stops advertising the you know, uh, the rerun shows that are on the local television stations and the movie posters and the mio diet right RC Cola Billboards all that kind of stuff. That’s what I remember. In fact, there’s even um, my stepfather drove a Karmann Ghia like cliffs character dries and even that hole shot where you see cliff driving by those signs and like well That’s pretty much my view me up at my stepfather in the Karmann Ghia as he drove around Los Angeles’s me looking up with him like that an angle very similar to what we had with Wrath so it’s like yeah, so it’s a yes, so In the same with a Jackie Brown, I think has the kind of me trying to capture the South Bay of the 80s That’s what I was trying to do with this and some of the characters and the a lot of the characters in the film are fictional although perhaps inspired by real people But the film also features some real characters and Marga you play Sharon Tate is very much a real person what does your Sharon like I think Definitely what I felt when reading the script was that Quentin and we spoke about it She was a bit of a heartbeat throughout the story and I wanted to therefore inject her with as much life as as possible and and also to Try and show the best parts of myself because by all accounts for anything I’ve ever read about it people say how wonderful she was and generous and Also, I think at that time she was it was an incredibly exciting time in her life she’s newly married and her careers really taking off in Hollywood is is an exciting place where there’s so much opportunity and experiences to be had and you know therefore I wanted to feel hopeful I wanted her to feel excited and Yeah, it was really beautiful to be able to have those more Quiet moments to ourselves where she’s just kind of loving life in Hollywood And there’s that wonderful in that wonderful see where she essentially goes to see a film that she’s in But there’s a very sweet moment which she bowls up to the the cinema and is like, hey, I’m in this movie Can I can I come and see it? Has anyone have any of you ever done that it? Life sort of turned up at a cinema and being like I’m in this film or I directed this film III did that once at the Brewin no less I Wonder where you got it from this Date and I went to see true romance and then I thought well, you know, I wrote this thing Maybe they’ll let me in for free. All right Not because you’re on a date Yeah, not because nothing is that was stressing the money just being actually I’m in the movie right there. She’s not stressing the 75-cent She’s almost just proud to be in the movie. Do I get a little consideration? That’s funny and so I bring up To the manager and he starts my girlfriend starts negotiating it He’s like well, how do I know? He’s in the mood? Well, I know he wrote that someone she he can show you his driver’s license His name is right there and then but Reservoir Dogs had already come out So then a couple of people like come up to me and start asking for my autograph And so I decided my autograph and then the manager of the theater goes well, who are those people he goes? Those are his fans? But he saw me with my fans and Leah tell us about about your character and once upon a time in Hollywood Well was it was? Interesting to play this sort of guy that is in a way reached this expiration date culturally and The 60s have come along and as Quentin eloquently, you know puts in the movie He’s a he’s a he’s an actor that has spent his career combing Is there hair and and creating a pompadour his whole life is that’s what he knows and he’s not making this sort of transition into this new era of Hollywood and He’s also feeling sorry for himself He’s a working actor, but he he kind of missed out on that op that television to film Transition that actors like Steve McQueen did where they were able to make that jump and have these sort of amazing careers He’s he’s stuck in this rut And you know, it’s what’s what’s so interesting is you know Quinton puts all of this in the sort of two-day time span and then he gave this amazing backstory to all of us but so much of these characters and what they’re going through emotionally in this transition that Rick Dalton is going through Accepting his sort of faith But also realizing that if he gives a little more and tries a little harder and stops Feeling so damn. Sorry for himself there there are some possibilities out there but Was so great was was to be able to have all that knowledge And all that wealth of our back stories in this to day life timespan, you know and how did you prepare to play an active fill of self-doubt is that it was a reach I think that There’s not an actor out there that would not Twelve headed hydro come out. I wasn’t thinking on you particularly right and Brad you play You play a stunt man. He was essentially in a different era. We would essentially be the Batman really two layers character not the not the cartoon character, but the you know the Assistant is is the guy that fixes things for the Gopher. Yes I didn’t want to say what was you tell us a little bit about about your character? Just that, you know They they come from this era when when an actor and a stuntman were had a greater partnership and had more Say on what was going to be in the film. You know, what the what would take place in the scene and And at this point, we’re on the tail end I say we because I’m on his coattails Might I have a job if Rick Dalton has a job and if Rick Dolan doesn’t have a job I probably don’t but I’ve been he’s he’s he’s kindly hired me to you know work odd jobs. And so I am I’m doing I’m doing whatever he needs and you have one of the film’s most there’s like almost like a five minute sequence Where you feed a dog, essentially which doesn’t sound that exciting. Yeah, that’s the best pet feeding sequence since The Long Goodbye, basically when he’s getting the carry brown cat force But what I’d like to read that there was that fun to do that, you know This is just you and a dog in the trail. I cannot take any credit for that it’s very, you know a Ken Quentin’s constructed this two days in a life for what becomes two and a half days, I guess ultimately But two days in the life of these characters at different Stratos of their of their careers and and in life in Hollywood and Where was I heading with that? Things I like about that scene is So you see he turns on the TV Mannix is playing and the opening of Mannix plays as he does everything I like the fact that the Mannix theme song Starts feeling like the cliff theme Show I mean my that was my dad’s favorite shows It was always in there What are they? Pushing over him to say. Yes Oh Maddox is this show and we lived a few streets over from the neighborhood drive-in and Would hop over at our friends house to watch the wants to drive into the backyard So and Marga, how did you get cast in the film? You wrote Quentin the letter, is that right? Would that works made? Yeah, you should try it Please carry on it actually was fairly easy as easy as that it worked out I yeah, I Definitely didn’t expect to it to work out So well, I just wanted to let him know how much I love these movies and how it kind of Yeah, that shaped my childhood really in a big reason. What about that part? Your old Margo I’m this old director, but that’s but that’s interesting Boyd is not Shaped my twenties, okay And and we met up and Had lunch and chatted and he was like, do you know who Sharon Tate is and I was like, actually I do Yeah, and we spoke and then I got to read the script and I think it was a similar process We all y’all go to sit and catch in Quentin’s kitchen nook and read the sky was even allowed in the kitchen I got sent to the back porch. Oh, really? I got food. Never really you got food. I got to You go she got food So the guys were relegated to out of the house what I left and I came back she’s gonna sprawled out on the couch Took me a long time and by the way, not not to hijack your story or to hijack You surely you would get that. He had one script man. I went back a couple times I don’t got one back But you know you get there the first time the scripts, you know, it’s a little dog-eared here There might be a little staying here by the time we came back the second time, you know, there’s like coffee This is alive this is breathing document know you could you still have that one, you know, she’s right Yeah, yeah. Sorry. I you were heading somewhere Perfect and Leo you have this I would spoil what it is We have this amazing scene with with with Luke Perry who plays a TV actor like as your characters You know is essentially and sadly we lost him since the since the film was completed Could you talk a little bit about it about working with him? I was just immediately struck by his his kindness and you know talking about being a native of Los Angeles being around this industry my entire life and really having it, you know in a lot of ways shaped Who I am I There was this immediate Excitement and seeing Luke Perry, you know unset it was incredible I I remember being you know in my teens and he was the manifestation of the new dean on television then everyone was crazy about him and I act I felt this overwhelming feeling of kind of being Starstruck, but then he and I got to sit down and talk about Los Angeles the 90s his life where he where his career gone were my career gone where his life had gone were my and I could I was just so How do I say this the kindness of his character? Just really I don’t know it really. Uh, it really affected me when I heard that news. It was it was really heartbreaking Incredibly generous human being And Brad, do you have I think believe this is sort of there’s a bit of this in the trailer But you have a fight scene at one point with is it Mike Mo who? Plays Bruce Lee What was what was that like There’s pretty good fun I love Mike most story because he was he was an actor who things were working out for him So he’d moved away To brace his family to provide for his family opened up a dojo and then heard about this Did he contact you is that huh? He didn’t contact me I think contact eye contact Vicky yet casting and Ends up getting the part he moves away and gets the part and comes back and does this and he he’s brilliant Well, he tells it great. He tells a great story. So, okay He’s he said actually and this show in humans and everything But basically he runs a dojo out of Wisconsin. And yeah and So he got the part and so he’s gonna go back to Wisconsin boat But he got the part soon enough that he could stay for a couple of days so he could be at the the script reading hmm So we just invite him to the script reading. So I want you to go and play Bruce Were you at the script reading and he’s already got the part. He knows that so he shows up there He doesn’t really know who’s in the movie. Is that right? Yeah so he shows up there and then Brad walks through the door and Then Leo walks through the door then Margo walks through the door and Al Pacino walks through the door and Brad Burt Reynolds walks through the door and the Barry walks through the door and Tim Allen is I And he’s like flipping the f out. He’s just uh, keep it cool Just keep it cool. Don’t let everybody know that you are freaking out the citizen That’s a Hollywood story. Yeah, and there is I went to the Playboy Mansion I guess a few years before To interview, yeah But I was watching this there’s a secret there’s a dance sequences that one’s more than a dance sequence but the sequence was there was a party at the the mansion and I was sitting there thinking what that looks they’ve got a hell of a good job of recreating the mansion and then I realized that it was like Sitting next to a purist my friend, obviously the half days are over. What was it like shooting that? I’d been to the Playboy Mansion. I Know where the grotto was and parelle And all the animals are there too That was just the actors What about the theater room didn’t have a theater room yeah Yeah his theatre room was You know when she comes walking in dancing by the two stairs hits theater room was just back there I think they just all set on couches in the head of training on the wall no, it was a It was just fun. It was fun iconic it suggested a Hollywood of a different time and And you know and then 69 you could go to the Playboy Mansion and Mama Cass could be sitting there next to Sharon Tate sitting there next to Tony Curtis and Mati Murphy or something like, you know it he kind of covered the whole thing. In fact, apparently I found that like, um When Hef would do is movie nights. I knew a Female friend of mine who showed up at a couple of them’s because well they were really great, but they weren’t hip That was what was neat about I mean was winning when he meeting is well, it’s all these like cool old actors So it’s like, you know 79 year old Robert Kulp The you know is always like all these like really cool actors from the 60s that we’re friends of Hefner’s then who still go to The Playboy Mansion to see the new movies with Hef and they’ve all gotten older but it’s all Cool, Leo. You have a musical moment in the film as well What was what when you were your character appears on the Brill Show while a balloon? Yes when you do a bit of singing Yes, he’s got some moves well, um, thank God I wasn’t hired for my voice for this movie because We had a couple different songs that we tried one was one whose green door and the other one was Don’t fence me in which and we ended up using green door, but you know, it was great It was a lot of fun and and Rick Dalton isn’t sort of hired either for his Acting talent for most jobs and most certainly not his singing voice and this is a good display of that a Lot of those guys back then actually on TV shows came out with record albums like hugh o’brian Did and vince Edwards did and all those guys did so Rick didn’t do that He knows that he’s not a good enough singer to do it out But he’s good enough to host hullabaloo and stumble through two songs if he had she would have gotten paid He may have done out. We’re doing a Christmas album But you do have one of the Sort of what are the hinges of the movie is the relationship between your two characters and you do in the movie? you know seem to have a very Easygoing relationship me I’m did you know each other particularly? Well beforehand. Did you just fall into it or Certainly over the decades we cross paths And there was just a shorthand of a real shorthand with us coming I don’t we both we all pop kind at the same time Been through the you know, it’s the same The same timeframe certainly probably all stayed in the same Suites. It always freaks me out, by the way Do you know what I mean? It’s a little weird. It’s a little weird when you think about it, but We’ll get back to you doll of the Year at the Tokyo You know, we all stay in the same Anyway, we’ll get back But it’s alright, it’s time the same places. They’re just much cheaper Yeah, but I mean the same room, you know, the same beds same toilet. It’s probably same robes I’m gonna get all Anyway Just a just a real shorthand and respect and and and good laughs on Set and and and I think we both know having really close friends that you know to get through this thing In one piece meaning I guess I’m talking about Celebrity and you need really close friends and to have that that and we’ve all had those relationships. Yeah Okay, you know you go to locations for eight months at a time and the guy that’s your security or your standard They become your best friends and the person the family day and that that’s that’s what I loved about this sort of this this screenplay is this this partnership of these guys that are on the outskirts of the industry and trying to sort of pave their way and find their footing still and and survive their working-class actors in a transitional time in Los Angeles and in America But they rely on one another they have one another and it may be a you know professional relationship But it becomes like family and that is something I think certainly with these characters. I kind of knew who they were Having grown up in LA having friends like this having you know You know that kind of dynamic. It just it wasn’t something that we needed it wasn’t some foreign land that we needed to you know, investigate or Envelop ourselves into I was very familiar. Well folks right a time. Thank you so much for chatting with me today The film is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It is out July 26th Fantastic, I thank you so much. Quentin Tarantino Margot Robbie Leonardo DiCaprio. Mr. Brad Pitt Jasprit, shoot. Thanks a lot. Yes Thank you Yeah
– To my right is Bounty Law series lead and JK Hill himself, Rick Dalton. And to my left is Rick’s
stunt double Cliff Booth. – [Jacki] “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s ninth
and penultimate movie before retiring from feature films, cleverly showcases the writer/director’s encyclopedic knowledge of
cinema and pop culture, while also serving as a loving tribute to a bygone era of films and stars. Despite incorporating many elements of the filmmaker’s
signature style, dark wit, moments of explosive
violence, kitschy references, a great vintage soundtrack,
and an overall cool vibe, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
shows a more sentimental side of the “Kill Bill” filmmaker. And yet, it also displays
many of his self-indulgences and weaknesses. It’s not Tarantino’s best work, but it’s still better
than the best efforts of other filmmakers. – We get into a fight,
I accidentally kill you. I go to jail. – Anybody accidentally
kills anybody in a fight, they go to jail. It’s called manslaughter. – Burn, you Nazi bastards! (laughter) – [Jacki] The movie
reflects the sensibilities of an older and possibly
more thoughtful filmmaker than the indie bad boy
who stormed the industry back in the 90s with “Reservoir
Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.” There’s still an undeniable coolness exuded throughout this film. Tarantino largely focuses his story, which is primarily set over three days in Hollywood circa 1969, on
washed-up actor Rick Dalton and his best pal, former
stunt-double-turned-flunky, Cliff Booth. Rick is definitely played
with feverish desperation and crumbling vanity by Leonardo DiCaprio, while an almost
transcendentally cool Brad Pitt delivers his best performance
in years as Cliff, whose sun-kissed appearance
belies the inner darkness that’s cost him everything but the affection of his dog and Rick. Cliff is in many ways a more interesting and complex character than the narcissistic and fragile Rick, but DiCaprio and Pitt share
a breezy, boozy chemistry that makes them great
foils for one another. The rest of the film
follows actress Sharon Tate, a beauty whose star is on the rise, as Rick’s is on the decline. Portrayed here as Rick’s
next-door neighbor, Sharon Tate, of course, was a real person, whose brutal death by followers of cult leader Charles Manson has overshadowed her brief film career. Margot Robbie plays her with
a free-spirited vivacity, but the character of Tate
herself is not well-developed. She’s more a symbol of Hollywood dreams than she is a flesh-and-blood protagonist like Rick and Cliff. In the end, you’re left
wondering what Tarantino wanted to feel about them or his film, save for leaving with an appreciation for Hollywood’s yesteryear. That may be enough for
those who want to ruminate on the film industry,
but emotionally speaking, “Once Upon a Time in
Hollywood” and its characters never quite register as strongly as many of Tarantino’s other
films and protagonists. Tarantino has once again
assembled a stellar ensemble cast that includes several
veterans of his past films like Kurt Russell, and
great new additions, such as scene-stealers Mike Moh
as an egotistical Brucel Lee and Julia Butters as a
precocious child actor Rick meets on the set of
a potential comeback role. The film is as much a love letter to the Los Angeles of 1969
as it is to the films, TV shows, and pop culture
of that tumultuous era. Tarantino and his team have painstakingly recreated the greater
LA area of that period and its many landmarks. But did we really need to see every street and stretch of freeway Cliff drives along? And those unnecessarily bloated stretches only make one feel the film’s
nearly three-hour runtime all the more. The film is also chockfull of asides to Rick’s faux movies and TV shows, from his heyday as the star of
the ’50s TV show Bounty Law, to his later spaghetti
westerns, war movies, and exploitation films. These are often hilarious
and spot-on sendups that lovers of B-movies and
the Golden Age of Television will appreciate and laugh
at more than casual, and frankly, younger viewers
who lack a pop cultural context to get the references Tarantino is making. Indeed, “Once Upon a Time in
Hollywood’s” effectiveness depends in large part on one’s fondness for the bygone era Tarantino is honoring. But there are times where Tarantino veers into self-indulgence. There is another, and arguably
larger, curiosity factor for those going to see this film, and that’s the Manson family murders. His interpretation was always
going to prove divisive, and the end results most certainly will. As exploitative and jarring
the whole sequence can be, it also gives the film a jolt
in its uneven second half. While this climax never
matches the masterful building of suspense in an earlier sequence where Cliff encounters the Manson family on an old movie ranch, the home stretch reminds Tarantino fans of the edgy provocateur he started out as after sitting through two-plus hours of slow-moving industry nostalgia. – Hey, you’re Rick (beep)-ing Dalton. Don’t you forget it. (jazzy music) – [Jacki] Quentin Tarantino
doesn’t quite deliver a grand slam with his
penultimate feature film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a languid but interesting exploration of a particular time and place and a loving ode to the pop culture that informed his particular
sensibilities as an artist. But it also doesn’t
always land as viscerally or emotionally as it could have, and it never quite develops Sharon Tate as more than an idea. Still, the respective
performances of DiCaprio and Pitt and the film’s meticulous
attention to period detail are all great and keep you
invested in where this cruise around Tinseltown will
ultimately take you. – Line? – Cut! – [Jacki] For more movie reviews, check out what we
thought of “Batman: Hush” and “The Lion King.” And as always, be sure to
follow and subscribe to IGN wherever you like to watch. – What does IGN even mean anyway? It means whatever you want it to mean.