Leonard Maltin's Rating : elaborate time filler
Should be :
IMDB Rating : 7.7
I'm more than a little shocked that Leonard did not like this film. I get it that the ultra-violent ending is not something he would enjoy. But the look at the old TV shows of the 60s was something I really thought he would get on board with but ...
In his review he said "From the vintage Columbia Pictures logo to a bogus promo for the TV series Bounty Law, everything looks and feels authentic. (See Steve McQueen’s Wanted: Dead or Alive for comparison.) With an able assist from visual effects maestro John Dykstra, Tarantino has replicated vintage Los Angeles to the letter. Theater marquees are playing the appropriate movies and the audio from AM station KHJ is broadcasting the songs, commercials, headlines and chatter one would have heard in 1969.
The lives of his three main characters fit neatly into this landscape. Leonardo DiCaprio plays former TV star Rick Dalton, whose career is waning as he’s reduced to taking guest shots on other actors’ series. He maintains a close friendship with his longtime stunt double Brad Pitt, an easygoing guy who has no illusions or expectations. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie plays a real person, up-and-coming actress Sharon Tate, who’s married to director Roman Polanski and living next door to DiCaprio in the Hollywood hills. She’s so excited about her part in the Dean Martin action movie The Wrecking Crew that she goes to watch herself onscreen at a matinee at Westwood’s Bruin Theater.
So far, so good."
He goes on to say " Like that earlier film, this one offers an overlong re-creation of a time period that enables Tarantino to exercise his imagination and inject a dizzying dose of violence into the mix, flouting history in the process. It’s like listening to a drawn-out shaggy-dog story where the punchline isn’t worth the effort to get there."I don't have to list all of the awards that the movie won or was nominated for to justify it's worth as a movie. I think the awards speak for themselves. Tarantino took another big chance on this mishmash of a movie, but somehow got it all to work, for most people.
I wasn't a big fan of the ending. Horror films aren't my thing, but I was able to look pass the ending and see the great scenes that led up to it. The ending of Red River didn't ruin the film for me. The cringe worthy comedic scenes in The Searchers didn't ruin that film for me. The over-the-top violent ending of Inglorious Basterds didn't ruin that film for me. There were so many other great scenes in those films that I was still able to appreciate and enjoy them.
Leonard finished his review with "Tarantino is an omnivore of popular culture; he has no need to prove this again. This movie reveals ambition but drowns in excess—not the campy excess of Kill Bill, parts 1 and 2, which bore his indelible stamp. Can such a slow, meandering mess be the work of the writer-director who gave us Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown? I long for another work of that caliber and feel certain Tarantino has it in him to deliver the goods. Once upon a Time…in Hollywood is just an elaborate time-filler."