Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
March 21, 2019 3:19 AM   Subscribe

Teaser trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 9th film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
posted by sapagan (72 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah, I'm in.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:36 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


Tough Guy Youtube isn't going to like that Bruce Lee take.....
posted by thelonius at 4:40 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I would have seen it in the theater no matter what but this looks fun, almost Coen Brothers-ish.
posted by octothorpe at 4:53 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


If I remember right, this movie is supposed to be about or deal with the Manson murders. I'm wondering if the trailer is really capturing the nature of the movie.
posted by jzb at 4:59 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Bruce Lee sold me on this. Hoping to see him kick Charlie Manson's scrawny, cult-leading, murderous ass.
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:06 AM on March 21


Is there still a mass market for Tarantino's Greasy Nostalgia?
posted by Faintdreams at 5:11 AM on March 21 [12 favorites]


Pitt's delivery of the manslaughter line was very Aldo Raine.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:11 AM on March 21 [5 favorites]


I feel very conflicted. I enjoy Tarantino films and his aesthetic has always been fascinating to me, his obsession with film history is something I appreciate.

All that being said, we shouldn't forget that 'Uma Thurman Is Angry' and she has every right to be.
posted by Fizz at 5:13 AM on March 21 [43 favorites]


This is a minor thing, but I think this is the first time I saw Leonardo look his actual age. He always had a baby face, and I am the same age, so I always picture him as young.

As to the Manson thing, I had heard that it is a part of the story, but it wasn't the primary focus of the film. That said, looking at the cast of characters seems to have every one who was involved or a victim of the Tate murders. I may be wrong.

I am not sure I want to see Tarantino's graphic style overlaid on the visceral reality of the infamous event.
posted by Badgermann at 5:26 AM on March 21 [7 favorites]


Like the stink of Harvey Weinstein on Tarantino, I always feel a little gross after watching his films. His obsession with characters needing to be humiliated or tortured (before inevitably humiliating and killing their tormentor) becomes less and less appealing as I get older. After watching Hateful 8, parts of which were admittedly thrilling, I still ended up thinking I was done with him.
posted by gwint at 5:27 AM on March 21 [21 favorites]


If I remember right, this movie is supposed to be about or deal with the Manson murders. I'm wondering if the trailer is really capturing the nature of the movie.

Yeah there's no sense from the trailer that Margot Robbie is actually Sharon Tate. It's Tarantino so the murders are probably just there to add to some gross pastiche.
posted by HumanComplex at 5:38 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


His obsession with characters needing to be humiliated or tortured (before inevitably humiliating and killing their tormentor) becomes less and less appealing as I get older. After watching Hateful 8, parts of which were admittedly thrilling, I still ended up thinking I was done with him.

I had a similar feeling after Hateful 8. I've seen every Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction in the theater the week/weekend of release. In part because I've been chasing the same feeling I had from seeing Pulp Fiction, which blew my mind at the time.

One of the things that is interesting to me is watching how artists change over the years, and also going back and checking in with works that I enjoyed and seeing it again with a different set of experiences under my belt.

With Tarantino, I feel like I've changed a lot since Pulp Fiction but he hasn't. He's immensely talented and can do fantastic work, but it doesn't feel like he's grown at all since the 90s (or possibly before) and every year his work becomes less interesting to me. I enjoyed parts of Hateful 8 and Django Unchained immensely, but found some fairly large chunks of the movies unpleasant and unnecessary.

I'd really, really love to see a Tarantino movie that reflects a few decades of growth - not just technical growth, I'm sure he's learned new tricks and such, but something that reflects more mature thoughts and feelings.

When I was in college, shortly after Pulp Fiction I took an independent studies course with a wonderful instructor, probably in her early 60s. I focused on mythological criticism of popular culture, we each picked a few "artifacts" - she recommended 2-3 books, and I came with 2 books and Pulp Fiction. She'd never seen it, so she had to watch it so we could discuss it & she could grade my papers about it. Her response to it was "I'm glad I've seen it, but I never feel a need to see it again." Sort of sums up how I'm feeling about Tarantino these days.
posted by jzb at 5:41 AM on March 21 [27 favorites]


I'd be interested in a slick period piece about all of these folks that skips the gore and ends right as the Mason family shows up at Sharon Tate's house. But we all know that's not what is going to happen here.
posted by thecjm at 6:02 AM on March 21 [5 favorites]


Based on this picture, I'm wondering if there's going to be some mistaken identity between Leo and Manson.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:10 AM on March 21


There's another Manson movie coming out as well, called Charlie Says.
posted by gwint at 6:27 AM on March 21


As a fellow middle-aged man-child who also hasn't grown much since the '90's, this holds strong appeal for me.
posted by Optamystic at 6:32 AM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Been watching Tarantino since I saw Pulp Fiction in the theater. I'll never see this one because Emile Hirsch Brutally Assaulted a Female Film Executive. He’s Now Starring in the New Tarantino Film. No one should be rewarded for assault with a high-profile acting gig.
posted by haileris23 at 6:34 AM on March 21 [30 favorites]


The excellent podcast You Must Remember This spent 12 episodes back in 2015 exploring about the Manson murders, setting them in context for their time, talking about what Charlie was even doing in Hollywood and who he was involved with and what he was trying to accomplish across his timeline there. It was some of the most interesting podcast listening I've ever done. There's a lot going on with that situation that I had never realized or even imagined before. Here's episode one.
posted by hippybear at 6:36 AM on March 21 [27 favorites]


I have no idea what to make of the story, but the production values and cinematography, the sheer look of it -- yeah, I'm in.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:54 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I am not sure I want to see Tarantino's graphic style overlaid on the visceral reality of the infamous event.

This is exactly my thinking. I was disappointed when I heard about this film and don't imagine I'll see it, even though I love that era of Hollywood.

I stopped caring about Tarantino while watching Inglorious Basterds and wish I'd given up during Kill Bill. I still think Jackie Brown is a decent movie but have no desire to rewatch anything else he's made.

He just seems like a man-baby and there's enough man-baby movies around--whether they be the spandex movies or fast and furious, etc--that they're no longer a guilty pleasure. It's in fact impossible to avoid them if you enjoy going to the cinema, which I no longer do.

Really looking forward to Criterion Channel launch in the next month and Deadwood in the spring.
posted by dobbs at 6:57 AM on March 21 [9 favorites]


I have never enjoyed a Tarantino movie (forced into a room with PF playing, took a nap; tolerated KB and his part of FR), but this looks...interesting.
posted by notsnot at 7:02 AM on March 21


I was wondering about how the film was going to depict the murders as well but I did see last year that Sharon Tate's sister, Debra, who has been protective of her sister's legacy and death had signed off on this. So it is possible that the film won't depict the actual murders but the lead up and the aftermath. But we'll see.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:02 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I like one out of 3 Tarantino films, but this one looks good so I'm in.
posted by h00py at 7:08 AM on March 21


Oh, and for anyone who loves movies in general, and that era of film, you might want to read the fictional book Zeroville. Absolutely extraordinary. These are some of the referenced films.
posted by dobbs at 7:13 AM on March 21 [8 favorites]


I keep hoping for another Jackie Brown. I'm fine with Tarantino's nostalgia and reworking of 60s and 70s tropes. I'm just sick of bloody murderfests and bizarro misogyny repackaged as feminism because the torture porn involves the woman on top. Particularly struck by how the last thing I want is a murderfest movie after the Christchurch massacre and the horrific video streamed on Facebook during it. (God help us, some filmmaker is going to reference that video. And soon.)

But part of what makes Jackie Brown work is not only that Pam Grier is a hell of an actress, but that she's a Black woman playing a role of downtrodden-but-strong-and-in-control. DiCaprio can't do that. I hope it's not just 2 hours of him smartalecking around 60s Hollywood being creepy with young women who are QT's type.
posted by Nelson at 7:14 AM on March 21 [9 favorites]


Nthng that Zeroville is a really great book especially if you're interested in that Hollywood era - I was already a fan of Steve Erickson but when I picked up this one I read it one sitting. John Sturges, Roberta Findlay and I think a thinly disguised Soledad Miranda all pop up as characters.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:33 AM on March 21


Jackie Brown is the best Tarantino movie. I will fight you.

(I adore many of his (very few) offerings across the decades, and Kill Bill holds a special place in my heart, but Inglorious Basterds only had moments, and The Hateful Eight sort of didn't, really, for me. Django Unchained hasn't stuck in my memory at all...

I'll watch this one. We'll see how it goes.
posted by hippybear at 7:55 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Jackie Brown is the best Tarantino movie. I will fight you.

I haven't seen it since I saw it in the theater so that's 22 years now but I do remember liking it quite bit. It was one of or maybe the only one where he adapted the screenplay from a previous work and it shows.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


The entire thing is a character study and a swiss watch of timing and there is very little violence and much more everything else more interesting.

Also, Robert Forster delivers perhaps the most nuanced performance in any Tarantino movie ever, and it is a pure delight from beginning to end.
posted by hippybear at 8:19 AM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Is there still a mass market for Tarantino's Greasy Nostalgia?

yes, if this thread's any indication

After watching Hateful 8, parts of which were admittedly thrilling, I still ended up thinking I was done with him.

I don't think I found any part of Hateful 8 thrilling. It bored me profoundly. Maybe if I'd caught it as intended in a theater on a big, big screen as opposed to my laptop working a Netflix stream. Maybe. It just felt tired. Maybe if they knocked an hour off the running time ... or more. It felt like a punishment. I gave up after more than an hour, started fast-forwarding, and even that was boring. So I went to Wikipedia and read the plot summary.

Anyway, I also found Kill Bill interminable, so whatever. But when Tarantino does nail it, as he did most recently for me with Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchanined (the first two-thirds anyway) well, I remain in the market. We just don't have that many people doing anything interesting with the big screen these days -- who really grasp its potential to work a mood, tell a tale, screw with an audience.

So yeah, I'm in for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood unless I start hearing really dire stuff. And, worth noting -- beyond a bit of fight stuff with who I'm assuming is Bruce Lee, there is zero violence in that trailer. Here's hoping.

Jackie Brown is the best Tarantino movie.

You're probably right.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 AM on March 21


Pulp Fiction is one of the few movies by anyone I’ve watched a gazillion times. I liked the Kill Bills and Django and Jackie Brown also. Hateful 8 was just ... no.

Never saw Inglorious.

I too keep wanting another Pulp Fiction. I was too young to see it in theatres when it came out but saw it when it was rereleased in theatres 20 years later. It was amazing.

I’ll probably watch this one too just on hope.
posted by sio42 at 8:26 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Maybe if I'd caught it as intended in a theater on a big, big screen

Having gone to one of the 70mm Roadshow screenings I still feel the same way as you about the movie. As far as movies that deserve the 70mm treatment, Lawrence of Arabia it was not.
posted by hwyengr at 8:28 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Honestly don't have high hopes for this, especially after hateful 8 that was.....not good.

Seriously wonder if Sally Menke's death is related to downturn in quality of his movies.
posted by jessicattiva at 8:31 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


Yay, domed theaters.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:31 AM on March 21


The one single scene that is utterly glorious in Inglorious is [SPOILERS] (don't count when the movie is this old) when the theater is burning and her projected face is landing on the smoke, laughing at the crowd beneath her image. That, right there, is pure artistry.
posted by hippybear at 8:32 AM on March 21 [7 favorites]


All that being said, we shouldn't forget that 'Uma Thurman Is Angry' and she has every right to be.
For what it's worth, her daughter Maya Hawke is in the movie.
posted by elgilito at 8:35 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


I keep hoping for another Jackie Brown.

Then you should lobby QT to make another Elmore Leonard story. Rum Punch, the novel that Jackie Brown was made from, was a sequel, so the material is there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:37 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


The actor playing Bruce Lee looks spot on and amazing. Heaven knows I've seen my fair share of Bruce Lee clones. But I don't think I could ever forgive Tarantino for giving a white woman Bruce's trademark yellow tracksuit as she cuts down a horde of faceless Asian men with a katana. It seems like such an insult.
posted by cazoo at 8:38 AM on March 21 [5 favorites]


Maybe if I'd caught it as intended in a theater on a big, big screen

Having gone to one of the 70mm Roadshow screenings I still feel the same way as you about the movie.


Also saw it in 70mm, and... from starting with an Overture (!), I was suckered in. At first. Then I started wondering why everyone said it was so violent, because I wasn't seeing anything terribly viol-- WHOA!!! Whoa. OK, then. Violent.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:39 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Kirth Gerson: "I keep hoping for another Jackie Brown.

Then you should lobby QT to make another Elmore Leonard story. Rum Punch, the novel that Jackie Brown was made from, was a sequel, so the material is there.
"

Rum Punch was a sequel to The Switch which has already been adapted into Life of Crime with Jennifer Aniston and Mos Def.
posted by octothorpe at 8:44 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Here's Quinten writing about John Ford, Richard Nixon, and white supremacy in Westerns, in the context of Robert Aldrich's revisionist Ulzana's Raid.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:49 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


BTW, if you look at the IMDB cast page for the movie it lists Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, and Dakota Fanning as Squeaky Fromme, Damon Herriman as Manson, Bruce Dern as George Spahn, and Samantha Robinson as Abigail Folger. Kind of interesting to me, also Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin Smith's daughter) but no role listed. A Kevin Smith / Tarantino connection is the sort of thing that would have 90s me very excited.

I'm thinking the trailer is really, really not giving a full picture of what the film is really about.
posted by jzb at 8:56 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Teaser trailer, really. There will be something else released to promote the movie released in the next while.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM on March 21


He's immensely talented and can do fantastic work, but it doesn't feel like he's grown at all since the 90s (or possibly before)

Tarantino has always been, and likely still is, all style -- much of it (all of it?) borrowed, often from sources that only an obsessive film buff with access to an unlimited library in a video store would have had access to until recently -- and virtually no substance. His characters are paper thin comic book cartoons (the bad kind) demonstrating his apparent and complete lack of understanding of and interest in actual humans. That is before getting into his need to torture and humiliate people, usually women, in his work.

But style, even style absent character, gets you very, very far in film. Less so in other mediums. Even Raymond Chandler, OG "style is king," kind of burns out, and that's with the (sometimes / somewhat unintentional and closeted) character depth he gave to Marlowe. Even so, there is a limit to how far it gets you, even in film; I know I hit that limit with Tarantino a long, long time ago. He genuinely bores me.

adapted from another work, and it shows

He also had a cowriter on Pulp Fiction. It also shows. Though he uses many of the same (borrowed) techniques in Reservoir Dogs, which is a film that works for his limitations.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:05 AM on March 21 [7 favorites]


I saw Reservoir Dogs in the theater when it first came out and it really did feel like a roller coaster ride -- I understood the cliche then -- but I've matured and I bet I'd hate it now. I love the fashion and music of this trailer, and it's lovely to look at; I wish someone else had made the movie, because I'm done with Tarantino.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:09 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Seriously wonder if Sally Menke's death is related to downturn in quality of his movies

Certainly seems so; Hateful 8 was entirely devoid of suspense, instead offering up endless tedious monologues (compare: Basterds' opening milk scene, the strudel scene, the finger scene ... - all relying on long speeches as well, but, well, suspenseful).
posted by sapagan at 10:29 AM on March 21 [5 favorites]


Tough Guy Youtube isn't going to like that Bruce Lee take.....

Well, so far, the Youtube comments seem to gainsay this - they seem to love "Bruce Lee", although, in my opinion, the clip presents him as sort of a blowhard, with his cornball schtick about registering his hands as deadly weapons, and it also shows the stuntman guy hanging with him in sparring, not being immediately destroyed.
posted by thelonius at 11:17 AM on March 21


He's been cancelled since Django for me. The most racist movie I've ever paid to watch in a theater. I don't know why black people are still working with him or why any 'progressive' is still watching him.
posted by yonega at 11:38 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]




As a LA dweller, it was delightful to see the temporary restoration/rebirth of lots of old Hollywood landmarks while the movie was being shot. The attention to detail is amazing and would alone make this a must-see for me.
posted by OolooKitty at 2:11 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


The only good Tarantino movie was 'El Mariachi'. Fortunately, it was directed by Robert Rodriguez.
posted by rubyskye at 2:33 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


That's a really peculiar thing to say, but okay.
posted by hippybear at 3:05 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I can't stand Tarantino anymore; I find his films obnoxious and juvenile, primarily concerned with a very specific intelligence that most people, ideally, grow out of during puberty.

His films seem to be how a 14 year old boy views the world of adults, with the cruelty, violence, and misogyny of the world pushed to the forefront.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:48 PM on March 21 [6 favorites]


As a LA dweller, it was delightful to see the temporary restoration/rebirth of lots of old Hollywood landmarks while the movie was being shot.

Now I'm suddenly very interested in seeing it. I haven't bothered to see Tarantino's last few movies even though Reservoir Dogs is one of my favourite romances.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:21 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Kind of interesting to me, also Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin Smith's daughter) but no role listed. A Kevin Smith / Tarantino connection is the sort of thing that would have 90s me very excited.

It would be meta-amusing if she had a scene with Margot Robbie.
posted by octothorpe at 6:10 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Man, this is gonna be like, what, the seventh or the eighth
Tarantino film?
posted by straight at 7:14 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


The Bruce Lee scene immediately pinged as derision of the actual Bruce Lee - perhaps there's an innocent explanation (it was part of a scene that never screened?).

Mike Moh has a reasonable resemblance to Bruce. His accent was good - but more "actor" sounding than "interview" sounding, so I'm hoping that it's just a scene.
posted by porpoise at 7:36 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I agree with most in this thread; Tarantino is jejune but has (borrowed) style for days. I do credit him for identifying quality and being able to string facsimiles of different examples together well in new compositions.

But yes, he's really gross.

A former lab manager of mine's assessment of him (paraphrased, maybe 2010-ish), "I know that when he dies, youngish, it's going to come out that he is a total monster."

'Jackie Brown' is the best of his work.

Thought that Hateful 8 was boring, and Django was trying to do a 'Blazing Saddles' (?!) but failed hard.

Rewatched 'Reservoir Dogs' recently while bedridden. lol! betweenthebars - that's exactly what occurred to me having rewatched City on Fire previously.

Tim Roth/ Mr.Orange is the Chow Yun Fat's Ko role and Harvey Keitel fills in for Danny Lee's Fu role.

There's a lot of homoeroticism-adjacent stuff in there, but in 'City on Fire' - set in HK in the '80s - there was a certain kind of "legit" dude-bro romance meme* (as opposed to image macro). But I was, like, 9 at the time when it came out (and lost contact with HK culture by 12) so I'm not sure how much media affected society or how much society affect media.

*and always kinda of existed, in the form of self-choosing to be a family. "Hing Dai" (declaration that who you are addressing is a relation, transliteration is "my relation") is similar to people in the West using "brother" as a way to say "BFF," or often much less Hing Dai is very much deeper than that and Confucian-guilt tripping confers responsibilities between people who mutually accept hing dai with each other.

A lot of the mystique is based from the usage in anti-authoritarian/ guerilla/ criminal/ refugee/ underground pressure cookers, and their portrayal in media.

The most West-baffling relationship of this nature (heh, involving Chow Yun Fat) might be in Hong Kong 1941 (1984) Where Chow's character is a far better choice for the female lead, but whom makes a bond with the lead's bf and sacrifices himself so lead and her bf get the opportunity to escape. No "You save my life and now I owe it to you" necessary, at all. The opposite, really.

posted by porpoise at 8:08 PM on March 21


Sorry Quentin, I’m out. PF is the greatest ever, but it’s all fluff, or pulp I guess, but damn it was well done. Reservoir Dogs was cool as an unknown indie film but does not hold up over the years. The Kill Bills were self indulgent and ultimately boring with some inspired moments. Jackie Brown was great, no complaints. Basterds was completely overrated and by now a formulaic Tarentino revenge porn. Django was awesome, a quintessential Tarentino revenge porn. But god damn some of it was hard to watch. Hateful 8, I wanted to like you so much but you disappointed hard with your disgusting misogyny and self absorption.

I don’t believe Tarentino is gonna give me anything that’s worth the effort putting up with his ego and sick mind. If I hear amazing things, maybe I’ll go, but I have no reason to care about this film.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:30 PM on March 21 [4 favorites]


There were a couple of times, watching Tarantino's movies in the theater where one would feel, albeit just for a moment, as though anything could happen. It was a magical feeling.

I'll probably always go and see his movies. At least the characters talk. At least there are a couple of monologues. At least they make you think. But I'll probably also always be disappointed on some level that the initial promise shown in his first couple of films never blossomed as one hoped it would.
posted by xammerboy at 8:36 PM on March 21


At least the last third of the movie isn't mostly CGI like superhero movies.
posted by hippybear at 8:48 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Lotta different opinions flying around in this thread, so it is heartening to see that there's one thing we can all agree upon - DeathProof is secretly his masterpiece, so much so that no one even feels the need to mention it.

Seriously though, I am a little excited for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, despite, like others, my interest in QT waning over the last few films. I am over due to give Django another shot, since I only watched it the one time in the theater and was really into for the first half +, but the turn it took towards the end was way too tonally jarring. Like I think that's what he was going for, but it completely went splat for me. Hateful I don't even know if I could sit through it again. That shit was tedious. Really I never thought that would be an adjective I would ever use for one of his movies, but, yeah.

But I think the real reason I'm looking forward to this is I just listened to that 12 part podcast hippybear linked up thread a couple months back. Similarly, there were so many little details of the bigger picture around the Manson murders that I didn't know about. As with so much true crime stuff, there's a weird duality between it being both more horrific and more mundane than assumed. That this movie will (seemingly) be its own story that's just set in the orbit of the event really appeals to me. Especially the washed up stunt men, the abandoned Wild West film sets, all of that, yeah, I want to see this.
posted by mannequito at 11:23 PM on March 21


There were a couple of times, watching Tarantino's movies in the theater where one would feel, albeit just for a moment, as though anything could happen. It was a magical feeling.

The things that Tarantino is good at, he's really good at and that's mostly in how he constructs his films and even more in his handling of tension, both comedic and dramatic and how they are intertwined. The spell his movies create largely comes from not knowing whether a scene will end in violence or an odd tangent of conversational bonding or other unexpected lighter event.

The problem is that what he uses to build tension of both kinds is often fairly reprehensible. He crosses lines purposefully because that too helps keep the audience in his grasp while the movie plays out. It maintains a sense of the unexpected for going places, "edgy" places", that most movies don't, but that "edginess" frequently comes from joking about the abuse of women, which he tries to mitigate by having women in starring roles also acting counter-conventionally. Think of Bridget Fonda's "humorous" manner of death in Jackie Brown, the "funny" close up of a pubic hair on the Vaseline jar in Kill Bill while the orderly goes through his rape preparations, stuntman Mike's monologues in Death Proof as we see what his particular kink is, the beating of Daisy in Hateful 8, and so on. Not all of this kind of tension is tied to the abuse of women, it happens with some of the men too, but the movie conventions around women make it easier to flip the "I can't believe he did that" switch in some ways than they do for men.

I personally find the politics of Tarantino films pretty unbearable with the in the moment enjoyment in his singularity of approach (for all his borrowing of ideas Tarantino films are still their own things) evaporating soon after the movie is over, if not before, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

(Interestingly perhaps, Tarantino movies also tend to feature special pleasure taken in how they kill off the mouthiest characters in the films, which is notable mostly because they are the ones that sound most like Tarantino himself. A kind of meta-self critique perhaps?)
posted by gusottertrout at 11:42 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I thought Jackie Brown was ok. Not great, most definitely not Tarantino's best, but low-key to a fault. I know it's supposed to be low-key, and that was a bit of a shift for the first film to follow the craziness of Pulp Fiction. But I don't think it works, largely because the lead actors may be fine in supporting roles, but I didn't find them very effective as leads.

Anyway, looking forward to this. His movies are hit and miss with me; Inglorious Basterds and The Hateful Eight were excellent, though as I get older I have a lot less stomach for violence. But the writing and camerawork and acting and production are all so so well done. And the violence, while over-the-top doesn't feel gratuitous to me--there's a point to it.

But then there's films like Kill Bill (both of them) that looked like they'd be a lot of fun but never really gelled for me. Django Unchained was also a big disappointment; the blending the very real sin of American chattel slavery with a goofy fantasia revenge theme really didn't work for me.
posted by zardoz at 5:15 AM on March 22


Curious if anyone who's rewatched Reservoir Dogs and found it lacking has rewatched (or even seen) Laws of Gravity, a low-budget film that came out the same year (I saw them both at the Toronto Film Festival). I've always preferred Laws of Gravity and do think it holds up but I literally don't know a single other person who's ever seen it. I really wish Criterion would release it.
posted by dobbs at 7:16 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I actually had never seen Reservoir Dogs until a few years ago and it's good but didn't really live up to the twenty years of hype that I'd heard about it. I've never really been a fan of Pulp Fiction, it's got some great performances but it feels more like a series of sketches than an actual movie.
posted by octothorpe at 7:32 AM on March 22


"I know that when he dies, youngish, it's going to come out that he is a total monster."

Him and, I suspect, Eli Roth, yes.

Django was so revealing partially because he ostensibly made choices that he apparently thought were not racist -- violence, regardless of where it is directed, is always from the POV of a black character, except that doesn't quite work in film, especially not when you know your audience is going to be white -- and just managed to confirm that he is, at his core, blind and deaf to anyone but himself, and views all things as fodder for entertainment, including but not limited to suffering he has not even tried to understand. This does not even get into the exceptionalist superhero "but why don't they just revolt?" nonsense, or the way he manages to treat Broomhilda as, of course, a nonentity, except when she's suffering.

And Sally Menke really made his dialog work. The tension people keep referring to -- that was her. She largely built that with editing. So let's add "gained a reputation on the back of a woman's work" to the list.

All of this to say: I don't particularly feel the need to watch him voyeuristically murder Margot Robbie, and this film will probably be another piece of evidence in the likely inevitable "Tarantino was always a monster" expose of the future.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:56 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


At least the last third of the movie isn't mostly CGI like superhero movies.

“At least it didn’t employ too many people.”
posted by Sys Rq at 12:36 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


In a real sense, and excluding the unseen-by-anyone Once Upon a Time..., an argument can be made this Tarantino started at his high point and dwindled over time.

It's hard to overstate how amazing Reservoir Dogs was in 1992. I mean, it was amazing -- violent, profane, splashy, and inventive as all hell. Then Pulp Fiction happened, and showed a real evolution of his approach; I remember thinking that it was ridiculous that these two were his first two films, and that either he would remake filmmaking entirely or never top them.

I was right, but not in the way I hoped.

I'm there for folks who love Jackie, but it never resonated as much with me as it does with other people. I _do_ think it's a window into an alternate universe where QT worked with more outside writers, or did more adaptations, because the idea of that is really compelling, and JB is something else from the rest of his more all-Tarantino works, and in a very good and interesting way.

Kill Bill is stylistic excess. It's form over function, splash over substance. There's not a lot of there there. Not for nothing, but while I've watched RD and PF many times over the years, I've never rewatched all of either KB film -- nor have I revisited anything after this point. I saw Basterds, Django, and Eight in theaters, and haven't seen any of them sense. Of those, the closest I'd come is Basterds, but it's still small beer compared to RD or PF.

I hope, now in his 50s, we get something better this time around.

(And yeah, somehow I skipped Death Proof. Oops?)
posted by uberchet at 1:31 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


I still think Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece and it's still in my top ten, may be top five and I love True Romance, based on his script... Dogs is solid still (it gained an insane amount of extra kudos in the UK by being banned on video/dvd for ages - the past really is a different country). Jackie Brown was an honest to god, grown-up, proper movie whilst still being a QT movie and Kill Bill Part One was, mostly, an insane roller coaster ride...

But something seems to have broken then and from KB2 onward the films were never the same as before ... instead of the dozens of times I've watched the others I've only watch the recent ones one or two times each; I'd pretty much forgotten Eight even existed.

But I live in hope and may be Hollywood will be a return to form.

Also I've no doubts that QT is a colossal dick in real life, you can def see bits of it in interviews and his encounters with the public.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:26 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Although tbf perhaps he's not of his best in interviews... seems to do a lot of sniffing and rubbing his nose, perhaps press tours give him the flu?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


(I see what you did there, fearful.)
posted by uberchet at 4:35 PM on March 24


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