Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a comedy-drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, and Visiona Romantica and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is an international co-production between the United States and the United Kingdom. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie — I am neutral as to the quality of the movie but I feel it is worth seeing.
**** SOME SPOILERS ****
In February 1969, Los Angeles actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), star of 1950’s Western television series, Bounty Law is now a struggling has-been. Realizing he is no longer the young budding star he was in the 50s, Rick shares this revolution with his best friend and former stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), that his career is over. Cliff, a war veteran, lives in a trailer behind a drive-in movie with his pit bull, Brandy. He drives Rick (whose license is suspended) around town and relies on him for work because there have been rumors circulating that Cliff got away with killing his wife.
Meanwhile, actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her husband director Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha) have moved next door to Rick’s house, causing him to have dreams of befriending the couple in order to restore his failing status. Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) stops by Polanski and Tate’s house looking for record producer, Terry Melcher, who used to live there but is turned away by Tate’s ex-boyfriend, Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch). Cliff later picks up a young hitchhiker he’d seen around town, named Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) while driving Rick’s car. He drops her off at the Spahn Movie Ranch, where Cliff shot Bounty Law. She tries to persuade him to stay, but he is suspicious of the large number of hippies squatting on the property. Worried that owner George Spahn (Bruce Dern) is being taken advantage of, Cliff insists checking on Spahn despite Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s (Dakota Fanning) objections; Spahn dismisses Cliff’s fears. Returning to his car, Cliff discovers that Steve Grogan (James Landry Hébert) has slashed his front tire; Cliff brutally beats Grogan and forces him to change the tire. Manson girl, Sundance (Cassidy Hice) goes to fetch Charles “Tex “Watson (Austin Butler) but Cliff is driving away by the time Watson arrives. Meanwhile, Rick lands the role of a villain in a new series called Lancer. He strikes up a conversation with his young co-star Trudi Fraser (Julia Butters), a method actress. During one of his scenes, Rick struggles with his lines due to his alcoholism and later has an emotional breakdown in his trailer. He returns and gives a powerful performance that impresses the director and Trudi, bolstering Rick’s confidence. After watching Rick’s performance as a guest star on an episode of The F.B.I., director Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) offers Rick the opportunity to shoot a Spaghetti Western in Rome.
I really didn’t dislike Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, I thought it was a bit slow at times and downright boring at times. I wasn’t sure where this movie was trying to take me or what the moral of the story was until the end. Tarantino rewrote a story everyone knew and made it the way he wished it had ended. This twist was a big surprise that made the movie worth seeing. The acting was absolutely brilliant. FYI: This was the last film to feature (Luke Perry who played Wayne Maunder) and died in March of 2019. This also became the first Tarantino film not to be associated with producer Harvey Weinstein, after Tarantino cut ties following sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein in October. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that critics had “an overall positive view” of the film, who called the film “Tarantino’s love letter to ’60s L.A.” and praised its casting choices and setting, though some were “divided on its ending.” Bounty Law is based on Wanted Dead or Alive (1958–1961). Rick Dalton’s relationship with Cliff Booth is based on that of actor Burt Reynolds and his longtime stunt double Hal Needham. Once Upon A Time… isn’t for everyone however, I highly recommend it to those who like a good fantasy ending. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged "Butterfly", "Delilah", "Froggie", "Pebbles", "Pussycat", Abigail Folger, Al Pacino, angel, Austin Butler, “Tadpole”, Bill "Sweet William Tumbleweed" Fritsch, Billie Booth, Bobby "Top Hat" Beausoleil, Bounty Law, brad pitt, brenda vaccaro, bruce dern, bruce lee, Cassidy Vick Hice, Catherine "Capistrano" Gillies, Catherine "Gypsy" Share, Charles "Tex" Watson, Charles Manson, Cliff Booth, connie, Costa Ronin, dakota fanning, Dallas Jay Hunter, Damian Lewis, Damon Herriman, Danielle Harris, Dianne "Snake" Lake, donnie, Dyani Del Castillo, Ella Jo "Sundance" Bailey, Emile Hirsch, Francesca Capucci, George Spahn, Harley Quinn Smith, James Landry Hébert, James Stacy, Janet, Jay Sebring, Joanna Pettet, Josephine Valentina Clark, Julia Butters, Kansas Bowling, kurt russell, Lena Dunham, leonardo dicaprio, Leslie "Lulu" Van Houten, Linda "Flower Child" Kasabian, Lorenza Izzo, Luke Perry, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Madisen Beaty, Mama Cass, Margaret Qualley, margot robbie, Marvin Schwarz, Mary Alice Schwarz, Maya Hawke, Michelle Phillips, Mike Moh, Mikey Madison, Monica Staggs, Nicholas Hammond, Omar Doom, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parker Love Bowling, Patricia "Katie" Krenwinkel, quentin tarantino, Rachel Redleaf, Rafał Zawierucha, Randy, Rebecca Gayheart, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Rick Dalton, Roman Polanski, Ronnie Zappa, Ruby Rose Skotchdopole, Rumer Willis, Sam Wanamaker, Samantha Robinson, Sandra "Blue" Good, Sharon Tate, Steve "Clem" Grogan, steve mcqueen, Susan "Sadie" Atkins, Sydney Sweeney, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Hartig, Trudi Fraser, Victoria Pedretti, Wayne Maunder, Wojciech Frykowski, Zoë Bell
X-Men: Apocalypse may very well be the best of the X-men series I’ve seen. What made it so good was the clear, simple story that was still full of action, adventure and special effects galore. I loved that the story wasn’t over the top, full of a million sub plots and tons of flash backs that you couldn’t put together until the end. Instead, the story flowed and was kept simple and focused mostly on the current issues. Of course that makes the film a little more predictable but you won’t have a king size headache when you leave the theater. The plot is nothing I haven’t heard before. Between Heroes (the TV series) and Marvel’s, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV series) it seems the “Mutants” are in the same boat all over the universe. They’re considered dangerous and a threat to society, so they must be stopped by any means necessary. In Apocalypse, the plan is to take control of them and use them to help rule the new world, headed up by an ancient “god” named En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) who was resurrected in 1983 after being entombed by worshipers who betrayed him in 3600 BC. Claiming to be the first all powerful and immortal mutant born in ancient times, this god is able to give and take powers from other mutants at random. Some of his powers include telekinesis, telepathy, technopathy, superhuman strength, and size-control. His philosophy is to kill off backward civilizations. In other words, if you’re not modern, you’re history. He feels the world has lost its way without his leadership and wants to rebuild after destroying the present one. Apocalypse meets, recruits and upgrades the power of a pickpocket named Ororo Munroe / Storm (Alexandra Shipp – who can control the weather) as one of his 4 lieutenants. In the meanwhile, Raven Darkhölme / Mystique, (Jennifer Lawrence – a shape-shifter) who is on her own, helping rescue mutants who are oppressed or enslaved, investigates an underground fight club and discovers Warren Worthington III / Angel / Archangel (Ben Hardy – A mutant with bird-like feathered wings on his back and is a champion fighter) and Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee – a teleporting mutant). Raven rescues Kurt and employs the services of Caliban (Tómas Lemarquis – a black marketeer and transporter) to safely transport him to the United States. En Sabah Nur discovers Elizabeth Braddock / Psylocke, (Olivia Munn – Caliban’s enforcer who is a mutant with telepathic and telekinetic abilities). He recruits her as the second of Apocalypse’s horsemen, known as Pestilence. She leads him to Angel who he also recruits, upgrading his wings to metal. He now needs one more recruit to complete his 4 horsemen. He encounters a disgruntled Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Michael Fassbender – a mutant with the ability to control magnetic fields and manipulate metal, who becomes the last of Apocalypse’s horsemen, known as War.)
New to the school of mutants, is Scott Summers / Cyclops (Tye Sheridan – a mutant that fires uncontrollable, destructive optic beams and wears a visor or sunglasses to stabilize and contain them). He is also the younger brother of Alex Summers / Havok (Lucas Till – a mutant who has the ability to absorb energy and release it with destructive force from his body).
For you “Game of Thrones” fans, (Sophie Turner) plays Jean Grey a mutant who is scared of her telepathic and telekinetic power, and one of Charles Xavier’s most prized students. Sophie gives a powerful performance in X-men and lends an aura of innocence missing from everyone else. She is perfect in this role.
Logan / Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) makes an appearance in the movie that is unique and adds a bit of comic relief at just the right time. Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver (Evan Peters – a mutant who can move, think, and perceive at supersonic speeds). Quicksilver also has a secret everyone is going to want to know about.
As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor Charles Xavier / Professor X, (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction. I urge you to see this sequel as it is loaded with surprises, twist and turns and is just down right good. There are many more mutants and much more to this story. I know I’ve given you lots of spoilers but it’s a needle in a hay stack compared to the what’s left to see.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alex summers, alexandra shipp, angel, apocalypse, ben hardy, caliban, cyclops, death, en sabah nur, erik lehnsherr, evan peters, famine, havok, james mcavory, jean grey, jennifer lawrence, kodi smit-mcphee, kurt wagner, lucas till, magneto, michael fassbender, mystique, nightcrawler, olivia munn, ororo munroe, oscar isaac, pestilence, peter maximoff, professor charles xavier, psylocketomas lemarquis, quicksilver, raven, scott summers, sophie turner, storm, tye sheridan, war, X-Men: Apocalypse
Not only is this a feel good movie, it sends a powerful message of forgiveness and redemption. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD! Having lived in Harlem the first 13 years of my life, I can attest to a village that didn’t allow children on the streets during school hours or back talk to adults or any type of disrespect to elders. Most parents disciplined their children and didn’t try to be their friends. Church was a way of life and teenage pregnancies were not celebrated. Black Nativity stars Jennifer Hudson as Naima, Forrest Whitaker as Reverend Cornell Cobbs, Angela Bassett as Aretha Cobbs, Mary J. Blige as the Angel, Tyrese Gibson as Loot and Jacob Latimore as Langston. I had no idea what to expect but boy was I pleasantly pleased. If you’re human, emotions will arise and hallelujahs will be shouted. A mother and son facing eviction is challenged to deal with their past in order to move forward in a positive way. Naima, a single mom, sends her only child, during the Christmas holidays, from from Maryland to Harlem, NY to live with grandparents he doesn’t know. Having mixed emotions about leaving his mom, Langston makes decisions based on his current circumstances. The music is outstanding, the singing superb and the acting by such a stellar cast, fantastic. While this film is a shoe in for Christians, I think everyone will agree, Black navitivy is good for anyone’s soul. I for one, have made plans to purchase this one for my library of exceptional movies.
Posted in CHRISTIAN TALK, DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged angel, angela bassett, aretha cobbs, black nativity, church, emotions, Forest Whitaker, grandparents, harlem, jacob latimore, jennifer hudson, langston, loot, mary j blige, maryland, music, naima, ny, reverend cornell cobbs, singing, tyrese gibson