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There are no half-measures in Quentin Tarantino movies. There is nothing partial about the films that he makes. They might be shaggy or smug or gratuitous or plain indulgent, but they are never anything less than the full extent of what he intends them to be.

That utter commitment is a big part of what has made Tarantino into perhaps the most influential mainstream filmmaker of his generation. More than any of his peers, he has shaped both the creation and consumption of popular culture over the past quarter-century – largely by celebrating and appropriating the popular culture that shaped him.

In that sense, “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood” – Tarantino’s ninth (Ish? Still not sure I’m buying the “Kill Bill” duology as one movie) film – is the culmination of a creative journey of sorts. It’s a full-on love letter to the Hollywood of the late 1960s, the Hollywood that produced so many of the influences that impacted his creative development. At its heart, from the title on down, it is a fairy tale. It also might be the most sentimental offering of QT’s career.

While it unfolds using the infamous Manson Family murders as a backdrop, “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood” isn’t really ABOUT Charles Manson or his followers or even the doomed Sharon Tate. It’s about what it means to fade from a world that is itself fading away. It is about the ever-turning cogs behind the romance of Tinseltown and the notion that the end isn’t coming but has instead already happened without you noticing. It is about what it means to be a rising star and what it means to fall. It is a vivid reimagining of a tumultuous time, all viewed through the lens of one man’s battle against his looming irrelevance.

Published in Movies
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 21:50

And the dead shall rise The Revenant'

Film features stunning visuals, exceptional performances

Sometimes, Oscar buzz can be a bit much.

Take a movie like 'The Revenant,' for example. It seems like we've been hearing about this film's awards potential for months now. Not only is it writer/director Alejandro Inarritu's follow-up to last year's 'Birdman' last year's Best Picture winner that also snagged Inarritu a pair of trophies for Director and Original Screenplay but it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, whose desperate desire for Academy recognition has become increasingly overt.

But when you sit down to actually watch the film, none of that other stuff matters. What Inarritu and company have created in 'The Revenant' is something truly special a visually stunning, powerfully performed story of betrayal and revenge. So it turns out there's a reason that people think this movie is going to win a bunch of hardware - the reason being that it's really f---ing good.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:11

The not-so-great Gatsby'

Literary adaptation more sizzle than steak

Turning a literary classic into a cinematic one is no easy task. Many talented filmmakers have tried and failed to bring a great novel to life on the screen.

Baz Luhrmann is taking a swing with his latest, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 'The Great Gatsby.' The novel, first published in 1925, is deemed by many to be on the short list of contenders for the best American novel ever written.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:19

Revenge served red-hot Django Unchained'

Tarantino's latest also one of his greatest

In a lot of ways, Quentin Tarantino is the quintessential filmmaker of his generation - he really gives his myriad pop culture influences free range to shape his films. If nothing else, no one out there manages to let his film freak flag fly quite like Tarantino does. He might not be the most technically gifted filmmaker out there, but he might just be the one who is most passionate about movies in general.

That passion is what elevates his films films which could easily have become rehashed exploitative dreck into something so much more. His gift is the ability to put a handful of disparate concepts into a sort of cinematic blender and spit out a silver screen smoothie that not only works, but somehow bears his undeniably unique stamp.

Published in Movies

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