View Poll Results: ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD

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Thread: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

  1. #51
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Rumor mill says a four hour cut may appear...
    Although that assumes Netflix does what it did with Hateful Eight and have end credits after each "episode."

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  2. #52
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Ezee E (view post)
    Although that assumes Netflix does what it did with Hateful Eight and have end credits after each "episode."
    Possible. Tarantino made those episodes himself at least.

  3. #53
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    Why would one have more sympathy for Sharon Tate than Cliff's wife? Because Cliff's wife doesn't exist.
    I've held off from replying because I've been trying to parse out my response here, so hopefully this makes sense. What confounds me is that although part of Tarantino's agenda here is to reveal the transgressiveness of many of his characters (to choose to go overseas to make a film, to cite just one example), I don't understand what we gain by having a transgressive, probable (?) wife-killer be structured as the fundamental hero here. What do we gain by having sympathy for Cliff as a murderer that doesn't contradict the film's judgment of the Manson killers?

    So much of the film works to try to show us Tate's interiority, but the part where it could best do so would be in the hippie-hitch scene, which he cuts from, and so she remains just a dream object. And I'm basically fine if she appeared at the opening and close of the film, but she's given so much less interest here than Cliff or Dalton even as she remains "central," so why does the film have less sympathy for her--to come back to your wording--than for the male, nonexistent characters that make up nearly the whole run time?

    That ends up being my central hangup with the film...
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  4. #54
    The thing with Cliff’s wife is a callback to Natalie Wood. His wife’s name is even Natalie. I don’t know that it’s any more “probable” (based on what we saw) that Cliff murdered his wife than it is that Robert Wagner murdered Natalie Wood. That is, to say, we have absolutely no way of knowing for sure, and the general mystery behind it is something that creates a cultural conversation.

    I don’t know that it adds much to the character or the film’s moral center, but this sort of intrigue that casted a shadow over certain celebrities was very much a part of the old Hollywood era. I think Tarantino was just trying to infuse that general mystique into his film.
    Last edited by DavidSeven; 08-04-2019 at 11:12 PM.
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  5. #55
    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    This read completely flies in the face of Tarantino's m/o his entire career and the arguments he has been making about on screen violence vs. real life violence for years. Cliff's wife is not real, in the same way that Cliff is not real. They are both made up characters that exist only on screen, on page, and in QT's head. Sharon Tate was most certainly a real person, as were the Manson family, Adolf Hitler, and the millions of people killed in the holocaust. Why would one have more sympathy for Sharon Tate than Cliff's wife? Because Cliff's wife doesn't exist.
    At the risk of nit-picking a movie I otherewise enjoyed for the most part, the details about Cliff and his wife did bother me a bit, seeing as how the film had all-but-confirmed that he did kill her (it certainly never implied his innocence at any point), so, during the climax, we're basically supposed to root for some real-life murderers to get completely brutalized... by a fellow murderer, which muddies the waters for what's an unnecessary character detail (as the film firmly established Cliff's capability/propensity for violence multiple other times anyway, like in the fight with Lee, the confrontation at the ranch, etc.,), so it just feels like another example of Tarantino not being aware of the occasional obnoxiousness of his more sadistic tendencies, and somewhat undermines the whole point of the scene. He's a fictional murderer, yes, but obviously, he's just as "real" within the reality of the film as the Manson Family are, so it just doesn't work, unless Tarantino was trying to go for some additional meta-commentary that the fictional characters/elements in the film don't matter in the sobering light of what really happened, but in that case, then the extreme historical revisionism doesn't matter either, and there's no real catharsis in all the carnage during that scene, which is not something I can imagine he intended. It's like that part in DP when we're supposed to (very abruptly) start rooting for the girls to get revenge after they just abandoned their friend to be sexually assaulted by "Tom Joad", and laughed about it as they drove away; Tarantino, stop being such a socio, would ya?

  6. #56
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    seeing as how the film had all-but-confirmed that he did kill her (it certainly never implied his innocence at any point)
    I disagree. The ambiguity is the point. It's a reference to old Hollywood rumor and intrigue. If the only point was to show us that Cliff was a killer, then Tarantino would've shown us the entire scene.
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  7. #57
    Quote Quoting DavidSeven (view post)
    I disagree. The ambiguity is the point. It's a reference to old Hollywood rumor and intrigue. If the only point was to show us that Cliff was a killer, then Tarantino would've shown us the entire scene.
    I feel that, if being ambiguous was Tarantino's intention with that sub-plot, he should've been just a little more... ambiguous with it; of course, we don't explicitly see what happened to Cliff's wife, but, like I said, the film all-but confirms it with its various indications, as, among other things, Cliff makes a remark about how prison's been trying to nab him for something for some time now, multiple characters believe that he did it (and the only one who doesn't is the guy who holds a personal bias as his best friend), and most importantly of all, the way we see him hanging out on the boat, drunk and with a speargun in hand, all alone, and staring at a stereotypically naggy "bitch" who won't quit trying to pick a fight with him as the sound of a wave omniously washes over her dialogue at the end of the scene. Again, at the risk of nit-picking, if all of that is supposed to be "ambigious" just because we don't technically see him kill her, then I think we're gonna need a fundamental redefinition of that word.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 08-08-2019 at 08:37 AM.

  8. #58
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    Yeahhh, I never once thought Cliff didn't kill his wife. The cries of ambiguity confuse me. The Natalie Wood connection certainly still applies though, cuz let's face it, Wagner definitely killed her.
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  9. #59
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    most importantly of all, the way we see him hanging out on the boat, drunk and with a speargun in hand, all alone, and staring at a stereotypically naggy "bitch" who won't quit trying to pick a fight with him as the sound of a wave omniously washes over her dialogue at the end of the scene.
    But what results from that setup is your projection of how you expect that scenario to play out. Not what is actually shown or said in the film. You see a wife nagging her husband while he has a harpoon in his hand, and you decide he must have used it in that moment to kill her, even though there's literally nothing in the film that says or shows she was stabbed by a harpoon. The bottom line is that not showing us what actually happened was a deliberate choice, probably with the expectation that debates like this would occur.

    Tarantino is not in the business of implying or "all but confirming" violence. He's in the business of showing it. If he doesn't, then that is a choice in itself that suggests something deeper. Regarding Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood, I won't profess to know what happened there, but certainly many in Hollywood believe in his innocence, as he has been working non-stop for four decades.
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  10. #60
    MadMan After Hours MadMan's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree that QT was going for the Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood bit. Which is odd considering that the inspiration for Rick and Cliff is Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham.
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  11. #61
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    After seeing it a second time with a clear head, I feel comfortable to say I really liked it. It does run long and feels self-indulgent at times, but it authentically and passionately recreates Hollywood at a point in time where everyone was dedicated to the craft of filmmaking. It gives audiences time to feel how big the town is with every car ride, ponder what kind of people these characters are, and meditate about how much Hollywood has and has not changed since the tragedy its meandering but focused plot centered around. It ultimately serves as a lovely yet melancholy reminder of what Hollywood would be if Sharon Tate were still alive today.

    And because everybody's doing it:

    1. Pulp Fiction
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    4. The Hateful Eight
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    6. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
    7. Reservoir Dogs
    8. Jackie Brown
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    Last edited by Ivan Drago; 08-11-2019 at 03:56 AM.
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  12. #62
    MadMan After Hours MadMan's Avatar
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    Django
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  13. #63
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting DavidSeven (view post)
    Tarantino is not in the business of implying or "all but confirming" violence. He's in the business of showing it. If he doesn't, then that is a choice in itself that suggests something deeper. Regarding Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood, I won't profess to know what happened there, but certainly many in Hollywood believe in his innocence, as he has been working non-stop for four decades.
    I agree. Not to mention, even if he did kill his wife, are we supposed to mindlessly 'root' for him like he's a superhero? We didn't necessarily 'root' for Jules & Vincent in Pulp Fiction, two people who have killed more than one lady on a boat. In yet, we enjoyed their company and many people have watched their story multiple times. Same goes for Michael Corleone and Henry Hill in Goodfellas (a real person involved in murder, no less).

    I think the story with his wife (which David Seven correctly noted is truncated for a reason, to create an air of ambiguity) is there for shade and coloring. We're told he is a 'war hero' (read: killed people real good overseas), he's tough enough to take out Bruce Lee, and to add even more grey area, may or may not have gotten away with killing his wife.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 08-12-2019 at 12:35 AM.
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  14. #64
    Quote Quoting DavidSeven (view post)
    But what results from that setup is your projection of how you expect that scenario to play out. Not what is actually shown or said in the film. You see a wife nagging her husband while he has a harpoon in his hand, and you decide he must have used it in that moment to kill her, even though there's literally nothing in the film that says or shows she was stabbed by a harpoon. The bottom line is that not showing us what actually happened was a deliberate choice, probably with the expectation that debates like this would occur.

    Tarantino is not in the business of implying or "all but confirming" violence. He's in the business of showing it. If he doesn't, then that is a choice in itself that suggests something deeper. Regarding Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood, I won't profess to know what happened there, but certainly many in Hollywood believe in his innocence, as he has been working non-stop for four decades.
    But the notion that that aspect of the film was intended to be taken as ambiguous on the whole is itself a projection based off of what is, at best, a 10% ambiguity (and even going that high is being generous), which is far, far outweighed by all of the indicators I listed both inside and outside of that scene that show QT indicating otherwise, a couple of which I didn't even have the space to list earlier, such as Cliff mentioning that he already did time on a chain gang for an earlier offense, or the fact that he didn't even bother to verbally defend himself at all when he was being called a "wife-killer" (in fact, he just looked away in exasperation, which is much more the reaction of a guilty man being publically embarassed with the truth, rather than that of an innocent man's outrage at an outrageous false accusation).

    I'm not expecting the film to go into an O.J.: Made in America-length tangent about the facts of that "case", but the beliefs of the three outside parties that Cliff murdered her, based off of whatever facts they're personally aware of in the film's universe, serve as a cinematic shorthand for what QT's intentions with that sub-plot were, and the primary reason he cut away from showing what happened wasn't to be ambiguous, it was because he was more than clear enough about what probably happened on that boat, and he trusts our intelligence enough that he knows he doesn't actually have to show what happened. The choice not to do so does indeed suggest something deeper, but it's because unnecessarily including a violent moment that early in the film would've clashed with the relatively restrained content he was going for (as he was smartly saving most of the bloodshed up for the climax), and not because he was trying to build up some sort of mystery there.

    At the end of the day, there's barely any more evidence for that reading of that element of Hollywood then there is for the assumption that Bruce Lee fight was just Cliff's fantasy, and saying it's ambiguous is like saying it was ambiguous in Death Proof whether or not Lee was about to be sexually assaulted by the mechanic after her friends abandoned her (after lying to him that she was a porn star); he didn't show the result of that scene to be ambiguous, he did it because he already made it clear what the end result of that scenario was going to end up being, just like he made it pretty damn clear what in all likelihood happened between Cliff & his wife.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 08-15-2019 at 07:20 AM.

  15. #65
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    "Either he's alive or he's dead, or the cops got him... or they don't."
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 08-16-2019 at 06:19 PM.
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    Joker - 7
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  16. #66
    Regarding whether or not Cliff killed his wife, my read was: Maybe he didn't do it, but even if he did, the bitch had it coming.

    On the other hand, when people start claiming that the scene with Bruce Lee is filtered through Cliff's subjective memories and may not be a reliable account of what actually transpired, I start to think that Tarantino's fans have weaponized the concept of ambiguity as an all-purpose trump card to defuse any and all criticisms of his work.
    Last edited by baby doll; 08-20-2019 at 06:47 AM.
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  17. #67
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the movie, but as a massive fan of Bruce Lee and his legacy, spoiler alert for his people freaking out about this movie, 1. Bruce was arrogant, 2. By all reports, Hitler wasn't gunned down in a theater that was on fire as Jewish employees laughed on the screen. Relax.

  18. #68
    I think seeing many scenes, including the finale, as a form of wish fulfillment for the Cliff character is just a fun way to read the film, not so much as a defense of anything presented on screen. As far as the Bruce Lee scene, I saw a character (Lee) who was portrayed as having bravado and a sense of humor. I thought it was cool, personally, and saw nothing there to take offense to, regardless if it was "real life" or a daydream. The fact that people are upset that the character had a competitive fight with a fictional person is just absurd.
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  19. #69
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I haven't seen the movie, but as a massive fan of Bruce Lee and his legacy, spoiler alert for his people freaking out about this movie, 1. Bruce was arrogant, 2. By all reports, Hitler wasn't gunned down in a theater that was on fire as Jewish employees laughed on the screen. Relax.
    I'm not objecting to the scene itself but the reflexive recourse to "ambiguity" as a means of defusing the criticism of it when there's nothing to suggest that the film's narration is unreliable. (The only scene marked as a fantasy is when Tarantino Forrest Gumps DiCapprio into The Great Escape.)
    Last edited by baby doll; 08-20-2019 at 06:47 AM.
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  20. #70
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    2. By all reports, Hitler wasn't gunned down in a theater that was on fire as Jewish employees laughed on the screen. Relax.
    This is the part that gets me the most about the criticisms towards this movie's "accuracy". Anyone who saw Inglourious Basterds yet still went into this expecting anything but for Tarantino to fictionalize history in a way that completely changes the true story once again is a fool, plain and simple.

  21. #71
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I'm not objecting to the scene itself but the reflexive recourse to "ambiguity" as a means of defusing the criticism of it when there's nothing to suggest that the film's narration is unreliable. (The only scene marked as a fantasy is when Tarantino Forrest Gumps DiCapprio into The Great Escape.)
    My comment wasnt pointed at you. I get what you're saying, completely. I'm not defending the film (again, havent seen it yet.)

    I follow a lot of martial arts pages and there is real vitriol. And theres the other angle, he fights a fictional character. Even if based on a real person, it's not real. Guess what, Bruce could get his ass kicked by Godzilla, Robocop, and Spongebob Squarepants in cinema and it wouldn't bother me a tick.

    If you study the sport enough, it's also not crazy to speculate who couldve possibly beat Bruce in real life. He was not a god. There were people that couldve beaten him. In no way does that undercut his abilities or especially his revolutionizing the art. He was the Jesus of martial arts and brought the New Testement to the world. But he was not an immortal super-saiyan.

  22. #72
    I don't like Leo, but he is very good in this

  23. #73
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Also, Bruce kind of lets his guard down on the attack considering his first attempt was so easy. He let his guard down. Easy tactic.

    Anything for clickbait these days though.

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  24. #74
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    "Does Bruce have a gun?"
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    "Does Bruce Lee have a gun? Because if not, then it's Ali in 30 seconds." - Michael Ehrmantraut
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  25. #75
    Cinematographer StanleyK's Avatar
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    While this was pretty good, it continued the trend in QT's latest movies of feeling bloated. This could've benefited from some trimming down, and it certainly felt slower paced than his other movies (except maybe The Hateful Eight). To be honest, most of Tate's scenes felt extraneous. However on the positive side, this was probably his funniest movie to date; one area where he's constantly improving is comedy.

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