Thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Just between you and me, I’m the last person you want writing a review. My head is easily turned by attractive faces, and this film has plenty of those. But, with the exception of Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Sharon Tate, most of the pretty people are viewed through a layer of grit.

Undoubtedly, though, Brad Pitt, as rough and tumble stunt double, Cliff Booth, is still so handsome that he makes me stutter when asking Studly Doright for some, “p-p-popc-c-corn.” And Leonardo DiCaprio manages to retain his boyish good looks underneath the seedy B actor character, Rick Dalton.

So, as you can see, these three make it impossible for me to provide an unbiased review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I can provide you with some vaguely coherent thoughts, though.

  • Brad Pitt’s performance is perfection. As pretty as he is, heaven knows he could’ve “phoned in” a few performances in his career, but he always seems to bring his A+ game. Okay, maybe his prettiness got to me, but if you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think.
  • Typical Quentin Tarantino film–could’ve been thirty minutes shorter with no problem. Having said that, he’s a storyteller, and I appreciate that.
  • Parts of the film are graphically violent. Again, Typical Tarantino.
  • I knew Dakota Fanning was in the film, but could never figure out who she was. After I googled the cast this morning and discovered which role she played, I was blown away. She was chillingly low key.
  • I didn’t want to see this film, but have to admit to liking it anyway. Studly Doright is now crowing, “I told you so!”
  • Having read everything I could get my hands on about the Manson family and the Tate-LaBianca murders as a teenager, I was curious to see how the reality of the actual events would play out in this work of fiction.
  • In reference to my last comment–Liberties were taken. I approve. Yes, I’m sure Mr. Tarantino was waiting with bated breath for my thumbs up on the film.
  • The soundtrack is groovy. I dig the Mamas and the Papas….
  • Luke Perry was in this film. I cried a bit when I realized it had to have been his final role before he suffered a stroke earlier this year.
  • Lots of stars playing bit parts. That always makes me smile.
  • I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie again, especially since I had to take a bathroom break during one scene that turned out to have some impact on the ending.
  • The actress, Rachel Redleaf, who played Mama Cass Elliott never uttered a line, but sure channeled the essence of perhaps the greatest rock voice of my youth.

I have more thoughts, but they’re becoming less coherent as I go. One suggestion, though. Don’t see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and then go to bed without letting it drift away a bit. My dreams were full of weird 60’s type imagery, and no, I don’t do acid.

Peace, people.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot Meets Tarzan


Tina Fey
Saturday evening Studly Doright and I stayed in to watch a movie on On Demand. He’d played golf all day in 100° heat, and couldn’t muster the energy to wade through noisy theater crowds to see the new Tarzan movie, but promised we could go on Sunday.

After perusing the On Demand offerings we quickly settled on Whisky Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey. Based on a true story, WTF follows the exploits of war correspondent Kim Barker, played by Fey, who risks life and limb to get her stories on camera while embedded with Marines in Afghanistan. In the film Barker befriends fellow reporter and rival, Tanya Vanderpoel, played by Margot Robbie. 

Studly and I enjoyed the movie which didn’t do terribly well at the box office. WTF was gritty fare, not Fey’s normal comedy genre, although there were amusing scenes. Billy Bob Thornton is good as the officer in charge of the Marines who comes to show grudging respect for Fey’s character.

On Sunday afternoon Studly kept his promise and took me into Tallahassee to see the newest rendition of the Tarzan saga, in 3D no less. I believe I’ve written about Tarzan’s influence on my young life. Having spent many a Sunday morning in front of a black and white TV watching Johnny Weismuller wrestle lions and alligators, I felt like I’d been raised by apes, as well. So I was eager to see how this version stacked up.

I already had a mad crush on the newest Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood fame, but could he pull off the role of Lord Greystoke/King of the Apes? Oh yes. Ohhhh yes. (Excuse me while I fan myself vigorously) 

(Okay, I’m back) The rest of the cast was well chosen. Samuel L. Jackson and Cristoph Waltz were both major players. I didn’t know the young woman who played Jane; although, she looked so familiar. Where had I seen her before? 

Throughout the film I pondered that question. Whoever she was her character was the perfect match for Tarzan. Strong-willed and witty, she held her own against the bad guys, led by Waltz’s character.

When we returned to Doright Manor I googled the cast for Tarzan and realized why Jane looked so familiar. We’d just watched her in Whisky Tango Foxtrot the night before. The lovely and spunky Margot Robbie was Tarzan’s Jane. 

Tarzan, the film, was fun. Tarzan, the man, was hot. And Margot Robbie, it seems, is everywhere. See WTF. See Tarzan


Alexander Skarsgård