Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) (mini-review++)

Once-Upon-a-Time-in-Hollywood(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 9

directing 7

effects 7

editing 7

writing 8


3.8 out of 5 🐙


Quentin Tarantino directed my favorite movie: Pulp Fiction. It’s every artist’s prerogative to develop his style during the course of his career. Pulp Fiction is a movie from two decades ago and made by a different director. I guess I just miss the sharp, irreverent, hilarious dialogue that was probably purple and excessive. But I wouldn’t take back a word. I can re-watch Pulp Fiction over and over and belly laugh at all the same jokes. Besides his Oscar-winning words, his skill with actors, now established, gained three acting nominations. But while the acting and directing in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is elite and mature and nuanced, it feels like something that is less than the sum of its parts and the graceful bulk of the film is topped off with a madcap, grotesque end scene that, while funny feels completely atonal and out of place with the rest of the film. I wouldn’t even expect that hyperviolence in Pulp Fiction, a film that is by no means peaceful. And unlike Pulp Fiction, I don’t have any desire to see this movie again. It’s not that I think it’s bad. It’s just that I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters’ journies. None evolved. And entire subplots were either completely useless (the time in Italy) or ludicrous (a stuntman equaling Bruce Lee in a fight). And this is hard to say because I LOVE Margot Robbie but I don’t see, in Tarantino’s alternative retelling, makes any contribution to the plot at all. All that said, it’s a fine film. But it’s just not one that made my heart soar. And maybe that means you should just ignore this review. I tried to balance my judgment and taste with my silly scores. I doubt I succeeded.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)


Leave a Reply