Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

As noted previously, I reserve the right to increase the rating and have done so. It's a great summation of the second half of Tarantino's directorial career: www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/02/quentin-tarantinos-movies-are-about-power-stories-mold-reality-especially-unexpected-ways/

The number of bad-faith #takes surrounding this movie are astounding. For instance: I thought for sure that no one could take offense at the film's treatment of the Manson girls in an ideologically motivated effort to cast Tarantino as a sexist; I was wrong. There's one webcomic in particular that's been making the rounds that hits all the tropes—it's sexist, it's racist, it's a foot fetish film, etc.—that is especially stupid. Though I would like to comment for a sec on the last frame, which is just the line "But hey man, it's shot on film" followed by the Certified Fresh image.

Now, look: if you think the reason critics like this movie is because it's shot on film, you're a fucking idiot. Critics like this film because it's well shot and well acted and earns its luxurious pacing with deceptively tight editing. But there is something to be said for experiencing the film on 35mm! First off, it just looks better. But second, and more importantly, if you see it in 35mm you're probably seeing it in a theater THAT CARES ABOUT PRESENTATION.

I saw it in 35mm for the press screening and then again last night on digital. The theater that showed it in 35mm had a properly masked screen and there was no sound bleed from an adjacent auditorium divided by paper thin walls. The theater that showed it on digital projected it onto a screen that literally can't be masked (it simply lacked the curtains), meaning the image was surrounded by black-grey bars at the top and bottom (and sides during the 4:3 and 1.85:1 sections). I might as well have been watching on TV. Shit, my plasma probably has blacker blacks than the murky grey bars at the bottom of the theater screen. And I could hear every explosion in the theater next door, which was playing ANGEL HAS FALLEN. Nothing quite like the tension of that Spahn Movie Ranch scene being broken every 30 seconds by a nearby rumble.

Anyway, the movie is great and deserves to be celebrated and does not deserve the idiocy heaped upon it by the Internet's hordes. And Tarantino deserves to be celebrated for caring about DECENT PRESENTATION (in addition to making what is almost certainly the best film of the year ... at least, so far).

Sonny liked this review