Friday, July 26, 2019

Once Upon a .Hollywood

My View:  Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood  (2019)  R  During the final years of the Golden Age of Hollywood, a struggling television actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) try to mount a comeback. Underneath the glamour, there is a darkness coming in the form of Charlie Manson. This film is two hours and 41 minutes in length and feels like it is longer. I did enjoy the nostalgia factor of this film, getting to see L.A. in the last years of the vast studio system. Pitt and DiCaprio do play off each other well but there is a lot of shots of Pitt driving around listening to music. Be warned that this is not a true story but a fable about DiCaprio’s character who is on the downward spiral of an actor who once was a big star and is forced to take guest roles of television. As with any film that Quentin Tarantino does there is a good bit of humor and some rather repulsive violence. The story just takes too long for the payoff at the end and there were times that I was bored with the plot.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood Website
Indiefest:  The Farewell  (2019)  PG  A Chinese family discover that their grandmother has only a short time to live. They decide not to tell her and stage a wedding as an excuse to gather the family together to say goodbye. Based on writer/director Lulu Wang’s own life, the film is a loving tribute to families and how we will do anything for our loved ones. Awkwadina wows us with her dramatic performance of a woman who is the black sheep of the family and has a hard time understanding why they are lying to her grandmother. I saw the film at the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival and fell in love with it. Go see this funny and warm film that will make you feel good about your family and yourself.   My Rating: Full Price   The Farewell Website 
Indie fest:  Sword of Trust  (2019)  R  Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and Mary (Michaela Watkins) show up to collect Cynthia’s inheritance from her grandfather’s estate. The only item she receives is an antique sword that her grandfather swore proved that the South won the Civil War. Mark Maron gives a brilliant performance as the grumpy pawnshop owner who decides to help the two women sell the sword with a healthy cut for himself. This is a quirky little film whose dialogue feels real and genuine. There isn’t a lot to the story but it’s a fun ride with a surprise ending. The film is full of strange characters that seem to fit right in with the plot.   My Rating: Full Price    Sword of Trust Website
Forgotten Film:  The Boy Friend  (1971)  G  When the leading lady of a low-budget musical gets hurt, her understudy (Twiggy) takes over the role and becomes a star. This is a musical that writer/director Ken Russel did as a tribute to the 1930 musicals that Busby Berkeley made. Twiggy is fine as the lead but the reason to watch this film is the singing and dancing of Tommy Tune who is amazing in the role. The film won several awards and was a nominee for Best Music at the 1972 Academy Awards.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    The Boy Friend Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood:  Stunt Department Office Manager

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Nightingale  (2018)  R  Set in 1835 Tasmania, a young woman named Clare (Aisling Franciosi) chases a British officer through the wilderness bent on revenge for the terrible things that the officer did to her family. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent, who made The Babadook, so I’m in.    The Nightingale Website
Until Next Time!

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