Friday, August 16, 2019

Sweet Virginia




Directed by Jamie M. Dagg and written by Benjamin and Paul China, Sweet Virginia is the story of a motel manager who befriends a mysterious visitor who may be involved in a wave of violence nearby. The film is a neo-noir thriller that explores unlikely friendship between two men as well as a small town coming undone by this wave of violence. Starring Jon Bernthal, Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young, and Jared Abrahamson. Sweet Virginia is a haunting yet gripping film from Jamie M. Dagg.

Following a murder at a restaurant/bar in a small Alaskan town, the film revolves in an unlikely friendship between a former rodeo champion who manages a motel and a mysterious drifter who has stopped by as the former isn’t aware that the latter is a hitman. It’s a film that play into a small town that is shaken by this act of violence while they try to move on as a few people deal with the tragedy as well as the motivations of why three men were killed inside a bar. The film’s screenplay by Benjamin and Paul China open with three men at a bar/restaurant getting ready to play a card game when this mysterious drifter in Elwood (Christopher Abbott) arrives wanting a late breakfast as he is refused only to gun down the three men. The film’s narrative follows the lives of Elwood and the motel manager Sam Rossi (Jon Bernthal) who runs the Sweet Virginia motel for his late brother while is an on-off affair with Bernadette Barrett (Rosemarie DeWitt) whose husband Tom (Joseph Lyle Taylor) was one of the three men killed by Elwood.

The script also play into why Elwood is in town as he had been hired to kill one of the men but ends up doing much more which only complicates things for one of the men’s wives in Lila (Imogen Poots) who thought she would inherit money only to learn that her husband was in some serious debt. Elwood’s stay in the town is extended as he would befriend Sam whom he had heard about through Sam’s time as a rodeo cowboy until he retired due to injury. Sam is a man that is someone who was poised for so much only to lose a lot as he’s divorced with a child who barely sees him as he spends his time with his niece Maggie (Odessa Young) whenever he’s not with Bernadette. There’s not much plot to the story as it’s more about characters living their lives but the drama and suspense do pick up toward its third act.

Jamie M. Dagg’s direction is largely straightforward although he doesn’t really go for anything stylistic other than some lingering long shots in parts of the film. Shot largely on locations in British Columbia in Canada including parts of Vancouver, Dagg’s direction does use some wide shots to establish the location but also in some eerie moments as it play into Elwood haunting certain characters or where he is about to go as there are also some medium shots from afar that show him talking on the phone and then beat up a couple of guys. There aren’t a lot of close-ups in Dagg’s direction except in some intimate moments as well as a chilling confrontation between Elwood and Lila late in the film. The film’s opening scene starts off slow while the violence is quite intense but not overtly-bloody and graphic where Dagg is more concerned with a town that is trying to understand what had happened and why as well as these two men ravaged by their past with Elwood also being someone who is extremely troubled. Even in the third act as it is about the money Elwood is owed for his services as the suspense is approached in a low-key manner that would also be followed by Elwood being confronted for his actions. Overall, Dagg crafts a riveting yet eerie film about a motel manager and his encounter with a mysterious yet troubled drifter.

Cinematographer Jessica Lee Gagne does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as it maintains a naturalistic look for scenes in the day and at night with its usage of available light as well as using some low-key lights for some interior scenes at night. Editor Duff Smith does nice work with the editing as it is largely straightforward with a few rhythmic cuts to play into some of the conversations. Production designer Danny Vermette, with set decorator Robin Tilby and art director Justin Ludwig, does fantastic work with the look of Bernadette’s home in the interior as well as the bar/restaurant in the film’s opening scene and the motel that Sam runs.

Costume designer Mia Fiddis does terrific work with the costumes as it is largely straightforward that includes the ragged look of Elwood including some of the shirts he wears. The sound work of Brody Ratsoy is amazing for its low-key approach to the sound as it maintains something that feels natural but also help to play up the suspenseful moments of the film. The film’s music by Brooke and Will Blair is wonderful for its low-key ambient score that play sparingly into parts of the film as it add to drama and sense of loss that occur throughout the film while music supervisor Natasha Duprey provide a soundtrack of music that is played on location as it include a couple of pieces from the Butthole Surfers and Rolla Olak.

The casting by Kate Caldwell, Kara Eide, Melissa Kostenbauer, and Kris Woz is superb as it feature some notable small roles from Garry Chalk as one of the victims in the film’s opening sequence, Gabrielle Rose as an old woman living at the motel, Jonathan Tucker as Elwood’s intended target in Lila’s husband Mitchell, Joseph Lyle Taylor as Bernadette’s husband Tom, and Jared Abrahamson as a young mechanic named Paul who is asked by Elwood to help him retrieve the money he’s owed. Odessa Young is terrific as Sam’s niece Maggie as a teenage girl who helps him with the motel while pondering about her dad as well as her uncle’s own issues with the world in general. Rosemarie DeWitt is fantastic as Bernadette Barrett as a woman who had just lost her husband although she doesn’t feel anything about his passing leaning back to an on-again, off-again affair with Sam while dealing with some truths about her own marriage and how it fell apart.

Imogen Poots is excellent as Lila McCabe as a young woman who hired Elwood for a job only for things to get complicated as it relates to money as she deals with what she’s done prompting her to try and avoid Elwood anyway she can. Christopher Abbott is brilliant as Elwood as a hitman drifting from town to town for a job as he starts to unravel over his lack of payment as he displays a creepiness and an instability that makes him a dangerous person to encounter. Finally, there’s Jon Bernthal in an amazing performance as Sam Rossi as a former rodeo champion who has retired due to injury to run his late brother’s motel as he tries to keep things to himself and engage in his relationship with Bernadette where he later befriends Elwood unaware of who Elwood really is as he later becomes troubled by some of the violence that is happening in his town.

Sweet Virginia is a marvelous film from Jamie M. Dagg. Featuring a great cast, gorgeous visuals, an eerie music score, and a chilling premise that play into loss and mental illness. It’s a neo-noir film that doesn’t play by the rules while doesn’t emphasize a lot on plot in favor of character study. In the end, Sweet Virginia is a remarkable film from Jamie M. Dagg.

© thevoid99 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Witness




For the 33rd week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We focus on the subject of witness as it relates to witnessing an event or a murder. All of which play into some kind of suspense or something else to have happened. Here are my three picks:

1. Some Like It Hot



From Billy Wilder is a remake of an obscure French film that takes place on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of the 1920s in Chicago. Two musicians trying to find work would unknowingly witness a murder and had to hide from the gangsters but how? Well, they would dress up like women and join a women’s band featuring Marilyn Monroe and go down to Florida where Tony Curtis tries to woo Marilyn while Jack Lemmon realizes the upside of being married to another man.

2. Sleepers



From Barry Levinson is one of the 1990s most overlooked films of the decade as it play into the life of four young boys in the 1960s whose prank had unfortunately killed someone as they spend their time in a brutal juvenile hall where they endure abuse of the worst kind. Yet, the witness in hand revolves around the events of the second act where two of the boys kill one of their abusers at a bar/restaurant although the witness wasn’t there but had a moral dilemma into what he had to do for two of the boys as one of the boys is also the prosecutor. It is an incredible film that continuously gets better with every re-watch.

3. Inherent Vice



Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon’s noir-based novel set in 1970 is definitely one of the weirdest films that a major Hollywood studio would ever produce. Yet, it is definitely a film that has all of the qualities of a cult favorite as it follows Joaquin Phoenix as a hippie private detective who is asked to find a few people including an undercover agent who is unable to get out of assignment as he’s also a witness to the events that is happening around Los Angeles. It’s a film that gets better with each viewing as well as maintain its sense of ambiguity.

© thevoid99 2019

Monday, August 12, 2019

Spider-Man: Far from Home




Based on the Marvel comics series by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man: Far from Home is the sequel to the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming in which Peter Parker/Spider-Man deals with the aftermath of the Infinity Wars as he struggles with expectations of being a superhero while wanting to be a normal teenager who goes to Europe with his friends as they encounter mysterious beings known as Elementals. Directed by Jon Watts and screenplay by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, the film is the final film of the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Parker copes with its aftermath as he teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Quentin Beck/Mysterio to face off against the Elementals in Europe as Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/Mysterio. Also starring Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Spider-Man: Far from Home is an adventurous and riveting film from Jon Watts.

Five years after the events where people had disappeared only to reappear suddenly five years later known as the Blip, Peter Parker goes to Europe for a school trip with friends as he is hoping to woo a classmate yet they would all encounter mysterious beings known as Elemental as Parker is aided by S.H.I.E.L.D. and a hero named Quentin Beck/Mysterio who claims to be from an alternate version of Earth. It’s a film that play into events where Parker has to once again put on the suit and other variations of the suit to fight against these mysterious beings yet is overwhelmed with his duties as he just wants to be a normal teenager. The film’s screenplay by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers follow the events of the Blip where kids who didn’t die of the Blip would deal with those who survived the Blip as they have age better as well as be more mature. It’s a new reality that some of Parker’s classmates such as Ned (Jacob Batalon), MJ (Zendaya), Betty (Angourie Rice), and Flash (Tony Revolori) are dealing with as Parker’s attempts to woo MJ is being challenged by another classmate in Brad Davis (Remy Hii).

The first act isn’t just about this new reality and Parker’s trip to Europe but also the overwhelming expectation of taking on the mantle as the new Iron Man as Parker isn’t sure if he wants to follow in Tony Stark’s footsteps. Upon arriving in Venice, Italy after blocking phone calls from Nick Fury, Parker finally meets with Fury after an incident involving a water Elemental where Parker would also meet Mysterio. The script does play into Parker’s resistance to help out as well as Fury’s increasing paranoia over what is happening while Beck acts as a mediator of the two while helping Parker dealing with growing pains. Beck is a fascinating figure as someone who has these mysterious powers to fly while wearing a fishbowl helmet to help unleash his powers against the Elementals. There is also some intrigue about Beck during the second act in why he’s so powerful as he and Parker work with each other during a mission in Prague as it would also involve a few of Parker’s classmates including MJ who would make a major discovery about the Elementals. The film’s second half doesn’t just play into some revelations over what MJ found but also a pair of glasses called E.D.I.T.H. (voice of Dawn Michelle King) Parker would inherit from Tony Stark that reveals a lot of information including some insight about the Elementals. The script doesn’t just play up the stakes of what Parker is facing but also so much more that would alter his own reality.

Jon Watts’ direction does have some elements of style but much of its compositions and setting are grounded in reality and remains straightforward. Shot on various locations in Prague, London, Berlin, Croatia, and parts of New York City and Newark, New Jersey, the film does showcase Spider-Man being part of a world that is bigger where Watts allows Parker to feel overwhelmed by his surroundings as he just wants to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man from Queens New York. The new surroundings that Parker encounters does allow him to find new ways to face off foes as well as save people as he is aware of his role but the monumental power of the Elementals isn’t enough for him to save people which is why Beck is there to help him. Watts’ direction has a looseness in terms of what Parker and his friends are doing in Europe including some moments of humor that includes a subplot of Ned and Betty being a couple as well as one of the chaperones in Julius Dell (J.B. Smoove) believing that all of these Elementals appearing are from some source of witchcraft.

Watts’ usage of wide and medium shots manage to get great coverage of the locations and its sense of geography of where the Elementals would pop up but there are also some close-ups and moments that is more about characters interacting as well as developing relationships such as the one between Parker and MJ. The film’s third act with its grand set pieces and revelations about who is the mastermind of the Elementals as well as that person’s motivations does add a lot of intrigue as well as these moments that are thrilling and exciting. Even as it add to the stakes of what Parker is facing as well as what he would have to endure in the aftermath as it play into what is to come for Parker and other allies along with a few twists of those Parker would encounter. The film also has Watts relying on past films that add to the dramatic revelations in the third act as it all play into Parker trying to live up to someone’s legacy when he just needs to be himself. Overall, Watts craft an exhilarating and evocative film about a young superhero dealing with mysterious forces as well as expectations to be the next big superhero.

Cinematographer Matthew J. Lloyd does brilliant work with the film’s cinematography as it is largely straightforward to play into the different colors of the cities that the characters go to including some of the neon lights at night for the carnival at Prague. Editors Dan Lebental and Leigh Folsom-Boyd do excellent work with the editing as it is straightforward with some stylish cuts for the action including moments where let shots linger on to establish what is happening. Production designer Claude Pare`, with supervising art directors Grant Armstrong and Jann K. Engel plus set decorators Tina Jones and Delia Picirilli, does amazing work with the look of some of the places the characters go to including the dilapidated hotel in Venice, the opera house in Prague, and a few other places in and around Europe. Costume designer Anna B. Sheppard does nice work with the costumes as it is largely straightforward with the exception of Mysterio’s costume and the variation of Spider-Man’s suits.

Hair/makeup designer Peter Swords King does fantastic work with the look of Beck as well as the new beard that Happy Hogan has. Special effects supervisors Roy K. Cancino, Pasquale Catalano, and Andy Williams, with visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs, do incredible work with the film’s visual and special effects with the design of Mysterio when he’s flying as well as the Elementals and a sequence that play into the idea of reality and fantasy. Sound designers Chris Diebold, Andy Sisul, and Steven Ticknor, with co-sound editor/re-recording mixer Tony Lamberti, do superb work with the sound as it play into the effects of how the Elementals sound as well as some gadgets and how music is presented on a location or at the carnival in Prague. The film’s music by Michael Giacchino is great as it features some flourishing orchestral themes and some somber pieces as it help play into the drama and sense of adventure Parker would endure while music supervisor Dave Jordan creates a fun music soundtrack that feature an array of music from Whitney Houston, Umberto Tozzi, the Go-Gos, the Jam, the Specials, Caterina Valente with Werner Muller and his Orchestra, Mina, Marcela Laiferova, Flipbois, the Matadors, AC/DC, and the Ramones.

The casting by Sarah Finn, Jina Jay, and Maya Kvetny is wonderful as it feature some notable small roles and appearances from Numan Acar and model Toni Garrn as a couple of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the quintet of Zach Barack, Zoha Rahman, Yasmin Mwanza, Joshua Sinclair-Evans, and Tyler Luke Cunningham as classmates of Parker’s who are part of the European trip, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Betty’s fellow school newscaster Jason Ionello, Peter Billingsley as a former Stark tech employee in William Ginter Riva, Dawn Michelle King as the voice of the A.I. glasses tech E.D.I.T.H., and Remy Hii as Parker’s rival for MJ’s affections in Brad Davis as a kid who survived the Blip to go from nerd to hunk as he would endure some funny moments. Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove are terrific in their respective roles as the school chaperones in the academic decathlon teacher Mr. Harrington and Mr. Dell as the former is baffled by the upgrades he received while the latter believes these events are from some form of witchcraft.

Tony Revolori and Angourie Rice are superb in their respective roles as Flash Thompson and Betty Brant as two of Parker’s classmates as the former is hilarious in his attempts to film everything for his vlog while the latter finds herself in a European romance with Ned that provides some sweet and funny moments. Jacob Batalon is fantastic as Ned as Parker’s best friend who finds himself in a romance with Betty while being one of the few to know Parker’s true identity as Spider-Man. Marisa Tomei and Cobie Smulders are excellent in their respective roles as Aunt May Parker and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill as the former is helping others who were killed by the Blip and later revived find new homes while the latter helps out Fury with the growing threat as well as be a voice of reason.

Jon Favreau is brilliant as Happy Hogan as Tony Stark’s bodyguard/Parker’s aide who watches over him as he understands what Parker is dealing with while he has a funny subplot as it relates to a possible relationship with Aunt May. Zendaya is amazing as Michelle “MJ” Jones as Parker’s classmate who is often filled with sarcasm and witty humor which is a disguise of sorts for her own shyness while being someone who gets to know Parker as well as make key discoveries over the Elementals and where they come from. Samuel L. Jackson is marvelous as Nick Fury as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. who is asking for Parker’s help as other members of the Avengers and fellow allies are unavailable as he is asking a lot from Parker while also acting more paranoid than usual.

Jake Gyllenhaal is incredible as Quentin Beck/Mysterio as this man from an alternate version of Earth who is battling the Elementals as he has powers but is also trying to help Parker with growing pains as there’s also many layers to what Gyllenhaal brings to the character that makes him a total standout in the film. Finally, there’s Tom Holland in a remarkable performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man as someone that is trying to retain his youth and wanting a break from being a superhero as he copes with not just loss and responsibility but also the need to be someone he’s not as Holland brings that grounded realism to the performance but also a youthful exuberance that is Peter Parker and showcase who Spider-Man really is as someone that understands his role and what he needs to be for himself.

Spider-Man: Far from Home is a sensational film from Jon Watts that features top-notch performances from Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, and Zendaya. Along with its ensemble cast, dazzling visuals, amazing visual effects, a soaring music score, a fun music soundtrack, and a story about expectations and responsibility. The film isn’t just another winning entry in the Spider-Man story but it also serves as a fitting touchstone for the Infinity Saga storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as set up for new adventures to come. Even as the film manages to be a lot of things but also so much more than just a typical superhero film but also a film about growing pains and responsibility. In the end, Spider-Man: Far from Home is an incredible film from Jon Watts.

Jon Watts Films: (Clown (2014 film)) – Cop Car

Spider-Man Films: Spider-Man - Spider-Man 2 - Spider-Man 3 - The Amazing Spider-Man - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Infinity Saga: Phase One: Iron Man - The Incredible Hulk - Iron Man 2 - Thor - Captain America: The First Avenger - The Avengers


Phase Two: Iron Man 3 - Thor: The Dark World - Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Guardians of the Galaxy - The Avengers: Age of Ultron - Ant-Man

Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War - Doctor Strange - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Spider-Man: Homecoming - Thor: Ragnarok - Black Panther - Avengers: Infinity War - Ant-Man and the Wasp - Captain Marvel - Avengers: Endgame

Post-Infinity Saga: Phase Four: (Black Widow (2020 film)) – (Eternals (2020 film)) – (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) – (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) – (Thor: Love and Thunder)

© thevoid99 2019

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Mrs. Robinson




For the 32nd week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of Mrs. Robinsons from a suggestion by Getter. The subject of older women seducing younger men and all sorts of hilarity occur as well as scandal. Here are my three picks:

1. Private Lessons



A 1981 sex-comedy about a 15-year old kid who has fallen in love with his French housekeeper who is played by erotic film legend Sylvia Kristel. It’s an OK film where despite the oversaturated usage of music by Rod Stewart, it has some moments that I’m sure a lot of young straight men back then wanted to do with Kristel. Yet, the film is disappointing considering that Kristel used a body double for some parts of the film which totally kills the mood although it’s a film that wouldn’t be made now considering that the woman is older and the boy is underage.

2. Scorned



A softcore film classic by Andrew Stevens that he also stars in revolves around a woman whose husband had committed suicide due to business issues as she seeks revenge on her husband’s boss and family after her husband had pimped her out for nothing by pretending to be the boss’ son’s tutor. In the meantime, she fucks the boss’ young son and also seduces the boss’ wife and the boss himself while killing some people along the way. It’s a film that is typical of 1990s softcore films that starred Shannon Tweed yet it is so fun but also so goddamn sexy.

3. American Pie



From the Weitz brothers comes the film that sort of brought back the teenage sex comedy before the end of the 20th Century as it included a storyline about one of the four high school seniors who pledges to lose his virginity before the end of high school as he fantasizes about having sex with one of classmate’s mother. During its third act, he would meet that friend’s mother and it’s in this film where the term MILF (mother I’d like to fuck) is invented as she is played by Jennifer Coolidge who would be a regular for the film series (not counting those awful straight-to-DVD fare).

© thevoid99 2019

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Coriolanus



Based on the play by William Shakespeare, Coriolanus is the story of a general who seeks a spot in the world of politics only to put himself in trouble as he seeks the aid of an enemy to seek revenge. Directed and starring Ralph Fiennes in the titular role of Caius Martius aka Coriolanus and screenplay by John Logan, the film is a modern take of Shakespeare’s tragic play as it set in a 21st Century re-imagining idea of Rome where a man’s ambitions get him into trouble prompting him to fight back. Also starring Jessica Chastain, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, John Kani, James Nesbitt, Lubna Azabal, and Brian Cox. Coriolanus is a gripping and evocative film from Ralph Fiennes.

A powerful yet polarizing Roman general seeks to be in the world of politics yet a couple of political officials and local Romans successfully banish him from the city forcing the Caius Martius Coriolanus to seek the alliance of his sworn enemy in Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to seek revenge on Rome. It’s a film that play into the fallacy of ambition and vengeance as it follows a man whose arrogance and disdain for low-class citizens puts him at odds with those in the Roman Senate where a couple of tribunes try to discredit him as they would do things that are just as bad as what he’s done. John Logan’s screenplay opens with Coriolanus’ rise as a general who is cunning in his beliefs as well as maintaining some rule in Rome while is at war with a neighboring nation of Volsci that is led by Aufidius. Coriolanus’ victory against Aufidius would give him stature with Coriolanus’ mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) encouraging him to go into politics.

Logan’s script doesn’t just retain much of the dialogue written by William Shakespeare but also its approach to character study with characters scheming and such for their own gain such as the characters of the tribunes Brutus (Paul Jesson) and Sicinius (James Nesbitt) vehemently dislike Coriolanus as they even gain the alliance of citizens who hate Coriolanus to join them. The film’s second half play into the aftermath of a TV interview with Coriolanus that fell apart as he’s been exiled from Rome with his family angry over the government with longtime family friend in Senator Menenius (Brian Cox) trying to smooth over the conflicts. Coriolanus goes to Volsci to find Aufidius to allow him to settle their conflict yet Aufidius is moved by his journey allowing Coriolanus to join him as both men have issues with Rome and its government that would create this unlikely alliance.

Fiennes’ direction definitely bears elements of theatricality in some scenes yet some of the film also bear elements of modern-day political films as it is shot on location partially in Britain but also areas such as Serbia and Montenegro where the story is set in the early 21st Century as if the idea of Roman times is in the modern world. The usage of the locations add to this air of chaos that is happening where Rome is presented as this rich and organized world that is shot on Britain while Volsci and other locations shot in Serbia and Montenegro showcase a world that hasn’t prospered like Rome has. Fiennes’ compositions does have elements of style such as the battle scenes where he presents it with hand-held cameras for close-ups and medium shots including the scene of Coriolanus on a TV show where he goes after his critics including the tribunes who are scheming against him. While there are some wide shots to establish some of the locations as well as scenes involving crowds and in some eerie compositions to play into the position of power. Fiennes does maintain this air of theatricality in the direction with the actors and how would place them into a frame or to create this chaos in the riots.

Even the usage of TV news add to the dramatic elements of the film as it play into Coriolanus’ journey where the third act shows him going mad with vengeance with little chance of seeing reason and make peace. Fiennes’ direction showcases a man on the edge as he is intent on destroying Rome but there are those who love and care about him who want him to stop. The tragedy isn’t just about Coriolanus’ downfall and descent into madness but also the compromises he had to make where Fiennes showcases a man who had put himself into a world that he doesn’t know little about but only to make more enemies than he did when he was just a soldier. Overall, Fiennes craft a riveting and chilling film about a Roman general’s downfall and his revenge against those who ousted him from Rome.

Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd does brilliant work with the film’s grainy digital cinematography as its usage of close-ups add to the grimy detail of the visuals as well as maintaining a drab yet naturalistic look for the scenes set at Volsci. Editor Nicolas Gaster does excellent work with the editing with its usage of jump-cuts and montages while maintaining some unique rhythm to capture the energy of some of the monologues. Production designer Ricky Eyres, with set decorator Lee Gordon and art director Radoslav Mihajlovic, does amazing work with the look of the Roman government buildings and the home that Coriolanus and his family lives in as well as the drab home base of Aufidius. Costume designer Bojana Nikitovic does fantastic work with the look of the Roman military uniforms as well as the posh clothing of the Coriolanus family that is a sharp contrast to the more rugged look of the Volsci and its people.

Hair/makeup designer Laura Schiavo does terrific work with the look of the scars on Coriolanus’ face and body as well as the tattoos he would later gain. Special effects supervisor Jason Troughton and visual effects supervisor Angela Stanley do some nice work with the look of some of the TV footage along with a few set-dressing for scenes to play into the atmosphere of war. Sound editor Oliver Tarney does superb work with the sound as it play into the raucous atmosphere of the protests, riots, and sounds of war along with the disconcerting tone in some of the dialogue in certain rooms or sets. The film’s music by Ilan Eshkeri is wonderful for its low-key orchestral/ambient score that play into the dramatic suspense as well as some of the film’s war scenes while music supervisor Ian Neil provides a music soundtrack that features a traditional music piece performed by Goran Bregovic as well as a couple of contemporary pieces by Lisa Zane and Sheer K.

The casting by Jina Jay is incredible as it feature some notable small roles from Jon Snow as a TV anchorman, Harry Fenn as Coriolanus’ young son Martius, Dragan Micanovic as Coriolanus’ subordinate Titus, Slavko Stimac as a Volsci lieutenant who doesn’t trust Coriolanus, the duo of Lubna Azabal and Ashraf Barhom in their respective roles as leading protestors against Coriolanus in Tamora and Cassius, and John Kani in a terrific performance as Rome’s leader General Cominius who is trying to ensure peace and reason despite so much opposition and controversy. Paul Jesson and James Nesbitt are superb in their respective roles as tribunes Brutus and Sicinius as two political figures who hate Coriolanus as they scheme to discredit him only to put Rome in danger during its second half. Jessica Chastain is fantastic as Coriolanus’ wife Virgilia as a woman trying to be supportive but also raises concern for her husband’s well-being as she also copes with his exile.

Brian Cox is excellent as Menenius as a Roman senator who is close with Coriolanus’ family as he is eager to help Coriolanus anyway he can while having to deal with the opposition as he struggles to maintain order and later to try and reason with Coriolanus in his vengeance towards Rome. Vanessa Redgrave is brilliant as Volumnia as Coriolanus’ mother who is an influential figure in Rome as she encourages her son to go into politics while being very angry at the tribunes who successfully banished him prompting her to get her son back and see reason. Gerard Butler is amazing as Volsci military leader Tullus Aufidius as Coriolanus’ sworn enemy who is hoping to destroy Rome and Coriolanus where he is later moved by Coriolanus’ determination following his exile as he helps him seek revenge on Rome. Finally, there’s Ralph Fiennes in a phenomenal performance as the titular character as a general who is a polarizing figure for his disdain towards common folk while is eager to rise to power only to be kicked out of Rome prompting him to seek vengeance as there’s an intensity to his performance but also an eeriness of a man driven to the edge.

Coriolanus is a marvelous film from Ralph Fiennes that features a great ensemble cast, a modern take on William Shakespeare’s character study, gritty visuals, and themes of ambition and vengeance. It’s a film that explore a man’s descent into madness in his attempt to go into politics only to be banished by the people in his home country as he also endures humility and shame that prompts him to seek revenge but at the cost of his own spirit and soul. In the end, Coriolanus is a remarkable film from Ralph Fiennes.

Ralph Fiennes Film: The Invisible Woman (2013 film) - (The White Crow)

© thevoid99 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Films That I Saw: July 2019



I don’t really know how to start this as I know that for anyone, the death of a parent is to be expected and it can be sudden. I just didn’t expect to happen sooner as I’m still trying to cope and accept everything that had happened. I’m just more worried about my mother as she had a harder time dealing with it as I’m just with her all the time mainly because I don’t want to leave her alone for too long. I’m grateful for the fact that we have longtime family friends to be there for us as well as relatives from her side of the family. My sister has also been here as I’m just glad she and her husband live a few minutes from our house as we also have my nephew Mateo and their dog Chester to keep us company. She has been handling a lot of the business stuff and arrangements including the funeral service that happened on the 20th at the church of Christ the King on Peachtree as well as give the eulogy.

It’s been hard as I’ve spent days just not really sleeping or just not wanting to get out of bed. It’s still kind of tough to deal with as the past few months have been a blur including the last month just as my mother and I thought things were going to be fine. My father was doing better as one of my uncles took him and my mother to Destin, Florida earlier in June just for a small vacation and it looked like things were about to go well before the surgery. It was the surgery that I think really did it for him as I’m not angry or putting blame on the doctors and surgeons as they did whatever they could. It was just something unfortunate as the tumor had spread not just into my dad’s stomach but also part of the pancreas as they had to get rid of the stomach and part of that pancreas. The surgery was fine but looking back, I felt my dad should’ve stayed in the hospital much longer for the recovery as he went home a week after the surgery.

The time he was home after the surgery sucked. It really fucking sucked as my mom and I struggled to get a fucking feeding machine to work as there would be a tube attached to his stomach. We had used feeding machines before with my younger sister a long time ago because she was born premature yet she managed to live for 23 years. With my dad, he’s the kind of person that doesn’t like to sit still for too long as he also hated the fact that he would be attached to something if he’s sleeping. Plus, I would have to turn the fucking feeding machine on whenever it would beep to continue the feeding. It was awful and then there was that awful day we had to send him back to the hospital because he was feeling sick and couldn’t breathe. I probably drove faster than I had expected as I was also glad to turn off the oven before I left as I was about to eat a frozen pizza for dinner. We arrived at Emory at around 8 and he was immediately sent into surgery. What happened was a staple that was in the intestines got loose and all of the milk that we were feeding him spread into his lungs or something. The doctor didn’t know what was going on.

My sister, a friend of my sister, a few friends of the family were there for us as we waited as I wanted to sleep but found myself unable to as I really had a hard time seeing him in a helpless state as the idea of him going to die came into my mind as I kissed his forehead with the possibility that he was going away. At 5:59 AM on June 30, 2019, he was gone. My mother was just beyond devastated as a couple of relatives who had been there for us took us home as I just went to bed and slept. Later that day, two of my cunt aunts from my father’s side of the family arrived and I saw them and just stayed in my room as my sister and my brother-in-law were not happy to see them. Even Mateo didn’t like them as he cried around them as a longtime family friend went to my room to talk as she didn’t even like those bitches. There’s people in my father’s side of the family in not just his sisters but their children that are just the worst. My cousins didn’t even show up at the service which didn’t totally surprise me but the people who did show up did see my cunt aunts and their loser husbands there as they saw them for who they really are.

There was an upside to them showing up as many of those who knew and loved my dad as some of them visited him while he was in the hospital and even called him and such. The fact that his sisters, nieces, and nephews didn’t bother to see him at the hospital or contact him during these past few years is proof of how full of shit they are and they can no longer hurt me. As far as I’m concerned, they’re not family. They never gave a fuck about me, my mother, and my sisters so in truth. We don’t give a fuck about them anymore as we have people such as my mother’s cousins, other relatives, a few of my uncles from my dad’s side who were sad over his passing, longtime family friends including those who came from Florida and Tennessee despite their own illnesses showed up at the service on the 20th of this month. That is my family and if anyone fucks with them. I will fuck those people up even worse.

Given the severity of what I’m going through, I haven’t been seeing a lot of films this month mainly because I just didn’t want to as I tried to get myself back in the game but realized I’m not exactly ready. I don’t know when I’ll be on board full time as I’ve already decided to postpone a few projects such as my Auteurs piece on David Lean as I’m going to push it again for next year. I will focus on finishing up on Kelly Reichardt and then do J.C. Chandor while I’m unsure if I want to finish the year with Michael Mann. I will still do my Blind Spots as I’ve been able to get a few DVDs with the exception of one film that I’ve been unable to get but hopefully I will by the end of the year. There is still a project relating to the MCU that I still want to do for the end of the year but I’m just going to take it slow for a while as it’s been harder to try and watch a new film on TV as I was trying to watch Harlan Country U.S.A. only to be bored and fall asleep as I decided to watch it some other time in the future.


In the month of July, I saw a total of 24 films in 10 first-timers and 14 re-watches with one film directed by a woman as part of the 52 films by Women pledge. Due to the lack of first-timers that I saw as one of the highlights has been my Blind Spot in Gone with the Wind and a big highlight in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. I won’t post a top 10 list as some of the other films I saw I didn’t bother wanting to write reviews for.

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Good, the Bad, the Hungry


One of three 30 for 30 documentaries that I saw this month is the only film that I saw is directed by a woman as it explores the rivalry between Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut in eating contests with the most notable rivalry being the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every 4th of July. The film examines the rivalry as well as the reason why Kobayashi hasn’t competed due to political and financial reasons between the people who check on eating contests and such. It’s a fun piece from the ESPN series as I saw around the time Chestnut would win the contest again.

Rise of a Texas Bluesman: Stevie Ray Vaughn 1954-1983


From AXS TV is a documentary about the early life of Stevie Ray Vaughn from his birth and days playing for countless bands as a teenager to finally getting a break at the 1982 Montreaux Jazz Festival with his band Double Trouble. Through interviews from journalists, musicians, and those that knew Vaughn, the film doesn’t do enough to show more footage of Vaughn of the early days but it does manage to play into his rise and how he got discovered by Jackson Browne and David Bowie as the latter would have Vaughn play lead guitar in his 1983 album Let’s Dance.

The Cure in Orange


The 1987 concert film that was filmed at an old French amphitheater the year before by longtime Cure collaborator Tim Pope was something I had been watching on YouTube during this time of grief. It’s a look into a band that was on the rise into their commercial zenith in the late 80s/early 90s as well as playing music from their 1985 album The Head on the Door while vocalist/guitarist Robert Smith displays a new haircut which was considered shocking among his fans as he was known for his big hair. It’s a show filled with a lot of highlights as well as the sound of a band that was becoming tighter and more confident in their playing despite the changes that would emerge in the years as its proof of how great the Cure were and still is.

Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau


The second 30 for 30 documentary that I saw is about the surfer Eddie Aikau as he was a native Hawaiian who was from a large family as he would become a surfing legend yet it is more about his role as a Hawaiian. Especially in bringing back a culture that was seemed to be forgotten after the U.S. acquired the territory through nefarious means and stripped away some of the legendary aspects of the Hawaiians until Aikau would show what surfing meant to native Hawaiians dating back to the 18th Century. In 1978, Aikau and a crew of people attempted to follow an ancient route from Hawaii to Tahiti as a way to recreate the Polynesian way of traveling that unfortunately lead to Aikau’s disappearance during his attempt to find help following a storm that destroyed part of its ship. It’s a piece that fans of surfing must see but also for insight into the history of Hawaii.

Descendants


I saw this film on Disney Channel sporadically though I kind of knew what it was about as I watched it during a marathon of the two films in anticipation for the third and final film of the series. As a musical, it’s got some catchy songs but it’s also got some amazing choreography courtesy of director/co-choreographer Kenny Ortega as it is about the offspring of classic Disney villains who are sent to boarding school in a land that is the home of Disney fairy tale heroes and their offspring in an attempt to steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand for Maleficent. Yet, Maleficent’s daughter Mal and her friends find themselves wanting to be part of something bigger while they also sing and dance with Mal falling for the son of Belle and the Beast.

Slaying the Badger


The third and final 30 for 30 documentary that I saw is about the friendship/rivalry of American cyclist Greg Lemond and French cyclist Bernard Hinault as they were teammates where the former helped the latter win his fifth Tour de France. A year later, Hinault promised Lemond that he would help him win the Tour de France yet backstage politics and other issues relating to those running the team wanted Hinault to win but Lemond would eventually win. It play into the world of cycling and the Tour de France and what it took to win before the big emergence of doping and Lance Armstrong as Lemond is still considered to be the only American to have won the Tour de France while Hinault remains the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France.

Heaven’s Gate (149-minute version)


While this isn’t really a first-timer nor is it a re-watch, the shortened version of Michael Cimino’s 1980 film in its newly remastered print based on the 2012 restoration version of the film is quite odd to watch. Since it was Cimino who supervised the re-editing for its 1981 general release in the hope to have the film seen by a wide audience. It was strange in what got cut as well as where certain sequences have been shifted into one part of the film while Kris Kristofferson’s voice-over narration which was added for this version never really got me invested. I would suggest just watching the 2012 216-minute restoration version as it is the definitive version of Cimino’s film whether people liked it or not.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. From the Earth to the Moon


2. Midnight in Paris


3. Goldfinger


4. The Spy Who Loved Me


5. Follow That Bird


6. Wingspan


7. The Rocker


8. The Winning Season


9. Beverly Hills Ninja


10. Beerfest


That is it for July as the only theatrical release that I want to see is Spider-Man: Far from Home while I am unsure on what else to see. Other than films that is available on my never-ending DVR list and through some DVDs I recently bought. I also managed to acquire Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services from my sister as something for myself and mother to check out although we’re still unsure about what to do with it. Until then, this thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood


For Dad


Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is the story of an aging TV actor and his stunt double trying to make a name for themselves in Hollywood during the final years of Hollywood’s golden age before the emergence of New Hollywood. The film is a fictional look into the world of 1960s American cinema at a time when it was transitioning from big-budget spectacles in favor of more personal filmmaking as well as a look at what some saw as the end of a period of innocence following the murders committed the Charles Manson family. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Dakota Fanning, Austin Butler, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is a rapturous and evocative film from Quentin Tarantino.

It’s 1969 as the film follows the parallel journeys of an aging TV actor known for TV westerns and his next door neighbor in rising film star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). It play into two actors who live next door yet haven’t met each other due to the trajectories of their careers yet the TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is coping with a career that is fading as he’s bringing along his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) who has now become Dalton’s driver/assistant due to his own reputation that prevented him from doing stunt work. Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay doesn’t just the explore of these paralleling career trajectories but also this emergence of something much darker that is happening in the background as it relates to the Charles Manson family as some say marked the end of a period of innocence for the 1960s and Hollywood before the emergence of the much-more personal filmmaking world of New Hollywood.

Tarantino’s script has a unique structure where its first two acts takes place during a weekend in Hollywood as the first act relates to Dalton’s career woes and the lack of options he has in his career as he’s also succumb to alcoholism with Booth helping him out anyway he can. The script would also show flashbacks into how Booth received notoriety not just for what he did in his personal life but also how he would lose his job due to a friendly tussle with Bruce Lee (Mike Moh). The first act also has Dalton meet with producer/agent Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) who knows that Dalton still has some juice left but is also aware of the limited options he has as he would offer him work in Italy for some Spaghetti Westerns which Dalton is unsure about as he’s doing work on TV guest appearances for money.

The second act is about Dalton doing a TV show as he struggles to remember his lines while Booth does some repairs at Dalton’s home where he would later encounter a young hippie in Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) who had been flirting with him from afar as he gives her a ride home only to realize where she lives as it’s also the home of a man whom Booth and Dalton worked at a TV show the latter starred in George Spahn (Bruce Dern). The first and second act also showcase the life that Tate was having as she is someone on the rise and married to filmmaker Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) as she would go to parties with Polanski and her longtime friend Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch) and on the next day would watch herself in one of her films in The Wrecking Crew with an audience as they praise her while she would earlier receive a copy of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The film’s third act takes place six months after the events of the first two act on August of 1969 where Tate, Sebring, and others would be killed by the Manson family. Yet, it’s more about the direction that Dalton has taken with his career as well as this end of an era for himself and Booth with this sense of change in Hollywood.

Tarantino’s direction definitely bears a lot of visual styles that play into this world of 1969 Los Angeles/Hollywood where it is shot on location in the city as it also serves as a character of the film itself. While there are some wide shots of the city including in some locations and this atmosphere of what it was like back in 1969 in this transition from the 1960s to the 1970s. Tarantino also maintains an intimacy but also this romanticism of a craftsmanship of what it was like working in Hollywood on studio lots and sound stages during those times. Notably in TV westerns that Dalton starred in as he would work on a western while reveal what goes on behind the scenes as it does showcase the struggles of an actor and what some will do to pass the time such as Booth’s tussle with Bruce Lee. Tarantino’s usage of high crane shots to get a look into the locations including the city itself as well as tracking shots for parts of the film showcase a filmmaker definitely taking everything he’s done and refining it to showcase a world that was rich and exciting.

Tarantino’s usage of close-ups and medium shots are important as it play into conversations between characters including one key moment where Dalton is on set shooting for a TV pilot where he converses with a young actress named Trudi Fraser (Julia Butters) who takes her work seriously yet understands what it means to be an actor even though she’s only 8 years old. It’s a small little scene in the film that does play into Dalton’s own insecurities and the realization that he’s on his way out but this young girl would give him a sense of hope into who he is and why he still matters despite the changing times. The film does feature some off-screen narration by a stunt coordinator in Randy (Kurt Russell) who only appears in one sequence of the film but his narration does play into the narrative as it relate to the different paths that Dalton and Tate would embark on. Even in the film’s third act as it relates to the infamous night of the Tate-LaBianca murders on August as there is this sense of something that is coming to an end. Yet, Tarantino builds up the drama and suspense slowly to play into the climax but with an added sense of mania and terror in the most unexpected way. Overall, Tarantino crafts a riveting and exhilarating film about a fading TV actor and his stunt double trying to survive the final days of Hollywood’s Golden Age just as a young starlet is on the rise against the backdrop of the Charles Manson family.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson does incredible work with the film’s cinematography from the way the interiors of a western set is lit in the daytime as well as the usage of low-key lights for some of the interior/exterior scenes at night as it’s a highlight of the film. Editor Fred Raskin does amazing work with the editing with its stylish usage of jump-cuts, freeze-frames, and other stylish cuts to play into some of the film’s humor and drama as well as these abrupt cuts for some of the flashback sequences. Production designer Barbara Ling, with set decorator Nancy Haigh and supervising art director Richard L. Johnson, does brilliant work with the film’s set design including the home that Dalton lives in as well as the trailer that Booth lives in with his pitbull Brandy and some of the sets that Dalton works at as an actor.

Costume designer Arianne Phillips does excellent work with the costumes from the stylish clothes that Tate wore including the go-go boots and some of the clothes of the men including the leather jacket that Dalton wears. Prosthetic makeup artist Stephen Bettles does fantastic work with the makeup in the look that Dalton would sport for the TV appearance he would be in as well as the look he would have later on in its third act. Special effects supervisor Jeremy Hays and visual effects designer John Dykstra do terrific work with the special effects with Hays providing some effects in some of the weapons Dalton uses on set including a flamethrower for a World War II film he made while Dykstra creates some visual effects that include a shot of Dalton doing a scene in The Great Escape as well as the look of TV shows during that time.

Sound editor Wylie Stateman does superb work with the sound in creating an atmosphere into some of the settings including the party at the Playboy Mansion as well as in some of the locations including the sparse texture of Booth’s encounter with the hippies at an old ranch. Music supervisor Mary Ramos does wonderful work with the film’s music soundtrack as it features an array of music ranging from a score piece by Maurice Jarre to the music of the times from the likes of Deep Purple, Neil Diamond, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Jose Feliciano, Vanilla Fudge, Los Bravos, Dee Clark, Chad & Jeremy, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Seger, the Box Tops, Mitch Ryder, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and the Buchanan Brothers.

The casting by Victoria Thomas is great as it feature some notable small roles and appearances from Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen, Dreama Walker as Connie Stevens, Rebecca Rittenhouse as Michelle Phillips, Rachel Redleaf as Cass Elliot, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Rumer Willis as Tate’s friend Joanna Pettet, Samantha Robinson and Costa Ronin in their respective roles as Tate’s friends Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski, Rafal Zawierucha as Tate’s husband in filmmaker Roman Polanski, Ramon Franco as a movie theater manager, Clu Gulager as a book store owner, Nicholas Hammond as American actor/director Sam Wanamaker, Kate Berlant as a movie ticket booth attendant, and Spencer Garrett as TV personality Allen Kincaid. In the roles as hippies and members of the Manson family include Sydney Sweeney as Snake, Harley Quinn Smith as Froggie, Kansas Bowling as Sandra Good, Danielle Harris, James Landry Herbert as Steve Grogan, Victoria Pedretti as Leslie Van Houten, Lena Dunham as Catherine Share, and as the trio of women who would take part in the murders in Madisen Beaty as Patricia Krenwinkel, Mikey Madisen as Susan “Sadie” Atkins, and Maya Hawke as a reluctant Linda Kasabian.

Other film appearances and cameos include Michael Madsen as a sheriff on Dalton’s hit TV show Bounty Law, Martin Kove and James Remar as villains in Bounty Law, Marco Rodriguez as a bartender in the show Dalton is appearing as a guest in Lancer, Scoot McNairy as a gunslinger in Lancer, Clifton Collins Jr. as a cowboy in Lancer, Rebecca Gayheart as Booth’s wife in a flashback scene, Lorenza Izzo as an Italian actress Dalton meets in the third act, Zoe Bell as Randy’s stunt coordinator wife Janet, Mike Moh as the kung fu legend Bruce Lee, and Luke Perry in a terrific appearance in one of his final performances as the famed Canadian actor Wayne Maunder who also makes an appearance on the show Lancer. Bruce Dern is superb in his brief role as ranch owner George Spahn whom Booth knew a long time ago and wanted to say hi with Dern playing someone unaware of whom he’s renting his land to while Dakota Fanning is fantastic as Manson family follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme who sort of runs the land for Manson.

Austin Butler is terrific in his role as Manson family follower Charles “Tex” Watson who is considered Manson’s enforcer as he leads the killings on that dark August night. Julia Butters is excellent as Trudi Fraser as a child actress that Dalton meets on the set of Lancer as she is a young method actor who is committed to her craft while giving Dalton some confidence. Emile Hirsch is brilliant as Jay Sebring as Tate’s former fiancĂ©e who has become a revered hairstylist as well as a close friend of Tate and Polanski as someone who is enjoying the ride of Tate’s rising fame while Margaret Qualley is amazing as Pussycat as a young hippie who flirts and befriends Dalton while would introduce him to the people from the Manson family. Timothy Olyphant is marvelous in his small role as TV star James Stacy who is the lead in the show Lancer as he wants to help Dalton by giving him a guest spot on the show as a way to pay him back. Kurt Russell is great as the stunt coordinator/off-screen narrator Randy as a guy who is aware of Booth’s reputation but is also someone that isn’t afraid to call out on other people’s bullshit. Al Pacino is remarkable as Marvin Schwarz as an agent/producer who wants to help Dalton out but also remind him of the small prospects he has left as he knows what might help and save his career for a while even if Dalton wouldn’t like it.

Margot Robbie is incredible as Sharon Tate as this actress on the rise who is a woman of innocence as she is enjoying her life and growing fame but is also someone that is also kind and gracious to others where Robbie just exudes all of those qualities that Tate was known for. Finally, there’s the duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in phenomenal performances in their respective roles as Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. Pitt’s performance as Booth is full of charisma but also someone who definitely is more of a real cowboy than the characters that Dalton play as he is also someone who doesn’t live lavishly but is more grounded as well as be supportive for Dalton anyway he can while carrying his pitbull Brandy who gets to steal parts of the film herself. DiCaprio’s performance as Dalton is someone filled with charm and good looks, that was typical of actors from the late 50s/early 60s, yet is dealing with alcoholism and a fading career as he struggles to figure out what to do next as it’s truly one of DiCaprio’s great performances while his scenes with Pitt are just magical to watch.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is a magnificent film from Quentin Tarantino. Featuring a great ensemble cast, gorgeous visuals, a compelling and insightful script, throwbacks to the late 1960s, exploration of Hollywood innocence and its Golden Age, and a rocking music soundtrack. The film is definitely an entertaining as well as a beautiful portrait of a moment in time when Hollywood was more than just a city for the stars but a place where dreams can come true. In the end, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is an outstanding film from Quentin Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino Films: Reservoir Dogs - Pulp Fiction - Four Rooms-The Man from Hollywood - Jackie Brown - Kill Bill - Grindhouse-Death Proof - Inglourious Basterds - Django Unchained - The Hateful Eight

Related: The Auteurs #17: Quentin Tarantino - Growing Up with Quentin Tarantino

© thevoid99 2019