Once Upon A Long-Winded Review

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood Poster

 

Hollywood, the glamorous place that holds the dreams of so many aspiring to be rich, famous, and fashionable.  It’s a place that has changed faces much like the stars change make up, and to keep on top of modern trends to keep the ever-consuming monster satiated.  Yet, in the shiny metropolis lies stories that aren’t so flashy or happy, dramatic tales that are sad and filled with anguish that some can’t handle.  Yet, for directors like Quentin Tarantinoit’s a medium that holds potential to open the eyes of the blind.  That story, or at least a comedic rendition of it, lies in this movie of our review with hopes of being a contender in the quality film industry. Robbie K here ready to give you a taste of another review as we take on:

 

Movie:  Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

 

Director:

Quentin Tarantino

Writer:

Quentin Tarantino

Stars:

Leonardo DiCaprioBrad PittMargot Robbie

 

 

LIKES:

 

The Setting

The Costumes

Special Effects

The Writing

The Tempered Down Tarantino Effects

The Acting

The Nostalgia

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Occasional rants of cursing

The Disproportionate Story Telling

Needed More Margot Robbie

The Pacing

The Run Time

The Ending… sort of

 

SUMMARY

 

    The wow factor for this movie is the homage Tarantino paid to the glorious mega studio in so many aspects.  In particular all the movie magic of effects, wardrobe, settings take you back to the classic world where so much changed, as the 60s/70s.  In the fantastic setting of retro Hollywood, smart writing that is blend of drama, comedy, and smart dives into the psyche of those famous people we admired.  By tempering down the Tarantino cascade, it allowed for a different film that wasn’t overwhelmed by the flash in the pan effect this director flourishes in.  To help further bring this message to life, the acting of the three tiled characters gets big acknowledgement, with heart throb DiCaprio bearing much of the load of the tortured actor trying to find his way in a changing world. Pitt’s character was my favorite of the supporting character that was a blend of looks and comedy that went well with the supporting story, while Robbie’s dive in the star trying to gain new light sort of provided the intensity relief.  Yet, all of this is overpowered by the bouts of nostalgia from the various entertainment venues this time period had.  Radio shows, famous songs, television programs, and all the memorabilia that referenced this was the real factor that made the movie a fun adventure filled with messages and meaning.

 

Yet, the movie does have some cleaning up for me that would potentially make it more favorable to the general public.  First of all, while Tarantino’s energy has been tempered, it’s not eliminated and the moments where it comes out in full rush did little for me.  Minor dislike aside, the story telling, while good, is a little imbalanced, primarily in Margot Robbie’s character who felt more like an incongruent tangent that only touched on the graph of this film’s main plot.  Because of this sort of unbalance, the movie seemed to fall in to a frame of being too slow, the pace for a nearly 3-hour film was dragging and very tiring.  Much of this had to do with the bloated sequences of lots of driving, or dragged out bits of conversation that could have been left for a director’s cut. Throw in  the incongruent story of Margot Robbie’s character and you get extra time that is not really need.  Perhaps it would have been worth it had the ending gone the way I had expected, the buildup of the incident ending in that comedic violence that is both satisfying and not quite the terror I had expected.  Thus, the long-winded journey did not quite have the finish that I think he was getting at.

 

  Overall, Once Upon In Hollywood is smart writing, diving into the lives of the fleeting fame that is Hollywood and how the transitions can affect one person.  The special effects and settings will be the ultimate nostalgic for fans to dive into, and the acting is certainly going to have candidates in the Oscar running. Yet, the films suffers from bloated storytelling and disproportionate focus on each aspect leading to a very drawn out tale that may not be for everyone.  Thus, if you are looking for the entertainment factor, this one is not worth a trip to the theater, but if you want the artistic love letter to the thing that brings so many hits, then check this one out. 

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy-Drama:  8.5

Movie overall: 8.0

Stuber or Stupor

Stuber Poster

 

You know how there are all those stories about Uber rides gone wrong and being entertained. Well, as I’ve said in plenty of times before, Hollywood will look to all paths to find a script to put on the big screen. Tonight, my friends and I checked out the newest comedy that is all about an Uber ride gone wrong, between an unlikely pair of comedians.  Looking like a major comedy fest, the goal as always is for a review to help you determine if it’s worth a trip to local theater to see. Robbie K back in the theater trenches to give you the 411 on the latest movie.  Let’s get going!

 

Movie: Stuber

Director:

Michael Dowse

Writer:

Tripper Clancy

Stars:

Dave BautistaKumail NanjianiMira Sorvino

 

 

LIKES:

  • Pacing
  • Fun Morals Baked In
  • Funny At many Parts
  • The slapstick At times
  • Actors

 

DISLIKES:

  • The Dead Story Points
  • The Rushed Components
  • Shaky Camera work at times
  • The Predictability
  • Some Comedy Being Overdone
  • The Trailers Ruining Much Of the Movie

 

Summary

 

The truth about Stuber is that it is a simplistic comedy that the trailers have sold well. A fast pace helps keeps the laughs in as the “story” begins to work its way toward the final destination.  There are components they are trying to balance into the laughs, and the morals placed in for character development are nice to see to help expand the character.  Yet, the golden aspect of this film is of course the comedy to which many will most likely enjoy in some form or manner.  Stuber is one of those movies that throws as many jokes at you as possible and hope that at least one or two of them sticks.  The slapstick in particular has some great punch to it, primarily because of the commentary and sound effects that accompany it.  So simplistic and yet so funny, Stuber makes it’s mark due to the two comedians that drive the movie to the final destination. Bautista’s yelling and direct line delivery are much like Drax without the Marvel banter and drawn out jokes that accompany the clumsiness they bestowed his character.  Kumail Najiani on the other hand is all about dry sarcasm and delivery of the lines to capitalize on the comedic timing and adding that spice to the words.  The chemistry between the two is great, though I hope it’s not abused, and it will be a selling point for many.

 

Yet the movie is much like my fellow critics said in that there are some dropped plot elements.  For those that don’t care about anything but a good laugh, this section will turn you off, but for those for looking at movies as a whole read it on. Although a good attempt, the story has a lot of dead points that barely roll over the finish line to really give the movie sustenance.  A fantastic pace for comedy, the movie’s short run time and fast movements are not good for developing the other parts of the movie, which is a shame given the potential they were building.  Amidst the action scenes and lots of slapstick, a shaky camera awaits to try to bring you in the moment, but only serves to make dizzying sequences that are not too fun to see.  In addition the story is super predictable, with lots of foreshadowing in the jokes and simple conversations early on in the movie.  The balance in comedy is definitely skewed from one side or the other going too far down one angle, and quickly tipping the other way to not funny enough. Stuber suffers from constantly teetering from one point to the other and never learning that too much of something is not often a good thing.  Why was this the case?  Truth be told, it’s because the trailers have revealed many of the scenes that fill the movie, with a good chunk of the funny parts already been beat into your eyes and memory from the countless trailers and commercials.  If you have been fortunate enough to avoid these showings you’ll be okay, but otherwise, stick to the mantra of there are some parts that are still waiting to be found.

 

The VERDICT:

            Stuber is fun, stuber is simple, and stuber is entertaining to those who want nothing more but to laugh.  The acting combo of Bautista and Najiani are golden, filled to the brim with sarcasm and blunt delivery that should be entertaining. Filled to the brim with jokes, the movie’s main limitation is the difficulty with balance, struggling to fit things into the comedy in such a short time span.  Still, plenty of comedic gold awaits those looking for the simplistic adventure of slapstick and not caring about the movie/story overall. 

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy/Action/Crime: 7.0

Movie Overall:  6.0