Movie Review: Once Upon a time in Hollywood

Last night I had the chance to watch “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and I can’t say I was impressed by it. The acting is much better than the script, and I really don’t understand why the Manson plot was necessary. The Manson murders did not change Hollywood any more than the Altamont Rock festival was the beginning of the end of the “hippie movement”. Tarintino proves this point in OUATIH. 

Manson was a silly little lunatic, a pathetic footnote in the history of Hollywood. His followers were pathetic lost children taken advantage of by a sick and twisted little man who desperately wanted a taste of the Hollywood lifestyle, no different from that limp-dicked wannabe pimp Paul Snider who lost his shit mind when Hollywood rejected him and he offed himself and took the life of his ex-wife Dorothy Stratten who had been welcomed with a full embrace by Hefner and those who wanted to be Hefner. 

Ol’ Charlie’s story is a Hollywood cliche, and his followers hicks from some town from way out in the middle of nowhere who drive their beat-up, paint-chipped pick-up truck their daddy gave them for their sixteenth birthday to Hollywood believing they’d been honey-dipped in stardust, and once they arrive they soon become tired of being pimped out and strung out on the Sunset Strip watching the B-Listers and C-listers look down on them and end up at Spahn Ranch because Charlie Manson was the first person who noticed them.

But let’s be honest, Charlie is just another small-minded misogynistic dipshit playing the part of talent scout using an old rustic and dirtied barn at an abandoned ranch as his casting couch, where Charlie was directing, and writing his own little low-budget movie where he needed grips, and gophers, and set designers and producers, and actors who’d play minor roles and a special few would have a starring role in his slasher flick titled “Helter Skelter”.  How fitting? An unoriginal title, a bad script, and somehow it still made Charlie a household name. Seriously, how Hollywood is that? 

The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” I’d like to see is the “Me Too” version. When I watched the scene where Cliff is confronted by Tex, it’s easy to imagine Harvey Weinstein at the door, and Gwyneth Paltrow in the other room.  

Because once upon a time in Hollywood many producers and directors were predators same as Manson, with one caveat, these fat cats didn’t order anyone (at least as far as I’m aware) to kill anyone. They took and take advantage of people, men, women, boys, girls, and lure them into their homes or offices with the temptation for a taste of the same Hollywood Manson wanted only to abuse them sexually and most get away with it because, hey that’s Hollywood right?

This is the Tarantino picture I’d like to see. Fuck Manson. Fuck some revisionist history of how a simple twist of fate may have saved the lives of those who died in the home on Cielo Drive, or even more how it may have helped revive the career of a struggling actor because he happened to live next door to the would-be in the real-life a crime scene.

Otherwise, Pitt, DiCaprio, Pacino, Robbie, and the rest of the all-star cast shined in their roles in what I regard as an unoriginal script with a similar plot twist at the end of “Inglorious Bastards” where Hitler gets the same treatment as the Manson Family in OUATIH. 

What’s next for Tarantino: “Once Upon a Time at Ford’s Theater”? Lincoln feels Booth’s gun pressed to the back of his head, and the shot misfires allowing Lincoln to grab Booth and they both wrestle and fall off the balcony and onto the stage. Imagine Lincoln in front of a crowded audience beating Booth with a stage prop as the audience cheers. 

The ending was a plot twist one could see coming because Tarantino has made an even better version of this film with “Inglorious Bastards”.

Maybe I’m missing the point of this film? I assume it’s about coming to grips with the end of the Golden Age era in Hollywood seen from Cliff and Rick’s perspective. However, one could argue that the faces of those on the Silver Screen from Newman and Redford, and director’s behind the scenes like DeMille and Welles, and the movies they made have lived on through directors such as Wes Anderson, Scorsese, and even Tarantino. And is it only me or didn’t anyone else notice how DiCaprio and Pitt resembled Newman and Redford? 

What if we are still living in the Golden Era now? That what was never died, but it is reborn every few years.  Rock-and-roll historians bitch about the death of rock-and-roll every few years. But like Hollywood, it may go through some growing pains and give us a period of shit music and shit movies, and suddenly be reawakened by a Nirvana, or Beyonce, or Eminem, drawing inspiration from the music and the musicians who inspired them. 

Isn’t that the point, it’s all out there just to be rediscovered by some teenager in Arkansas discovering the Beatles by rummaging through his mother’s old record collection. Citizen Kane is still very much alive and well and somewhere out there Dorothy is opening the door and entering Oz for the first time. 

And someone out there is going to be inspired by the artist who came before them and grows up and create something magical and although they won’t be reinventing Rock and Roll, or Hollywood, but will create something that will live on forever, same as the Marx Brothers, or Chaplin, or Elvis and Motown. 

Just like Tarantino didn’t have to give any more screen time dedicated to this fuckwad sideshow circus clown Charlie Manson. Just like someone is going to replace a Weinstein and people will look the other way until finally someone stands up and says no more keeping the Me Too movement alive and active long after Weinstein is gone and someone writes the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood version of his sexual perversions, and how it inspired a movement.  

Scorsese’s “Casino” same plot, the end of the golden era of Vegas, and Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” the end of the golden era of porn did not have to revive a twat like Manson to tell the same story. Why Tarantino felt the need to do it is beyond me, especially when he’s given us so many memorable characters and the unique dark and twisted stories, with some of the best scriptwriting aspiring writer’s will attempt to imitate but seem to always come up short because Tarantino is an original, a master storyteller who brings the character’s to life and brings out the best in the actors playing the character’s he has created.  Quentin Tarantino is one of the best directors and screenwriters of this generation. But c’mon! Manson? Seriously?  

Published by Chad Ard

Author, Editor

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