Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood Blu-ray Review

I found Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood to be entertaining but ultimately a bit too long. Sony’s Blu-ray puts forth a nice presentation. 4 Stars

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood Blu-ray Review
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  1. Restoring Hollywood – The Production Design of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (1080p; 9:18): A look at how Barbara Ling and her crew worked to achieve the look of Hollywood from 1969.

    This is the biggest joke of a featurette, wherein all the participants are telling you how painstakingly accurate it is in terms of detail. I would buy the "alternate universe" business if they didn't keep insisting how accurate they were to 1969. Some of us were quite alive back then and some of us lived in LA and know exactly what accuracy is. No, there was no Pussycat Theater in that location of the boulevard – it was the New View Theater until it became the Pussycat in 1974. No, there was no Peaches Records on the boulevard in 1969. On that side of the street it was only Vogue Records and before that Discount Record Center. No, They Came to Rob Las Vegas never played the Chinese.

    And my favorite: In Brad Pitt's close-ups in front of Pandora's Box you can clearly see the Capitol Records building on Vine north of Hollywood Blvd. In the Margaret Qualley reverse shots she's in front of Pandora's Box, which was located on the south east corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights, about four miles away from Hollywood and Vine. Oh, and Pandora's Box? Torn down in 1966. Oops.

    Other favorite: The party at the Playboy Mansion. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Playboy Mansion in 1969. Hef didn't buy it until the early 1970s. Oops.

  2. My wife and I really got caught up in it. Looked gorgeous in 4K. Like Inglorious Basterds, it's a bit of fantasy revenge porn, but it's so well done and all of the actors involved are positively fabulous in their roles. GREAT soundtrack and score. The Tarantino formula is alive and well. Looking forward to watching it again sometime in the next month or so.

  3. TravisR

    Arguably QT's best and one of my favorite movies in years.

    I feel the same way about it.

    Films like this that keep my passion for cinema alive. After QT retires I'm going to be broken hearted.

  4. I am a big QT fan, but this film just didn't do anything for me or my wife. I loved the soundtrack, but the film, itself was rather slow and boring for both of us. I wouldn't put it in my Top 5 Tarantino films.

    I will give it a 2nd chance somewhere down the road, since so many others seem to really love the film. A close friend of mine who is also a big QT fan felt similar to me about it, though, so it's certainly not just me it didn't resonate with.

  5. I really loved it, and it has good re-watch value for me, as I think I missed a lot of stuff on my first viewing. I think it's perfectly okay for a reviewer not to share my opinion of the film, I only read these reviews for the technical stuff, & anyone who didn't grow up in Hollywood/LA in that time wouldn't notice any historical anomalies, which I'd think any period film would have (some by the bucket-load).

  6. Scott Merryfield

    I am a big QT fan, but this film just didn't do anything for me or my wife. I loved the soundtrack, but the film, itself was rather slow and boring for both of us. I wouldn't put it in my Top 5 Tarantino films.

    I will give it a 2nd chance somewhere down the road, since so many others seem to really love the film. A close friend of mine who is also a big QT fan felt similar to me about it, though, so it's certainly not just me it didn't resonate with.

    You are far from being alone in that regard as movies in general always generate diverse opinions when it comes to film appreciation. It's just the way it is, even for great films that are universally loved and appreciated.

  7. I’ve seen this movie twice- the first time in a theater, and
    during the Christmas break on UHD BluRay. I think this film is similar to Jackie Brown in that it will get better with repeated viewings, and it’s a film you can just put your feet up, settle in, relax and have a good time with it.
    My list of Quentin’s films, from most favorite to least favorite-
    1- Pulp
    2- Jackie
    3- Basterds
    4- Hollywood
    5- Dogs
    6- Hateful
    7- Django
    8- Death Proof
    9- Kill Bill 1&2

  8. Jeffrey D

    I’ve seen this movie twice- the first time in a theater, and
    during the Christmas break on UHD BluRay. I think this film is similar to Jackie Brown in that it will get better with repeated viewings, and it’s a film you can just put your feet up, settle in, relax and have a good time with it.
    My list of Quentin’s films, from most favorite to least favorite-
    1- Pulp
    2- Jackie
    3- Basterds
    4- Hollywood
    5- Dogs
    6- Hateful
    7- Django
    8- Death Proof
    9- Kill Bill 1&2

    Interesting that you put the Kill Bill films at the bottom of your list, as they would be near the top of mine. I have a hard time picking a favorite QT film, so instead I will group them.

    Top Group:
    Pulp Fiction
    Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2
    Inglorious Basterds

    Middle Group:
    Jackie Brown
    Django Unchained
    Reservoir Dogs

    Bottom Group:
    Hateful Eight
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    * I have never seen Death Proof

  9. Stephen_J_H

    I envy you.

    I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but Death Proof felt like one of those lazy 70's schlock features from Crown International Pictures like "The Van", or "The Pom Pom Girls".
    This rings true to the 'Grindhouse' experience that Quentin, and Robert were aiming for, but as a stand alone feature it is the Tarantino film that I tend to skip watching.

  10. Bryan^H

    I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but Death Proof felt like one of those lazy 70's schlock features from Crown International Pictures like "The Van", or "The Pom Pom Girls".
    This rings true to the 'Grindhouse' experience that Quentin, and Robert were aiming for, but as a stand alone feature it is the Tarantino film that I tend to skip watching.

    I had read enough about Death Proof that I decided the film wasn't for me, which is why it's the only Tarantino film I have not seen.

  11. Scott Merryfield

    I had read enough about Death Proof that I decided the film wasn't for me, which is why it's the only Tarantino film I have not seen.

    Seeing "Grindhouse" at the Drive in was one of the best movie going experiences I have ever had. Not because I loved the films of Planet Terror, and Death Proof with the fake trailers. It was because it was cool, fun, and very different than anything I have experienced at the cinema. And it was at the Drive in theater which authenticated its retro vibe. I had a blast.

    That being said it was an "experience", and just cannot be replicated at home. So I don't even bother.

  12. DEATH PROOF is a blast. If you like Tarantino, it is vintage Tarantino. I also loved the full GRINDHOUSE. The fake trailers in the middle were the best part. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is so much fun I can't stop watching the 4k over and over. I think it has a good chance of winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

  13. Re: The time inaccuracies of the picture… it's called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I believe things like the Pussycat Theater were added because they are just iconic. Also the Playboy Mansion. Or Pandora's Box. Tower Records wasn't around then, but I would have preferred to see it rather than Peaches. Or Eli Wallach's Music City. And why not an Angelyne billboard while you're at it? There are things about the location that just exist in the mind out of time and exact place. It's not Chinatown, but… it's Hollywood.

  14. Robert Crawford

    Talk about taking a crap on a movie that has an alternative reality to begin with.

    I wasn't aware of taking a crap on a movie. I like the movie. I was taking a crap on the inaccuracies of the production design, which I would not have said anything about if they hadn't gone on and on in the featurette about how accurate they were. They weren't – had they simply said that this was the 1969 of their mind, then fine. But they did not.

  15. Hollywoodaholic

    Re: The time inaccuracies of the picture… it's called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I believe things like the Pussycat Theater were added because they are just iconic. Also the Playboy Mansion. Or Pandora's Box. Tower Records wasn't around then, but I would have preferred to see it rather than Peaches. Or Eli Wallach's Music City. And why not an Angelyne billboard while you're at it? There are things about the location that just exist in the mind out of time and exact place. It's not Chinatown, but… it's Hollywood.

    Why don't you actually read my post. I said clearly that in the production design featurette, they brag about how accurate their detail was. I know what the film is called and had they simply said this was not an accurate recreation of 1969 then fine. But they didn't say that. Why do people get so defensive about this stuff as if Mr. Tarantino can do no wrong. If his aim was to be accurate, he failed. If his aim was to put on the screen things he wishes had been there, then bravo. But that's not what they say in the featurette. The End.

  16. haineshisway

    I wasn't aware of taking a crap on a movie. I like the movie. I was taking a crap on the inaccuracies of the production design, which I would not have said anything about if they hadn't gone on and on in the featurette about how accurate they were. They weren't – had they simply said that this was the 1969 of their mind, then fine. But they did not.

    Looked like it to me as you made a point about the Playboy Mansion error. As to the featurettes, there aren't too many on any disc that doesn't have some inaccuracies including audio commentaries. Anyhow, I'll let you have the last word as going back and forth about your intentions isn't entertaining to the rest of the membership.

  17. haineshisway

    Why don't you actually read my post. I said clearly that in the production design featurette, they brag about how accurate their detail was. I know what the film is called and had they simply said this was not an accurate recreation of 1969 then fine. But they didn't say that. Why do people get so defensive about this stuff as if Mr. Tarantino can do no wrong. If his aim was to be accurate, he failed. If his aim was to put on the screen things he wishes had been there, then bravo. But that's not what they say in the featurette. The End.

    I, for one is not being defensive at all because Tarantino is far from my favorite director. I like some of his films, but not all of them. I don't hold any of them in such high regard that you can call me a Tarantino fan. I think this featurette and the movie captured the feel of LA back in 1969, and any embellishment of the actual facts is of little importance to many of us because of these simple words "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…". It's nothing more than a Hollywood fable taking place in 1969. I'm out!

  18. haineshisway

    I wasn't aware of taking a crap on a movie. I like the movie. I was taking a crap on the inaccuracies of the production design, which I would not have said anything about if they hadn't gone on and on in the featurette about how accurate they were. They weren't – had they simply said that this was the 1969 of their mind, then fine. But they did not.

    Would you agree they got the overwhelming majority of 1969 details right?

  19. haineshisway

    I wasn't aware of taking a crap on a movie. I like the movie. I was taking a crap on the inaccuracies of the production design, which I would not have said anything about if they hadn't gone on and on in the featurette about how accurate they were. They weren't – had they simply said that this was the 1969 of their mind, then fine. But they did not.

    You’re absolutely correct. The featurette speaks not of some metaphysical place, but rather the perfection behind an extremely accurate recreation of the Hollywood of 1969.

    The intentions of the film, and its 1969 fantasy land, are different from what is expressed in the f’ette.

    I didn’t know the locations in ‘69. I have some memories of 1961, but didn’t get to know the place in detail until 1981, when much had already changed. One of my early dinners there, while working on a project at Gomillion, was at El Coyote.

  20. warnerbro

    DEATH PROOF is a blast. If you like Tarantino, it is vintage Tarantino…

    I like Tarantino and pretty much all of his films, but I think Death Proof is dreadful – I found it a real slog to get through.

  21. Robert Harris

    You’re absolutely correct. The featurette speaks not of some metaphysical place, but rather the perfection behind an extremely accurate recreation of the Hollywood of 1969.

    The intentions of the film, and its 1969 fantasy land, are different from what is expressed in the f’ette.

    I didn’t know the locations in ‘69. I have some memories of 1961, but didn’t get to know the place in detail until 1981, when much had already changed. One of my early dinners there, while working on a project at Gomillion, was at El Coyote.

    Nobody said Bruce was wrong, but I don't understand an over-embellished nine minute long featurette becoming the angst for some people.;) That type of embellishment and/or inaccuracies goes on all the time in these bonus materials. But, whatever!:)

  22. I had another look at The Hateful Eight the other night & really enjoyed it, it seems to get shorter each time I watch it, which is a good sign. I'll have another look at Hollywood in a month or so's time, meanwhile, another look at Kill Bill, & maybe Inglourious Basterds, not quite sure about that one.

  23. I watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a second time (first time was the theater) a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely loved it the first time and enjoyed it even more the second time. Saturday's showing at the Booth Bijou will be my third viewing and I'm sure I won't be disappointed. 🙂

    That said, I do *not* expect that all of our guests will love it. I think a couple will simply tolerate it but most will like it and some will love it.

    Mark

  24. Robert Crawford

    Nobody said Bruce was wrong, but I don't understand an over-embellished nine minute long featurette becoming the angst for some people.;) That type of embellishment and/or inaccuracies goes on all the time in these bonus materials. But, whatever!:)

    No angst here… just facts. I enjoyed the featurette, for what is was.

  25. Being a huge Tarantino fan, it's taken me forever to see OUATIH – but I finally saw this on Blu. Wow! This is definitely one of Tarantino's top movies, and is also my favorite film of his since Inglorious Basterds:

    -Really dug the "inside look" at the late 1960's TV/movie industry.

    Jack Dalton's (DiCaprio) jokingly referring to Cliff Booth (Pitt) as "Audie Murphy" and the mention of his being a war hero presumably means that Booth was either a World War II (or maybe Korean) war veteran – given his age.

    -Hilarious scene when Booth slammed Bruce Lee into the side door of a car; whether or not this would have happened in "real life" is irrelevant, since this is a Tarantino film [​IMG]

    -It was interesting that we never really found out whether or not Booth actually killed his wife; but, this was never the focal point of the film, anyway.

    -As I was watching the film, it was obvious the main?! plot line was leading up to the horrific Sharon Tate/Helter Skelter murders committed by the "Manson family" in August 1969. However, I initially found this to be a hackneyed plot point. I.e., not only does everyone know how this turns out – but, there have been at least two other films focusing on this event in the last 1-2 years (Charlie Says, the Haunting of Sharon Tate); sure, those were both solid movies. But, I didn't need to see yet another movie on the same subject – at least not so soon after the other two.

    However, I needn't have worried. Tarantino's "revisionist take" on this event was great & unexpected. And, it was fantastic to see these hippie scum-bags get what they deserved – even if it was in a fictitious movie.

    -As always with Tarantino movies, the bloody fight scenes were both horrific & hilarious. When the dog was literally tearing apart "Tex" apart I didn't know whether to cringe or laugh – or both [​IMG]

    -Another great scene was when Dalton's new Italian wife punched one of the hippie women, and then when the woman got back up she screamed and went into the back room [​IMG]

    -The scene when Dalton used his flamethrower on the junkie in the pool was funny; the dichotomy of the water & the flames were great. I also liked the explanation that Dalton had "kept" the flamethrower from a film he had starred in – LOL.

    In closing, excellent film! I will definitely be revisiting this again at some point soon.

  26. The Drifter

    Jack Dalton's (DiCaprio) jokingly referring to Cliff Booth (Pitt) as "Audie Murphy" and the mention of his being a war hero presumably means that Booth was either a World War II (or maybe Korean) war veteran – given his age.

    Quentin Tarantino said in an interview Cliff Booth is Green Beret WWII war hero that killed a bunch of people.

  27. Bryan^H

    Quentin Tarantino said in an interview Cliff Booth is Green Beret WWII war hero that killed a bunch of people.

    Good point – I've modified my post. Being a WW II veteran makes the "Audie Murphy" reference make more sense, anyway.

  28. I believe that the Green Berets were actually founded in the 1950s. WWII veteran does make sense from the timeline of the film, just not a Green Beret. Maybe he was in the OSS?

    But hey, if you are going to bend time, what's one more thing? 🙂

    – Walter.

  29. Walter Kittel

    I believe that the Green Berets were actually founded in the 1950s. WWII veteran does make sense from the timeline of the film, just not a Green Beret. Maybe he was in the OSS? Or maybe he was a WWII vet who joined the Green Berets for a period of time in the early 50s before leaving the service?

    But hey, if you are going to bend time, what's one more thing? 🙂

    – Walter.

    He could've been an Army Ranger, but you're right the Green Berets were formed in the early 1950s.

  30. Walter Kittel

    I believe that the Green Berets were actually founded in the 1950s. WWII veteran does make sense from the timeline of the film, just not a Green Beret. Maybe he was in the OSS? Or maybe he was a WWII vet who joined the Green Berets for a period of time in the early 50s before leaving the service?

    But hey, if you are going to bend time, what's one more thing? 🙂

    – Walter.

    Here is the snippet about Cliff Booth. About 40 second in he talks about him

  31. Watched this again over the weekend and it confirmed two things for me:

    1) It's my third favorite Tarantino movie after Jackie Brown and Inglorious Basterds
    2) Leonardo DiCaprio might be the best and funniest comic actor currently working. DiCaprio in a bathrobe screaming at hippies while drinking a pitcher of margaritas is easily the funniest thing I saw in a movie in 2020.

  32. Mark VH

    2) Leonardo DiCaprio might be the best and funniest comic actor currently working. DiCaprio in a bathrobe screaming at hippies while drinking a pitcher of margaritas is easily the funniest thing I saw in a movie in 2020.

    That's really funny but I think his freak out in the trailer about his drinking ("Fuck it.") was funnier and, to be spoiler free, a couple parts of the climax still make me laugh after seeing them more than 15 times.

  33. The biggest laugh for me in the climax, involves Cliff's statement about "the devil" and what he was going to do. Just a perfect delivery from Pitt, which sort of is a call back to his stoner character so many years ago in True Romance.

    – Walter.

  34. TravisR

    That's really funny but I think his freak out in the trailer about his drinking ("Fuck it.") was funnier and, to be spoiler free, a couple parts of the climax still make me laugh after seeing them more than 15 times.

    I'll buy that. Dude is just incredible in the movie (as is Pitt).

  35. The Drifter

    Being a huge Tarantino fan, it's taken me forever to see OUATIH – but I finally saw this on Blu. Wow! This is definitely one of Tarantino's top movies, and is also my favorite film of his since Inglorious Basterds:

    -Really dug the "inside look" at the late 1960's TV/movie industry.

    Spoiler

    In closing, excellent film! I will definitely be revisiting this again at some point soon.

    Since this is a review thread, not a spoiler thread, perhaps most of your message should have been inside spoiler tags?

    I agree with everything you said, just don't think it should be out in the open for folks that haven't seen the film to accidentally stumble upon it.

    Mark

  36. Mark Booth

    Since this is a review thread, not a spoiler thread, perhaps most of your message should have been inside spoiler tags?

    I agree with everything you said, just don't think it should be out in the open for folks that haven't seen the film to accidentally stumble upon it.

    I can't go back & edit my post at this point – or I would include Spoiler tags re: the plot points.

    However, the reason I didn't do so initially was because I felt that most people who wanted to see the film would have done so by now. OUATIH came out theatrically in July 2019, 6 months ago. I myself didn't see it in the theater & waited for the Blu-ray – and the Blu has been out for over a month, i.e. since 12/10/2019. Plus, there's streaming.

    I myself went out of my way to avoid reading reviews (Spoiler filled or otherwise) & posts about the film because I wanted to be genuinely surprised by the story, and I feel that others should do the same. I.e., if you don't want to read Spoilers – just don't read anything about the movie (or talk to anyone about the movie), and you should be OK.

    That being said, note I wouldn't have posted a review without Spoiler tags right after the movie came out last Summer (i.e., if I had seen it theatrically, right after the release) because I knew that a lot of people wouldn't have seen the film at that point.

    That also being said, also note that after the theatrical release of The Joker last October, people were posting reviews/info. on the film without Spoiler tags all over the Internet (not necessarily this site, however). I still haven't see the film yet (I have a huge back-log of movies to see), but definitely want to. And, I only have myself to blame for reading posts about the film before seeing it – since I did have some plot-points spoiled.

  37. Mark Booth

    Since this is a review thread, not a spoiler thread, perhaps most of your message should have been inside spoiler tags?

    I agree with everything you said, just don't think it should be out in the open for folks that haven't seen the film to accidentally stumble upon it.

    I can't go back & edit my post at this point – or I would include Spoiler tags re: the plot points.

    However, the reason I didn't do so initially was because I felt that most people who wanted to see the film would have done so by now. OUATIH came out theatrically in July 2019, 6 months ago. I myself didn't see it in the theater & waited for the Blu-ray – and the Blu has been out for over a month, i.e. since 12/10/2019. Plus, there's streaming.

    I myself went out of my way to avoid reading reviews (Spoiler filled or otherwise) & posts about the film because I wanted to be genuinely surprised by the story, and I feel that others should do the same. I.e., if you don't want to read Spoilers – just don't read anything about the movie (or talk to anyone about the movie), and you should be OK.

    That being said, note I wouldn't have posted a review without Spoiler tags right after the movie came out last Summer (i.e., if I had seen it theatrically, right after the release) because I knew that a lot of people wouldn't have seen the film at that point.

    That also being said, also note that after the theatrical release of The Joker last October, people were posting reviews/info. on the film without Spoiler tags all over the Internet (not necessarily this site, however). I still haven't see the film yet (I have a huge back-log of movies to see), but definitely want to. And, I only have myself to blame for reading posts about the film before seeing it – since I did have some plot-points spoiled.

  38. TravisR

    That's really funny but I think his freak out in the trailer about his drinking ("Fuck it.") was funnier and, to be spoiler free, a couple parts of the climax still make me laugh after seeing them more than 15 times.

    Nice. I think I have watched this a dozen times overall from theater to disc. And even now I'm still having different scenes becoming new favorites. My last viewing I focused on Al Pacino's initial scene. So great. "Gina, Gina, Gina….the face in the misty light".
    I'm getting the most out of my 4K purchase. I regret skipping the collectors edition and might end up paying triple for it on E-Bay.
    I guess I didn't get the concept of "limited edition" when the pre-order was up.

  39. Jeffrey D

    The crazy scene at the house-

    Jeffrey D

    Pitt’s character, while being high, says to one of the attackers “Are you real?”
    Attacker- “I’m as real as a doughnut, MFer!”

    And then both of them cracking up. Such a funny line because it completely plays against the suspense of the scene which makes it even funnier.

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