Join us for a look at the dirty secret behind this weekend’s $40 opening box office for ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
I’ve been a Quentin Tarantino fan since PULP FICTION. And I admit to taking some joy when the good guys lit up Hitler in the INGLORIOUS BASTARDS finale. But as an independent filmmaker of modest success this past 23 years and counting, albeit one who got started a too late in life at age 42 to make it big — Hollywood’s young person’s game, my friends — I have to say the unpredictable Tarantino has become, alas, as predictable with his history revisionist twist endings.
This time Tarantino feeds like a vampire on the Sharon Tate’s brutal murder and dreams of up a washed up Cowboy actor, played to perfection by Leonardo DiCaprio and his co-dependent as it gets stuntman, equally well played by Brad Pitt as Sharon’s savior from the Manson family.
Please, Quentin, if you ever read this review of a huge fan of yours depressed over the turn of your career, go back to making good noir films instead of being some kind celluloid timeline cop. What’s next for your film 10th? Uma Thurman kills Booth before he assassinates Lincoln? Samuel Jackson kills Lee Harvey Oswald from the grassy knoll to save JFK? Get back to making great stories about lowlife characters.
Now, if you were part of the establishment, AKA the Man, AKA today’s Matrix, in the 60s and 70s, you likely hated Hippies and maybe still do to this day if you have not become woke folk. I’d even go so far as to say ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD was made specifically for liberal value haters, packaged in the form of Hippies.
Indeed, what’s painfully missing from Tarantino’s 9th film’s narrative is that Mason’s cult does not in any way genuinely represent the Hippie movement anymore than Nazis represent the German people. This makes the film an intoxicating ticket for conservatives and a brainwash for unsuspecting liberals who dig Tarantino. A win-win for the Trump era’s race bating, sexist, hate based politics.
And come on Brad Pitt, not cool you playing a character who got away with killing his wife and Leonardo as the ultimate wife killing enabler. I know Tarantino loves to study the underbelly of the world but unlike PULP FICTION where Samuel Jackson’s character experiences an awakening and mending of his wicked ways, there’s none of that in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Leaving the characters of Leo and Brad rendered as hopelessly sexist.
As life worked out I was, unlike my film career where I was a little too old, a little too young to be part of the Hippie movement. I was high schooler in the late 60s and a college student in early the 70s. By 1974 I was married at 22 in and having kids by the tender age of 27. Hippies were passe’ for me. I was busy being part of the Yuppie movement and became real estate millionaire who built a skyscraper and Oprah’s Harpo Studios by 38.
Tarantino, born in 1963, was all of six year old at the start of the death of Hippie movement that the Mason Family murders triggered, with some help making a connection not really there from the establishment media. Do the math, Tarantino missed the Hippie movement entirely when it gave way to the Yuppie movement by the time he was old enough to drive.
My bet is Tarantino’s only picked up on the Hippie vibe from old movies for the most part when he was a video store clerk with lots of free time on his hands. Or perhaps his parents used Hippies as some kind of parental scolding, “Do your homework, Quentin or you’ll end up a damned filthy Hippie!”
Tarantino’s connecting Hippie-hating to the most notorious commune leader, the Hippie Satan himself Charles Manson is frankly akin to making a movie about life in Oklahoma City with the heroes stopping right-wing Christian Timothy McVeigh’s bombing as a condemnation of Roman Catholics and vets.
So I say shame on Tarantino and Sony tapping into hate for liberal values of our current divided society and making a film bordering on a PSYOP. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLWYOOD with its all white main cast — aside from the fantasy of white guy Brad Pitt kicking Bruce Lee’s ass — suffers from misguided Hippie hate and spoils an otherwise good movie. Even if this 9th film from Tarantino it does not come close to his mad story structure skills at his peak of 90s filmmaking.
Don’t buy my cynicism of this film as marketed to appeal to hatred for liberal values and the #metoo movement, a movement that snared Tarantino’s long time patron Harvey Weinstein? Go ahead and drive the AI that has you pigeonholed as liberal a headache and read this Breitbart review that raves about Tarantino’s “masterpiece” hating on Hippies and Wokesters.
With a $40 million take at the box office, hate targeted filmmaking has sadly become commercially viable. What will follow after the success of this film is scary as Hollywood is copycat industry.
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