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Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 60s/Manson movie


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If the first quarter of the novel is anything to go by, about 10 hours of that rumoured 25 hour version are probably scenes demonstrating how Cliff is the biggest bad ass tough guy on the planet, and the Bruce Lee fight was just the one they decided to keep in the final cut.

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10 hours ago, JamesC said:

I'm not sure Bruce is 'made fun of' as such. He's holding court in a way that there are first hand accounts of him doing at this point in his career. Cliff takes him on, makes a good account of himself and the fight is broken up before there's any decisive result either way. 

I think a lot of the ire directed at the scene comes from the fact that Bruce isn't revered the way people think he should be. 

If people read it as a slight against an Asian American icon, that's valid, but it certainly isn't the only way to read the scene and it's also valid for Tarantino to have right of reply. 

 

I'd also like to say I think it's disingenuous to suggest you thought the laugh emoji may have been a 'squinty eye gesture' which it obviously wasn't / isn't. It's not very nice to cast those kinds of aspersions. 


I’m sorry, it wasn’t very nice but these things aren’t obvious to me anymore when I get called names and yelled at by complete strangers, and most seem to dismiss that anti-Asian racism is even a thing.

 

On some of your points, I do agree.  As I said, there are ways to read that scene to make it more palatable and Tarantino does have a right to reply.  The problem is that his response takes away those readings.  It’s hard to say the Bruce Lee in the movie is the myth and fiction when he double downs on it being accurate and compares him with Charles Manson despite evidence to the contrary from people who actually knew Bruce Lee, including Gene Lebell.  
 

I don’t particularly care if Bruce Lee wins or lose a fictional fight, but I do think it can be handled a lot better; if Cliff and Bruce became close friends like Gene and Bruce did in real life, then it would have made a much better arc.  I just find it tasteless for him to bring this back up after two years with what’s going on now just to sell a book.  And telling those who don’t enjoy the scene to suck a dick is pretty bad.  It’s fine if you like the scene but I see no reason to defend his behaviour.  

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1 hour ago, Timbuktu said:

And telling those who don’t enjoy the scene to suck a dick is pretty bad.  It’s fine if you like the scene but I see no reason to defend his behaviour.  

 

Can't argue with this, he always gets prickly when anyone talks about any perceived controversy in his films and it's pretty peurile. 

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Of course this is coming to Netflix imminently. I waited patiently for it to turn up on one of the streaming services and it didn’t seem to be coming, so I bought it on Prime a few weeks ago. 
 

I really enjoyed it and for my money it’s in the top half of his films.

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For the book perspective on the Bruce Lee fight, where you get in the characters heads, very roughly summarised:

Spoiler

Cliff has a method.

In a fight he lets his opponent make the first move with no resistance. The guy makes his best move and Cliff can just roll with the hit cos he’s a bad ass stuntman.

Then he says “let’s go again”. The opponent who’s seen Cliff can’t fight for shit will “19 times out of 20” do the same thing again, but now Cliff is ready for it and can turn it against him.

If the guy hasn’t been fucked up already the “real fight” is then round three, where Cliff has an advantage cos he’s taken his opponents best move out of the equation.

Bruce essentially falls for that and does the same move twice, BUT he’s not some random guy in a bar fight who was using his best move on Cliff, he was thinking “I’ve got 14 unbeatable moves no one can block, but I don’t want to jeopardise my blossoming career by breaking some idiot crew-member’s bones on a show I’m making a guest appearance on. I’ll go for something that looks fancy but with no real power behind it which will just put him on his ass”.

After Cliff fucks up his stuntman career by doing his best to seriously injure an actor in round two - cos he’s an idiot asshole - Bruce now knows he’s in a serious fight against someone with military training who knows what he’s doing (thinking of him as “far less skilled than opponents he’d faced in tournaments, but an actual killer”). We’re now on for a real round three where he’s actually trying, but of course that never happens.

So what we saw in the movie was Bruce Lee getting hustled into underestimating his opponent and pulling his punches (kicks) rather than in any way losing a proper fight, with the implication in the next round he’d have fucked up a ridiculously overconfident Cliff who thinks he’s already bested a  Bruce putting in maximum effort, but that’s not clear without the access to their thoughts.

 

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Tarantino explained this a bit recently, on one of many podcasts he's been on, promoting the book. 

 

Essentially, an actor had told him about this stuntman he knew, who was thought to be indestructible.

 

Things like a stair fall, which some guys could do two or three in a row, this guy could do nine and keep going. 

 

Tarantino was like 'If your guy went up against Bruce Lee, who would win?'

 

'Oh, my guy would win. He didn't know martial arts or anything like that, but my guy would let Bruce Lee do his shit and not be able to hurt him. Then when Bruce got tired, my guy would fuck him up.'

 

He gives Lee props for being a tremendous athlete and demonstration tournament martial artist, but he's not beating Jerry Quarry. 

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I watched the movie for the first time last night and I can’t lie, I absolutely loved it. I just drank in that scenery and the period setting. Brad Pitt is astonishingly good, I don’t think I’ve seen him better than this. 

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11 minutes ago, Hanzo the Razor said:

The scenes of Pitt just driving around, drinking beer and being Han Solo eight years before Han Solo were some of my favourites. Just drink in the feel, the freedom and the scenery.

Yeah he’s just amazing, I’d loved that end scene.

Spoiler

You’re a good friend Cliff.

 

I try

 

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On 10/07/2021 at 10:43, Chadruharazzeb said:

I'm going to watch this again tonight. It's a great testament that films don't need a complicated or any kind of story to be good. 

 

And I did watch it again, enjoyed it even more. When's he making his 10th and "final" film? 

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It is a brilliant film. I wish I'd been able to watch it in one go (I started it late in the evening and had to stop 2 hours in as my youngest decided to wake up and scream the house down for almost 3 hours!!)

 

I just loved drinking in the scenery and the soundtrack. I could happily watch Cliff driving around, running errands or Rick on set for a long time.

 

I've ordered the book (£4 on Amazon for the paperback) and can't wait to get stuck in!

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Oof at the scene between Pussycat and Cliff on the way to Spahn Ranch in the book. 

I was sick as hell yesterday so took the day off and read the whole book in between sleeping and then watched the movie again and came out with a greater appreciation of the movie with the added backstory bits. 

 

Also was in Sainsbury's earlier and they are selling it for £4.50

 

 

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Enjoyed the film when I watched it a while ago but the only thing I felt conflicted about was how it dangled Sharon Tate's fate in front of the audience for a really long period of time.
 

Spoiler

Blatantly rewriting history works with Hitler in Basterds because the audacity of it was funny in that context and it completely subverts audience expectations- that Shosanna couldn't ever succeed, because we knew how that story was supposed to end.

I'm left wondering what Tarantino's intent was here though, as he was clearly using foreknowledge of Tate's death to build a slow burning tension throughout. It's a relief to see her spared after the film was building up toward the terrible, violent death she was going to suffer... but I felt tremendously sad for Tate afterward, knowing the full horror of what really happened to her.

 

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I just know that it’s one of the few films I spent a month with on solo trips to the cinema just trying to soak in the audience reaction, and it always got an infectious reaction.

 

Sharon’s family were hesitant about the pitch but gave their blessing upon reading the script.

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There's so many little details and homages to many films, it really is a very romantic film, totally in love with film. My favourite little homage was Clockwork Orange, Polanski wearing crazy garb and then driving around LA with the fixed camera on the car just like the scene in CO where they steal the Durango 95. Then there was the Hitchcockian score when Cliff is at the ranch and going to find George. All the diegetic music of the period that is so commonly used in montages in other films, tunes suddenly stopping as the characters stop listening or the scene moves to a place where it cannot be heard. There's just so much detail and richness to the whole thing it is a joy to watch. Then of course there's the final 15 minutes which are just spectacular. Gasper Noe eat your heart out! You cna criticise QT and his movies for many things but I know if I want to have a good time watching a decent film then I can pick basically any of his films and have that good time, it's basically guranteed.

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13 hours ago, Wickedkitten said:

Oof at the scene between Pussycat and Cliff on the way to Spahn Ranch in the book. 

I was sick as hell yesterday so took the day off and read the whole book in between sleeping and then watched the movie again and came out with a greater appreciation of the movie with the added backstory bits. 

 

Also was in Sainsbury's earlier and they are selling it for £4.50

 

I haven't got that far yet, but even where I've got Cliff is a much less sympathetic character and much scarier than Brad Pitt on screen.

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The mention of Polanski reminded me of the scene where he's driving with the camera over his shoulder while Deep Purple's version of "Hush" is blaring on his radio. I absolutely loved the feel of scenes like that. Say what you like about Tarantino but he can create moments that stay with you from pretty much nothing. He's done it since Reservoir Dogs. If his next film is his last I for one will miss the crazy bastard.

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On the WTF podcast a couple of weeks ago it sounded like the retirement stuff had been overblown and misreported. His responses there suggested he'll keep going for as long as he feels inclined to. I really hope that's the case. I thought it was one of the best episodes of WTF to date overall. Could listen to Tarantino talk for hours, and the conversational nature of Maron's show really seemed to get him flowing. I enjoyed how fondly he talked about going to the movies with his stepdad in particular, and how that formed his obsession with film. "Being an adult must be amazing, you get to be an expert and know everything about movies!"

 

Hadn't heard about Tarantino and Pacino's respective estranged biological fathers doing straight to DVD movies to cash in on their names before either! 

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10 hours ago, Harsin said:

 

I haven't got that far yet, but even where I've got Cliff is a much less sympathetic character and much scarier than Brad Pitt on screen.


oh hell yes, how he got Brandy and especially the bit with his wife 

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