Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie that he has both written and directed. In every movie he has ever made, he has tried to make a movie that is different than any other film produced and he did succeed in making something very different with this production. What I admired the most was the perfectly created period from the year 1969, where every car, and every scene honored the world in that landmark year, 50 years ago. Somewhere in California there are a series of warehouses where thousands of cars are housed and maintained for movies like this one and that alone is very impressive. What I disliked the most was the constant chain smoking that arguably was prevalent in 1969 but to this frequency I thought it was way over done. I also hated the last scene of extreme violence was way over the top and completely unnecessary, regardless of how deserving the victims of the violence were.

Tarantino has succeeded once again in creating a movie unlike any other, however this one is different bad, rather than different good like all of his previous eight movies. I saw no evidence of a real story story here, just a series of disconnected and fragmented scenes involving an actor, Rick Dalton who is on the down side of his career, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and his stunt double Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt. There are other minor scenes involving the late actress Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie that never seem to have any real purpose or connection to the other part of the story involving Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth.  I was surprised how many of these disconnected scenes were not only not interesting, but very boring. I must have looked at my watch 20 times during this way too long 161 minute movie, obviously a bad sign.

The the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are giving this movie an 88% rating and this makes no sense to me because my rating is only 50% mainly for the sets, cars and the many memories of 50 years ago. I do not recommend Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Its too long, there is no real story and there is way too much chain smoking and an insanely unnecessary violent scene at the end. This movie is only for die hard fans of Quentin Tarantino or the year 1969.

Movie Review: The Lion King

The big story for the movie “The Lion King” is that the critics, despite the spectacular special effects and simple but solid story are only giving this high quality production a low rating of 55%.

The most impressive thing about this film is that the computer generated animation is the best I have ever seen, and all the animals look 100% real. The story is simple and is about jealousy, power, friendship and greed. I thought the story was told extremely well, despite what the critics have said. It is definitely not the best animated film ever made, but it is at least, very good. So much for the critics who are in this case, once again, very wrong. Considering the enormous amount of hard work that went into making this movie for several years, to receive low ratings, is probably the most unexpected review of a movie I have seen for quite some time.

The Lion King is a very good movie for kids and adults and I give it a solid 85% rating and do recommend it.

Movie Review: The Art of Self-Defense

The movie “The Art of Self-Defense” starring Jessie Eisenberg is one of those films that tries extremely hard to be different than anything ever done before. Unfortunately, sometimes when a story tries too hard to be different, the result is illogical and in the case of this movie, too off the wall and weird. The strange story of this film, that involves a man who is mugged and almost killed, deciding to take Karate lessons, degrades into something that is not believable.

The story started out pretty well, showing the reasons why Casey, played by Eisenberg considers buying a gun after being mugged and almost killed by several motorcycle attackers and then changes his mind to wanting to learn Karate. From this point on, the story goes from run of the mill, to unexpected and then into a strange direction, that for me, did not make any sense. Its OK to be different and unusual but illogical and strange should not be what follows.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for The Art of Self-Defense is a high 83% but my rating is only 60% because of the strange story and ending. For those reasons, I do not recommend this movie.