Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Olyphant’

Acting as Artifice

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Dakota Fanning, Maya Hawke, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Margaret Qualley

Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, writer and director Quentin Tarantino returns to the big screen with his 9th feature film the brilliantly titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood starring Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Brad Pitt as buddies actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth in a fictional tale set in Los Angeles in 1969.

1969 was the year that the real life film director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by the followers of the Charles Manson cult which shocked the American film industry to its rotten core.

Firstly two disclaimers: this is an extremely long film and secondly it’s really only aimed at serious movie buffs and serves as Tarantino’s ode to the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age before the film making industry got taken over by corporations, sequels, digitization and streaming.

Margot Robbie as actress Sharon Tate

Tarantino artfully pays homage to the act of buying a ticket and going to the cinema in a rather poignant scene when the young actress Sharon Tate superbly played by Oscar nominee Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) actually pays to watch a film she is starring in at a Westwood cinema.

The rest of this marvelously meandering film belongs to the two major stars, DiCaprio who is superb as the washed up TV actor Rick Dalton who is desperately trying to make a Big Screen comeback but lands up starring in a string of Spaghetti Westerns in Rome.

Oscar nominee Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys) is phenomenal as the stunt double past his prime Cliff Booth in one of his best onscreen performances yet especially the gorgeous scene when he takes his shirt off on the roof of Dalton’s Hollywood Hills mansion in the scorching Californian sun to fix the TV aerial.

Booth also inadvertently stumbles across the hippie cult followers of Charles Manson in an abandoned studio lot in Chatsworth, California featuring some great cameos by Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8, War of the Worlds) as Squeaky Fromme , Oscar nominee Bruce Dern (Nebraska) as George Spahn and Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) as the seductive hippie hitchhiker Pussycat.

Tarantino expertly captures the zeitgeist of Los Angeles in 1969 at the peak of the counter-culture movement with lurid production design by Barbara Ling and costumes by Oscar nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips (Walk the Line, A Single Man, Nocturnal Animals, W. E.).

With some expertly placed cameos including Oscar winner Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman) as hot shot producer Marvin Schwarz and Damian Lewis as real life star Steve McQueen.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is slowing moving in the first two acts of the film, while the third act is phenomenal especially the hippie flame throwing sequence.

Tarantino could have quickened the film’s pace in the beginning to actively propel the narrative forward but he is a notorious auteur and not interested in packaging films to please audience expectations.

Unbelievably, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood did get a standing ovation at its glittering film premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival so Tarantino did something right.

This film gets a rating of 8 out of 10 and accurately portrays acting as artifice.

This is not Tarantino’s best work but written and directed in the vein of his crime thriller Jackie Brown, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is strictly recommended for Tarantino fans and those that enjoyed Pulp Fiction, Django Unchanged and Inglourious Basterds.

Maternal Unity

Mother’s Day

mothers_day

Director: Garry Marshall

Cast: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olyphant, Shay Mitchell, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts, Hector Elizondo, Aasif Mandvi, Robert Pine, Margo Martindale.

Unlike Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, previous Garry Marshall films which featured massive casts and a diverse series of interlinking stories, his third film Mother’s Day is confined by a much smaller cast and a group of actors who really should have been in a better film.

Golden Globe winner Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Oscar Winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) are joined by Horrible Bosses co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis in Mother’s Day a structurally unsound portrait of different versions of mother hood with Aniston and Hudson taking the lead as struggling young mothers Sandy and Jesse battling to cope with vain ex-husbands in the form of Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard) and over bearing mothers in the form of character actress Margo Martindale (August: Osage Country, The Hours).

What really would have worked was if Goldie Hawn was cast as Kate Hudson’s mother in this film, it would have elevated Mother’s Day to an entirely different level of comedy as they are Hollywood mother and daughter.

Garry Marshall also entices his Pretty Woman costars Julia Roberts and Hector Elizondo back on screen together. Roberts plays a Home shopping Network TV Queen, Miranda who doesn’t appear to have children. Jason Sudeikis who was so hilarious in The Hangover trilogy stars as a widower Bradley battling to cope with bringing up two young daughters after his wife and mother of his children, a marine, was inexplicably killed in combat. Jennifer Garner pops up briefly as the dead mother seen through video footage.

Whilst all the characters in Mother’s Day gradually interlink in contemporary Atlanta, the plot of the film is overlong and at times contrived, but nevertheless Mother’s Day is a very light hearted comedy, which will appeal to many an audience who are looking for a cosy and warm cinematic outing with their moms.

Audiences should not expect anything terrific or profound in Mother’s Day, but a really fluffy feel good film without too much depth or substance. Watch out for Aasif Mandvi (The Million Dollar Arm) as Jesse’s closeted Indian husband Russell who also has to deal with his own overbearing mother. British actor Jack Whitehall also makes an impression as Zack, an aspiring stand-up comic in the bars of Buckhead, Atlanta.

Mother’s Day is a fun film, but nothing more than a whimsical take on motherhood from a truly American perspective without the added bonus of having some real star power. This is no August: Osage County or Terms of Endearment but then it was never intended to be.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
  • Steve Austin to Launch New WWE Network Interview Series, Sets Undertaker as First Guest (EXCLUSIVE)
    WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin is returning to the WWE Network with a brand new interview series. The company’s branded streaming service will air the monthly series “’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin: The Broken Skull Sessions,” with the first episode set to air on Nov. 24 at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET after the annual WWE […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • TV Ratings: ‘Madam Secretary’ Sinks to Series Low
    With a strong “Sunday Night Football” showing on NBC and general stability across the TV ratings on Sunday night, things didn’t look so rosy for “Madam Secretary” on CBS. The Tea Leoni show sank to a new series low 0.3 rating among adults 18-49, the previous low being a 0.38 achieved two weeks back. This week, […]
    Will Thorne
  • Variety Launches New Video Series, ‘Daily Variety’
    Variety has launched a daily video series covering the business of entertainment. Hosted by Audrey Cleo Yap and produced by Eva Wong, “Daily Variety” will feature breaking news coverage and analysis from Variety’s award-winning staff as well as in-depth features and interviews with top industry professionals. Each bite-sized segment and featured clip will be distributed […]
    Stuart Oldham
  • TV’s Evening-News Battle Spills Out of Its Time Slot
    Norah O’Donnell, Lester Holt and David Muir often journey to global hot spots and scenes of national interest. In recent weeks they’ve been engaged in travel of a different sort – through time. ABC, NBC and CBS have all begun re-airing their various evening-news programs in the early morning via a select group of stations […]
    Brian Steinberg
  • Black Crowes Reunite, Reveal Dates for ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ 2020 World Tour
    As rumored — and prematurely teased over the weekend — Black Crowes cofounders Chris and Rich Robinson will celebrate the 30-year anniversary of their breakthrough debut album “Shake Your Money Maker” with a world tour beginning June 17 in Austin, Texas. Tickets are on sale now. To celebrate, the band will play two intimate shows, first at the Bowery Ballroom […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90