‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Review: Tarantino’s Hollywood Visions Brightened by Pitt And DiCaprio

 

“…an unconscious picture of what I actually think will happen when it happens..” John Lennon on Revolution No. 9, The White Album.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, and possibly the film with the lowest stakes. There is no vengeful bride or Nazi hunters or evil slave traders. By lowering the stakes and decreasing the violence, Tarantino has presented arguably his most fully-realized characters.
The majority of the film follows fading Hollywood leading man, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rick’s stuntman/personal assistant Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Ultimately, this is a slice-of-life buddy movie.

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Quentin Tarantino Relishes “Interactive Audience Experience” Of ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’

Director/writer Quentin Tarantino and his Once Upon A Time In Hollywood cast (including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie) attended Monday night’s Hollywood premiere of the feature, and Tarantino talked about why he sees his work as an interactive experience.

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‘Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood’ Hits Cannes With Star Power And New Trailer

 

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, director Quentin Tarantino and company attended the Cannes Film Festival to promote Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. Coupled with a new trailer, it was definitely a big splash for the highly anticipated feature.

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Michael Pena Continues David Ayer Partnership With ‘Fury’

Michael Pena, so memorable opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the gritty, Los Angeles cop drama End of Watch, continues his working relationship with that film’s director (David Ayer) with the WWII drama Fury. The picture, opening Friday, contains the hard earned grit of a Samuel Fuller war film (The Big Red One, The Steel Helmet) while continuing Ayer’s recurring themes of brotherhood.

This time, the male bonding mainly takes place within the confines of a battle scarred tank. With the hard-nosed Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) as their leader and Boyd (Shia LaBeouf) consistently spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, it’s the likable (yet ultimately haunted) Gordo (Pena) who stands in the middle ground. If you add Grady’s (The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal) quick trigger temper and Norman’s (Logan Lerman) wide-eyed naivete to the mix, Gordo may be the only even keeled serviceman of the bunch.

But looks are usually always deceiving, and Pena talked about the research he did for the role (he claims an estimated 500,000 Latinos served in WWII). Pena also added that he infused his character with a “level of depression,” a condition which led to Gordo’s dependence on alcohol.

Click on the media bar below to hear Pena explain how he and David Ayer developed the character of Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia:

Fury opens Friday, October 17. Pena also stars in the Fox series Gracepoint.