‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Review: A Love Letter to a Land of Dreams and Culture

✯✯✯✯½

When watching the films of Quentin Tarantino, there’s always that energy of wanting to show off his love of cinema on every frame but given the setting of his latest, it could either have been his most self-indulgent effort to date or maybe the love letter he’s been meaning to bring to the screen for a long while too. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, fittingly titled after Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time trilogy, is every bit a blast from the past of the final years of the 1960’s as one could ever expect Quentin Tarantino to make a film about Hollywood in the era to be, but it also might be the director’s most beautifully entertaining film to grace the screen since Inglourious Basterds. If anything else best sums up what makes Once Upon a Time in Hollywood such a delight to watch, you’ll find all of it speaking clearly from the first frame to the last: for it still remains intact with the eagerness on display out of love for the films that have formed everything we’ve loved seeing in Tarantino’s work too. Though I’ve always enjoyed Quentin Tarantino’s work as a whole, I haven’t loved his films as much as I used to as a teen who was getting into movies, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood reminded me why I’ve always been so captivated by the stories he’s brought to the screen.

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Death Note (2017) – Review

In truth my hopes were never high for another live-action Death Note adaptation because I’ve never been a fan of neither the anime series or the original Japanese features. The fact Netflix was releasing a live-action film in English after how this year’s Ghost in the Shell had turned out to be sounded far less appealing to me given as Netflix’s original feature films have rarely ever been great ones at that, and I grew even more cautious upon the notion that Adam Wingard was set to direct after how bad his Blair Witch sequel had turned out to be. But I’m not against the idea of retelling another story into a different language for a different audience, so looking at Death Note on its own terms had only put a sliver of curiosity into my own mind and my worst fears have only been proven true. As an adaptation of the anime, it does its job horribly, and on its own terms it’s just painful to watch.

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The Nice Guys – Review

✯✯✯✯½

One cannot review Shane Black’s The Nice Guys without saying the term at least once, so it shall be said right here: nice. I’m a fan of Shane Black for the most part (although I greatly dislike Iron Man 3) and knowing what he can perform when experimenting with neo-noir and comedy in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it seemed he would head back to said roots with The Nice Guys. It was everything I would have expected it to be, and at that, I had quite the blast watching The Nice Guys. I’d already hold trust in Shane Black when it comes to writing buddy cop comedies since it seems what he’s able to present just feels so vibrant in all the glory shining on the screen. Continue reading →