In his ninth film, Tarantino has proved he really likes making movies about things that interest him. He loves the golden era of Hollywood and successfully transports the audience there. Following around an actor and his stunt double make for a really interesting setting. His craftsmanship is on full display as everything seemed perfect, from the lighting to camera movements, it was all top tier. A huge part of making it all work came down to the acting though, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt elevate the material they are given and breathe as much life as possible into the movie. Even with its flawless presentation, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is hard to watch.
The truth is, there is a severe lack of tension to push the plot forward, nothing is ever really being built up to. Aside from the realistic depiction of Hollywood as a business and the handful of great scenes that will be clipped out and be put on YouTube, the movie is aimless. Other critics might site that they love how the film is a collection of moments, that the break from narrative structure is to be applauded, they are just making up reasons to defend a bad script. With a runtime of two hours and forty minutes, there needs to be something to string the audience along. Just having a good third act doesn’t absolve the rest of the film from all of its sins.
Tarantino proves once again that he is a first-rate director when it comes to the act of making movies, from a technical standpoint there is little to complain about. Whenever you decide to watch one of his films, you will be treated to a curated selection of music that perfectly intertwines with the visuals on-screen. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could have been really great. but with all the things that it gets wrong, there is little reason to see it. It still features great acting and scenes which still don’t make it a must watch.
As more time has passed, I realize the appreciation I have for the craft and quality that Once Upon a Time In Hollywood exudes. I can't forget about the aspects of the movie I do like and all of the nuances that story takes its time planting. If I had known the movie was almost three hours before going to see it, I might have had a better reaction to it. I definitely plan on seeing it again, but probably not in theaters.
I guess fairy tales aren't true
In so many ways, Far From Home is exactly like Homecoming; its structure and ideas are more similar than you might initially notice. Overarching ideas are woven into the very fabric of what makes the story tick, and it becomes unsettling when a Venn diagram comparing the two is almost a circle.
These repeats of the first movie do have quite a few positives. The critical conflict of having Peter Parker's normal life clash with being a superhero takes center stage. Trying to juggle being a teenager with being the only Avenger abroad takes its toll as Parker has to decide what is more important. Far From Home retains an emotional core while being able to up the ante, making sure that there is enough action to keep viewers satisfied. It's able to focus on relationship issues and hardships while still injecting tons of humor in between, striking the perfect balance. It is the recipe that MCU movies have perfected yet forgotten for any large group movies.
However, the retread of material does come along with some baggage as it does not work for all situations. Trying to have a twist with Mysterio doesn't work the same way the reveal of The Vulture, even though both are supposed to be equally shocking. Having the villain and hero connect also didn't work out well in this instance since there weren't enough scenes of them together. Trying to force their friendship was a mistake due to it being so underdeveloped.
Overall, Far From Home doesn't have any barriers when it comes to recommending it for theater viewing. There are enough action set pieces audiences have come to expect and plenty of laughs that will keep you entertained. Obviously, if you don't want to see a movie about Spider-Man or superheroes, this won't change your mind. I can say, that Far From Home did pull at my heartstrings a little, but that's because I am very partial to a particular character. I guess I haven't seen many Indies this year because this ended up being one of the best films I've seen this year.
The neighborhood just got a whole lot bigger
spot. The only moments where something funny doesn't land can be attributed to an imbalance in that relationship.
Other than the two leads, there are a couple of other things that the film gets right. The lighting and color grading separate it from Netflix Originals. It's obviously low budget but would seem out of place coming from a streaming service. It has the perfect level of polish that would have been perfect two to three decades ago.
The biggest problems that hold Stuber from being a must see in theaters comes down to scope and story. With minimal action, a small number of locations, and only a few actors in the movie; this is not what audiences choose to see. The lack of character development also hits the quality of the film. The overall plot is very familiar, reminiscent of pre-2000s flicks that became classics it lacks a story.
Stuber is probably one of the funniest things you can watch on the big screen right now, which isn't saying much. Just don't expect anything too deep and take all the social commentary with a grain of salt. Though seeing it in a theater will be fine, watching it at home once you can see it on a streaming service also works.
I'm actually curious who is seeing this in theaters. If you actually do, drop a comment or tweet me