7.28.2019

Quentin Tarantino is a Cinematographer not a Movie Director

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I watched Once upon a time in Mexico...I mean Hollywood... and every aspect of the movie, from the title to the ending and everything in between, made it especially clear to me that Tarantino is not a real movie director.

It was painful.  The best comparison is to a nurse trying to be a doctor.  The nurse thinks she has more experience and therefore knows better than a doctor, but they just don't have the true capacity to act as a doctor.  Yes they may be able to insert a IV or give a shot better and even be more comforting to the patient, but they don't see the entire picture of health of the patient.

This is how Once upon a time was.  It should be a big clue when the movie doesn't even have a unique name.  Sounds like a remake of once upon a time in Mexico.  Maybe Tarantino has a way to frame shots well, but even if he does it didn't show.

Like an OCD patient, Tarantino makes sure to include a 10 second cigarette drag and bare feet in what seemed like every shot.  It was boring.  The lines were so bad that it made it painful for the actors to take them seriously.  For example there was a little girl talking to DiCaprio and I get that it is cute to make the girl seem smart but it was way over the top and didn't seem authentic at all.

There was no story.  The story is there is an actor who hangs out with his stunt man but the stuntman hasn't actually been working for a while and the actor is not getting as many gigs and goes and works in Italy for a year and then comes back home, the Manson gang tries to kill them all, then it ends.  There is absolutely nothing compelling or even engaging with the story at all.  Their was zero emotion in the movie either.  It was just flat and boring.  Nothing inspiring.  Just tropes.  I left the theater feeling like I lost 40 IQ points.

What is the vision?  This is why Tarantino isn't a real director.  He had a reel of ideas for scenes to check off his list and he did, but for what?  What is the point of a series of scenes strung together?  It was an exercise in futility and I mean that phrase in every respect.  Every scene seemed to be an exercise.  "It would be cool to have an actor acting to be an actor who is acting."  Ok...  So what?  You just want to do that to prove that you could?  It's as if this movie was just Tarantino trying to prove to himself that he is a real director but failing every step of the way.

I suggest you see the prequel, Once Upon a Time in Mexico for a better story. Oh wait...

Their is a point to this review, unlike the pointless nature of the film.  The point is that if you are trying to be someone you are not, then you will feel like you constantly have to prove yourself.  You have to prove you are better than the other guy by doing something unique.  But just trying to be unique without having a cohesive vision gets you nowhere and just proves that you don't belong doing what you are doing.  Find your true passion and you will find you just naturally are the best at it and you don't feel the need to prove anything and you don't even have to focus on what those around you are doing.  Tarantino is obviously a movie fan and this film is just a mash up of lots of tired tropes.  A true director makes something unique because he is uniquely skilled at what he does, it takes no effort for a true creator to create something unique.  It becomes the new gold standard, not a remix of what has already been done before.

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