The Last Movie I Saw…

When it comes to down time and relaxing, I spend more hours with my nose buried in a book or my Kindle than I do watching TV. Friends and family frequently recommend good programs they find on Netflix or network channels, many of which sound awesome, but somehow, I always end up skipping them. I DVR two shows that I’ll watch when I have time—The Good Doctor and God Friended Me, but other than that, I invest little time in TV.

When my mother was living, I took her to the movies every weekend. We’d trade up—one week she’d pick the film, the next, I’d chose. That went on for decades. DH enjoys movies at home, not the theater, so these days I catch new releases On Demand if I remember to watch them at all. Most times I forget.

Film strip with projector

But Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was different. The moment I heard about it, I was determined to catch it when it hit Xfinity and DVD.

I’ve never seen a Quentin Tarantino film before, and I’m not sure I’ll watch another, but I was “gone” on this one. Hubby and I rented it on Xfinity. I liked it so much, I ordered the DVD from Amazon. Since then I’ve watched it again, something I haven’t done with a movie in years. I’d like to say it’s all about good storytelling, but maybe it’s just me. Maybe it comes down to personal preference.

My sister and her husband were not enthralled. We discussed it in detail, and I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so smitten with the story.

I love the year in which it’s set—1969—the music, the fashions, the background theme. Go go boots, Matt Helm, Steve McQueen, the Mamas and the Papas, bell bottoms, hobo bags, and much more.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a 1950’s western star and his stuntman, set in a changing Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, the one-time lead in ‘Bounty Law” is aging and living on past glory. Used to being cast in the role of hero, he now finds himself facing lesser parts—spaghetti westerns and villains, his stuntman (Brad Pitt) tagging along.

Cowboy on a horse at sunset, leading a riderless horse behind him

As a fan of old westerns, I appreciated the nods to the past, especially Lancer. I was in grade school in 1969 and never knew Lancer existed. I didn’t find it until 2001, when I stumbled over the show in reruns. Along with Bonanza, it’s now one of my two all-time favorite westerns.

I was thrilled when I discovered Lancer played such a huge part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood—yet another reason I loved the movie.­­­ Would I have enjoyed it as much without that association? I’m not sure. For me, Lancer was a huge bonus.

That link aside, DiCaprio and Pitt (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) were both excellent. And if you’re wondering about the much-publicized connection to Charles Manson and the Sharon Tate murders…um, yeah…all there, but not in the manner you’d expect.

What surprises me most is that my sister—who was a teenager in 1969—didn’t appreciate this film as much as I did, and I was barely in grade school at the time. Maybe it’s because I’ve always held a love affair with the 60s, despite being a child of the 70s.

Is it over the top? Absolutely. Foul language? In abundance. Nudity? Nope, that one you can scratch. Everyone’s cup of cinema tea? Apparently not, but I’m sure to savor it again.

Have you seen this movie? What are your thoughts?

58 thoughts on “The Last Movie I Saw…

  1. Mae, I haven’t seen the film but I’m now tempted! 😀 It’s great when the storytelling is so captivating. I haven’t rewatched a film since my son was young, but it is amazing how you see new details on each viewing!

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    • It is amazing. I picked up things I missed with this one the first time around. The DVD also comes with deleted scenes which also added to the story. When I find a movie I really like I’ll rewatch it frequently. My husband and I generally watch Jaws every summer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I can get hubby to rewatch if it’s something he really enjoyed such as LOTR or Star Wars, but he’s picky and choosy. Me, I will gleefully watch a movie over and over (with months in between, of course) if I loved it! 🙂

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  2. I’ve delayed watching this movie because I don’t really care for DiCaprio, but I do love Tarantino. Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite films, though I was in the minority in my family on that one. Now, I’m intrigued and think I’ll watch it. When I have the time. (Go ahead and laugh at that; I did. 😀 )

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  3. I haven’t seen this one. Hubs and I go to the movies on occasion when there is something worth watching. If I like a film, I’ll buy it on DVD so that I can watch again. I haven’t seen this one, but like you, I’m fascinated with the sixties and think I’d enjoy it.

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    • Joan, if you like the 60s, I think you’d really enjoy this. Tarantino did an awesome job related to the times. I’m a DVD fan too, but I’ve gotten more selective with what I purchase. After seeing this one though, there was no question I had to have it, LOL!

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  4. I’m not a Quinton Tarantino fan, so I have avoided it. But I do know about westerns. They were a huge part of my childhood. Every day, my dad would come home from work, sit back in his recliner, and turn on Gunsmoke. That was the point in the afternoon/ evening when I lost viewing control of the tv. And then on Saturdays, black and white western movies could often be found on tv. And back then, cartoons stopped at noon, so I’d watch them. ❤️

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    • I’m a huge fan of westerns, Tessa. The only one I actually saw when it was in prime time was Alias Smith and Jones. All the others I caught in reruns, but I never tire of them—Bonanza, Lancer, Rifleman, High Chaparral, Custer, The Virginian….so many! I think I saw a few Gunsmoke episodes when it aired. I do kind of remember watching that one with my parents!

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  5. I’m a Tarantino fan, but haven’t seen this one yet. One son nearly walked out of the theater when he saw it – said the last 15 minutes made it worthwhile, and the other said it was the best movie he saw last year. Go figure.

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    • LOL! I heard a good many Tarantino fans didn’t care for this one because it was so different from his usual fare. The ending is well worthwhile. And I have to agree with the son who said it was the best movie he saw last year 🙂

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    • I forgot about Kill Bill! I did see most of the first one.
      I think you’ll enjoy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Kim. It’s different from his usual style (or so I’ve heard) but I was enthralled from start to finish!

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    • Well, I have heard a lot of his fans were disappointed because it’s so different for him. I also learned that he is apparently a pretty big fan of old westerns and even bought the rights to Lancer. There’s hope he may revive Lancer in a mini-series or movie. I did a happy dance when I heard that 🙂

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  6. We haven’t seen it, keep meaning to, and we’d better get to it while it’s still easy to rent. We really enjoyed Kill Bill, so I think this one’s worth a shot. I have a list of movies I want to rent, but like you, I always MEAN to watch them, but never quite get to them. We’ll have to try harder:)

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    • I think I need to start writing down the titles, Judi when they first come out. “Yesterday” is another one I’d really like to catch. I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of good movies because I forget about them by the time they’re available to rent.
      I do remember seeing most of the first Kill Bill movie and enjoying that. I think you’ll really like Hollywood, but it is very different from what Tarantino has done before.

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  7. I loved it, too, Mae! Hubby and I watched it in the theatre, and I know we’ll watch it again for all the same reasons you’ve shared. 🙂
    PS. I don’t watch a lot of TV either, other than a few select shows, but I highly recommend The Outsider series by Stephen King. It’s awesome on every level. Cheers, my friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I didn’t even know they’d made The Outsider into a series. I’m going to have to look into that, but I want to read the book first.

      So glad to know you were equally smitten with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Natalie. It was like an injection of the 60s and old TV westerns ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, if you’re a fan of old westerns, I think this one would work for you. So many tips of the hat to the way they were made. Apparently Tarantino is a fan of them, and I couldn’t be happier how he threaded Lancer throughout this story!

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  8. No, I haven’t seen it, though now I must. I virtually gave up on movies for a long time because there was such a dearth of quality out there – sequel after sequel and the term ‘franchise’ disported with pride, as though to have produced the same movie five times was an achievement. Then, last weekend I watched ‘Judy’, and all change! Renee Zellweger just gets better and better. So, out come the DVDs again (if the player still works!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you! And now I’m going to have to look up “Judy.” Renee Zellweger is always talented.

      I heard a few DJs discussing a popular movie franchise this morning (one I haven’t bothered with), and the question arose as to how long will they keep making these? The answer? “As long as they keep raking in the money.” So true though. That’s the nice thing about DVDs. Once you find a good movie, and pick up the DVD, you can enjoy it over again, rather than going with the current trend!

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  9. I have not seen it yet but want to. I have seen every Quentin Tarantino movie made and have loved them all. I may be a weirdo in this respect but have yet to be disappointed. thanks for supporting the fact that I have to see this one, Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t seen this one yet, but I’m a pretty big Tarantino fan. You might like some of his others (particularly Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction). Also worth checking out Django Unchained – written by Tarantino. Again, the storytelling in these is stellar! And DiCaprio in Django is pure gold!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have seen this movie, and really loved it! I thought the acting was superb and only Tarantino would be so bold as to rewrite history. 🙂 I don’t watch much TV at all, and most of what I see in the theater is with the grandkids, but this one was with my daughters and I did enjoy it.

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  12. Haven’t seen it. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen many movies over the past few years. Last one I saw (at the theater, no less!) was Rise of Skywalker (yes, I have to see Star Wars movies at the theater, except the spinoffs like Solo or Rogue One). Before that? Not sure. I usually get whatever movies from the library once they’re out on DVD. I used to keep a list of movies I wanted to see, but I haven’t updated that forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I’m trying to think back to the last movie I saw at a theater and I’m drawing a complete blank. I think it might have been Return of the King which tells you how long it’s been, LOL. I’ve yet to see Solo on DVD, though I’m pretty sure I saw Rogue One (I get the names confused). Or….if that was the last of the three most recent, then I still need to catch up, because I haven’t seen it.

      This was an excellent movie, Julie I need to get back to keeping that list of movies to see on my phone, This weekend we watched Knives Out, which gets another A+ in my movie-watching book!

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  13. It’s so interesting that this was your FIRST Tarantino movie! Personally I suffer from comparing it to his other work and wasn’t a big fan of this one. In a complete contrast to you I have NO connection to this era so perhaps that’s what’s holding me back from loving it. As a Bruce Lee fan I enjoyed his section the most even though I understand many other viewers issues with this portrayal of him. Still loved reading your take on it though!

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    • Hi, Paul! So glad you dropped by to check out my post. When I wrote it, I’d forgotten that I’d seen part of Kill Bill (which I did like). Other than that, this was definitely my first experience with a Tarantino movie. I have heard that a lot of his fans weren’t overly thrilled with this one. For me, I think it was the tie to old westerns (especially Lancer) and the 60s.

      I’m also a Bruce Lee fan. I don’t remember him as Kato but I think I’ve seen every other movie he’s made. I did enjoy that section as well, although it was interesting how they portrayed him! Happy movie viewing and stay well!

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