Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
I really didn’t want to see this movie. In fact, if ANYTHING else had bothered to come out this weekend I would have seen that instead, but nope! Everyone had to make way for this film so I guess I have to try and be professional! I don’t know, with everything we’ve heard about Tarantino recently it’s just hard for me to get excited to see his movie’s again; let alone support a new one. Cancelled or not, I just personally feel very much deflated thinking about him and going to see his latest movie just felt like even more of a somber experience. Still, while acknowledging the very real and very important context of the artist behind the art, is there a good movie to be found here? I guess we might as well find out…
Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an actor struggling to find steady work in the hectic world of late sixties Hollywood after a rather unsuccessful string of movies following a decent television career playing the lead role on a western. His stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) has stuck with Rick all this time since he’s had trouble finding work elsewhere and seems to have accepted his lot in life even if he’s basically Rick’s assistant at this point. Fortunately for Rick, he’s got a decent gig lined up playing the bad guy in some TV pilot which will hopefully get him some attention (otherwise he’ll end up doing Spaghetti Westerns which I guess weren’t good things to be in at the time) and this also means that Cliff has the day to himself which he uses to pick up a hitchhiker (Margaret Qualley) who wants to introduce him to her buddy Charlie who’s got a bunch of followers out in the desert. Oh, and on top of that Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is Rick’s next door neighbor, and she’s doing stuff as well like… seeing movies and dancing around the house. Can Rick nail this latest role that may be his last chance to stay relevant? What will Cliff find at the compound the hitchhiker is taking him too, and will he be able to leave if things get out of hand? Is it just me, or is Tarantino trying a bit too hard here? Or perhaps not hard enough?
Kidnap and all the images you see in this review are owned by Aviron Pictures
Directed by Luis Prieto
TWO YEARS! This movie has been sitting on a shelf for nearly two freaking years due to the financial troubles of its original distributor Relativity media before being picked up by its current distributor and finally getting a release. I mean, I guess it’s better than the cinematic limbo that Amityville: The Awakening is stuck in (wrapped in 2014 and STILL hasn’t been released) but it still doesn’t bode well considering how little this movie is being promoted. Hell, I thought this thing came out last year which is when I saw the first trailer, and I only found out like a week ago that it was only now coming out! Still, Halle Berry is a really great actor (Catwoman non-withstanding) and I do tend to like a decent car chase movie. Does this have a chance of rising above its troubled and awkwardly handled release, or was shelving this thing the best anyone involved could have hoped for? Let’s find out!!
Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is the clichéd single mom who’s got a crappy job but is trying to make it work as well as make time for her son (Sage Correa). Being the perfect mother figure though, it was only a matter of time before dramatic irony rears its ugly head and the ONE FREAKING MINUTE she walks away to take a very important phone call, some scumbags (Lew Temple and Chris McGinn) manage to swoop in and take her son. Why did they take her son and what do they hope to get from this working class mom? Who cares! THEY’VE GOT HER FREAKING KID! Time for Karla to do the only sensible thing which is to be a total bad ass and chase after them in her minivan and try to get SOMEONE’S attention long enough for them to help her stop these crooks from keeping her son for any longer. It’s too bad that her phone died AND she accidentally left it at the park where her son was kidnapped, but that’s beside the point! COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, SHE WILL GET HER SON BACK!! Does Karla have even the slightest chance of stopping the criminals before they do any harm to her precious son? How far will she need to go and how much collateral damage will she cause in her mad dash not lose sight of the kidnappers? Just where the heck did she learn to drive like that!?