Movie Review – Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

TL;DR – I have used many adjectives to describe Quentin Tarantino’s films before but dull is a new one here.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Quentin Tarantino is a very specific kind of director and sort of puts him in a category where I find a lot of people either love or hate his films. I have found myself falling into both categories in the past with me adoring some of his films like Django Unchained and really not liking some of his other works like The Hateful Eight. However, whatever the case may be, I have always walked out of his films with strong feelings one way or the other, but not this time, this time I walked out looking at my watch to see how much time that took.

So to set the scene, we open in on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) star of the most popular show on TV Bounty Law as he gives an interview with his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Flash forward to the end of the decade and after a failed swing at movies Rick has been demoted to playing the bad guy or ‘heavy’ in other people’s shows and Cliff is still there as his driver and assistant. Well, one day a new opportunity arises for Rick, a real chance at something, but what neither Rick nor Cliff knows is that there are people out there that do not have everyone’s best interests at heart and a friendly smile might hide violent personality.

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Article – Films, an Exercise in Selling you Stuff.

TL;DR – While films are here to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of things

CAT in Skyfall. Image Credit: MGM.

Article

Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers: Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers, marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World. However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at the very least it is more in your face.

So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious like when on Chuck they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Community when they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to do it. PQ Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.

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Movie Review – Hail Caesar

TL;DR – Hail Caesar is an interesting film, with a lot going on, but that is much of the problem, its scattershot nature means the film lacks real substance, but it still has a lot of spectacle to make up for it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Review

This is an interesting film, but it is also a very flawed film and that makes it quite difficult to review, or at least score. There are some really interesting ideas at play here, and there are also some amazingly wonderful set pieces throughout which are a joy to watch. However, it is trying to do so much, that it just can’t do any of the ideas justice, so it just feels like a scattershot of a film, which is a bit a disappointment.
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