Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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The film was a disappointment for me. I am a fan of Christopher Nolan's films. I loved The Dark Knight Trilogy, Memento, and The Prestige. However, with this film, he has very high ambitions and in my opinion, strikes out here. The film reminds me of movies like Signs, Contact, Gravity, 2001, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, Mission to Mars, just to name a few.
One of my big problems with the film is that I found it a bit complex and confusing, especially with what happens at the 3rd act of the film. He has a great idea for a film, but doesn't execute it correctly. With the 3rd act, comes a bunch of curveballs (without spoiling what happens) that kind of confuse and also are a let down, considering everything that has come before it. I liked Gravity and Contact better cause they were straight forward stories that did make you think when the film was over. Here it is just a little confusing.
The film doesn't feel like Nolan's style. It actually feels like a Steven Spielberg film. The film also has some classic scifi elements, some I thought were predictable. There is a famous cameo in the film, and I wasn't surprised by the actions that this actor does in the film. Also I was disappointed by the look of the robot. I was expecting it to look much different. Here it kind of reminded me of a Transformer.
On a positive, the film is visually stunning. I can see the film winning a bunch of technical Oscars, including special effects. The performances in the film are very good, given what they have to work with. Matthew's character kind of reminded me of both Mel Gibson's character in Signs and Brad Pitt's character in World War Z.
Despite it's flaws it is worth seeing on the big screen. However, don't be surprised if you are disappointed and confused when the film is over. I am definitely looking forward to Nolan's next film. I hope it is better than this one.
I thought from the trailer, that the film would be really good. However, after watching the film, I was disappointed. I heard people say that the film is like Taxi Driver. I can tell you that the film is not like Taxi Driver. The film did remind me of movies like Paparazzi, 15 Minutes, Switching Channels, and Mad City. The film needed a major rewrite. The film has a bunch of loopholes. Some scenes went over the top. I thought the ending was terrible and not believable.
One big problem I had with the film was Gyllenhaal's character. From the first scene to the end scene, his character is not likable. I couldn't sympathize with his character or root for him. His character wasn't developed well. They don't reveal anything about his background. I keep thinking they should have started the film being a good guy, having money troubles and having a hard time getting a job. Then have him get sucked and seduced into this dark road of covering the news for money. That way, we could see a transition in his character and feel bad for him. That wasn't the case here. He is ambitious and greedy and will manipulate and blackmail anyone in order to advance his status.
Acting wise, I wasn't blown away by Jake's performance here. I thought he was better in films like Prisoners, Zodiac, End of Watch, and Source Code. Rene Russo was so so in the picture. At times, she was either over the top and a bit cartoonish or she was grounded and smart. Bill Paxton is really good a rival to Jake. Riz Ahmed is good too as Jake's partner. I felt bad for his character.
Michael Keaton could possibly win his first Oscar for this film. He shines here. It is one of his best. He was overlooked for films such as "Clean and Sober" and "My Life." It is also hard to watch him here, and not think of "Batman." Every time they mentioned "Birdman" in the film, I heard in my head, "Batman," instead. Michael's performance reminded me of Mickey Rourke's performance in "The Wrestler" and Jeff Bridges's performance in "Crazy Heart." All of those films, deals with a star, who has fallen from glory seeking redemption and one last shot to stardom. Keaton's performance here is both hilarious and will make you cry.
The film has a unique style that some audiences might not like. The entire film feels like one big long take without any cuts. The editing here is amazing and should win for Best Editing. The style in my opinion, grabs the audience into the shoes and the mindset of Keaton's character. Some audiences might not like that, and prefer a straightforward style to tell the story. However, I praise Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for choosing to do this daring style to tell the story.
The story makes me think of the late George Reeves, of how he didn't want to be typecast as Superman and be viewed as a serious actor. The film also comments about superhero movies and the public's opinions about them. The film reminded me of movies like The Wrestler, Black Swan, Crazy Heart, The Artist, The Player, Bullets Over Broadway, and Hollywoodland. The ending seems open-ended and ambiguous that will definitely keep the audience talking after the film is done.
Besides Keaton, Ed Norton, the former Incredible Hulk, is very good here and a great foil and antagonist to Keaton. He is so over the top, it is hilarious. He should get a nomination for Supporting Actor. Emma Stone, Gwen Stacy of Spiderman, is also really good as Keaton's daughter. Her scenes with Keaton reminded me of the scenes in The Wrestler between Mickey Rourke and Evan Rachel Wood. I would love to see Stone get nomination for Supporting Actress for the film. Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough provide solid supporting work here.
I definitely recommend this film and I hope that Michael Keaton finally gets nominated and wins a best actor Oscar for the film. He deserves it.
The film is really good. I missed seeing it in theaters, especially in 3D. It kind of reminded me of Monster House and Corpse Bride. I am glad to see that this wasn't a Tim Burton production. I thought all the actors in the voice roles were very good. I definitely recommend this film.
Emma Roberts performance is a good reason to check out this film. She really shines here. The film was so so, but entertaining. I felt like I have seen this type of film before, but done better. It was predictable.
Evan Peters was also really good here. He has a great on screen chemistry with Roberts. The weak link of the film, in my opinion, was John Cusack. He seemed out of place here. I think another actor in that role would have done a better job.
Despite the film's flaws, it is still worth seeing cause of Roberts and Peters.