I love Tarantino, but he can be oddly hit or miss with me, if that makes sense. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown and Hateful Eight, and while enjoyable, didn’t particularly blow me away. Maybe I’d see them differently on a re-watch, and which I’m in no hurry to do. But Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Django are all-time staples - meaning, I will watch them a few times a year, or just about anytime that they’re on, even on a weeknight, it’s 3am and I have to get up early in the AM. Then there’s, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (OUTH), his latest and greatest, and which doesn’t quite fit into either camp for me. I really, really enjoyed it, will watch it again when it’s streaming. I can understand how many are saying it’s Tarantino’s greatest work of all-time - because most reviews / the general public are largely stupid, and the more commercial a film, the more they like it. Hey, it’s “commercial” for a really damned good reason - because it’s a proven formula that many / most people like and want. No harm in that, as you can be both good and commercially successful, as Tarantino can attest, because that’s what he’s done in his best films - he’s taken his own unique style of filmmaking and forced his way into commercial success. That may be what I most like about Tarantino actually. OUTH is certainly Tarantino’s most commercial work, but the trade-off is that it’s also his least Tarantino-like film of all-time, too. Had I watched the movie without knowing who directed it, I wouldn’t have guessed Tarantino in my first 10 guesses. It’s not bloody / gory for any movie, much less a Tarantino flick. It’s presented in a linear fashion for the most part (remember Pulp Fiction’s brilliant hopping through time, backwards and forwards in the story? Yeah, that’s out.) Revenge, vengeance, violence are all largely missing and have been replaced with plot, storyline, dialogue, scenery. It’s a very, very good film, and one which I really enjoyed. I have neither problem nor argument with anyone who believes that it will land multiple Oscar nominations. It will probably be his greatest in-theatre revenue maker. Leo is Leo. He’s great, as he always is, in everything. Leo could make an Oscar-compelling scene from a drunken dry-run read of Sab’s tweets. Or one of my posts. Pitt is sensational. I can see his performance snagging best supporting nomination, and he may even take it home. To advertise Pacino as being in the film is a little disingenuous...he has one scene. Of course it’s a great scene on the normal scale for mortals, but that’s pedestrian for Pacino. The premise of the story is great - basically how these two (Pitt & Leo) unwittingly get intertwined with the Manson family, and on multiple levels. Maybe it’s too great, because it’s so tantalizingly promising in Tarantino’s hands...but he just doesn’t do much with it. It felt like watching Admiral making that late-game steal at Rupp, and time deliciously slows as he races down the court to the hellish moans of their slack-jawed and sister-[uck fay]ing meth heads....but instead of a thunderous two-hand slam, he just gives it the ol’ pre-game bunny hop layup. It counts just the same, I guess, but not all two-point baskets are made the same. It’s a remarkably 2-dimensional and largely commercial movie, and which is the least Tarantino-like film that he’s done. I liked it, for sure, but I am also slightly frustrated that it could’ve been so much more than that.