Saturday, February 1, 2020

More Movies

Just to reiterate, I am focusing on recent movies nominated for Academy Awards. Another one of those  films is Once Upon A Time in ... Hollywood.
This is a Tarantino film, so you know it's bound to be a little weird, and probably violent, yet who can resist those two guys staring in it. The setting is Hollywood in 1969, the Hippie era. Leo DiCaprio plays a TV Western star whose show, and therefore his fame, has run it's course. He is trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to regain his standing as a star. Brad Pitt plays DiCaprio's stunt double, whose career has been hitched to the same star. Pitt gets mixed up with hippies, who turn out to be the Manson Family. DiCaprio's neighbor is Sharon Tate. So yeah, the ending gets messy, but not in the way you might think. Tarantino naturally rewrites history to suit his own purposes.

The acting is very good, DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor, and Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor. The sets and costumes depict the era very well and it is fun for those of us who remember those times to relive them just a bit. This is a comedy/drama after all. It's meant to be pure entertainment, with no lasting social commentary, but what seems like gratuitous violence at the end just left us cold. Maybe you will like it better. Those guys are pretty to look at.

Ford and Ferrari is a car movie.
Our son Jake recommended this Oscar nominated movie. He and I shared an interest in auto racing during his growing up years. He is still into it, while I now only pay attention to the Indy 500 if there is an Andretti in it. But he was right, I liked this movie.

Matt Damon plays the lead character who has retired from racing due to health issues, but he still loves race cars and convinces Ford Motor company to get involved in racing to try to best the always victorious Italian Ferrari team. Christian Bale becomes the driver he fights for. The big wigs at Ford aren't very cooperative except for a middle manager named Iaccoca, who just happened to develop the Ford Mustang.  

Good acting, good human interest, great racing scenes, and cool automotive history make this a very entertaining movie. 

The movie 1917  just might win Best Picture. 
We know that war is hell. WWI was especially hellish. This movie shows you just a brief glimpse of that, but it's enough.

British troops are battling the Germans. The Germans seem to be on the run and 1600 men have been sent forward to finish them off. But recon photos show that it is a trap the those 1600 British troops are headed for slaughter. Word must be gotten to them to fall back. 

Two little known actors, Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, play the two corporals, Blake and Schofield, who are assigned to cross the nine miles of no mans land and scorched earth to carry the message. Cpl Blake is especially motivated because his older brother is in the advancing 1600.

It is a grueling and dangerous mission that keeps the viewer tense and glued to the screen. I marveled at the sets, the reconstruction of a burned out village, the seeming miles of trenches, the cast of thousands. This is a big movie. 

It you prefer to study war no more, skip it, but it is exceptionally well done, and with redeeming value. 

More later. 


  1. Sounds like you enjoy going out to the movies! :)

  2. thanks for previews, we watch few movies. Like documentaries and historical dramas like masterpiece.

  3. The second two movies sound good, but gratuitous violence in the end for the first one does not make it appeal to me.

  4. Thanks for your reviews. I wasn't sure about seeing the Tarantino movie and after reading your review I think I will skip it. However I keep hearing great reviews about 1917. I don't usually like war movies but I might just have to see this one.

  5. My first and last encounter with Tarintino was Pulp Fiction. I just cannot stomach his casual approach to violence and life. I wish any one else had directed, because that film does look interesting.

  6. Thanks so much for the reviews. You have convinced me that I really want to see Leo and Brad but may want to skip the ending. Since I will be seeing it on DVD (no theaters anywhere near tiny town Arkansas), that is doable. Thanks for the warning. I can't get over how Brad keeps getting better looking.

  7. I really liked Once Upon A Time in Hollywood And I much prefer the ending to reality. You're right, though, that Tarantino cannot seem to help himself when it comes to violence.

  8. I saw Once Upon a Time... on the airplane andI was wondering where this film was trying to go for the first 3/4 of the movie. But yes, I understood the title once I got to the ending. Don’t know what I think but both Leo and Brad did a great job. Brad is definitely lovely to watch.

  9. We don't go to the movies often. Your opinions about these movies match what I thought I would think of them. We will likely rent the last couple of movies when they become available.


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