Image Credit: above: Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
In the Dark

Grim Foolishness

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Directed and written by Quentin Tarantino ? Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures

The Lighthouse
Directed and produced by Robert Eggers ? Co-written by Robert and Max Eggers ? Distributed by A24

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
Directed and written by Preston Sturges ? Produced by Paul Jones ? Distributed by Paramount

I’ve seen only two-and-a-half Quentin Tarantino films, which seems to me one more than enough. They’re silly, trashy, and singularly devoid of amusement. Why would I see another? But when his latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, received enthusiastic notices elsewhere, I thought I should try it. Could I have misjudged his work? I can confidently report that my original judgment was correct. Unless you’re a fan of seeing faces bashed to pulp on formica kitchen counters and flamethrowers wielded to burn the odd body now and then, this film is one you’ll want to pass by. I know there are grislier movies served up to consumers of sadism, but they’re generally on the low-rent end of the entertainment scale. Tarantino, however, is regarded by many as a first-rank director. Perhaps this is because Americans have become so morally numb that they require sharper, more perverted stimulants to amuse them.

Once Upon...

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