Queen & Slim
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Fantastic cinema at it's best. Really pushes the conventional limitations of it's time of production and budget, effectively condensing a difficult narrative. Fans should check out SÃ©rie rose La serre, and Blue Underground's excellent edition of Daughters of Darkness.
The first third may be setup to establish Ryan's Protean cop-on-the-edge, but it's nonetheless brilliant. Then it moves to a rural setting with exteriors that look like noir Wyeth. It's here that Ryan first encounters an ever more harsh reality that shakes even his cynical demeanor. The false city/country dichotomy is cliche, but serves the story well and rewards attention paid in the end.
Dirk Diggler and Chest Rockwell could have made this.
If Tilly, West and some amusing `80s video arcade footage can amuse you through the first 90 minutes, the finale is a lot of fun. Not the best fx, certainly not the best use of a mausoleum on film, but creative undead and a good tone. Shriek Show's transfer is far from perfect, but completely appropriate and actually enhances some scenes.
Donald Sutherland has some genuinely funny bits, with great comic timing. But most of the comedy and songs in this seem like poor vaudeville acts with an anti-Vietnam veneer. The interactions with both soldiers and activists speaking for themselves are pretty good, and Sutherland gives a great dramatic reading from Johny Got His Gun at the end. But aside from the opportunity to see Paul Mooney in a fur coat and fedora, (but unfortunately hear very little from him) there is not all that much to recommend this. The better comics are not given much real screen time, with weaker comics, celebrity spokespeople and unremarkable doc footage taking up the majority.