Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Dressed to Kill is one terrible movie. A ridiculous premise, bad cinematography - all soft focus and washed-out colours, a brace of bad performances (I exempt Nancy Allen), and a nastily exploitative and often incredibly boring script by writer-director Brian De Palma, who seems to be working through some real issues about women. Why this is regarded as anything other than awful is beyond me. Oh yes, and Pino Donaggio ain't no Bernard Herrmann.
A bunch of pensioners gather in a large theatre in NYC and almost keep it together for two hours. Fortunately they've had the good sense to get another pensioner to cover every angle with his cameras and edit it into something rather sweet and noble. Mick Jagger curls his 2-inch hips, Keith Richards chain smokes through every familiar riff and almost manages to keep time, Ronnie Woods largely stays out of the way, and Charlie Watts wishes it would all just go away. Even if you're not a fan, this is an enjoyable and often funny record of the relentless Stones. Much of the credit must go to Scorsese, who assembles the chaos with all his usual skill.
At the heart of Tarantino's sprawling and very funny love letter to late-60s Hollywood is an uncharacteristic sadness and compassion for the neurotic destructiveness that rides side-saddle with the ludicrous trappings of fame. The performances as always are wonderful without exception: actors love Tarantino's writing, and he casts brilliantly. The luscious yellowy photography and gloriously eclectic soundtrack of flower power pop only add to the elegiac tone, and the ominous knowledge that everything is coming to an end is cleverly exploited by Tarantino with a climax that is clever and subversive.
If you can surrender to the slow, stately pace and the lack of action, then there are many rewards in Ozu's portrait of a dysfunctional Japanese family hiding their resentments behind smiles and formalities. The camera stays low and never moves, life goes on, rivers flow.
Matinee transcends its slightly clunky storyline - a William Castle type B-movie producer descending on a Florida Keys movie-house to tap into the very real paranoia triggered by 1962's Cuban Missile crisis - by very accurately reproducing the look and behaviour of that period, and keeping it light. John Goodman is terrific casting, Jerry Goldsmith's score perfectly pitched, and the excerpts from "Mant!" so hilariously spot-on you'll wish it could be full-length.