I have been a huge Tarantino fan since I was a teenager, watching PULP FICTION on an endless loop my junior year summer. This might be one of his greatest films yet, but I doubt teenage me would have enjoyed this one as much. The movie feels like an expression of Tarantino's love for stuntman, an homage to stunts in general. For awhile it felt like you could play a drinking game for every time a stuntman was used in any of the scenes and meta-scenes throughout the movie. The actors themselves are great, Dicaprio's performance is incredible, the has-been, drunk actor trying to hold on-a less suicidal Norman Maine with a few slightly edgy performances left in him. Pitt's Booth borderlines misogyny, but I there are some hero undertones, even if they are hyper-masculine. He refuses sex with the young girl and tries to rescue his friend from the scary hippy women. The film hints at horror and what is sort of an era of the rise of the serial killer, but also of the so-called profile of a serial killer. Part of that profile does include men who were emasculated or abused by their mothers which manifest in hatred toward women. But Cliff isn't a serial killer, nor do I think he hates women, but you do get a sense that he is extremely distrustful. Cliff is extremely self-aware and his shortcomings don't slow him down, in extreme contrast to his good friend. The final scene violence seemed like normal, over-the-top Tarantino violence, KILL BILL Vol.1 had extreme amounts of violence, which appear more as homages to pulp B-movies of the past rather than any kind of social statement. Margot Robbie was amazing on another level, it reminded me a kind of silent movie actress. Her beauty is unusual in this because it seems so innocent, which is much different then the sultry, sort-of succubus in WOLF OF WALL STREET. Greta Garbo of the silent era was able to do this very well, move between darker female characters to sweet and innocence with just a look, the scene where Sharon is driving down the street the shot of her face made Margot almost unrecognizable. She was able to do so much without having any real part in the movie.
More homages! The references to the director Antonio Margheriti and the final ad for Red Apple cigarettes were funny and touching moments for a life-long fan of QT. This would have been a great way to go out, even though the upcoming STAR TREK will be the last (if he holds to the 10 movies and done promise). The jump cuts, music, meta-trailers and ads, the mise-en-scene, and all the stunts make this a fun movie for someone like me who is fascinated with how movies are made.