<Todd>’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I hired you to be an actor, Rick, not a TV cowboy. You’re better than that." -Director,
3rd/Final Watch: I really want Leo to yell at me for being a hippy.
PREP: In advance of my third watch I viewed the Fistful of Dollars trilogy, 4 Bruce Lee films, and 2 films about the Sharon Tate murders. It added a lot of depth to the experience.
This is my final watch in the theaters and not much changed regarding how I feel about the film. If you're a fan I'm with you I just like recording my negative thoughts so I can see them later.
(1) I think I just hate this type of historical fantasy. As a lover of history it just bothers me when films do that so I need to accept that as a bias of mine. I'm not trying to be snobby, I just don't like the intentional altering or changing of historical facts that matter for the sake of a film. It probably relates to why even though I understand the rationale for it, I hate the Bruce Lee scene because it feels like it shits on his legacy and some people will see that as their first understanding of him, which impacts the view of him in some way. I don't explicitly mark movies down for this but it contributes to my overall meh feeling toward some of it. I don't get it and don't get why people like it, but that's just me.
(2) I do believe it is best for Tarantino to retire soon (as he has announced he WANTS to) as I find his films becoming less interesting and more reliant on predictable soundtracks and quirky takes on history. He's always been an homage-specialist as opposed to a purely original voice, and that's fine, but now it just feels like his approach has become a bit more boxed in. Just my take. I would rather he burn out than fade away and while I still like this movie I think he is on a downward trajectory.
(3) I think this is his film where direction mattered the least. Every performance is outstanding, the sets and landscapes are a character in themselves, the editing is phenomenal, and the costumes should win awards. Specifically, I still believe that this is Leo's best performance of his career. The length didn't even bother me this time.
It's great. I'm looking forward to revisiting in a few years when the film has become more fixed in Tarantino's filmography. I'll probably change my mind about everything.