Well, dear readers, I awoke yesterday to a rather amazing text message informing me we’d reached our goal in less than two days. I immediately went to the computer and not only had we reached our goal, we’d exceeded it. I couldn’t believe it – I had hopes we might do it in a week, but in less than two days? That’s something pretty special. Thanks to all who’ve joined in and now we enter our covering the Indiegogo fees goal – we’re currently at 108% and we need to get a bit beyond that to cover everything. The stretch goal after that will be to insure we can get Cindy Williams down here to do a commentary. As I’ve said, we’ve got 28 days to go and the more we can raise the more we can make this package something really special – more extras, better packaging, and perhaps some money to actually promote it. But mostly if we raise more then the authoring house can spend more hours doing clean-up work on the three-quarter-inch director’s cut, to make that look as good as possible given what it actually is. I’ve put up some new perks, but there are still some great perks left and I’ll be putting up more as we head to the end of the campaign. I’m not going to be as relentless as this week, until three days before we close. Anyway, share, check it out, and let’s cover them fees!
Once up, I answered e-mails, printed orders, then got hung up with some telephonic conversations, including doing an interview with some chap from the UK. I tried scanning a photo for a perk, but it wouldn’t work – and I kept trying and trying and so I gave up, showered, and then tried again, to no avail. I’d put up an image already, but it wasn’t the right photo and I needed the right photo. I ran out of time and then had to mosey on over to the Cinerama Dome to see a motion picture. I had twenty minutes to kill, so I walked over to Amoeba and looked through stuff. They had a couple of interesting classical CDs at three bucks a pop, so I bought four of those. Then I walked back to the Dome, went in, validated my parking ticket, used the restroom, and then found my tenth-row aisle seat. At that point there were only about ten of us in the whole theater.
By the time the film began, there were probably forty to fifty people there, certainly no more than that. And most of them were sitting in front or in back of me. Then three yokels came in about ten minutes before the start of the film – they were obnoxious, loud, and of course sat right in front of me. One of the men left to use the loo, and the yokel woman ate a half a Junior Mint and proceeded to almost choke to death. I mean, she coughed and coughed and coughed, about six minutes straight and then she calmed down. Then she decided she was cold and so four minutes before the start of the film she left to go to her car to get a coat. Then the two male yokels, who were probably a couple, realized they weren’t even in the right seats. Right row, wrong side, so they moved to the correct seats and I was very happy. There were only three trailers, thank goodness, and they were all terrible – some Joker picture starring my least favorite actor, Joaquin Phoenix, some drivel called Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan, and I can’t remember the third one. Then it was time for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
First of all, the audience was well behaved, so that was nice. They’re showing a 70mm blow-up at the Dome. As always, the projection is too dim for my taste, the focus isn’t 100% across the entire screen, and there’s distortion at the edges. They spent buckets of money recreating the Hollywood of 1969 for shots that last about three seconds. I’m not a huge fan of Leonardo diCaprio or Brad Pitt – but the latter is really good in this and DiCaprio is fine. The film is just shy of three hours. Of course, the Tarantinoettes, those for whom he can do no wrong, loved it before they stepped foot in the theater. But, some love, some hate, that’s the way it is with his movies. He’s a smart-aleck filmmaker, pilfering stuff from other filmmakers and just in love with recreating stuff from his video youth. There’s really no actual story, per se, it just goes along from thing to thing. I shan’t spoil anything for you but will say this: I was warned by both reviews and friends that the final sequence is an orgy, a blood-bath of over-the-top extreme violence. That almost kept me from seeing the film. But you know what? It’s really not. Yes, there’s violence, but much of it is indistinct and that which isn’t obscured by quick cutting really is so goofy that it’s not horrifying, say like the end of Taxi Driver, which is still hugely violent all these years later.
There are a few scenes of diCaprio filming a pilot that go on forEVER and with no real point. The scene with an eight-year-old girl actor that everyone raves about, was, for me, not so hot. An eight-year-old spouting stuff Tarantino might say but that no eight-year-old would, not in that way, is silly, and they lost me at “on set.” No one – NO ONE EVER said “on set” in those days. That is strictly from todaysville – you said, “on the set.” Period, end of story. I was there. And while I completely understand that the film’s title is Once Upon a Time and therefore could be construed as Mr. Tarantino’s fantasy or fairy tale, and I can’t really say more, other than that I don’t buy that excuse when details are so screwy – all I can think of is, why go to all that trouble to recreate a specific year if you’re going to cheat and get the details wrong. I suspect that Mr. Tarantino did that knowing he could always say, “Hey, it’s my version, my fairy tale” but sorry that doesn’t cut it for me. There’s a scene at the Playboy Mansion, a big party there. Uh uh – not in 1969 – Hef didn’t buy the mansion until 1974. We get a brief glimpse of the Pussycat Theater on Hollywood Boulevard – uh uh, not until 1975 – it was the New View. You can see an out of focus Peaches Records – uh uh, not in 1969. And maybe I blinked and missed the geography, but it appeared that in one shot you could see Capitol Records out the car window, and in the reverse shot there was Pandora’s Box on the south side of the street and nowhere near Capitol Records. But maybe I missed something. In the end, one wonders what one is supposed to take away from the film. But the followers have already declared it a masterpiece. While I’ve enjoyed certain aspects of his films and this film, none of them have come close to masterpiece. So, if you don’t mind long movies, you’ll probably find stuff to enjoy. What you’ll make of the ending is anyone’s guess.
After the movie, I got to my car as quickly as possible, and got lucky in taking the right streets up to Cahuenga and the off-ramp to the freeway. It was slow going, but I got off early and took surface streets and got home fairly quickly. I got the photo thing corrected, then went and got some Taco Bell and brought it home and ate it all up. The manager gave me a discount for being loyal – the whole batch o’ food cost just over six bucks. Then I listened to the CDs I got from Amoeba, did some work on the computer, and that was that.
Today, I can sleep in, but if I don’t, I might go over to the car wash and let them do one of their fancy-shmancy detail things – it hasn’t been washed in eight months, I think. IF I do that, I’ll probably just walk back home and then walk back when it’s done. Then I’ll choose songs, attend to our Indiegogo campaign and put up a few more perks I found in the garage – it’s really a great way of getting rid o’ stuff. Then I’m seeing a show – I’ll either dine or sup after or both.
The weekend is pretty free, so that’s good. Then next week is very busy, getting ready to make a rather big CD release announcement, the biggest project we’ve actually ever done.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, perhaps get the motor car washed, choose songs, hopefully pick up packages and an important envelope, and then sup or not, see a show, and probably go out after. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, lots o’ stuff. Blu-ray, finishing up Quatermass 2. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, elated to have reached our goal in less than two days. I mean, hold your hats and hallelujah, Creature’s gonna show it to ya.