|ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOODONCE UPON A TIMENEW ON BLU-RAYCOLLECTIONHOLLYWOODAD ASTRA|
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might be a getting a novelization courtesy of Quentin Tarantino. The director revealed on the latest “Pure Cinema Podcast” episode that he’s currently eyeing a novel adaptation of his 10-time Oscar nominee. Tarantino said to the podcast hosts, “I hadn’t thought about that until recently. But now I’m thinking a lot about it. I might be writing a novelization to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.'” Sony Pictures released “Hollywood” last summer to rave reviews and $374 million worldwide, a big haul for an original adult drama. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as a television actor and his stuntman struggling to adapt to changing Hollywood in 1969. Margot Robbie appears as Sharon Tate. The film won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor Pitt and Best Production Design.
Whether or not Tarantino moves forward with a novelization of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” it appears likely fans will be getting some kind of supplemental version of his 2019 drama. The director has been vocal about leaving several scenes and characters on the cutting room floor, and he told IndieWire after the film debuted at Cannes that his assembly cut of the film ran over the four-hour mark. Brad Pitt said last September Tarantino was eyeing a miniseries release of “Hollywood” that would put back the deleted scenes.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” marked the ninth feature of Tarantino’s career, making it his penultimate effort should he stick with his current plan to retire from feature filmmaking after his 10th movie. Tarantino has expressed interest in moving to other artistic mediums such as plays and books, so a “Hollywood” novelization would make sense for the director. Tarantino said last fall he was also planning to write a novel about a World War II veteran jaded by Hollywood movies.
“I've got this character who had been in World War II and he saw a lot of bloodshed there and now he's back home, and it's like the '50s, and he doesn't respond to movies anymore,” Tarantino said. “He finds them juvenile after everything that he's been through. As far as he's concerned, Hollywood movies are movies. And so then, all of a sudden, he starts hearing about these foreign movies by Kurosawa and Fellini. And so he's like, 'Well, maybe they might have something more than this phony Hollywood stuff.’”
There’s clearly books in Tarantino’s future. The director has not announced any plans for a follow-up movie to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The movie is available to watch on VOD and home video.
Welcome to another week in quarantine! As we continue to find ourselves sequestered in our domiciles, there’s never been a better time to block out the horrors of the real world and kick back with some movies. And while streaming is great – and convenient – you just can’t beat the quality of physical media, folks. So, without further adieu, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a huge step down from The Last Jedi, and an unsatisfying conclusion to what was on its way to being a strong trilogy. Still, it’s not a complete wash. The actors are all giving it their best – Daisy Ridley remains a wonderful actress who can convey so much emotion just with her eyes, and Adam Driver keeps Kylo Ren compelling, even as the script does not. And there are plenty of great action beats. But every time The Rise of Skywalker starts to seem like it’s finding its footing, it ends up stumbling again. The story is nonsensical, the return of the Emperor makes absolutely no sense, and despite clocking in at 2 hours and 22 minutes, the proceedings seem rushed. Still, it brings the saga to a close, and that counts for something.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
Look, I’m a completist. I own the first two films in this trilogy, so of course, I’m going to own the third, even though I don’t like it. That said, there are things to enjoy about this release. Specifically the feature-length documentary The Skywalker Legacy. This making-of feature is quite wonderful, and doesn’t totally shy away from the behind-the-scenes issues that plagued the film. In the end, this is a better conclusion to the saga than the movie itself.
Special Features Include:The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the screen. Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colorful details. D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid. Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison. Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry, makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life! 1917
1917 got a lot of press for being a...
The federal government’s recently-passed $2 trillion economic stimulus includes a $454 billion loan guarantee fund for businesses struggling from the economic blowback of the coronavirus, including movie theaters, which are facing a challenge like never before in the history of Hollywood. But it’s still unclear to me exactly what the timing will be on how the distribution of those funds will play out, and which theaters might be left standing when this pandemic eventually ends.
Today, the Criterion Collection and Janus Films have teamed up to start an arthouse relief fund for independent cinemas in the hopes that more than 150 theaters across the country will be able to pay their essential bills, including “payroll, insurance, rent, non deferrable loans, utilities, fundraising, and mortgages,” until we get through this period. Get the details below.
The government’s stimulus package expands its Small Business Administration programs in the hopes of letting smaller businesses those which have 500 or fewer employees pay their fixed costs with no revenue coming in, and in some cases, be eligible for loan forgiveness. The National Association of Theatre Owners says that a majority of cinemas in the United States are classified as small businesses. There are additional ways theaters could be helped out by this stimulus, but again, the timetable is a little murky and by the time this aid is disbursed, it may be too late for some struggling theaters.
So the Criterion Channel and Janus Films teamed up to donate $50,000 to establish the Art-House America Campaign via ComingSoon, which “aims to provide financial relief to struggling independent cinemas across the country so they can pay staff and their essential bills and survive until it is safe to reopen their doors.” Their research shows that “even in normal times the average independent theater has only one month and twenty-six days of operating cash on hand,” so they wanted to do something to help – and fast.
The fund is hoping to raise $500,000 from donors, and theaters that receive funding from this will not be able to use the money to buy equipment, invest in future programming, or pay company executives. A committee will evaluate all of the applications “based on need, with the objective of helping theaters successfully survive temporary closures,” and funds will be distributed as soon as an application is approved.
To apply, theaters must meet the following criteria:
• Be an art-house motion picture exhibitor that operates year-round.
• Have been an open and operational cinema exhibitor for at least 6 months prior to COVID-19–related closures.
• Be an independent cinema. The exhibitor cannot be publicly traded or manage more than 4 separate theaters. 75% of staff...
Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Show: The Secret History of Hollywood
Where You Can Stream It: The podcasting app of your choice.
The Pitch: The Secret History of Hollywood is the most compelling, immersive, and emotional podcast I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Each season consists of deep dives into a major Hollywood figure, tracing its subject’s rise to prominence and giving incredible insight into their home lives, painting a portrait so captivating and well-rounded that biographies or books on the subjects could only dream to achieve.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Listening: I’ve been thinking about this podcast a lot since I first stumbled across it several years ago, but I think it’s especially appropriate to recommend it right now because some of its episodes are incredibly lengthy – many clock in around an hour and a half, but some of them stretch to four, six, or even nine hours long. Yes, really. Some of you may scoff, but isn’t being in quarantine the perfect time to give a long-form podcast a chance?
Adam Roche, the voice behind the show, had no background in sound editing or sound production when he got started, but he could have fooled me: the series reminds me of an old-time radio show, complete with sound effects and Roche doing voices as he plays the people in a given scene. I realize that may sound cheesy, and it absolutely would be in less-capable hands. But trust me: Roche’s mellifluous voice and incredibly researched accounts are perfect for this type of storytelling.
The show has brought me to tears multiple times over the years, and I think a huge part of the reason for that is because of the long episode lengths. Like a great TV series you never want to end, you get to spend hours and hours with the subjects of these episodes and build emotional connections to them, so when they they experience hardships, a project goes wrong, or they lose a loved one, the results can be unexpectedly powerful.
The show has earned the attention of Hollywood vets like Peter Ramsey Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mark Gatiss Sherlock, Game of Thrones, the latter of whom lends his own terrific voice to introductions of the most recent season, which covers the prolific producer Val Lewton Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Ghost Ship. I knew nothing about Lewton or his work before I listened to the eleven episode season, but by the end, I feel like not only do I know all about him, but I feel I’ve experienced his highs and lows right alongside him. It’s truly spellbinding stuff, and it comes with my absolute highest recommendation.
I’ve talked about the show a couple...