Quentin Tarantino's latest hit returns to theaters and is offered by ads in the Red Apple and a longer look at Luca Perry in the Lancer pilot.
Given that he is a movie purist who enjoys a final cut regardless of budget, it is tempting to assume that Quentin Tarantino will not be a fan of the increase in his films once they are released; he looks like the kind of guy who would think that a picture is a picture, and that every shot enters the canon directly after it is broadcast from the projection booth. But as Tarantino's fans know so far, this has never really been the case with him.
Kill Bill was cut into katana in half, causing a constant debate about whether or not it was one or two films. "Death Proof" was also presented as a second part of Grindhouse but also as an independent experience (where it was somehow much easier to evaluate). Crazy Bastards was shortened after Cannes, which made it easier to dismiss the movie's big premiere as a glorified screen adaptation, but Tarantino ̵
While it remains to be seen how Tarantino can use Netflix to deploy his dream vision of 1969 in Los Angeles, he couldn't even wait to leave the theaters before returned and gave him a fresh polish. This weekend sees the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" slit debut on 1,000 screens nationwide, and while nothing about this new release affects the adventures of fading western star Rick Dalton, his longtime stuntman Cliff Booth , or The Wrecking Crew star Sharon Tate, this cut provides additional fun context for the world around them. It doesn't make a great contribution to the experience or can't wait to be watched on Blu-ray, but the bonus footage that now launches the movie is a big incentive for anyone looking for an excuse to revisit one of the best movies of the year on the big screen .
Here's a brief overview of what the extended section can offer – if you want to enjoy the surprises for yourself, set your expectations the softest level and stop reading here.
The most important thing to note about the new footage is that none of it is actually in the movie itself. The extended cut opens with two ads designed to look like they could have been televised in 1969. Each of the ads comes before the Sony logo that launches the movie, and each one is isolated from its own ultra-modern slide for copyright (Tarantino should have shot this stuff, but you give the distinct impression that he is not personally in control of this friendly money-gathering). The first is for the Red Apple Cigarettes, a sweet nod to the fictitious brand that appears throughout Tarantino's work. Two square-eyed actors stare at each other in the camera while the narrator asks them if they "want to bite off a red apple." The third man is a young black woman with an afro and she answers the question by pulling out a cigarette and lighting it with a smile.
Then comes the moment that some have been waiting for as they failed to see it in theaters this summer: James Marsden appears as young Burt Reynolds during his television cowboy days (easier to evaluate than to is believed), and lit a Red Apple on the set of one thing or another. That's a nice tip from the late actor's hat, as Reynolds stars in Sergio Corbucci's Navajo Joe, paving the way for Rick Dalton to make a career comeback with Western Nebraska Jim spaghetti. Who knows, maybe Rick is a "Deliverance" away from hating Paul Thomas Anderson one day?
The following advertisement is for Old Chattanooga beer and is simply spectacularly unobstructed. Still, even the second TV spot helps set the tone for the movie to come, as it lets you gauge how "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is sealed in ads from start to finish. Not only does Tarantino insert a rich tapestry of period-appropriate radio commercials into the soundscape of the film, but Sharon grabs a few trailers before filming, the Manson girls are constantly placed against bus stop ads that contrast them against the massive and neon signs that light the half of Hollywood gets their own romantic montage when things shift into gear for the grand finale. This is the complete evolution of an idea Tarantino strolled on at least Tank Dogs. He always uses commercials as texture in American times, but here they too are nostalgic and endowed with the bitter promise of a better life – they represent the faded beauty of Rick's world and the unfulfilled promise of his dreams. LA is a city built on aspiration, even (or especially) when it makes you feel like everyone else has already got what they wanted.
The second batch of new footage comes after Marvel-style credits. The first and most exciting bit is an extended look at the pilot of "Lancer", another television west in which Rick remembers playing the villain. In this long and very silly little bonus, we see the Lanseri brothers (Timothy Oliphant and the late, great Luke Perry) arriving in the city with a stage coat, the latter wearing an incredible light blue suit and top hat. There are many cheeses between them as they seem to have just learned that they are related. Little Mirabella Lanser (Julia Butters as Trudy Fraser) is, of course, the smartest in the family, having fun with her new siblings before taking them out to meet Dad. She ends up with flaming director Sam Vanamaker (Nicholas Hammond), who calls while he taps the frame and praises Trudy for the perfect take, effectively returning the compliment she pays to Rick in the movie. It feels like Tarantino is messing around with Sony's entire day's worth of filming, leaving this gambling game with a long cut as the studio tries to get it back.
Finally, the presentation concludes with some footage that patrons of the Tarantino's New Berranly Theater were to see in the summer. We are looking at a longer version of the movie "The Law of Bounty" from the beginning of the movie, as Michael Madsen's Sheriff Hackett exchanges some flirty dialogue with our hero Jake Cahill. When it's all over, Jake rides his horse around town as we learn that this week's episode of Reward Law was brought to us by Red Apple and Twinkies.
Is this enough to justify another trip to the multiplex? By itself, probably not – if that's all you're after, you can also wait for a home video or whatever Tarantino decides to cook on Netflix. But the number of ads now launching Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is helping to blur the line between reality and dreams even more than before, cementing the golden age of Hollywood (and Tarantino taking it) as a place in after all, it belongs to both and not all at once.
"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Extended Cut," is now playing in theaters.