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The Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Teaser Trailer Has Quentin Tarantino Returning To His Roots

And I am very much here for it.

A frequent criticism lobbed at the works of Quentin Tarantino is that, at the end of his day, his films can end up feeling rather similar. And there’s a kernel of truth to that conclusion: the man certainly has a style, especially when it comes to his heightened dialogue — you always know when you are watching a Tarantino movie or, at worse, a movie trying to be a Tarantino movie. But the shocking thing to me about Tarantino’s work, in retrospect, is how widely different it all is, especially in recent years. A little over fifteen years ago he made Kill Bill, a stylized revenge auctioneer in two parts. Ten years ago, he made Inglorious Bastards, a WWII set movie about the power of film and propaganda. A few years later he released Django Unchained, a stylized action film sure, but this time with a spaghetti western bent. And though his latest, The Hateful Eight, was also a western, its Agatha Christie-by-way-of-Stagecoach bent set it vastly apart from Django. Simply put, Tarantino has made it a habit in the new millennium to tackle new and interesting ground with his projects…but that wasn’t always the case.

No, when Tarantino first started to break out in the 90’s, he did it primarily through three works: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown, all Los Angles set crime films with a huge sprawl, a very chatty ensemble, and plenty of style to spare. It was Tarantino’s original playground, and although I loved that he branched out as a filmmaker (and delivered a series of really great, distinct films in the process), those California based crime thrillers of the 90’s hold a very distinct place in my heart (and, I imagine, Tarantino’s.) So I’m going into his next one, this July’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (I will use those ellipsis when I’m dead) with much excitement.

Of course, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood isn’t 1-to-1 with Tarantino’s previous work: it’s set in the 60’s, for one, a fertile ground for Tarantino’s offbeat sensibilities (after all, Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction both feel like they take place in the 60’s and 70’s anyways, right?). It’s also mostly about the inner workings of 60’s Hollywood and not, you know, drug dealers, robbers, and mob hitmen. That being said, we know that the Manson crimes factor somewhat into the story so, just based off that, there will be a crime angle. And QT himself has described this one as being most similar in style and plot to Pulp Fiction, just in case you really think I’m pulling the entire premise of this article out of my ass. This one seems like a return to the Tarantino movie of old, and the first teaser trailer for the film today very much asserts that.

As much as it can, of course, in the one and a half minutes of footage that are presented in the trailer. Most of it really is just pretty shots of 60’s era LA, spliced with some footage of the amazing cast that Tarantino managed to put together for the film. The footage is so short that one could not pull much of any substance from it, let alone any hasty and needlessly confrontational hot takes! Nope, the internet always gets movies the benefit of the doubt, so I doubt they drummed up any pre-release controversy for the film in *checks watch* the past 12 hours or so! What this trailer does instead is just try to sell the mood, a mood that I very much want to bask in just from the short glimpse of what we see here.

Yes, Tarantino’s back in Los Angles, so we can have characters driving around in cars again, shooting the shit, most likely listening to vintage songs as they do it! Oh how I missed that from Tarantino.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio already look like a hell of a lot of fun together in just that little interview clip at the beginning, and though we don’t see a bunch of her, it’s hard to deny that Margot Robbie isn’t perfect casting for Sharon Tate. The trailer seems to center more on the comedy aspect of the film than anything else, which is a-okay in my book: comedy is one of Tarantino’s strong suits, and I would be perfectly fine if the film itself leans into that throughout. That being said, in tackling the Manson crimes, Tarantino is going to have to juggle a pretty flimsy line tone wise. It’s still unclear how exactly that whole situation will even key into the Pitt/DiCaprio actor’s stoyline (other than DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton being a neighbor of Sharon Tate.) But well others on these here internets may spend the next few months trying to put all the pieces together to form the story of this film, I’ll just be here, cackling like a madman about the final sequence of this trailer, in which DiCaprio’s Dalton breaks into appreciative sobs because a little girl told him he’s a good actor.

This film is going to be a DELIGHT.

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (seriously, no elipsis, fuck that, I’m taking a goddamn stand) opens in theaters July 26.

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Written By

Matthew Legarreta is the Editor and Owner of Freshly Popped Culture. A big ol' ball of movie, TV, and video game loving flesh, Matthew has been writing about pop culture for nearly a decade. Matthew also loves writing about himself in the third person, because it makes him feel important (or something.)

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