Bitesize for Buffs – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Birds

Welcome to Bitesize for Buffs, a bi-weekly column from our resident Movie Buff, Steven Lechowicz. In this column, Steve aims to give his thoughts on some of his favourite movies that are either, currently screening in cinema’s, available through streaming services, or good ol’ fashioned physical media. Steve will review 3 of his picks for the week, which he has just recently viewed, which will include his quick thoughts behind these picks, and the classic Five Star rating for each movie. We hope you enjoy this new bi-weekly column.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

★★★★★

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’ is a total blast, and the most fun we’ve had at the movies this year. Doubling as both a tribute and a hilarious satire of the end of Hollywood’s golden era; Tarantino uses the Late 60’s backdrop to reflect on his own career and role in cinema today. DiCaprio and Pitt are great as expected, with both actors showcasing the charismatic personality we’ve seen from them many times before, in a role that is perfectly suited towards their acting style. The dialogue is flowing and entertaining like always from Tarantino and the action set pieces are as over the top and brilliantly executed as ever. Tarantino crafts his best and most personal film of the modern era and If you’re a fan of the mans work, then this is a must watch, if you aren’t however you probably won’t get too much out of it.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

★★★★★

2001: A Space Odyssey is a visually and technically astonishing achievement of the arts and cinema. Stanley Kubrick has created the best piece of art the human eye has ever seen, with visuals and special effects that not only date well but exceed that of any form of modern sci-fi cinema. The film boasts incredible sound design, unparalleled complexity and beautiful cinematography which makes 2001: A Space Odyssey cinema at its finest. The final moments of the film allow us as the audience to enter a realm of endless possibilities in which Kubrick reminds us that the evolution of the human race is substantial throughout time but our intellectual possibilities to what we can be, is yet to be discovered. This leaves us with the idea that our real odyssey as humans has only just begun. Astounding visual presence, emotional weight, relation to our future being, mythological storytelling, 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best technically made film of our time.

The Birds (1963)

★★★★½

The Birds tells the story of young socialite Melanie Daniels (in the actresses on screen debut), who meets criminal defence attorney (Mitch Brenner) in which the pair embark on a horrific journey of unexplained bird attacks. Furthermore, The birds, the film that revolutionised horror, monster and creature films. Differing from the traditional use of aliens, monsters and creatures, Hitchcock uses the ordinary backyard animal ‘birds’ to successfully create an authentic and believable idea of terror and fear from a common creature, often associated with upbeat chirps and sunrise imagery. The final act of the film may very well be one of the best isolated and suspenseful horror scenes in classical cinema. Set design, camera style, lighting, shadowing and unbelievable performances, boasts the scenes suspense. Just like the simple motel in Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ and the observation of a room in ‘Rear Window’, Hitchcock once again creates the sense of fear, terror and suspense from an idea that is seen as common, normal and unharming.

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