Tag Archives: Leonardo DiCaprio

THE DEPARTED (2006): The Things I Liked…

The Departed (2006), Leonardo DiCaprio, Warner Bros. Entertainment
The Departed (2006), Leonardo DiCaprio, Warner Bros. Entertainment

I remember watching Martin Scorsese’s The Departed when it was released in 2006. A film I just had to see because of Scorsese, but also thanks to the triple A-list acting talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. 

It’s been more than 10 years since then, and Scorsese’s highly rated crime/thriller about an undercover cop and a mole in the police who are trying to identify each other, while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston remains a notable film.

As good as it is, I’m not sure if The Departed is the kind of movie that loses a portion of its shine over time. Or, myself being caught up in ‘Leo Mania‘ in 2006 made me rate it a little more highly than it may have deserved, because I did rate it VERY highly indeed. It could also just be that this isn’t the first time I’ve seen the film; therefore, chances are, I won’t feel it’s as great as it was at first viewing. Either way, today I’d say that the first half of the movie is good, but it’s really in the second act that things get most thrilling.

Can I continue to call The Departed my favourite Scorsese movie? Maybe not. Even though I still think it’s one of his best. And besides the example of what a good crime/thriller can look like, I’ll also remember The Departed for being the first time I heard a croissant referred to as ‘a French doughnut.’ 

For anyone who’s never watched The Departed, part of what makes the movie notable, besides the great story and cast is it doesn’t end the way you expect. Thank goodness that ten-plus years was enough for me to forget the ending, almost entirely. I mean, I did remember the rat on the window sill, but that’s it.

Watch it because it’s good and it is definitely a classic after all.

Happy Film Loving

G

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019): The Things I Liked…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment

I don’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a movie and thought to myself ‘Yep. This definitely wasn’t made for me’, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019’s Quentin Tarantino film that landed the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Brad Pitt is one such film.

As a long time fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Pitt and Tarantino, I knew, having seen the trailer months prior that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would be technically good, but also different from Tarantino’s previous films.

What I didn’t know is that as much as I appreciate Pitt and DiCaprio’s acting, the pace of this new movie would prove quite the challenge at times. I actually had to reach for my phone (then put it back quickly because I must focus) once or twice as the film played. All in search of something that worked a little harder to keep my impatient brain engaged and entertained. I’m quite sure that the pace of all that happened made sense for the look, feel, and period of this movie. I simply wish that I could have forgotten that my phone existed during the viewing process.

Thankfully things did become more interesting once we hit the one hour, fifteen minute point. Besides the aforementioned pacing plus the one or two tension-filled moments that seemed to drag on for a little longer than necessary, all else was well with Tarantino’s movie. A story about a specific period in Hollywood (1969) where a TV actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) go about  their lives navigating their roles and place in the industry. We get to see an enviably close partnership / friendship captured in a way that gives the movie a kind of behind the scenes / documentary feel. One that shows us a glimpse into the middle aged actor experience; along with the experience of a few other Hollywood residents – unsavoury or otherwise.

In terms of great scenes, DiCaprio has some. Overall though, my favourites mostly feature Pitt’s Cliff Booth character. It makes sense since Pitt’s scenes contained a little more of what I love about Tarantino films. Including beautifully choreographed ‘badassery,’ undeniable cool, great dialogue, tension, music and so on.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one to watch for fans of Tarantino, those curious about his creative evolution and fans of the great actors involved. Even though this one isn’t my favourite Tarantino film, there are scenes I’ll remember fondly. Especially the choreography of a specific scene involving a beautiful pit bull named Brandy.

What’s your your favourite Tarantino classic?

Happy Film Loving

G

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019): New Official Trailer For Quentin Tarantino Movie Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt Al Pacino…

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).


Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino and Margot Robbie has a new trailer.

Ready or not, here is a 2.5 minute tease of a crime / drama / thriller about a TV actor and his stunt double, as they embark on making a name for themselves in the film industry….

So far, I must admit that Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has not quite garnered the same kind of excitement within me as Tarantino’s previous films. I blame that on this trailer appearing to be a slight change of pace / style compared to Tarantino’s other movies. Nevertheless, I still can’t wait to see how he’ll keep things interesting. I mean, the man has never before let us down, right?

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Release Dates: July 26th, 2019 (US); August 14th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019): New Trailer For Quentin Tarantino Movie Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie…

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).


The trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s 9th movie is here and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

Set during the Charles Manson murders in 1969 in Los Angeles, a TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry….

Tarantino’s style and the cast are all the reason I need. Am I correct on thinking that this is Pitt and DiCaprio’s first movie together?

Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, James Marsden, Emile Hirsch, Damian Lewis and Burt Reynolds also star.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Release Dates: July 26th, 2019 (US); August 14th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

STRUGGLE THE LIFE & LOST ART OF SZUKALSKI (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018), Stanislav Szukalski
Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018)

Directed by Ireneusz Dobrowolski; produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his father George DiCaprio, the images of Szukalski’s art featured in the trailer for Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski really grabbed my attention.

Whilst teaching us about the story of Poland’s greatest artist who also happens to be unknown by most, Dobrowolski’s documentary shares captivating imagery and closeups of Szukalsi’s work – and does this in a way that proves his genius undeniable. A genius that is no more obvious to me than at the point towards the end when we see Szukalski grinding away at a new material he’s about to turn into something highly detailed and truly special.

Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018), Stanislav Szukalski
Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018), Stanislav Szukalski

I enjoyed looking at all the great artwork and being introduced to the many important characters in Szukalsi’s life. A life often marked by great hardships. I didn’t learn too much about his psychology as I’d hoped but I did learn about his relationship with the DiCaprio’s and about some of the things that make him complicated and like many very talented artists, a true survivor. 

Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018)
Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski (2018)

The most memorable moment for me in Struggle is when Szukalski says that before starting a piece of work, he first pictures it in his mind in every detail. This moment is memorable for me because I’ve seen the detail of his work and there’s certainly plenty to picture. 

Considering all the challenges throughout his life, how wonderful that Szukalski had his art and imagination to get him through. That and the great friends that entered his life, especially in the later years. Particularly Glenn Bray. Thank goodness for Glenn, the reason why Struggle is possible.

Watch it because you’re curious and to see evidence of his greatness.

Happy Film Loving 

G

SPIELBERG (2017): New Trailer For Documentary About Steven Spielberg, Featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, Cate Blanchett…

Spielberg (2017), Steven Spielberg.png

Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Martin Scorsese, Christian Bale and Tom Hanks – to name just a few; Spielberg is a new Susan Lacy directed documentary about the highly respected director Steven Spielberg’s career…

I’ll watch to learn more about Spielberg. I also just want to listen to a bunch of my favourite filmmakers talk about movies.

Spielberg Release Dates: October 7th, 2017 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

 

 

BEFORE THE FLOOD (2016): A Worthy Addition To Leonardo DiCaprio’s Filmography

Before The Flood (2016), Leonardo DiCaprio
Before The Flood (2016), Leonardo DiCaprio

As I started to watch Before The FloodLeonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary, it took me a few seconds to adjust to the fact that the DiCaprio was talking to me and as himself; not as an character in one of his many well received Hollywood movies. The good news is that I did eventually get myself together in time to learn some surprising truths about global warming. For example, without dropping any spoilers, the unexpected way certain parts of the planet will be impacted as climate change continues and greater action isn’t taken to fight it.

Through conversations that DiCaprio has with several knowledgeable people in the field, Before The Flood shows us the damage we have done and continue to do to our planet. We get to see precisely where we’re headed as a result and are exposed to the harsh realities of why the people with the power have continued to ignore what is happening.

Thanks to the hardwork of many who understand climate change to be a real issue, everything is not all doom and gloom. For example, business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor Elon Musk; NASA astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers; Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Gregory Mankiw and many more including ordinary people around the world are dedicated to the cause.

Not that I needed more reasons to appreciate DiCaprio’s work but it’s hard not to admire a person so passionate about a cause which impacts all of us. It’s particularly great to see that understanding his own position, he does what he can to affect positive change. Before The Flood is a worthy documentary and my favourite moment is DiCaprio’s entire conversation towards the end with Dr. Piers Sellers. When you see, you’ll understand.

In conclusion, I recommend, I recommend, I recommend.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE IVORY GAME (2016): New Trailer For Documentary About The Fight Against Africa’s Illegal Ivory Trade

The Ivory Game (2016)
The Ivory Game (2016)

The Ivory Game is a new Netflix documentary about the work of wildlife activists working to end the illegal trading of ivory in Africa…

I don’t really want to imagine a world without elephants and so I must watch, as upset as I’m sure to be whilst doing so.

The Ivory Game Release Dates: November 4th, 2016 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G