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Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
I really wanted to like this movie...
I wanted to like this one, I really and truly did. I had high expectations after seeing the mainly glowing reviews.
To preface, I'm a movie lover of many types, and I love a good crime drama. (Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, Carlito's Way, etc). I don't generally find movies as being too "long" either; Extended LOTR movies, Godfather 1/2, Heat, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, whatever... Length and plot development does not scare nor bother me.
Anyways, with Once Upon a Time, I feel like I've just wasted 4 hours of my life. I found the plot rather predictable and boring for the most part, it had it's moments, but they were few. I don't find it to be a "rip-off" of the Godfather either, just a much lesser movie of the same genre. I found the "twist" near the end to be, sadly, rather comical.
The acting? Apart from DeNiro, the main characters gave weak performances. Woods was just plain annoying (though I'll admit to never liking him much elsewhere) and McGovern was terrible. A lot of it just felt forced. Aeillo and Pesci were good, albeit in a small roles.
I will give credit where it is due though. The cinematography was very good, Leone is a master at it. The sense of where you were and what time period you were in was also fairly convincing.
To clarify, yes, I watched the (supposedly better) 4 hr version, not the hacked theatrical release. This gets 5.5/10 from me. I gave it an IMDb 5 since it truly doesn't deserve a 6 in my opinion. Sorry Sergio.