While the original was, to my mind, an overlong and mishandled mess of a film with enormous charm to spare, this edit gets a lot closer to the period charm of a couple of dopey guys trying to eke out a living as their sun sets in Hollywood. Without the predictable subplots of the Manson murders (even with the ahistorical twist ending -- does Tarantino really think people haven't figured out his fanfic shtick by now?) excised, the charm of the buddy comedy at the film's heart can really shine. Unfortunately, I think this edit could use a second pass -- by cutting out Manson, a good deal of Cliff's footage has been tossed out with the serial-killer-bathwater, and it's severely missed (questionable Bruce Lee sequence aside). And inexplicably, we still have a great deal of Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate, even though her importance to the plot is now all-but-deleted.
A great concept for an edit, and much more fun (and less butt-numbing) than the original, but instead of the boiled-down buddy comedy I was hoping for, the movie is more like "a couple of days in the life of Rick Dalton and his stuntman" without a great deal of wider context or meaning.
I have just a gotten a chance to see the original film on Blu ray literally in March of this year, so it wasn't that hard to compare both. I really enjoyed Tarantino's film. To me I rate it as one of my top 3 behind Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. So watching this I have to say I enjoy this edit a little better.
I like having it focusing more on Brad and Leo's characters. They are fantastic together. Although I did enjoy Brad Pitt's solo scenes in the original film, cutting those scenes out didn't really have that big of an affect to my viewing. The hour and a half length was a perfect pace for this. Plus the way the deleted scenes are re-inserted (especially using the Bounty Law scene at the start) was a nice touch.