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HOLLYWOODLAND (2006)

Did George Reeves, TV’s Superman, really kill himself back in 1959? Or was he murdered? It’s low-rent detective Brody’s job to find out in this, the first of the gimme-an-Oscar movies of the fall. It’s the first weekend after Labor Day and that means the onslaught of Importance can begin. Hollywoodland is very good and at times even moving, but you can smell the Seriousity wafting off it in waves

What’s the Deal? I think Reeves killed himself. Yeah, he might have been banging the studio boss’s wife and that could have gotten him whacked. But he was Superman, right? Imagine all the dress-up games they must have played. And because he was Superman and so beloved as that Man of Steel, you just know they treated him like a joke in casting offices all over Hollywood afterward. Like Howie Mandel before Deal or No Deal.

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What It Says About Hollywood: That it’s an ugly place full of evil people who’ll ruin you if you get in their way, a place where values are bought and human life is inconsequential. The moral? Stay in your small town and be happy with your simple little life. This place is for soul-dead monsters. And it’s one of my favorite funny lies about my adopted hometown, one that’s really based on the idea that the pie is only so big and that there’s not enough for you. This movie gets that point across loudly and clearly, even if it’s pretty much fiction.

Extreme Clavicle Moment: I only say things like this when I consider them to be necessary cases. I’m not the kind of person who goes around mocking women’s bodies, but Diane Lane, please enjoy a sandwich or three before going strapless again. That sternum and surrounding bones made me forget all about whatever was going on in the scene in which you showed it off. Seriously.

Affleck, We Hardly Knew Ye: What’s up with this downbeat, affecting, really moving performance? Who knew he had this in him? I’ll never mock him for Phantoms again.

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