Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Ben Affleck wasn’t bad. He wasn’t great (he never is) but as a wooden self absorbed actor with little to play he was quite good. Good enough to win the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival (beating out Topo Gigio). The real shock was Diane Lane. Always one of my faves, at times her performance in this film was worthy of Faye Dunaway in MOMMIE DEAREST. Yikes! Her woman-scored rage scene could become a classic. Make no mistake, Superman’s girlfriend was Lois Lane not Diane Lane because Lois never dropped the “C” bomb. Jeepers, Mr. Kent!

HOLLYWOODLAND tries to be CHINATOWN but turns out to be CLICHEVILLE. Adrien Brody (the best thing in the movie) was a created character – your standard down and out private dick. Along the way he sasses the coppers, gets roughed up by some gunsels (“Let dis be a warnin’ to ya, drop dis case!”), hits the bottle pretty hard, confronts the big boss named Eddie, jaws the Wrigleys pretty good, and bites off more than he can chew. All in a sepia tone. Someone must’ve discovered that nifty feature when editing in FINAL CUT PRO 5.

PRISON BREAK’S recent corpse Robin Tunney played the wise cracking moll femme fatale. Too bad Wentworth Miller didn’t play George Reeves. That would have been surreal. Stacy Keach as Perry White, and T-Bag as Jimmy Olson to really scare the shit out of the kiddies.

In a recent interview, the filmmakers claim Reeves’ death was so significant because it shattered the innocence of the entire baby boomer generation. Don’t flatter yourself. That happened when Alfalfa shot himself. Or maybe the Kennedy assassination but more than likely Alfalfa.

Hollywood keeps making these faux noir movies of forgotten celebrity deaths based on flimsy speculation and so of course come to no real conclusions. I say, just combine them all. Save us time and money. Just say the guy who really killed George Reeves was the same guy who killed Bob Crane. Who’s going to know?

But Alfalfa – really, what’s the deal there???


VP81955 said...

I'd love to see Hollywood make a biopic of my all-time favorite actress, Carole Lombard -- and that '76 piece of tripe, "Gable & Lombard," doesn't count. (What current actress could deliver a reasonable portrayal of her? Kate Hudson? Drew Barrymore?)

Then again, I'm afraid that given Hollywood's lack of feel for its own history, a Lombard bio would somehow completely miss the qualities that made Carole so special, timeless and beloved, and the result would make "Hollywoodland" look brilliant by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Timing is everything. I went to see the Hollywoodland Tuesday (PS/Cat City) and just 20 minutes into the film there was a fire alarm malfunction. I sat there for 10 minutes and happily left to get a refund. I sugget that Ben concentrate on politics...he'd probably be good at it.

Anonymous said...

Never understood the supposed charm of Ben Affleck.

Anonymous said...

While enjoying an oreo brownie at Barnes & Noble after seeing Hollywoodland, my best friend said that he smelled Oscar no. 2 for Ben. I assured him that it was another smell entirely.

Anonymous said...

Maybe George shot himself after hearing "The Girl Can't Help It"
one time too many for the last 2 and a half years.

john brodey said...

You got a point, it is the same guy who not only killed Reeves and Crane but also killed the Black Dahlia (why would I want to see a movie about a murder THAT'S NEVER SOLVED. Earth to Hollywood, we like an ending, it's like taking a CSI and stopping it a half hour in.), as well as Danny 'Nicole' Smith and of course the late Mrs. Simpson. This guy has quite a career going. Now if only he would concentrate on some people we truly never want to hear of again starting with anyone named Paris, Nicole, Jessica, Brittney or Lindsay or Ashley.
Right on about Afleck, he would make a helluva politician. He was quite good as a commentator on MSNBC during the last election. Very articulate.
I'm afraid I found 'All the Kings Men' quite turgid. Now that's a film that just lays there like the fat lady at the circus.

Toby O'B said...

Not sure if you were just joking about Alfalfa, but he didn't shoot himself.

I went to the IMDb for the quickest reference to his death:

Shot to death in an argument in Van Nuys, CA.

Died by gunshot wound by an acquaintance in an argument over $50 which Switzer felt the acquaintance owed him. The acquaintance pleaded self-defense, and the judge ruled the death "justifiable homicide." [Source: "The Hollywood Death Book," James Robert Parish, 1992.]

Anonymous said...

Well there you have it - some writers should just agree to transform "The Hollywood Death Book" plus the police blotter into one tv series. Not a cop show either. Has to be "fabulousness" involved for catching cable audiences, otherwise it won't challenge CSI. Why stop there - it could be a channel, move over E! for D! "The Hollywood Death channel". So much material. Give A&E"Biography" a run for its money.

At least in the U.S., Death and Hollywood will always remain a seductive mix. The only problem will be how to replace the eager p.r. dept. claiming that a particular death affected a generation...

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Boomer myself, born in 1950, it was neither George nor Alfalfa's deaths that affected my generation; it was the too-soon demises of Princess Summerfall Winterspring from "Howdy Doody" and Cadet Happy from "Space Patrol". By the time George and Alfalafa got themselves shot, I was all "Please, been there, done that. Get a new act."

Mike Barer said...

Hollywoodland was good if you realize that it was fiction. Adrian Brody was good but his talk and mannerisms seemed more contemporary than 50s.