Nov 30, 2008

Hollywoodland


The stories behind the real-life movers and shakers of Hollywood have always been more interesting than the actual films. Let’s face it, Hollywood has never made a lie of the fact that it is first and foremost a business. The seedy place has always attracted the most degenerate and desperate of individuals. Prostitutes, murderers, the mafia, white collar criminals, drug fiends, homosexuals, lesbians, war profiteers, communists and a whole large cast of other social parasites. Kenneth Anger’s wonderful book Hollywood Babylon I and II goes into depth on a variety of things. Hollywoodland is one of the few films to come out of Hollywood that reflects on the dark past of the ghostly streets of Sunset Boulevard.


Hollywoodland is a “biopic” of sorts attempting to examine the mysterious death of TV Superman George Reeves. The silly and embarrassingly bad actor Ben Affleck stars as the slightly out of shape Mr. Reeves. I must say that the casting of Affleck as Reeves was indeed appropriate. Like Affleck, George Reeves seemed to be an actor that took himself far too seriously as acting goes. Affleck probably finds his biggest fan base in Kevin Smith fans whereas Reeves found his fan base with little boys. Both men seem to attract males that have a hard time finding members of the opposite sex.


An arrogant and wannabe tough guy Adrien Brody stars in Hollywoodland as Louis Simo, a somewhat of a loser private detective. I wouldn’t be surprised if Simo was a relative of sleazebag gossip columnist Walter Winchall. Simo really has nothing going for him in life but he is determined to prove that George Reeves did not commit suicide. Simo’s “brave” style of personal investigating is a result of his nothing to live for mentality. Also, Simo unsurprisingly has a soft spot for paper money. Other than receiving a few bucks here and there, Simo’s life sucks. His young son doesn’t want much to do with him and he always seems to get his ass kicked.

Hollywoodland’s strength lie in it’s unpleasant story of an over glamorized place. Many children and even adults dream of going to Hollywood where all the great American stars once stood. But when one takes a look at what Hollywood was built on and the tragedies surrounding it(such as the death of George Reeves), Hollywood loses its magic. When an ugly troll of a criminal states “he makes movies” near Hollywoodland’s conclusion, one gets a bitter feeling in their stomach. How could such an ugly man control what played on American silver screens?


I have never thought of Ben Affleck as the "cool" guy he pretends to be in movies. Like the late George Reeves, Affleck must know of his limitations as a so called “talent.” Despite Reeves’s story being told through a series of flashbacks, his character sticks out. He was a man that wanted to be much bigger than he could have ever dreamed of. It would have been no surprise if he really killed himself but many still reject this. Whether he killed himself or not, George Reeves most likely had a death wish. Hollywoodland makes it clear that he did not have much more to live for. Although a sometimes banal film, Hollywoodland at least offers the viewer something to think about.


-Ty E

16 comments:

iMike said...

I really dug this movie. The part where the kid has the gun and is near George Reeves as he's dressed as Superman was very interesting and a little scary. I hate Affleck but somehow managed to like this movie because his part isn't dominant. Good review.

Soiled Sinema said...

Yeah, that scene with the child was one of my favorites in the film. He was a scary looking young man!

-Ty E

ArmandV said...

George Reeves was a better actor than what circumstances and Hollywood allowed him to be. He was on the upswing career-wise until World War II got in the way and the death of Mark Sandrich ("So Proudly We Hail"). Affleck was miscast as Reeves.

The movie was interesting, but it glossed over many aspects of Reeves life, including his charity work with Toni Mannix. Plus, it presented incidences ("For Here To Eternity" screening) that are untrue.

Anonymous said...

Why is anyone still talking about this piece of cinematic crap? The entire movie sucked from start to finish! Poorly written. Poorly acted. Poorly directed!
Hopefully, as the last nine or ten living George Reeves fans finally give up the ghost, this crapfest will be buried with them.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. There are only seven living George Reeves fans.

Jim Beaver said...

The only thing more banal, more insipid than the text of this illiterate and uninformed review is the collection of "masterpieces" supporting it in the comments section. I certainly hope no one reads this bilge and takes it seriously.

Soiled Sinema said...

Spell Check is equipped on more than most internet browsers. I'd certainly hope no one would mispell a four-lettered word such as "bile". I'd love to acknowledge the "g" key being close to "l" or "e" but the truth is far from comforting.

Pot calling the "illiterate" kettle black?

-mAQ

Claude said...

Jim Beaver has an ironic surname as he gets "no beaver." Mr. Beaver was offended by the review because the writer pinpointed the fact that George Reeves fans seldom encounter females and usually suffer from impotence. As can be expected, Mr. Beaver fails to even attempt to backup up his baseless claims. Instead Mr. Beaver discredits his claims of the review being "banal" by his incriminating emotional response. Do such boring things warrant such "strong" responses?

Anonymous said...

Bilge? Bile? Beaver?
It's a secret message, right?
Quick Jimmy! The decoder ring!
Nobody gives dam(n) about Mr. Beaver's self-righteous opinion.
Get it? Beaver - Dam - Damn!
I crack myself up!

Jim Beaver said...

When I write "bilge," I mean "bilge." I did not mean "bile." Check out a dictionary sometime. And have fun with my name, children.

Anonymous said...

The home let Beaver use the computer twice today. Enjoy the stewed prunes.

Anonymous said...

What's a George Reeves?

Anonymous said...

George Reeves was always going to be a B or C actor at best. It appears that he failed to accept his place in the Hollywood pecking order. His suicide - while tragic -could not have been a surprise.
It also appears that his Superman legacy mirrors his life - surrounded by con-artists and self-promoters.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

bob hoskins is a pile of garbage, simply because he is british.

Karl Gass said...

No wonder he blew his brains out!

teddy crescendo said...

Bob Hoskins should be systematically hacked to pieces with razor sharp machetes.