Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Celebrating the upcoming 15th anniversary of the release of JIMMY HOLLYWOOD.

Here's a film-workplace story with some humor and some horror:

And I'm glad I write poetry now. It satisfies any remaining desires of mine to be a part of show-business-of-sorts without being yelled at and/or being made to feel responsible for the fates of 149 other crewpeople on a set.

In terms of the finished product--
Here's a comment I wrote for in 2004, with some updates:
Barry Levinson's comedy/drama about an actor-turned-Hollywood crimefighter (JoePesci), his skeptical lover (Victoria Abril in a rare English-language performance)and his addled but adoring young friend (Christian Slater) was a fast flop in the spring of 1994--perhaps due to the public's lack of interest inseeing a film about a "loser" eager for a chance to become a "legendary" starlike Errol Flynn and live the glittering Hollywood lifestyle (with a home infashionable West L.A.) and his frustration over that lifestyle remaining forever beyond his reach.

In the 10 years since JIMMY HOLLYWOOD's release, the advent of both the internet and the glut of reality television series make Levinson's taleof an ordinary man thrust into a sort of fast-food version of stardom more relevant than ever [particularly with Nadya Suleman's current fifteen-minutes-plus-fourteen-children period of notoriety].I was Pesci's stand-in on the film, so my opinion isn't completely objective.But I do believe that Barry Levinson is noteworthy for treating audiences with intelligence and respect [although I have some issues with MAN OF THE YEAR,which fumbled its comic-becomes-President premise]. And I believe that JIMMYHOLLYWOOD, underrated and largely unseen over the past nine years, deserves to be rediscovered and re-evaluated on its DVD release.

I'm presuming that this is a bare bones DVD [it was]. But some interesting outtakes should still exist--including a scene of Pesci and Slater singing aLeonard Cohen song called "Democracy".

Since the above piece was written, JIMMY HOLLYWOOD is now available from Lionsgate (offloaded from Paramount) as half a double-bill DVD along with Ron Howard's pretty-much-forgotten American/Japanese culture clash comedy GUNG HO (with Michael Keaton, Gedde Watanabe and Mimi Rogers).

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