DVD: What Just Happened? (15)
Friday 24 April 2009
Barry Levinson's finest films – Diner and Tin Men – preyed on the anxieties of small-time operators in his native Baltimore.
This droll satire dwells on the insecurities, cruelties and vanities of "big-time" LA movie folk. Robert De Niro's producer, Ben, is one of the top movers and shakers in Hollywood, according to Variety; however his life is slowly unravelling. He's involved in a turkey, a bleak thriller called Fiercely, with Sean Penn, which disgusts test audiences – in the final reel South London gangsters shoot a dog. "The dog has to die," moans Michael Wincott's precious director. A weary Ben has to persuade him otherwise. He is also charged with cajoling Bruce Willis (playing himself) into shaving off his wild, "Grizzly Adams" beard. Willis, amusingly, moans about losing his "artistic integrity".
To increase his blood pressure further Ben has two former wives, one (Robin Wright Penn) he still has "feelings" for. Plus, he discovers his 17-year-old daughter (Kristen Stewart) has been bonking a sleazy agent, who has just blown his brains out.
Levinson's languorous, slightly flimsy hatchet job of Hollywood doesn't have the white-shark teeth of Altman's exquisite The Player, but it has a few tangy lines, a rare decent role for De Niro and John Turturro is watchable as Willis's neurotic agent – "I'm not scared of him, I'm scared of all of them." Actors, that is.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Rebecca Hall on her film career so far: ‘I’ve played too many repressed neurotics’
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner stars in Bastille's 'Oblivion' video
50 Shades of Grey movie trailer declared sexy and sexist on Twitter
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia