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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney and Julia Roberts
Directed by: George Clooney
Written by: Charlie Kaufman

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Film Review: (DVD Review Below)

Bluntly speaking?
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is freakin' brilliant. Sam Rockwell gives a whack-you-upside-the-head dose of his talent! He plays television visionary and mantoad Chuck Barris like an Armani suit. The role is so much more then an impression of a man…

Written, or rather, adapted by Charlie Kaufman from Chuck Barris' book of the same name, the film is at once a stylized mind trip and an actor's masterpiece! Director George Clooney does a great job at knowing where to accent his actors and when to let them fly. He also cashes in on Rockwell's coveted facial arts. An actor that can raise an eyebrow and tell a story is a true talent…kind of like this petite Rockwell chap.

Story goes…Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) narrates his life story. His rise from page at NBC to Gong Show, Dating Game, and Newlywed Game creator. Sounds dull? Yeah, well, Barris also claims he was a CIA operative responsible for the deaths of 33 people - while producing ludicrous pop shows mind you.

He has a gal pal, Penny (Drew - the chin - Barrymore) that loves him warts and egotistical droppings aside - still he relentlessly evaluates himself and worries about what others think, while contradictorily condescending to the public's lower senses of humor. He's an odd little man.

Barris is an odd little man that not only killed in the ratings but also, as he claims, killed for democracy. He and a couple fellow agents (Rutger Huaer, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Batchelor #3) slink through the biography like 1940's cloak and dagger film noir genre anti-heroes.

And it doesn't get much better then this Rockwell performance, acting-wise. Rockwell is gonna blow your mind - even if "Barris" is a bit of a nutter.

Drew Barrymore is this unsung little treasure. Heck, it's in her DNA after all. Clooney captures several classic Barrymore profiles but more importantly, lets the talent flow from the beauty.

It's no secret Clooney's the mansteak I'd want to be shipwrecked on a new planet with if I had a choice of repopulating our species…but as swell as he is for the phermones, he's also super talented. As director he's guided the film's style creating a refreshing and unique picture of a refreshing and unique script. The ironic part is he managed this while "borrowing" several scenes straight from recognizable films. And Clooney's overly handsome eye for a scene shines too. He's good. See, he's gathered some real talents for the delightful piece to stitch the clever dialog properly; the great set design, precise cinematography, five decades of costuming and of course, perfectly cast actors. Confessions is a rare piece of entertainment; a kooky story about a kooky man that's positively brilliant. See this immediately.

Snack Recommendation: Formosa Mai Tais and seared Ahi salad…

DVD REVIEW (Film Review Above)

I adored this movie - so I expected nothing less then a full fat yummitini of a bonus filled treatski when the dvd arrived...I was not disappointed. For those of you into Charlie Kaufman's eclectic style of meandering scripts that somehow deliver brilliance -Confessions is a yet another must have for your growing collection.

But you don't just get a Kaufman script you get oodles and oodles of talent in front of and behind the work. I know folks were divided on this film when it opened. I was firmly on the pro-Mind side. I think it's a work of art (see complete review below).

The dvd's extras include Sam Rockwell's screen tests for the part. These precious scenes alone are worth every cent of the cost of purchase. How rare it is that we get to see an actor in this way - and to see for our selves what the director worked with while casting. And frankly, director George Clooney would have been a fool (granted a handsome fool...) to cast another - and these snippets of Sam in full "gimme the role " mode will cement that belief.

The commentary between Clooney and cinematographer extraordinaire Newton Thomas Sigel has this slow dry sense of humor all over it - but at the same time you can feel his excitement for the project - and a little bit of the sting they felt when many folks (press and audience) overlooked the work. I didn't George. Call me....I'll whip you up some good old fashioned comfort foods and lick your wounds for you....

The deleted scenes offered, as always, show how tweaking a film often means cutting some parts that are just as good, yet somehow, fell to the floor and the film's better for it. The dvd also has a short documentary on the real Chuck Barris. (this man's a hoot) as well as some fun behind the scenes footage. It was great to see the sliding canera effects and how the cast and crew created some of the more clever shots. Watch for the bloody pool scene and the rotating room scenes in particular then listen to the commentary and view the behind the scenes. Fascinating.Buy It


 

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