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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind [Blu-ray]
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At the very beginning when the audience sees a bearded and naked Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) standing as if in a trance while a frumpy housekeeper vacuums around him, the viewer suspects that the film will be something special, outrageous, or both. This is the starting point for an extended flashback as Barris recalls his young adulthood, when it seemed everybody but him was having sex, to his successful career as a TV game show creator and low-brow polluter of the American airwaves ("The Dating Game", "The Newlywed Game", "The Gong Show"). Pretty standard stuff except that along the way Barris is seduced by a penchant for violence into a double life as a CIA contract killer, and the schizophrenia brought on by his double life almost proves his undoing.
Rockwell is superb in the leading role, as is Director Clooney, who plays his square-jawed, no-nonsense CIA recruiter and control, Jim Byrd. (Byrd to Barris: "Listen, you're thirty-two years old and you've achieved nothing. Jesus Christ was dead and alive again by thirty-three. Better get cracking.") Drew Barrymore does a swell job as Penny, the on-again, off-again love of Chuck's life, but she's deliciously upstaged by Julia Roberts in a new sort of character for her, that of the seductive and deadly femme fatale spy, Patricia. ("Prove how much you love me, baby. Kill for me. Then I'm all yours".) Brad Pitt and Matt Damon have hilarious two-second cameos on stools.Read more ›
Clooney has the benefit of an intriguing story, based on the book by Gong Show host Chuck Barris, a great script and a fantastic cast. Sam Rockwell is a fine actor, and Confessions is probably his best work to date. Rockwell carries the movie; A daunting task, but he succeeds admirably. He brings humanity and sadness to his character and even makes him somewhat sympathetic. Hopefully he will be getting better and better parts after this one. Drew Barrymore is great as Barris' sort-of girlfriend, Clooney himself appears as the CIA recruiter who's interested in Barris, and Julia Roberts shows up as a fellow operative. George Clooney has learned much from his friend Steven Soderbergh and brings an astute sense of visual style to the film. Clooney really deserves credit for an exceptional filmmaking job.
Whether or not Barris' story is true is really not of concern to me. Even if it's all fiction, then it made for a remarkable story anyway. It will give viewers something to debate after seeing the film. The real Chuck Barris shows up for a cameo at the end, in a very touching and sad moment. Indeed there's a strong element of sadness to the story as Barris realizes what he has been and what he could have been.Read more ›
Sam Rockwell is dead-on as game show producer Chuck Barris, who created not only two staples of American television mediocrity (The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game), but also the "American Idol" of the 1970s -- The Gong Show. The only differences between Barris' production and today's "Idol" are that Barris featured ONLY bad wanna-bes, so there were no recording contracts and such offered, and his judges were a lot funnier, as was he. Of course, viewers were different back then, too, in that they didn't know what to make of a show on which struggling "talent" were verbally abused. Today, that's half of Idol's viewership. In any case, Rockwell's portrayal of him is perfect.
Equally good are Drew Barrymore, as Barris' on-again, off-again, on-again love interest, George Clooney as Barris' supposed CIA handler, and fellow assassin Julia Roberts. In fact, Barrymore is considerably better here than in most of her roles. The appearance of Rutger Hauer also made me laugh, especially given the tough guy roles he used to play. And cameos by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are priceless.
As for the "A Beautiful Mind" reference, Barris' assertion that he served as a CIA assassin during that period is so absurd that it immediately made me think of the Russell Crowe/Jennifer Connelly film's delusional spy sequences.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Supposedly Charles Hirsch (Chuck Barris) is a game show producer by day and a covert CIA operative by night, and this is all supposed to be true.Published 5 days ago by Roiann Chabot
This movie was strange and the plot was slow. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth as a viewer. Did not complete the movie, would not watch again.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
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