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Unscripted (2005)

Krista Allen , Bryan Greenberg  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Krista Allen, Bryan Greenberg, Jennifer Hall, Frank Langella
  • Producers: George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ARXF82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,440 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Unscripted" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Unscripted (DVD)

Unscripted is to cable TV as A Chorus Line is to Broadway: a look at the performers in the smaller roles. Produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney (who also directs), the HBO comedy follows the trials and tribulations of three real-life actors, Krista Allen, Jennifer Hall, and Bryan Greenberg. The 10-part series isn't documentary, soap opera, or sitcom, but a combination of the three. It's up to the viewer to figure out where one ends and the other begins. Complicating matters is the character of Goddard Fulton (Frank Langella, Good Night, and Good Luck), an acting coach--and celebrated lothario--trying to help these young thespians step up their game.

In the pilot, Allen stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn to talk about her latest role: tequila spokesmodel. It may not be acting, but she has a son to support and it's an improvement on her softcore Emmanuelle past. In the same episode, Greenberg has a walk-on on ER and Hall has a stand-in on The George Lopez Show. In subsequent episodes, Allen guests on Jake in Progress and Hall does stand-in and background work on Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Constantine. Greenberg hits the greatest heights when a recurring role on One Tree Hill leads to a starring role in Prime--opposite Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. All go to humiliating auditions for parts they don't get.

As expected from a Clooney/Soderbergh production, stars abound, including Noah Wylie, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Hank Azaria, Keanu Reeves, and Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which featured Allen and Hall). Like improvised predecessor Curb Your Enthusiasm, most play themselves. Despite greater critical acclaim, Unscripted, like K Street before it, was not renewed for a second season. It deserved better. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First 5 Episodes Stand Alone August 13, 2005
"Unscripted" was shot periodically throughout 2004 aired on HBO in early 2005, featuring snapshots of life-everything from the mundane to the comic relief-- life of its three actors (Krista Allen, Bryan Greenberg, and Jennifer Hall.

The first five episodes of "Unscripted" were directed by George Clooney, and this part of the series more closely mirrors reality, while the last five are directed by Grant Heslov and have more of a narrative flow. The last five episode feel aware of themselves; they make a conscious effort to tell a story from start to finish and not just follow around three separate individuals. However, instances here are created and therefore feel fictional and almost forced. HBO audiences, although thought of as smarter than your average sitcom audience, still had trouble figuring out which parts of "Unscripted" were real and which were fake. It feels like a reality show, but it is not one; the actors all play charicatures of themselves. Character actors like Jane Lynch even guest star in roles other than themselves. "Unscripted" blurs the line and does it's just a shame more people didn't understand that.

The problem audiences seem to have found with "Unscripted" is the fact that the show is not airbrushed by the glittery, glamorous Hollywood lens is where people will be surprised. Since it is a Section 8 endeavor, the shots are each highly stylized: the handheld camerawork and corner frame shots all scream with Soderbergh's influence. The dialogue is all unscripted but based on actual situations, so early comparisons to "Curb Your Enthusiasm" were made. And because of that, audiences will undoubtedly tune in and expect a half an hour over-the-top comedy about struggling actors.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is another experiment from Clooney/HBO along the lines of "K Street," except it's a cinema verite look at actors instead of lobbyists, actors who are at various levels on the food chain. Krista Allen is a just-past-30 "Baywatch" babe trying to make a break into serious acting; Bryan Greenburg is Vincent Chase without the sudden success (but with, he hopes, a recurring role on "One Tree Hill"); Jennifer Hall is a sort of hapless audition flop and occasional car wash hawker who's a dead ringer for "Fast Times"-era Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Best of all is Frank Langella as an acting coach who's both wise and shamelessly pragmatic, sometimes at the same time.

As a previous reviewer pointed out, the first half of the 10 episodes are more fly-on-the-wall, and I watched them with interest but rarely stopped wondering why I should care. The second half, however, develops a better sense of plotting and, right along with that, a definition of why a viewer should care. Even when some of the characters aren't very compelling the sitautions usually are.

As experimental as it seems, "Unscripted" is also a strangely effective example of studio synergy. Hall, at one point, gets a role as an extra in "Constantine" and, sure enough, if you watch "Constantine" (I don't recommend it) she's actually in the film. Likewise Greenburg's "character" gets a role in "Prime," opposite Uma Thurman, and later this month he co-stars in that same film. And I must say that after seeing Allen in this (I'd never seen her in anything before) I did find myself eagerly seeking out her "Emmanuel in Space" movies.

Still, corporate and non-corporate cross-promotions aside, this is another one of those HBO shows that suck a viewer in and turn out to be smarter than one might expect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great drama-comedy with terrific performances July 15, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hollywood still attracts the star-struck and the hopeful. 'Unstripted' is the story of three of those aforementioned dreamers. Krista Allen, Bryan Greenberg and Jennifer Hall play themselves, aspiring actors and actresses trying to claw their way up the Hollywood ladder. Frank Langella plays Goddard, an acting teacher with a penchent for making hard-to-fathom stage direction (more passion! faster! you are too real! act!) and for bedding his young, nubile female students.

This ten-episode show, originally shown on HBO is a bit uneven, I think. First of all, it really seems to capture what goes on in tinseltown for the young and the vulnerable. Yes, we have tears here. We have false praise, bloated and untrue resumes, cutthroat competition, and mistaken notions of how to do an audition.

Lately there have been more than a few movies and series of the 'behind the scenes' looks at Hollywood from an insider's standpoint. 'Entourage' (also from HBO) is one example, 'Californication' is another, this time from the perspective of a writer. 'Get Shorty' was another, that with a gangster twist on it. I guess you could say, 'write what you know' and Hollywood is rotten with writers, hence the focus. It's more of a stretch, I suppose, to write about a drug researcher, since there are few of those toiling away in the film capital of the world.

Recommended. Five stars for the interesting, faux documentary of kids on the way up. It misfires on occasion, but all-in-all I liked it a lot. Very eye-opening. I'm glad I'm not an actor!

Update: I have watched this again, and have enjoyed it a lot. This is a very well made. Frank Langella's character, especially, is terrific. He's either full of BS all of the time, most of the time, or never.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise and thoroughly entertaining.
I heard Frank Langella praise his experience in this series and was pleased to see it can be picked up for a song. Read more
Published 7 months ago by But Seriously
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice series!
I bought it because I love Krista Allen, and here we can get to know her a little bit more. The show's intention is to mix reality and fiction, and I think they were successful in... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Izilda Aparecida Gennari
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!
As a fellow actor who was going through rough times, this show inspired me that no matter how bad things are, you are an artist at heart and if you really love your craft, you'll... Read more
Published on October 21, 2012 by KimmyK
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to know what it's really like to be an actor?
I no longer live in LA, but this shows put right me back there--both for good and for ill. Sadly, I have never met anyone in the "real world" who has seen this show, but then I... Read more
Published on June 19, 2012 by Peter Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but is the listed aspect ratio wrong?
The back of the DVD case says 16 to 9 aspect ratio, yet it plays on my widescreen TV in old style 4 to 3, with a 16 by 9 widescreen image within this frame. Read more
Published on February 20, 2010 by E. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Reality
For all those budding actors out there, thinking they can make it, they should watch this series based in LA, which displays the reality of auditions, acting classes and hopes and... Read more
Published on September 6, 2009 by D. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Not ready for the truth I guess...
Found this again recently on DVD. Yes, it's clear why this show didn't do well: it's honest and deeper than what America will ever want to believe about their favorite dream... Read more
Published on July 28, 2009 by Clare Ultimo
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..
I really enjoyed this series. Inside the world of the struggling young actor. After watching this I'm convinced actors are onstage 24/7.
Published on December 12, 2008 by THOMAS BRANDSTETTER
5.0 out of 5 stars The most accurate portrayal of life as an actor.
As an actor living in Los Angeles,this is the most accurate depiction of life that I and thousands of other people know. Read more
Published on February 15, 2008 by Joshua Caudill
4.0 out of 5 stars Please enter a title for your review
Oh my god I hate the acting coach guy. He doesn't give the actors any specific tips or pointers, just constantly tells them they're not good enough. Read more
Published on June 17, 2006 by pancake_repairman
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