Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    What a bizarre movie this was! It's based off of the autobiography of Chuck Barris, the host of The Gong Show (he also created the Dating Game). According to his autobiography, Barris claims that in addition to hosting the Gong Show, he was also a CIA operative who has killed 33 people. To this day, Barris claims that this is true, but the movie doesn't attempt to make any judgement calls on the validity of the autobiography. Rather, it shows Barris as a man desperate for the one thing that all people who gain lots of fame are desperate for: love. In a conversation with a fellow assasin, Barris is told that we all have a void inside of us that must be filled with something. The movie shows Barris as a man who became a government hitman to fill the void that he gave up on trying to fill with love. Towards the end, it is clear that he becomes a very unstable person, and the question of whether or not his story is true is left up for question (I personally don't believe it). The film is occasionally interspersed with interviews with real-life colleagues of Barris, among them Dick Clark, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, and the Unknown Comic.

    All the performances were really great, especially Sam Rockwell's as Barris himself. The supporting cast, George Clooney, Drew Barrymore, and Julia Roberts, was good, and there's a hilarious cameo by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

    I didn't realize until after watching the movie that it was directed by George Clooney, but I felt he did a really good job. Occasionally, there were moments where there seemed to be flashy camera tricks that didn't really help the movie, that seemed to be there just to look good, but overall, it was directed well with a unique look. And, as always, Charles Kaufman proved why he is one of the most twisted and brilliant (and my personal favorite) screenwriters out there today. For those of you who don't know, he also wrote Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and the upcoming Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (go see it when it comes out, trust me, I read the script and it was one of the greatest things I've ever read).

    The film is basically a docudrama with some comedic elements, and it was very entertaining and thought-provoking. I give it three and a half stars.
     

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