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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
Television made him famous, but his biggest hits happened off screen. Television producer by day, CIA assassin by night, Chuck Barris was recruited by the CIA at the height of his TV career and trained to become a covert operative. Or so Barris said.
"I came up with a new game-show idea recently. It's called The Old Game. You got three old guys with loaded guns onstage. They look back at their lives, see who they were, what they accomplished, how close they came to realizing their dreams. The winner is the one who doesn't blow his brains out. He gets a refrigerator."
George Clooney's directorial debut starring the awesome Sam Rockwell tells the story of Chuck Barris who claims that he was recruited as a CIA hitman. It's apparent that Clooney have been taking down notes on the set of Ocean's Eleven because the film feels so much like Soderbergh's work. Jump cuts, smooth glides and quick pans in conversations are all among…
I was expecting to love this, considering all the remarkable talent involved and the type of bizarre little story being told. I still thought it was pretty damn good, and once again I have watched a film with Sam Rockwell that makes me wonder how he's not in more stuff. I feel like everything he's in is better due to his presence. I'd definitely give George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind another watch in the future, hopefully I'll enjoy it a bit more then.
Sam Rockwell stars as Chuck Barris, an ambitious young man focused on a successful career who realizes he's being followed by a strange character, who quickly seduces him to enter the dangerous and secretive world of CIA. While gaining fame as a producer and presenter of popular TV shows, he regularly executes assassinations at the behest of the United States government. Completely involved in the glamor of his two worlds (entertainment and espionage) his life quickly becomes an uncontrollable spiral. Criticized because of the poor quality of his shows, torn between the girl who loves him and the mysterious woman who dominates him and knowing that he's marked for death, he must regain control over both his lives.
George Clooney's directorial debut is pretty good. You can actually see the little knacks he picks up from the other directors he's worked with, like the Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh. But when I was watching the movie, I was never thinking: "This was directed by George Clooney." It was more like: "This was written by Charlie Kaufman." Kaufman has never made a bad movie. His stories are always different, or unusual, or bizarre (in a good way). This movie is different because it introduces the idea that someone so popular can be capable of doing something so unlike themselves. It's like saying that Conan O'Brien is a Navy Seal on his off time. It's ridiculous. But it make for an interesting story, and it actually reminds me a lot of The Aviator.
I recommend it, especially if you have a dangerous mind.
A coming out party in more ways than one, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind above all proved that Sam Rockwell could anchor whole films. A scene-stealer (or entire-film thief) in Galaxy Quest and Mamet's underrated Heist, Rockwell had already been around for a decade and accumulating a promising resume. He finally had the opportunity to star and he's more than convincing as the enigmatic Chuck Barris. There is never a direct line of thought into Barris' motivations. He is more a prisoner of his own delusions and this adds a level of mystery that in return attracts the need for rewatches. Rockwell is great.
Debut direction by George Clooney is also a welcome surprise. There is an undercurrent of satire…
The problem I had with Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind was not the problem I was anticipating.
I've had problems with Sam Rockwell in the past and I came into this one thinking that if he got on my tits in this one like he has pretty much every other time I've seen him in anything that I would have to eliminate all his films from my watchlist. To my great surprise, I did not find him at all insufferable and I actually thought his performance here was outstanding and perfect for his character.
The character was the problem though. As well as he plays it, Chuck Barris is not nearly as interesting a person as George Clooney (and Barris!)…
I liked this a lot.
if i had a hammer
What I Learned:
Jay Leno is probably a contract killer
pretty good but i'd rather spend the same amount of time watching 37 videos on youtube of sam rockwell dancing
I didn't love a lot of the cinematography and the direction doesn't always hit the mark. But I liked everything else. Sam Rockwell is great - this is easily his best role. And it's a great story that demanded the quirky tone it's given.
And turns out Maggie Gyllenhaal is in this. So that made me happy.
So I want to preface by saying I did watch this at night...and I did keep falling asleep...however...I still see that as a sign. I usually can stay awake for films.
I know this film has an almost cult status to it. Sam Rockwell is amazing in this. He's great, he's always great. Love him as an actor.
Here's I did not like and this very well may be because I'm seeing this film 14 years after it first came out. I did not like Julia Roberts. Could never see her in a spy espionage type of role (maybe thats the gimmick) but to me she bothered the hell out of me.
I also was not a fan of George…
(6/8 is "Good")
It's interesting having a spy film where you're not even sure whether the narrator was even a spy.
The film chooses to take Barris's side and say he was - which results in a perfect subject for one of Kaufman's typically socially awkward scripts, but does seem to leave quite a bit of relevant and interesting meat off the story. Not really highlighting that Barris could be full of crap leads to a bit of confusion regarding some of the cliched characterisations and strange plot points. And I'm left wondering what the other version of events was - maybe it would be just too boring to get into?
But it's nearly there.
Amazingly, simultaneously fascinating and mind numbingly boring.
Sam Rockwell kills it as Chuck Barris, the host of The Gong Show and The Dating Game, who wrote an autobiography claiming he was a CIA assassin who killed over 30 men. What was his cover? That he would chaperone the winners of the dating games on trips to locales where he would carry out the assassinations. Pretty far fetched, but very intriguing nonetheless.
It was writen by Charlie Kaufman, that guy who gave us the most unique movies of my generation with Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Synecdoche, New York. Once you see his name as the writer, you know you are in for a great mind-****, and this movie doesn't disappoint. Was he really an assassin? This movie…
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***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…