Jimmy Hollywood ★★★½

Barry Levinson suffered his fourth box-office disappointment in a row (after Avalon, Bugsy and Toys) with this entertaining, unfairly dismissed fable. With its TV-screen framing and emphasis on celluloid heroes, it’s better suited to video anyway. In one of his better star performances, Joe Pesci is struggling actor Jimmy Alto, who takes it upon himself to decimate the criminal element of Hollywood with the help of chronically forgetful Christian Slater. Videotaping his deeds, Jimmy becomes “Jericho, leader of the S.O.S.” and becomes a media folk hero; the cops, of course, want him behind bars. The movie is a grab bag of reheated clichés, but Levinson’s conviction and Pesci’s engaging tirades put it over — if you don’t expect it to say something “important.”