US DVD Release Date: July 7, 2010
Rated: R (for language)
Running Time: 117 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 widescreen
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English, English (SDH), Spanish
Movie: 2 out of 5
Joe Pesci is Jimmy Alto, a down on his luck actor who is so in love with legendary Hollywood that he can list off the names on the Walk of Fame as they pass under his feet with his eyes closed. When he isn’t out on a rare audition, he’s usually hanging out with spacey William (Christian Slater), a young man with memory issues. After his girlfriend Lorraine (Victoria Abril) is mugged at the ATM and Jimmy’s car stereo is stolen, he and William decide to take the law into their own hands by videotaping the thief and dropping him off at the police station with the evidence and an anonymous note from a fictitious vigilante group, SOS. When the thief is set free, Jimmy sends a tape to the local television news, and taking the persona of Jericho, the leader of SOS (Save Our Streets), and supposedly becomes something of a folk hero.
On paper, and at the pitch meeting, Jimmy Hollywood probably looked ripe with comedic possibilities. However, the finished film (presented here in a home video version) is the polar opposite, a completely unbelievable and rarely funny look at the underside of Hollywood. Jimmy is an unlikeable, self-centered dullard who is only in this for the fame, although the movie would like you to believe he is also in this to actually fight crime and help the city. Christian Slater’s William is severely underwritten as a character, we never really know where he lives or the reason for his worsening memory issues until a title card dismisses it at the end of the film. The bright spot is Victoria Abril as Lorraine, the only character smart enough to walk out of this mess and talk some sense into both Jimmy and the police who are hot on his trail.
Jimmy Hollywood is a noteworthy film, in that it was Barry Levinson’s first film after the disastrous Toys with Robin Williams, and also marked the beginning of Pesci’s and Levinson’s fading star status. Pesci made this film hot off the success of films like My Cousin Vinny and the Home Alone and Lethal Weapon series. Levinson would have a few modestly successful (critically and commercially) films afterwards, such as Sleepers and Wag The Dog, but he would also direct such notable flops as Disclosure, Sphere, An Everlasting Piece, and Man of the Year.
Video: 2.5 out of 5
Lionsgate has licensed Jimmy Hollywood from Paramount, and presents the film on Blu-ray in an uneven 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. While some scenes are bright and colorful, other scenes come off as dark and drab with excessive film grain. Detail meanders as well, with some scenes having great detail, while others look soft. Since this is the same “home video version” on the prior VHS, laserdisc, and DVD releases, one must wonder if the same master was used for this Blu-ray as was used on the Paramount DVD from 2004.
Audio: 3 out of 5
The DTS-HD Master Audio track fares a it better than the video, but not much. Originally released in theaters in Dolby Stereo, this is a typical front-heavy comedy mix. The increased resolution helps to keep the dialogue centered and intelligible, and gives Robbie Robertson’s score a bit more breathing room.
Special Features: 0 out of 5
Lionsgate would like you to think that Bookmarks are Special Features, as well as an advertisement for other films from Lionsgate that are available on Blu-ray, but I disagree.
Overall: 2 out of 5
I was actually surprised Jimmy Hollywood made its way to Blu-ray, especially since there are other Paramount catalog titles that have a much larger audience that have yet to be released. The presentation is lackluster, though, and features are non-existent.