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*** Official "CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND" Discussion Thread-August Re-Release (1 Viewer)

Damin J Toell

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There doesn't appear to be an official thread for this yet, so I thought I'd start a discussion thread.

Anyway, I caught this yesterday after being thwarted from seeing About Schmidt (which was sold out). And I was floored. Upon further reflection, I have placed it as my number 1 film of 2002 (that I've seen so far). Sam Rockwell is simply amazing. I haven't heard any awards buzz about him for best actor, but he certainly gets a nomination for my favorite male performance, anyway. Kaufman's script was beautiful, and I felt he was able to recapture some of the spark of Being John Malkovich that I found missing from Adaptatation.. And, suprisingly, Clooney's direction was superb. The entire look of the film was great, as were various little set design tricks that allowed for some very interesting shots. The supporting cast, too, was a treat; it was very nice to see Rutger Hauer back in a serious role. With any luck, we might see a little revival of his career in mainstream American cinema.

DJ
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

All HTF member film reviews of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Crawdaddy
 

Michael Reuben

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We've must have passed each other in the theater, Damin (since there's literally only one theater in NYC where Confessions is playing). :)

I always have trouble picking a "top" film of the year, but Confessions is right up there. I laughed harder during the little "FCC compliance" scene than I have at anything else I've seen in a movie for a long time.

Who knew Julia Roberts would be more fun as a femme fatale than she ever was as a romantic lead? Barrymore is fantastic, Clooney lets his sinister side show, and if this picture doesn't put Sam Rockwell on the map, there's no justice. I've never read the book, but the script and the direction very carefully arrange things so that it's equally possible that Barris's story is true or an utter fabrication. Within that framework, it's a great variation on the classic story of a loser who wanted to be a somebody -- and this one succeeded in the unlikeliest ways imaginable.

There are going to be a lot of complaints about the image when this film hits DVD. The cinematographer was Newton Thomas Sigel, who's responsible for such off-beat looks as Three Kings. Not one shot in the movie looks realistic; it's all overlit and overexposed, and for large stretches of the film, I was sure it had been shot on digital video (though the credits indicate that it was shot on film). Every location looks fake, and every image could be the product of someone's fevered imagination. That's one of the film's strategies for keeping you guessing about how much of Barris's story is true.

M.
 

Phil L

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I saw it yesterday and enjoyed it a lot, although I wouldn't put it in my top ten for the year.

I wonder how many HTF members were there yesterday. I was at the 5:20.
 

Mark McLeod

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I saw it on the 22nd at a press screening. Excellent movie. It is without a doubt in the upper half of my top 10 for 2002.
 

Michael Pakula

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I saw it on December 12th 2002 at a Promotional Screening
which I got passes for from a Talk Cinema Screening the week before. I also saw the film again today in a sold out
crowd. I also noticed the earlier shows too were sold out.
It looks like this movie might end up doing pretty well
after all. It's playing only at one theater like Adaptation was when it came out, but I bet this will change due to the success. What was it like for you guys?. This is also one of my favorite films of last year.

-Mike
 

Mark McLeod

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The press screening I saw it at was also open to radio station contest winners and it was fairly empty. Of course it didn't help that they booked a huge theater and it was two days before Christmas. I'm hoping the radio station just didn't do a good job with the promotion. I'm definetely planning to check it out again now that's it open. Hopefully I'll have a chance to see it before it ends it's run otherwise I'm looking forward to the DVD
 

Seth Paxton

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Every location looks fake, and every image could be the product of someone's fevered imagination. That's one of the film's strategies for keeping you guessing about how much of Barris's story is true.
And in that context it kills me to see so many reviews that seem almost put off by the notion that the CIA story is "ridiculous". It's like these people were not aware that the Kaufman script had long been brewing on this idea of whether it was real or not. Heck, there is also the case for a 3rd angle which is that the CIA schtick is just the latest "fame gimmick" from a guy who was an apparent master of it.


And so Clooney gives us all of these stories in a well-told visual narrative, AND adds a ton of great comedic moments to keep the material from becoming too self-important.

I was very touched by the film in the end, perhaps because it does play light half the time that it makes the pathos that much more powerful. Clearly, whatever Barris was going through it was difficult. I can see how the slant of him being the "downfall of modern culture" would hurt him. I can see where watching all your shows get ripped away after being such big hits would also destroy your ego (especially if that was how you defined yourself).

To me that is the emotional depth of the film. To see it as a shallow BS story is missing the point to be honest.

It hits my list at #3 even ahead of Adaptation (which I never would have expected).


BTW, Steve Rhodes review at Rotten T mentions that no one laughed at his screening (which he states is because the film isn't funny). Too bad he wasn't at my screening where many people laughed out loud in deep belly laughs.

I agree that the FCC scene is priceless comedy.


Oh, and I thought Rutger Hauer was the 2nd best thing in the film behind Rockwell himself.

I also forgot to mention that Rockwell did a great job of integrating some of Barris' mannerisms and idioms into his "real life" moments. Obviously his Gong Show on air stuff was well mimed, but that is less impressive because it could be copied from the real clips.


And who else loved the real references to moments like the woman who said "in the ass", a moment that was once considered urban legend till the clip was unearthed a few years ago. I thought that was a nice touch.

The one curveball I expected that didn't happen was having the Unknown Comic be someone like Hauer or Clooney. :D
 

Robert Crawford

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There were a lot of people walking out from my screening that just didn't get this film which is based on what they were saying when they left the theater. Something tells me either you're going to love this film or you're going to hate it with not much middle ground of appreciation.




Crawdaddy
 

Adam Horak

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Well, I'll be the first one in this thread to say that I really did not enjoy this film. A lot of you are saying the people who didnt enjoy it just didnt understand it, but I would disagree.

It recieved very few laughs at my theater and I certainly didnt laugh very much. I got the feeling at a lot of points that I was supposed to be laughing, but most of them just werent that funny.

I never cared about the characters at all. I didnt care whether Barris was insane or worked for the CIA. I didn't care about Drew Barrymore's character.

That said, this film was not without merit. Rockwell's performance was very good. I thought some of the cinematography was great.

I think I *got* this film just as well as anyone here, judging by the comments above mine in the thread. I just didnt like it. Different strokes for different folks...
 

Robert Crawford

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I don't think we're saying that at all! What I'm saying is that a significant number of people don't know what to make of this film which would probably affect their enjoyment of it. It goes without saying that some people fully understand the film's concept, but still won't like it which is why film is subjective to individual taste and acceptance.





Crawdaddy
 

Scott Weinberg

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I'm certainly no Miramax shill, but this odd little piece of news filled me briefly with a shining happiness that was almost immediately quelled by the knowledge that my life consists of little more than staying up late to report pointless movie news to disinterested insomniacs.

So yeah, I don't have much more info on this (I refuse to pay for Variety.com's 'membership' so all I'm left with is a one-sentence blurb on current events).

August sees the amazingly cool Confessions of a Dangerous Mind back in theaters.

See it and then tell me Sam Rockwell didn't deserve an Oscar nomination.
 

Nick Sievers

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When is the DVD release?

I doubt my area will even have this when its due to be released sometime next month.
 

BarryS

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I'm hoping that this film will play in my area, I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I may have to wait for the DVD, but it would be nice to see it theatrically.
 

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