Most savvy filmgoers are aware that when an actor gains weight and shows his ass on screen, something fishy is going on.
As I can think of about a hundred other actors that could play the role of George Reeves better than Ben Affleck, I can only assume that this entire movie is some kind of conspiracy to regain the public's trust in Affleck's acting ability so that "Daredevil 2" has a legitimate shot at being made. Most savvy filmgoers are aware that when an actor gains weight and shows his ass on screen, something fishy is going on. Hopefully though, audiences agree with Mr.Cranky on this one point: Once you've starred in "Surviving Christmas" and "Gigli" I just don't hate you for the moment, I hate you forever.
Reeves was the man who played Superman in the television series "The Adventures of Superman" that ran from 1952-1958. He died on June 16, 1959, in what was ultimately determined to be a suicide, though speculation about other causes has persisted ever since. "Hollywoodland" explores Reeves's Hollywood existence, his relationships, and postulates on possible causes for his death through the character of Louis Simo (Adrien Brody), a former cop turned private investigator who has that sordid reputation and miserable private life shared by virtually all private eyes who've ever appeared on film.
In fact, the predictable approach to rounding out Simo's character is one of the many things that make this "L.A. Confidential" wannabe less than the sum of its parts. Simo is estranged from wife Laurie (Molly Parker) and having issues with his young son. He drinks when he gets really upset. This is supposed to give the decisions he makes regarding his investigation weight, but they just seem like machinations of a film we've already seen.
The worst of the sins committed by director Allen Coulter, who's helmed a number of episodes from various well-regarded HBO series, is to have Simo imagine a variety of outcomes for Reeves, everything from an accidental death at the hands of fianc� Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney), to a possible murder ordered by studio head Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins) because Reeves had an affair with Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), to the simple suicide Reeves may have committed as a result of his inability to get a decent job in Hollywood after "Superman". Watching those different scenes is like listening to a pot smoker's paranoid delusions about possible causes of the funny sounds coming out of his microwave. They're tiresome, go nowhere, and add up to nothing.
"Hollywoodland" feels like a slow, tedious ride on an L.A. tour bus. It offers lots of looks at the stars' houses, but precious little insight to go along with the experience.
To spread the word about this Hollywoodland review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.