Hollywoodland 

Set in 1959 Los Angeles, Hollywoodland revolves around the still-mysterious death of actor George Reeves (played by Ben Affleck), who got his big break as Stuart Tarleton in Gone With the Wind but achieved minor fame and career type-casting as television's Superman. Hollywoodland offers up three different scenarios to explain Reeves' death by gunshot wound -- the suicide that was the official story, an accidental shooting by fiancée Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney), and a murder-for-hire at the bequest of movie mogul Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), whose wife, Toni (Diane Lane), Reeves was allegedly having an affair with -- and doesn't tilt the scales in favor of any of the options.

As a Hollywood murder mystery, Hollywoodland suffers from a subpar performance by the physically and conceptually well-cast Ben Affleck. (Like Reeves, Affleck has fame but not artistic respect.) Affleck is so likable in Kevin Smith movies and in television interviews that it pains me to admit he's as bad an actor as his reputation suggests, but the uncertainty and discomfort he brings to Hollywoodland are a huge hindrance. Another strike is the artificial insertion of a private-detective protagonist (Adrien Brody) to lead the viewer through the maze.

Hollywoodland would be a decent slice of subterranean movie-world history, but as its title indicates, it wants to be something more than that. Hollywood types -- Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Robert Condon, Johnny Stompanato, etc. -- fill the edges, but the movie, a feature-film debut from television veteran Allen Coulter, never comes close to the crackle or juiciness of its inevitable comparison, L.A. Confidential. As a slice of infamous movie-land murder, Hollywoodland is nothing more than a run-up to next week's much more anticipated The Black Dahlia.

Opens Friday, September 8th

Multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • First Man

      Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in this flawed biopic
    • A Star Is Born

      Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper dazzle in a rare remake that feels necessary.
    • Hell Fest

      Music festivals and slasher flicks should both be more fun than this

Blogs

Fly On The Wall Blog

WMC Has Something to Say About Uranus

News Blog

City Removes Lime Scooters

Politics Beat Blog

Reminder: Early Voting Continuing Through Thursday, November 1

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Harlan T. Bobo

From My Seat

National Baseball Day

Tiger Blue

Missouri 65, Tigers 33

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Maul Hawks 131 - 117

News Blog

City Orders Lime Scooters Off the Streets

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Kong: Skull Island

    Five lessons from the ape-pocalyse
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • The Lost City of Z

    A mesmerizing story of obsession in the Amazon jungle
    • May 1, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation