Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What Just Happened - DVD Review

WHAT JUST HAPPENED (**) - Starring Robert DeNiro, Robin Wright Penn, Bruce Willis, Michael Wincott, Catherine Keener, John Turturro, Sean Penn, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Stewart, and Moon Goodblood.
Directed by Barry Levinson.

Great cast with a thin inside-baseball story about behind the scenes at Hollywood. There are two main stories centered on one beleaguered producer named Ben (Robert DeNiro). For one movie already filmed, he's trying to convince his artistic director not to have the dog shot at the end of the final cut. For another movie yet to be filmed, he's trying to convince Bruce Willis to shave his beard. Those are the two conflicts, and both come to resolutions.

So when a character asks at the end, "What just happened?" I can say this is what happened with the dog and this is what happened with the beard, and other than that, not much. And we get a half-dozen movies every year that show behind-the-scenes Hollywood where the majority of players are selfish, amoral, Machiavellian loudmouths. It just reminds me that no matter what industry Hollywood demonizes, they're just as harsh with themselves.

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