|Chuck Barris, producer, host, professional killer|
Sam Rockwell proved again in this film that he's one of the best actors in Hollywood today
In 2002, actor-producer George Clooney took the two books and combined them into a movie adaptation of Mr. Barris's strange story and named the film after the title of the first book. The movie at least seems to take the claim of Barris' double life as a professional killer somewhat seriously. To date, no one has either confirmed or denied the claims (well, the CIA did say he hadn't worked for them but then again Barris clearly states in the book and the movie that he as an independent contractor).
We missed the movie when it came out in 2003, an easy thing to do given the nature of the subject matter and lack of promotion. This movie was never destined to become a box office hit, but now that it is both on cable and Netflix it certainly is worth seeing. Why is it noteworthy? Here's our rationale:
- The story is entertaining.
- Clooney did a good job both as a director and one of the key players in the film (he portrays Barris' CIA handler).
- The Chuck Barris story is so bizarre anyway, that even without the CIA twist it is interesting to watch - with the hitman fantasy it becomes truly fascinating.
- There's a great extended cameo by Julia Roberts.
- Because we've still never fully recovered from seeing the Gong Show...
Marcia Brady on the Dating Game - pop-culture cross promotion at its cheesiest
The big question you may be asking yourself is - could Chuck Barris have actually been a CIA killer? In the movie, they explain that often times on the Dating Game the contestants would be given vacations to strange locations so Barris could chaperone the couples and then steal away to conduct hits. In fact, the movie presents the idea that the CIA handler (Clooney) gave Barris the idea for the trips as a cover for his nefarious moonlighting. Who knows what really happened - most people have written off the hitman portion of the story as fantasy. Whether the story was real or imagined though, the movie is certainly entertaining. Perhaps Barris was the real James Bond?
The Gong Show pioneered bad taste on television
|Movie Reference||Ratings & Reviews||How to Watch|
|Chuck Barris on Wikipedia||Rotten Tomatoes Review||On Netflix|
|Confessions of a Dangerous Mind on IMDB||Roger Ebert's review||From Amazon.com|
Copyright 2012 - Raving Reviews - All Rights Reserved