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Derek de Lint
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José Rafael Arango,
Two down-and-out Hollywood screenwriters living together in a self-storage facility suspect that the man who rents space next to them is the infamous Costume Killer--a serial murderer who stalks the streets of Los Angeles decked out in ridiculous rented outfits. Using their neighbor's misdeeds for inspiration, the two friends desperately try to write a hit screenplay... at any cost. Written by
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[in phone booth]
Ted! Are you home? Ted! Are you there Ted? It's Max and Tiger on the prowl. Ya home? You out drinking, you waste product? What, are you screening your calls? Ted. Ted. Ted!
No wait, hold it! Hold it! Hold it! One more. Just. Just. Just stay.
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while it's hard not to criticise Tinseltown, give it a chance.
The first 30 minutes of Tinseltown had my finger teetering on the remote, poised to flick around to watch something else. The premise of two writers, down on their luck, living in a self-storage-space "bin" was mildly amusing, but, painfully bland.
The introduction of the character, played by Joe Pantoliano - the big deal movie guy, that lives in the park and sleeps in a lavatory, offered hope and I decided to give it a few more minutes. And then a few more until Kristy Swansons introduction as a budding film director & borderline nymphomaniac, added a bit of spice. Her solid acting performance raised her presence above and beyond just a very welcome eye-candy inclusion.
Ultimately, the obvious low-budget impacts on the film with poorly shot scenes, stuttured pace and slapstick handling of certain moments. Some of my favourite movies of all time have been low budget, Whithnail & I being one that also deals with 2 guys with a dream, but down on their luck.
However, for my money, the actors save Tinseltown from the "Terrible movie" archives and just about nudges it into the "could have been a cult movie" archives. I laughed out loud at some of the scenes involving Joe Pantoliano's character. In particular, the penultimate scenes in the terribly clichéd, but still funny, rich-but-screwed-up characters house, where the story unravels towards it's final moments.
I can see how Tinseltown was a great stage play and while the film-makers did their best to translate this to celluloid, it simply didn't work and while I laughed out loud at some of scenes and one liners, I think the first 30 minutes dulled my senses and expectations to such a degree I would have laughed at anything.
Unless you're stuck for a novelty coffee coaster, don't pick this up if you see it in a bargain bucket.
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