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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ultimately disappointing

6/10
Author: JohnnyCNote from Jacksonville, FL
26 January 2003

I had high hopes for this movie, but I'm sorry to say they were not met. It seemed to have trouble deciding if it was a comedy, a drama or something else. Other movies have walked this tightrope much better. It was competently directed, and Clooney created some good shots, but it failed to draw me or my companion into the plot. We found it hard to really care for the characters. I doubt I will bother to watch it again when it makes it to cable/satellite....

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Confessions of a Dangerous Director

4/10
Author: spacedogg1979
26 January 2003

George Clooney's (way overboard) directorial debut doesn't cut the mustard. This film is over stylized, overwrought and overzealous, purporting to be much more grand than it had any chance of being.

The subject of the film is preposterous: simultaneously self-absorbed/self-abasing two-bit television producer, Chuck Barris, does double duty as a CIA assassin. Equally as asinine as the storyline is Sam Rockwell's unredeemable portrayal of this sex-crazed megalomaniac. There is no depth to Rockwell's Barris: he remains smug and brazenly vulgar throughout the film-- the multiple close ups of his bare rear atone for nothing.

Julia Robert's credibility takes a nose dive in this film as well, with her portrayal of Barris' undercover counter-part slash part-time lover slash rival. Ms. Roberts' uninspired performance is nearly as gut-wrenching as Drew Barrymore's portrayal of Barris' vapid, co-dependent victim of a girlfriend. Both women serve no purpose other than to underscore the misogynistic underpinnings of the film.

All in all, Clooney's handling of a potentially sassy and brilliant story leaves much to be desired. What could have been a campy and ironic joy ride proved to be nothing more than a dull and irritating psycho-drama.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I found something better to do while I was watching this

2/10
Author: reborn77 from Peoria, Illinois
26 March 2004

Maybe because it was late at night and I was somewhat tired, but this movie didn't keep my attention even a little bit. I actually spent the entire 2 hours organizing my room with the movie in the background, and the funny thing is I don't think I missed anything crucial. I was able to keep up with the plot and characters without any problem.

I don't think the problem was anything more than I just really didn't care about the story. First, the fact that anyone would even think the story was real as far as the CIA side of it is ludicrous. If that were the way our government ran things we would not exist as a nation. Second, this is obviously a really disturbed man with some really serious issues and I might have found the story somewhat enjoyable if they had pointed out his flaws and tried to fix them. I know this is somewhat loosely based on fact, so there is only so much of that you could do, my point then is why make this movie????????

I went into it thinking it was going to be a masterfully "could this have really happened" sort of flick. What I got was a really disturbing image of a grown man who had no idea how to act or contain himself. The movie portrayed his life as fact, with no question of is this or is this not true, and the story that has been given is so implausible that there is no way to develop that sort of thinking on your own.

Basically, my review is that this is a stupid story about a stupid man who I don't care if I ever hear about ever again. And apart from the story the only other critique is that the movie moved as a snails pace, maybe had I seen it in the theatre I would have been more intrigued, but the actually fact is I am glad I didn't pay more than a couple of bucks to see it. In fact, I wish I could learn how to not finish a movie, instead of being my obsessive self that has to watch to the end to make sure I don't miss anything good. I wouldn't have.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great Character Study, Bad Movie...

1/10
Author: Troy (Troy2Slick) from Toronto, Ontario
5 May 2003

This is a different type of movie. If you're into character study and personalities from their lifestyles and how they were raised, then this might be for you. Me, on the other hand, didn't find much interesting about the movie. It had decent acting, great character study and moods, but it didn't get anywhere or do anything for me. Based on a semi-true story, from the mind of one Chuck Barris, creator of the Dating Game, Newlywed Game, Gong Show among others. The interesting aspect of the story is wondering how much of the story really is true. Did he really work for the CIA and kill 33 people? I think only one man really knows that answer. I give this movie 2 *'s out of 4 *'s for character study and that alone. Not a great directorial debut for George Clooney, in my opinion. Only recommended if you like a movie about human characterization and the study of emotions and actions thereof.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Unimpressive debut for Clooney

1/10
Author: Steve from Kailua Kona, HI
28 January 2003

Because of the questionable nature of it's basis in fact, a story like this could have and deserved to be told in an entertaining fashion. Clooney instead stumbles as he tries to make deep, Nietzschian tale from the rather pathetic life of Chuck Barris the supposed CIA-hitman game show host. This guy's self-image was wacked from the start as his warped childhood clearly illustrates. It always surprises me that movie audiences will plaster themselves into a movie seat for this kind of junk. There are plenty of positive, inspirational lives to turn into films. "Ghandi", "Lawrence of Arabia", and even epics like "Braveheart" are examples of films that were based on uncommon lives of people who made a difference. Did a CIA hitman or a game show host ever really make a difference? Not unlike, the "Gong Show" audiences the fans of this film will most likely get a perverse pleasure watching pretty-boy Clooney falling flat on his face. Clooney should stick to acting where his limited range is at least pleasant to watch and his affable nature comes through. He should let the professionals do the directing. Just because Clooney worked with Soderberg doesn't mean Steven's talent or creativity rubbed off.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

1/10
Author: Steve Sheppard from Denver
27 January 2003

Sorry George, no offense. This film was shallow, pointless, tiring and unbelievable. Of course Chuck Barris was never a CIA agent, but I do think this idea helps him to explain some of his wierd behavior. Caught pointing a gun at people in your studio? Just say you were looking for the mole. Then no one would suspect you were free basing! Haha. Pass George a joint and a script, heck we can all get high. There were a few good scenes but they never added up to a worthy plot, and Sam Rockwell was the only thing keeping me awake. Called in a favor with the two names in the dating game, but we kept waiting for some reason to stay. Ultimately it was Sam and the great photography, otherwise, thumbs down. Why not tell the truth that Barris was schizo? Oh yea, Beautiful Mind already scooped that.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

If I had not paid for this, I would have walked out of the opening in the first ten minutes.

1/10
Author: Robert L Hartshorn (captnles@aol.com) from Pine Colorado
15 November 2003

This is a movie that shows the degenerate view of the "Hollywood" perspective of the American base of values and moralities. I am married to a " New Yorker" and she was offended by the depiction of New Jersey and New yorkers use of the f--- word injected in every other word. Is this real? I have been in the "real world" and am no saint, but this is too much.

I watch movies for entertainment value. This was not entertainment, but an obscene and sick movie to grab the profits of a degenerate audience.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Cheeky, but overly cute

4/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
21 June 2007

Chuck Barris, who became a television icon in the mid-1970s while acting as producer-creator-host of TV's "The Gong Show", has his humble and strange beginnings reenacted by first-time director George Clooney, who curiously displays a loving affection for innocent American nostalgia and yet a puny breadth of imagination behind the camera. Clooney's set-ups for each scene are in joshing good humor, spiked by fantasy visuals that give the project a light, jovial mood, but--aside from an amusing camera-shot peering through a cut-out shape of the United States and a tricky bit involving Julia Roberts and two coffee cups--nothing from Clooney shows much originality or chutzpah (the handling of the picture is as canned as a TV laugh-track). The performances are intentionally over-scaled, which doesn't give us a good grip on the personal strife and drama that frames the film, and the alleged CIA sub-plot is a squashy mess. This was a life story no one really wanted to see adapted to the screen, and even Clooney (as both director and supporting actor, playing the CIA operative who recruits Barris) is more cheeky than serious. ** from ****

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dangerous? Dull is more like it.

1/10
Author: JJStudCty from Studio City, CA
30 December 2002

By all rights, it SHOULD have been horrible -- misogynistic, racist, offensive, lewd, crass and obnoxious. But it's not.

It's just boring.

Unfunny, unfocused, uninvolving and, most of all, unendurable.

As a director, George Clooney has a curious fixation on male butts and a difficulty finding any sort of rhythm or pace. Voiceover dialogue drones on forever and there's no fun at all. Whether you love him, hate him or (most likely) fall somewhere in between, you never would have described Chuck Barris as boring. But that's exactly what he is here.

The only enjoyment at all comes from the meticulous recreations of the sets of "The Dating Game," "The Newlywed Game" and "The Gong Show." Then again, you could just tune in to the Game Show Network. It would be much more entertaining.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Terrible Film

1/10
Author: Tim (TiminPhoenix@aol.com) from Phoenix, AZ
30 January 2003

I had some hope for this movie, in that it would be original. I found however a film that despite what some critics say to be poorly paced, forced, and at times not funny, but just silly. The acting was fair, but the direction and the editing didn't add to any sense of narrative.

Save even your rental fee on this one. Perhaps in a few years, around 3am on HBO when watching an informercial is your only other alternative will be a good time to watch this.

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