9 user 2 critic

Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters (2006)

Hollywoods biggest talents explore what is the recipe for blockbuster, flops, and how absolute happenstance and controlled luck can make movie magic.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Milius (2013)
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at the life of filmmaker John Milius.

Directors: Joey Figueroa, Zak Knutson
Stars: John Milius, Ethan Milius, Amanda Milius
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young man goes to Las Vegas with his best friend to prove he can win big bucks. When he loses all of the money, he and his friend get help from a young woman who tells the man the story ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Lau
Stars: Ekin Cheng, Cecilia Cheung, Jonathan Ke Quan
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography).

Directors: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen
Stars: Robert Evans, Eddie Albert, Peter Bart
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan


Credited cast:
(archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Bill Couturié ...
Himself (voice)
Madison / Ayla (archive footage)


Hollywoods biggest talents explore what is the recipe for blockbuster, flops, and how absolute happenstance and controlled luck can make movie magic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

13 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nadie sabe nada (los secretos del cine)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


Morgan Freeman: [about "Bonfire of the Vanities"] When an airliner crashes, they say that it's usually caused by a series of mishaps.
See more »


Features The Sting (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Could have been incisive but ends up forgettable
10 August 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I found out about this 75 minute HBO doc in an issue of ASC. The article touted a bill of big Hollywood players; studio heads, producers and actors. I was intrigued so had to watch it.

I am very interested in how Hollywood works and read Variety/Screen/Premiere, and also check out IMDb's daily news. You get a sense of the workings of the big studios but rarely do studio heads lay it out on the table, and that is where you hoped Boffo! would be revealing.

Unfortunately it plays as some sort of AFI/Oscar ceremony montage of great Hollywood movies, past and present, with the interviewees giving very OBVIOUS quotes such as "rules are there to be broken" and "success and failure balances on a very fine line." Sure, if you're a fan of film, then surely you wanna hear anything Bogdanovich, Evans, Grazer and Guber have to say. But if you want to hear some revealing comments you better off sticking to the trades.

It seems the director wanted to avoid focusing on the flops. Heaven's Gate is not mentioned ONCE. Disasters like Cutthroat Island, Battlefield Earth, Gigli, The Avengers, The Postman and Town & Country are not mentioned, yet are prime material to devour and assess. You look at these films and the main reason they flopped was because of the egos behind them: Costner, Beatty, Travolta, Cimino, Harlin. Then you have the excess of Hollywood. The extravagance of their budgets and the ridiculous costs of marketing. Somehow these topics are barely talked about. Why not venture into The Cable Guy when Columbia went nuts and gave Carrey a 20 mill pay check and changed the film industry forever?

An interesting point was made that spending more money can sometimes be a safer bet, like with Troy. Sure, it cost one or two hundred million dollars to make, but it made back double because it seemed like a sure fire winner. Compare that with Training Day, Denzel winning the Oscar, costing maybe less than a third of Troy, yet not grossing nearly as much. But these passing comments are not delved into. It's almost as if there was no structure to the filming. Let's get as many big names as we can, ask them some questions, and see what we can get in the edit. It would have been more fruitful cutting the number of people in half and focusing on a few films as opposed to allowing them run riot with pointless anecdotes on the making of Jaws which any self respecting Hollywood fan would already know about! The importance of the script, of course, is mentioned. You know why? Because it's the first thing you learn at film school, because the most important part of a film is the STORY. Sure, there are exceptions. Bad stories have made lots of money, but in general, if you look at the most successful films in the history of film, you will see most of them consist of good storytellers telling good stories.

But it is all the other factors that Boffo! could and should have focused on.

There is a great moment when Morgan Freeman is asked about The Bonfire of the Vanities, and why it flopped (despite having the box office lifetime guarantee hallmark of Tom Hanks) and whether there was any sign during production. The great Freeman is very VERY delicate with his words, pausing for what seems like a whole minute before concluding; "when an airline crashes they say that it is mostly a series of mishaps...same thing." And that my friends is the closest you will get to any sort of directed criticism made in the entire film.

More prescient is the fact that Richard Dreyfuss harks on about the importance of the story and how filmmakers today have all this great technology but do not know how to use it. It just so happens he is conducting the interview, in glorious bloody makeup on the back-lot of Poseidon, 2006's first major summer SFX flop! So all in all a big disappointment, but still containing enjoyable nuggets if only because the likes of Clooney, Dreyfuss, Freeman and DeVito are as charismatic as ever!

On a side note, if anyone wants to see how stars should be lit then look no further. ASC member Stephen Lighthill did a sterling job and made everyone look fantastic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about a cilp.... ShortStuff1206
The song from Intolerable Cruelty sebastian-H
film clip question... adam_eason
I have one question jon314
Melting Woman? mars-14
Ironic lacookiemonster

Contribute to This Page