The Movie Hero (2003) Poster

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A MUST SEE, especially for Jeremy Sisto fans...
huh_mama_het22 March 2007
I absolutely ADORED this film! It's one of the most brilliant Indy films I have ever seen. An added bonus...The Movie Hero is also a unique lesson in film-making. Anyone who dreams to be a filmmaker needs to see this movie. If you are a not filmmaker, but love the art, you'll especially love this one. I've always thought of life cinematically, so this film absolutely worked for me!

For the first few minutes, I thought, "This is going to be a bit lame. How are they going to pull this off?" Jeremy Sisto is the reason this films works and the reason I hung in. I'm so glad I did! His performance of Blake, a man who believes his life is being filmed and his "audience" relies on him, was utterly delightful. I've never seen Sisto in anything, but now he's on my "must watch" list. If he blesses all of his films the joy and sincerity he gave to The Movie Hero, I can't wait to see more of him.

I also loved Brian White as "The Side Kick." I've never seen White before, but he was fun to watch and seemed very into his character. He and Sisto made a great team. (BTW, White resembles Keanu Reeves to me, and makes me wonder if they are related in any way.) Also in this film is Peter Stormare, who is a good actor but always creeps me out-even in his Volkswagon commercial! I actually enjoyed him in this, even tho he was supposed to creep you out-I found him creepy in a pleasant way.

Anyone who tells you this film is a waste of time has no sense of whimsy, no heart, and has lost contact with their inner child. The Movie Hero is a rather interesting metaphor for life. I plan on buying this DVD. I especially can't wait to view it with the commentary...which, when you think about it, could be a bit redundant! LOL!

I don't feel the need to tell you too much about it. Just pop some corn, relax and ENJOY this clever, uplifting, thought provoking film! I found it so sweet and lovely, it really made my day.
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Brilliant!! It works on TWO levels!
debek5 April 2003
An incredibly insightful and daring film that works on so many levels that my friends and I are still talking about it and going "Whoa!" The dialog is impeccable, the acting and directing are brilliant and the premise is a very funny testimony to our current paradigm shift in consciousness.

It begins as a movie about a man who believes his life itself is a movie, and that he has a responsibility to live it very deliberately, offering all the drama and nuances that we, his audience, deserves to see....without boring or offending. While the people around him are convinced that he is crazy, we are not so sure, because after all, we are watching his movie, aren't we??

The writer/director who discussed his movie after the screening at the Ashland Film Festival, said he made this movie based on his own experiences making movies...and while it pays a hilarious tribute to the process of film making I think it goes even deeper. The very nature of performing for an "imaginary" audience invokes the same questions posed by such movies as "Matrix" and even the "Holodeck" on Star Trek, where we realize that we are the direct creators of our own realities. We are the writer, director and producer of our own life movies, which helps us out of the victim role and into the creator mindset. And yet, for all our omnipotence and freewill, life created in a vacuum, without feedback or accountability, is meaningless. Doing or being just for it's own sake feels empty, so we must have a more tangible reason for doing the things we do....hence our audience (or higher power, or inner critic or what have you) that helps us be more aware of and deliberate in our life choices. Makes us want to become the hero instead of the villain or the loser who gets dumped in the end.

So here we are, watching a movie about a guy wanting to create a meaningful movie (ie: Life) for us, his audience, who is watching a movie created by a guy (the director) who wanted to create a meaningful movie for us, his audience, who will hopefully leave the theater wanting to create a meaningful movie of our own as not disappoint our inner audience.

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Imagination At Work
PeachHamBeach10 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It's sad how long we have to wait for certain movies to be available in some way, especially when most of these movies prove to be completely delightful in every possible way.

THE MOVIE HERO is that sort of film. Just delightful. Imaginative, original, intimate. It's a first. Anyway, I've never seen a film that includes THE VIEWER/THE AUDIENCE as an involved part of the story.

Blake, THE MAIN CHARACTER/HERO shimmers with an aura of innocence and sweetness, yet also comes across as extremely intelligent, eloquent, clever. Some mentally disturbed people are extremely intelligent, eloquent and clever. Blake's behavior is hard to decipher. At least it's hard for the police, his therapist, and even his side-kick, to figure out whether or not Blake is delusional and hallucinating. For his audience, though, it's never a mystery. Blake isn't crazy, he's playacting, having fun, and we're on his side. We love him. We're always with him. He's charismatic, sexy, and bubbly, a sensitive soul, a lover of life.

If you look deeper, you'll see Blake's ongoing playacting is a way to hold at bay anything that might bother him if he didn't use his imagination to create a fantastic movie. He's broke, unemployed, and his girlfriend has just dumped him because she doesn't share his enthusiasm for film and is annoyed by his interaction with us. If he didn't act out his "movie", he would probably be very depressed or at least unhappy. Even his parents, who love him very much, while supportive of his decision to live a life of fantasy, don't quite get him.

But because he loves his audience and wants to please us, Blake refuses to be sad and prefers to be glad, and spends his days and nights walking around his Hollywood neighborhood, checking out the Walk Of Fame, taking advantage of bargain cinema, and putting together a cast for his new "movie", which includes a side-kick, a love-interest, and a suspicious character/villain. Who cares if he's a "loser" to anyone else??? He's our hero and he's taking us on a fun ride. His "hardships" give us all the more reason to love, sympathize and route for him.

Blake discovers the Bad Guy's plot, and rescues us from the fiend a couple of times. He meets the beautiful Love Interest and uses his box of charms to slowly win her heart. He interacts wonderfully with the Side-Kick and there are plenty of action scenes, stunts, and buddy-cop comedy sketches to keep any "movie nut" satisfied. The best parts, though, are all about the revelation of Blake's depth and what motivates him day to day.

Jeremy Sisto continues to impress with his vibrant, dedicated performance as Blake. His happy-go-lucky exterior is there, but he reveals his soul to show us the underlying loneliness. Dina Meyer as Elizabeth has good chemistry with Sisto and her gradual surrender to Blake is very believable. Peter Stormare is very funny but also menacing, so he makes a perfect Suspicious Character. Brian White as Antoine the Side-Kick is enthusiastic and full of fun. Carlos Jacott as the Doomed Fiancé/Jonathan was great in that his character was so smug and mean-spirited and superior to everyone. He even treats Elizabeth like her profession and desire to help people are stupid. His thinly veiled jealousy and inferiority are true to life. If you watch the early scenes with Doomed Fiancé and Love Interest, you'll see that even though they're engaged and try to believe they're happy together, they're not. Very well done sequences. Frances Bay has a lovely cameo, Alexis Arquette has a hilarious one.

It's a film that I can't say ANYTHING bad about. It won multiple festival awards, including Best Actor for Jeremy Sisto.
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A funny, romantic, well-acted and well-directed film
RCfan30 March 2003
The fourth wall is broken in this funny, romantic and well-acted and -directed film for all -- especially people who love movies.

At the start, movie lover Blake shares with us -- his own personal, omnipresent audience -- his plan to do what all movie heroes do: battle a "suspicious character" and save the day. But first, he must find the requisite funny "sidekick" (he chooses young, black Antoine, whom Blake likes immediately despite his fear of the cliche their relationship creates). Blake also discovers the lovely, perfectly imperfect woman who must surely be his "love interest" -- and who is, naturally, already attached. Though everyone in his life questions his sanity, Blake believes his ability to see "his" audience is a gift. What's so great is the clever way the movie makes us, the audience, question his sanity at times, too.

Jeremy Sisto easily, breezily carries the film. He plays Blake as warm and likable, with just enough innocence to make us believe in him despite the underlying sadness and desperation in some of Blake's actions. I've been a fan of the actor for ages now, and here he has a role to showcase his full range of talent. He also has chemistry galore with Dina Meyer, who's pretty and smart and whom we want to be happy, just like our hero.

The rest of the cast is also terrific. The always-interesting Peter Stormare is creepy, yes, but it's also apparent he's having a great time, so he's never really threatening. Alexis Arquette has a funny cameo, Frances Bay a heartbreaking one, and Marcia Strassman and Eric Pierpoint (as Blake's mom and dad) are the kind of supportive, funny parents you'd hope to have if the world didn't understand you. Brian White nicely fleshes out Antoine.

Director Brad Gottfred shows a real maturity and confidence in both the script and direction. It wasn't until about halfway through that I realized just how complicated the camera work must have been. He's confronted with a similar challenge as M. Night Shyamalan probably had in presenting certain key scenes in the Sixth Sense. And yet he, DP Samuel Ameen and editor Ryan Rothmaier pull it off flawlessly.

During a Q&A after the screening in Cleveland, Gottfred said as of yet there is no distribution deal. I hope it gets one. Until then, if you have the chance to see this at a film festival, be sure to. I'm already looking forward to seeing it again in the theater, on cable, or DVD.
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Do you believe in metaphors?
Tom26 June 2007
This is a concept film that explores the role of movies as metaphors for our lives.

I personally thought it was brilliant. While never said explicitly (that would have ruined the metaphor), I liked the implied parallel of Blake's "audience" as "God" or whatever spiritual force connects people to each other.

Do movies have a role in our lives other than being our "chocolate-covered treats," something we give ourselves only when we feel we deserve a reward for all our work and hardships? Can movies in fact be nourishing? Can they inspire us to live more fulfilling, more productive lives? "The Movie Hero" addresses these questions beautifully. I completely loved it.
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Glad I got to be part of the "audience".
GooGooChristian23 March 2003
I just saw "The Movie Hero" today at the Cleveland International Film Festival. I was pleased.

"The Movie Hero" is hilarious, for one, and also really makes you think about your laughter. The main character keeps talking to his "audience" (us, in a way), but everyone thinks he's crazy for that. He then goes and gets a side-kick, love interest, all the stuff for his movie. The premise is unique and the way it plays with its ideas are just fun. The acting is great and makes it a wonderful, light-hearted film about finding your inner "audience".

We got to talk to the director of this movie after it was shown and he pointed out that he wrote in a week. As a writer, I was amazed. Stupid movies, yeah, maybe, but something like this should take way longer. Kudos to him on that.

"The Movie Hero" is so smart about movies, too, that I even thought about the wonderful film "Adaptation" during the movie. That should tell you enough.
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hartleyfan1 July 2003
I saw The Movie Hero at the Dahlonega International Film Festival and it was

fantastic! Great acting, great directing, great script, great everything! The movie is about the pain and difficulty of making art, even if your "art" is just living your own life. I wish this film was playing "in theaters everywhere" as they say. But it's probably not going to. It looks like it's going to play at a lot of festivals though, so I urge you to find it. You won't be disappointed.
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Great start for a new young writer/director
Spicypup13 April 2003
I caught this last night at the Phoenix Film Festival. There was a lot of good buzz going around about it. The recommendations were definitely justified. Fresh writing, good pacing, family friendly and an excellent cast. Peter Stormare is a great Suspicious Character, and who wouldn't want Dina Meyer as a love interest. This entertaining movie contains all the typical elements of your basic movie plot, but the interaction of the hero with his audience (us) what could have been cliche comes off as fresh. In some ways the audience is like a conscience which may cause us to reflect on our day to day actions, or may cause some to become paranoid (what if someone is watching me all the time).

Overall I really enjoyed it and recommend it if it plays at a festival near you.
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tries way too hard to be charming
levingem6 November 2006
The Short and the Short of It:

-this film tries so hard to tell a story unconventionally, which it kinda does, but the story itself is extremely conventional.

-half of the dialogue is spoken directly to the camera, or "the audience". It is meant to be charming and sweet and witty but in actuality becomes annoying, overused, and ineffective.

-any time something comes along that can be considered a cliché, the "hero" specifically acknowledges this cliché and says something to the effect of "we're going to avoid this plot development, as it is a cliché". Well, "hero", you've actually magnified the problem, because if the "audience" didn't happen to catch it the first time, you went ahead and spelled it out for them immediately afterwards.

BOTTOM LINE......don't waste you time.
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Very charming and original, well worth seeing!!
maitri19645 April 2003
I was so pleasantly surprised to see such creativity in a first-time movie. I was entertained throughout the entire 88 minutes of this film. The acting was excellent, the dialogue intelligent and witty, the location fitting for the story. When the movie was over I had a smile on my face and I am still thinking about the provocative theme of the story days later. This movie deserves to be seen by a wide audience.
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Kind of original.
cjl46721 March 2003
I saw this film at the Cleveland Film Festival, it was one of the few US films showing, so I wanted to see it, but after reading the review in the festival magazine, my expectations were low. The only reason I call this film "kind of original" is because the concept was original, yet the humor that was employed, has kind of already been done.

It is about an aspiring actor in Los Angles, who is considered a failure by most around him. Because of his failure, he creates an imaginary "audience" (that's you), that watches him as he goes through daily life. He goes to great extents to impress his audience by doing things like attacking random suspicious-looking characters on the street. After a few violations, a judge has him see a psychiatrist, and from there, things start getting a little bit more interesting.

It was a pretty upbeat movie, and a few parts had me laughing, but it mostly consisted of making-fun of common film clichés and stereotypes, and despite this, the film still employed a few of these on its own. The main character often talks directly to the audience, which gets sort of irritating and there's also this villain that runs around, who also becomes annoying. The acting was nothing special, but I will give the writer a bit of credit, sometimes you are left wondering where he will go next, but for the most part the film manages to remain entertaining. Pretty average: 5/10.
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Interesting failure
xredgarnetx5 September 2007
The very talented Jeremy Sisto let his hair grow long in 2003 to play the pleasant but delusional hero of THE MOVIE HERO. Sisto imagines he is constantly performing before an audience that only he can see, and he imagines he is a hero looking for a villain to defeat. He finds his nemesis in the versatile Peter Stormare as an apparent serial killer. Along the way, he also picks up a sidekick (Antoin Thompson). The one problem is, he is an unemployed 20-something whose parents are always hoping for better from him. He eventually ends up in the office of a therapist (Dina Meyer of STARSHIP TROOPERS) whom he imagines is his "love interest." Some of this stuff is very funny, but most of the film is a series of closeups of the actors speaking directly into the camera, and they clearly were working with no budget to speak of. It shows. Worth a look by the cineaste, not the mainstream viewer.
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april_sound8 January 2009
most of the critical explanations of this movie i have read are way off...this movie is brilliant and has nothing to do with being overtly charming or endearing... the dialog is complete genius as well as the underlying message..



i hate movies, yet i live in an uscripted version of dillusion and surreal reality...the film that all indie films wish it could be when they are through being pretentious and for lack of better words, boring..(from someone who respects indie films in a creative and cinematic way) learn how to script the unscripted and feed off of tragedy...
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