Thursday, August 1, 2013

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Synopsis: Gong Show impresario becomes killer for America's Central Intelligence Agency while simultaneously killing America's intelligence.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “While a maverick creator of America’s favorite game shows gains notoriety for his smash television shows, he is also drawn into a shadowy world of danger as a covert government operative!”

What Did I Learn?: According to one character: "Insane asylums are filled with people who think they're Jesus or Satan. Very few have delusions of being a guy down the block who works for an insurance company."


You Might Like This Movie If: You've always wanted to see a movie based on Chuck Barris' mental breakdown and The Gong Show. Oh wait...

Really?: 1) I've never worked in television before, but is it all that easy to take off from a successful show for a week or two, fly half-way around the world and kill people for Uncle Sam, when there are always a zillion details that need ironing out? 2) So, how does the CIA know so many supposedly-hidden details about Barris' life (the "strawberry dick" incident, or that his real father was a serial killer)? I think an explanation is in order, and it never arrives.

Rating: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a very strange, semi-biographical story of the legendary Chuck Barris; dark and creepy streetscapes from a LeCarré novel coexist with loud and garish game show sets. The movie is visually impressive and a lot of fun, but the protagonist is somewhat unlikeable, so it's difficult to relate to him. I realize Confessions is based upon Barris' pulp autobiography (although the film leaves out a LOT of details about his life - it won't tell you he had a daughter, or that he's been married several times), but it might have worked a bit better had it focused either on the television experiences, or on the spy stuff. For that matter, the movie tells us Barris had a mental breakdown in 1980, but presents the CIA segments as factual; a better approach might have been to left the audience guessing about whether or not the assassinations occurred only in Barris' head. 7.5/10 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.