An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998)

Somebody needs to burn this film.

In this satire skewering Hollywood movie making, Eric Idle stars as a film editor who gets a shot at directing a big-budget film (starring Sylvester Stallone and Whoopi Goldberg, no less) but is foiled by his producer (Ryan O’Neal). The premise builds on the age-old showbiz tradition of directors pulling their names from projects and replacing them with “Alan Smithee” credits to show that too many cooks have spoiled the cinematic broth.

OK, so now that the movie is finished with let me just start by saying this is a horrible film. I heard that this film was basically called “the worst film of all-time”, and liked swooped seven awards at The Golden Raspberry’s, and I wanted to give it a shot and actually see for myself. Now I wish I never made that decision.

Basically this film has a Mockumentary feel to it, like The Office or This Is Spinal Tap…., but this film takes that and moves it completely nowhere we expected. The film had little scenes that were just interviews that seemed to talk about the same crap after all this time. They were either talking about the director or the movie, or they were showing scenes that had nothing to do with the story at hand.

The worst thing about this film that really just made me want to kill something was it’s annoying on-going jokes about bigger and better stars. I understand a little pun joke here and there but once you do the same joke in a different format then I start to get really annoyed. The jokes labeled around stars such as Hugh Grant, OJ Simpson, and others I can’t remember cause there were so many.

I hated how this film tried to be funny but also insightful in a way, and does neither. The film tries showing how people in the film industry react with one another and really it just doesn’t play out to where we get what is the message behind it all.

Maybe the only the only thing saving this movie is it’s lead performance from Ryan O’Neal. Out of this whole film he is the only good thing as he is so condescending and arrogant that he actually feels like a real person that you just hate. There are little cameos in this film that are just meaningful and make no addition to the story other than just having another big name for the card.

Consensus: Irony has never been placed so wisely. This film should’ve been burned right from the moment it was conceived. The comedy is so obvious that it’s just dumb, and there is absolute no insight about Hollywood that we haven’t seen before.


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