An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997)

UPDATED: Monday, February 8, 2021 11:25
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Monday, February 8, 2021 11:25 AM


Critics HATED this movie. Most people never heard about it. Those that saw it, generally seemed to hate it.

Rotten Tomatoes Scores

Critics: 8% / Audience: 14%

I went into it completely blind, and I'd rather not say any more about it to anybody else than I knew going into it. I'll try to do that here:

PLOT: Alan Smithee, if you didn't already know, is the fake director who's name was used on any film that the director of a movie would refuse to put his name on after he or she felt that they lost complete creative control.

But what happens when your directing a movie you've lost complete creative control of the feature and your name already is Alan Smithee?

You probably have seen at least a hand full of Smithee flicks in your life and not even been aware of it.

ACTORS: Eric Idle is Alan Smithee. Richard Jeni and Ryan O'Neil play my two favorite characters... Hollywood Producers. I have vague recollections of seeing the late Jeni in some minor acting roles when I was a kid and I remember enjoying his standup. I loved him in this flick.

"Special Guest Stars" are the billing given to Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan.

But I think the REAL special guest star for the movie is a young-ish Harvey Weinstein as the Private Detective. Honestly, I didn't even know that was him (quite a bit skinnier back in '97), but I do remember thinking to myself "Poor guy has Harvey Weinstien face". But that thought was buried immediately since you really have to be paying attention to the dialog in this movie when it's being thrown at you at a lightning fast pace.

The rest of the cast is littered with a whole bunch of people you probably saw a lot in the late 90's and early 2000's and haven't given much thought to since then.

Other than my personal thoughts and rating, I won't say any more about the movie for now, in hopes that maybe a few of you who have never seen it or likely never even heard about it give it a watch and let me know what you'd think. I'd love to discuss this film and I'm even open to watching it again and maybe even doing some analysis of the film itself, why it was destroyed in the box office and how come nobody has really ever heard of it before.

My spoiler free personal thoughts?

I loved every minute of it. Though comedy is subjective, I think perhaps it wasn't as side-splittingly funny as it was supposed to be, but there were quite a few moments where I laughed out loud to myself.

It was one of the more engaging movies I remember seeing. It's probably a movie that you should watch alone, at least for the first viewing. You really can't have any distractions going on. If you like beer or weed, I'd recommend passing on that before firing this flick up too. You're going to want a clear head for it.

I really can't see why it gets such abysmal reviews. Even IMDB has it only at 3.5/10. I did notice in the reviews that several people from the UK seem to think that Americans don't get the irony of the flick and the reason the movie failed and didn't even make it anywhere internationally is because the US audience is dumb. Maybe there's truth to that? (They probably only even know about it because of Eric Idle).

I also can't really talk about the way it was filmed without ruining part of the experience either, but I have to say I think it was just ahead of its time. If you think back to 97 when watching this you'll realize that even though we've seen this quite a bit since then, it was fairly novel for the time.

I think in the post Me-Too movement, and after having watched Hollywood go full SJW for a few years before the Plandemic all but tore Hollywood down, this movie should be due for a revival.

My call: 9 out of 10; Would recommend, would watch again.

22 years is a long time. Maybe the audience has grown up a little bit and they'd get it now?






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