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Sunday, May 23, 2010

DVD Review: "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"

"Killing my first man was like making love to my first woman."
Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, Frost/Nixon) heads an all-star cast in this George Clooney-directed biopic about the infamous 60s game show host-turned CIA operative Chuck Barris in 2002's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Co-starring Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Clooney and Jerry Wentraub, Confessions follows Barris (Rockwell) on his rise from wannabe TV giant to TV infamy as the host of such shows as "The Dating Show" and the parody talent show "The Gong Show." As he desperately tried to make a name for himself in Hollywood, Barris turned many critics off with his American Idol-like show "The Gong Show," which exploited terrible performance acts (though they willingly competed). Disillusioned by show business, Barris is persuaded into an exciting (though risky) life as a CIA assassin by the shady Jim Byrd (Clooney) and quickly gets caught up in a riveting life of crime. Keeping his moonlighting gig under wraps from all those close to him, including his longtime girlfriend Penny (Barrymore), Barris was able to rack up a whopping total of thirty-something victims and just as many (if not more) female conquests. Barris gets so totally enveloped in his two equally enticing lives, he almost doesn't realize when they're about to collide.

Rockwell is terrific as the notoriously shy yet magnetically mysterious Barris, whose story is told quite cleverly by Clooney. Barrymore is also perfectly cast as the flower child-like sweetheart who become enveloped by Barris's incomprehensible charm. Though the real-life Barris has yet to confirm or deny his double life as detailed in his autobiography of the same name, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is an fascinating tale about an even more fascinating guy .

Reel Talk rating : A


Sam Turner said...

This is one of those films that I always struggle to form a definite opinion on. On one level it's meandering, unfocused and a bit mad but on another Rockwell is aces and whenever I watch it (which I have done several times) I get something knew out of it. A worthwhile oddity perhaps?

Candice Frederick said...

@filmintel totally agree. i was struggling with an opinion of it myself. but rockwell is just so perfect in thsi, as well as drew barrymore.

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