Friday, March 25, 2016

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood, Burn! (1997)

How bad is it? It's a failed comedy of "Ishtar" dimensions.
Should you see it? Only if you work in Hollywood.

This film had a budget 1000 times that of most films on this blog and it has the technical quality of a major motion picture. Unfortunately, it's all inside-the-industry humor and it misfires. The main plot line is good: a director actually named "Alan Smithee" makes a film, he feels the studio ruined it and wants his name taken off of it, but his name is the one they put on films directors disown, so he has to physically stop the film's release. Eric Idle was a poor choice for the director role and the multitude of cameos by major stars don't really add anything. The jokes are there; the more you know about making films, the more you'll get it, but the timing isn't right and most of it falls flat. The most interesting thing about the film (to me) is that the director, Arthur Hiller, disowned the film and had his name removed, making it an actual film by Alan Smithee - this sounds like a calculated stunt, but Hiller appears to really hate this film!

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