Hollywoodland ***


Adrial Brody in "Hollywoodland"

“Hollywood” land is a nice slice of Hollywood myth crossed with a real life murder.  It is also a nice little venture in to the back lots of the film capitol.  We get to see in to the lives of the people who are trying to break in to the business, and what they will go through to get it.  It is also very well acted and almost well directed.

Adrian Brody plays private detective Louis Simo.  Hired by the mother of the late George Reeves, the TV Superman, he looks in to the circumstances surrounding his death a little closer.  What he finds is spotty work by the police as well as a possible cover up.  Turns out George, played by Ben Affleck, was having a full blown affair with Toni Mannix played by Diane Lane.  She is the wife of a powerful studio producer played by Bob Hoskins. 

But the movie is also about Simo himself.  He is sort of a dead beat dad as well as a dead beat ex-husband.  His private eye business is pretty much a sham.  He keeps taking the money from a desperate fool who is convinced that his wife is cheating on him.  Half way through the movie there is a tough scene when this guy finally kills his wife and Simo gets called to the scene.

Adrian Brody is perfect for this role.  Watch as he sarcastically throws the media bone by throwing a half fabricated, half true story at them to get headlines in the paper.  But, later that confidence is shot when he shows up to pick up his son from school drunk and beat up.  Brody won a surprise Oscar in 2002 for his role in “The Pianist” and has since balanced his career with smaller movies like this and bigger movies like “King Kong”.  In both types of film he always shines. 

The rest of the cast is quite good as well, especially Ben Affleck as the late George Reeves.  He plays Reeves as a man who has more ambition and maybe more talent then the studios will give him credit for.  When he gets typecast as Superman, he becomes slowly depressed.  To the point where he actually barbeques his costume in glee when they get cancelled.

Whether or not this movie will change your belief on what happened to Mr. Reeves I don’t know.  I do believe that his death was surrounded by some suspicious circumstances.  As for the movie, I enjoyed it to a certain degree.  I felt it really seemed to drag on in the end.  I found Simo’s conclusion of what happened to Reeves was a little bit strange considering the whole movie just tried to convince us otherwise.  But I enjoy movies about private eyes, wading their way through the sleazy undergrounds, and unearthing secrets that nobody wants to know about.


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