For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – L.A. Films, here’s a review of Hollywoodland (2006) by Amanda of Hollywood Consumer.
If you missed any of the reviews, here’s a recap:
- Shopgirl (2005) – Amanda
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Rob
- Repo Man (1984) – David
- Chinatown (1974) – Amanda
- Mulholland Drive – David
- Speed (1994) – Darren
- Speed (1994) – Rob
- Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – Amanda
- Hollywood Knights (1980) – Dubsism
- Die Hard (1988) – Rob
- Xanadu (1980) – Quiggy
- The Decline of the Western Civilization Trilogy (1981, 1988, 1998) – David
- Volcano (1997) – Darren
- Hollywoodland (2006) – Amanda
In addition, I reviewed 9 Films for my companion series – Genre Guesstimation. Unfortunately, none of them will now be considered among my favorites of the genre.
- The Limey (1999)
- The Hollywood Knights (1980)
- The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991)
- Shopgirl (2005)
- La La Land (2016)
- The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story (2014)
- The Unauthorized Full House Story (2015)
- The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story (2015)
- The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story (2015)
Thanks again to Amanda of Hollywood Consumer for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s genre has been chosen by David of Blueprint Review and we will be reviewing our favorite Hong Kong Martial Arts Movies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Nov by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice David!
Let’s see what Amanda thought of this movie:
Following up my reviews of Shopgirl and Chinatown for Movie Rob’s Genre Grandeur with a look at Hollywoodland. Hollywoodland is a pretty solid 2006 release that attempted to revive the Noir genre, and I don’t feel like it has gotten enough attention over the years, which is why I chose to highlight it today.
The film follows Louis Simo, played by Adrian Brody, as he is investigating the death of George Reeves, played by a pre-Batman Ben Affleck. As he digs deeper into the life of the television star, he is exposed to the ever-corrupt Hollywood movie scene and the greediness of people trying to make it big in the city of dreams. The film demonstrates that in Hollywood, not everyone’s dreams come true. George Reeves was given a starring role on a highly rated television show and yet he wanted more. He could not have more because once he was Superman that is who he would always be. He wanted to star in major motion pictures and he wanted to be a success. He could not have all of that though because the small success he had gained in the end turned into his ruined career.
As is true in Los Angeles and Hollywood, many people come to make it as big stars and few actually get the satisfaction of achieving this dream. Hollywoodland contrats the parties of movie stars and producers with darker sides of the city like police corruption. It suggests Hollywood is where dreamers come and more often than not they are severely disappointed. Reeves has found success but is then restricted by it, and in the end unhappy with the way his life has turned out. This is a true Hollywood story. It happens every day and it happened to Reeves.
The film pits Simo’s own stalling career and unhappy life against that of Reeves. He is a prime example of the classic jaded detective from a Noir film. He drinks too much, has a rough relationship with his loved ones, and struggles to find success. In the end though, Simo might actually have a more hopeful, if not happier ending than most detectives in the genre. It is the ending that makes this film feel very much like a “Hollywood film” in that it can’t quite commit to too harsh a finish for our main character. It has to leave a smidgen of hope for its audience to cling to, and in that respect it is very LA.