Jimmy Hollywood (Blu-ray)
Wannabe actor Jimmy Alto is slumming through Hollywood trying to get that one big break every aspiring actor dreams of, problem is it just isn’t happening for him. With his woman at her wits end, Jimmy and his bumbling sidekick William unwittingly begin a series of events that end up creating a fictitious vigilante organization with Jimmy acting out the role of the leader. The situation rapidly gets out of control as Jimmy constantly tries to trump his antics and as a result makes the police’s most wanted list.
At first glance one might ask themselves why Joe Pesci and Christian Slater would take on a project like this one (seeing as how I’d never heard of this, I myself asked this very question). JIMMY HOLLYWOOD is a different take on the search for stardom. So many people dream of running away to Hollywood and becoming a famous actor or actress but I think we all know how that tends to end most of the time. Case in point, a High School buddy of mine Mike went off to L.A. and then Vancouver to do just that. Like Jimmy, he even referred to himself as an “actor” despite never really starring in anything substantial. Frustrated, Mike moved back home and got into personal training where’s he’s now happy and doing well. Jimmy takes a different route and it’s plainly obvious how he suffers because of it.
With that in mind, the story does shed a distinct light upon the deconstruction of Hollywood California compared to the glory days of celebrities and stardom. The pace is regrettably slow at first, but the underlining themes and emotions tied to these characters are justifiable and even endearing. That said, Jimmy’s so called solution to his acting draught brings about the comedy aspect of this film but ironically enough brings with it a fair amount of truth. I’m not going to say things would play out the same way in the real world but I will say that the end result would no doubt be similar (I won’t go into details and ruin an ending that made the two hours well worth while).
The easiest thing to love about this film is Pesci himself. Sure, the man’s made just as many throwaway flicks as he has blockbusters but there’s no questioning his flawless personality and ability to entertain (I’ll always love his pen scene in CASINO and pretty much his entire performance in GOODFELLAS most of all). I was disappointed in Slater here though, I mean really, this was the best you could pull off in the nineties!? I met Slater in Toronto about four years ago when he was promoting a film at the Toronto Film Festival and he’s a hell of a cool guy. He was stone cold sober and I was absolutely trashed but he was able to look past that and we had a pretty good conversation about the business. He’s a fantastic actor and I hope he gets a comeback role he can bank on here soon.
JIMMY HOLLYWOOD isn’t awe inspiring or “must see” cinema but I won’t argue the accuracy and relevance of this film’s underlining message concerning Hollywood’s days of old. If you’re a fan of Pesci’s work you’ll no doubt enjoy him here but don’t expect much out of Slater as his role is sadly hollow aside from the remotely humorous Mummy phobia from his childhood. All in all I could recommend it for that rainy day when nothing else is on but don’t waste your cold hard cash on it, especially considering the lack of extras.
Video: 1.78:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. Hollywood looks rather glum through the eyes of Jimmy Alto but the transfer’s decent for a mid nineties flick.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English and Spanish with the same subtitle options. For all the dialogue Slater has, most of it is annoyingly repetitive and that’s a shame.
Previews: Sadly there isn’t much here to work with aside from one commercial sporting some LIONSGATE flicks coming soon to Blu-ray. I’m glad to see CHAOS is coming though.