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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs & Blockbusters (review)

Believe me, I would be delighted to listen to George Clooney read from a Chinese takeout menu, so it’s not at all unpleasant to see him here talking about the art and alchemy of making movies. Exactly why he’s here, though — or why Peter Bogdanovich, Charlize Theron, Danny DeVito, Jodie Foster, Steven Spielberg, or the host of other actors, directors, and/or producers are here — is a bit of a mystery. Allegedly a celebration of the trade newspaper Variety’s 100th anniversary, this HBO documentary features a slew of famous faces chatting about their work, what motivates them creatively, and the very, very slim line between a film that’s a huge box office hit and one that flops with audiences and critics alike. No movie lover will be able to resist grinning like a fiend at the many snippets of truly great movies that illustrate the interviews, I’m not sure why anyone would deliberately sit down to watch this compilation, either. The whole thing plays like one of those puffy fillers that run during the Oscars, and while that’s a fine thing to keep your attention in that long dry spell between Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay, that’s about all it’s good for. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: rated TV14

viewed at home on a small screen

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