"The true story of a man who posed as director Stanley Kubrick during the production of Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut, despite knowing very little about his work and looking nothing like him."
I remember when the teaser trailer popped out for this film a long time ago and it was making it's rounds among film geeks with the title of "hey, have you heard of this movie?!" to go along with it Why it had this title to go with it was because a film about a guy posing as Kubrick, as well as the simple but effective teaser, made the film to be out like it would be a great film.
Sadly though the movie never came out. It left it's previous title it once had among film geeks and instead adopted the title of "whatever happened to that movie?" It just never came out and film geeks around the Internet just forgot about it until out of nowhere the movie came out in theaters,DVD, and cable a couple of weeks ago.
I should have never given this the benefit of the doubt. I should have just said to myself that there must have been a reason that the film took so long to come out. Instead I saw it hoping that it would deliver a great story for all film buffs to love due to it's subject matter. instead the film is an insult to all film buffs, at least in my opinion.
Sure the film has a lot of in jokes but it's this same factor which already had me cringing within the first 5 minutes. The film starts out with 2 guys walking the streets of Englad meanwhile the Clockwork Orange music kicks in. "ok, that's fine" I said but it never stops. Every 10 minutes we get another "wink wink" from the director by using different music from different Kubrick films. The only thing is that all these "wink winks" are right in your face and just scream of "hey!! You get it?!?! I'm using Kubrick references!" Not only this but we also get some other film buff in jokes every couple of minutes. This would be fine but since the film barely lasts over 80 minutes all these "homages" only serve to distract than anything else.
Maybe I am being too harsh on it because I found all these references annoying, ok. Now lets talk about the actual film. It's sloppy and it's horrible. Random useless scenes come and go as well as random useless little story points that only serve to tell us "this guy is whacky!" Of course we already know that from the first couple of minutes, having him run around in little subplots doesn't make this character have any more depth or have anything else in the movie have much of a purpose.
When the film finally decides to stick to one storyline, its not a great one. It once again feels rushed and pointless as well. It once again only shows us how whacky this guy is. Ok, maybe I am taking this film too seriously and it's meant to be taken as a comedy, or even a dark comedy. Ok, lets talk about the "comedy" in the film.
When a gay character in the film tells a journalist "Hi, I'm Butch" and the journalist responds with "of course you are" We are supposed to laugh but instead we once again cringe. Every attempt of comedy falls flat on its face. When we meet another gay character as he lip syncs Lionel Richies "Hello" we are supposed to either be laughing hard or being blown away by the wittiness. I really have no clue but lets say if just this one sequence was the only thing bad about an already great film...it would damage the film a lot. Luckily though the movie is already bad enough and this odd sequence doesn't really matter much anymore by the time it begins.
One other annoying thing about the film which I am started to notice is a gimmick that can never be pulled off is a self reference within the film. For example in this one "Kubrick" (John Malkovich) is talking about who he is trying to cast in his next movie. He starts to name names and within all these names he says.....wait for it.... John Malkovich! He then adds on a little bit more about how studios don't think he can carry a movie by himself etc... We should be going "wow that was really smart! haha!" but once again the gag falls flat on it's face along with everything else in the movie.
The only good thing I can say about the movie is that Malkovich is great in it. He is the only thing that saves the film from being a total waste of time. He is over the top and having the time of his life in this one and it is nice to see him having to so much fun. However, we are not. His performance deserved a better film but this is sadly all we get.
The film that should have been a great watch for any film buff ends up being one of the most painful watches. This could have been so much greater and I hate it that this is what we all ended up getting. This had so much potential that was just wasted that it's just incredible.