Directed by Frank Darabont.
Written by Michael Sloane.
Starring Jim Carrey.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 12/27/01
Happy holidays...whatever those might be!
So, in the quest to see 75 flicks total for
the year, this is going to be a busy week. So, expect to see a few
more of these reviews before the year is out. On Christmas Eve, I
took in the new Jim Carrey flick "The Majestic." Why? Well, it was
one of the two movies at the multiplex in Sun City, California that
I hadn't seen yet...and, it was directed by Frank Darabont, who
directed "The Shawshank Redemption", one of my favorites.
Carrey plays Hollywood screenwriter Peter
Appleton, whose first decent movie is about to premiere as "The
Majestic" opens sometime just after World War II has ended. Soon
after his film opens, he finds out that he is about to be
blacklisted by his movie studio because he is possibly...a
Communist! Fearing that his just-burgeoning career is about to go
bust, he spends a night boozing it up at a local bar and tries to
drive home...only to careen off of a bridge, almost drown and bump
his head so hard that he knocks himself unconscious.
Appleton wakes up remembering nothing, while
suffering temporary amnesia and having no idea who he is. What he
does find out, after a stranger finds him on the coast near that
bridge, is that he bears a striking resemblance to a lost war
veteran named Luke that lived in the neighboring town. Peter spends
the rest of the film trying to regain his real identity, while
filling the void left by this missing war veteran's memory.
Really, the movie is simpler than this, and
you have to see it to know what I mean. Once again, Darabont takes
his time setting up the storyline, and the people, plus made-up
California town Lawson, serve for an easygoing backdrop for the
story. Carrey is very good as the know-nothing Appleton, and good
support is given from Oscar-winner Martin Landau ("Ed Wood") and the
beautiful Laurie Holden as Luke's lost love. And, much of the music
is from a jazz band that plays songs throughout the film; the score
and the Lawson sets are probably the biggest strengths of the film.
It gets a little preachy at the end, as
Darabont deals with the fate of blacklisted screenwriters in
post-WWII America. But, this is a summer movie packaged for a
Christmas audience. I enjoyed this one a lot, and it helps to have
a great appreciation for the movies; in some ways, this is like
"Cinema Paradiso" in how "The Majestic" deals with the Carrey/Landau
love of the movies. And, if you keep your eyes open, you will
recognize a relic from a movie released 20 years ago that Steven
Spielberg lent to "The Majestic." (He is even credited in the end
credits.) Very cool!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard