All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Celebrity

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Leonardo DiCaprio
Director: Woody Allen
Rated: R
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: November 1998
Genre: Comedy

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

The famous Shakespearean actor, Kenneth Branagh, plays the Woody Allen part in Woody's latest film, CELEBRITY. Kenneth Branagh plays the story's protagonist, a magazine reporter and celebrity groupie named Lee Simon.

Branagh has carefully trained himself to sound exactly like Woody, right down to Woody's fast-paced, rambling cadence. It's an eerie performance that makes one yearn for the real McCoy. Still, Branagh makes a commendable attempt in a miscast part.

The story about a group of vain, amoral celebrities is a breezy comedy that provides several nice laughs even if it never amounts to much of anything. Basically, the characters play a two-hour game of musical beds. The movie could have used some of those opera supertitles giving the current pairings, as it is frequently hard to keep straight who is currently sleeping with whom.

Filmed in a handsome black and white by Sven Nykvist and overlaid with one of Woody's typical jazz scores full of bittersweet melodies, the relaxed picture doesn't have the pretensions of many Allen films and is even fairly angst-free.

The film contains such a cornucopia of acting talent that it begins to get in the way of the storyline. Trimmed of many of the minor characters and cameos, the story could have had more punch. Did we have to have the scene of Donald Trump bragging that he just purchased St. Patrick's Cathedral and was going to replace it with a beautiful skyscraper? And wouldn't a half-dozen characters being really funny trump 3 dozen performing hit-and-run comedy?

Melanie Griffith plays a famous and married actress who has very physical relations with Lee within an hour after meeting him. She explains that the form of sex they are having doesn't break her marriage vows. (I think we've heard that one before.) Lee, who is one of the movie's most fidelity-challenged characters, enjoys every minute of it. And then he's off on his next pursuit.

As soon as Lee lays eyes on the gorgeous supermodel played by Charlize Theron, he knows he has to have her. She explains to him at a party that she has "a weakness, not a flaw," that causes her to go orgasmic when she is touched anywhere on her body.

A middle-aged couple at the party asks the supermodel for her autograph. "I use your exercise tape," the woman says to her. "So do I!" her husband pops up, almost slobbering. "But I exercise to it," the wife tells her husband with a look of disgust.

During the movie, Lee gets divorced from his wife, Robin, played by Judy Davis. After the divorce he runs into her and her boyfriend (Joe Mantegna) at a press screening of a new movie. The screening is complete with fresh flowers and champagne in the lobby. (Real press screenings are not quite like that, although we do sometimes get free soda.)

The screening is of a black-and-white, arty movie by a "pretentious" director. There is a famous critic there who, we are told, used to hate every movie, but, since he got a young, big-bosomed wife, he likes them all.

Robin, who suspects that her first marriage was destroyed partly through her lack of sexual skills, goes to a professional to learn better sexual techniques. The resulting banana scene contains some delicious physical comedy.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a horribly unsympathetic character. A star whose fame has gone to his head, he is first seen while screaming obscenities as he abuses his girlfriend in their fancy hotel room.

A never cuter Winona Ryder plays Lee's last conquest. She warns him early on that she has a wandering eye, but he's still in shock when she follows through on her proclivities.

The film has very abrupt ending. It is almost as if Woody said, "whoops we've gone on too long. Cut. It's a wrap." It's too bad that before he wrapped it, he didn't give it more focus and trim it some. Still, even if it is just a piece of fluff, it is entertaining.

CELEBRITY runs 1:53. It is rated R for sex, profanity, and drug usage and would be acceptable for older and mature teenagers.

Copyright İ 1998 Steve Rhodes

More reviews:
Main  2   3  4   5   6   7   8   Next >>
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright İ 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us