Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

GENRESBiography,Comedy,Crime,Drama,Romance,Thriller
LANGEnglish,Spanish
ACTOR
Sam RockwellDrew BarrymoreGeorge ClooneyJulia Roberts
DIRECTOR
George Clooney

SYNOPSICS

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) is a English,Spanish movie. George Clooney has directed this movie. Sam Rockwell,Drew Barrymore,George Clooney,Julia Roberts are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2002. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) is considered one of the best Biography,Comedy,Crime,Drama,Romance,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Television made him famous, but his biggest hits happened off-screen. This is the story of a legendary showman's double life - television producer by day, C.I.A. assassin by night. At the height of his television career, Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) was recruited by the C.I.A. and trained to become a covert operative. Or so Barris claimed.

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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) Reviews

  • Fact Stranger Than Fiction

    Buddy-512003-01-24

    We all remember Chuck Barris as the creator of some of television's most successful - albeit notoriously mind-numbing - game shows: `The Dating Game,' `The Newlywed Game,' and `The Gong Show.' But did you know that he was also a hit man for the CIA? Well, that's what he claims, straight from his own `unauthorized autobiography' entitled `Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,' which has now been made into a movie by director George Clooney and writer Charlie Kaufman. Kaufman is known for devising elaborately absurd scenarios for his fictional films (`Being John Malkovich,' `Adaptation' etc.), yet even Kaufman, in his wildest fantasies, could not have come up with a more bizarre premise than the one this real life story affords. No wonder he was drawn to this material. They are a perfect fit. In the world of movies, who says fact isn't stranger than fiction? In many ways, Barris was one of the men responsible for starting the trend towards `reality television' that so dominates network programming today. His most famous hits (especially `The Gong Show') were all based on the premise that millions of Americans would be willing to humiliate themselves in public for a few moments of fleeting fame – and that millions more would tune in to bear witness to the spectacle. Barris, craving fame himself, was simply savvy enough to plug into that national mood - and managed to make himself a fortune and turn himself into a household name in the process. What most of us didn't know about Barris at the time was that, while all this was going on, he was ostensibly leading a double life as a secret agent, tracking down and killing any number of `bad guys,' all in the name of `national security.' Given the inherently incredible, jaw-dropping nature of the material, George Clooney, in his directorial debut, brings an appropriately surrealistic tone to the work. He employs a number of visual devices that help to fragment the world in which the story takes place. Certain scenes break through the constraints of time and space, as when Barris is talking on the phone in his apartment to an ABC executive, who is sitting in his office, and the two locations become one on the screen. The sense of dislocation this technique creates perfectly reflects the mental split occurring in Barris' own disturbed psyche. This style is further enhanced by the use of slightly off-kilter camera angles, color filtering and sepia tones in some of the shots. Scenarist Charlie Kaufman, as always, brings his own quirky vision to bear on the material. He cleverly balances the two `sides' of Barris' life, transitioning smoothly between those scenes revolving around his career as TV show producer and those revolving around his career as CIA operative. Moreover, Kaufman does a nice job getting inside the head of this man who is trying to fight the demons of his own past, make a name for himself in the high stakes world of network programming, cope with his own inadequacies as a person, and come to terms with the vile things he is doing in his secret life all at the same time. As Barris, Sam Rockwell gives a terrific, high-energy performance, capturing the sadness and paranoia of a man who seems to know deep down inside that his fame is probably undeserved, built as it is on mediocre ideas and a willingness to exploit the baser instincts of human nature. Drew Barrymore brings her usual charm to the role of Penny, Barris' one true love and the only person genuinely drawn to Barris as a person, even though he is unable to commit himself to her fully, preferring instead to keep the relationship `casual' and uncommitted. Barris finds it impossible to make a real, meaningful connection to another human being, so twisted has he become in his value system and bizarre lifestyle. Rounding out the cast are Clooney himself, as the mysterious CIA agent who draws Barris into this strange netherworld of intrigue and danger, Rutger Hauer, as a fellow hit man who pours out his feelings about his chosen occupation to Barris, Julia Roberts, as the icy cool CIA operative who pops up at various moments and in various places to keep an eye on the young recruit, and even Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, who show up for a truly hilarious cameo appearance together, one that had the audience at the screening I attended howling with delight. The $64,000 question becomes, of course, is this story even remotely true, or is it merely another case of this master showman's playing the public for all its worth? I haven't the slightest idea. The filmmakers certainly take it all very seriously, as evidenced by the fact that they have various friends and business acquaintances of Barris (Dick Clark, Jay P. Morgan) providing interviews for the film, interviews which hint at the dark possibility that the basis of the story might indeed be factual, given the kind of person these people claim Barris is. This gives the film a kind of pseudo-documentary realism that heightens the verisimilitude of what we are seeing on screen. Whether the film is really a true story or merely a grand lark perpetrated on an increasingly credulous audience, the fact is that `Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' turns out to be a thoroughly entertaining, utterly loony piece of original filmmaking. `Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' marks an auspicious debut for Clooney as a director, who, in his work behind the camera, demonstrates a thorough command of vision and style. One looks forward to his next endeavor.

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  • A highly disarming dark comedy

    soymilk2005-07-09

    One of Charlie Kaufman's more overlooked and underrated screenplays, 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' may have been something of a departure from the high-concept experimentalism that made his previous brainchildren, 'Being John Malkovich' and 'Adaptation' (a masterpiece and a near-masterpiece, respectively) such striking breaths of fresh air, but on no account should its ability to engage and entertain on those strengths of its own be underestimated. Taking a well-earned break from the surreal situations and the complex plotting, Kaufman turned his attention here to a much more straightforward yarn that was better grounded in reality; the twist there being that it was based on a story that, while allegedly true, just as likely never happened. 'Confessions' though is willing to give Chuck Barris the benefit of the doubt in regards to his dubious claims to have been a secret assassin for the CIA in the midst of his days as a game show host, giving life to such controversial classic as 'the Gong Show' and 'the Dating Game' while taking it from a range of human targets around the globe. It sits back and lets the scenario unfold without question – and does so with such considerable spirit and vigour that it's hard not to get lured in and pulled along for the ride. Regardless of whether the real-life Barris truly did have some incredible adventures within his time, or simply an overly-active imagination, this movie translates it into one heck of an enjoyable romp – slick, stylish and entrancing on the surface, and with a bracingly poignant and sobering tale lurking underneath. Kaufman continues to rule supreme with his flair for developing the most heavily flawed and eccentric of characters, investing them with witty dialogue and sharp situations and, as with his previous screenplays, the humour is a pleasantly mixed bag – lightly amusing at some points, laugh-out-loud hilarious at others, even outright alarming whenever it needs to be. George Clooney's direction, meanwhile, though it stands a fair distance from the eye-seizing zippiness that we're used to seeing Spike Jonze apply to this writer's workings, is still an accomplished visual take on the material, made sensational by its meticulous attention to detail. Indeed, the film's fondness for subtle in-jokes, crafty cameos (some great ones among the Dating Game contestants – absolutely great), background gags and general all-round intricacy is partly what makes it so rewarding and worthy of repeated viewings (I was watching it for what must have been sixth or seventh time last night, and still I found myself picking up a whole range of details that I somehow missed out on the first few times around). Sure, things can move a tad slowly every now and then, but with this number of niceties up there to be marvelled at you know you're never for a second going to be bored. It also draws a fine contrast between the two separate pursuits that Chuck Barris is called to follow – the game show scenes are colourful, light-hearted fun, the assassin scenes murky and deliciously paranoid, and Sam Rockwell, at the helm as our savvy and hapless main man, has the timing, the energy and the appeal to emerge from the two as both a comic figure and a tragic one. Kicking off as a likable, familiar kind of anti-hero, whose goofy grin and offhand ways have us smiling through the bar fights and the womanising, he gradually evolves into something more enigmatic and sorrowful; a lost, confused individual whose more innocuous contributions to society, in the form of lowbrow 'trash TV', are widely scorned (not that I've ever seen any of the genuine Chuck Barris's shows myself, but it would amaze me if they were really any worse than the kind of mind-numbing reality TV that's enjoyed popularity over the past few years), while the hidden talent he discovers in contract killing begins to understandably repulse him soon enough. One of the most effective things about 'Confessions' is just how deftly it uses its gags and its pathos, along with interview snippets from those who were acquainted with the real-life Barris, which punctuate the story at various points, to reflect upon this man, his life, and just how much he really achieved either way, arriving in the end at quite a biting conclusion. I don't think that any other rendition of 'If I had a Hammer' could feel nearly as sad and haunting as it does here. Drew Barrymore and Clooney himself offer nice support all the while, each epitomising different ends of the Chuck Barris spectrum – Barrymore, as Chuck's bubbly girlfriend Penny, is a fun-loving innocent; Clooney, as his CIA director, is aptly subtle and mysterious. But neither of them, or anyone else involved for a matter of fact, comes even close to upstaging Rockwell, whose input is simply fantastic – there's no doubt in my mind that the Best Actor Award which, as the blurb on the DVD so proudly states, he picked up at the Berlin International Film Festival for his efforts, was well-and-truly earned. It's not an innovative, far-out, one-of-a-kind experience (a la 'Being John Malkovich'). But it's an entertaining, well-made and entirely satisfying flick with one particularly brilliant stand-out performance, and that's more than enough to do the job. Kaufman can probably pen avant-garde better than anybody else today, but 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' goes to prove that, when in the right company, he can write 'normal' just as impressively. Grade: A

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  • Clooney Plays a Weird Story Straight Up

    gbheron2004-03-04

    What if the creator and host of two of the 1970s biggest and lamest television game shows was also a part-time CIA hitman? That he used The Dating Game and The Gong Show as a cover to stage assassinations in the netherworld of Cold War espionage. Ridiculous you'd say. But that's what exactly what Chuck Barris claims in his autobiography, and Charlie Kaufman accepts carte blanche as the premise for his screenplay. The film plays it straight up as if Barris were telling the truth. Can Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter, and George Clooney, the director pull it off? Mostly. It is competently acted by Sam Rockwell as Barris, Julia Roberts as a fellow spy, Drew Barrymore as his love interest, and director George Clooney as his CIA recruiter and handler. The bizarre landscape, a marriage of television and espionage, is presented without a smirk or wink. If Barris is telling the truth, this is what it must have been like. It's an interesting idea, and Clooney and Kaufman have taken it and crafted an enjoyable film.

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  • Darkly comic tale

    bob the moo2004-01-01

    Chuck Barris is a man who decides that his future is in television and tries to come up with ideas for new shows to elevate himself up from the position of tour guide. When his show isn't picked up from the pilot, he is approached by Jim Byrd who offers him work with the CIA. When he finds out that this work is basically as an assassin, he still does it and begins to become quite proficient at it. When his show ideas get picked up by the network he continues to kill, using his job as a producer as cover. Although I missed this at the cinema, I was keen to get this film when it came out on DVD and wasn't disappointed by the film. The tone from the start is darkly comic, becoming increasingly dark and decreasingly comic as it goes along. Supposedly based on a true story this can be enjoyed with little or no knowledge of the characters and TV shows involved - indeed I had never heard of Barris even if I was aware of what UK TV calls Blind Date. I don't know if it makes it a better or worse film for supposedly being true - I enjoyed it even with me treating it like a work of fiction more than anything else. Not all the plot really worked of course. As it gets darker it begins to lose it's grip and become slightly less entertaining but strangely more watchable. It is at it's best in the first half though. While Barris and Byrd are good characters, some aren't as well used and you get the impression that the script wishes they weren't involved at all, certainly Penny and Patricia were a little confused and what was hinted at was never revealed in terms of who they were. Rockwell runs the film really well and copes with the comic stuff and the darker stuff. Clooney is quite a good character in a small role but he does better as director. He uses cross cuts really well and has a lot of help from his cinematographer in terms of effective use of lighting and such. Considering this is his debut as director he does a surprisingly assured job and has a good sense of style. Stars clutter the support cast, some in OK roles and some in cameos. Barrymore is OK but I didn't find her character that interesting, Roberts is more interesting but the significance of her character in Barris' life wasn't developed well enough. Hauer is good and Pitt, Damon and Gyllenhaal make fleeting appearances. Overall this was a very enjoyable film with it's own unique dark tone and comic content. It may not be 100% successful but it is a film more worthy of viewing than most of the stuff that you see on the shelves at your local video store. Not to everyone tastes perhaps (and it didn't make money at the box office) but Rockwell is great, Clooney shows a deft touch as director and the story is both funny and dramatic even if I'm still unsure whether it is true (or semi-true) or not.

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  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: Deftly Avoiding the Gong

    sixtwentysix2005-04-01

    While quite very obviously a well crafted lie sold as truth this movie does not fail to entertain and was one of the more underrated films of the year of it's release. A commercial failure the film was re-released later based on word of mouth buzz. This film appeals to a fringe audience that remains just out of reach of mainstream films. What do you expect from a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufmann? This film is a telling of the story of Chuck Barris, creator of various TV shows and all around uncomfortable guy. Barris holds many stations in life, TV producer, songwriter and CIA assassin. The meat of this story is not so much in his occupations but the mental condition and back story of Barris throughout the film. With something lurking just below the surface of an ambiguous nature you aren't certain if you should root for Barris or despise him. Through various twists and turns you follow what is one half mockumentary and one half spy thriller the film plays it very loose and fast and it let's your mind run wild and free without the burden of tension that a spy thriller would give. Definitely worth a watch if you enjoy strong acting performances mixed with offbeat plots. Clooney takes what is basically a poor mans "THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE" and makes a very entertaining and watchable film with great acting and stylish but reigned in technique. Finally a someone takes the theory of taking a bad idea and making a fine film and makes good.

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