Hollywoodland

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stars] [IMDb Link]

Not to age myself or anything, but I still remember the shock I felt back in 1959 when I read that George Reeves, star of the old Adventures of Superman TV show had shot himself. So you might think I was an obvious sucker for this movie, centered around that event. But … it's just OK.

The movie follows two timetracks: the first is that of seedy PI Louis Simo, played by Adrien Brody, hired by Reeves' mother to investigate the alleged suicide. The second details how Reeves (played by Ben Affleck) progressed from a 1940s player of bit parts, to getting cast (and typecast) as Superman, to becoming a dead guy, all while making bad romantic choices.

Acting ranges from OK to really good, although—sorry, Ben!—Affleck is only sporadically a good fit for Reeves. Neither the fictional Simo nor the fictionalized Reeves is much of a hero. And—possible spoiler here—although different scenarios are presented as to how Reeves' death could have been other than suicide, that little detail remains unresolved at the end of the movie, just like in real life. There is some effort to draw parallels between the life paths of Simo and Reeves, but that seems strained and ultimately lame.

The movie looks great, though, and there's some cleverness in inserting Affleck into Reeves' TV and movie roles.


Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:23 PM EDT