Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Just Average100%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

We Are Little Zombies by Jay Seaver

Darlin' by Jay Seaver

Astronaut (2019) by Jay Seaver

White Storm 2: Drug Lords, The by Jay Seaver

Vivarium by Jay Seaver

Art of Self-Defense, The by Jay Seaver

Crawl by Peter Sobczynski

Swallow by Jay Seaver

Perfection, The by Rob Gonsalves

Luce by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Hollywood North
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by David Cornelius

"Plenty charming."
3 stars

There’s something dependably funny in seeing the production of a movie go all wrong in a zillion different ways. Be it real or fiction, getting to watch as egos burst, millions get wasted, and art turns into trash always makes for a good comedy. (Oh, it can make for good drama, too, but the comedy’s too easy to pass up.) The latest in the long line of films about a movie project gone awry is “Hollywood North,” a pleasant little comedy set in 1979, when the Canadian film industry was struggling to find its footing, its own unique voice.

And how do you make something so inherently Canadian? You hire an American star, of course. That’s the paradox first-time producer Bobby Meyers (Matthew Modine) faces when attempting to adapt his favorite novel to the screen. The novel is regarded as something of a national treasure, and how appropriate it would be for the film to be an all-Canadian production. But then the financer (Alan Thicke) insists that a Hollywood celeb be cast in order to help sell tickets.

Bobby’s cornered into hiring Michael Baytes (Alan Bates), a one-time great actor who’s devolved into a gun nut and conspiracy freak, a hammy lunatic who’s pretty much what you’d get if you took Charlton Heston and Charles Bronson and squished them into one person, then loaded him up on coke and locked him in a bunker. Baytes, paranoid about the troubles in Iran, insists that a complete script overhaul must be done to make the story a pro-democracy anthem, and soon the quaint Cuban-set romance known as “Lantern Moon” is now a gung ho action thriller set in Colombia and called “Flight To Bogota.” Just don’t tell the author.

“Hollywood North” isn’t as clever as, say, the wicked satire of “State and Main.” But what the film lacks in bite and originality, it makes up for in humor and charm. This is a genuinely funny picture, with big laughs coming from seeing just how bad the movie-within-the movie’s becoming. And while many moments get a bit too broad (Baytes eventually becomes convinced that the rebels of the movie are actually out to get him) or familiar (Jennifer Tilly plays the slutty costar, a character that offers nothing new), they’re balanced by warmer, quiter laughs from Modine and Deborah Unger, who plays the gifted filmmaker hired to do a “making of” documentary. And besides, Bates and Tilly are sharp enough to be funnier than their material, and for the most part, they make their punchlines work.

There are jokes I’m sure went over my head, as I’m no expert on the history of the Canadian film industry. But the punchline about how America manages to get into (and ruin) everything is pretty universal stuff, as are notions of compromise in art, chaos spinning out of control, and, well, people acting like jackasses. “Hollywood North” is nothing we haven’t seen before, but it is likable enough and humorous enough to make it worth the time.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=9046&reviewer=392
originally posted: 02/25/07 18:20:30
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.

Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  06-Jan-2004 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2004



Directed by
  Peter O'Brian

Written by
  Peter O'Brian

  Matthew Modine
  Alan Bates
  Jennifer Tilly
  Deborah Kara Unger

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast