Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film


"Thank you, Sylvester Stallone, for talking Jackie into wasting his time with this mercifully obscure solid waste product. "

- Numskull

Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film (1997)

AKA: An Alan Smithee Film

Director: Arthur Hiller

Producer: Joe Eszterhas, Ben Myron , Andrew G. Vajna

Writer: Joe Eszterhas

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Jackie Chan, Eric Idle, Robert Evans, Robert Shapiro, Shane Black, Larry King, Anthony Pellicano, Chuck D, Coolio, Ryan O'Neal, Richard Jeni

Running Time: 85 min.

Plot: When a director doesn't want his name associated with a film he's worked on, the director's credit goes to the pseudonym, Alan Smithee. This is about a fictitious director who kidnaps his own action movie because he's dreading the finished project. The moniker is little known to the masses, and this film is about to blow the cover for the pseudonym - which normally means the film was taken away from the director, or it's so bad that the director doesn't want to be associated with it. The big problem is, the director's name is REALLY Alan Smithee!


JAMES H'S REVIEW: It is beyond me how anyone could think that a film about Alan Smithee and written by Joe Eszterhas could be worth the time of day. For those readers who do not know, Alan Smithee is the pseudonym used by directors who do not want their real name attached to a film for any number of reasons (i.e. they are unhappy with the final cut).

Again, this proves my theory that a film written by Joe Eszterhas is bad. "Basic Instinct" was bad. As were "Flashdance" and "Jagged Edge", and lest we forget "Showgirls". He is like an adult-oriented Akiva Goldsman (he wrote "Batman & Robin" and "Lost in Space" amongst many other atrocities). The writing is just plain awful, as one would come to expect with Mr. Eszterhas. Evidentially, "Burn Hollywood Burn" is a comedy. The viewer would have no clue by watching this waste of celluloid. Perhaps Eszterhas thinks that by having Chuck D and Coolio say the words "bitch" and "motherfucker" ad nauseam, people will laugh. Guess again Joey.

Which brings me to my next point, the actors. Never in my long movie watching career have I seen such talent been wasted on pure and utter shit. Eric Idle, from Monty Python fame looks terrible in the title role of Alan Smithee. He tries and tries to make jokes work, but even Idle's enormous talent cannot save this wretched material. Richard Jeni, a fine actor and great comedian, is lost in this mess of a movie. But, let us not forget the serious miscasting as well. Coolio and Chuck D, both cannot act and fail in their roles. Sylvester Stallone, after several box office failures does nothing to help his career by making a brief appearance here. The same goes for Jackie Chan, who is still trying to make it big in North America. After the success of "Rush Hour", this film and "Twin Dragons"s is almost sure to destroy his credibility.

Again, I haven't the slightest clue how a film like this could get made. I'd also like to reiterate that it's not worth the time to pick it up off of the shelf at the video store. Leave this one alone. Always and forever.


KISHIGAI'S REVIEW: Crap. Jackie does say the F-word though. But still, crap. Don't even get curious. It's crap. You can go out to your lawn and see crap for free, this crap will cost you money (I mean dog crap by the way). Not worth your money. Crap.


NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: About two-thirds of the way (give or take a few minutes) through this movie, Eric Idle says (give or take a few words): "As film lovers, isn't it our responsibility to protect the world from bad ones?"

It certainly is, Eric, and if you weren't just drifting through life subconsciously blurring the gaps between work-made-for-hire jobs and lamenting the demise of Monty Python's Flying Circus, I would rip you a new asshole (verbally, at least) on the grounds of glaring hypocrisy. Worry not, though...I'd never do such a thing to the guy who nearly caused me to lose control of my bowels at the end of Monty Python's Life of Brian, even if he did go on to hold supporting roles in pieces of shit like Yellowbeard and The Adventures of Baron Munchaussen (directed by Terry "12 Monkeys" Gilliam, who should have stuck to making those totally bitchin', if crudely animated, cartoons..."The NOT white car represents ANOTHER toothpaste!"). And, speaking of cartoons, if anyone ever puts a gun to your head and asks for three people who did voices for Transformers: The Movie (more than meets the eye mother fucker!), you can mention Idle along with Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles (!).

Well, I haven't said much about Burn Hollywood Burn, but in my own defense I would like to say that it has about as many features that are worth talking about as Marilyn Manson has inhibitions. After the hilarious "Don't fuck with me" intro (including the line "I'll Sean Penn your ass!"), what a bitter disappointment it was to endure 85 minutes of...what animal will it be...how about a yak. Yeah, that's it. 85 minutes of yak shit.

Almost anyone with a pulse can tell you that the #1 condition that a film must fulfill in order to be classified as a comedy is that it must be funny (unless you follow the Shakespearean school of thought, which says that a comedy need only have a happy ending). Well, except for the first four minutes or so, this movie is about as funny as having your kneecaps broken with a sledge hammer, having your innards devoured by vultures while you are still able to draw breath, and having an alcoholic's steaming hot, blood-laced urine poured down your throat all at the same time.

Thank you, Sylvester Stallone, for talking Jackie into wasting his time with this mercifully obscure solid waste product. Thank you, Blockbuster Video, for only stocking one copy so that Average Joe searching for something off the beaten path will be less likely to be able to throw his money away on this, the worst movie I've seen since Dark Shitty...er, City. And, most of all, thank YOU, dear reader, for wading through my verbal diarrhea and giving this review the attention it doesn't really deserve, unless of course you just skipped ahead to this paragraph, in which case may your genitals malfunction and your ears ring with the New Kids On The Block's greatest hits (both of them) for the rest of your wretched days.


P.S.: One last thing: in an editing room scene, Eric Idle sees the producers' cut of his movie and says "You've sodomized it!".

Yeah, that's right...Joe Esterhazs (sp.?) stole my trademark. If the legal system can't produce swift and merciless justice then by God my blazing automatic handguns of righteousness will...

NUMSKULL'S RATING: 2/10 and don't fuck with me.