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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Book & Movie Review: Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

Unknown Comic: Is my fly open?
Chuck Barris: No, it isn't.
Unknown Comic: Well, it should be. I'm peein'.

The book Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind is a b-culture classic, one I'll read every few years like I do John Water's Shock Value. It's a companion piece to Lloyd Kaufman's book. Both men tell much more than you want to know about their bowl movements and embarrassing personality defects. All three men manage to be endearing and repulsive in equal measure.

Was the creator of The Gong Show and The Newlywed Game really a CIA hitman? Like the old punk song goes, "who knows, who cares, why bother." Fact, fiction or biomythography, Confessions is hilarious, action packed and if it were an actress its name would be Paige Turner. I didn't mean that, so I'm Joyce Keating.

Once again, a classic.

The movie is a mixed bag. The first time I thought it was ok. After reading the book I watched again and found it paled in comparison. Sam Rockwell does well as Chuck Barris. Director George Clooney clumsily injects politics into a non-political book. Charlie Kaufman's script has its moments but makes unneccessary changes. The last kill scene is confusing, cheap and not as good as the book. Clooney's demise is colorful so that works. I didn't need to see Rockwell's ass once, forget repeatedly. The best added character is Robert John Burke as CIA kill instructor Jenks, whose bit as an FCC agent is the best facial comedy I've seen in ages.


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