Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) "The sleek visuals Clooney employs sometimes give the movie an intriguing film-noir look, but it's still hard to be compelled by the story of this coarse, self-aggrandizing celebrity. Since his superspy exploits seem thoroughly concocted, we are left with the chronicle of how he foisted his lowest-common-denominator programming on the American public. Frankly, it's not a pretty story that you would want to pay to see."
Lynn Nusser (Preview) says, "The vulgar, sex-obsessed, selfish Chuck Barris is hardly big-screen material. The film treats his murder missions nonchalantly, presenting them as dark comedy. If you decide to see the film with its bad language, sexual content, violence and rear nudity, afterwards you may feel the need to offer up some confessions of your own."from Film Forum, 01/30/03
Earlier this year,
Still, religious press critics have mixed feelings about the film.
J. Robert Parks (review pending at The Phantom Tollbooth) says, "One of my problems with
Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says Clooney shows "promise" but stumbles through "overambitious freshman mistakes." Rockwell, though, shines. "As someone who grew up during the Chuck Barris years of titillating TV innuendo, I found his depiction [of Barris] uncannily accurate."
David Bruce (Hollywood Jesus), calls it "a fun film that takes a serious look at the purpose of life. The film is not what could be described as spiritual. It is more base—just as Chuck Barris' productions were. I must admit that I was hoping for a less explicit screenplay and a PG rating. Accepting it on its own terms, however, Confessions … explores a so-called time of innocence by stripping off the facade of nostalgia. [The film] reminds us that crassness has always been a part of entertainment industry and in popular culture … there has never been a time of innocence. Nostalgia is deceiving. There is nothing new under the sun. The world has always been in a fallen state. Humans have always been as we are."
The film's release has brought with it a resurgence of articles about Barris's strange autobiography. Are his confessions about killing true? Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) says, "When I met Barris I asked him, as everyone does, if this story is true. He declined to answer. The book and the movie speak for themselves—or don't speak for themselves, depending on your frame of mind. As for myself, I think he made it all up and never killed anybody. Having been involved in a weekly television show myself, I know for a melancholy fact that there is just not enough time between tapings to fly off to Helsinki and kill for my government."