Superhero Down
Review by Ross Anthony

If you grew up watching George Reeves as Superman the first time around or in reruns -- you probably were captivated by his charm, despite the hokiness of the show. You may not know that George's life came to an unexpected early end and under suspicious circumstances.

Hollywoodland focuses it's cameras on this story through the eyes of a private detective whose own life is somewhat desperate. Adrian Brody is brilliant in the part. He sparks the life into a pretty good script. The casting of Ben Afflect for the part of Reeves takes some getting used to. It seems wrong, but eventually he wriggles his way into the suit. Diane Lane is gorgeous and a fine actress. That said, I didn't appreciate the artistic choice to direct their scenes together (Afflect and Lane) with a nostalgic period acting inflection. Perhaps that choice was made to help differentiate the “past tense” scenes that were inserted in the timeline of the detective investigating the death.

It's a film with a strong drive that resolves quite subtly. Some may find that ending disappointing. Myself, I liked it, but thought it could have been executed better -- with more emotional impact. To compound the problem, there’s sort of an undefined wrinkle in the timeline between the end of the Superman series and George’s death which unfortunately leaves the subtle ending feeling somewhat unbalanced.

Despite it's imperfections, the strong direction, script and performance by Brody nudge the picture into the A- range, a stronger climax and resolution would have kept it there. Good to see Joe Spano again. He did a fine job in “Hill Street Blues” all those years ago and is solid here as well.

  • Hollywoodland. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Lois Smith, Robin Tunney, Jeffrey DeMunn, Joe Spano.
  • Directed by Allen Coulter.
  • Screenplay by Paul Bernbaum.
  • Produced by Glenn Williamson at Focus Features/Miramax Films/Back Lot pictures.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:01 PDT