I’M STILL HERE - On Demand TodaySeptember 24, 2010

I’M STILL HERE - On Demand Today

Magnolia Pictures

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: I'M STILL HERE.
Email John Werner


Reality TV has been with us for a long time, and will likely be around for the duration. Audiences like it and it’s relatively cheap to make. So why not make a reality movie?

Apparently, Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix are so impressed by the Kim Kardashians and Snookis of the world that they decided to squander their talent and make I’M STILL HERE. The film, we are supposed to believe, documents Mr. Phoenix’s retirement from acting and failed attempt at a hip hop career.

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck (Magnolia)

When I invited my friend Dan to join me for the I’M STILL HERE screening he begged off by asking, “Why would I go see a movie about a movie actor who’s acting like he doesn’t want to act any more?” (This from a man who thinks JACKASS 2 is great classic cinema.) Well Dan, I can’t answer that question, even after seeing the movie and even after seeing Joaquin Phoenix on “Late Show with David Letterman” Wednesday  night.

 

I'M STILL HERE


When I invited my friend Dan to join me for the I’M STILL HERE screening he begged off by asking, “Why would I go see a movie about a movie actor who’s acting like he doesn’t want to act any more?” (This from a man who thinks JACKASS 2 is great classic cinema.) Well Dan, I can’t answer that question, even after seeing the movie and even after seeing Joaquin Phoenix on “Late Show with David Letterman” last night.

And since Casey Affleck, the director, writer and producer of I’M STILL HERE, recently told the New York Times that it was all a hoax, it’s even more of a conundrum. Joaquin told Dave that they wanted to make a film that explored celebrity and the media. Something that felt authentic. Oh, it’s authentic and a hoax! Now I get it!

If it weren’t a hoax, this story of a talented actor unraveling in public would be sad. The fact that it is a hoax makes it even sadder. For you boomers out there, Joaquin looks like Mr. French on crack. For the younger crowd think Zach Galifianakis. Hey, come to think of it, if it were a scripted film starring Zach it would likely be a brilliantly funny film worth seeing. But I digress.

 

I'M STILL HERE



A hoax works when the audience is in on it. Candid Camera, Punk’d, Borat are all very funny because we are in on the joke. When Joaquin meets up with Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs, Edward James Olmos and Ben Stiller he is not punking these guys; there’s no reveal, no wink wink, nudge nudge. Casey told the New York Times he wanted to do the film without a wink. WHY? With a bit of a wink I’M STILL HERE might have been an entertaining mockumentary. Instead we’re supposed to believe it -- well, if we don’t read the papers or watch TV that is.

So why would one of today’s top actors and his brother-in-law spend almost two years producing a hoax? I’ll add that to Dan’s unanswerable question, along with the one I asked myself halfway through the film, “Why am I still here?”

 

- John Werner

John Werner

John Werner is a screenwriter who has written several action flicks for SY FY Channel. He also directs, produces and edits documentaries and TV specials.

I'M STILL HERE is Available Today On Demand Until 11/22/2010
Rated R / Run Time 107 min

 

Magnolia Pictures

 

Check Out John Werner's Other Review:

AN AMERICAN SPORTS STORY...THE RIVALS

INFERNO: THE MAKING OF THE EXPENDABLES

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