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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.54%
Worth A Look35.9%
Average: 20.51%
Pretty Bad: 24.36%
Total Crap: 7.69%

6 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Majestic, The
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by EricDSnider

"Good movie, crappy ending, as dictated by Hollywood's Crappy Ending Code."
4 stars

Jim Carrey makes another desperate grab at an Oscar nomination with The Majestic, a lovely movie from Frank Darabont, the heart-tugging director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

For Carrey, desperately grabbing at an Oscar nomination means NOT behaving desperately. He is low-key and human, almost Jimmy Stewart-esque (notably for being in such a Frank Capra-esque movie), mainly because his character gets whacked in the head. Who knew it would take a concussion to finally calm him down?

He plays Peter Appleton, a Hollywood screenwriter in 1951 who writes B-movies like Sand Pirates of the Sahara and is tormented by the nameless, faceless studio heads who keep improving his work the way only nameless, faceless studio heads can. (The great inside joke is that the studio heads are played by Garry Marshall, Paul Mazursky, Sydney Pollack, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner and Brian Howe -- all real-life directors and producers.)

It is the height of the McCarthy Era, and Peter soon finds himself blacklisted due to having innocently attended a Community Party meeting while in college. Drunk and depressed, he accidentally drives his car off a bridge and wakes up with amnesia in a small town called Lawton, Calif..

Lawton is a somber, quiet community, having lost 62 men in World War II. Peter bears a striking resemblance to one of them, Luke Trimble, and Lukes father Harry (Martin Landau) believes Peter is really his long-lost son. With the amnesia, Peter is in no position to argue. Maybe he IS Luke Trimble.

If he is, it means hes engaged to Adele Stanton (Laurie Holden), daughter of the town doctor. It also means he grew up helping Harry run the Majestic theater, which has since closed down. Aided by the former usher (Gerry Black) and candy girl (Susan Willis), Peter and Harry renovate and reopen the theater, bringing vitality back to the town ... and some memories back to movie buff Peter.

The Majestic spends a lot of time on the power of movies to uplift and entertain us, in the same vein as Cinema Paradiso. At the same time, it presents a contradictory message about the corruption of Hollywood. (In 1951, its hard to separate Hollywood from movies, since there really was no independent filmmaking.) Michael Sloanes script wants to have its cake and eat it, too: Show us how great movies are, while mocking the way movies are made.

Another contradiction is in the films climax, which takes place in a courtroom. Most courtroom climaxes are awful and cliched, and this one is no exception. Funny how in the opening scenes, were watching film executives ruin Peters movie by introducing senseless crowd-pleasing elements, and in the closing scenes, were seeing The Majestic ruined the same way.

We live in patriotic times, to be sure, but I suspect the rah-rahism of that courtroom scene will be too much even for the most flag-waving of Americans. Its overdone, melodramatic and unrealistic. (Mark Ishams intrusive musical score doesnt help any.)

Carreys performance is fine, considering his character is in a stupor most of the time, but Martin Landau is fantastic. Hes the most honest character in the movie, and a joy to watch.

Up until the climax, The Majestic is a perfectly good film, with equal parts humor, whimsy and sweetness. Carrey probably wont get that Oscar nomination, but at least he made a decent movie while in search of it.

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originally posted: 12/21/01 08:51:49
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User Comments

3/12/15 скачать кулинарную книгу And how much?, 5 stars
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5/07/13 Charles Tatum Good stuff desperately needed to be edited down. 4 stars
9/05/11 RLan An enjoyable movie. One of Jim Carrey's better performances. 4 stars
8/14/10 robin lupinacci My dad was a decorated WWII vet, this film reached me in it's reminder of sucn values 5 stars
7/02/09 cindy Love this movie, one of Jim Carrey's best. 5 stars
12/26/05 Ben Knapton one of the most boring films ever made. 1 stars
8/08/05 Bad Critic A good film, but its running time could have been cut down a bit. 4 stars
1/04/05 HL Jim Carrey is Very Good...Story Contrived...Worth Seeing Though. 4 stars
7/06/04 R.W. Welch Overly slushy, but manages to hold your attention. 3 stars
3/04/04 daimon Pretty good 4 stars
2/01/04 Dean Carrey's best role. 4 stars
5/30/03 soliddrummer cheezy, rediculous, overly idealistic garbage. for some reason I liked it. 2 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby Not as I'd feared: it's actually interesting and inolving -- to a point, though. 3 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon I couldn't believe this movie thought I would buy its message. Jeez Loueez! 2 stars
3/09/03 Hannah This is the stupidest movie I've ever seen. 1 stars
1/06/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng A wonderful story. Jim Carrey was great! 4 stars
1/05/03 WestcoastPunk Why does Carrey always get screwed in his movies. Once again a great performance 5 stars
11/26/02 Monster W. Kung Jake, you must be a retarded redneck fucking idiot or something. 1 stars
9/24/02 Jake Should of been nominated for Best Film instead of that Lord of the Rings rubbish 5 stars
9/04/02 Joe Zappa How can you not like this movie. Darabont & Rubberface are gods. Best courtroom scene ever! 5 stars
8/23/02 Danielle Ophelia Oy. I've digested less sugar in an entire family-size bag of Jolly Ranchers. 3 stars
8/19/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Another "Miracle Movie" from the true God Among Directors Frank Darabont!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/07/02 Kent Jim Carrey imitating Jimmy Stewart. The story was very predictable and got to be real dumb. 2 stars
7/10/02 Kevin I think Carrey is a very good dramatic actor... A very welcome feel good movie 5 stars
6/24/02 Del Didn't like the ending, but the ride was nice 4 stars
3/15/02 the movie moose critically shamed but excellent film 5 stars
2/28/02 Tiffany Thunderhurst Comic genius Jim C. still wanting to be serious actor; scores higher than usual this try. 4 stars
2/26/02 ownerofdajoint whatahugedisappointmentcouldntbelievehowtotallylamewantedarefunda 1 stars
2/07/02 Butterbean Carrey should go back to talking out of his asscheeks and stop trying to win an oscar nod. 2 stars
2/01/02 E-Funk Cute and cheesy...I think a lot of people missed the idea of a film emulating old Hollywood 4 stars
1/01/02 Greyjack Yay, a movie w/scenes about how great movies are. Still, it's not awful, I guess. 3 stars
12/31/01 poetchuck Heartwarming - good performance from Carey 4 stars
12/29/01 RazorDog So sugar coated I have 4 new cavities. 4 stars
12/25/01 daniboy agree COMPLETELY with A. Hershey. I had so high expectations for this one... 2 stars
12/25/01 A. HERSHEY This Film was VERY disapointing 2 stars
12/24/01 ajay Filled with so much cheese I was ready to puke. 1 stars
12/23/01 JL It's not a complete waste of ur time...a lot of great historical stuff if anything 4 stars
12/22/01 spaceworm USA TODAY: Slap, then dismiss, that bitch Claudia Puig. 4 stars
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  21-Dec-2001 (PG)



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