[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
The Man in the Chair

A movie about movies and the people who love them

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

January 22, 2008 -- This is a movie about movies and the people who love them and make them. It is also one of those movie-within-a-movie projects about a troubled young boy, Cameron Kincaid (Michael Angarano of “Sky High”) who wants to be a film director. He finds an unlikely ally in a cantankerous drunken old gaffer named Flash Madden (Christopher Plummer of “Inside Man”).

Cameron is passionate about movies. He wants to make a short movie as a high school film project. He would dearly like to make a better film than his high school competitor, who is getting a lot of money, equipment and other help from his father in the movie industry. Cameron may not have much money, but he finds a wealth of willing talent in a group of bored movie industry retirees who all pitch in to help him make his movie at the urging of Flash Madden.

Cameron soon absorbs a wealth of knowledge about films and gets a lot of good advice about life, and making films from this group of retired movie industry professionals. The retirees, in return, feel energized being “back in the game,” as it were. Flash Madden, a bitter old man, finds a friend in young Cameron, and his pain is eased. Performances are good by all, including M. Emmet Walsh of “Twilight”, who plays a retired screenwriter. The film also touches upon the subject of elderly people and how they are treated by society and by their own families. In one scene, a character finally finds the courage to call a family member, hoping to re-establish contact after many year. He is summarily rejected.

This is one of those feel-good movies that critics hate. I liked it, even though it wasn't realistic and things usually don't turn out so rosy. Wouldn't it be nice if it did? What, after all, is the point of making a fictional movie if you can't make it turn out the way you want it to? Surely, there must be more to making movies than to make the audience suffer for the sake of somebody's notion of cinematic art? This is a celebration of movies and people who love movies. There are many nice scenes involving classic films shown in an old run-down movie theater where movie lovers gather. The cinematography is interesting, using a lot of jittering effects like old worn-out film running through a projector in an old theater. Some scenes were shot at the Beverly Cinema in the San Fernando Valley. Much of this film was shot in Hollywood. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2008 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)