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Vadim Jean
Martin Short, Jan Hooks, Linda Cardellini, Janeane Garofalo, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Perkins, Larry Joe Campbell, Mo Collins
Writing Credits:
Martin Short (character & screenplay), Paul Flaherty, Michael Short

How a legend was born.

Multitalented comedian Martin Short brings his character Jiminy Glick, the Butte, Montana entertainment television reporter, to the big screen in the comedy Jiminy Glick In La La Wood. A little sweaty and a lot excitable, Jiminy's finally headed to the big time: the Toronto Film Festival. With his wife Dixie (Jan Hooks) and twin sons Matthew and Modine in tow, Jiminy is poised to realize his celebrity-worshipping dreams by becoming an industry player. After he scores an interview with reclusive, bad-boy actor Ben DiCarlo (Corey Pearson), Jiminy is catapulted to sudden fame and everyone wants in on the action. A famous actress on the decline, Miranda Coolidge (Elizabeth Perkins), seeks Jiminy out, but their new friendship appears to have a deadly result. Can gentle journalist Glick have a hidden violent side?

Rated R

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $24.96
Release Date: 10/4/2005

• Audio Commentary With Director Vadim Jean
• Audio Commentary With Actor Martin Short and Writers Mike Short and Paul Flaherty
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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Jiminy Glick In La La Wood (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 14, 2005)

If you want to find the definition of “hit or miss” comedy, look no further than Martin Short’s Jiminy Glick character. A morbidly obese and moronic celebrity interviewer, Short’s Glick shtick consists of absurd chats between the fictional Jiminy and his mostly real-life subjects. We also see elements of his life with wife Dixie.

As represented by the Primetime Glick TV series, Short occasionally garnered laughs in the role – and very strong ones at times. Unfortunately, he also stank up the joint at times, and the show often went down as mediocre at best.

Expect no better from Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, the character’s first foray into the world of the big screen. And likely last, given that the movie received an exceedingly limited US release and made almost literally no money. The movie features the occasional last but comes across mostly as an unsatisfying hodgepodge of mystery and broad comedy.

The jumbled plot features odd interjections from David Lynch as played by Short. These sort of make sense by the end of the movie but seem strange at any point. Otherwise, it follows a fairly linear story. Jiminy Glick works as a celebrity journalist at a Montana TV station. He longs for bigger things and gets his break when he goes to the Toronto film festival. He totes along Dixie and twin sons Matthew (Landon Hansen) and Modine (Jake Hoffman).

Unfortunately, things don’t go particularly well for Jiminy. Instead of the swank Fairmont Hotel, he ends up at the rundown Fairmount, and his inexperienced publicist Sharon (Mo Collins) can't get any celebrities to talk to him.

That starts to change after he falls asleep during a screening of reclusive Hollywood bad boy Ben DiCarlo’s (Corey Pearson) pretentious stinker Growin’ Up Gandhi. After he awakes, he pretends to love it to cover for the fact he didn’t actually see it. In the midst of the slew of negative reviews, DiCarlo’s manager Barry King (Carlos Jacott) sees Jiminy’s rave and decides to give Glick an exclusive interview with Ben.

This immediately reverses Jiminy’s negative career trajectory, and he soon becomes hot with all the stars. They crave his approval and clamor to talk to him. Eventually something strange happens, though. Jiminy dreams he killed drunken actress Miranda Coolidge (Elizabeth Perkins), in town to promote her lesbian remake The African Queens. The rest of the movie follows Jiminy’s quest to learn what happened to Miranda.

Well, that’s sort of the plot it follows. In reality, the movie meanders in and out of different story and character elements but rarely invests much energy in any of them. It pursues a thread when necessary but quickly loses track of the pieces and doesn’t really appear to care about them.

Instead, the movie acts as a weird conglomeration of murder mystery and skit comedy. It often goes off-story to show some bits that easily could appear on the Primetime Glick series. These are probably the highlights of the movie, as interviews with folks like Steve Martin actually provide some laughs, but they don’t fit within the film format. They stand out as awkward in that setting.

The storylines never coalesce well enough to work. The film briefly engages its secondary characters but not long enough to make them stick. It’s eventually important for us to remember that Miranda’s daughter Natalie (Linda Cardellini) is having a lesbian affair with the actress’s publicist (Janeane Garofalo). However, since the movie barely sets up this premise and leaves it hanging for more than an hour, any viewer who totally forgets the concept – and probably the characters – can easily be forgiven.

I really could have lived without the whole David Lynch element as well. This comes across as little more than an attempt to showcase Short’s impersonation and also to add one more parody to things, but it doesn’t work. The enterprise goes down as pointless and useless in the end; the story’s muddled enough without those odd, dated references. Yeah, one could argue that they tie together the murder mystery, but I still think the movie would work better without them. They add nothing and just create more confusion.

Is there anything positive about Lalawood? Well, I can’t call it a terrible comedy, as I’ve seen many worse affairs. I laughed occasionally and think the movie offers some amusing moments. However, with so much fine talent involved, it definitely goes down as a major disappointment. There’s precious little humor on display in this confused clunker.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Jiminy Glick in Lalawood appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although no enormous flaws marred the presentation, it lacked the style and clarity necessary to turn into a terrific picture.

Sharpness was usually fine. At times the movie looked a bit soft and mushy, but those issues didn’t pop up with regularity. If not tremendously distinctive, the majority of the flick was acceptably well-defined. I noticed no problems with jagged edges or moiré effects, and only a little edge enhancement appeared. Print flaws were absent, as I failed to detect any specks, marks or other defects.

Colors tended to be decent but unexceptional. The film went with natural tones that usually looked good. However, they could come across as a little pale at times and didn’t always present the expected vivacity. Blacks also tended to be a bit inky and flat, while low-light shots were slightly opaque. None of these issues caused serious problems, which left my overall grade as a “B”. They simply meant that I didn’t think the transfer ever got as good as it could have been.

As expected, the Dolby Digital 5.1 of Lalawood was a pretty standard “comedy mix”, though it opened up occasionally. The film’s more surreal moments offered its liveliest audio. Those came during some of the David Lynch bits as well as Glick’s nightmares; we got pretty decent surround usage and dimensionality during these brief sequences.

Otherwise, the flick provided a track that stayed close to the front spectrum. It presented good stereo imaging for the music and offered a nice sense of environment during the crowd sequences. Much of the movie stayed chatty, though, which didn’t mean many opportunities for slambang audio. The track followed through with what it needed.

No significant issues with audio quality occurred. A few edgy lines popped up, and a couple others sounded distant and hollow. Nonetheless, most of the dialogue was reasonably natural and distinctive. Effects presented nice definition and range, while music was tight and lively. This wasn’t an exceptional mix, but it delivered the goods for this sort of movie.

Despite the film’s very low commercial profile, Lalawood comes with a few supplements. Of most interest are the two audio commentaries. In the first one, we hear from director Vadim Jean in a running, screen-specific chat. Jean discusses issues related to shooting an improvised script, editing challenges, and locations in Canada. That’s not much but it’s all we get.

Technically, that’s not true, since Jean also makes sure we know the names of the various participants. This seems silly much of the time – I think most of us recognized Kevin Kline, and if we’re bothering with the commentary, we probably know who Linda Cardellini is as well.

At least those moments manage to prompt verbiage from Jean. Unfortunately, during the vast majority of the film, he says absolutely nothing. Minutes and minutes pass without comment, and then when he bothers to open his remark, it’ll be a banal statement about someone’s name or how we should check out the deleted scenes area. Almost no worthwhile content appears in this nearly useless commentary.

For the second commentary, we get notes from actor Martin Short and writers Mike Short and Paul Flaherty. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. The guys touch on issues like the nature of their story treatment and scenes written within the improvised format, locations, and general production anecdotes. I don’t think this track offers much more concrete information than Jean’s, but it’s much more entertaining. The participants joke around a lot and create many funny moments. You won’t learn much from this discussion, but you’ll enjoy yourself nonetheless.

10 Deleted Scenes run a total of 15 minutes and 41 seconds. Many of these fall into the category of extended segments or alternate takes, actually; only a handful of them actually present fully cut segments. For instance, we see the Glicks leave their hotel at the film’s end and find out how Jiminy got the bloody handkerchief. We also watch a deleted substory with a rival film critic. Other bits add more to the Glick family’s arrival in Toronto and other areas. Some minor amusement results, but don’t expect any lost gold.

Finally, the DVD presents some Previews. It opens with a trailer for . In the “MGM Means Great Movies” area, we find a general ad for the studio’s offerings plus a clip for Spaceballs.

Given the roster of talent on display, chalk up Jiminy Glick in Lalawood as a real disappointment. The movie tosses out enough gags that a few of them connect, but there’s not nearly enough funniness on display to make up for the film’s general incoherence. The DVD offers pretty good picture and audio along with extras highlighted by a very amusing actor/writer commentary. Fans of the Glick TV show might dig this flick, but I didn’t think much of it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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