MGM // 2004 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // October 28th, 2005
"How does it feel to get such bad reviews?" -- One of Jiminy Glick's embarrassing questions for actor Steve Martin, Jiminy Glick in Lalawood
Burly entertainment reporter and interviewer Jiminy Glick (Martin Short, Innerspace) and his wife, Dixie (Jan Hooks, Coneheads) are off to the Toronto Film Festival to cover the world of movies. Jiminy is a man who knows how to hob-knob with the best Hollywood has to offer: Steve Martin, Kurt Russell, Sharon Stone, Kiefer Sutherland -- if your face has been in the movies, chances are you've had a one-on-one with Jiminy Glick. Yet Glick will face his greatest challenge when he gets caught up in a murder plot amongst the stars.and HE may be the killer! Get ready for a barrage of silly and stupid questions, courtesy of Mr. Jiminy Glick in Lalawood!
It becomes instantly obvious within the first few minutes of Jiminy Glick in Lalawood that Martin Short's fictional interviewer did not need his own full length movie. As the minutes ticked by it became even more apparent that the Jiminy Glick character won't be going anywhere interesting, says only mildly amusing things to celebrities, and will be surrounded by a cast of flaccid supporting characters. I like Martin Short, but I did not like Jiminy Glick in Lalawood.
Jiminy Glick is a relatively funny character when he's interviewing celebrities. Primetime Glick -- the comedy show where Jiminy came into being -- had a certain goofy charm as Jiminy would ask famous folks oddball questions about their lesser known films, often referring to them by the wrong name (one of the film's rare moments of humor is when Jiminy mistakes Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah Winfrey, prompting Whoopi to tell him her name is spelled "O-P-E-R-A"). The lesson quickly learned while watching Jiminy Glick in Lalawood is that Glick is funny in small bursts with celebrities, but not so funny when he's parading around a movie spouting head-scratching remarks with his frumpy wife (played half-heartedly by Saturday Night Live alum Hooks) and two heavyset children (who look like him).
Roger Ebert put it best when he noted that "the problem with Jiminy Glick is that he doesn't know who he is. Or, more precisely, Martin Short doesn't know who he is." Glick is sometimes played as almost mildly retarded, then he's an effeminate, emasculated weirdo. In the next scene he's suddenly a Hollywood scholar with all his info mixed up. To quote Mr. Ebert again, "Short changes gears and redefines the character whenever he needs a laugh." And there aren't a lot of big laughs to be seen here.
I tired quickly of Jiminy Glick, and there were sadly no other characters to identify with or enjoy. Elizabeth Perkins shows up as a Sharon Stone-like film actress, but she's given nothing to do with her role. Then again, she comes off as positively complex next to poor Linda Cardellini (far better in the TV series Freaks & Geeks) as her bisexual daughter or John Michael Higgins (Best In Show) as a heavily accented boorish producer. Short pops up in a secondary role as dippy film director David Lynch, but much like Glick the role becomes stagnant and boring after a few scenes.
I often got the impression that Jiminy Glick in Lalawood was trying to be a Christopher Guest movie. Much of it seemed improvised, but never to the same effect as Waiting for Guffman or A Mighty Wind. There is a subplot involving a possible murder but it's hardly worth mentioning -- it's obvious the thin script was written to spotlight Glick's obnoxiousness. I think Martin Short is a very funny man, and he's been in some very funny movies. Unfortunately, Jiminy Glick in Lalawood isn't one of them.
Jiminy Glick in Lalawood is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. There isn't much to report about this transfer -- it's a solid effort by MGM and nothing more. The film itself was low budget, so this doesn't look like a slick $80 million dollar Jim Carrey comedy. The colors are all well rendered and the black levels solid and sharp.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. There are a few directional effects and surround sounds to be found on this mix. However, the bulk of it is front heavy (except when the pop music or film score kicks in). Overall hiss and distortion are never present. Also included on this disc are English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Not surprisingly, there aren't a ton of extra features available on this disc. Two commentary tracks -- the first with Short and writing/producing partners Michael Shirt & Paul Flaherty, and a second with director Vadim Jean -- are really only for diehard fans of Short or Glick. The first track with Short and the writers is far more entertaining than the Jean track; as is often the case with director commentaries, it's dry and technical. Also included on the disc are approximately 16 minutes of deleted scenes, as well as trailers for other MGM films and releases.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Deleted Scenes
* Commentary Track With Actor Martin Short and Writers/Producers Michael Shirt and Paul Flaherty
* Commentary Track With Director Vadim Jean
* Bonus Trailers