Judge Brett Cullum will make you famous for five dollars and a cookie.
What are the secrets to fame?
Everybody wants to be a star, and there is an exact science manipulating the masses into wanting to be celebrated. Starsuckers takes a look at the industry that spawned movies, television, reality series, and…well…sites like this that seem to be obsessed with them. It is a documentary that shows you the large industry that takes people's money and promises to turn their kids into stars or make them have an edge in reality television casting. Modeling schools, acting classes, coaches for unscripted shows—it's all a pointless ambition that makes suckers out of most of the participants. It's all about turning yourself into a brand and casing the big checks. This is an interesting topic that certainly deserves to be explored, and Starsuckers also offers an in-depth look at entertainment journalism, such as paparazzi and tabloids and how they operate now.
The DVD presentation includes a simple standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with a Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix. Visual quality is varied, since it is using many sources and "on the fly" location shots to tell the story. Dialogue is clear, and there are no subtitles provided. Extras include outtakes or footage of celebs talking about fame, including Keira Knightley, Clint Eastwood, the kids from the Narnia movies, Samuel Jackson, 50 Cent, Emma Watson, Jennifer Tilly, Chris Noth, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and many others. These bits are somewhat more entertaining than the rather dry-toned documentary they produced. It's just fun to see stars taking themselves so seriously when you know this is a silly topic. There is a "making of" featurette, which is an extended interview with Chris Atkins and his collaborators. We also have footage from a Toyota charity event where celebrities drive around a track very fast. You get a look at gift bags, some time with Luke Yankee, and a promotional animation. The extras are pretty robust for such a small documentary.
Starsuckers looks at our addiction to fame, and then presents the results of that obsession. Much of the feature is spent dealing with the British press and how they are using illegal and unethical tactics to craft a new brand of entertainment journalism. There is also a lot of peering into the industry that takes cash away from those who want to be famous or make their kids famous. My biggest beef with Starsuckers is that it takes a rather fascinating topic and manages to make it a bit dry. In the end, there is not too much to say about fame and celebrity that feels revolutionary. We all know what it is, what it means, and why people seek it out. It's a silly dream, but almost all of us dream about being a star.
Guilty of stating the obvious about the world of celebrity.
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