Think of it as old Hollywood's version of Entourage, an insider's take on the greed and vanity that make Tinseltown tick. Based on a memoir by producer Art Linson, the movie stars Robert De Niro, actually good for a change (Die! Die! Righteous Kill!), as a stressed producer. He's got a Sean Penn movie that's tanking at test screenings because a dog gets shot in close-up. He also has a film about to start with Bruce Willis, who balks at dieting and shaving his beard. "The fucker is as fat and hairy as ever," De Niro moans to John Turturro, as Willis' agent. Willis is a hoot as a nightmare version of himself. There are funny scenes, nicely directed by Barry Levinson. Other stuff, involving De Niro's ex-wife (Robin Wright Penn) and their daughter (Kristen Stewart), are not much of anything. It's a tossup. Your call.
From The Archives Issue 124: December 21, 1972