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It also draws a fine contrast between the two separate pursuits that Chuck Barris is called to follow the game show scenes are colourful, light-hearted fun, the assassin scenes murky and deliciously paranoid, and Sam Rockwell, at the helm as our savvy and hapless main man, has the timing, the energy and the appeal to emerge from the two as both a comic figure and a tragic one.Kicking off as a likable, familiar kind of anti-hero, whose goofy grin and offhand ways have us smiling through the bar fights and the womanising, he gradually evolves into something more enigmatic and sorrowful; a lost, confused individual whose more innocuous contributions to society, in the form of lowbrow 'trash TV', are widely scorned (not that I've ever seen any of the genuine Chuck Barris's shows myself, but it would amaze me if they were really any worse than the kind of mind-numbing reality TV that's enjoyed popularity over the past few years), while the hidden talent he discovers in contract killing begins to understandably repulse him soon enough.Rounding out the cast are Clooney himself, as the mysterious CIA agent who draws Barris into this strange netherworld of intrigue and danger, Rutger Hauer, as a fellow hit man who pours out his feelings about his chosen occupation to Barris, Julia Roberts, as the icy cool CIA operative who pops up at various moments and in various places to keep an eye on the young recruit, and even Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, who show up for a truly hilarious cameo appearance together, one that had the audience at the screening I attended howling with delight.The ,000 question becomes, of course, is this story even remotely true, or is it merely another case of this master showman's playing the public for all its worth? The filmmakers certainly take it all very seriously, as evidenced by the fact that they have various friends and business acquaintances of Barris (Dick Clark, Jay P.Whether the film is really a true story or merely a grand lark perpetrated on an increasingly credulous audience, the fact is that `Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' turns out to be a thoroughly entertaining, utterly loony piece of original filmmaking.`Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' marks an auspicious debut for Clooney as a director, who, in his work behind the camera, demonstrates a thorough command of vision and style. Television made him famous, but his biggest hits happened off screen.See more » : I wouldn't want to live his life because he hasn't been happy all of his life.
Regardless of whether the real-life Barris truly did have some incredible adventures within his time, or simply an overly-active imagination, this movie translates it into one heck of an enjoyable romp slick, stylish and entrancing on the surface, and with a bracingly poignant and sobering tale lurking underneath.Scenarist Charlie Kaufman, as always, brings his own quirky vision to bear on the material.He cleverly balances the two `sides' of Barris' life, transitioning smoothly between those scenes revolving around his career as TV show producer and those revolving around his career as CIA operative.We all remember Chuck Barris as the creator of some of television's most successful - albeit notoriously mind-numbing - game shows: `The Dating Game,' `The Newlywed Game,' and `The Gong Show.' But did you know that he was also a hit man for the CIA?Well, that's what he claims, straight from his own `unauthorized autobiography' entitled `Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,' which has now been made into a movie by director George Clooney and writer Charlie Kaufman. In the world of movies, who says fact isn't stranger than fiction?