It's a shame that this story is being told through such a bland script. It's a slow-burn that takes its time in revealing details and building upon itself, but maybe it takes too long in doing so. By the time the credits roll, there's no lasting sense of impact that should accompany this story. It's sad to see the talent of Adrien Brody being wasted in such an unfulfilling script: Brody is clearly giving it his all, and acting-wise, he's certainly not bad, but a stronger writer could've elevated his performance, and the film overall, into something much stronger.
The other side of the story, the George Reeves half of the film, is more solid. Ben Affleck's portrayal of Reeves is quite powerful: not only does he bring a sense of warmth to the few scenes in which he actually plays Superman, he shows the more tragic, troubled side of the struggling actor. Diane Lane, who has many powerful scenes of her own, and Bob Hoskins also feature prominently in this half, and are both excellent.
The contrast in quality between the two halves is detrimental to the overall experience, which is a shame because there's a lot of good hidden within Hollywoodland. For a directorial debut from Allen Coulter, it's quite a competently filmed and produced movie, and with a stronger writer behind it, it could've become something truly special. As it stands, it's a mostly unimpressive look at the Golden Age of Hollywood and what comes with becoming a star that'll likely hold your attention for two hours, if nothing else.
Hollywoodland takes liberties with actual historical events for dramatic purposes. Several events and places are condensed to fit into the film, including:
During a personal appearance at a children's western show, George Reeves meets a boy with a loaded gun, who almost shoots bullets at him. Reeves talks him into giving up the gun by saying that they would bounce off him, but hurt innocent bystanders. Although Reeves repeated this story himself, researchers have never been able to find anything to corroborate the story. After Reeves's death, Leonore Lemmon is shown at the reading of his will, stunned when everything he owned in his estate goes to Toni. In reality, since Lemmon was not included in his last will and testament, she was not invited to the reading. Lemmon did, however, make public statements akin to the dialogue in the film.
The depiction of Reeves's scenes in From Here to Eternity suffering audience derision at a test screening (and subsequent cutting of his scenes) is part of an urban legend. No test screenings took place, and the finished film includes all Reeves's scenes that were present in the original shooting script. No alternate cuts of the film have ever been proven to exist.
The scene showing Reeves barbecuing his costume is based in fact: Reeves is said to have burned his costume at the end of each season, not just the one time to celebrate the cancellation of the series.
The detective Louis Simo is a fictional character based somewhat on an actual detective in the case named Milo Speriglio.
A scene in the filming of a first-season Superman episode shows Reeves in an alley, "taking off," suspended by wires. A wire breaks and Reeves crashes to the studio floor. The oft-repeated alley takeoff in the real series was stock footage and was performed by a stuntman. However, Reeves did take such a fall during a cable-aided takeoff, in a studio-bound forested setting, in the episode "Ghost Wolf," and never consented to use cable again in the series.
i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch.......its got a great cast thorughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch.......i think that ben affleck was fantastic throughout this movie as george reeves (.R.I.P.), throughout this movie.....i think that adrien brody was fantastic throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch but its such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......