Michael Des Barres

Michael Des Barres

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American Film Institute's 43rd Life Achievement Award Gala

Michael Des Barres - Celebrities attend American Film Institute's 43rd Life Achievement Award Gala at Dolby Theatre. at Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 4th June 2015

The Man from Elysian Fields Review


Weak
James Coburn is just great in The Man from Elysian Fields, one of his final performances before recently succumbing to a heart attack. As a dying, once-great novelist, the veteran actor displays a combination of fire and vulnerability that makes him a riveting presence.

Unfortunately, such generous adjectives can't be used for Elysian, which has a promising premise but does little of interest with it. Andy Garcia plays Byron Triller, a struggling novelist who has mounds of trouble supporting his young family. Out of luck and out of nowhere, Byron meets a mysterious, upscale pimp, Luther (Mick Jagger), who thinks Byron would be an ideal addition to his escort service.

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Mayor of the Sunset Strip Review


Weak
Like most viewers of his documentary Mayor of the Sunset Strip, director George Hickenlooper (The Man From Elysian Fields), doesn't seem initially all that impressed with little Rodney Bingenheimer. A small, black-clad moppet with a Monkees haircut, Rodney may be this legendary DJ for Los Angeles alt-rock powerhouse KROQ, but how cool could he be? Then there's that scene early on when Rodney's taking us through his house, showing his walls of framed photographs and letters, some quite impressive, when he gets to Elvis's driver's license. You can hear Hickenlooper stop short and ask, "What? How did you get that?" Rodney says off-handedly, "Oh, he gave it to me," as though talking about somebody loaning him a dollar, before tottering away on his little matchstick legs.

To look at the life of Rodney is to look at a near-complete history of several decades of music. A shy kid from a broken home, Rodney left Mountain View, California, for Hollywood in the early 1960s and never really left. Quickly making himself at home on the Sunset Strip scene, Rodney surrounded himself with every kind of celebrity, especially from the music industry. One interviewee after another comments on his Andy Warhol-like blank demeanor that allows the famous and talented to see reflections of themselves. But there is also an eternally childlike innocence to him that was quickly picked up on: Cher, who practically adopted Rodney for a time with Sonny, talks about how you could just tell that Rodney never wanted anything from you, just to be there and absorb the glittery experience was enough. There's a sense of a kid trying to make up for his own fractured past with a famous family, and also just looking for someone to take care of him.

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Tease Review


Grim
Remember Alicia Silverstone's breakthrough in The Crush? Well Mandy Schaffer is probably ten times hotter than Alicia, but her movie is unfortunately ten times worse. Any film that has Rosanna Arquette accepting an Academy Award in flashback just forces us to suspend disbelief a little too much. In the end, little Traci's flirtatious ways seem like they could have been reined in if only mom had sprung for a couple of bras to cinch in the kid's heaving chest and a leash to keep her from hitting on (and, ya know, murdering) every guy in town.

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Sugar Town Review


Grim
Here's irony for you: Sugar Town is a movie about aged and washed-up rock stars in L.A.... starring aged and washed-up actors in L.A.! I mean, Rosanna Arquette? Ally Sheedy? Beverly D'Angelo??? Typical crap from the extremely untalented Allison Anders, who actually needed Kurt Voss to help her direct this meandering, self-indulgent, and meaningless tripe. Jade Gordon provides the only relief as a klepto wannabe, but that's hardly reason to watch this piece of junk.

Sugar Town Review


Grim

"Sugar Town" is a hastily thrown-together, satirical showbiz dramedy concerning washed up '80s rock stars learning generic life lessons about responsibility, trust, fidelity and aging gracefully, and it wouldn't be interesting at all if it didn't feature a curiously appropriate cast.

John Taylor (late of Duran Duran), Michael Des Barres (The Power Station), Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and John Doe (X) are all uniquely qualified for their roles as four former pop icons trying to stage a comeback with a new band and lousy record no label will touch.

One has become a semi-rural family man, tempted to go back on the road (and to cheat on his pregnant wife) by a sexy Tejano singer (Lumi Cavazos). Another has an acrid, 11-year-old punk in bad '80s make-up (what 11-year-old boy wears makeup?) left on his doorstep by a groupie who claims he's the father. Another has become a small-time drug dealer, and the last is desperately clinging to his faded sex appeal, not realizing how pathetic he looks to the 19-year-old girls he comes on to in bars.

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Michael Des Barres

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