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STUDIO: Koch Vision
RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes
• Promotional Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Making of Featurette
A tale about a fabulously gay Hollywood producer who solicits a naive up and coming star into doing his bidding, like penetrating other producers…with bullets.
Starring Silvio Pollio, Joe Cortese, Kimberly Estrada and Madison Chase.
NOT starring (but appearing briefly): Tom Sizemore, Gary Busey, Roddy Piper and Daniel Baldwin
Written and directed by Silvio Pollio
Sonny Westwood is the newest star on the block. His latest movie ‘The Last Rock N Roll Cowboy’ is #1 for the weekend and he has the top song on the pop charts. So why isn’t he getting paid? According to his producer: ‘Other producers.’ So, what does this producer suggest? Obvious of course: kill all the other producers, so we can take all the money for ourselves. Oh and by the way, wear this mask and get it all on film. It’ll be more real that way, or some bullshit. Blah, blah, piracy.
Any movie filmed in Hollywood will always be in at least some way about Hollywood. When you’re the cock of the walk, the only satisfaction you can get, besides choking a street walker, is poking fun at yourself all while lighting cigars atop a mountain of money while ‘My Humps’ plays in the background.
This particular film, whose qualities can be counted upon a single hand, takes aim at several objects, wildly missing the mark on nearly all of them. Firstly, voyeurism in society (I might actually be defending this film more than I should when I say that), but mostly: piracy. Apparently, pirating movies is bad and for 88 minutes, we’re going to tell you why. Folks, spend those 88 minutes doing something else, because if ‘Shut Up and Shoot’ succeeds in one area, it’s that nobody will ever, until Hollywood is a blackened cinder, be pirating this movie. Read a fucking book instead.
For starters, the basic idea of it is foul and despicable, it exists in a moral black zone where not only is there no God, but your wife is sleeping with your best friend. I know producers are bloodsucking, but no one would do this and yes, I know it’s a movie and it has to sell me on its central premise, but I never believe that Sonny Westbrook, action star, is ever, ever going to do these things, and so it all falls apart right from the beginning. But thankfully…no, no, I should tell you about later. There are other things to talk about.
Like the acting. Silvio Pollio is not a movie star. I know in his head he is, but here he is boring, bland and has the same slightly Long Island tone, like he should be hanging outside his BMW acting like he knows shit about shit. He’s like Adrien Grenier (from Entourage) without the charm or good looks, yet Pollio’s Westbrook is supposedly even bigger than Aquaman. He enlists the help of two cute female film-makers, who are also suicidal (winning points with NOW! and helping to further perpetuate the sullen, suicidal artist; good job), played by Kimberly Estrada and Madison Chase and if you haven’t heard of them, this is probably the reason why. They’re pleasant to look at, given very little to do and put in stupid situations, such as a random fight scene with one another, simply because the script calls for it. But, like Godard once said, all you need in a movie is a girl and a gun. So, all you need in a movie about making a movie lampooning movies is two girls and several guns. Good to know.
The best part of the movie is Joe Cortese playing Spencer Spector the fabulously (like ‘omg’ fabulous) gay movie producer. All the good lines are given to him, and anything worth hearing is said from him. He’s having fun and the movie, while being bad, is worse when he is absent from the screen. He’s the only character we like, and it’s pathetic because we’re not supposed to like him! He’s a petty bastard who’s a walking stereotype, pirates his own actors’ movies (to get a cut) and whores out his talent for money, and not in the legal, Hollywood sanctioned ways either.
And why the fuck is Tom Sizemore here? I have no idea whatsoever. He appears for one superfluous scene and then disappears as if he never were. Oh, and Gary Busey shows up, and he plays himself. Even gives the old FEAR speech. He’s gone in a scene. So is Daniel Baldwin! Look at all these names, showing up quickly for one scene and then bam! you get to put them on your DVD cover. I honestly can’t fault them for their strategy there, but if you put Baldwin, Busey and Sizemore in a room together, it would be far more interesting than all of ‘Shut Up and Shoot’.
The movie is already slow, meandering and not nearly as funny, self-aware or action packed as it thinks it is (even a large shootout towards the end is lacking life, originality and drama). But its greatest sin is the ending. I get emotional at movies, but seldom do I get angry and had I been watching this movie on my own tv and not my room-mate’s, I think I would be in the market for a new one, because I would have tossed something very large and heavy at it. The maddening part about the ending is that, within the crazy batshit world the movie has created, it kind of works…if you don’t think about it. But when you start to consider the amount of time, money and resources involved in pulling this fucking high tension bullshit on us, it becomes the worst laid out plan in the history of modern cinema.
Swipe to spoil yourself: No one was ever murdered. The entire movie was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the FBI to nab Spector and his movie piracy ring. That means they had to stage “deaths”, pay off newspapers, MAKE THE MAIN CHARACTER A FUCKING MOVIE STAR, who appeared in many, many, many movies over the years, had to risk that the plan wouldn’t get out and oh yeah, pretend to kill people in ways that look really fucking real.
Fuck you ‘Shut Up and Shoot’.
If you ended on a downer, I would’ve given you the credit for not backing down, instead, you pussy out of every major plot point, character ‘quandary’ and render the entire movie pointless. Way to waste an interminably long hour and a half of my life.
The only thing I can really say is: it would be better if it were a porno. At least then I could get some satisfaction out of it.
It’s a low budget movie but it’s done fairly well. The cinematographer is to be commended for the most part. There are a few stray technical errors, lightstands, boom mics, etc in frame, but by then you’ve checked out. The sound is adequate, sometimes losing the dialogue in a sea of noise or whispers.
A few deleted scenes, which are actually more boring than the movie are included (and make you actually appreciate the film that showed up a little more). A promotional reel makes the movie seem way more interesting, don’t be fooled! There is a far too long making of featurette, complete with actors with forced smiles saying ‘I loved this role.’ Still, it gives a little insight into the behind the scenes process and it goes to show you that even bad movies have people lovingly, albeit misguidedly, creating them.