Paparazzi

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An Actor Fights Back Against the Paparazzi

Sep 15, 2004 (Updated Sep 17, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Intriguing idea. Dennis Farina.

Cons:Very little character development. Predictable. Some stupid things happened.

The Bottom Line: Paparazzi was somewhat entertaining, but it had problems.


I saw previews for Paparazzi times over the last month and it did look interesting. I wasn’t completly sure I wanted to see it, but I had the opportunity and I went. The movie was all right, but it could have been better. It was better than some movies I’ve seen, but it was far from my favorites that I have seen this year.

Bo Laramie just made a very popular action movie that made him famous almost over night. He and his wife, Abby, bought a new home in California and moved there from Montana with their young son Zach. Abby was a teacher. They were having a little trouble adjusting to their new life in the public eye. They were upset about some pictures of them that turned up in a magazine. They wanted the press to stay away from Zach. At a soccer game, a photographer, Rex Harper, was taking pictures of Zach. Bo said that Rex could take pictures of him, but not to take pictures of Zach. Rex left, but returned later and started taking pictures of Zach again. When Bo talked to him this time, Rex said some things that were very upsetting, and Bo hit him. Rex had some of his photographer friends hiding in a van, and they took pictures and even video of what happened. As a result, Bo was arrested and made to go to anger management counseling.

Bo didn’t want to go to the counseling, but he went. One night, he and Abby went to some kind of premiere. Zach was with them. Rex and some of his friends were there and did things to try to stir up trouble between Bo and Abby. When they left, three cars of photographers followed them trying to take pictures of the Laramies. There was a car accident. Bo wasn’t hurt. Abby needed surgery and Zach ended up in a coma. The photographers rushed to take pictures of the family in the car and took off before the police arrived. Bo was working with Detective Burton about the accident. Bo explained about the photographers, but Burton said he needed witnesses. Bo was upset that the photographers were getting away with causing the accident and they continued to follow Bo and try to stir up trouble. The men involved in Bo’s accident started to have accidents.

CAST

Cole Hauser - Bo Laramie
Robin Tunney - Abby Laramie
Blake Bryan - Zach Laramie
Dennis Farina - Detective Burton
Daniel Baldwin - Wendell Stokes
Tom Hollander - Leonard Clark
Kevin Gage - Kevin Rosner
Tom Sizemore - Rex Harper

Paparazzi was released in September of 2004. The movie was rated PG-13 and just over an hour and a half long. There wasn’t anything too extreme in the movie, but I don’t think it is a movie for children. Kids probably wouldn’t be interested in this movie.

For the last several years, there has been more attention given to the press and how they go about getting pictures of celebrities. There have been cases where celebrities have fought back in some way, filing lawsuits or even hitting the photographers in a few cases. Celebrities do have to deal with the press to remain in the public eye so they remain celebrities. I do believe that celebrities are entitled to some privacy just like everyone else. I really don’t care what they do when they are at home. I know some people feel differently. The movie Paparazzi does deal with those issues. The photographers in the movie did do some extreme things that I really hope no one would actually do just to get a picture of someone. Bo was getting use to being famous, but he didn’t mind the photographers taking pictures of him. He got upset when pictures were taken of his family. That is a concern of real celebrities as well. Even though they want their children to stay out of the spotlight while they are young, some celebrities have released pictures of their kids hoping that will lower the demand for pictures of their children.

There was some violence in some scenes of Paparazzi, but I didn’t think the movie was overly violent. Bo hit Rex not to long after the movie started. The accident was rather violent. There was blood shown. The driver of the other vehicle was shown as well. That was a bit disturbing to see. Later in the movie other things happened that were violent. I’m not saying specifically what because I don’t want to tell too much. Some of those things were shown as they happened and a few other things weren’t shown, but the aftermath was. Overall I thought that the movie was rather predictable, though there were a few suspenseful moments here and there. There was a little bit of action in a few scenes, but I really didn’t think of it as an action movie. People that don’t like movies that show violence or blood should probably avoid this movie.

The characters really weren’t that developed in Paparazzi. Most of the movie was focused on what the photographers did to get pictures of the Laramie family and Bo’s reaction. He was the main character, but he was a fairly flat character. He had just become famous and was still adjusting to the changes in his life. He didn’t want pictures taken of his young son. He had a bit of an anger problem. That was it for his development. The other characters were developed even less. Abby barely had anything to do. She spent most of the movie sitting around recovering from the surgery she had to have. Rex was the most developed of the photographers, but he was very flat. He wasn’t a nice person at all. He was determined to ruin Bo’s life and he got his friends to help him. It was never really explained why Rex decided to target Bo like he did. Rex said in the movie that he was going to destroy Bo. That seemed a bit extreme to me, and I didn’t feel like the movie really explained why he wanted to do that. He might have just been after pictures of Bo and his family originally since Bo was so popular at the time, and then went with his other plans after Bo hit him. It was shared a little later in the movie that Rex had a history of provoking people into hitting him and then suing. Rex was a very extreme character and he did some horrible things. I really hope that there aren’t photographers out there like him.

*****Minor Spoiler Warning*****

I want to discuss a few things that happened in Paparazzi that irritated me a little. These things, especially the one, could be minor spoilers, so feel free to skip this part if you don’t want the movie ruined.

After Bo was made to go to anger management counseling, Rex was planning what other things he could to do stir up problems for Bo. Rex hired some people to bring him the Laramie’s trash. Rex found several statements and things in the trash that had the full address and even account numbers on them. It just seemed a little hard to believe that someone, especially someone famous, would just toss stuff like that in the trash and not shred it. I don’t even do that, and I’m not famous. It is just too easy for people to steal your identity anymore. Even before I had a shredder, nothing with my name and address, let alone an account number, went in the trash. That was a very minor thing in the movie, but it bothered me. The other small thing that bothered me was related to the accident. It happened at night, and the streets were empty except for the Laramies, the photographers, and the other vehicle. There weren’t any witnesses, so Detective Burton couldn’t go after the photographers. Very late in the movie, Burton thought of checking the cameras that were set up at that intersection. From what I have heard about those cameras, they are normal in many large cities anymore. I would think that checking the cameras when an accident happens in an intersection, especially when no one else is around, would be the first thing the police would do, not the last thing. That made Detective Burton look stupid.

*****End of Spoiler*****

The acting in Paparazzi was fine, but there really weren’t any great performances in the movie. I haven’t seen Cole Hauser in any other movies before, but I did some checking and saw that he has been in several. He was all right in his part, but he was stiff at times and even seemed emotionless in some scenes. Robin Tunney really didn’t have anything to do in the movie. She had a few scenes early in the movie, but most of her time consisted of her sitting around recovering or sitting by the bed of Zach in the hospital. I have seen in her some other movies, including Empire Records and The Craft. Dennis Farina was fine as Detective Burton. He did the best he could with what he had to work with. Tom Sizemore did a good job with his part as Rex. I don’t really like him, but I do think his performance was better in this movie than it was in Ticker. Daniel Baldwin was fine in his part as Wendell, one of the other photographers. He didn’t have much to do at all. Mel Gibson had a small cameo. A few other people turned up in cameo roles as well.

CHARACTERS

Bo Laramie - He was an actor from Montana that hit it big in an action movie that was very successful. He didn’t want pictures taken of his family. He had a temper.

Abby Laramie - Bo’s wife. She was a teacher.

Zach Laramie - Bo and Abby’s young son.

Rex Harper - A photographer that was after Bo and his family for some reason. Rex did anything to protect himself and get pictures he could sell to the tabloids.

Detective Burton - Police detective that was investigating the accident that the Laramies were involved in.

Paparazzi was entertaining at times and interesting, but it could have been better. It wasn’t one of my favorite movies. This is another movie I wish I could pick maybe for if I recommend it. Some people may enjoy the movie.

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