Maps to the Stars, the knock-out Hollywood satire/ melodrama/black comedy from David Cronenberg and Bruce Wagner, it is probably a bit unfair to compare it in any way to the film that opens this week, 3 HOLES AND A SMOKING GUN. And yet this little melodramatic, would-be black-comic look at screenwriting strivers here in New York City who are bent on taking credit for the creation of what, from the sound of everyone's reactions to it, must be the greatest screenplay ever written (something called, with no great originality, Hijack), is so full of supposed inside-the-industry knowledge, back-stabbing and thievery that comparisons can't be helped.
Scott Fivelson and directed by someone else called Hilarion Banks (shown above), this movie is so ridiculously bad in terms of plotting and believability, that it is little wonder its copyright date of 2012 would indicate a certain period of sitting on the shelf, waiting to be released. It is difficult to believe that anyone who viewed the final cut would not have immediately suggested, "Leave it there." I am not so much knocking the work of Mr. Banks -- which is perfectly standard and OK -- as that of Mr. Fivelson, who has packed his story full of details that seem mostly wrong.
Joaquim de Almeida, who has a small role at the proprietor of a junk shop.)
James Wilder, above), who now teaches a course in that art here in NYC, and what look initially like his star student, Jack (sexy, cute but so-so acting newcomer Zuher Kahn, below), who soon proves to be an even sleazier sort than his creepy teacher.
Rebecca Mae Palmer, below), not that this matters one whit -- except to pave the way for another corpse or two.
Rudolf Martin, below), who wants to make off with Jack's valuables but who instead stays to chat.
Laemmle's Music Hall 3 on Friday, March 27.