Sex, Stupidity and Greed


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ISBN-13: 1000440

by Ian Grey

Film / Pop Culture
Paperback
9 x 6 inches
240 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9651042-7-2

by Ian Grey Film / Pop Culture Paperback 9 x 6 inches 240 pages ISBN: 978-0-9651042-7-2

"Former punk rocker and unlikely Hollywood insider Ian Grey takes us on a cynical, self-loathing tour of the worst of Tinseltown in this gut-bustingly funny collection of evil little essays. From the overblown egos that manage the movies to the trend towards cleaned-up gore, Grey has the political savvy and film-world background to make incisive comments on the dumbest of art forms. Not to be missed are his essays on the life-affirming qualities of gore films, the love of plastic surgery, and the reminiscences of Oscar night, when everyone who wants something is essentially doing to everyone who has something what Monica Lewinsky did to President Clinton. Too much fun for one volume." —James DiGiovanna

Contemporary Hollywood takes it on the chin in these two books, written from widely different perspectives. Fleming, who has written extensively on Hollywood for Variety, Newsweek, and Entertainment Weekly, tells the sordid story of producer Don Simpson, who helped create a string of blockbusters (Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun) and whose box office figures gave new meaning to the phrase "gross receipts."

Simpson died in January 1996 at the age of 52; his heart gave out after years of crash dieting, drugs, alcohol, and disfiguring plastic surgery. Fleming spares few of the gory details of Simpson's decline, and he's quick to tie his lifestyle up with that of other Hollywood miscreants like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Farley. The book needs a better sense of Simpson's longtime relationship with partner Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as some perspective; Fleming barely acknowledges that the film business has always harbored and even encouraged hard-living dynamos like Simpson, as long as they were successful.

Grey, described by his publisher as "once a Hollywood insider," offers a collection of brief essays and interviews about the state of films. Grey's chats with directors John Waters (Hairspray) and Wes Craven (Scream) highlight what's best about the book; the author's essays range from the provocative to the puerile. A discretionary purchase for most collections.