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American Dreamz [DVD]

3.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: 12
  • DVD Release Date: 3 July 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HCO5BG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,133 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Willem Dafoe American Dreamz

From Amazon.co.uk

A sadly muddled and unsatisfying film, American Dreamz is beset by an identity crisis it never manages to answer.

On paper, it's promising, if hardly radical. Hugh Grant plays the host of a top-rated American talent show. On his quest for ratings, he casts his net far and wide hunting for hopefuls, bringing in the likes of Mandy Moore as he does so. And a wannabe terrorist too. Which doesn't really make too much sense when you watch it either. Throw in an insecure President of the United States--played by Dennis Quaid--who finds himself, thanks to his key adviser (Willem Dafoe) as a guest judge on the show, and you have something of a mess.

What's most surprising is that behind the camera is Paul Weitz, who's of late built upon his initial success with American Pie and brought us the excellent About A Boy (which again starred Grant), and the woefully-underrated In Good Company (which starred Quaid). Yet he's simply unable to work his magic here, as the film simply fails to gel. As a satire, it's targets are too soft and obvious, as a broad comedy it lacks laughs, and even as a straight hour and a half of easy entertainment, it's far too jumbled to be able to relax and enjoy.

There may be an argument that in the midst of all of this is a decent enough movie struggling to break through. But the point is that it doesn't, and given the calibre and curriculum vitaes of some of those involved, American Dreamz has to be classed as a crushing disappointment. --Simon Brew --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"American Dreamz" seems to have all the ingredients to be a great satirical comedy but I thought that the result was less than the sum of its parts.

There is good cast, including talented actors such as Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid and Mandy Moore. The premise is also good - a satirical look at both TV talent shows and politics. However it just doesn't have enough laughs to deliver on its promise.

The movie is about a show like Pop Idol or the X Factor. The shows producers and its jaded presenter, played by Grant, are desperate to keep ratings high and so handpick the contestants they want to be in the final
One of these is played by Moore. She appears as an All-american girl next door but will do ANYTHING to win. By accident, Omer, an Arab staying with cousins in the US is also picked. He also happens to be a sleeper agent for an Islamic terrorist group.

The other thread to the movie is about the US President, played by Dennis Quaid. He is depressed and refuses to go out in public but is persuaded by his Chief of Staff (Willem Dafoe) to increase his popularity by going on the shows finale as a judge.

Perhaps it is the presence of two radically different storylines that leads to the movie struggling unsuccessfully to be funny. There are too many characters that we have to keep track of. A potentially interesting storyline about the relationship between the Grant's character and Moore's, one more self obsessed than the other, is not explored fully as the movies rushes to a chaotic and unsatisfying climax.
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I am not a big fan of Hugh Grant and so that fact, together with the bad reviews this film got, meant I did not go to see it at the cinema. However I am so glad I got it on DVD. Maybe it's just my sense of humour, maybe it's because I have enjoyed The X Factor, but I found this parody of the t.v. show funny from start to finish. I was almost on the edge of my seat wondering if the bumbling terrorist who, by complete fluke, ends up in the competition will manage to assasinate the President. The final scenes, even while dealing with tragedy, manage to be hilarious too. I can see from other reviews that it doesn't appeal to everyone's sense of humour so I can't guarantee you will like it but I can only say that I found it very entertaining and wished the film had been longer as it seemed over far too quickly.
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I have to confess I enjoyed this - but it's quite a guilty pleasure, as it's hard to find the merit in it.. Everyone seems to be trying hard to lampoon real life. Dennis Quaid IS Pres Bush... Willem Defoe IS Dick Cheney... Hugh Grant IS Simon Cowell... and the humour is mostly found in recognising the lampooning that is going on. However the potential for biting satire is largely thrown away... it's still there, but not so biting (Defoe, at a press conference describes the recent visit from the Russian premier - `The president and Mr. Putin had a nice talk. The president considers him a close friend, while of course deeply mistrusting his undemocratic tendencies.'). This makes for a movie where the characters are for the most part either stupid or unlikable - mostly both.

And yet, when the ingredients are put together and we have a talent show with a failed Arab terrorist who just wants to sing, a budding starlet who will do anything to be famous (even her name is `Kandoo') and the MC is one of the most loathable and self loathing characters in years - the end result is amusing, and even in some cases surprising. But the reliance on current issues means that a year or more from now this movie is already going to look dated..

Think twice before buying, but rent it for a chuckle if you like.
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Format: DVD
Inept, tedious and pretty much free of laughs, the film misfires all the way through. You would expect more from Paul Weitz. However badly lesser directors have handled the American Pie franchise in recent years, the original had bags of humour and heart, while About a Boy, also a joint effort with borther Chris did justice to Nick Hornby's book and even made Hugh Grant quite sympathetic. Grant stars here as self-loving, self-loathing Brit Martin Tweed, bossing a hugely popular talent show. It's lazy, underwhelming turn, but one suspects everyone involved in American Dreamz sussed this was a turkey. Willem Dafoe, bald and bespectacled, is singularly unfunny as Chief of Staff to Dennis Quaid's lost-the-plot President. Chris Klein does his dim but wholesome routine as a lovelorn American soldier, but we have been there too many times before. The story line about a reluctant Jihadist, Omer, being steered by hi co-religionists to a bloody showbiz denouement is not worth getting into. Of interest only as a guide on how not to make a comedy, American Dreamz stiffs out early. Congratulations to those who made it to the end.
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Format: DVD
American Dreamz heart is in the right place, and tongue firmly in cheek. You've gotta give props to any film that tries to combine lampooning reality television, with commentary on the Middle East, the society we are becoming, and the interesting take that President Bush is misunderstood....

Overall, I liked it. I agree it is uneven, and sometimes laughs are slow coming, but the final 20 minutes is very funny. I disagree the plot was hard to follow, its pretty straightforward if you ask me. Satire is meant to be both funny, and slightly uncomfortable, and this does that. Worth a watch, but not a masterpiece.
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