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3.1 out of 5 stars
High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2000
What you get out of High Concept depends on how you approach it. Certainly others chart the late 70s/early 80s at Paramount better, and it's hardly a cutting edge insight into Hollywood. What it is though is a compelling account of the legendary producer, and whilst it occasionally takes the easy way out, it remains an excellent read. Even if it does stop talking about cinema a little too often.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 1998
The fact that Don Simpson embodied most of Hollywood's more sordid cliches hardly qualifies him as an interesting book subject. His films were, without exception, mediocre, and his success in the industry can only be measured by dollars. For any enthusiast of film as art, this measure is meaningless. Also, Simpson's life and death were so expediently and succinctly covered by the national and industry press that Fleming sheds very little new light. He makes a point of trashing hoped-for sources who were uncooperative, claiming that Simpson would have hated them. But the truth is that Fleming is covering his heinie for the pathetic collection of interviewees he has assembled, a true Hollywood losers club of whores, dealers and low-level wannabe "players." And who CARES if the morally bankrupt, soulless Don Simpson would have hated those with the dignity to keep their mouths shut? Has Fleming lost his own bearings, too? After reading far too much about this contemptuous creep than I needed to know, I think that earning Simpson's hatred would have been an honor.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2012
If you like Hollywood scandal then this is for you. The stuff this dude got up to will make your eyes water, and I don't mean as it crying! I found it a fascinating insight into mad, bad world of US film production from the 80's/90's.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 1999
There is an interesting book out there describing Hollywood of the 80's and early 90's. "High Concept" however, certainly isn't it. Essentially, Charles Fleming has gone for the titillating details of Don Simpson's Sex, Drugs and Bad Movies lifestyle, the accuracy of which we have no way of determining. (In an effort to pad out the book, he throws in almost completely unrelated stories about Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr. and a list of other miscreants). This however, has had the opposite effect for me. After a while I found myself skipping through the long tedious descriptions of prescription and non-description drugs, Armani Suits, junk food, picking up prostitutes. It's amazing how dull he makes Hedonism !
The book flows most easily when describing how the movie industry works and the process of making the various Simpson/Bruckheimer movies, but all the time one gets the feeling that the author is desperate to get back to the "juicy" bits and soon back to describing wild post-shoot parties, coked up meetings in Las Vegas......blah......blah.......
Finally, it is a very badly edited book. It feels like a whole bunch of articles have been pasted together and sent off to the publishers without even a read through. The early chapters are a complete mess. The narrative goes off on a tangent for a few pages without warning. Stories are mentioned and rementioned (or is it perhaps that the author has a better idea of the attention span of the reader ?).
Sigh. I look forward to that book I mentioned at the start but in the mean time I would recommend Stevan Bach's compelling portrait of Hollywood in the 70's "Final Cut". If you really want entertaining trash on the other hand - then why not get Top Gun/Beverly Hills Cop/Crimson Tide/The Rock/..... on video ? Trust me, you'll enjoy yourself much more !
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on 19 May 2015
Gift
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2001
ive seen bad reviews for this book and have to strong disagree with them all. this book shows us the way Hollywood is and was. It pulls no punches and Don Simpson is and was a man who wasnt afraid to live life the way that he wanted to. Excessivly. If you want a true picture of the movie world, read this. Charles Fleming, you want a pat on the back. Don Simpson. If you were alive today, i would shake your hand and buy you some drinks.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2001
Astonishingly poor. One of those books that really make you wonder what the hell editors/subeditors/proofreaders/professional readers actually do. Rambling and incoherently repetitive, lacking any kind of narrative drive. How can a story of drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll be made so dull?
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2001
Astonishingly poor. One of those books that really make you wonder what the hell editors/subeditors/proofreaders/professional readers actually do. Rambling and incoherently repetitive, lacking any kind of narrative drive. How can a story of drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll be made so dull?
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