The Majestic Short Review (2001)

When Frank Darabont’s name is mentioned usually his collaborations with Stephen King come to mind or some of his other horror endeavors. The Majestic is one of his most overlooked films.

I don’t think it did well among audiences and got a lukewarm reception from critics (getting around 27% from so called Top Critics on a certain tomato site). It’s slow paced, but the film has a highly nostalgic take on days gone by that I find endlessly watchable.

Jim Carrey is in low key mode which he generally does very well. None of the typical Carrey wackiness are apparent. He plays a blacklisted writer, who after an accident, loses his memory driving through a small seaside community. The townsfolk suspect that he is one of their own, a young soldier who was reported Killed In Action during World War II.

Martin Landau is the owner of the dilapidated theater of the title who is convinced the writer is his son. Whether he is or not remains to be seen. The town (along with the theater) is rejuvenated by reclaiming him. This story wistfully frames the town in a seemingly innocent, bygone era light and has a rhapsodized take on the Hollywood blacklists.

The cast is stellar, featuring many of Darabont’s regulars. The late, great James Whitmore plays one of the townsfolk. He plays a character that ushers in the beginnings of a change for Carrey’s  character. Whitmore had somewhat of a career resurgance at the end of his life. He reminded me of people I’ve known in my own life. His voice and his mannerisms were distinctive and he could tell a good story. I was a fan.

Other members of the director’s circle with fellow King collaborator Jeffrey DeMunn and the lovely Laurie Holden. I liked her a whole lot more here than in the Walking Dead or the Mist. She doesn’t have a huge part (Carrey is burdened with most of the load in the film), but is more than just the love interest.

Modern B-movie star Bruce Campbell (along with Cliff Curtis, Amanda Detmer and the golden idol from Raiders Of The Lost Ark) turns up in a film within the film.

The ‘fake film’s’ importance is obvious fairly quickly, but this movie is more interested in tugging at the heart strings rather than big surprises.

It is a long drama at two and a half hours. It’s not a comedy or an action film, so some may find it slow. I myself think that its one of the best films of the early 2000s. At times it’s also much too idealistic and preachy, but after multiple viewings I still find it enthralling.

4.5 of 5 whatevers.



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3 Responses to “The Majestic Short Review (2001)”

  1. […] The Majestic (2001) (crashlanden.wordpress.com) […]

  2. [...] and is still a great film. Hands down, the best computer generated martial arts flick ever. 10 The Majestic TMNT The Lookout Lord of War The Proposition The Girl In The Cafe 9 A Knight’s Tale The [...]

  3. [...] very well… I ‘got’ this one and liked it a lot.)… 10 The Majestic 9 Amélie 8 A Knight’s Tale 7 Ghost World 6 Enemy at the Gates 5 The Royal Tenenbaums 4 [...]

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