Small screen sends up big screen

Critic's Choice: Film

July 30, 2000|By Ann Hornaday

One of the most oft-asked questions of a film critic, especially this summer, is, "How does this stuff get made?"

"This stuff," of course, refers to the dreck that regularly opens at the googol-plex every Friday. How it gets made is chronicled with vicious, mean-spirited, hilarious cynicism in "Action," a failed Fox comedy series that started rebroadcast on the FX Networks cable channel June 20. The first eight episodes of the show, which stars Jay Mohr as a rapacious movie producer and Illeana Douglas as a prostitute-turned-development-executive, chronicled the greed, lust and narcissism that fuel the movie business. Starting this week, fans will be treated to five never-before-seen episodes of the show, in which Mohr's character continues to bully his troubled action blockbuster "Beverly Hills Gun Club," to the screen.

Shot through with inside jokes and cameo appearances (Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Scott Wolf, Ice Cube), "Action" is the ideal antidote to summer longueurs, a spiky black Valentine to an absurd, self-important and over-moneyed industry.

"Action" is shown Tuesday nights at 10:30 on the FX cable network.

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