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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Muse

List Price: $19.95
Our Price: $0.20
Your Save: $ 19.75 ( 99% )
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: Polygram USA Video
Starring: Jamie Alexis, Ange Billman, Jeff Bridges, Aude Charles, Gannon Daniels
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5

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Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Binding: VHS Tape
EAN: 0044004499934
Format: Closed-captioned
Label: Polygram USA Video
Manufacturer: Polygram USA Video
Number Of Items: 1
Publisher: Polygram USA Video
Release Date: 2000-08-01
Running Time: 97
Studio: Polygram USA Video
Theatrical Release Date: 1999-08-27

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Editorial Reviews:

Comic writer-director Albert Brooks (Lost in America, Defending Your Life, Mother) specializes in difficult characters. Not characters who are neurotic in a fumbling but endearing Woody Allen kind of way; Brooks creates characters who would be a pain in the ass to know and are sometimes kind of excruciating to even watch--which is not to say that they're not also extremely funny. However, The Muse manages to soften the edges of his persona while sustaining the humor. Steven (Brooks), a screenwriter, can't get anyone interested in his scripts. An extremely successful friend recommends that he talk to Sarah (Sharon Stone), who is--according the friend--a muse, one of the daughters of the Greek god Zeus who inspire creativity. The only problem is that Sarah not only gives, she takes: She demands gifts of diamond necklaces, expensive hotel rooms, late-night trips to expensive restaurants, and virtual servitude from whomever she's taken under her wing. This initially arouses suspicion in Steven's wife, Laura (Andie MacDowell), but soon Laura is asking for her own inspiration and it's Steven who starts to get jealous. Stone runs wild with her capricious character and an abundance of tart cameos (from Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Rob Reiner, Jennifer Tilly, Cybill Shepherd, and Wolfgang Puck) add juice to the proceedings. --Bret Fetzer

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: I mean, is there such a thing as a 'crawl on?'
Comment: Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks) is a writer who has hit a slump. His friend Jack Warrick (Jeff Bridges) seems to be doing well, so he goes to him for advice. Jack tells him that the secret to his success is a muse (Sharon Stone), one of the 9 daughters of Zeus, who inspires and councils Jack. Steven begs to meet her, so Jack sets up a meeting. She takes him on as a client, and he seems to be more inspired than usual, but The Muse is extreme high maintenance and she gets more demanding every day.

Albert Brooks has been called a West Coast Woody Allen. He is not as funny nor as neurotic, but watching his schtick, you can't help but compare them. Born in Beverly Hills, his real name is Albert Lawrence Einstein. So, while some people might say 'I'm no Albert Einstein,' he can literally say 'I AM Albert Einstein.' His brother is Bob Einstein, AKA "Super Dave" Osbourne. His father, vaudeville/radio/film comedian Harry Parke, died of a heart attack when Albert was 11. At a Friar's roast for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz he collapsed next to Milton Berle. While growing up, Debbie Reynolds was always trying to match make him with her daughter, Carrie Fisher.

I mention this biographical trivia to give you an idea of the man's show biz pedigree, and it pertains to The Muse becase it is a very inside Hollywood kind of a movie, and most if not all jokes are of the inside variety.

Steven Phillips: [to the gate guard, after being informed that he may enter the studio grounds as a 'walk-on'] Let me ask you - is this the lowest a human being can go? I mean, is there such a thing as a 'crawl on?'

Says Brooks, "I've always felt like I work in a small little area that doesn't represent anything like the rest of society." So we get a parade of cameos with the likes of James F. Cameron, Lorenzo Lamas, Cybill Shepherd, Jennifer Tilly, Rob Reiner, and Martin Scorsese. Not that there's anything wrong with that--in fact the Scorsese cameo deserves an Oscar if they ever decide to recognize that category. And if they ever recognize a category for 'most savage skewering of a weasely junior executive producer' then Mark Feuerstein as Josh Martin is a shoe in. Feurerstein may have been the kiss of death to several sit coms, but here he really nails his part. Even Mark himself cites this as his personal favorite personal performance.

Though the film has many entertaining moments, the whole premise of The Muse falls flat towards the end, and like the writing of Steven Phillips, loses its edge.

Albert Brooks ... Steven Phillips
Broadcast News (1987) .... Aaron Altman
Taxi Driver (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (1976) .... Tom

Sharon Stone ... Sarah Little
Casino (1995) .... Ginger McKenna
Basic Instinct - Director's Cut (Ultimate Edition) (1992) .... Catherine Tramell

Andie MacDowell ... Laura Phillips
Multiplicity (1996) .... Laura Kinney
sex, lies, and videotape (1989) .... Ann Bishop Mullany

Jeff Bridges ... Jack Warrick
The Big Lebowski - 10th Anniversary Edition (1998) .... Jeffrey Lebowski - The Dude
The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) .... Jack Baker

Jennifer Tilly ... Herself
The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) .... Blanche 'Monica' Moran
Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000) .... Jo
Bound (1996) .... Violet

"When I die, if the word 'thong' appears in the first or second sentence of my obituary, I've screwed up."
~Albert Brooks

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: A Stinker
Comment: A stinkingly bad 'comedy' with some really annoying and unsympathetic characters and some really annoying incidental music.

At least we do get a 1 sec view of Sharon Stone naked; although the IMDB guys seem to thinks it's a body double.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Life imitates art.
Comment: The first half-hour is fine. Brooks is always at his best when his character is downtrodden or neurotic, and it's easy to sympathize with the screenwriter he plays here--one who's told repeatedly that he's "lost his edge."

But Brooks lets go of his character's misery too quickly ... and the movie never picks up steam from there. The rest of this story--his writer seeks inspiration from a high-maintenance muse played by Sharon Stone--fails to be in any way funny or revealing. It's simply dull, and we sit there waiting for director Brooks to recognize it, too, and turn this dog around.

The problem's pretty basic: Brooks's real-world acts Two and Three have no pop. The summer-blockbuster idea the muse inspires needs to be funny. But it isn't. It sounds dreadful, and increasingly, Brooks's character's problems become Brooks's real-life issues: how to put sizzle into an dry, workmanlike script perked up only by a spirited Stone. (Cameos from James Cameron and Martin Scorcese don't really help; they just highlight the barrenness of the terrain around them.)

Indeed, after that first half-hour, very little works here ... until the ending, which exhibits the flash of inspiration missing from the picture as a whole.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Sad.
Comment: Where do I start... A desperate writer goes into debt to keep a supposed "muse" living in the lap of luxury. This is from the Danny DeVito school of film making, hideous characters, doing hideous things all of which comes no where close to a black comedy but a drawn out "one joke" movie. The only person I know that enjoyed this movie has deep emotional problems herself and probably identified with the Sharon Stone character. This is creepy Hollywood at it's worst.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Five stars!
Comment: I have seen this movie more than ten times (no kidding!!) and just can't get enough of it. What a lovely story. Brooks, Stone and MacDowell are simply brilliant just beautiful in their rolls. I also enjoyed seeing Jeff Bridges again whom I always remember for his superb roll in Starman. Brooks and Stone are just fantastic in the last 5 minutes of the finale. The finale does leave some unresolved questions in my mind but still it is a great movie. If Albert Brooks sets his mind to it, I'm sure he could come up with a sequel. I'll see this movie over and over and never get tired of it. Who said you need all of that vulgar language, sex and violence to make a great movie!!

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