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I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix [Blu-ray] [Import]

Joaquin Phoenix , Antony Langdon , Casey Affleck    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curious Experiment March 13 2011
By LeBrain HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
I hate today's media as much as the next guy, so when Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix revealed that they just punk'd the media in a big way, I was curious about the results. Joaquin faked a major meltdown in front of the world, pretending that he was retiring from acting to become a rapper. His rapper persona, "JP", grew out a long straggly beard and hair to feign mental illness.

The movie never addresses the issue of fake / real. As far as the movie is concerned, Affleck doesn't let on. It was only after the fact that they both let the cat out of the bag. Things start out innocently enough. JP reveals that he's become interested in music and wants to concentrate on that. As the beard grows so does the odd behaviour. Weird, disjointed and off-rhythm raps, dirty clothes, and the beard continues to grow. The infamous Letterman appearance follows and this is when most people heard of Phoenix's breakdown. The media reports are followed as well.

JP gets frustrated trying to find a producer, finally getting some interest from Diddy. Trying to hook up with Diddy is damn near impossible, but when he does, Diddy is interested. One song, "Compli-f***in-cated", could have been a novelty hit for real. The stage gigs don't go well, as JP is heckled by the crowd. Can JP redeem his rap career and finally begin to express himself in a meaningful way? If the drugs don't get to him first, maybe.

It wasn't a bad film, it was definitely a unique film, I'm just not sure how much entertainment value it had. Pranks tend to go best when they are short and sweet, to the point. When they last a year and become a full length movie, the lines between prank and reality are blurred.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curious Experiment Dec 6 2010
By LeBrain HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
I hate today's media as much as the next guy, so when Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix revealed that they just punk'd the media in a big way, I was curious about the results. Joaquin faked a major meltdown in front of the world, pretending that he was retiring from acting to become a rapper. His rapper persona, "JP", grew out a long straggly beard and hair to feign mental illness.

The movie never addresses the issue of fake / real. As far as the movie is concerned, Affleck doesn't let on. It was only after the fact that they both let the cat out of the bag. Things start out innocently enough. JP reveals that he's become interested in music and wants to concentrate on that. As the beard grows so does the odd behaviour. Weird, disjointed and off-rhythm raps, dirty clothes, and the beard continues to grow. The infamous Letterman appearance follows and this is when most people heard of Phoenix's breakdown. The media reports are followed as well.

JP gets frustrated trying to find a producer, finally getting some interest from Diddy. Trying to hook up with Diddy is damn near impossible, but when he does, Diddy is interested. One song, "Compli-f***in-cated", could have been a novelty hit for real. The stage gigs don't go well, as JP is heckled by the crowd. Can JP redeem his rap career and finally begin to express himself in a meaningful way? If the drugs don't get to him first, maybe.

It wasn't a bad film, it was definitely a unique film, I'm just not sure how much entertainment value it had. Pranks tend to go best when they are short and sweet, to the point. When they last a year and become a full length movie, the lines between prank and reality are blurred.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what a joke March 4 2011
By Adam
Format:Blu-ray
this so called documentary (which is fake), it shows how much of a tool joaquin phoenix really is.
The only good part of this "documentary" is when everyone makes fun of him.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  106 reviews
39 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here, There, And Everywhere--The Ultimate Act Of Filmmaking Self-Indulgence Oct. 5 2010
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Madness or high-concept performance art? "I'm Still Here," the faux documentary about actor Joaquin Phoenix, is likely to baffle and divide its audience. When Phoenix decided to quit acting, and seemingly hygiene, to pursue his passion of becoming a rap star--his friend and brother-in-law Casey Affleck was there to follow and film the inevitable fall from grace. There was rampant speculation from the get-go about the legitimacy of the endeavor (especially as it was all being filmed), but the longer the debacle played out--the less it seemed to matter. Fake or real, the damage was being done. Now, almost two years later, to have the entire experience and film declared a ruse seems the ultimate act of futility. Who, exactly, is the joke on? And to what purpose?

"I'm Still Here" covers all the trappings of a celebrity life in descent. Drug use, prostitutes, public intoxication, brawling and a "star" desperate to be taken seriously despite his best efforts to act a fool--we've seen the act before in countless narrative films and fictionalized biographies. We get a repeat of the infamous Letterman interview, the concert performance that became a YouTube sensation, and the incident where Phoenix attacked a concert goer. We also get to see moments of celebrity intervention--Edward James Olmos tries the spiritual approach while Ben Stiller tries to get Phoenix back to work. Much of the film is about a scramble to get into the music industry. Phoenix aggressively pursues P. Diddy, the film's most inspired performance, who is mainly just concerned about getting paid. Now that's real! And it all concludes on a rather ridiculous "arty" note which has got to be satirical.

Affleck has maintained that this is his brother-in-law's best performance. The problem is--I don't know if I believe him, I don't know that I care, and I don't know if it matters? At some point, you have to ask yourself "what's the point?" As near as I can figure, the only analysis has "I'm Still Here" as a discussion on the nature of reality and/or the nature of celebrity. On either account, is it relevant and necessary? When it was declared "I'm Still Here" was a hoax, that really doesn't change much of the on-screen content. Phoenix deconstructed his life on camera and those bad acts were put in the film. Even if some of the private incidents were staged (who knows? who cares?), the public behavior earned Phoenix notoriety as a drug addled buffoon. So whether he was living the life depicted or "acting" like he was living the life depicted, there isn't much real difference. What's that say about reality? Not so sure. And with celebrity meltdowns almost a monthly occurrence, does a "fake" one merit much interest? Not so sure.

The alternate option, and the one I tend to gravitate towards, is that it's all really quite meaningless in the long run. I think Affleck's "truthful" revelation while the film was in limited release was meant to fuel interest and debate. Duh? Fine, then, let's set a different set of standards. As a fictional experiment, I still think the film and its topic play out too often in real life to be particularly revelatory here. In terms of entertainment, I'd make the same argument. At best, I'd say that "I'm Still Here" is a fascinating excursion in self-indulgence both by Phoenix and Affleck. Whether that's enough will depend on your interest in the pair. I was mildly interested when all is said and done. KGHarris, 10/10.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Best Mockumentaries ever Aug. 1 2011
By Timothy Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Among mockumentaries, I'm Still Here holds a unique place. It is brilliantly made, a clever parody of celebrity, and the culmination of a extended real world prank by Joaquin Phoenix as he very publicly announced his retirement from acting and into a hip hop career. As directed by Casey Affleck, it catches the vanity and self-entitlement of celebrity with a knowing sense. After all Phoenix comes from a life in the spotlight, one that took his brother's life, and Affleck, the lesser known than brother Ben, is no slouch in terms of talent and brains. So they fashion a cunning end to Phoenix's prank. At the time this was released, many still believed that he had lost his mind. For a year the public worried that this talented actor had really lost it. All your worst assumptions and emotions about the privileges of being a celebrity are tweaked in this film. The viewer became complicit in the the prank because we were had. It is a brilliant and unique idea.
But the film holds up on its own, too. Like 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' by Banksy, it raises wonderful questions on art and life, celebrity and talent, by personally putting the filmmaker's, or artist's reputation on the line. And look for an great performance by Sean Combs (P. Diddy) as a hip hop entrepreneur who brilliantly parodies and plays with our expectations of Diddy himself.
The message? We don't know these people, so perhaps we ought to give up the judgements we make of these celebrities and stars with whom we hold no real affiliation. After all, they are just like us they can be flawed - even if they are richer - a lot richer - more respected, more beautiful, and more privileged that we the huddled masses.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best mocumentary ever Jan. 2 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Wonderful mocumentary. Phoenix is superb. His best performance ever. He is an amazing actor. I can't believe he didn't get the Oscar for Walk the line. But if you like Joaquin Phoenix you must see this. This mocumentary is funny, it's sad, it's deep...It has it all. And Phoenix is extremely good. It's worth watching just to see his performance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who love to watch a train wreck March 25 2013
By Paul S. Remington - Published on Amazon.com
A few years back, I was lying in bed watching David Letterman, as I usually do each night before dropping off to sleep. This one night, I saw a strange, unkempt man come out and do one of the most bizarre interviews I've seen in a long time. I couldn't believe this man was Joaquin Phoenix. I vaguely recalled who Phoenix was, but his appearance was so altered, I couldn't place the face. I thought this was one messed up individual, but filed it under "entertainment" and turned out the light and went to sleep.

Sometime later, a friend at work and I were talking about him and his appearance on Lettermen. That's how I learned about this movie. My friend recommended I watch it, telling me Joaquin agreed to the documentary so people can see who he really is. I wasn't told that it was untrue, or at least my friend didn't reveal it to me. Perhaps he didn't know; I'm not sure.

This weekend, I bumped into this mockumentary while browsing Amazon Instant Video content. I started watching it, not really intending to watch it out. I thought I'd watch fifteen minutes or so, just to get a feel for it, then ditch it for something else. Boy was I wrong--I was riveted!

This character profile is so well done, I actually didn't know it was fake until after I finished watching it. I had to research what happened to Joaquin Phoenix since the documentary, convinced he was probably dead or in rehab or continuing to flounder in a puddle of his own ill will. I then learned it was all a farcical documentary and he's not only fine, he has actually completed a couple of movies since this was released.

What makes this movie so brilliant is its realism. Joaquin Phoenix comes across as his own worst enemy, locked in a career-destructive fantasy believing he's something he isn't--a rap artist. Throughout the movie, I'm watching him throw away his true talents for something less than mediocre. It literally is like watching a train wreck and it's a sad and painful descent to witness. I finished the movie clearly affected.

I can see how others might be divided by its realism. I am, to some extent. At one point he attacks a heckler in the crowd while performing at a rap concert. While he's escorted out of the place, he makes a pit stop into the bathroom to puke. He really does puke . . . four forceful stomach-churning spews into the toilet. That wasn't faked. If it was, did he slip himself something to puke before the scene? If it wasn't, what motivated him to puke if the entire thing was a setup? Moments like this, along with many others throughout the movie, add realism and intense dramatic impact.

Perhaps there was an element of truth to some of what we're seeing. Perhaps it was all scripted. This is the brilliance of this mockumentary. If it isn't real, it raises the bar, in my eyes, to how truly talented Joaquin Phoenix is. And I have to hand it to Casey Affleck, who did an outstanding job creating this movie. Even the final scene is a brilliantly symbolic ending--a man walking through the water, getting deeper and deeper, until he's in over his head. Roll credits . . . Brilliant!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mocumentary Questions Celebrity and Identity May 2 2013
By Silver Persinger - Published on Amazon.com
In a mildly entertaining movie, Phoenix says he's quitting acting. The media responds, most are incredulous. He says he's going to pursue his interest in hip hop. He grows his beard and stops brushing his hair. He is abusive to his assistants, in a way that only rich, entitled movie stars can be, I imagine. A story of a man lost between what he was and what he isn't, with money enough to do whatever he wants, despite the public's disapproval.
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