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Simone (Widescreen / Fullscreen) [Import]

Al Pacino , Catherine Keener , Andrew Niccol    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Most helpful customer reviews
Andrew Niccol, writer of director's Peter Weir's highly entertaining and thought-provoking "The Truman Show" takes the helm by directing what I see as an interesting and recurring theme in his work. In both "Truman" and "Simone," Niccol seems postulate that we accept almost everything in our lives without close examination. He goes further to theorize that sometimes what we tend to believe what we are shown even more that what we see for ourselves even if we take the time for a cursory examination. This perspective is particularly appropriate with regard as to how we are in such awe of celebrities and think that whatever they do is worth reading/talking about.
In my opinion, he's on to something, but although "Simone" begins with an interesting premise, Niccol squanders the opportunity and the end result is neither thought-provoking, sufficiently funny, or ever believable at any level even as satire. Although I generally hate to give anything away about the movies that I review, I will get into the main premise, so if you know nothing about this movie, you may want to skip the rest of the review. The movie starts out with much promise as director Viktor Taransky (played by the always great to watch Al Pacino) is having major issues with his impossible to please leading lady Nicola Anders (played with over the top gusto by Winona Rider). Since Nicola believes that she's not being treated like the star that she is, she walks out of the movie before it is finished due to what will be termed the usual "creative differences," even though it's all about ego.
At this point the movie had me hooked as I started to anticipate a satire/spoof of Hollywood a la "The Player" or the creation of an alternate universe a la "The Truman Show," or even better something that would up the ante on both.
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Humans will worship anything, be it a wooden statue, sports hero or movie star as shown by the excellent and amusing "Simone". This film stars Al Pacino as Viktor Taransky, a washed up movie director who is given a program by an odd man that enables him to create a virtual movie star. As he is fed up with snotty movie stars such as the annoying woman played by Winona Ryder, he soon starts making films using his virtual star Simone (short for simulation one) played by the easy on the eyes Rachel Roberts.
I enjoyed this film for many reasons. It's fun, witty, and realistic and really exposes our society's stupid obsession with stupid movies or rock stars. In this culture of instant celebrates such as those created on awful reality tv shows like "idol" , it's refreshing to see something like this come out of hollywood. As the song says: "there ain't no hope in brad and jen, stop grovelling at their feet. You worship any mortal man who lights up the silver screen."
God is the only one worthy of worship .
Thanks for reading.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Someone...should have said "hey, wait a minute" March 22 2004
The basic premise of S1m0ne sounds promising. However, as is the case with many movies having one person with too much control (written/directed/produced by same person in this case), someone needed to say "hey, wait a minute. What about...?"
What about computer technology? Using a 5.25 floppy in the movie is bad enough. Having a computer-illiterate movie director suddenly have instantaneous knowledge (and a dedicated keyboard) of a rather complex software package on a run-of-the -mill PC was a major stumbling block.
What about driving a car in the reclined position (with a mannequin in the driver seat)? The less said about that, the better.
What about having a teenage girl as the hero? (Well, technically, she was 12, but it's about the same thing). Never having any exposure to Dad's afore-mentioned-mediocre PC-with- fantastic-software, she is quite the hero on it.
With these three major blunders out of the way, the rest of the movie had unrewarded promise and yet, it was still mildly entertaining. I liked Winona Ryder for some reason. I would suggest renting rather than buying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun little romp March 11 2004
By Ilu
I think only quirky people will really get much out of this film. It's a quirky film, and it's neither totally outrageous nor emotionally engaging.

The premise is pretty simple, but I enjoy watching the way it plays out.

More than a simple humorous jab at Hollywood and star worship... it works as a comment on personality - how you're creating your personality & reality - not very directly, but nonetheless so. That, or maybe I'm just really weird.
Regardless of any philosophical merit, or if you will, lack thereof... I think it succeeds as a light weird comedy.

It's not viscerally hilariously funny, nor is it ultimately profound (though then again, is ANYTHING profound ...if not everything? HA ;P. *ahem). I enjoyed watching it, but it's not something most people can relate to much, while still not weird enough to end up a cult classic.

The film is somewhat similar to Charlie Kaufmann's work - but not as quirky or intellectually brilliant (or puffery. your call.)). If you're interested in Simone, I feel comfortable recommending it - & I'd recommend you also look into "Being John Malcovich" or "Adaptation" if you haven't seen 'em yet!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun little romp
While I enjoyed it, I'd say it's SOMEWHAT similar to Charlie Kaufmann's work, but lacks the drama and the superb delicacy and genius of Kaufmann's "Being John Malcovich" and... Read more
Published on March 11 2004 by Ilu
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but tried to do too much
Simone is about a very artistic film director (Pacino) who feels underappreciated toward himself and toward movies, that they should be creative works of art that are created by... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by G. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!
Not only is the star in the movie, Simone, amazing, but the movie itself is! It's a very fun movie to watch and I never get tired of watching it. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2003 by Hanna
2.0 out of 5 stars This Final Fantasy Doesn't Bite
Everyone would admit its idea is brilliant. What if you create 100 % computer-generated actress? The perfect actress who doesn't complain about the huge trailer you took trouble... Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2003 by Tsuyoshi
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but the script loses track of the satire
It would be easy to dismiss "S1m0ne" as an attempt by writer Andrew Niccol to have another success similar to "The Truman Show" dealing with the way the mass... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2003 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Just okay, but nothing special
Simone is one of those movies that drive intelligent people crazy. For it to work, people have to act and think in such an idiotic manner for the better part of two hours, and as... Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2003 by DML
4.0 out of 5 stars SIMONE: Perception is Reality
There is a fine line that Hollywood must draw between the seeming reality of what audiences see on the screen and what special effects directors make them think that they see. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2003 by Martin Asiner
3.0 out of 5 stars S1m0ne
S1M0NE is the follow up from the maker of The Truman Show, but S1M0NE barely presents anything that is nearly as efficient or plausible as the Truman Show. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Fox McBox
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than I Thought
The current reviews do this film great justice. This IS a nice movie, with a lot more depth than one would have imagined for the premise. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2003 by T. A. Wauldron
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