Editors note: Many say right now is the worst time for movies. But in times like this, the underdog can rise. This feature hopes to open minds and create debate.
BY DARCY ARIZMENDI
Remember when Joaquin Phoenix acted like a total ass on “The David Letterman Show”? What was that all about? “I’m Still Here” not only gives you an answer, but makes you look at reality TV in a new light.
The film begins with Phoenix (playing himself) standing outside, wearing a get-up that looks like it came straight from “The Road.” He starts to ramble on with self-reflection and says, “I don’t want to play the character Joaquin anymore.”
After several interview clips, and his announcement that he is done with acting, he is seen holding “8 Mile” style pages of words. Then he turns those words into the very first audible Phoenix rap. That’s right, rap.
Deciding to try his skills in public, Phoenix goes to a local bar and tries to “rock da mic.” Not being able to hold the flow, he leaves the bar with his panties in a bunch.
He complains to his cameraman about how was he judged in the bar and felt wronged because all they saw was Joaquin and not his pure skill.
Coming up with the rap name JP, he puts all his efforts into making an album, sort of. During this process, Phoenix gets knee deep with drugs, alcohol and hookers.
In order for JP to make it big, he needs a producer. A main thread of the movie features multiple meetings with P Diddy and trying to sign a deal with his label.
Not sure what to make of JP, Diddy seems to keep a safe distance from the whole project and reveals that he has no intention of producing it.
Does JP rise above the challenge and invigorate music audiences everywhere? The last time I checked, he was not on iTunes.
The movie includes a ton of cameo appearances by some of Hollywood’s biggest players, including Mos Def, Jamie Foxx and Ben Stiller. There’s even a glimpse of Bruce Willis.
At this point you may be asking, is this for real? Without going into spoilers, “I’m Still Here” is an exploitation film of the reality genre. It should be watched by anyone who wanted to know what the hell happened to good ol’ Joaquin.
Title: “I’m Still Here”
Director: Casey Affleck
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix
Run time: 106 minutes
Found at: Best Buy, Netflix, Amazon