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“Overdirecting and Overacting”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

J. Edgar tells the story of J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is the latest film directed by Clint Eastwood, and it is a big disappointment.

First of all, the movie stars Leonardo “Pretty Boy” DiCaprio as the diminutive Hoover, DiCaprio is six feet tall, Hoover was five feet, 7-1/2 inches tall, and although there is one scene that refers to Hoover’s short height, except for when DiCaprio is paired with Armie Hammer, who is six-foot five, Hoover doesn’t look short at all.

Second of all, the movie takes forever to get started, jumping back and forth and in-between in time for no apparent purpose than to try to impress the audience with Eastwood’s cleverness. Eventually we learn that this is the design of the entire movie, but until we realize that, the audience can be asking, “What is this? A history lesson?”

At any rate, I got bored right at the beginning and saw it as too much style and not enough substance, especially when clever cuts between scenes were designed to impress and the continuity became confusing. Titles showing what year we were in would be a considerable help, but I guess Eastwood thought that DiCaprio’s makeup showing him as an old man, young man, and middle-aged man would take care of that problem.

And third of all, the movie confirms only one of the three so-called “scandalous” facts that we now know about Hoover, that he was a mama’s boy, but still leaves open for speculation that he had a homosexual relationship with his longtime Number 2 man, Clyde Tolson, played by Hammer, and that he enjoyed wearing women’s clothing.

Hoover’s mother is played by Judi Dench, and I even yawned during the scene in which after she dies, DiCaprio puts on one of her dresses.

Naomi Watts is unrecognizable as Helen Gandy, Hoover’s longtime private secretary and keeper of the secret files that Hoover maintained on various celebrities and politicians.

And the film keeps going over the famous kidnaping of the son of Charles Lindbergh in endless flashbacks, flashforwards, and flash-in-betweens even after it reveals what the ending of that case was.

Finally, DiCaprio even manages to overact in the scene of him lying dead on his bedroom floor.

J. Edgar is guilty of overdirecting and overacting.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”