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2004 Mini Reviews

The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

The Kid Stays in the Picture
Directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen

Starring Robert Evans
Running Time: 91 minutes

Let me first get this out of the way. This film is an entertaining hour and a half spent, and it does give some insight into the world of Hollywood executives and maybe an inkling of what it takes to get a film made.

Now it is impossible to review this film without commenting on the integrity and success of the source material, so the remainder of this entry is going to be more of a rant about his shortcomings. The documentary is really a stroke film, and spends most of the time praising Evan's successes and his contributions to film, but the picture the film paints is obviously slanted, especially considering it comes from a self-professed egomaniac. Please allow me to comment a little more freely on the "success" of Robert Evans.

Of course the first two films anyone thinks of when hearing the name Robert Evans are probably The Godfather and Chinatown. Yes, we do all have to thank him for these two films. Especially The Godfather, which wouldn't have been made if it weren't for him. These two films are his legacy, but they also are the beginning of a long and arduous producing career. You would think that someone would be able to top himself, especially when given 20 or 30 years to do so. Robert Evans did the opposite.

Ever since 1974, when Chinatown was released, Robert Evans has been synonymous with mediocrity. In fact, he even tarnished his masterpiece by producing a mediocre sequel. Evans is not responsible for bringing us quality cinema. In fact, after Chinatown the opposite has been true.

Let's look at his filmography since Chinatown and each film's IMDB rating:

1976, Marathon Man - 7.4. Good start, eh?
1977, Black Sunday - 6.6.
1979, Players - 3.6
1980, Urban Cowboy - 5.9
1980, Popeye - 4.8
1984, The Cotton Club - 6.2
1990, The Two Jakes - 5.8
1993, Sliver - 4.6
1995, Jade - 4.7
1996, The Phantom - 5.0
1997, The Saint - 5.7
1999, The Out-of-Towners - 5.0
2003, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - 6.2
Average Rating: 5.5

Some of those ratings are generous. Keep in mind, those aren't by critics, but the general public. His work is mediocre in the eyes of all moviegoers. Evan's resume has been deplorable. Why should we be celebrating this guy's career? Is it ironic that his own biography is just about the only thing worth watching by this guy in 25 years?

Score: 7/10