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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “What Just Happened”

(Magnolia Pictures. 1 hour, 50 minutes. Rated R for language, some violent images, sexual content and some drug material. Directed by Barry Levinson.) Robert DeNiro (Ben), Sean Penn (himself), Bruce Willis (himself), Stanley Tucci (Scott Solomon), John Turturro (Dick Bell), Michael Wincott (Jeremy Brunell), Robin Wright Penn (Kelly). Music by Marcelo Zarvos.


Ben is a hot-shot Hollywood producer trying to patch up his relationship with his second ex-wife (Penn), all while managing a career that is in crisis due to a dead dog and bearded, overweight and ill-tempered Bruce Willis. There are some very funny moments and the cast is strong. Willis is great as he unleashes his inner diva, Turturro shines as a nebbish, nerve-wracked agent and Wincott is entertaining as a director in the midst of a meltdown. However, the film just never really comes together. The satire isn’t as sharp as it could be, the events feel disjointed and since it’s a Hollywood film about Hollywood, it all comes off as very “inside baseball.” There’s a lot going on, but not a whole lot to care about. It’s a better attempt than Levinson’s previous work, the schizophrenic Man of the Year, but it ultimately just left me cold. What just happened? Not much of interest.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts he/him

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in February 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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