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Val 

click to enlarge MOVIE STAR Val, screening on Amazon Prime, is a revealing and sometimes tragic look into the life of movie star Val Kilmer from childhood, early struggle, stardom, throat cancer, and working the autograph circuit. - PHOTO COURTESY OF A24, BOARDWALK PICTURES, AND CARTEL FILM PRODUCTION
  • Photo Courtesy Of A24, Boardwalk Pictures, And Cartel Film Production
  • MOVIE STAR Val, screening on Amazon Prime, is a revealing and sometimes tragic look into the life of movie star Val Kilmer from childhood, early struggle, stardom, throat cancer, and working the autograph circuit.

What's it rated? R

When? 2021

Where's it showing? Amazon Prime

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Co-directors Ting Poo and Leo Scott helm this documentary about the daily life of actor Val Kilmer, using never-before-seen footage spanning 40 years. The directors dug through roughly 800 hours of home movies, some shot by Kilmer, and the voiceover narration are Val Kilmer's words spoken by his son Jack Kilmer.

Kilmer calls his life magic, and it certainly was, but he also suffered tragedies, reversals of fortune, and failures. He's not interested in dishing Hollywood dirt, through we do learn how much he hated the Batman suit and how disappointed he was working with director John Frankenheimer. This is instead a personal film about his childhood, training, early stage career, film career, his reputation for being difficult to work with, and how throat cancer has taken his voice.

I think one of the most amazing moments is when he talks about what his career has been reduced to: signing autographs and collecting appearance fees. He admits that probably looks pretty pathetic to some, and he doesn't want to insult other celebrities reduced to the same activities, but rather than being humiliated, he's enriched by the people who come see him because his films affected them. We don't learn everything we want to know about Kilmer by the end of Val, but we know he's funny and humble and talented still. (109 min.) Δ

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