I'm Still Here
You’ve got them arranged correctly, Joaquin. Feel free to stay gone.

Theatrical Release Date: 09/10/2010
Director: Casey Afflect
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Puff Daddy P. Diddy Combs, Ben Stiller, a host of other actors in on this ‘joke’

Over the last 5 years of reviewing films, I’ve learned a few things. First of all, while it’s more fun to write up a scathing review and call the people who would see something I abhor some derogatory name, I truly believe that film taste is akin to drinking wine. We all have our own unique palette. Some like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon while others only drink Chardonnay. Some adore “Eat Pray Love” while others are looking forward to nothing else than “Jackass 3D”. Neither are “right”, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

Well, if there’s one film that can derail me from any attempt to be objective, or at least subjective with a side of understanding pie, it’s “I’m Still Here”. It purports to be a look at how and why Joaquin Phoenix gave up acting and turned his attention to becoming a rapper. It’s directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck, who’s married to Summer and have named their two sons Indiana August and Atticus … ugh. It’s also all a big hoax.

Oh, I’m sorry, should I have made a spoiler alert? No, I shouldn’t have because I genuinely feel sorry and pity for anyone who would pay money to see this … and I feel shades of those emotions for anyone who sees it for free. It’s as if Joaquin and Casey were up late one night, watching Andy Kaufman bits on DVD and decided they wanted to do the same. They wanted to trick America into believing that an award-winning actor had gone off the reservation and decided to become a hip-hop artist. They also apparently wanted to see how many people would foolishly part with $10 and spend 108 minutes being visually and audibly assaulted.

There’s no redeeming aspect to this “film”. I’m a fan of playing with perception, (see “Exit Through the Gift Shop” for how to do it right), but couldn’t they at least have made the journey entertaining? It’s all some sad attempt to see who will fall for the ruse, with the only humor coming from the audience laughing AT Joaquin, not WITH. And if the “drama” of the picture is all faked, how can any real sympathy/empathy/pity/caring be generated?

Somewhere on opening weekend, Casey and Joaquin will be high-fiving each other while their cinematic middle finger to America graces however many movie screens they were able to sully with its visage. At one point in the film, one of Joaquin’s “assistants” takes a dump on his boss’ face while he’s sleeping … which is only appropriate because that’s exactly what you’ll feel like exiting the theater. I hope no one I know, no one who reads this, and no one you care about, are amongst those put through the ordeal. This is a surefire 0 out of 5 and one of the most frustrating films I’ve seen in the last five years. It’s not even worth any more of my time or energy to disparage further. Moving on …