Saturday, June 21, 2008
Review - Admit One: A Journey Into Film by Emmett James
Emmett James has always loved the movies. From his childhood, sharing precious time with his family, to his first visit without an adult, to his aborted attempt to cop a feel, Emmett's memories all involve the movies. When he told his dad he wanted to be an actor, his dad told him to be sure to have a backup plan. But Emmett's desire to be in pictures eventually brought him to L.A., where he has seen the movie business from the other side, and experienced its highs and lows.
I really wanted to love this book. I do love the premise - each chapter begins with a movie title, which is the basis for the memories that James shares. And there are some great memories - from his morphing of the Wicked Witch of the West with his mother, to his time spent living in a haunted house, to his digital retouching of Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley's wedding photo, James has certainly had the life movies are made of. I think part of my frustration with the book was that each vignette was so short - I would almost have preferred fewer chapters with more content. His stories are funny and interesting, but I felt as though we only scratched the surface of most of them.
It also took me quite a while to get into the style of the book. James uses a significant amount of slang and crass language, which took some time to get used to. I'm not sure I would have made that editing choice, but it was obviously the way James wanted to go. Perhaps other readers would feel drawn in by it, as though they were hearing the stories firsthand. It just didn't quite work for me.
All in all, it was an entertaining read, but I was left wanting just a little more. I hope James writes a longer version of his life story in the future, because I have a feeling he will have many more movie-worthy adventures to come.
Source: Lisa Roe, online publicist