This movie is based on a book, "Who Killed Bob Crane". The book is a theory, naming Crane's friend Carpenter as the murderer. The resulting script ends up mostly as a theory as well.
Bob Crane was a minor star that moved to California. He has a jazz radio show in the mornings and pleads with his agent to find him additional work. His agent hands him the pilot for Hogan's Heroes. Crane and his family are reluctant at first questioning the merit of a comedy set during the Holocaust. Crane takes the job and the series does pretty well. He moves from minor star to major star and begins to let other parts of his personality emerge. Crane befriends Carpenter and the two of them begin to hang out because Carpenter is an early vendor for VTR (video tape recorders). Crane loves photography, but his love of photography seems to be driven from his love of the peep show. The two of them can easily pick up women and Crane decides to cheat on his wife. From that slippery slope, Crane spins out of control into a life of chasing women for the next sexual encounter. "A day without sex is a day wasted." Heroes ends and Crane is left looking for work and ends up with a dinner theatre that allows him and Carpenter to go from city to city picking up different women.
Kinnear plays Crane and Dafoe plays Carpenter. They do a decent job with each of the characters. An uncredited actor is the Sony VTR. The two have built a friendship around these early video machines and the systems are in nearly every scene. In part this is a movie about others making movies (home made sex films in this case). Crane's first wife is played by Wilson and she is convincing and seems more real than any other character.
This movie felt a little like other movies I've seen. For some reason I thought of "To Die For".
As the movie plows along with city after city and sex party after sex party, the director decides to fade to black. Combined with ample voice over, it seems like a cheap film trick. After the fade, the shooting becomes more grainy and Angelo Badalamenti's soundtrack begins the sort of electronic creep out he is known for. The grainy film and edgy music don't work. Crane isn't becoming Bob on Twin Peaks. He is simply a sexaholic and is deepening his addiction.
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