Auto Focus: Frank Masi
EW Staff
August 17, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Auto Focus

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
104 minutes
Limited Release Date
10/18/02
performer
Willem Dafoe, Greg Kinnear, Ed Begley Jr., Maria Bello, Ron Leibman, Michael McKean, Rita Wilson
director
Paul Schrader
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Michael Gerbosi
genre
Drama

We gave it a B+

And it’s also about ”Hogan’s Heroes” — or at least the actor who starred in that wackiest of all ’60s sitcoms, Bob Crane, whose 1978 murder remains one of Hollywood’s sleaziest unsolved mysteries. You won’t see the culprit unmasked here, but you will get a zoom-lens look at Crane’s experiments in X-rated home video (in R-rated reenactments) and his less-than-savory friendship with creepy camera hobbyist John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), who was considered a prime suspect in the murder until his own death in 1998.

You’ll also get to see a killer Colonel Klink impersonation (”Werner Klemperer basically sang the entire role,” says Kurt Fuller, the actor who plays him) along with impressions of John Banner’s Sergeant Schultz (Lyle Kanouse) and Robert Clary’s LeBeau (Christopher Neiman). But that’s not really the point. ”This movie isn’t about ‘Hogan’s Heroes,”’ director Paul Schrader (”Affliction”) insists. ”It’s as much about ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ as ‘Raging Bull’ was about boxing.” Kinnear agrees: ”We tend to romanticize addiction if it takes the form of gambling or narcotics or alcohol,” he says. ”But when it takes the form of sexuality, everybody sort of backs away.”

THE LOWDOWN A potentially big role for Greg Kinnear, who hasn’t stretched this much since his Oscar-nominated turn in ”As Good as It Gets.”

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