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Showing posts with label Movie Freak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Freak. Show all posts

Sunday, July 5, 2020

[INTERview] Under fire – Director Rod Lurie on bringing the story of The Outpost to life

by Sara Michelle Fetters

Video On Demand

Based on the best-selling book by journalist Jake Tapper, The Outpost chronicles the 2009 assault on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Located at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, 53 soldiers fought to defend themselves against an overwhelming force of more than 400 Taliban fighters. It is still considered to be one of the deadliest fights of the Afghan War. More importantly, it’s a fight that never should have taken place.

Veteran director Rod Lurie’s adaptation goes into great detail as it analyzes the men stationed at Combat Outpost Keating and the building dread most of them felt knowing that an assault on their indefensible position could happen at any time. Seen entirely through their eyes, the film is a visceral powder keg that explodes with devastating emotional ferocity once the attack on the outpost ultimately begins. Featuring several unforgettable moments and showcasing a performance from actor Caleb Landry Jones that is arguably the best of his career, The Outpost moved me in a number of unexpectedly intimate ways. I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Lurie over the phone about his film and his career for a good half-hour. Here are some slightly edited excerpts from our wide-ranging conversation:

Friday, June 12, 2015

(MOVIE FREAK) RE-views of Jurassic World; Barely Lethal; Saint Laurent!

PHOTO: Universal Pictures

by Sara Michelle Fetters

Jurassic World

Jurassic World Opens Crichton’s Park to Dino-Sized Adventure!


Barely Lethal

Barely Lethal Lacks a Killer Instinct!

PHOTO: Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics

Saint Laurent

Visually Assertive Laurent Uncomfortably Incomplete!

(OUTview AMERICA) “54: The Director’s Cut” – Interview with Mark Christopher!

by Sara Michelle Fetters

Film critics, snobs and know-it-all cineastes are more than likely familiar with the saga of writer/director Mark Christopher and his 1998 opus 54. A drama inspired by the titular New York nightclub, loosely mixing fact and fiction as it told the story of the rise and fall of a teenage bartender who came of age in the venue just about as everything was on the verge of falling apart, the movie was buzzed to be something special, a potential Oscar-frontrunner with a revolutionary performance from Austin Powers and Wayne’s World comedian Mike Myers.

And none of it came to pass. The Miramax release was the victim of over 40 minutes of reshoots and re-edits, Harvey Weinstein, producing alongside his brother Bob, insisting Christopher make a number of changes before the film’s late August release. Instead of a hard-edged morality tale of youth in revolt, the story was shifted to become more of a standard, soapy love triangle, the studio demanding starlet Neve Campbell – currently hot thanks to her role in the Scream films – become a much larger presence than the filmmaker had initially intended.

For 17 years Christopher fought to have his original version restored. Considering the film, while a massive critical and commercial failure, had somehow managed to amass a rather large cult, primarily LGBT following, he always knew the possibility for this to happen was there, even if the passage of time callously and coldly worked against him. But when Disney finally parted with Miramax and a new regime free from both the Mouse House and the Weinstein brothers yoke took control, Christopher took it as a sign his day had finally come, calculating that they’d grant him back access to 54 allowing him to return things back to how they should have been once upon a time.

The new film is a revelation. Campbell’s soap opera ingénue Julie Black is an ethereal background character as she always should have been, while the real love triangle ends up concerning star struck New Jersey teen Shane O’Shea (Ryan Phillippe) and Studio 54 newlyweds Greg Randazzo (Breckin Meyer) and his fiery wife Anita (Salma Hayek). Club owner Steve Rubell (Myers, in an electrifying performance) is an even more ferocious yet pitiable presence, while the grounded tragic realism central to O’Shea’s rise and fall feels far more authentic and much less melodramatic than it did in the original release version. All-in-all, it’s a completely different motion picture, and one definitely worth seeing.

54: The Director’s Cut made its Seattle premier during a star-studded gala screening as part of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. It was followed up by a Studio 54-themed party at a venue near the University of Washington, writer/director Mark Christopher, along with a secretive list of celebrities, attending. Additionally, the film is received an HD Digital release on June 2, 2015.
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