Monday, August 22, 2011

54 (1998)

Written & Directed By: Michael Christopher
Cinematography By: Alexander Gruszynski
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Ryan Phillipe, Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer, Mike Myers, Sherry Stringfield, Neve Campbell, Sela Ward, Erika Alexander, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Hutton, Heather Matarazzo, Michael York, Skip Sudduth, Ron Jeremy, Michael Pitt,Justin Bartha

Famous 70's NYC nightclub seen and told through the eyes of a young employee.

This movie has a lot of potential but it feels like a lot has been edited down amd this is what was left. A lot of times the film seems like it is the shell that was left. At times the the film seems like it's going to go over the top and you expect to be immeresed in the raunch. Then beforeit goes there the film tames itself.

The film tries to throw in something shocking now and then to match the material it is supposed to be covering. Another problem is that while it is based around studio 54. it usesa fictional character and group of friends as our protagonists. to tell it's story, but then we are involved in their melodramatic personal lives that is really nothing we haven't seen before. It's just dressed up in 70's clothing. Leaving us to learn nothing about the club in general.

I was expecting a in depth look at studio 54 and it's inhabitants, more like the film CASINO. Giving you an eye into the business and the behind the scenes drama while Dramatizing the workings by giving us a character who is out introduction to the place. then maybe let the film take place as things happen a esemble truly working together.

There are a lot of plot threads that are simply dropped with no closure. I always thought to liven the film up their should have been a love triangle between Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer and Ryan Phillipe that is only hinted at. The film might nothave gotten made if Ryan Phillipe's character was sleeping with both of them. So it could have Salma torn between the two while trying to get her music career started. Then sleeping with a record exec. While ryan could be torn between Salma and the heated yet innocent romance of him and Neve Campbell.

I would suggest anything to liven up scenes that seem to lay there and feel like they were written by a first time screenwriter still in writing class. Instead of noted playwrite but novice Director/Screenwriter Michael Christopher.

One of the few bright spots of the film is surpringly Mike Myers as Steve Ruebell. He makes the character funny at first but slowly he becomes more and more human. As we see him as a deeply flawed and lonely human being even though hr has the keys to a castle everyone wants entrance to. Myers shows that he can actually do drama and play a realistic human being instead of the cartoonish comedic characters he usually plays. The only problem is that he appears so few times. If he was thelead this would have been a movie to marvel at evenif it was only for the performance. Instead of how easily forgettable this film is, Though with nice art direction.

Skip It


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