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The Lost City back to product details

The lost editor's knife
written by Sujata October 16, 2006 - 2:47 PM PDT
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This movie could've done with some real editing. If they'd taken out the kisses, irrelevant dance scenes, and the supposedly deep Yoda-like bombast that Andy Garcia spews (with a straight face) which is passed off as dialog, this movie would've been down to a viewable 20 minutes. As it is, it stretches on for an interminable 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is roughly two hours too many. In that time, you get dictators, insurrectionist rebels, nightclub owners, wannabe nightclub owners, widows... all impeccably dressed even while scrubbing floors, and either smoking cigars, looking deep, or impersonating Che Guevara, sometimes all at the same time. To top it all off... Bill Murray, with some of the most ridiculously unfunny lines in movie history. Unwatchable.

The Lost Opportunity
written by talltale August 9, 2006 - 5:14 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I don't know why it is that "labors of love" so often turn out below the expectations of both the filmmaker and audience. Don't most independent (and even many mainstream) movies start out as exactly this? Perhaps the best thing is not to proclaim your project as such; just do it--and take your licks. All this speculation has to do, of course, with Andy Garcia's THE LOST CITY, which offers us Cuba just prior to, during and after the revolution. I admit to lasting out only a hundred minutes of the movie's hundred-and-forty-odd length. By then, believability had taken such a distant back-seat that I suspected the trunk had opened up some miles previous and the poor thing just bounced out.

That bounce occurs when the character played by Garcia threatens at gunpoint one of the lead villains and is not soon shot in the back by other one, who is standing right behind Garcia, as big as you please. Both baddies, by the way, have earlier shown themselves quite capable of torturing and killing other family members. Now, suddenly, they just let the incident pass. Ah, moviemaking! All this is preceded (and followed) by so much breast-beating and other signs of tsuris that I really wished I could join with these unhappy folk and get involved. Alas, it was not to be.

The photography is gorgeous, as befits the time and place (although the editing seemed a bit clunky now and again); the music and dance are flavorful and fun; and the acting by a stellar cast is as good as the screenplay allows (Bill Murray seems particularly adroit). As to that screenplay: Once in a while it rises to intelligence and thoughtfulness, but more often the dialog is either expository and creaky or paint-by-numbers. As for the movie's history and politics, it does admit to Batista's nastiness but seems even angrier at Castro's and his minions' party-line pig-headedness and their own brand of ruthlessness. While you can't argue with these "findings," neither can you find them particularly edifying or entertaining. Sometime love pays off, sometimes not.


(Average 5.13)
15 Votes
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