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The Lost City
DVD disk
Aug 30, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
The Lost City order
Director:
Andy Garcia

Actors:
Andy Garcia
Ines Sastre
Bill Murray

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Late '50s Havana is traded from dictator to dictator, as a wealthy Cuban family does all it can to stay in one piece.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Looks like Andy Garcia caught the bug when he appeared (and rather strongly) in Francis Ford Coppola's GODFATHER III, because the actor's directorial debut, THE LOST CITY, is a very Corleone-esque tale of brothers estranged, lovers separated, and frequent acts of violence from unexepected players.

Mr. Garcia's directorial debut is a well-mounted and well-intentioned story that has more than its share of intriguing ideas and compelling characters ... in addition to an overlong running time and a romance subplot that monopolizes way more screen time than it really deserves.

As the story of late '50s Havana unfolds, and we learn the unpleasant differences between leaders like Battista and Castro, the film's central characters wander off into disparate (and inevitably unhappy) subplots. Although not a bad director on the whole, Mr. Garcia's strongest assets still lie in front of the camera; the actor does an excellent job with the lead role. Keep your eyes peeled for bizarre supporting performances by Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Pena, and Bill Murray, as their semi-frequent arrivals add a lot of color into a movie that frequently threatens to turn sleeping pill on us.

At 140+ minutes, there's simply way too much of THE LOST CITY than there needs to be. The screenplay is liberally sprinkled with a few choice pieces of 'howler' dialogue, but for the most part the story's told with an admirable sense of respect and affection. One suspects that a really solid 100-minute movie is hiding within the overweight frame, but if the subject matter is something you find interesting, I'm certain you'll appreciate THE LOST CITY a little more than I did. Oh, and the music: There's lots of it, and it's all rather excellent.

THE EXTRAS
Andy Garcia provides a brief introduction for the film, which is followed by a feature-length audio commentary from Garcia, actor Nestor Carbonell (who does great work in a too-brief role), and production designer Waldermar Kalinowski.

Also included is the informative 38-minute The Making of THE LOST CITY featurette in which Mr. Garcia tells the 16-year story of the film's gestation period, accompanied by some movie clips and on-set video footage. You'll also find ten deleted scenes with optional audio commentary, a behind the scenes photo gallery, some notes from the cast & crew, and the original LOST CITY poster art.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It's by no means a flawless film, but it's a meaty one, and if you're a big fan of Andy Garcia, I'd definitely recommend it.

Plus, Bill Murray's in there.

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