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.
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.
Plus, Bill Murray's in there.