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This was a dance club like no other in the late 1970s. The patrons were either celebrities or those chosen at the front door because they had the "look" of the beautiful people. Inside was a fantasy of dancing and drugs, all lit by strobe lighting. And, as it had formerly been a theater, there was a even balcony for those almost private moments of brief romantic encounters. The waiters and bartenders were all gorgeous young men and wore nothing but shorts and a bow tie. This is a story of one of these guys.
Ryan Phillips is cast in the role of Shane O'Shea, a 19 year old from New Jersey who yearns for a star-studded life. He's chosen at the door and is big eyed with wonder and desire. Eventually, he becomes a waiter and later is promoted to bartender. There are a lot of women. And there is a lot of money. He even gets his picture in a magazine. Everything comes easy for him but he really is interested in a New Jersey girl who's a rising soap opera star.
The best role in the film goes to Mike Myers, who plays the legendary Steve Rubell who made it all happen. He's a strange bird with an eccentric personality and he does a lot of drugs. The money rolls in and he is in trouble with the IRS. But he's so puffed up with his own importance that he even brags about it on TV. Eventually, he's arrested and the party ends. But before it does, the filmgoers are treated to a small view of what it was back then.
I found the story silly, but I loved the nostalgia. Here was the music and the lights and the feeling of decadence that characterized a time that no longer exists. I lived through that time period. I remember. And so for those who are curious and those who want to step into the past for an hour and a half, I recommended this 1998 film.
The original release of 54 was a strange fish: part salmon swimming hopelessly upstream, part peacock. And just as a fish and a bird might fall in love, it had no where to live. The film titillated, but it failed to commit. The story seemed to drift off, earning razzies for all involved, despite some good, even some excellent performances. Now we know it was ruthlessly cut up by film editors trying to make it acceptable to the mall theater crowd.
Here it is in all of it's original glory. A unfiltered lens on a time and a place with the famous and hangers on who created it.
Unfortunately the film is mainly focused on the character and narrator (played by Ryan Phillipe) than on the club itself. Yes, it shows the viewer some of the things that went on in the club, but not enough.
The acting is excellent though. Ryan Phillipe is much more than just another Hollywood pretty face; he's a good actor. But the real treat in this film is Mike Myers; his portrayal of the club's ringmaster is quite impressive. Various celebrities appear as themselves, which makes it a bit interesting. But overall, the movie is a big disappointment. I do not recommend it.
Salma Hayek and Breckin Meyer as the utterly piteous and star-struck couple Anita and Greg are terribly tacky characters and hopelessly naive. Hayek's only worthy showcase is the skimpy spandex she dawns when she finally gets her fantasy spot in one of the club's various stage shows. The only redeeming performance in this whole movie is Mike Meyers as the seedy Steve Rubell, the man behind the magic and the instigator of Studio 54. He exhibits the drunken queerness convincingly, and I was almost repelled by how well he infused himself with the character to beget Steve's bizarre and almost creepy aura.
Where this film really falls short is cheapening the audience on the history of the kitsch club, excluding the names of its renowned employees and promoters. A good example of a missing link is the more notable omission of Ian Schrager, Rubell's right-hand man and business partner.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who didn't want to go to Studio 54? You heard all the stories. There were always pictures of the rich and famous going
into the club. Read more
Although I am a fan of the original theatrical version, I think the director's cut is a better movie, edgier, darker and more thought provoking. Read morePublished 29 days ago by JudgeHades
54 is a great movie. I enjoyed this blu-Ray very much. The graphics were great; the movie was good. The shipping was quick and solid and I am happy I own this now.Published 1 month ago by Courtney S.
What is there to say. An awesome movie. Historically accurate and a "must have" for anyone interested in that era.... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pete
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