54 [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
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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.
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 music is splendid and the visual spectacle of the goings-on is easily worth the price of admission. It is easy to see why Studio 54 became an instant legend, if the reality really was as awesome as the film shows it to have been.
The plot is more engaging in this "new" version. It develops the relationships better between the three coworkers who live together and also makes that relationship more complicated and far less wholesome. The story line examines the question of how far will you go to be a success in a world built on questionable and shifting ethics, and how do you define what matters in a world where all the rules you ever knew seem to vanish once you pass the velvet rope.
I think the 1998 release "tied things up" at the end better than the director's cut. But otherwise I prefer the director's cut for the way the story reaches so much farther into the moral and ethical problems of the characters and relationships.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Glad to see it the way it was intended. It's a completely different movie, and a better one for it.Published 14 days ago by Raymond E. Jarvis
Much better then the theatrical version.If you like this film get this version.!!!!!!!Published 20 days ago by Paula J. Bettencourt
Excellent product. 54 is a much much better movie in its unaltered state. The theatrical cut is disjointed and saccharine. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was nice to watch the 1970s as portrayed in the 1990s. From 2016 it looks so fun, even though some scenes were sad. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian L.
Where's the WORKPRINT?!!! I don't understand the point of putting out a director's cut when it's actually CUT. the workprint I watched is so much better!!! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joseph V
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