"The Lost City"
Directed by Andy Garcia.
Written by G. Cabrera Infante.
Starring Andy Garcia, Inés Sastre, Bill Murray and Dustin
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 5/28/06
I'm not sure what to say about "The Lost
City" besides this--I fucking loved it!
The tale of a cabaret owner named Fico (Andy
Garcia) and his extended family over the course of more than a year
in late 1950s Havana, "The Lost City" feels like an epic that runs
much longer than 12 months because it really does have it all:
political strife as the government before Fidel Castro shows up; a
whirlwind romance; Latin song-and-dance numbers; some laughs, thanks
to Fico's good friend The Writer (Bill Murray); some gunshots in the
back of decent revolutionaries; a drop-dead gorgeous Dominican
Republic that is standing in for Cuba. The performances from
Garcia on down are fantastic; the leading lady is played by Inés
Sastre, who immediately gives Salma Hayek a solid run for her money;
oh, the music! the passion! the horror!!
Seriously, I can't say enough good things
about "The Lost City", even though I am trying. It's a patient
film, but one that even at 150 minutes doesn't feel like it is
plodding; conversations play out slowly, the editing is consistently
good, characters have visceral reactions to Castro's rule but
reactions that never seem to reach out of character. We follow
Fico for the most part, but the diversions in seeing what Fico's
brothers (played by Nestor Carbonell and Enrique Murciano) are doing
helps extend the life of the product. The passion that Garcia
brings to his role is excellent; similarly, the don of the family,
played by Tomas Milian, really gets you right here with his
portrayal of a man running a family that in many ways is running
itself into the ground.
Just go out and see this movie. You
will like it or you will pay the price!
Rating: Opening Weekend
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard