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the take

Could Pansexual Ryan Phillippe Make ‘54’ a Good August Movie After All?

Courtesy of Miramax


The comments section of our history of the August Movie has been lively the past few days, with people taking us to task for declaring movies they love (or at least like) examples of the studio castoffs that populate the late-summer release calendar. Passionate defenders have preached the pleasures of Cop Land, The Cell, Stardust, Desperado, and Open Range. Few, though, have stepped forward to proclaim the quality of 54, a sad representative of yet another kind of August Movie: the Miramax-style Misfire. These movies are killed by studio or mini-major heads (sometimes, but not always, Harvey Weinstein*) through constant reshoots and new edits.

54 famously had scenes relit and reedited by Miramax before its August 1998 release, but thanks to the efforts of its director, Mark Christopher, you can finally see the completely different version he'd always hoped to release. Which begs the question: Can a bunch of Ryan Phillippe sex scenes transform 54 from a lousy August Movie to a halfway-decent August movie?

*For the last time, since six (6) months have passed: "On the other hand, Harvey optioned Wolf Boy, so he's okay in our book!"

Outfest Uncovers 54 Uncut - NY Screenings to Follow [Thompson on Hollywood/Variety]

Earlier: The August Movie: A History

*For the last time, since six (6) months have passed: "On the other hand, Harvey optioned Wolf Boy, so he's okay in our book!"