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Author Topic: The 15:17 to Paris: Reviews and Features in the Media  (Read 3232 times)
KC
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« on: February 05, 2018, 09:58:54 PM »

This will be the "official" thread for media reviews of The 15:17 to Paris and current features about its cast and crew. Please try to keep it to major print, broadcast and online media, not random blog posts or tweets.

Remember that all quoted material should be formatted as such (surround it with [ quote] [ /quote] tags, without the spaces); only quote enough to give us the gist, not entire articles; and always, always give a link to the source (or publication information if it's not online). Also, please identify the author of the article, if it is not in the quoted material. The Moderators reserve the right to edit posts that don't follow these guidelines.

Please read through recent posts before posting new material to make sure someone hasn't already posted the same story or review. And remember that these are frequently reprinted, so try to find the original source if possible.
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KC
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 10:31:37 PM »

To get us started: Here are some excerpts from a feature by Josh Rottenberg in the Los Angeles Times:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-ca-mn-1517-to-paris-real-people-20180202-story.html


Clint Eastwood, second from left, with Spencer Stone, from left, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, who play themselves in the movie "The 15:17 to Paris." (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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Eastwood first met Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler when he presented them with the Hero Award at the 2016 Spike Guy's Choice Awards. Agreeing to direct "The 15:17 to Paris" — which retraces the events leading up to the attack all the way back to the three men's childhoods — he had spent weeks auditioning actors to play them. But in his mind, he kept circling back to the real-life guys.

"I thought they were very charismatic, and all three of them seemed like they were extremely smart," Eastwood said. "I thought, 'If I can get them approaching this thing without too much thought and too much worry and anxiety, they could do it.'"

Casting people as themselves in movies is not unprecedented, of course. Decorated World War II soldier Audie Murphy played himself in the 1955 film "To Hell and Back." Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali starred in their own biopics, as did Howard Stern. Many more real-life figures have popped up in small cameos in film versions of their stories.

Still, when Eastwood first asked Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler if they'd be up for playing themselves, they weren't sure how to respond. Though they had co-authored the 2016 book on which the film was based with Jeffrey E. Stern, the idea of actually appearing in the movie had never occurred to them. The start of production was just three weeks away, and none of them had ever even set foot on a movie set.

They said yes, then almost immediately began to second-guess themselves.

"I really didn't want to ruin the movie," Sadler said. "I'm like, 'Actors can do this and it would probably be more successful.' But Spencer was like, 'Are you really going to look 20 years down the line and say you could have been in a Clint Eastwood movie but you're not?' And that convinced me right there. There's no way you could deny that."

With what little time they had before shooting, the three wanted to prepare in any way they could. "When the reality set in, we were like, 'We're really thankful for the opportunity, Mr. Eastwood, but we also think we're going to need some acting classes,' " said Stone, who was an Air Force medic at the time of the attack. "And he was like, 'No, you don't want to do that, because then it will make it look like you're acting. I just want you to go out there and be natural and do it how it happened.' "

Eastwood admits that the prospect of casting nonactors didn't thrill the executives at Warner Bros. "I don't think they were excited at the beginning," he said with a dry laugh. But in a testament to the tremendous amount of clout Eastwood has at the studio — where his production company is based and where he has directed such films as "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," "American Sniper" and "Sully" — they agreed to go along with the idea.

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For their part, Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler still speak of their time with Eastwood with a sense of awe. "We worked out with Clint Eastwood in Venice, and this dude did 10 body-weight dips," marveled Skarlatos, who was a contestant on Season 21 of "Dancing With the Stars," finishing in third place. "87 years old! It was the coolest thing I've ever seen."

Having gotten a taste of Hollywood, the three all now aim to pursue acting professionally. Stone has already moved to Los Angeles and Sadler is soon to follow. Acting classes have been taken. Agents and publicists have been retained.

"I'll never forget: one day between takes Clint Eastwood looks at me and he's like, 'Not a bad way to make a living, is it?' " Sadler said. "I was like, 'No, you're right. It's not a bad way to make a living.' We'd all like to pursue it for sure."

That said, he added, "If it ends now, it would be enough. And even if all of the world hated the movie, how could we hate it? This is what happened."
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Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 05:11:30 PM »

All right, it seems one of the very first reviews of the film belongs to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He wrote this on his tweeter account:
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"Clint has done it again. “The 15:17 to Paris” is brilliant. Well-acted, flawlessly directed. Best of all, for the first time, the action heroes of the movie are the real heroes of the true story. Alek, Spencer, & Anthony playing themselves puts their heroism front and center.
It was such a bold choice to have them star in their own story - only Clint could make that decision. But all three of them are incredible actors and gave an amazing performance.

https://twitter.com/Schwarzenegger/status/961005450165547008
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 05:37:46 PM by KC » Logged
KC
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 05:37:27 PM »

Saman, I edited your post to add a link to Schwarzenegger's tweet, and I formatted it as a quote. I think that's what you were trying to do when you posted it a second time? (I deleted the duplicate.) :)

No problem, it's sometimes a bit hard to figure out how these things work. Thanks for posting! :)
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Gant
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 01:40:07 AM »

I remember Arnie raving about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.... The man's obviously got good taste..
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Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 02:39:28 AM »

Thank you dude. Yes actually i got lost fixing this quote thing  ;D ;D thank you for editing and posting my friend.


Saman, I edited your post to add a link to Schwarzenegger's tweet, and I formatted it as a quote. I think that's what you were trying to do when you posted it a second time? (I deleted the duplicate.) :)

No problem, it's sometimes a bit hard to figure out how these things work. Thanks for posting! :)
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Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 02:14:30 PM »

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Perry
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 02:34:24 PM »

 Nigel Andrews of The Financial Times  gave the movie a bad review. Pretty much ostracizing the bad acting by the three leads.

https://www.ft.com/content/98d0d80c-0c02-11e8-8eb7-42f857ea9f09

[Edited by Moderator to add a link to the review.]
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 02:08:38 AM by KC » Logged
Macpherson
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 03:59:30 PM »

A review from The Straights Times, based in Singapore. ...

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/realistic-portrayal-of-attack

 :)
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KC
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 02:11:48 AM »

first official review from a well-known critic is here, via NYT
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/movies/the-1517-to-paris-review-clint-eastwood.html?partner=IFTTT

It's by the Times's chief film critic A.O. Scott. Here's an excerpt:

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The practice of casting nonprofessionals in stories that closely mirror their own experiences has a long history — it’s a staple of Italian neorealism, the films of Robert Bresson and the Iranian cinema of the 1990s — but it remains a rarity in Hollywood. Unusually the most we can expect is a poignant end-credits glimpse of the real people our favorite movie stars have pretended to be for the previous two hours. After all, part of the appeal of movies “inspired by true events” is the chance to admire the artistry of actors (like Tom Hanks’s, say, in Mr. Eastwood’s “Sully”) as they communicate the grit and gumption of ordinary Americans in tough circumstances.

But the thing to admire about “The 15:17 to Paris” is precisely its artlessness. Mr. Eastwood, who has long favored a lean, functional directing style, practices an economy here that makes some of his earlier movies look positively baroque. He almost seems to be testing the limits of minimalism, seeing how much artifice he can strip away and still achieve some kind of dramatic impact. There is not a lot of suspense, and not much psychological exploration, either. A certain blunt power is guaranteed by the facts of the story, and Mr. Eastwood doesn’t obviously try for anything more than that. But his workmanlike absorption in the task at hand is precisely what makes this movie fascinating as well as moving. Its radical plainness is tinged with mystery.

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Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 02:24:47 AM »

reviews are not so impressive  :-[ :-[
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Perry
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 10:10:49 AM »



       For what i've read on the Internet most of the reviews have been dismal. Think I'll pass on this movie. BTW, A.O. Scott is a nephew of Eli Wallach.
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Gant
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 12:40:42 PM »

This movie still interests me despite some of these reviews..
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Saman Moradkhani
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 01:28:05 PM »

I surely gonna see this movie no matter what liberal critics say. they had ignored Changeling, Hereafter, Blood Work and so many other Clint's films. they are not my scale.
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 07:27:39 PM »

I think I'm defenately going to watch this movie at the theatre. I honestly don't care what the critics have to say. They are not going to dictate whether I watch this movie or not. I'll make the decision for myself on whether or not I like it. There's been several movies that have gotten bad reviews and I ended up liking those movies. Really all that matters is if I like the movie or not. Or if the individual person likes it or not.
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Perry
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 10:50:37 AM »



        I haven't read such bad reviews for an Eastwood movie this profound in maybe 40 years and that was when EWWBLoose was released.
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Perry
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 10:55:49 AM »



Changeling, Hereafter and Blood Work were three of Eastwood's weakest movies and bombed at the Box Office. There were legit reasons they got negative reviews.
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Macpherson
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 04:57:22 PM »

Yet another highly perceptive and in depth analysis of the new Eastwood movie by Richard Brody. .......illuminating, intelligent and carefully  reasoned.....recommended   :) :)

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/clint-eastwood-traces-the-roots-of-american-heroism-in-the-1517-to-paris
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KC
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2018, 11:14:27 PM »

Yet another highly perceptive and in depth analysis of the new Eastwood movie by Richard Brody. .......illuminating, intelligent and carefully  reasoned.....recommended   :) :)

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/clint-eastwood-traces-the-roots-of-american-heroism-in-the-1517-to-paris

Thanks, Macpherson. That is indeed an intelligent and insightful piece. I'll quote a couple of paragraphs:

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The mark of a classical artist is to meet expectations while defying them, and that’s what Clint Eastwood—eighty-seven years old, and the current American filmmaker whose firsthand links to classical movie traditions are strongest—does in “The 15:17 to Paris,” which opened Friday. It was clear in advance to anyone who has followed Eastwood’s recent career that the movie, based on the true story of the three young American men who thwarted a terrorist attack aboard a train in France, in 2015, would only briefly depict the crucial event itself—that it would mainly be a movie about the young men’s lives prior to that point, the confluence of character traits and actions that led to the climactic act of heroism.

“The 15:17 to Paris” is something of an ingenious cinematic ruse. Its peculiarity, even its uniqueness, is that it’s essentially undramatic. It’s not a bio-pic, not a real-life thriller, not really even much of a story; it’s a thesis. The succession of events doesn’t follow psychological or narrative logic; it follows Eastwood’s own logic, his own conjectures as to which traits were necessary for the formation of the characters of the three people who responded to the attack as they did. The action of the film depicts solely events that, for Eastwood, exemplify these traits. In the guise of its biographical arc, it’s a didactic and philosophical film, a modernist bildungsroman that traces the building of character, as if mapping the landscape of lives and times from Olympian heights. His style, never ornate, is here shockingly simple—its plainness goes beyond mere clarity to a sense of secular revelation.

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The three men are able, alluring actors in their roles as themselves. Stone comes off as the big man of the group, the natural leader of the three, with a far-reaching gaze and a contemplative silence beneath his easygoing charm that’s reminiscent of a young John Wayne. Sadler (whose story is the least delineated) is sharp-witted, agile, and funny. Skarlatos is earnest and watchful, with a tense and compact energy. If they have any fear or inhibition on camera, it doesn’t show. How good they’d be at incarnating other characters remains to be seen; I hope that someone gives them a try, separately, in roles where they’d have to get outside themselves a little.

The subject of “The 15:17 to Paris” is a secular miracle, an astounding one-off à trois, and Eastwood’s film conveys it with a brightly ecstatic sense of astonishment—but there’s a peculiar paradox at work in the film, which pushes Eastwood’s lofty idealism in the direction of political advocacy. Just as the movie is built as a long flashback, Eastwood works out his story in reverse, looking at the American society in which the three heroes were raised and seeing particular tendencies that allowed their characters to flourish, even as they floundered, before they had any accomplishments to show for themselves. It’s here that Eastwood crafts a distinctively American tale: a story of second and third chances, of alternate schools and the right to own guns, of casual employment and easy credit, of loose families with tight bonds. If you want a society to produce these types of men, the film suggests, you’d do well to start with this set of conditions. Whether this is true or not is a matter of reasoned argument and evidence, not of faith—yet Eastwood lets the descriptive and prescriptive elements of his story overlap and blend together. Nonetheless, his vision isn’t narrowly optimistic. It’s easy to see, at every step of the action, how much could have instead gone wrong for the angry, isolated, pugnacious, violence-fascinated boys, how much serious trouble they could have caused and got into—and that’s part of Eastwood’s world as well, the proximity of great achievement and great disaster, of heroism and tragedy, in individual characters. In “The 15:17 to Paris,” he doesn’t depict those tragic alternatives, but they are as close to the surface as the virtues that he celebrates.

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KC
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2018, 11:23:34 PM »

I've been meaning to call attention to another New Yorker review, by their chief film critic Anthony Lane:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/we-could-be-heroes-clint-eastwoods-the-1517-to-paris-reviewed

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The new Clint Eastwood movie, “The 15:17 to Paris,” may be the weirdest film of the year. It’s a thrusting reactionary fable that ends up bumping into the rear of the avant-garde. If the outlaw Josey Wales had put on white makeup and retrained as a mime artist, I couldn’t have been more surprised.

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What makes the movie peculiar is not the plot, or the back-and-forth structure, or the staging of the climactic fight, which is done with the clarity and the economy that we have come to expect, over the decades, from the director. (He is now eighty-seven.) The oddity is the cast. There are professional actors in the film, but mostly in lesser roles: Jenna Fischer as Skarlatos’s mother, for example, and Judy Greer as Stone’s. But all the major protagonists, as grownups, play themselves—Stone plays Stone, Sadler plays Sadler, and so on. Most disturbing of all is that Moogalian plays Moogalian. In other words, he has to run down the corridor of a train, pretend to get shot, pretend to collapse, and lie there with fake blood pouring out of a fake hole in his neck, which is being plugged by the fingers of a real compatriot. Looking on is his real wife, Isabelle, who also plays herself; rushing to his aid, before too long, is the same paramedic who originally hurried aboard at Arras and gave him morphine for the pain. But there is no pain, this time. Oh, well, I guess that’s one way to recover from an overwhelming trauma: reconstruct it, down to the last drop.
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