Showing posts with label Clint Eastwood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clint Eastwood. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2018

When Clint Eastwood Calls: Working on 'The 15:17 to Paris'

The 15:17 to Paris
Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone playing themselves in
Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris. (Warner Bros.)


It’s pretty unbelievable to think that on August 21, 2015, a terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris was stopped by the courageous actions of three Americans traveling through Europe. It is almost equally unbelievable that those three young men were asked by Clint Eastwood to portray themselves in a new movie. But he did and when Clint Eastwood calls, you answer.

While recreating the events that happened on that fateful day in front of a camera was a completely new experience for these men, it was also a risky move for Eastwood as well.

“I’ve used non-actors before in smaller parts,” said Eastwood in a recent press release “but not exactly playing themselves or recreating precisely events in their own lives. But in this case, as we kept going through the whole episode on the train, working out the logistics of how it happened and how we could film it, it was like they were performers playing themselves already. They kept showing us how it had all gone so we could be as accurate as possible, and for me to feel comfortable that it would be like seeing the real thing. It seemed like a rare opportunity, having the real participants available and willing, and then giving them a shot at it. I wanted them to be only themselves, nobody else, and I felt they could do that.”

The movie The 15:17 to Paris retells the story of when Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler left Berlin to meet up with Alek Skarlatos in Amsterdam and how they were faced with one of biggest decisions of their lives aboard the 15:17 trai. At the time, Stone was in the Air Force, Skarlatos was in the Oregon National Guard and Sadler was a student at California State University. Together, the three saved over 500 lives on that fateful day.

“It hasn’t been a conscious choice to tell heroic stories or make movies about everyday heroes,” said Eastwood. “I just do the stories that come along and interest me. Some feats are exceptional, and beneficial to society, and it’s nice when you can tell a story like that.”

The film also follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack.

Recently, I got a chance to speak to these life-long friends about their movie-making debut, Clint Eastwood and their faith. Here’s what they had to say:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The ‘Trouble with the Curve’ isn’t the Actors

Mickey (Amy Adams) has a hard time getting her father (Clint Eastwood) to talk.


Warner Bros. Trouble with the Curve marks the feature film directorial debut of Clint Eastwood’s longtime producing partner, Robert Lorenz. Not surprisingly, it stars Eastwood (sans chair) as an aging baseball scout who may be past his prime. What is a surprise is that this is more of a touchy-feely movie than a sports movie. It is also full of stereotypes, clich├ęs and a few clunky lines. However, what the movie lacks in story-telling, it makes up in star power.

Gus Lobel (Eastwood) has many years of baseball scouting under his belt, who relies on the old school ways of finding future baseball stars. While younger scouts rely more on computer stats, Lobel still travels across the country in search of the next big star. However, the Atlanta Braves are starting to question his judgment and his body is starting to rebel against him. Gus’ boss, Pete (John Goodman), becomes concerned about his old friend and convinces Gus’ daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), to join Gus on his latest scouting trip. While on the trip, they run into Johnny Flanagan(a name that is just as flashy as Justin Timberlake who stars in the role), a former scouting pick of Gus’ who had to give up the game due to an injury.

There is no denying that Eastwood and Adams make a good acting pair. Eastwood plays his trademark “angry old man” role and Adams, an ice queen. Timberlake plays the sensitive good guy. The movie is at its best when Eastwood and Adams are together. She looks like one of the few actresses who can get away with telling Mr. Eastwood off. Timberlake on the other hand is just “okay” with his role which doesn’t have much depth. He is like a puppy wanting attention of two emotionally distant characters who love each other, but can’t seem to find the words to tell the other one.

In addition, there are a couple side stories with predictable outcomes including one with Matthew Lillard as the Braves’ Associate Director of Scouting and the villain of the story. He would like nothing better than to take Gus’ place. Give him a mustache and he would make a wonderful Snidely Whiplash.

Finally, the movie tries too hard to be sentimental. Johnny is first seen pretending to be a sports announcer at a Little League-ish game. Later, he and Mickey decide to dance on the sidewalk to the music of a local guitar player. At one point, Mickey apparently forgets that she is angry with her father and joyfully runs around the bases only to be upset with her father once again in the next scene. Eastwood crones “You are My Sunshine” at a gravestone.  And on it goes. All well-meaning, but ultimately, provides eye-rolling instead.

The truth of the matter is this – Eastwood, Adams and Goodman are actually over-qualified for this film. If you are a baseball fan, you’ll leave disappointed. If you are in the mood for something sappy, this is your movie. Still, you could do worse. The ultimate theme of the flick is restoration and it ends on a happy note.