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Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper Archive: October 2, 2005 - Page 115

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                Out on The Outsiders still staying gold Coppolas treatment of Hintons classic teen novel still rocks ByJenChaney The Washington Post The Outsiders Francis Ford Coppolas adaptation of Hintons novel may not have been a blockbuster hit at the box office But when it was released in 1983 this look at misunderstood greas ers growing up in 1950sera Oklahoma certainly made an impression The Outsiders emerged as the most popular in a series of film versions of Hintons teen tales including Rumble fish and That Was Then This Is Now and catapulted the careers of several young actors including Matt Dillon Diane Lane Emilio Estevez Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise It also gave adolescent girls a brand new cast of Teen Beat pinups to adore Now more than 20 years later The Outsiders The Complete Novel has arrived on DVD with 22 minutes reinserted into the film and a mostly transformed musical score As Coppola explains in one of the featurettes on this excellent twodisc set he always regretted cutting several scenes that matched moments from the book and felt the original score composed by his father Carmine Coppola was too treacly and overthetop This directors cut attempts to right those perceived wrongs The books legions of fans likely will be pleased by the new version as will those who felt the original film lacked in the Rob Lowe department The former West Wing star has much more screen time in this Outsiders as the added scenes focus largely on the three Curtis brothers played by Lowe Swayze and C Thomas Howell The updated music which includes period rock tunes from such artists as Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley is generally a welcome improvement though certain scenes like Ralph Macchios climactic runin with a soc and the burning of the church might have benefited from Carmine Coppolas more dramatic approach Its unfortu nate that both versions of The Outsid ers dont appear here Comparing the two sidebyside could have been both instructive and valuable to completists still curious to see the original That misstep is mostly compensated for by the second discs numerous engaging bonus features including Staying Gold A Look Back at The Out siders a featurette hosted fay Hinton a giggleinducing glimpse at the audition process for the film a segment on the movie from the Today show and a few additional scenes The first disc also comes with two commentary tracks one by Coppola and another featuring Swayze Lane Howell Macchio Lowe and Dillon Of all the extras the Staying Gold documentary which includes behindthescenes footage from rehears als as well as the set and the casting segment are the most worthwhile Because of the teenidol status con ferred on virtually everyone in The Outsiders its easy to forget how visu ally compelling and well acted par ticularly by the touchingly vulnerable Macchio the movie was This DVD even with its additions and modifica tions should serve as a permanent reminder Most amusing bonus The Casting of The Outsiders is by far the best part of this DVD set Every actor under the age of 35 and I mean everyone was lined up against the Lowe recalls during this featurette Viewers are treated to segments from a few of those auditions including readings by Cruise Lowe Swayze and others who ultimately were cast Even better is the glimpse at those who tried out and didnt make the cut including Helen Slater Vincent Spano and Anthony Michael Hall who read for the part of Pony Boy But Kate Capshaw who at close to age 30 was a little old to be playing a teen scores the biggest laugh When asked what age range she can play she hesitates and says Id say 21 to What do you think Most candid bonus The actors occasionally share some interesting tidbits during their audio commentary that is when the men arent gushing over Diane Lanes beauty The most honest comment is Lanes remark about a scene in which Leif Garretts charac ter is drunk I think Leif had made the Method choice for his inebriation that Missing in action Almost all of the stars of the film appear in the bonus material Two notable exceptions Este vez and Cruise Cruise may have been busy but couldnt someone have talked Estevez into saying something By George M Thomas Akron Beacon Journal Question I have an unusual ques tion that has been bugging me for some time When were escalators invented In the 1931 movie Public Enemy starring James Cagney one of the opening scenes which was indi cated to be 1909 showed an escalator in a building Am I crazy or was this an actual escalator I didnt think they were invented until some years later Grand Ledge Mich Answer I can go from journalist to spokesman for the Otis Elevator Co Such are the ups and downs of my life The short answer to your question is yes mat was an escalator you saw in Public Enemy The first escalatorlike device was invented by a Massachusetts man in 1859 and later improved upon by Jesse Reno accord ing to Charles Seeberger invented the modern version of mov ing steps in 1897 and worked with the Otis Elevator Co to improve upon it Otis eventually acquired all patents to the invention and enhanced it during the 1920s The version we saw in Pub lic Enemy is a product of such changes because they resemble the escalators of today as opposed to the wooden staired ones of the early 20th century Does answering this question entitle me to take the title of historian now Question Can you name the actor who used to have to stand on a box during filming I think he mostly starred in Westerns and I think he would have been around the same time as John Wayne Thank you Belfast Answer You take the fun out of this gig I could be mean and say its the vertically challenged Tom Cruise but I would like the chance to interview him again some day and he wasnt around waaaayy back then This one took some digging and I give all credit to a colleague here at the paper Vari ous reports and assorted sources have reported that Alan Ladd who was all of 5 feet 5 inches in height had to do this while filming the classic Western Shane Ladds stature didnt matter in that film His presence looms in every frame Question Is anyone ever going to remake The Keep by F Paul Wilson because the movie was the worst movie ever The book I feel is one the best ever Have you heard anything P in Pennsylvania Answer Given the incredible lack of originality and affliction known as remakeitis thats hit Hollywood in recent years Im surprised The Keep hasnt had a makeover Youre speaking of the book by Wilson that was made into a movie in 1983 by Michael Mann Heat The who was a relative novice in feature films when he shot it It starred Scott Glenn GabrielByrne and Ian McKellen With that cast I dont know how he missed However I wasnt able to unearth any informa tion regarding a remake If it makes you feel any better Mann is remaking his hit TV series Miami Vice for the big screen with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx starring as Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs respectively Yeah I knew you could hardly wait for that one Question A little before I saw Beckett I remember a Disney movie called Almost Angels 1962 not the Bogart flick Were No Angek of 1955 or the Robert De Niro vehicle of 1989 No this one was about the Vienna Boys Choir Laugh if you will This one made me proud of my Austrian heri tage and deluded me into thinking that if I just cleaned up I could sing like one of these guys Apparently it ran as the second of a twopart feature with Lady and the Tramp As l get older I wonder if I will ever see this movie of my youth again No luck finding a rep utable copy of it on VHS or DVD do we dare dream Akron Ohio Answer You can dream all you want but that wont do you much good unless youre willing to shell out more than 300 bucks Apparently Walt Disney Studios released the film on VHS during the dinosaur days of video That would be the early 80s to you and me but it is out of print I found what appears to be a reputable copy at I dont know how much you want to relive your childhood but at that price the movie should come with a time machine Question Is the Fred Astaire movie TTie Pleasure of His Company avail able on VHS or DVD Has it ever been released on video Lucille San Francisco Calif Answer I cant find any evidence that that Astaire film has ever been released on any home video format and the sites where I look for obscure titles dont have it either Take heart however because some of Astaires stuff has been trickling out on DVD in recent months Contact George M Thomas at gmthomasthebeaconjournalcom When submitting a question via email please put movie question in the subject line Questions should be related to movies released in theaters only Because of the volume of mail personal replies are not possible The New Mexican magazine Oct 28 2005 SUNDAY 31   

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