The 15.17 to Paris: Thank-you not very much Mr Eastwood
Three childhood friends take matters into their own hands when a gunman attacks their Paris-bound train in "The 15:17 to Paris", a unusual but poignant docudrama starring real life American heroes Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos.
As the trio describes it, El-Khazzani emerged from the bathroom and attacked another passenger.
Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler ultimately managed to apprehend Khazzani, who was armed with almost 300 rounds of ammunition, after fighting him, leaving him unconscious. Always a little hefty, he loses weight to be able to qualify for the Air Force. I never doubted Winfrey's passion for the material, but it just didn't work in a cinematic context, and I'm not sure it could ever succeed the way it did in a literary setting. Stone's military career is particularly confusing - at one point I thought he was thrown out of basic training for bad sewing - while Skarlatos's is unexplored: one moment he's not in the film; next he's serving in Afghanistan; and then he joins his buddies in Europe. That might not have been a problem - the three are good-looking and presentable.
In our zeal to tell stories, sometimes we have to take a step back and examine whether we ought to.
STONE: (As Spencer) I don't know, man.
In reality, Eastwood was comfortable taking the major gamble of casting three unknown quantities in his lead roles.
A lawyer representing a man accused of a foiled French terror attack has spoken out against a film by Clint Eastwood depicting the incident.
Their daring exploits were chronicled in the nonfiction book they wrote with Jeffrey E. Stern, and a movie adaptation seemed inevitable. Americans overseas might seem insignificant against the backdrop of Western European history and culture, but as we'll see, they're what stands between that civilization and dark forces of evil.
"The 15:17 to Paris" has pulled into theaters in wide release. To say this is all God, Guns, and Country would be an accurate statement, and Eastwood doesn't hide it at all.
Fact: The three men met as boys at a private Christian school.
. Winsome kids play their younger selves, and their school is populated with a boy's idea of dorky teachers - Thomas Lennon, Tony Hale, Irene White, P.J. Byrne - while their moms are the kind you wish your friends had back in the day; Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer. "And if it's not the sticks, they are doing this deal, 'Can you stand next to (me for a shot)?"
Fortunately, Stone's faith is individualist - and mighty. When Anthony (who's black) has to run home after an afternoon of war games in the woods, and his two friends playfully shoot him in the back - let's just say that the resonances are probably not what the filmmaker intended. It's a credit to Spencer Stone that he holds the screen as well as he does. Far too much of "15:17 to Paris" is taken up with travelogue scenes of the young men touring Venice, or Rome, or hitting the dance floor in Amsterdam. "We were in the gym and Spencer and I were kinda, you know, smack talking each other about how many dips we could do, and so Clint overhears it and he comes up and goes, 'Oh yeah?" These Americans overseas might seem insignificant against a backdrop of Western European history and culture. And perhaps trained actors could have brought a focus and definition to these scenes that might reflect insightfully on what is to come. There's no music - just screams, shots, and the sounds of flesh being stabbed and pummeled.
They helped overpower the man, and Stone plugged the wounds of another passenger with his fingers after being struck himself by the attacker. The key foreshadowing, played up in the trailers, arrives when a reflective Stone says: "Ever feel like life is just pushing us toward something, some greater goal?" At the end of The 15:17 to Paris, a speech by former President François Hollande of France provides a touch of eloquence and a welcome flood of feeling.
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