Stolen Summer - Project Greenlight movie....any good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian O, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Brian O

    Brian O Second Unit

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    I just saw the final episode of Project Greenlight and the few clips of the movie shown at Sundance looked to be interesting.

    Has anyone had to chance to see Stolen Summer yet? How was it? Will it be in Theaters and when?
     
  2. Nick C.

    Nick C. Second Unit

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    I'm wondering the same thing [​IMG]
    the few reviews I've read have said it was a creative task in seeking out a totally independent screenplay, but that it was too much for Jones to direct, his first time and all
     
  3. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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    I read in Entertainment Weekly that it was only going to be released in four cities and that the general reaction at Sundance was "Hey, it ain't that bad!"
     
  4. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    My lying girlfriend told me that it was well received at Sundance.

    To me it looks like a "blah" film (though I LOVE the show).
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Roger Ebert stated a positive opinion in his Sundance column:



    "Stolen Summer" was directed by Pete Jones, whose screenplay won a competition sponsored by Miramax, and was executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Jones has become familiar to viewers of the TV series ("Sometimes I think I come across like a whiny weasel," he confessed while introducing his film). Weasel or not, he has directed a film with broad appeal, which begins with a large Chicago Irish-Catholic family (Aidan Quinn and Bonnie Hunt are the parents) and then follows their bright 8-year-old (Adi Stein) on his "quest."

    The little boy, told by a nun he might not get into heaven, learns from a brother that St. Paul got into heaven by making converts to Christianity. So he sets up a lemonade stand outside the nearby synagogue, is tolerated by the bemused rabbi (Kevin Pollak) and then becomes close friends with the rabbi's son. The film begins as a comedy, then considers darker issues of prejudice and illness; it makes us smile, and then is surprisingly moving. Interesting, that a screenplay chosen in a contest would be the audience favorite so far.



    Two opinions at AICN were also positive of the movie. Pete Jones is already working on a new movie for Miramax, so I take it they were happy with it too.

    I'm curious about it, I'll check it out for sure.

    /Mike
     
  7. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    The problem with the show was that they made everything look like a disaster. Nary was a positive directing moment present.

    Brian
     
  8. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I don't know Matt, I guess she just really wants to see Stolen Summer no matter what. [​IMG]
    "Oh, uh, yeah...critics loved it. We should go."
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Roby Adams

    Roby Adams Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm really interested to see Stolen Summer as well. I LOVED the Project Greelight documentary and have been intrigued by all the positive reviews I've seen popping up lately.

    I read the screenplay and was not impressed. It was just as corny and sappy as it was suggested in the show but sometimes a bad script can turn into a good movie and a good script can turn into a bad one so I haven't written it off yet.

    Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt, and Kevin Pollock are alos really good reasons why I wan't to see it.

    BTW: For those who watched the show: - Does anyone else feel really bad for Jeff Balis? This dude's carrer might be over thanks to the way he came out in the documentary. Sure he did screw up, it seems that everyone did but they were especially hard on him.
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Actually I think Jeff came off looking pretty good. He recovered well and showed a better sensibility than several other people...

    like Pat and DoP Pete.

    Honestly I think Pete Jones comes off looking not so hot, especially if the film doesn't come out well. I know it's his first project, but he might be back to scrounging for work after this.

    Many of the problems appeared to be caused by his lack of vision. That's one quality a director can't fail in. He let Pete push him around on shots too much as well.
     
  11. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I agree that Balis' image recovered after he was "re-hired". He saved the movie too, with the last shot on the beach. [​IMG]
    Pete Biaggi (the DP) came off the worst. He seemed stubborn and not willing to compromise, even deliberately messing up shots in order to get his way.
    Of course, the "documentary" was skewered towards the negative things so much that I don't think it paints an accurate picture of what was going on, as a whole. But the things they showed no doubt happened, and I'm thankful for that because it made for great TV. [​IMG]
    And like I wrote above, according to EW Pete Jones is already working on his next project for Miramax.
    Oh, and check out http://projectgreenlight.liveplanet....s/cmc/vote.jsp and vote for your favorite Chris Moore video. [​IMG][​IMG]
    /Mike
     
  12. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Resurrecting this thread...
    How long since this movie opened in the major cities? Imagine my surprise to open the paper last Friday and see the smallest ad possible touting "The Project Greenlight Movie" playing in one theater. So off to the out-of-the-way multiplex I go as I've been dying to see this.
    And the verdict? Pretty darn good. I was addicted to the Project Greenlight show back in January. For those who missed it, the movie includes a three or four minute capsule version of the show "highlights." I'm not going to get into a huge debate over the way the show exaggerated the production, but it's really obvious from the finished film that you only saw the shooting of less than 1/4 of the feature. Hell, from the TV show, I had no idea that Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie) was in the film as the oldest O'Malley son. Pretty important part of the story.
    It's been a while, but I did read the original draft of Stolen Summer and I glanced over the shooting draft available at the Project Greenlight site. Having seen the finished product, it's quite clear that Pete Jones has a talent for presenting a realistic family drama. Aidan Quinn and Bonnie Hunt are wondeful as the O'Malley parents. I was also impressed with Kevin Pollak as the Rabbi. The best scenes are the interactions including these three characters.
    The two young boys who play Pete and Danny are passable in most scenes, and only occasionally distracting. I don't know how much I can fault Pete Jones for the weakness of having a story about two young boys when it's really hard to find good young actors. This is a story worth telling, and all the money in the world might not have helped find better kids.
    Overall, I really enjoyed the film, which was still engaging despite the fact that I read the screenplay. Good performances and well-observed family dynamics. I would rate it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 out of four.
     

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