54 (1998)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Neve Campbell, Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer, Mike Myers, Ryan Phillippe, Sela Ward
Extras: Music Video

While VH-1’s 90-minute documentary on the nightclub Studio 54 is much better, the movie “54” isn’t as bad as you may have heard. The movie got a lot of press about how it had been re-edited. The film definitely has a disjointed feel. If you’re looking for the scandalous side of Studio 54, don’t look here — the film is very tame. “54” focuses on a young man (Ryan Phillipe) who becomes a bartender at Studio 54 and gets dragged into its decadent world. Mike Myers is definitely interesting as Steve Rubell, the controversial co-owner (the film never mentions the other owner) of the club, who became famous for his wild exploits. While it’s a bizarre role, Myers shows that he can do drama. Salma Hayek is also good in her role as a coat-check girl who dreams of being a disco queen.

The Miramax Home Video DVD of “54” looks very good. The film is letterboxed at 2.35:1, but is not anamorphic. While the picture is clear, with little grain and no signs of defects to the source material, some of the shots are very dark, hinting at transfer problems. While the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix is good, the disco scenes don’t reverberate throughout the room as they should. There is little action from the rear speakers during these scenes. The only extra on the disc is a music video of “If You Could Read My Mind” by Stars on 54. What’s the problem? Couldn’t they dig up the trailer for “54?” “54” is a mild piece of fluff, but look to the VH-1 special if you want to know the truth about life at Studio 54.