6 February 2006 | jotix100
The making of "Arizona" in Rhode Island
Some satires about the process of making movies point out to the craziness that process creates among the people involved, which is the idea behind "The Last Shot". It also depicts how most projects go through transformations the people that wrote them, as different people that know nothing about movies get involved.
Jeff Nathanson, the director and screen play writer of this funny movie has clear ideas about the concept that too many cooks spoil the broth. He has combined two different elements in his conception of the film. On the one level, there is the FBI investigation on racketeers and on the other, he brings a man who yearns to direct movies into the picture by offering him a phony deal in which supposedly a film is going to be produced, but only as a cover up to trap a mafioso in Rhode Island.
The idea of recruiting Steven Schats, an employee of the Graunman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood to direct his film "Arizona", is something that Joe Devine, an FBI man, dreams to get the results he wants. The film, which makes no sense at all, undergoes a change when Joe tells Steven the production will be shot in Providence, in order to take advantage of a deal with that state's cooperation with the movie industry. The young director gets horrified when he discovers how dissimilar the new location is in comparison with the real Arizona.
The plot gets complicated as Tommy Sanz, the mafioso who decides to cooperate in letting the movie company use the trucks he controls, to the production company in exchange of an executive producer credit in the movie. The arrival of Emily French, an actress of obscure talent, but with great physical attributes, contribute to create more confusion in the preparation of the movie. Also, Steven's girlfriend, Valerie, and his brother, Marshal, show up to make matters worse.
Alec Baldwin plays Joe Devine, the producer with great charm. Matthew Broderick also has an opportunity to shine in the movie. The wonderful Toni Collette appears as the sexy Emily French in great form. Tony Shalhoub is seen as Tommy Sanz, the racketeer. Calista Flockhart, Tim Blake Nelson, Buck Henry, James Rebhorn, do good work in the film. Joan Cusack makes the most of her character and a cameo by Ray Liotta round up the familiar faces in the movie.
"The Last Shot" is a delightful movie to watch as it's clear the director, Jeff Nathanson, clearly understands what make these people tick.