More than five years has passed since principal photography on 77, an indie comedy about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas' influence on future Dragonheart scribe Patrick Read Johnson. A post-production version of the film premiered at the Hamptons FIlm Festival this weekend, and the only question was "How much of a disaster is '77?" The other question, oddly, was whether this messy movie should be a TV series.77 stars Freaks and Geeks' immortal John Francis Daley, only he's a lot older and he wants to direct. In a series of misadventures and dramatic conversations about the film's themes, he learns and important lesson and meets the sex offender Spielberg in the process. The film's production has been lengthy and brutal - the original hope was to release the movie before Revenge of Sith in 2005. Karina Longworth of Spout attended the screening:
In its current state, 77 is a good 35 minutes too long, its special effects alternate between inspired and straight dodgy, the performances are brutally uneven, it ends three or four times and it’s so drowned in source cue music that a fair deal of the dialogue is simply unintelligible. It’s a mess....There’s enough plot here for several episodes of CW-quality drama, and aside from the actual trip to Los Angeles, none of it feels like it’s operating at stakes higher than your average episode of teen-friendly TV.
I hate to sound like Harvey Weinstein, but can't they just cut it up and run it on TV where the bad acting and dull setups would fit in better? We do hope it uses this classic footage of a Spielberg interview in that fateful year:
The Nightmare Production of '77 [Spout]