Under the Radar

Old-Style Adventure in 'The Lost City of Z'

The Lost City of Z (out now Digital HD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand) is a perfect movie for anyone who stays up late watching old Gary Cooper or Humphrey Bogart adventure movies and wonders why no one makes 'em like that anymore. Written and directed by James Gray (We Own the Night, The Immigrants), Z (pronounced "Zed" by all the Brits in the movie)  is based on the true story of explorer Col. Percy Fawcett.

Fawcett (played by Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam) devotes his life to proving his theory that there's evidence of a lost civilization somewhere deep in the Amazon and the film chronicles his missions to find the unknown city. Robert Pattinson (disguised under a massive beard to fool the Twilight fans) plays Henry Costin, Fawcett's fellow explorer on his earlier journeys, and Tom Holland (your excellent new Spider-Man) plays Fawcett's son Jack, who accompanies Percy on his final expedition. Sienna Miller plays his long-suffering wife in a role that has a lot in common with her portrayal of Taya Kyle in American Sniper.

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Set in the early 20th century, Fawcett's Amazon adventures are interrupted by his service in World War I. The war scenes are outstanding. Filmed in Northern Ireland and Colombia, the period reproduction is excellent and the jungle cinematography is breathtaking.

The movie is based on David Grann's best-selling book The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon and was produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Pictures, a fact that suggests that Brad may have once planned on starring in this movie. It had a very short run in theaters, possibly because it was (ironically?) funded by Amazon Studios. This is a movie owning on Blu-ray even if does eventually show up on the Prime Video streaming service. 

Bonus features on the disc and Digital HD releases include feature film commentary by Director James Gray and three featurettes: “Adventure in the Jungle,” “From Novel to Screen,” and “Expedition Journal.”

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