One of the most brutal wars comes to the screen and it does not involve the United States. In this film we get to see one day during the Irish Revolution between the Protestants and the Catholics. Most of us watched the news as the war dragged on for years, but up until now I haven’t seen a movie about the war so compelling as ’71. Not knowing what side to take in this fight shouldn’t matter here, it’s just the inhumanity that counts and the eerie gut wrenching window to survival for one man. Read more
Intriguing, suspenseful and compelling, the biography/drama The Imitation Game never allows a dull moment. The film takes some odd twists as it plays out taking its audience into the mind of Alan Turing, a brilliant man who shortened World War II and developed the forerunner of our modern day communications. Outstanding acting by leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley should get them attention for an Oscar. Read more
Showing the violence, guts and destruction of WWII tank fighting, Fury punctuates the story with an explosive tale of death defying courage. Although fictional, the movie is based on the 2nd US Armored division and portrays extensive grisly combat using very realistic images. Explosive, gripping and pervasive the up close look is shattering and mind boggling. If you like war movies like Saving Private Ryan and Hamburger Hill, rush out to see this mind blowing war flick on the big screen. Read more
Taking a step back into the history of South America a docudrama on the life of Simon Bolivar, one of the continent’s most love emancipators comes to the screen. The historical film The Liberator has very good production value, able direction and memorable acting. Packed with pomp, circumstance, awesome vistas and action packed scenes, the movie delivers a spectacle of rebellion and adversity. Read more
There have been many war stories coming from World War II some fiction and others based on fact. Now out on DVD is a movie based on a novel by Marianne Fredriksson called Simon and the Oaks and it’s a tearjerker. Set in Sweden during the Nazi invasion, the first half of the film deals with Jewish discrimination. There are few films that deal with this Nordic country in conjunction with German occupation so it’s fascinating to see how Sweden’s people resisted domination. Read more
Not all sequels of movies work unless they were a blockbuster, had an unfinished story to tell and had characters that were likeable enough to warrant more screen time. In the case of 300: Rise of an Empire it had an uphill battle to capture all three of the justifications and it comes out on top. With a graphic novelist like Frank Miller (“Ronin”, “Daredevil: Born Again”, “300”, “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Sin City”) in their back pocket, the filmmakers found a way. Read more
If you are looking for a big action film from this weekend’s Monuments Men, it’s not. More of a historical recreation of the true events, the movie tries very hard to open the window to an important part of WWII history, but barely achieves it. Loading the movie with familiar faces of top actors, director George Clooney makes his film more of a docudrama than an entertaining action film. If you are looking for a lot of action, it’s all in the trailer. Beyond that, get on the bus for the tour of Europe complete with 1940’s soldier uniforms and fine art lectures. Read more
A startling true story reaches theaters this weekend and it’s very realistic. Lone Survivor takes the viewer on an ‘edge of your seat’ trip into Afghanistan with a Navy Seals squad. It’s not a documentary, but a gut wrenching drama that shows the brutal fighting that goes on in a country in turmoil. Extremely well acted, directed and with cringing cinematography the film’s a shocking war on terror story. If you can take a lot of nervous tension and combat violence, put yourself in a seat at a local theater for this aggressive true story. Read more
Bringing one of the best war action features to the screen on DVD, the television series Combat! proves to have longevity. The show that ran from 1962 to its finale in 1967 was well acted and directed gathering a huge following of faithful fans. The DVD set has all 25 episodes on 8 discs and includes interesting commentaries as one of the special bonus features. Read more
One of television’s most watched series in the 1960’s Combat will be releasing the 5th season on DVD on August 13th. The 5th season that ran from September ’66 to March ’67 featured 25 episodes of stories about World War II. The show was a ground breaker for television showing a more startling vision that had been ordinarily reserved for movie theaters. Combat stars Vic Morrow and Ric Jason as soldiers who lead men into battles that tell the stories of American’s struggle on most all fronts. The DVD set will include all 25 episodes with commentaries and bonus features.
One of the most chilling and incredibly horrific films comes to South Florida. It’s called War Witch and delves into the atrocities that befall several African countries that are still under siege by rebels in an ongoing civil war. The film features an excellent cast directed by Kim Nguyen who holds back nothing about the killing, kidnapping and enslavement of young children. If there’s one docudrama you see this year, let it be Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee War Witch. Read more
Opening this weekend Emperor brings a film based on a true event that brought closure to the war in the Pacific during WWII. Questionable writing, direction and acting, the historical drama threads a romantic tale inside this biopic that tends to distract rather than add to the historical meetings between General MacArthur and the Emperor of Japan. Not at all what I expected, the movie misses its mark in the essence of the plot putting a damper on the real importance of the event.
This step-by-step insight into how the CIA found Osama Bin Laden and then blew him away is nicely produced, directed and acted. I found Zero Dark Thirty involving, intriguing and then startling, playing out like a news story happening before my eyes. Even though you know the story from the media, you will be shocked with the finale of this nearly 3-hour suspense filled movie.
Although names have been changed the true account tells the story of CIA operative Maya Lambert who right from schooling gets hired by the intelligence agency to find Osama Bin Laden. Obsessed with her job she presses on through ten long years of digging, interrogating, nearly getting killed and witnessing an inordinate amount of death in the name of terrorism. Training under some of the best investigators, Maya learns how to handle herself with the sly terrorists and finally gets a break that will lead her to being the only one convinced of Bin Laden’s whereabouts. Read more
The 25th Anniversary Edition of Full Metal Jacket has been released on Blu-ray Disc and if you have never seen the movie, it’s a stunner. Packaged with a companion book, the 2-disc set makes a great purchase for your library. Nominated for an Oscar, the gutsy war film features an excellent cast and magnificent direction by Stanley Kubrick.
They’re not actors, directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh did not want them to be. The main characters in the movie Act of Valor are real Navy SEALs and they perform like one of the best freedom fighter units that the United States could ever produce. The film does more than entertain; it gives Americans a chance to see what the armed forces are doing to protect their freedom up close and personal.
The film puts the audience inside one of the most amazing military units in the world. The Navy SEALs are a specially trained military outfit that gets assignments in various aspects of the defense of our nation. Whether a secret mission behind enemy lines, capturing enemy targets, or collecting intelligence at impossible odds, this unit of the Navy is always ready. Read more