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items tagged with war movies

Into the Woods: "Defiance" and "Last Chance Harvey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-19 15:48:21

Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig in DefianceDEFIANCE

Am I the only person who wishes that Edward Zwick would go back to making sharp, bitchy comedies like his 1986 Rob Lowe-Demi Moore romance About Last Night...? The director's latest - the action drama Defiance - tells the astonishing, true-life story of the Bielski brothers, who hid hundreds of fellow Jews in a makeshift Lipiczańska Forest camp during World War II, and who managed to fend off Russian officers and German armies through innovation, daring, incredible bravery, and a well-stocked supply of artillery. With Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber as the ideologically warring siblings Tuvia and Zus Bielski, Defiance is impassioned and serious and God knows it's sincere, and it wasn't until about 45 minutes had passed that I realized I no longer watch Edward Zwick movies; I endure them.


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War Bonds: "Miracle at St. Anna"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-01 08:14:57

Matteo Sciabordi, Omar Benson Miller, and Michael Ealy in Miracle at St. AnnaMIRACLE AT ST. ANNA

With credits including Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Get on the Bus, 4 Little Girls, 25th Hour, and the landmark documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Spike Lee has made more great films over the past 20 years, perhaps, than any other American director. (And that list doesn't include the Spike Lee joints that are merely very good, among them Jungle Fever, The Original Kings of Comedy, and Inside Man.) But when Lee's movies go wrong, they tend to go shockingly, stunningly wrong, and for at least its opening half hour, the director's new Miracle at St. Anna seems poised to topple Girl 6, Bamboozled, and the execrable Summer of Sam as the most misguided and embarrassing work of the director's career.


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Imaginary Heroes: “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” and “Marie Antoinette”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-25 04:18:45

Flags of Our FathersFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is serious and noble, but it isn't resonant - despite some harrowing battle scenes, this World War II drama is surprisingly easy to brush off. Based on the James Bradley book, the film provides the back story to the historic raising of the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima - a moment eternalized in Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph - and then follows the flag-raisers as they cope with their newfound status as American heroes, sent on a nationwide tour promoting war bonds. Yet with the exception of Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), who is seduced by the limelight, the men don't feel heroic - John Bradley (Ryan Phillippe) falls into a jittery depression, and Native American Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) becomes a despondent alcoholic. These men didn't ask to be heroes. They just wanted to stay alive.


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Killer Instincts: "Jarhead," "Good Night, & Good Lunck.", "Chicken Little," and "The Weather Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-09 00:00:00

Jake Gyllenhaal in JarheadJARHEAD

In movies, nothing is harder to define than tone, and the tone of Sam Mendes’ Jarhead, based on Tony Swofford’s Gulf War memoir, is so elusive that, hours after it ends, you might still not know what to make of it. In many ways, the movie is like a two-hour expansion of Full Metal Jacket’s first 40 minutes, as the 20-year-old Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his fellow Marine recruits, pumped up to an almost insane degree, train for their mission in the unbearable desert heat and prepare for battle. In Mendes’ film, however, there is no battle for his protagonists to respond to; the war ends while the Marines’ bloodlust is still reaching a boil. The film is, in many ways, about the maddening banality of service, and it has resulted in an occasionally maddening movie, but its shifting tones and air of unpredictability make it impossible to shake off; at the finale, you might not know exactly what you’ve seen, but you certainly know you’ve seen something.
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"Rabbit-Proof Fence" the Best of a Sorry Crop: Also, "Bringing Down the House," "Tears of the Sun," "Willard," "Cradle 2 the Grave," and 2003 Oscar Predictions
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-03-19 00:00:00

Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, and Eugene Levy in Bringing Down the HouseBRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE

Since she executive-produced the film, I shouldn’t feel too badly for Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House; she obviously knew what she was getting into.


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