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War

Reviews

Battle Scars

I don’t think it’s always required for a filmmaker to have an opinion about war if their movie is about war. Sometimes, the movie simply exists to entertain or educate about a significant historical event. But, if a filmmaker was to tell a story about the effects of war (primarily the long-term psychological impact), I feel like the filmmaker should use the platform to send a message about the value of combat.

One-on-Ones

Wylie Writes’ Two-On-One with Samuel Gonzalez Jr. and Arturo Castro

Directed and co-written by veteran Samuel Gonzalez Jr., Battle Scars confronts the long-term effects of war through acts of of desperation by a disoriented young soldier learning how to piece his life back together.  During the film’s festival run, it picked up awards at the San Diego International Film Festival (Best Military Film), the Orland Film Festival (Best Screenplay), and the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival (Best Feature).

Reviews

The Outpost

By: Jolie Featherstone Based on a true story, as told in the best-selling non-fiction book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, Rod Lurie’s The Outpost is a striking tribute to the U.S. soldiers of Troop 3-61 Cavalry, who went on to become the most decorated unit in the war in Afghanistan.

Reviews

A Hidden Life

Terrence Malick is a fascinating oddity of cinema.  After making two highly acclaimed features in the 1970s, he disappeared for two decades before returning sporadically until the 2010s, when he suddenly completed six features at a rapid-fire pace.  This sudden burst of productivity did have a negative effect however.  When a new Malick film was reviewed every handful of years, his visionary filmmaking style was exciting.  However, getting a new one every year makes the…

Reviews

Midway

By: Jessica Goddard Full disclosure: I am bad at watching war movies.  I watch war movies out of some (likely misdirected) sense of duty – if actual human beings lived these horrors, I should be able to stomach cinematic recreations of them, is my thinking.  But, I find it very hard to watch people die (which I’ve chosen to attribute to a smug overabundance of empathy) even if it’s only a performance.  For this reason,…

Reviews

T-34

Russian wartime blockbuster T-34 was a hit in its native land.  And while it’s receiving a softer release in North America, it deserves to be sought out and seen by movie goers looking for a good action movie.

Reviews

Blackbear

The synopsis of Blackbear vaguely reminds one of the 2006 film Annapolis–a film that, if you recall (and if so, good for you), was marketed as a recruit training film in the vein of A Gentleman and an Officer, but was actually, secretly, a boxing film.  Blackbear is similar: it starts off as a war film, with the two central characters as captives by ISIS, only to quickly become a boxing film within the film’s…

Reviews

American Warfighter

Jerry G. Angelo wears many hats in American Warfighter.  Not only did he direct the film and write the original screenplay, but he also performs as Rusty “Wolfman” Wittenburg, a Navy SEAL haunted by his experiences of battle.  I wish I could say that Angelo’s efforts have resulted in an impressive film, but the truth is that American Warfighter isn’t just lackluster, it’s downright bad.