Every so often there comes about certain movies, which really don't catch the critics attention, nor are really heard about in the major papers. All too often, these are really great movies that receive little or no recognition. So to correct that error, hold fast 'cause here we go.
My favorite films.
Revolution staring Al Pachino, Natasha Kinski, and Donald Sutherland.
A movie set during the American Revolution, hated by the critics, shows realistically some of the trials faced by the soldiers during the Revolution. The story line gets a bit muddled in the personal love interests of the characters, but that should not detract from the general theme of the movie. Available in VHS.
Gettysburg by Donald Maxwell.
The first time the epic struggle of the War between the States has been realistically portrayed on celluloid. It accurately shows how Southern soldiers were not fighting to preserve the institution of slavery, but defending their rights. Kudos' to Mr. Maxwell to tackling this subject matter and not being influenced by the intellectuals who would preach politically correct history. Available on VHS and DVD.
Gods and Generals by Ron Maxwell
The 1st of the Civil War Trilogy, this film examines the 1860-1863 period of American History unabashedly, without political correctness or revisionist ideology.
Stephen Lang does a spectacular job as Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and Robert Duvall a far superior job than the liberal weenie Martin Sheen, as Robert Edward Lee. If one is really interested in history, especially with the War between the States and willing to discard the bias ingrained in common culture and the public education system, then this a film for you. It should be required viewing for all children in the school system, as part of their history curriculum. Available on DVD and VHS.
Ride with the Devil staring Tobey Maguire, Jewel, Skeet Ulrich,
Jeffrey Wright, Directed by Ang Lee
As with Ron Maxwell's Gettysburg, Ang Lee make a historically accurate picture of the time known in American history as bleeding Kansas. Set in the period of the 1850's-1860's, Mr. Lee vividly describes the bloody conflict between the warring factions of pro Union Jayhawkers and Confederate Bushwhackers. Of particular note, this film breaths fresh air into a subject that has long been relegated to political correctness. Jeffery Wright does a superb job of portraying a freed slave (or free man of color for those who are politically correct), who fight with the Southern cause of his own volition. In addition, Director Lee shows us how the war changed people, both in a physical sense (as it was said that 25% of the males in the U.S. were either killed, maimed or permanently wounded), and in a social sense (as even the eligible males suitor pool was markedly changed.) This movie is a must see for anyone interested in the border wars during the American War between the States. Available in both VHS and DVD.
Starship Troopers staring Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Neil
Patrick Harris, Micheal Ironside, and Dina Meyer
Sci-Fi as a great movie? Not really, but the political undertones adapted from the 1950's novel makes it a great movie. It talks about the "failure of Democracy, and how the Social Scientists brought the world to the brink of chaos." It further extols how "the Veterans took control, and instituted stability which has lasted since." "When something is given to you, it has no value." " When you vote you are exercising political authority, you are using force, force is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities derive." " Naked force has resolved more issues though out history than any other factor." "What is the moral difference between a citizen and a civilian? The Citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic, defending it with his life, the civilian does not." The first 40 minutes of the film is filled with ominous warnings for not just this, but future generations, and that makes this movie a must see. Available on DVD and VHS.
Blackhawk Down Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by
A very good movie that shows that the Army failed to contend with the FUBAR principle. After watching the film I was fuming angry as I witnessed the wasting of American lives for the political gain of the Clinton administration. While there is enough blame to be shed to General Garrison and General Montgomery, there should be some very basic lessons learned here. First and foremost, United States military personnel SHOULD NEVER be placed under anything but US command, nor should they be dependent upon other commands but their own. Second, even the elite forces of the United States military have some serious learning to do... hope for the best and prepare for the worst...SHIT HAPPENS. Thirdly, don't commit to an operation, until you have it all worked out and then worked out again and again... and above all plan for the unexpected. Bill Clinton, Les Aspin, U.N. Commander Montgomery, and General Garrison all share equally in the blame of this disaster, and we have the responsibility to see it never happens again. The humanistic message of this movie seriously detracts from it's educational value, although it tends to be one of the better movies made about late 20th Century warfare. Available on DVD and VHS.
We Were Soldiers staring Mel Gibson directed by Randall Wallace
A must see movie. The true story about the 1/7th Air Cav unit in South East Asia commanded by LTC. Hal Moore during '65. What this movie very vividly portrays, aside from the fighting and planning, is the humanistic toll on the wives and families left in the states. With many different themes, and finally a movie that does not portray Vietnam era soldiers a libertine, drug crazed individuals. This movie shows the soldiers for what all soldiers are; highly motivated, dedicated, disciplined fighting men, who hold true to the values DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY. (Perhaps Hanoi Jane should see it, then crawl back under that rock she's been hiding under for so long.)
Practical Magic staring Sandra Bullock, and Nicole Kidman.
Forget about Speed, the Net, Eyes Wide Shut, and Days of Thunder. A spoofy comedy with superb performances by both actresses, it rates a 5 star family rating. Available on both DVD and VHS.
The Boy in Blue staring Nicholas Cage.
A very early work by Cage, the story is about Canadian skull racer Ned O'Hannlin, and his quest to win the World Title.
It also stars Christopher Plummer. It is available on VHS, but not DVD.
About Last Night staring Rob Lowe, James Belushi, Demi Moore,
and Elizabeth Perkins
Based upon the book by David Mamet, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago", it's a funny story about post pubescent responsibility, fun, commitment, and risk.
To Live and Die in L.A. staring William J. Peterson, Willem
Want to see William J. Peterson before he was Gil Grissom of CSI fame (or before Manhunter)? In my opinion, this was the movie that made Willem DeFoe. It's a movie set in the 80's with U.S. Secret Service Agents caught up in a counterfeiting scheme. Plenty of fast paced action, and unusual twists and turns. A must see film. Finally available in both VHS and DVD.
The Presidio staring Meg Ryan, Mark Harmon, and Sean Connery.
"Inspector Austin, are you flirting with me?" " I should have made de-caf" Need one say more????
Animated cartoons for adults don't come to the big screen all that often. A killer soundtrack, and great graphics, 90 minutes of fun.
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