North Carolina 1863, the Civil War is raging. In this inspired story of tragedy and love we follow the lives of Melody, a precocious seven-year old, and her young mother Sarah as they struggle on their farm to survive during the Civil War.
Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators ... See full summary »
Samuel L. Jackson,
The story of Eva and her blind cousin Sofia (Martha Higareda), who were inseparable as children, with Eva the loyal companion who helped Sofia through her tough adolescent years. When Eva ... See full summary »
Chad Michael Murray,
A librarian begins a passionate affair with a mysterious woman who walks into his library. When she suddenly disappears he travels down to London to search for her only to discover that she... See full summary »
Up-and-coming sports reporter rescues a homeless man ("Champ") only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.
Samuel L. Jackson,
The day after they get the word they'll go home in two weeks, a group of soldiers from Spokane are ambushed in an Iraqi city. Back stateside we follow four of them - a surgeon who saw too much, a teacher who's a single mom and who lost a hand in the ambush, an infantry man whose best friend died that day, and a soldier who keeps reliving the moment he killed a civilian woman. Each of the four has come home changed, each feels dislocation. Group therapy, V.A. services, halting gestures from family and colleagues, and regular flashbacks keep the war front and center in their minds. They're angry, touchy, and explosive: can a warrior find peace back home? Written by
The M2-HB .50 caliber machine gun on the lead HMMWV is in a bizarre mounting that is nearly flush with the roof. It would make it nearly impossible to traverse and elevate the weapon, and the Gunner would have to hunch down and manually lift a weapon that weighs over 100 lb. See more »
Will, what happened over there?
I don't really remember. You know. It's like a dream. Hazy dream.
Then tell me. I wanna know.
Do you? Wanna know what a blast wound looks like? What an OR in the desert smells like? What really happens to them? How they die? You really wanna know? You want us to come back like nothing ever happened. You don't want to get your hands dirty with the details.
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Irwin Winkler's "Home of the Brave" is much more than "just a movie," even if, as such, it's a partially flawed one. It is, without question, an important, thought- and emotion-provoking film, certain to be controversial.
Regardless of its merits, "Home" is brave, worthwhile, even admirable in its pioneering coverage of 150,000 soldiers "over there," and roughly the same number of returnees, who are trying to return in fact, not only in name.
This story of a group of National Guard soldiers from Spokane serving in Iraq and returning home is a schizophrenic experience: you are watching scenes straight out of last night's TV news, and yet feel as if you were back in the 1940s, in the era of "The Best Years of Our Lives" war movies, and the 1970s "Born on the Fourth of July" type Vietnam veteran sagas.
Given the subject, it's to Winkler's credit that "Home of the Brave" (a confusing title choice, considering the many movies with that name) remains firmly neutral about the current debate central to all politics. The film portrays both the support for and the opposition to the war, but favors neither. Winkler (producer for 40 years, including "Rocky" II-VI) sticks with characters in the context of the war, not making mouthpieces of them for or against a cause.
Mouthpieces, no; cardboard figures, some. Writing (by Mark Friedman) and acting are fair-to-problematic. The overemotional writing and excessively melodramatic acting combine to present a drama of extremes, denying the existence of true majority response to trauma: simple coping. Murder, suicide, insanity do occur in postwar situations, but most people, in my own experience, deal with such problems - more or less successfully - and go on with their lives.
In "Home of the Brave," you find no such "middle of the road," only extremes. After suspenseful (and depressing) Iraqi war scenes, shot in Morocco by Tony Pierce-Roberts, in a remarkably focused way that allows rare visual clarity in the midst of combat confusion, the film shifts to Spokane.
There, we follow - among many others - the lives of a combat surgeon (Samuel L. Jackson), a driver who loses an arm (Jessica Biel), three high-school buddies with intertwining stories (Chad Michael Murray, Brian Presley, and rap star 50 Cent). There are some quiet moments and reality-based situations, but the constant high-voltage !DRAMA! reveals and partially invalidates a manipulative hand pulling the (heart) strings.
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