Taking Chance (TV Movie 2009) Poster

(2009 TV Movie)

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Wonderful tribute
treehouse-1122 February 2009
This film was a respectful tribute to our servicemen and women who have fallen in combat in Iraq, and a lesson to Hollywood. This film allows any viewer, of any political persuasion, race, color, creed to honor (and grieve) in a respectful and deeply moving way through the journey of a Marine escort. This was not a travelogue, this was America at its best. The people in this film are people I recognize, although I am not from Wyoming. They represent the many families and friends I know who have lost young, vital men and women in combat. I am from a small rural state and I haven't seen anything from Hollywood to match this in a long time.
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9/10
A Good Movie That Honored the Brave Without Battle Scenes. Excellent Performance by Kevin Bacon.
Rodrigo Amaro1 June 2010
The 2000's decade redefined the war movie genre much because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And many times viewers tend to classified a movie as political or not, accurate or not, blood and guts versus contextualized and serious movies. In times when "Jarhead" or "The Hurt Locker" were so heavily criticized for having political statements (or not) on war, in "Taking Chance" you see something different. Here comes a movie that says more about bravery and honor to a duty than many war action movies. And its message sounds and appear better than movies made of Second World War, Vietnam War, any other war.

Based on a true story, the story follows LtCol Mike Strobl (Kevin Bacon), a military who volunteered to escort the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. While on journey he realizes his importance on this function and how people get touched by his gesture.

The main plot is very original, it's something rarely showed in movies. It was interesting to see all the procedures taken before the corpse be transferred by car and airplanes, all the service made by the military who washes the body, collects the personal objects and similar things. And there's also the views of the main character on what he's doing and the way he deals with the matter and the people he sees on his journey. One of the most memorable scenes is when all the cars made a straight line escorting Mike's car and the funeral car carrying Chance's body. All the cars lined up, slowly. A very good homage.

It's a good portrayal about the people who stood up for something sacrificing their lives for its country. Instead of showing up battle scenes, the movie opted to include a conversation between Bacon's character and a soldier friend of Chance about how he died saving everybody else. It's a very touching scene (and the best also). After that Mike has a brief conversation with a war veteran (played by Tom Aldredge) where he thinks he could be a better person or he could do more if he was fighting in Iraq. The old man replies that what Mike's saying is nonsense. And we must agree with that. He's doing a noble thing, a great thing for his country even outside of enemy lines.

It's a great movie and there's no political message, or military propaganda on the surface and not even behind it. And even if it had a political context it still would be a great movie. I don't know why people get so touchy and bothered about such statements and such views. After all, politics is one the basis of mankind, basis of a society and when it's included in a film it can make a film more interesting. If it had such things in "Taking Chance" it would drag the movie in other direction and anyway that's another story.

An incredible tour-de-force performance by Kevin Bacon, who really captured the essence of a Marine devoted to his duties, and also showed a good emotional side not trying to do such. He's powerful here. But I still think that Golden Globes and SAG Awards should award Brendan Gleeson for "Into the Storm" (different story but both contain war as subject). Gleeson playing Churchill was more difficult, he had a tough and heavy text to portray and the aged makeup to make him similar to the British leader. But that doesn't make Bacon's acting less visible or inferior. Watch it and you'll enjoy it.

One of the rare films of today that lacks of criticism, and it's great because of that. It certainly honors all the brave people on battles, risking their lives whatever the cause, whatever the cost. 9/10
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10/10
Outstanding tribute
Buff200121 February 2009
I saw this riveting film tonight when it premiered on HBO. Both my wife and I were totally into the film from the beginning to the end. We saw it nonstop although with a DVR we could have paused. There was not a single point in the film where we wanted to pause.

Like others, we were thankful there was no political bias. It was simply the true story of the respect that has been paid to everyone who died in defense of our freedom.

I served in the military on an aircraft carrier on station in the Mediteranean Sea in 1957. We lost 14 people in crashes and an on board fire during our 7 month cruise. About half of them were given burial at sea services. In addition, I have attended the military services of a number of others and even participated in the military service of one of our church members who died at Paris Island in a training accident.

In spite of all that exposure, I was totally unaware that KIAs were given the kind of personal respect and treatment depicted in the film. I was very impressed and moved, as I am sure most will be. Many have died, including one of my cousins, to preserve our freedom that has allowed me to live for 75 years so far. I relate more to Kevin Bacon's character as I was a supply officer. Had I the chance, I too would have volunteered for escort duty.

A must see movie. If you don't get HBO, look for the DVD sure to follow.
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10/10
Incredibly Powerful Movie
tdint19 January 2009
I saw the premiere of this movie at Sundance, and had a chance to talk to several others in the audience. All of us felt this movie was one of the most powerful and moving films we've ever seen. Although there is a tie to the war in Iraq, this is not yet another political statement on the issues around the war.

The movie is based on the actual experience of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who volunteers to escort the body of a young Marine (Chance Phelps) who was killed in Iraq, and whose remains are being returned to the Marine's family. Scene after scene in this movie are pitch perfect, and it made me appreciate the professionalism and sacrifice of those in the military. While I was personally opposed to the war in Iraq, I feel this movie is something every US citizen should see, as well as every government official. As a result of seeing "Taking Chance," the dedication and professionalism of our military is far more tangible, as well as the pain and suffering each family experiences with each death.

My only caution is that you should have tissue handy, since the movie made almost everyone in the audience cry. But as our Sundance group talked about the film afterwards, we were all deeply appreciative to have had the opportunity to see this movie, and gain new empathy with the rank-and-file in the military who are so heroic.
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10/10
Wonderful moving movie
DEHutch21 January 2009
I felt I had to write a comment after seeing this wonderful movie at Sundance yesterday and then noticing that there were some poor reviews which are somewhat puzzling to me. As the earlier commenter noted EVERYONE that we spoke with after the premier was moved and loved the movie regardless of age or political affiliation. Further it is the only movie I have ever seen at Sundance in five years of attendance that received four standing ovations. It is a wonderful story of respect, service, sacrifice and the dignity of life. LtCol Mike Strobl did a great job of sharing with us through his book, and now this movie. A true story of a serviceman's journey home who has been Killed In Action (KIA). It is a moving account of the respect that the Marines give their fallen. In addition is shows the outpouring of thanks and respect that LtCol Strobl encountered as he escorted the body Lance Corporal Chance Phelps back to his family.

Everyone should see this movie. Itdoes not have any political or idealogical agenda. It is just a great story of service and sacrifice as well as respect and honor.
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10/10
Excellent and very touching
Shteve321 February 2009
I hardly give out tens but I couldn't even think of a reason to keep it a nine (I originally gave it a 9 because I thought some scenes were kind of cheesy but I realized I was wrong). I'm not sure what else to say about this except that it really gets to the heart. Kevin Bacon did a great job portraying the emotions of LtCol Strobl. It may be because I'm a Marine that I felt a little emotional at the end of the film but I couldn't help it. As another poster mentioned, it may not reach a broad audience (possibly why it was released on HBO and not in theaters) but I think that's what is so great about it. It felt special to me since I am a Marine and I'm sure anyone else who has lost a family member or friend to a war effort would feel the same. There's nothing else to say except it was a very emotionally strong film and was very affective at reaching it's goal of touching the hearts of the target audience.
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9/10
Very poignant movie
rev6621 February 2009
This movie is basically a documentary with actors.........and very well thought out........it is not for the feint of heart or for people that demand "happy-endings". It is thought-provoking and will not leave a dry-eye in the house. The casting is first-rate, as is the attention to detail..... so many of these type of movies lose a lot due to poor continuity. Kevin Bacon does a superb job, as does the supporting cast.....My family recently had a son of a friend killed in Iraq while serving in the Marines, and the images seen in this movie parallel the emotions we observed our friends family endure. It is a fine rendition to honor all those from our country all who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
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10/10
Emotional, Moving, Apolitical
rtcblc22 January 2009
I saw this movie at a Sundance in the Schools presentation in Ogden,UT. To give you an idea of the power of this film, 600 + high school students were totally silent during this film and erupted in applause at the end. A vivid demonstration of the impact of this tribute to the sacrifice of a 19 years old Marine PFC killed in Iraq. A true story the based on Chance Phelps who was only 1 - 1/2 years out of high school himself. The director, cinematographer, and producer were there to field questions from the students. In response to a question the Director Katz stated he tried to keep this effort apolitical as a tribute to all who have been killed in Iraq and to focus on the respect and dignity afforded the KIA soldiers on their journey home. This is one of the better movies I've seen dealing with the emotional toll of wars on the families and comrades left behind.
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10/10
a profoundly moving story...
hprockstar7 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As a person who has lost someone in the war, this picture was especially meaningful to me. My cousin was also killed in the line of duty in the spring of 2004. Because I could relate so personally to the story, the events portrayed somehow comforted me and gave me peace knowing that my cousin has also been treated respectfully and carefully, even after his death. My other appreciation for the story came from how non-political this film was. Except for one comment that the driver of the taxi made to the Colonel, the film was completely void of political statements of any kind. It was refreshing to be caught up in the story without being bombarded with political propaganda.
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9/10
Taking Chance- What the Results of War Are All About ***1/2
edwagreen21 February 2009
Kevin Bacon gives a restrained, compelling performance in this film dealing with the meticulous handling of our soldiers killed in Iraq. Every detail is described and the army is very strict about making sure that customs and traditions are fulfilled as the loved ones are returned to their families.

It was wonderful seeing Blanche Baker back in films after so many years. The daughter of the legendary Carrol Baker, Blanche won a best supporting actress Emmy over 30 years ago for the memorable "Holocaust" television series. After following this up with a role in Robert Redford's "The Candidate," she seemed to have dropped out of sight after all these years.

"The mortician did the best he could. It is recommended that the body not be shown for viewing." This line will forever live with me.

The film deals with patriotism and how a young man, apparently full of life, died a hero in Iraq while protecting others.
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