When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany's Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker's anguish forty years later. And the miracle? Written by
Let me begin by saying that this movie was okay. But it could have been way better.
The story itself is great and kept me interested until the end, but it's execution could have been much better. Throughout the movie, some of the acting ranged from good to bad to downright lame. Jon Turturro's cameo as a detective was extremely disappointing, for instance. The acting picks up when the flashback begins, but every so often it rockets down.
The battle scenes were, for lack of a better word, comical. They were over the top and stereotypical of any other war movie, complete with bodies being flung from explosions in an exaggerated fashion and people sobbing over amputated rubber limbs.
The characters were all over the place on the sympathy scale. Stamps and Trey (or is it Train?) elicit plenty of sympathy, whereas Bishop and whatever the girl's name was only brought out anger from me.
The worst part of the movie is the editing, though. Some of the battle scenes are choppy, and there are entire cuts to different scenes for split seconds that we could have done without (they serve no purpose whatsoever).
My biggest problem was the stereotypical racism of the white characters in the movie. The only American white people in the movie are shown as black-hating jerks who's ignorance leads them to destruction.
Overall, the movie was good. Not amazing, not great, definitely not a masterpiece, but it wasn't terrible or bad or crappy. It was a great story, but it could have been executed much better.
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