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The My Lai Massacre took place in 1968. This movie was made in 2011. That is 44 years before ANYBODY had the balls to make a movie on the subject. The closest being Ralph Nelson's Soldier Blue, which suffered from a bad music soundtrack. Oliver Stone was going to do this, then switched to Charles Manson. Rob Zombie is doing a modern day "Salem Witch Coven" movie. Tarantino is making another "Hostel". I read Sam Peckinpah considered doing a movie about this in 1970, but quickly backed out. The most evil thing to me is that the few guys in the platoons involved who refused to fire were later outed and targeted as cowards and traitors and dead animals were left on their doorsteps. There was and is a psychotic element in America who still thinks William Laws Calley Jr was an American hero. This movie says he wasn't. I saw it on another site with Vietnamese subtitles. Obviously they appreciated it. The film is sloppy and tame but it still has balls. Not bad for an Italian cable film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As many may be aware, the massacre at the Son My hamlets of My Lai and
My Khe in early 1968 by elements of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry
Regiment, is the most well-known of several massacres of Vietnamese
civilians carried out by US forces during the Vietnam war.
The incident itself was largely a legacy of the draft for Vietnam and the one year 'tour of duty' policy, which bled away experienced career soldiers from the fight, resulting in the drafting and training of poor quality officers to fill the gaps; men who were often completely unsuitable for command. These men were then told that 'the body count' was their yardstick of success, setting the stage for indiscriminate killing of civilians to become widespread when soldiers were out on patrol under such leadership. Such a culture meant that the My Lai massacre might never come to light at all had it not been for the brave actions of a reconnaissance helicopter crew who, upon witnessing the carnage taking place, landed at the village and put a stop to matters, and even then the military attempted to cover it up.
So, a deep subject then, quite relevant too given that there is a 'new Vietnam' in Afghanistan; thus one deserving of serious treatment if a drama is to be made about the matter, and one from which we might learn something too if it was done right. Films about war atrocities are certainly not easy to make and often not easy to watch either, but Schindler's List proves that it can be done. Which makes it particularly staggering to find that this movie is not so much a serious attempt to tell the tale with the kind of gravitas it warrants, but rather more like bad action movie to the extent that it is actually laughable. That in itself is a remarkable achievement; to make a film about such an horrendous event that - for all the wrong reasons - can actually make you laugh at its ineptitude. We should be crying whilst watching a movie about this subject material! Being interested in the Vietnam war, I had hoped this would be a film which might dare to examine the motivations and singular scapegoating of William Calley. To put the spotlight of justice on his superior officers in perpetrating such a terrible deed, to question the cover ups and policies which led to such an appalling turn of events, and to take a really good long look at the morality of soldiers in combat when they are pressured to deliver a body count. But nooo - from the cheap, nasty backdrop of frankly inept CGI UH-1D helicopters, to the woefully poor acting and casting, plus a terrible script, cookie-cutter soundtrack, poor storytelling and editing that is all over the place, this film is like a masterclass on how not to make a movie and - criminally - an opportunity missed to make something that could have been a genuinely worthy piece of self-examinatory film-making with regard to military policies.
Some of the close up camera work and lighting is okay to be fair, but then the 'actors' open their wooden mouths and attempt some of the atrociously bad dialogue and we're firmly brought back to FNG film-making territory once more. Couple this with the fact that several Vietnamese villager characters randomly switch between speaking subtitled Vietnamese and English for no readily discernible reason and the bewilderment continues. The result is that if you haven't stopped your DVD player and decided the DVD of this movie would serve you better as a drinks coaster, then you actually can't wait for the soldiers to get on with slaughtering the rotten actors playing the villagers just so the sound of frag grenades and gunfire will drown out the risible dialogue and offer a welcome smoke screen to mask am-dram standard 'acting'.
This isn't just the worst movie about the Vietnam war, it's the worst movie of all time. Moreover it's an insult to the victims of the real event. Avoid this DVD at all costs, that is unless you need a drinks coaster.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is difficult to really place your finger on what went wrong with
this movie. Many of the actors seem to have been chosen because they
have an Asian face but can speak English with an American accent. The
problem is, they can't act. The lead actress is in fact Fillipino which
explains her terrible Vietnamese when she seems to have been forced to
speak it. Either stick with English, or use real Vietnamese Actors who
CAN act and subtitle it.
The dialogue is atrocious. One scene has a black actor telling people repeatedly that they are 'Bustin' his balls'. They should have had Tony Soprano playing that role. The hysterical shrieking and looped, "Oh my God!!!! Somebody help me!!!! Ah, my leg!!!!!" made me want to stick mute on for a while or reach for a gun and shoot the guy myself. I was relieved when a mine sorted out his agony. The rest of the soldiers are all caricatures of other films. You know, the virgin guy with the big black specs, the red-neck with his ammo belts and cigar, the wise black sergeant shouted down by the white man. Oh dear.
The CGI just sucks. Really sucks. What did they blow the budget on that meant they couldn't hire a few Huey Cobras for a few days?
I was hoping for a solid portrayal of the problems the rural Vietnamese faced when confronted on one day to join the VC and the next day to befriend the Republican forces. My Lai was portrayed as some idyllic village in a 'land that time forgot' kind of way. The people portrayed as simpletons completely devoid of any knowledge of what to do when confronted by soldiers. Anyone would think that Vietnam hadn't faced decades of war prior to this and that the last thing people would do was to run when confronted with soldiers. You don't need to be an expert on Vietnamese history to know this. Read a few autobiographies.
In short, give this movie a miss. It's even worse than 'When Heaven and Earth Changed Places"
All the Reviews are correct its a very poor movie I've seen better low budget movies than this , although its a sad story based on real events that took place during the Vietnam War in march 1968 but technical wise - Bad Miming , voices did not match the American Soldiers, bad acting , i could of acted better myself and very bad effects and yes the part where the American Soldier was screaming "my leg my leg" was very amateur so i was glad when he got blew up, parts of the movie i couldn't tell if the U.S Troops had English accents or American lol , I would just read up on the real events of My Lai Four rather than watching this very badly made movie i give maybe 2 out of 10
Seriously through, don't even waste time to watch it. Most of the
actors can't even act, and yet it is very disturbing. Dialogue and
camera shot are the worst and i can't believe they spent 2,000,000 on
Casting is also very awful. They hired Filipino actress to play the leading role which is very ridiculous and it shows her weird Vietnamese accent. They should have hired Vietnamese to play this role instead of her. Well I don't have a problem with her acting, but I think they should cast "Right people" to play the "Right Role"
It's just worst and worst, don't watch it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
And those are the good points! Paolo Bertola has allegedly spent 2
million Euro on this piece of epic fail and has nothing to show for it.
I have previously written (ad nauseum, I guess) how offensive I find it when they can't even get uniforms right. Well, these jibronis (sp?) can't even tell which service they are in, calling themselves Marines. They are in green fatigues with some hand-made unit patch (often on the wrong shoulder!). These do not even begin to approximate the patch that 2LT William Calley wore. Further, look at the officer's ranks. They are at least 3x the normal size and were obviously hand-made. They spent all that money and can't even get the uniforms right? What special effects? The smoke was CGI for god's sake! There were even CGI helicopters! There were several good explosions and some good blood and carnage, however, military protocol and procedure for a combat zone was not followed. Further, people do not scream for hours and hours, or grab hold of a rifle sling to be pulled to safety when both of their legs have been blown off. They bleed out. They die. I've seen combat and I've paid the Price of the Eagle. It's one of the most bone-jarring and horrifying experiences I have ever had in my life and I do not sleep well from it.
Damnit, if you're going to make a movie about Vietnam or any war, at least hire some people who have been there and can tell you what it was like and how it should be represented. Spend some money on quality props and actors.
What is is about Italian cinema that they always manage to screw up when they try to make a movie about Vietnam? The same thing goes for the latest zombie trash, Eaters, which was also an Italian job. It's unrealistic, full of impossible situations and innuendo unique to the Italian mind. Some things should just be kept within a country's borders. This film is one of them.
It is my belief that this film was made and released around the time of the anniversary of the My Lai massacre solely to capitalize on the human misery of the situation. It was not factual and does not represent anyone who was on the battlefield that day in any accurate form.
Just been on vacation to Vietnam and visited the My Lai memorial,a
deeply moving experience.
In my opinion, this was a cheap and nasty attempt to recreate the story of the massacre.
I hated the attempts to 'Hollywoodize' the story.
There were feeble attempts to introduce a fictional love story which just cheapened the whole story.
Most of the time, the villagers sounded more American than the Americans, except when they suddenly switched to Vietnamese for no apparent reason!
The standard of acting was appalling and wooden. The dialogue was inane and most of the effects were pathetic.
This film is an insult to the people who died at My Lai. One to avoid.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I can't remember when I last saw acting as bad as the acting in this
travesty. Oliver Stone was set to make a film about the infamous My Lai
Massacre, which occurred in March 1968 during the Vietnam War, but he
was forced to abandon the film during the writer's strike about two
years ago. The My Lai Massacre is an event that really needed a film
portrayal, and it looks like we finally got one. But I never expected
it to be such a cheap and disgraceful mess that is pretty much a two
finger salute to those innocent people that were murdered that day by
the American soldiers of a battalion of the 23rd Infantry Division, led
by Lt. William Calley who was later convicted for the massacre.
So how bad is this film? Well, I'd go as far as saying that it's one of the worst films I've seen. In fact it's so boring and painful to watch that it actually gets interesting when the killings start, which sounds sick, I know. I really can't stress how terrible the acting is. For some reason, the old TV show "Power Rangers" that I used to watch as a child came to mind. The scene where the soldiers are being dropped off by the choppers was pathetic; I know it was low-budget but could they seriously not have rented a few helicopters? The special effects were non-existent, which made explosions almost impossible but they still insisted on putting them and it looked like cartoons.
I was forced to turn the volume off one stage, when the platoon is stuck in the rice paddie and one of the men gets his legs blown off. Its attempt to show us the horrors of war backfired greatly there; the screaming was horrific, sure, but it didn't sound realistic, it just sounded exactly like what everything else in the whole film was - over the top. And what was the deal with the Vietnamese? One minute they are speaking English to each other, and the next minute they are speaking in Vietnamese. Obviously the director expected us to think of a reason why they would feel the need to change between the two in conversation.
The My Lai Massacre saw over 500 Vietnamese massacred by a handful of American soldiers. The incident was covered up for over a year, but when it did come to surface, any lingering support that remained at home for the war vanished and this played a part in most of the veterans receiving no welcome at all, or abuse, when they returned home. This film could have been a fine testament and brutal film had it had a more competent crew and higher budget. Maybe Stone might make his film one day. I hope so, because I'd hate to think that the only film portrayal of that dark day in the awful Vietnam war is this piece of crap.
Very unrealistic movie, can't even get the service right, at one point one of the soldiers says they are marines. Anyone that was there knows all the screaming that is used as a backdrop making the soldiers seem like a bunch of whimpering children never took place, nor did I see anything like this in any of my three trips to nam. Tactically the movie has it all wrong, no one would drop in place during a mortar attack and then bunch up in a bomb crater. Correct procedure is to move out of the kill zone and stay at least 5 meters apart. Uniforms are wrong. Complete uniforms with steel pots were required. No one went on a mission wearing boonie hats and no shirts. All of this took place in the first couple minutes of the film at which point I quit watching it. Thought it would be a documentary instead of pure fiction.
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