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|Index||91 reviews in total|
LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE is so over-the-top that one is tempted to brand
it a parody: the heavy use of military march music to suggest patriotic
resolution, the ham-fisted speechifying, the slimy cigar-smoking
villain...but then there are the elements which are clearly meant to be
funny, like the fey theater director (ha, ha) or the bumbling biker
gang (who look tough, but are, of course, just a bunch of softies).
But what really makes the film a chore to watch is how weak a piece of propaganda it is. The villains never make a remotely rounded case for themselves; the (hilariously exaggerated) actions on the part of those who try to repress Christmas and religious expression are based on vague fear alone, and while vague fear has inspired many a misguided action, when there's a message to be conveyed (I assume that's what they were trying to do), there needs to be either something concrete to react against, or an actual nuanced exploration of the issues. In a general sense, liberals seem to be the antagonistic force here, but the film doesn't take an actual stand against anything.
It's also one of the most pandering films I've ever seen, using the Army, the Bible, Christmas trees, motorcycles, the word "freedom", the American flag, and the cross as grossly blunt symbols of what this film means to honor. But it's so empty-minded that these symbols do not elevate the film or its themes; they just underscore its total lack of substance.
The acting doesn't help. Marshall Teague was far more convincing as a psychotic henchman in ROAD HOUSE; he has one line in particular that would turn off this film's target audience. The character of Bob Revere is a hard one to really like (he's awfully self-righteous), and Teague's performance doesn't help matters. Jennifer O'Neill, a long, long time after SCANNERS or SUMMER OF '42, can do little with the role of Teague's wife. Fred Williamson, as the aforementioned villain, seems to realize how awful the film he's in is, and manages to bring a little more pizazz to his one-dimensional role. Not enough to make it a memorable performance, really, but he's definitely the best thing in the film.
Add to the leaden script and flat performances a cheap production and sloppy directing, and you've got one big steaming pile of film. Not recommended. Oh, wait--it IS "Chuck Norris approved". Make of that what you will.
Last Ounce of Courage takes place in a skewed, alternate reality where
everyday freedoms HAVE been taken away and Christmas is actually
threatened by people such as an African-American man from Washington DC
(seriously ... the film went there). There is NOTHING subtle about this
movie (the "TRUE" patriotic hero of the film has a last name of Revere)
and it is comprised of nothing but false talking points that aren't
even close to being true or becoming a reality. There are so many
furrowed brows on display here the fictional town of Mt. Columbus
appears to be among the angriest in film history. It is all balderdash.
Even with these preposterous assertions, what truly makes the film a disaster are the low production values, the over-the-top-hoping-for-an-Oscar acting, the blatant vilifying of select minorities and its sense of smugness that it has throughout for anybody with a differing opinion.
It is either this or a brilliant satire of the fanatical right ... in which case it may be genius.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hands down, the worst movie I've ever seen. If I could give it less
than one star, I would.
I knew it was propaganda when I started, but the depiction of Christians as being so oppressed that a bible in a student's locker warrants a trip to the principle's office is such a ridiculous persecution fantasy that it's offensive to rational Christians.
If you're a fan of Bill O'Reilly, you will enjoy this film. If you have any common sense, this movie is nothing short of an awkward, obnoxious fantasy.
Ignoring the message, though, the movie was still bad. The acting is flat and awkward, the characters are unrealistic (seriously, is the reputable and world-renowned attorney so incompetent in his own field that some old fart can beat him in his own game with nothing more than a night of reading?), and every scene they tried to make touching felt clumsy. The protagonist is so over-the-top patriotic it's hard not to laugh at him a little. (Come on, using a giant American flag as a motorcycle cover? Really?)
This is such an obvious religious and military propaganda. Don't waste
your time. You won't find anything groundbreaking.
This is your typical neocon garbage with the typical flag-waving and religious blabber. Sprinkled with the references to the "freedom of religion" law the creators obviously don't understand. They are not fighting for freedom, they are fighting for an Iran-style theocracy. Just instead of Islam, they want their flavor of Christianity in charge.
They try to indoctrinate the viewers with ridiculous neocon ideas, like "you are not a real American and you hate freedom if you disagree".
Then there's this whole "fight for freedom" idiocy. Can you name a single war the US fought in the last fifty years that was about freedom of Americans? You can't, because there was no such war.
The director has no idea what it really is to be an American. It has nothing to do with the support of the military. It has nothing to do with being a Christian. US has always been a mix of ethnicities, races, cultures, religions (or lack of them), and the ability to live together and cooperate.
Most un-American movie ever made.
This movie is a Fox News viewer's wet dream: factually inaccurate,
racially insensitive, and wallowing in manufactured Christian
persecution and martyrdom. We're so oppressed! We are only allowed to
have our Christmas decorations prominently displayed in our homes and
places of worship. They are stripping us of our right to force everyone
in the country to acknowledge our religion too!
The guys at God Awful Movies podcast put it best: Will America Freedom Jesus? Will Jesus Freedom America? Will Freedom Freedom Freedom? Find out the Jesus to America Questions and Freedom, when we Jesus back for act Freedom of America America Jesus!
If you've seen the trailer for Last Ounce of Courage, then you know the
roots and the morals of the entire picture. Some films like to persuade
the audience down a different direction and have them possess a
different idea of the film in their trailers. Not this one. This film
blatantly comes out and tells you what it is, what it strives to be,
and what lies behind its morality and its filmmakers' cores all in the
trailer. It's one of the most unsubtle films I've seen in years.
Let me give you an idea of how patriotic this film is; in the one minute and fifty-one second trailer I counted fifteen shots where the American flag was clearly visible, thirteen of them in the first minute. There's also an unintentionally corny sequence of Marshall R. Teague's character riding a motorcycle, draped in leather apparel, and proudly letting the American flag flow in the wind of the air. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, but as a whole, this is another tired, worn entry in the almost hopeless genre of American cinema, and when I say "American cinema," I mean cinema that comes from this country boasting nationalism and simple, earnest, life-affirming values. See Broken Bridges and Seven Days in Utopia for schooling in the field.
We begin on an offbeat note that could've been keenly directed into passable territory with development and humanity. The first character we see is Thomas Revere, a man who has a patriotic father named Bob (Marshall R. Teague), a loving mother (Jennifer O'Neill), a young wife (Nikki Novak), and a young son on the way. He enlists in the war to fight for his country, like his father did, and writes letters and sends videos back to his wife and infant son during his deployment. Later on, in the middle of a normal day, Thomas's mom is greeted by the sight of two military men, in uniform, with an American flag and a wreath on her doorstep. Thomas's wife is now a widower with a young child. If this happened twenty minutes into the picture, and we had more development and interest in the character of Thomas, having him die would be a monumentally depressing plot-point. To have him die minutes after meeting him leaves the viewer emotionally deprived when it should leave us emotionally drained.
We move several years later, where Thomas's son Christian (whether the name is supposed to be coincidental or unintentional I can't say), played by Hunter Gomez, is a bright and curious fourteen year old boy, who is suddenly interested in all that has happened to his father, as if a fatherless kid never asked his mother just what happened to daddy. He digs through an old chest of his grandfather's to try and find more facts about him, and gets his family to watch old videos of Thomas's love letters to his mother.
Then we take the incredibly abrupt topic of how Christmas has become a greatly limited holiday in the states, what with political correctness and the recognition of other holidays around the same time. Bob, who is the mayor of the small town of Mount Columbus, is sickened at how America has neglected the fact that Christmas is a national holiday, and while it isn't celebrated by every American in the country, it should nonetheless be recognized and we should have the broad freedom to wish people a "Merry Christmas" without being scolded for arrogance.
I've noticed a barrage of online reviewers claiming those who will hate this movie are liberals and that's because they are not true Americans. I'm not so sure about that. I consider myself a hardcore Libertarian, who has an immense amount of pride and respect for the United States, possesses a large amount of individualist opinions, and shares the same views as Bob on the idea of Christmas; we live in America, and saying "Merry Christmas" on Television or in public schools shouldn't be the big deal that it is. I'm living proof you can share the same opinion as the filmmakers and not be a fan of the film.
The main reason is for the heavy-handedness of the topic at hand, and the complete bleeding heart, Christian-Conservative propaganda that becomes nauseatingly obvious and brutally contrived throughout the whole film. This is a picture that completely shortchanges character relations and depth in order to promote its ideology. It features capable acting by Marshall R. Teague and Hunter Gomez, but uninspired, wooden performances from the majority of its actor, and screenwriter that ultimately could pass for a heavily biased lecture.
I suppose my main quibble with the film is that it makes an issue out of something that is so petty and foolish in real life that seeing a film pound in the morals and someone's biased ideology of the event makes it just as painful to listen to. I respect the filmmakers involved, I wouldn't object to watching other films by them, and I feel that with great material, they could all work wonders. But to make a ninety-eight minute film that does nothing more than paint an oppressive picture of an opinion held by the people involved, and utilize it as an attack for anyone on the opposite side of the coin is a colossal miscalculation in terms of a way going about an argument and in terms of filmmaking.
Starring: Marshall R. Teague, Jennifer O'Neill, Fred Williamson, Nikki Novak, Hunter Gomez, and Jenna Boyd. Directed by: Darrel Campbell and Kevin McAfee.
Why do people insist on leaving fake reviews. Pages of reviews within a
week giving higher ratings than some of the classic movies of all time,
yet the overall score is 3.8.
Well I don't have anything to do with the film, am not American and am an atheist, and when I watched it I thought it was awful.
As film from a complete neutral it was terrible, patronising and laughable.
The film deserves to be on some Z-grade cable channel on a Wednesday afternoon.
Fortunately the scoring on IMDb shows the true picture, its a terrible low budget movie with nothing to warrant a viewing.
Honestly, I do not know why I bothered. If you have any appreciation for film, you will avoid this propaganda. Even if you support the message, which I generally do, you should at least give it an honest rating. Rating a low budget, poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed film as high as Casablanca or Citizen Cane is a travesty. It is just plane WRONG. That being said, how could any intelligent person trust the truthfulness of the film's message if it is so blatantly wrapped in lies and deceit by the so-called "reviewers"? Al Qaeda techniques by those who claim to appose them. I struggled with the rating I chose, because my initial thought was to vote it a 1 in order to help balance the skewed ratings, but I didn't. That would be basically the same crime. No matter how those who falsely inflated the rating feel about the message, as a film it is still just plain bad.
Apparently America is about shoving Christianity and Christmas down
your throat. Guess what? Children ARE allowed to bring their bible to
school. You ARE allowed to decorate your house in Christmas
decorations. Public places CAN decorate their place for Christmas.
What's not allowed is when people in the work place tries to shove
their religion down your throat. People working at Starbucks don't care
if you say that your name is "Merry Christmas." They really don't. They
get paid either way. Malls are still going to have people dressed up as
Santa Claus every year. People are still going to have religious
Christmas music playing in the background. Christmas is still the #1
holiday in America. Shut up about being "oppressed." Your rights aren't
taken away from you if your neighbor doesn't decorate their house for
I went to the capital in Madison Wisconsin, probably the most liberal place I've been to, and they had their Christmas tree up. They were getting ready to have a public nativity play. But of course, there were still people mad by the quote basically saying that it's okay to believe in whatever religion you want to believe in because it called religion a "myth."
I know lots of Christians and they really don't seem this dumb or confused about how logic or the world works. This movie is insulting not just to all other beliefs and non-beliefs but it is insulting to Christians by painting them all as drooling morons who don't understand how laws, lawyers, wars, teenagers, plays, politics, or the government works. Fine it is a movie and it isn't suppose to represent reality but if that is the case this movie has the exact same amount of truth and facts in it as Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles, but it is somehow less entertaining than any of those movies. The movie actually probably deserves 1 star, but in this case I am rewarding this movie for its production value being better than the average Christian movie. Some of the acting was competent and the cinematography seems competent. Now if the Christians can find someone that can write a decent story they may make a movie that will appeal to people that don't even believe in the magical sky daddy.
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