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I got emotional.
I happened onto this movie on a premium cable channel. It was a lucky accident. I have always been moved by films that have a very good story and especially if that story is mystical or supernatural. I can tell you that I became pleasantly emotional over this movie and can hardly tell anyone about it without getting choked up a bit. No special effects are necessary for me, just a great story.
I felt the same way about this movie as I did about the first "Angels in the Outfield." That gives you an idea about what movies I really like.
The plot outline tells you that this town, which the people call Refuge, is actually the place where it is determined whether you are to go to heaven or hell. This then is Purgatory. It's a place where people who have done bad in life, but are "marginally good" have a last chance to avoid the worst of the afterlife.
*****THE NEXT PARAGRAPH MIGHT BE A SPOILER BECAUSE IT TELLS OF AN EVENT VERY NEAR THE END OF THE MOVIE. STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE IT.*****
I own a very pricey set of leather books that chronicles the lives of several of the Old West's most interesting characters. One of these volumes is about Wild Bill Hickok of Aces and Eights fame. Near the end of the movie, and against this town's peaceful sheriff's desires, he is forced to use his guns. Both of his holstered guns are obviously different than the others. I don't recall ever seeing guns holstered like this in any other movie or television show. They are holstered "butts forward", in other words, backwards. There is an extremely short clip showing how guns in this position are rapidly drawn and I missed this completely the first time I saw this movie.
After the movie was over, I rushed to my reference volume about Wild Bill and found out that the movie is correct. He did wear his guns like this, and contrary to your first thought, was able to very quickly draw his guns straight out rather than reaching across his body like you might think. Wild Bill Hickok, referred to as "The Prince of Pistoleers" by journalists, was one of the best shooters in history and this movie's portrayal of the actual, but unusual and little known way he wore his guns made Purgatory all the more interesting for me.
Rules of Engagement (2000)
A good ride, good actors, some flaws.
Last week, as I considered ordering this DVD, I checked the IMDB rating and saw a "fair" 6.5. Since I like Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, I placed the order. Like most roller coasters, I found it to be a good ride and Jones and Jackson did very credible jobs. The flaws in the movie have been correctly pointed out by numerous other reviewers. I was somewhat surprised that some of the most critical reviews were by US viewers. I fully understand how non-US citizens would be irritated by the stereotypes. I found it to be a very exciting movie from my particular perspective (US citizen, military family, male over 45). The scenes of combat when the marines are ordered to the US embassy in Yemen to safeguard our state department personnel were VERY well done, even to the point of gripping. The court scenes and conflicts of evidence or lack of evidence were interesting to me and I also understood, but did not agree with, the aims of the State Department. I don't think some of the reviewers are aware of what a person might do in such an extremely stressful situation as that of Colonel Childers (Jackson). It was fascinating to me to see what he did do and how he and others looked back on it. I would have given Rules of Engagement a 9 or 10, but for the flaws. It's a good movie though and well worth renting. It's an 8.
Something, something, but not very good.
There are probably some spoilers in this review. On the other hand, if you have already seen this movie, spoilers don't make any difference and if you have not seen it, spoilers may not make any difference either because I very much recommend that you don't bother wasting your time to see it anyway.
Considering the hype that Gladiator had before, during, and after its release to the theaters, this had to be one of my worst disappointments. The good guy-bad guy situation was so obvious that I think all the people involved with making this movie must have been too close to it to see what they were doing. Either that, or they thought viewers were all stupid. A little character development might have helped here.
This movie is basically about two guys. One is General Maximus something that ends with an s, something else that ends with an s, and he is a really, really good guy. Then there is the son of the emperor, something that begins with a C and ends with an s, who is a really, really bad guy. How do we know this? The movie's first major scene is the general bravely leading his troops into battle (and fighting hand-to-hand himself, which seems dumb for the commanding general), and wins a great victory. He then shows his fine personal side by having a heart-to-heart with the emperor. General Maximus says he now wants to go home to his wife and kid and there is a gooey filmover that shows the audience what a nice family life he has. His boss tells him that he wants the general to take over leadership of Rome since the emperor is about to die. The good general goes away to think about it. Then the emperor's son comes in and finds out this distressing information when he talks to his dad. Naturally, he then murders his father so he can lead Rome himself. What a bad guy he is!
The general is awakened to find this out and examines the body so as to determine that he had indeed been murdered. Things get worse for the general when the naughty son orders him executed. A bunch of the son's soldiers then take the luckless general away. They promptly botch the execution, however, when the general with his hands tied and unarmed somehow kills everyone. The general then rushes home, but gets there too late and discovers that his family have been horribly tortured and killed and the farm burned. Can the son get even worse and the general even better? In this movie, the answer is yes, of course.
The general is then captured and placed into slavery and made a gladiator in order to please the blood-thirsty people. He then makes an amazing recovery to kill about a zillion other gladiators who have no redeeming characteristics. The son implements his plan to lead the people by hitting on his own sister, making advances to his nephew, and planning 150 days of killing to cement his loving bond with his countrymen. This guy is definetly no George Washington.
While this is all going on, we movie viewers are treated to some of the silliest special effects ever. In one scene, an ordinary chariot explodes when crashing into the side of the stadium. In another, tigers pop out of the middle of the stadium to try to kill the already hopelessly overmatched gladiators. Nothing works and the slave-gladiator continues to mess up the son's plans by killing everybody he faces. Even "the only undefeated gladiator in Roman history" (remember when defeated, a gladiator is dead) is coaxed out of five-year retirement to come back and be easily killed by the indestructible general.
The movie's ending is still more rediculous. For historical accuracy, all the people in the movie, including the slaves, have perfect teeth, look clean despite impossible conditions of sanitation, and are so well fed that a few look overweight. I just don't understand what everybody sees in this film.
An American will like it; a Yankee will love it
Warning: Somewhat of a spoiler on historical points.
As a civil war buff, I can tell you that this is the best movie ever made of the civil war, perhaps the best war movie of all time, and possibly one of the best movies of all time. I find it enjoyable to rewatch frequently.
The movie is surprisingly, historically accurate. I have read over two hundred books on the civil war and I can tell you with at least a little authority, that the three main characters in the movie deserve their treatment.
The first character is Tom Berenger giving a superb portrayal of Lieutenant General James (Pete) Longstreet, a Confederate corps commander. For the benefit of those who are not that familiar with civil war history, the monumental battle of Gettysburg occurred just past the halfway point of the war. Significantly, it occurred after the death of CSA Lieutenant General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson. Longstreet graduated to General Lee's most trusted lieutenant. The movie accurately portrays the tug of wills between Longstreet and Lee. It is historical fact that Longstreet argued against invasion of the North, agreeing to it only after getting some vague assurance from Lee that the battle would be defensively fought. It is fact that Longstreet argued for an attack around the Union's left flank (if there was to be an attack at all). Finally, it is undeniable fact that Longstreet argued with Lee so vehemently against the final failed attack that he later wrote that he thought he had stepped over the military line and would be relieved of command. I don't see how Berenger could have done a better job and I am still upset that he received no Academy Award recognition. I would imagine that Americans from the South are a little uncomfortable about Longstreet being right and the supposedly lovable Lee being wrong. But, history is history. I should mention that Longstreet is my favorite Confederate Officer.
Martin Sheen does only a fairish job of portraying General Robert E. Lee. He seems to have only one facial expression, that of pain and worry. Perhaps that is understandable considering that Gettysburg was such a Confederate disaster, but I believe it was overdone. What I do find interesting is that historians are coming more and more to the realization that Lee was not such a great general and perhaps not even a very good one. Looking at this movie unbiasedly, you can't help but get that impression yourself.
Jeff Daniels, playing the character of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, does a job that is every bit as good as Berenger's portrayal of Longstreet. Chamberlain was very much the Union hero as portrayed in this movie, so Northern Americans may especially like this movie. Chamberlain did in fact win the Congressional Medal of Honor for his performance during the Battle of Gettysburg. A non-regular military man, a non West Point graduate, Chamberlain went on to great glory even after Gettysburg. Promoted all the way up to Major (two-star) General, Chamberlain was more than with Grant at the final surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court House, as pointed out by another reviewer. He was given the singular honor of officially receiving the surrender and parole of Confederate troops three days after Lee's negotiated surrender, and well after Lieutenant General Grant had left for Washington. He also won recognition for his dramatic salute to the defeated Confederate soldiers that both Union and Confederate people of the time appreciated.
The movie is beautifully choreographed with thousands of extras, many, most, or perhaps even all being professional re-enactors. It gave the movie a realism lacking in many other war movies. The pathos of some of the Officers was palpable and made one sad whether of Union or Confederate sympathy. The musical score was memorable. I give it a ten out of ten and I, for one, enjoyed the length of the movie which is admittedly long at just over four hours.
Rent this movie. You will learn a great deal of American history, and have a good time doing so.
What a disaster. Even worse by comparison.
This movie (?) is a disaster, and that's a compliment. It falls from just being very bad to being the worst due to its attempt to play on the greatness of its earlier namesake.
"Thou shalt have no false gods before me", says God to Moses in "The Ten Commandments". A similar comparison and warning apply here. If you loved "High Noon", you will certainly hate "High Noon, Part II". It is a disgrace to the memory of Gary Cooper.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
A movie that's so good, it's difficult to watch.
This is a movie that is so realistic that you may find it difficult to watch. It is possible to get so emotional that you want to close your eyes or cover your ears. But you don't. You are drawn into the film like into a miniature black hole. [By the way, does anybody know what the D in D-Day stands for? The answer is at the end of this review.]
There are so many other well-written reviews of this movie that I am going to keep this short. I have a question though. Does Tom Hanks ever star is a bad movie? The answer is no, providing that Steven Spielberg directs.
This is a exceptionally good and realistic war movie. My father served in World War II, but it was difficult for me to realize his sacrifice. Not after this movie it isn't. It is so vivid that there might be a new warning label coming out. Perhaps something like, ED (Watch out! Can cause emotional distress if you were there.) The almost noiseless sound of the bullets hitting soldiers or sand is unforgettable. Perhaps even haunting. It is not difficult to understand how some veterans sought professional help after viewing Spielberg's latest masterpiece.
Well, I guess you have waited long enough. Nobody should have to actually read one of my reviews. The D in D-Day stands for Day. I had trouble believing my father when he told me that. Yes, and the H in H-Hour stands for Hour. See this movie if you dare.
A disappointment considering the cast.
I found this movie to be a disappointment, especially considering that both Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy were co-starring.
The lead character in Bowfinger is director Bobby Bowfinger (Martin). After reading a script for a new movie, "Chubby Rain" (you don't want to know), Bowfinger decides that a major star would make the hoped-for film a success. He would like to cast action star Kit Ramsey (Murphy), but Ramsey is not interested. He attempts then to film Ramsey anyway, that is, without Ramsey knowing. Sound dumb? Yes, it is. And not that funny either.
A fourth of the way into the movie I wished I had wandered into a different auditorium of the multiplex. By the end, I wanted my money back. After a funny start (an unseen telephone bill collector tells Bowfinger that it is not necessary to visit a home to cut off phone service), the movie lapses into silliness that I didn't find amusing at all, particularly so after all the media hype. I should have known that I was in trouble after the opening credits list Steve Martin as writer. A good and talented comedy actor he is, but a writer, he is not.
Save your money and wait for it to come out on video. The big screen is wasted on this effort.
Best Steven Seagal movie yet. Exciting and re-watchable.
The best Steven Seagal movie to date. This is the second, and apparently the last, in the series in which Seagal plays Casey Ryback, an ex-Navy SEAL Captain, who, as explained in Under Siege, was demoted for punching out a superior for poor intelligence which got many of his men killed. In Under Siege 2, his character has been promoted from Chief to Lieutenant, although we only find that out in the end.
Unlike some of his earlier movies in which Seagal fights for causes, specifically liberal environmental issues, here Seagal is fighting strictly for family and Country. The first scene starts off with Seagal making his appearance in civilian clothes to dramatic music. We learn the grim news that his character's only brother and sister-in-law were killed in a plane crash, leaving his only relative, a niece, still alive. He accompanies the teenager on a train ride from Denver to LA. He has the bad luck, but good for his Country, to be on the train that is attacked by terrorists bent on destroying Washington, D.C., and the US eastern coast for profit only. The maniacal would-be killer of millions is character Travis Dane, recently fired by a Government agency. The terrorist method is a high-tech powerful new weapon orbiting the earth and the train moving through lonely mountains provides the screen, as in "Dark Territory". Seagal seems somewhat lucky to avoid being killed early on, but then becomes a locomotive of destruction for the bad guys. Andy Romano returns as the full admiral, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and provides a continuity from the first Under Siege movie. This is all action showing Seagal as a dedicated and deadly force of protection for the train hostages and the citizens to the east. The action moves, and some of the death blows are right out of the military manual. Watchable over and over and still exciting.