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Resting Place (1986)
Excellent Story !!!
I just saw this movie recently by way of a DVD that I rented. As the "voice of experience" from having previously served in the US Army in the same duty as John Lithgow's character ... I must say that he did one Hell of a good job! I was totally amazed! I usually associate this actor with roles that are "dumb & goofy" ... but he amazed me by performing in a very serious role. The character traits were perfect. The costumes were on target for that period. It was even filmed on location at an army post in Georgia which is where the fictional story was to have taken place. I especially liked the ending when the combined efforts of the men in the (mostly white) Platoon became the force that turned the tide of southern racism and finally allowed a hero to be buried in a place where he originally had NOT been welcome for no other reason than the color of his skin. I grew up in Georgia and even during that same time period of the early 1970s, there were still small communities where the mindset of certain people was still like the 1950s before Civil Rights had taken effect. But overall, I felt that this film was excellent and really did NOT get the attention that it truly deserved when it was first released. Hallmark should replay this once again.
---LTC Ralph Mitchell, US Army (ret)
OK, but not great
I saw this movie as being enjoyable, but not fantastic. There two major detractors: (1) Eddie Murphy is talented. But he does NOT need to "hog" all of the glory. There are other talented professionals who would have loved to have had the opportunity to perform and gain exposure. There simply was no need for him to have played multiple roles ... except to stroke his own ego. (2) Some of the jokes that the on-screen characters made about white people were simply too racist. If a predominantly white cast had made negative jokes about black people, there would be massive protests! I think the negative ethnic stereotypes needed to have been toned down a bit. For a way of passing the time, this was not a bad movie. I only hope that in his next movies, Eddie gives other actors the chance to perform and STOP trying to hog the spotlight.
Find Me Guilty (2006)
Excellent Courtroom Drama !
This obviously was a "low budget" movie. Other than Vin Diesel, mostly all of the other performers were not too well known. But overall ... it was a great movie! Too bad it did not get the publicity and the theater distribution that it really deserved; otherwise it would have been considered Oscar caliber.
The story takes a convicted mobster whom most people would automatically stereotype as being guilty as sin simply because of his background and makes him out to be the hero. Not because he is innocent, because he admits that he is guilty. But because he has the guts to stand up in court, represent himself as his own Trail Attorney and show that in this case the real "villians" are the FBI agents that used the RICO Act as an unconstitutional tool to discriminate against Italian Americans and arbitrarily assume that because they are of Italian ancestry with prior offenses, that they were all guilty of an entirely new set of charges. Vin's character came out as the hero because he stood up, pointed out tainted evidence, prejudicial testimonies and managed to present his case to where the jury found all members of his former "gang" whom he had known since childhood to be innocent of the new charges imposed upon them by overly zealous FBI agents seeking rapid career advancement.
Overall, an excellent film if you like courtroom dramas. Not to mention, it also shows that discriminatory racial prejudice can also happen to people who are white.
United 93 (2006)
Excellent Story, but BAD Camera!
The storyline was excellent! This was a great depiction of the sequence of events that took place that day right before the Twin Towers got hit. By using unknown actors, the film seemed at times more like a documentary. The worst thing about this movie was the constantly "jerky" movement of the camera. The cinematography looked more like an amateur home movie. Uneven camera angles. Jerky movements. Even at times the microphone was seen hanging over the actor's head. At times when the camera made such wide and rapid swings, it seemed to upset my equilibrium and make me feel as though I was on a roller coaster as opposed to sitting in a theater seat. Watching this gave me motion sickness! I had to barf in an empty popcorn bag. I ought to sue to cover the costs of a doctor visit and prescription meds.
I remember this movie. Very ironic that the character a 13-year old Laurence Fishburne portrayed was nicknamed "Fish". Was this purely coincidental, or part autobiography?
Overall, it was an excellent movie. The main character was a young girl named "Billie Jean" who was coming of age. She had no mother and was being raised by her grandmother. Her older brother "T-Bone" was a heroin addict and her best friend was a young boy called "Fish". She worked after school and was saving her money to travel out of state to visit her father who was serving time in federal prison and rumored to be in ill health. She had been hiding her money n a secret place. But one day T-Bone discovered where she had been hiding it. T-Bone stole her money and spent most of it getting high on dope. Fish caught up with a drugged out T-Bone, and although Fish was much smaller in physical build, he hit T-Bone over the head and retrieved what was left of her money. Then Fish went out and pulled a scam to try and recover what Bille Jean needed in order to buy herself a bus ticket to finally see her father before he died.
Even at age 13, Laurence Fishburne was an action hero.
The Interns (1962)
Best News Year's Party
This film is an excellent drama depicting the challenges faced by wannabe doctors who first need to complete their Internships before they can really get to practice. It depicts the internal struggles of greed, racism and personal ethics. The best part of the whole movie is the wild party that takes place on New Year's Eve. There is lots of booze, lots of dancing, loud music, crazy antics and even a drunken stripper. It is the kind of party that most of us would probably do anything to get invited to.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Like Home Movies ...
I grew up in the 1960s in the Fort Benning area where this movie was actually filmed. As a former Army Brat and as a career Army officer, I must salute the director for the attention to detail in bringing Hal Moore's story to the silver screen.
The uniforms of that era were exact ... right down to specific items of the soldier's uniforms such as camouflage covers and canvas field gear which are now obsolete and getting harder to find.
It was like home movies for me to see a film featuring base houses in a section known as "Colonel's Row" where I once knew people that actually lived there; in addition to other scenery from my childhhood in Georgia. Many of my childhood friends had Dads assigned to the 11th Air Assault which was renamed the 7th Cavalry.
The one event that actually occurred and was omitted from the movie was the massive fly-over that took place prior to that unit's departure. Many of the men assigned to that unit lived in houses just outside of Ft Benning. One afternoon prior to their departure, there was a massive fly-over where the skys over those suburban neighborhoods were black with army helicopters from Ft Benning. For some of those soldiers it would be the last time that they would see their own homes from an aerial perspective.
The emotion shown of having the news of a soldier's death being delivered to his widow by a taxi driver was deeply realistic. My own father had been killed in Viet Nam in 1964, one year prior to Hal Moore and his outfit being sent forward. I remember when a cab driver pulled into our driveway with a telegram and my mother going ballistic! She called the base, asked to speak to the 2-star general and totally chewed him out for being so cold hearted.
Overall I think this was an excellent movie. It not only focused upon the battle, but also had a focus upon the military families that too often has been overlooked by Hollywood.