In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Based on J. G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, tells the story of a boy, James Graham, whose privileged life is upturned by the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, December 8, 1941. Separated from his parents, he is eventually captured, and taken to Soo Chow confinement camp, next to a captured Chinese airfield. Amidst the sickness and food shortages in the camp, Jim attempts to reconstruct his former life, all the while bringing spirit and dignity to those around him.Written by
Jeff Hansen <email@example.com>
Steven Spielberg had planned a long, continuous shot with Jim standing on top of the building at the prison camp, watching the American planes bomb the airfields. The shot was very complicated and would require a single take. He gave instructions to Christian Bale to get excited, jump up and down, and run around on the rooftop as the planes passed and the bombs went off. However, Bale became nervous as the stunts began, and didn't do much of anything. Since most of the explosions had been used up on this shot, Spielberg (after some soft, fatherly words with the young Bale) improvised with several shots from different close-up angles, eventually getting Bale to give a more excited performance. See more »
When the P51 strafe the camp in Jim is in, one P51 drops its two 500 pound bombs from no more than 30 feet above the deck. This would never be done as the blast from the bombs would destroy the aircraft. The plane would be at a much higher altitude. See more »
In 1941 China and Japan had been in a state of undeclared war for four years. A Japanese army of occupation was in control of much of the countryside and many towns and cities. In Shanghai thousands of Westerners, protected by the diplomatic security of the International Settlement, continued to live as they had lived since the British came here in the 19th century and built in the image of their own country... built banking houses, hotels, offices, churches and homes ...
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I just saw this movie last night. It really ended up being quite disappointing despite a very good beginning. The scenes near the start of the film really do a good job of transmitting the ominous feeling of looming war. When the war broke out, I was feeling the kid's fear and confusion. I was thinking it was going to be a good war journey film, like the Pianist. Unlike the Pianist, this story just seemed to spread itself to thin. Throughout the movie the kid gives all sorts of philosophical ponderings, at one point he declares, "I have become an athiest." Statements such as these seem like they should have meaning, but I couldn't find it. It was like much of the dialog and actions of the characters was just put out there with no insight to what caused them to speak and act in such a way. It seemed as though this got worse through the film. By the the time the end came, it seemed as though each scene was meaningless and unconnected to the next. If the character's motivations and psychology were made more apparent through the dialog, this could have been an excellent movie. The film was technically good, but the lack of insight into the characters leaves only a meaningless bore.
11 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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