Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose two hundred fifty thousand dollars, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City, and comedy follows.
When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.
Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »
The scene where Salazar is smiling as he films a scorpion being devoured by ants is an homage to the beginning of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969) where a group of children gleefully watch scorpions being eaten by ants . See more »
Angel Salazar's video camera, as shown in the opening scene, is a small, cheap camcorder. However, during the scene where Master Sergeant Sweet is introduced, the camera's shadow suggests a much larger high-end HD camera with wide lens and external microphone is being used. See more »
We Got That Thing
Written by Coco Crisp (as Covelli 'Coco' Crisp) & Scott Schorr
Published by Cat From Guatemala Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Lazy Bones Recordings See more »
A Dark Film about the Dark Side of a Dark War
Redacted (2007) **1/2
Redacted is an interesting and well intentioned, but nevertheless heavy handed picture. It's often a tough and unpleasant film to watch. Its style is unique and works quite well at times, while at others bogs the movie down to a halt.
Redacted is shot from different points of view, mostly through the video camera of private Angel Salizar, who was denied entrance into film school so he joined the army. He is obviously one of the central characters, but he's rarely seen on film; he's the one operating his camera and we hear him often speaking from behind it. This is his ticket into film school, a combat veteran with a video diary: who's going to deny him now? He tapes his buddies as they patrol Sumatra, play cards, and talk. When we're not watching his camera, we're watching either security cams, a documentary by a French crew on the soldiers, a news crew, or what appear to be videos posted on YouTube. It creates an interesting - if not totally successful - approach to narrative, and at times creates the sense that you are actually watching a documentary - which I'm sure was DePalma's intention.
I'm sure that everyone by now, given the massive controversy surrounding the film, knows what will happen. US soldiers go on a revenge raid after one of their comrades is killed by an IED. Drunk with rage, sexual deprivation, and sadism they storm a house they raided - for no apparent reason then either - days before and found nothing, but arrested the male head of the house anyway. They go back to rape the man's 15 year old daughter, and one of them kills her and her entire family. Salizar is one of the soldiers who goes, rigging his camera up to his helmet so as to be the fly on the wall, documenting what happens. Another soldier goes as well to make sure nothing happens, but is forced at gunpoint to not interfere.
I don't' think that redacted is an anti-soldier movie at all in reality. Most of the soldiers are disenchanted with the war, just want to go home and want nothing to do with the rape and want nothing more than to see justice done, but are forced to stay quiet. We get to see some scenes where one soldier is being persuaded by his father, an army man, to keep quiet, and an attack on his story by military superiors when he attempts to tell them. These scenes, especially the latter, I would have liked to see more of. After all the film is supposed to be about the way stories are suppressed and diverted when they are deemed unsavory to the credibility of the USA. The film gets bogged down in showing us how it's being made, when it should be showing us more of the "redaction," if you will.
The use of non-actors, or inexperienced ones, occasionally works to the advantage of the attempts to create a documentary like feel. When people know they are on camera, they get uncomfortable and the way the actors are not able to give movie star performances works to this end. However there are other times, particularly moments of big speeches that it works against it. It doesn't help that these speeches are almost always over the top and heavy handed. Moments of the film are nearly laughable, and those moments make this a hard film to review. On the one hand I want to call it a mess; on the other hand I would like to compliment its messiness. In the end though, Redacted simply is a bit too much of a mess to overcome its heavy handed and sluggish execution.
There are no actual problems with the message of the movie and it does not vilify the troops as a whole. I would even go so far as to say that it is quite even-handed when you consider the facts surrounding reality. If you are out of tune with reality, and still adhere to the false reality that the USA can do no wrong, then I'm sure you'll find it offensive.
There are a couple of shocking moments in the film. One includes an IED explosion, the killing of a pregnant Iraqi thanks to a misunderstanding at a checkpoint, and another scene involving a kidnapped soldier. The ending however is probably the most powerful, and gruesome portion of the film.
The final moments, under the heading "Collateral Damage," show the bloodied, dismembered, and dead bodies of Iraqi men, women and children - the only doctoring done, is the digital covering of their faces. On that note, I will take the same course as the film, and end this review.
24 of 44 people found this review helpful.
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