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Point Man (2018)

Set in Vietnam in April 1968 - three months after the tide-turning Tet Offensive and one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. - Point Man is the story of a U.S. Army fire... See full summary »

Director:

Phil Blattenberger
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Popularity
1,899 ( 352)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Matthew Ewald ... Lieutenant Sutter
Jimmy Ace Lewis ... Private Rubin
Christopher Long ... Andre 'Casper' Allen
Paul de Havilland ... Sergeant Calhoun
Adam Brudnicki ... Helicopter Pilot
Phil Blattenberger ... Private Chauncey
Joshua Dela Cruz ... NLF Boatman
William Shannon Williams ... Colonel Abraham
Joe W Nowland ... Captain Hardy
Acorye' White ... Private Whittaker
Jacob Keohane ... Silas Meeks
Bryan Bachman ... Lieutenant Marsh
Marianne del Gallego ... Viet Lady 1
Cody Howard ... Matthew Ham
Triston Dye ... Private Cotter
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Storyline

Set in Vietnam in April 1968 - three months after the tide-turning Tet Offensive and one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. - Point Man is the story of a U.S. Army fire team fractured by racial tensions, moral crises, and the crushing pressures of combat in a war nobody wants to fight. Andre "Casper" Allen, a rough-edged ideologue, finds his radical politics put him at odds with the squad's machine gunner, Silas Meeks. When their search-and-destroy mission in the Mekong Delta goes terribly wrong, both men find themselves pitted against each other and their recalcitrant platoon commander, Lieutenant Sutter. Point men die like flies in the bush, and as loyalties dissolve every step forward comes with a price.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vietnam war | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Point Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Lee Ranch, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was nearly canceled a week from the start of production due to the Cambodian government's refusal to import weapons props into the country. Producer and director Phil Blattenberger spent a week watching various contingencies fall through the cracks; in desperation, he moved the set locations to a Cambodian army base 60km outside of Phnom Penh, where he rented Vietnam-era weapons from the officers in charge of the base. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A brave new perspective on the Vietnam War.
9 February 2019 | by DxterityDanSee all my reviews

First I'd like to say this is my first IMDB review and I made a new account just to write it. Before reading my review you should know that I am coming at this from a filmmaker's perspective. I have some idea of the obstacles and trials that come with the territory of making an indie film. This is not an average joe's take on Point Man.

The film kicks us off with an intro reminiscent of a multitude of war films while still remaining original. But the tone is set soon after with the "belt buckle" scene that I'll let you see and interpret for yourself. I don't want to give too much of the plot away because I didn't know much outside of the synopsis going into it and it was much more rewarding that way in my opinion. I saw the trailer and honestly was not impressed. I'm very happy I overlooked it and decided to watch this film.

What I liked about Point Man.

  • The cinematography was top notch. You really got a feel for what it was like being a GI in the bush and I particularly enjoyed the framing of characters during confrontations. This was masterclass.


  • The writing & direction from rookie filmmaker Blattenberger. I can't believe this was his rookie debut. At no point during this film was I bored or did I feel a scene or shot was fluff or filler. He shot and wrote every scene with purpose to drive the movie forward and deliver on the themes this film was being built on.


  • The acting from the two leads Casper/Meeks wasn't just good it was great. The actor portraying Casper commands your attention when he speaks and the young man has a future in this industry. He seemed natural in his role which made Casper's character development that much more believable and enjoyable. Meek's subtleties are what make his character. He gets a bunch of screen time where he doesn't speak all that much but the actor's facial expressions allow you to interpret exactly what he's thinking. The chemistry is so good between these too it feels almost too organic to be scripted. Well done gentlemen.


  • The attention to detail. From the "black power fist" on Casper's Zippo to a grunt singing period music on patrol in the bush. For an indie on a budget I'm astounded at the amount of care that went into making sure the audience bought what the film was selling.


  • The score & music is used sparingly and just enough. The ambience and tone is set from the sound of insects and the snaps of twigs to put you in the boots of these men.


  • Costume and set design. I sound like a broken record but how is this an indie again??? Hooches, uniforms, guns, the sweat dripping from a GI's face. All had the look of a big budget film. Hats (or helmets) off the costume and set designers.


What could have been better about Point Man.

  • This is mostly a budgetary issue but the special effects are not great. The muzzle flashes are the only thing that seemed believable. Bullet holes and extra helicopters in the distance are enough to distract but not take away too much from the experience overall. Everything seemed to be done in post and the film could have benefitted from more on set effects. But again that is a budget issue which brings me to my next issue.


  • The gun shot sound effects and sound mixing at times are average to poor. Of course in my mind I'm comparing this to the iconic "Heat" street shoot out which is perfection and was shot with real recordings of gun fire. There are also times where I feel like the sound mixing is a tad off specifically during Lt. Sutter's breakdown scene at the start of the movie. Some of this is budgetary and some of it prioritizing your vision and you feel is most important in post. This is the only part where I feel the film falls short on attention to detail where everywhere else in on point. (no pun intended)


  • Finally while the writing and dialogue his done with purpose and feels natural there is one scene in particular, the "Dog Metaphor" scene where I felt the writing was subpar and felt a little forced. The acting in that scene was still phenomenal.


Final Thought on Point Man.

The was a rookie debut by Blattenberger done on a shoestring budget that I walked away thoroughly impressed with. I say that not just from an indie perspective but overall. It's not easy for me to enjoy a movie because of how much I nit pick but damn this was good. I didn't get into the themes as much because I don't want to give away too much of the plot. It's best you just take this trip for yourself. This is not an action movie, I REPEAT THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE AN ACTION MOVIE. This is a film about people, controversial themes and well written characters that stick with you long after the credits role. If you're wondering whether to check this out I encourage you to do so. You may feel angry or confused or not feel a sense of fulfillment in the finale but you won't feel like you wasted your time. Point Man deserves recognition as one of the finest indies of 2019 and a brave new perspective on the Vietnam War.


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