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A Hollywood revision of a western... just awful!
15 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm late to this because I didn't go to the theater to see it and I'm glad I didn't!

Others have given the premise to the story so I'll just dive in... even if we buy into the belief that a murderous band of cutthroats, killing everyone in the haberdashery but leaving Bruce Dern alone is beyond far fetched; he'd be dead too if were in real life... but he needed to live so fluke of all flukes, the man who killed his son (Samuel L Jackson) happens to arrive so he could goad Dern into a fight and killing him giving one of the gang time to poison the coffee... contrived much?

Then, Oswaldo (Tim Roth) , out of the blue, asks 'which one has a letter from Lincoln?'... how would he know that? That little tidbit was shared while on the stage and Jackson's character was a rider they just happened to pick up on the way.

When John Ruth (Russell) realized he was poisoned, instead of pulling his pistol and killing Daisy (Leigh), he starts beating her up... that makes zero sense.

Tarantino makes an over the top violent piece of crap that takes three hours to watch... only reason I gave it the time to watch was I was home sick and it filled in the time... I wish I had sat on my back porch and watch the birds instead... this movie is just plain awful!
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Public Enemies... eh
5 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Simply put, well acted, but poor editing. Fight scenes were WAY too long and they seemed to just go on and on and on and on... you get it now.

The film editor could have cut out most of the abusive scene with Dillinger's girlfriend getting slapped around by the fat Fed. Also, they could have completely left out the sequence where she lies to the fat Fed to make him chase his tail... completely unnecessary for the story.

The whole character of Giovanni Ribisi was unneeded and having them there took away from the movie and made it about 30 mins too long.

They set up the final killing scene in what seemed to be actual time... come on guys, you had superb talent and a decent script. This could have been an Oscar contender if edited correctly. As it is, it was the most boring shoot 'em up I've seen in many, many years! Wait for the DVD!
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Up (2009)
Up and away!
30 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My wife and I didn't know if we were going to see this Pixar/Disney film because it just didn't look all that interesting to me in the movie trailer... I was wrong! The movie is darker than any other Pixar movie and it has a more adult theme... keep that in mind if you are planning on bringing your children! The villain is VERY bad and the way they ended his character in the movie was not appropriate for children under 10! In fact, my wife and I were wondering why they didn't portray his character having an epiphany and turning back to good.

All in all a very good movie, never drags and the story is quite sweet... but don't forget it is dark and mean at times and that could make it difficult for small children!
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Great animation and talent... poor story plain and simple
1 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My wife wanted to see this movie and I came along quietly, but kicking and screaming on the inside. At first, I was very impressed with the animation and the three dimensional look of the characters... then, the story started to unfold and my fascination turned to boredom.

At one point my wife turned and asked if I was ready to leave. Since we had already given this movie an hour, I decided I would sit through the ending.

The story was too slow moving and dark for some children and it bordered on violent at the climatic part with the cat getting loose to wreak havoc on the rats.

My 5 out of 10 is for the animation and voice talents... wait for this movie when it hits the discount movie theaters, or just rent it out on DVD. Hoping for much more, but getting what I kind of expected... blah!
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Valkyrie (2008)
They Came So Close...
28 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Being a history buff and reading about Valkyrie and the Colonel that was played by Tom Cruise so brilliantly, I was hoping for the best, but expecting much less... I was wrong!

Even from the start when Kenneth Branaugh's character tried to sneak in a bomb in the cognac bottle on Hitler's plane which actually happened, I knew the producers had done their homework.

Everything about Cruise's character was accurate down to the missing right hand and missing fingers. Eerily similar physically was Cruise to his character down to the hairstyle... very well played indeed! I don't know how movie goers will react to a psychological thriller set 64 years ago, but people should see this movie and see where the world was back then and how far we've come overall.

Those few men and women put it all on the line for their country and paid for it with their lives. In actuality, over 200 were executed for that assassination attempt!

Well made and well acted... I hope the Academy voters don't overlook this work; it would be a travesty if they did!
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What movie was all of the people giving 10's watching?
2 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I read and waited and listened to friends I trusted to see this movie. I read just about every 'good' comment on the IMDb thread and I've always enjoyed Ben Stiller movies. So, when I finally was able to get the time to see the movie, it had made it to the $1.50 theater.

I'm glad I couldn't find the time until then because this was the worst piece of junk I've seen in years! Holy moly... what movie was everyone else seeing? Tom Cruise, who was unrecognizable, only cursed and generally made an ass out of himself. Matthew, I'm the most annoying movie start ever, McConnehay just was himself... annoying! Robert Downer Jr was the only remotely entertaining part in the movie. Ben Stiller really let me down with the first 'real' scene when the director gets blown up and Stiller puts his head on the end of his rifle barrel.

I never laughed, only an occasional chuckle, and it'll be a long time before I trust this board or any of my friend's recommendations for movies again!
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Much Funnier than I expected!
4 October 2008
Being a child of the late 70's and early 80's, I was well aware of David Zucker films and his humor! I didn't know how he would display that while razzing "America's most infamous film-maker!", but he did... well, I might add!

No need to share every scene, but Zucker makes America the good guy and the terrorists; extreme left Hollywood types, College professors and the ACLU the bad guys!

His message is very simple; Sometimes we are forced into a fight for justifiable reasons! He uses a fall on the floor over-the-top scene with David Allan Grier and Gary Coleman to drive home the point!

If you are an extremely left-leaning individual, you will not like this movie. But, if you are middle/left, or all the way to the right, you will laugh and get the humor!

The humor is very Zuckeresque, so, don't be surprised. If you lean way left, don't waste your money; go for dinner and an anti-war rally instead!
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Indiana Jones meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind...
24 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, well, well... I waited almost 20 years, as most of you have, to see the fourth, and hopefully last, installment of this once proud and great movie experience! I knew something must have been up when Sean Connery wouldn't even sign on to do a one day cameo and Steven Spielberg offered to fly to his home to do the shoot... Mr. Connery had enough sense to stay out after his one turn as Indy's father!

This was a weak, and strange way to have Indy go... I'll not bore you with all of the details, but suffice it to say that Spielberg just can't let go of his alien thing and I just can't figure out why!

Harrison Ford is great and Cate Blanchett is unrecognizable as the femme fatal. Karen Allen returning was a cool full circle moment and only a blind man from the Swiss Alps couldn't see the way Spielberg was going with the Shia LeBouf character being Indy's long lost son... Henry Jones III... I have a feeling Mr. Spielberg might be planning on the series going on with Shia as the new lead.

The movie never drags, but the story is weird and just not worth seeing at full price. Wait and see it once it comes out on DVD... you'll be glad you did!
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It is faithful one hundred percent!
15 March 2008
Dr. Seuss would be so proud! Hollywood finally got it right! Horton the kind elephant who is voiced by Jim Carrey is a wonderful adaptation of Dr Seuss' character about the lovable elephant.

I was getting worried that Hollywood would never be able to get the children's books by Dr. Seuss right... they almost got it with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", but failed miserably with "The Cat in the Hat". They went back to what works... animation! Every voice that was cast was perfect... no misses here! Perfect family film! No innuendo about bathroom jokes, or wink and a nod sexual references... just plain fun and cute! Go and enjoy!
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Not sure what movie everyone else was seeing here!
13 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Alright, so, I waited until AFTER the Oscars to see this movie. I am a fan of every actor in this movie from previous work excluding the psycho killer played by Javier Bardem. I've just never heard of him before this. I'll never forget him now!

The actors deliver in spades and the creepiness of Bardem's maniacal killer is impressive. We rented this movie out for a dollar and I was pleased it was available. Especially since I only wasted a buck!

The killer gets started early with the strangling of a deputy sheriff which is a scene we've all seen on the previews. At this moment, I lost my wife, she got up and left to play on the computer!

The movie was strange and scary throughout the first half. Josh Brolin is smart and wily as the poor man that happened on a scene where he found 2 million dollars. His character knew he was in trouble from the start he proved his smarts by out thinking everyone following him. That's what made his demise so strange... his character seemed to have known what was going to happen next until that moment. Not consistent at all.

Anyhow, Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Corbin, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson and Javier Bardem put in good minimalist performances but the ending of the movie is weak. I needed to watch the bonus sections of the DVD to somewhat understand the sheriff and his motivation.

I'm losing faith in Hollywood's ability to really make a good movie... the writers seem to have decided that they want endings where the movie goer can infer his own... that is not why I spend my money, I'm looking for escapism and some fulfillment. Don't expect that with this movie!

So, maybe I'm too obtuse to fully grasp what in the heck the Coen brothers were trying to say here... with Hollywood's propensity to copy what works (again, in their eyes), then expect more unfilled endings to movies in the immediate future!

With ticket prices down, you'd think Hollywood would get the message and start catering to the masses and not their pretentious and narcissistic ways! Completely disappointed here... the cinematography and acting highs was overshadowed by such a weak ending... I wish I could give this movie a "0"!
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Indiana Jones - lite, but fun nonetheless!
30 December 2007
This would normally be a popcorn-summer-type movie and it would make good money in normal summers... remember that the fourth installment of Indiana Jones will be out next summer and it would bury this cotton candy movie making if it went head to head. I don't blame the producers releasing it now at all!

This is a very decent part two in the series where Nick Cage so desperately needs another movie hit. You can tell that every actor in the movie was having a blast on their new 'treasure' hunt. I'll not spoil any part of the movie for those who are considering going (I'm sure other's have in their critiques), but I will say they did have a huge hint that there will be third National Treasure that will need to be found!

You'll enjoy this movie and it's over the top plot line and cardboard bad guy (played by the awesome Ed Harris), but don't expect Shakespeare... just buy the popcorn on the way in and don't be late because you'll not want to miss a new Disney cartoon at the beginning to warm you up!
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Enjoyable and interesting... a rare combo for Hollywood to accomplish!
24 December 2007
Being a Texan, I should have heard of Charlie Wilson, but I must admit... never had before this movie. My wife, who grew up in Houston, knew who Julia Roberts character was though... she remembered her as Joanne King (obviously pre 'Herring' days) because she had a interview type local television show on a local station back in the late 70's.

I know that Hollywood takes shortcuts when telling a story and this movie was no exceptions. The History Channel ran a documentary on Charlie Wilson that makes Tom Hanks portrayal look like a boyscout selling candles at Christmas. Charlie Wilson was a real scoundrel and a force of nature all rolled into one!

After watching the movie and documentary, I've come to the conclusion that Charlie Wilson is a hero and no other individual could accomplish what he was willing to try and do back in the 80's. I was reminded of a line from 'Pappy' Boyington, the WWII flying ace that the late 70's television show was based, when he wrote in his book, "... you can show me any hero from any war and I'll prove that he was a bum!" You see, Pappy Boyington was a hard drinking, womanizing, authority hating rascal and Charlie Wilson was cut from the same cloth!
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The Kingdom (2007)
Good acting, story and action... wow!
30 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've been looking forward to seeing The Kingdom since the first trailer I saw months back. I've been very disappointed in the past with Hollywood trying to tell me what to think about the Middle East issue... this movie did not do that!

The movie starts out with terrorist act on an American compound in Saudia Arabia. The team that is headed by Jamie Foxx is eventually allowed in the country and with certain bits of arm twisting, allowed to look for clues who actually did the despicable act.

Here's where it gets interesting, the action begins in earnest once one of the team is kidnapped. There was no stopping the FBI team with Saudi police helping along the way.

This movie made the terrorists the bad guys and made you see that not all Middle Easterners are bad and some actually want us there.

I'm just not sure how a group of such liberal actors and director with his producer, made such an anti-terrorist movie and made Americans as good guys and not make a single apology to the terrorists and the scum they are for us being there in the first place! A very well made movie!!
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Omigawd... I was ready to kill him myself by the time I left!
22 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I'm a huge, extremely huge western movie fan. I try and see every western to give my support to the genre which is the only way to tell Hollywood to make more, but for friggin' sake, if you guys make one, at least make it interesting!

This movie took forever to make a simple statement in the beginning that Robert Ford is creepy and Jesse is dangerous. The opening train robbery introducing the characters should have taken 5 minutes and it took 20!

The acting is wooden with Casey Affleck just saying his lines while looking like a lost puppy walking around pit bulls. Pitt did a fair job, but he seemed to take himself too seriously in the role. Sam Shepard looked old enough to be Pitt's father and not his older brother Frank. He also had no rhythm with his character and just said his lines without much feeling. He and Pitt were not believable in the least as brothers. I didn't buy it for one minute.

Too many characters that were there for absolutely no reason and weird long setups trying to tell a story that should have been much more simply told! Strange forshadowing mixed with telling the story from a backstory way... really slow and boring.

If you want to see a really good psychological movie in the western genre, go and see 3:10 to Yuma, you'll enjoy it much more! Wait and rent this one... it's not worth the time spent sitting in the theater!
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Please... just disappear already!
11 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
OK... so... I really like Kris Kristofferson and his usual easy going delivery of lines in his movies. Age has helped him with his soft spoken low energy style and he will steal a scene effortlessly. But, Disappearance is his misstep. Holy Moly, this was a bad movie!

I must give kudos to the cinematography and and the actors, including Kris, for trying their darndest to make sense from this goofy, confusing story! None of it made sense and Kris probably didn't understand it either and he was just going through the motions hoping someone would come up to him and tell him what it was all about!

I don't care that everyone on this movie was doing out of love for the project, or some such nonsense... I've seen low budget movies that had a plot for goodness sake! This had none, zilcho, nada, zippo, empty of reason... a complete waste of good talent, scenery and celluloid!

I rented this piece of garbage for a buck, and I want my money back! I want my 2 hours back I invested on this Grade F waste of my time! Don't watch this movie, or waste 1 minute of your valuable time while passing through a room where it's playing or even open up the case that is holding the DVD! Believe me, you'll thank me for the advice!
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3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Oscar Race Starts Early This Year!
6 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Well, growing up enjoying every type of movie that involved guns, horses and guns, I was really looking forward to this remake of a Glenn Ford 1957 classic... I was not let down one bit! I was invited to see a sneak preview with a group of print writers from several papers. I could see them scribbling away while I was soaking in the post Civil War look that was being shown up on the big screen... I was 6 years old again and seeing a true American Western... yippee!!!

This movie was extremely well written and equally well acted. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale give Oscar worthy performances and Ben Forster, as Crowe's number one henchmen Charlie Prince, gives the finest supporting acting performance I've seen in years! He'll probably be overlooked at Oscar time, but he commanded the screen when his character in a maniacal greatness, shot man after man in a cold blooded ease.

This has a Clint Eastwood revisionist feel to it with the good guys and bad guys living in a gray line blur. Peter Fonda plays a mercenary Pinkerton man that admits that he's only read the Bible and no other books, but kills Apache with disregard. Ben Wade (Crowe) calls him on the apparent hypocrisy of his actions.

I'll not spoil the ending here, but I'll tell you that for all of Ben Wade's rotten nature, he proves that "even bad guys love their mothers!"

You'll enjoy this movie if you like guns, horses and guns... like me!!!
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Good film but lousy camera work!
12 August 2007
OK, so I've enjoyed the Bourne books and now all three of the movies. Matt Damon is Bourne and he makes James Bond look like a sissy! Good story and action. All things that should make a great movie, but the lousy camera shaking is for the frigging birds!

I'm not sure why Greengrass thinks this is a good effect because it makes this movie so very hard to follow! I mean, he even has the camera moving when the actors are sitting at a table talking! The fight sequences are so hard to follow because he zooms in on the actors so tight you cannot follow who is who and you only know that Jason Bourne will win because he's the hero and he has to win! You cannot follow because the close proximity of the camera work doubled with the shaking and frenetic style!

The director took a great story that I would seriously award a 10 and and made me knock 3 points off because of his first year film school style of cinematography!
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I now pronounce you... boring!
22 July 2007
OK, so, the idea about this movie seemed funny enough and I always like seeing Jessica Biel in anything and Adam Sandler and Kevin James really crack me up... but, this movie just didn't hit its mark! I wanted to like this movie and there are some funny parts. There are parts that made me cringe because of the scenes (Borat fighting his producer brought on the same effect!), but I thought the producers took a cute concept and made it a bit too preachy.

Hey, I go to movies to be entertained and if I want to see a movie about someone's rights being violated, then I know going in that will be kind of what I'll be seeing, but to be blindsided with the producers agenda seemed a cheap way to make a point.

I wish them luck in their fight, but as far as this movie it just doesn't make me want to tell my friends to spend their money going. Wait for the DVD... it is worth a couple of bucks when seeing it at home!
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Ratatouille (2007)
Ratatatatat... this movie hits it's mark!
1 July 2007
Pixar, which burst on the scene about a dozen years back, has done it yet again!!! They have long turned animation on it's ear and made story telling a true art form with big time entertainment to boot!

I was looking forward to seeing this movie mainly because I've yet to see a bad story from Pixar Studios and I know I'll be getting my money's worth... this was even better than what I was expecting!

The animation is so real, I had to make sure that some of the background scenes were indeed animation and not a movie trick where they put their characters in an actual setting!

Story very cute and fast paced! The kids will enjoy the animation and the adults will enjoy the humor! Great family movie... you will NOT be disappointed!!! Go and have fun!!
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Wild and Dark ending to this trilogy!!!
28 May 2007
After the first movie, I was completely charmed and had a great time watching the movie. I couldn't wait to see the second installment and I enjoyed the over the top cartoon like plot line and action. I was expecting more of the same in the third... I was wrong!

The third movie spends the first hour with his crew 'rescuing' Cap'n Jack Sparrow from the other world and he has further lost what's left of his mind. Johnny Depp is, as always, entertaining in this character, but playing off himself, literally, is something to watch!

The movie had great fight scenes and a strange wandering plot line that ends with the open ended possibility that there will be a fourth installment!! Too many loose ends left dangling to just let this movie franchise keep us wondering!!!

I suppose that if the movie makes a billion dollars, then they could possibly finish it up and really give us a closure movie that will tie it all together! Mostly enjoyable, but more dark and mean! Not as cartoonish and fun this go around!
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Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Why all of the hate? This movie was good!
5 May 2007
OK, so, I've gotten in the habit of reading people's opinions of movies on IMDb. For the most part, I'll agree with what is written. So, after I read most of the reviews here, I was expecting a 'cheesy' movie without much plot... Nothing further from the truth in actuality!

Spidey fights 4 bad guys (if you include his own inner demons) and everything ties up at the end in good comic book fashion. The sub-plots help the movie along and I didn't see any extra characters that had no point in the movie. The Sandman was the most underutilized of characters, but with a movie 140 minutes long, someone has to be cut, or we'd have a 180 minute movie!!!

All in all, I enjoyed it very much and I always use my wife as the movie barometer... if she snoozes then the movie is at best so-so; if she stays awake, then you have an exciting and entertaining flick. She slept through the first two Spiderman movies and was wide awake through number 3! That says it all from my point of view!
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Fracture (2007)
Great Murder Mystery... FINALLY!!!
21 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This was a well written and well acted movie that kept me guessing throughout the whole story! Anthony Hopkins character is, well, likable and you can understand his reasons why he did it (no spoilers, that 'act' happens in the first 5 minutes of the movie!) and Ryan Gosling's character is a highly ambitious prosecuting attorney taking a last case before he leaves for the private sector.

My only 'fault' with this movie is the relationship with Gosling's character and with his soon to be boss Rosamund Pike's character. It serves little purpose to move the story along and there is a bit of choppiness with their meeting and hopping in the sack! I thought it was a thrown in part for the movie that serves no purpose. They could have left it out altogether and got to the end and said what they were wanting to say! Overall, I really enjoyed this mystery and my true barometer is my wife... if she goes to sleep during a movie (this happens often) then it is usually a so-so flick; not this time, she was glued and awake throughout!
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Amazing Grace (2006)
Beautifully told story and wonderfully shot and acted!
11 March 2007
I'm not sure why this well acted, written, directed, filmed movie was released in the no man's land of March, but it is a definite Oscar worthy movie in all categories!

Even though there were some 'liberties' taken with historical facts, the simple matter of the spirit of Wilberforce's significance in history was told and told well! I was very impressed with every aspect of this movie and what the director and writers were wanting the audience to see... go and see this movie if you like well acted and directed films!

The makeup is superb with aging the actors over several years and the cinematography in showing the damp, wet, misery of old England was impressive! This movie will be long forgotten come Oscar time next year... it's a shame because I watched good actors give great performances and they proved to me that real acting talent still exists!
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Wild Hogs (2007)
I laughed throughout the whole movie!
4 March 2007
Don't go to this movie expecting Shakespeare and deep insight with meaning... this is a buddy road movie in the spirit of Crosby and Hope and all of their misadventures!

I was completely surprised by the story and the silliness that every actor portrayed their character. William H. Macy pretty much stole the movie because 'Dudley', his character, was so naive in every situation you couldn't help but laugh at a 50 year old man that had so little life experience... he played him over the top and it was a hoot!

Allen and Lawrence had great comedic timing, of course, and I found myself laughing from start to finish. The surprise was Travolta returning to his comedy roots and totally abandoning his 'serious' actor persona and having fun with his character!

This is not an award winning movie by any stretch; it's a good popcorn movie that has the characters in extreme situations and impossible scenarios, but who cares? It was fun and I enjoyed every minute of it!
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Very Oscar worthy!!!
4 February 2007
With the sister movie of "Flags of our Fathers", this epic picture made with Japanese actors speaking their native tongue and we English speaking viewers quickly reading subtitles and learning every step of the way! Clint Eastwood has made a complete masterpiece about the horrors of war from both sides of the aisle and we find ourselves feeling empty about our past. Unlike the current war we're embroiled in at the present time, Eastwood shows us that both sides of the Pacific war in WWII were following orders and their own convictions and sense of patriotism during this epic battle for a smelly island so prominent for strategic purposes in the war.

I've seen all of the movies nominated for this year's Oscar and Letters is by far the most impressive. The main characters on the Japanese side were visitors to America at on time in their lives and they had friends that were Americans. They didn't hate us, they were just simply patriots and were doing their duty. Not unlike us in that sense. I've always enjoyed Mr. Eastwood's movies, but this is the first time I've been so moved by his effort.

He wrote the haunting musical score that helps tell the story and the empty sadness that accompanies these soldiers as they find out that they are essentially doomed in their struggle and are just sacrificed for their empire.

Impressive story and moving... it will be with me for a long time!!!
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