Archives for posts with tag: war movies

Just what we need, a subtitle film trying to make an artistic statement about the madness of war. Never seen one of those before. The pointlessness of ethnic violence seems to be the point of the otherwise pointless “Before the Rain” (1995), which runs a cycle of Macedonian killing though a time warp worthy of Maurits Escher. The conflict is seen through three perspectives, each more depressing than the one before. The main characters are all flawed and unlikeable. The theme is that people will always find a reason to fight, and if you’re neighborhood isn’t at war, just wait.

Hey, Frank Sinatra made World War II movies – why not Jon Bon Jovi? The younger New Jersey pop star plays a supporting role in “U-571” (2000), in which a group of American submarine sailors carry out a secret mission against the Germans. The Yanks – and the movie, for that matter – are led by untested skipper Matthew McConaughey. Not to worry, because Harvey Keitel, David Keith and Bill Paxton are there to lend ballast to the neophyte leading man. The film is boilerplate war movie stuff – ragtag bunch faces adversity, yada, yada – and (spoiler alert) we all know how WWII ends.

I went into “12 Strong” (2018) knowing it was “based on a true story” and I have been on this Earth long enough to be highly familiar with the true story of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. I decided I’d view this film as I would a John Wayne World War II movie. That was a smart move, as the film turned out to be a fine John Wayne flick for the 21st century, mixing melodrama and bluster with radar-guided bombs and sniper rifles. And, of course, the Americans always hit what they’re shooting at and (almost) never get hit themselves.