Archives for posts with tag: war movies

Can a movie based on a true story be too true? Somehow, that’s the feeling I took away from “American Sniper” (2014). The real-life story of Navy Seal, sniper, Iraq war hero Chris Kyle is so anticlimactic, it casts a literal pall over the film. I imagine it would’ve been 10 times better if I hadn’t known anything about Kyle and could’ve approached the story unaware as to how it ends. Lacking that advantage, I was stuck in some netherworld, glad the movie wasn’t ridiculously glamorized for dramatic effect, but at the same time feeling as though something was missing.

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.