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For Your Consideration

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  • For Your Consideration

    This thread will be dedicated to war movie recommendations. Please give some reasons why you think we might like the movie. Let's steer clear of movies that every war movie lover has seen. We are looking more for fairly obscure movies that other's might not be aware of.

  • #2
    I just learned that the excellent German miniseries "Generation War" is leaving Netflix streaming on July 5. I had been putting off seeing it again, but now will have to in the next two weeks. I am looking forward to it. I just wanted to let my ACG mates know about it in case they want to watch it too.

    It is three episodes of about 90 minutes each. It has subtitles, but don't let that discourage you. It is the story of five young Germans in WWII. One is a nurse, another is a Jewish tailor, a third is a singer and there are a pair of soldiers - a bookworm and a warrior. The pair are sent to the Eastern Front. The series intertwines their story lines deftly. You get both the home front and the war front. The battles are hard core and the hospital scenes are graphic. The cast is excellent and the acting is outstanding. The five characters are appealing and their arcs are realistic and compelling. It is one of the great war miniseries along with Band of Brothers and Generation War. Don't miss it.


    • #3
      For Your Consideration - Tell England

      I just finished watching "Tell England" on YouTube. It is a black and white British film from 1931. It started as a silent project and still has some title cards in lieu of narration, but thankfully the acting is not silent movie scene chewy. It is the tale of two BFFs who end up at Gallipoli. The two mates are officers and the movie makes it clear their lives before and during the war are posh compared to their men. The movie includes a landing under machine gun fire that looks like it may have influenced Spielberg for "Saving Private Ryan". It is not on a par with the great black and white WWI movies like "All Quiet" and "The Big Parade", but it is worth the watch at 80 minutes. The movie is very micro and you will not get the big picture or learn of the terrible difficulties the enlisted faced. It is a two man tale and pretty predictable, but entertaining.


      • #4
        Joyeux Noel

        "Joyeux Noel" (Merry Christmas) is a French film released in 2005 that is based on the famous X-Mas Truce of 1914. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foriegn Language Film. Here is the historical background: On Christmas Eve on the Western Front spontaneous cease-fires broke out along parts of the front. They started in some cases with the Germans putting up Christmas trees and candles along their parapets and singing carols like "Silent Night". The British or French responded with their own songs and then the mood caused some brave souls to go into No Man's Land to fraternize. Gifts, food, and drinks were exchanged. In one case, a soccer (football) game was played between a Scottish unit and a German unit.

        The movie tells a fictional story of one of the truces. It centers on characters in the French, British (Scots), and German armies. The five main characters are the French lieutenant Audebert, the German tenor Sprink and his soprano girlfriend Anna, a Scottish soldier named Jonathan and his parish priest Palmer.

        The movie is entertaining and well-acted from an appealing cast. It is a rare war movie that works as date movie. Don't let the subtitles scare you away.


        • #5
          9th COMPANY

          “9th Company” is a Russian movie released in 2005. It was “inspired” by events surrounding the defense of Hill 3234 in Afghanistan by 9th Company, 345th Guards Airborne Regiment in January, 1988. The movie was a big hit in Russia because it emphasized the heroic sacrifices made by Russian grunts in a forgotten war. The film won the Russian equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar. It could be described as Russia’s answer to “Platoon” and “Full Metal Jacket” with a dash of “Hamburger Hill” thrown in. The combat kicks ass and its worth the subtitles if you are into combat porn. But the movie is more than just violence, the plot flows through typical combat movie scenarios, but with a Russian touch.


          • #6
            FIRES ON THE PLAIN

            If you want to watch a horror/war movie, “Fires on the Plain” may be for you. There are other horror movies set in war, but few are based on actual events. This movie is set in the Philippines in 1945 after the American invasion. The Japanese army is on the run and in terrible shape. So terrible that there is a cannibalism subplot. The book and film are meant to be surrealistically anti-war. Mission accomplished.


            • #7
              OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR

              "Oh! What a Lovely War" is a musical about WWI. It features 37 period songs. The movie is an anti-war as you can get and is particularly harsh on the men who got Europe into the war and the generals (donkeys) who sent men (lions) to their deaths. This movie has been largely forgotten and that is a crying shame as it is one of the best movies about WWI. And very unique.


              • #8
                BLACK BOOK

                “The Black Book” is a Dutch movie about the Resistance during WWII. It was directed with his usual flair for sex and violence by Paul Verhoeven. It is one of the best war movie to come out of Holland. It was released in 2006 and is well-respected among critics and audiences. It does have its haters, however.

                A very comely young woman (Carice van Houten) seeks revenge for the murder of her parents by the Gestapo by joining the Resistance and going undercover to seduce a German officer. Romance ensues and the usual twists and turns of a spy movie. The movie has some plot holes and is unrealistic, but it is done with verve and is entertaining. It is amongst the best WWII espionage/resistance movies and possibly the most entertaining for a mass audience, especially women.


                • #9
                  RIDE WITH THE DEVIL

                  “Ride with the Devil” is a war movie about the Civil War in Missouri. It is a film by Ang Lee based on a novel by Daniel Woodrill entitled Woe to Live On. It brings light to a theater of the war that seldom gets coverage. The war in Missouri was like the evil twin of the Civil War.

                  The main characters are Southern sympathizers who join the Bushwhackers. The Bushwhackers are guerrillas who call themselves the Missouri Irregulars. As with most irregulars throughout history, they are ill-disciplined and take on mostly soft targets, meaning civilians. Their Northern equivalents are called Jayhawkers. Both sides commit atrocities which breed retaliatory atrocities. Violent bushwhacking leads to a big raid on Lawrence, Kansas. There’s a romance thrown in, but it’s mostly a buddies on the run sort of film.

                  “Ride with the Devil” is one of the better Civil War movies. It is well-balanced with action, romance, and character development. The action is dynamic and intense. The romance is not syrupy, but rings true. The cinematography is sumptuous. Lee likes to juxtapose the vibrant greens of the forests with bright red shirts. Most importamtly, it is admirably accurate in portraying the civil war within the Civil War.


                  • #10

                    “Restrepo” is the movie companion to the acclaimed best seller “War” by Sebastian Junger. Junger was a reporter who embedded with an infantry platoon in Afghanistan in 2007-8 to get an eyewitness look at the fighting. What came out of his experience is a grunts-eye view of the war that takes the viewer into a very foreign world where American boys are fighting a forgotten war. If you feel guilty about having forgotten about their sacrifices or if you want to know what is going on over there, you should watch this outstanding documentary.

                    The movie is seen through the eyes of the cameramen (Junger and Tim Hetherington) who lived with the soldiers interspersed with frequent interviews with the troops after they got back. The men belong to the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment which was sent to the most dangerous place in Afghanistan – the Kerengal Valley. They were deployed for 15 months and three of them did not come back including Juan “Doc” Restrepo. Their mission was to provide security for a road-building project that would benefit the obviously ungrateful residents. But based on the book and film, it is apparent their mission was to deprive the Taliban of control of the valley and kill as many of them in the process as possible.


                    • #11
                      FAIL SAFE

                      “Fail Safe” is a nuclear war movie released in 1964. It was directed by Sidney Lumet. It is based on the novel by Eugene Burdrick and Harvey Wheeler. Amazingly, it came out a few months after “Dr. Strangelove” and looks like the serious older brother to that film. Because of this dynamic, “Fail Safe” was a box office failure as the public did not take it seriously. Talk about bad timing for a good movie. It did garner positive reviews.

                      The title refers to the geographic point that nuclear bombers would be sent to await a “go code” to proceed to their targets in Russia. An off-course air liner appearing on radar screens as a UFO triggers the order to go to the fail safe point. Then a computer glitch sends a group of bombers on to Moscow. Russian jamming prevents reception of abort orders.

                      The rest of the movie jumps between claustrophobic locales. The White House underground bunker, the Pentagon war conference room, the SAC war room and a single bomber cockpit. Fascinatingly scary decisions have to be made as the situation escalates. The President (Henry Fonda) decides the best of the bad options is for U.S, fighter to shoot down our own bombers.

                      “Fail Safe” is a chilling depiction of hazards of reliance on technology in the nuclear age. It is excellent in portraying how a crisis can escalate beyond imagination. The movie is good for people who did not live through the Cold War to watch to get a perspective on what could have happened. It will make you appreciate the less tense world we now live in now. The movie should be viewed as a companion to "Dr. Strangelove”, but unlike moviegoers in 1964, it would be better to see this one first.

                      Last edited by warmoviebuff; 11 Jul 18, 07:51.


                      • #12
                        SAINTS AND SOLDIERS

                        "Saints and Soldiers" is "based on true events" centering on the Malmedy Massacre in the Battle of the Bulge. It was a very low budget film (less than $1 million), but did well at film festivals winning numerous awards. The cast is as low rent as you can get. It was released in 2003. It is the rare war movie that has overt religious overtones.

                        The no name cast acts well. The movie also makes good use of numerous reenactors and authentic weapons. The action scenes are surprisingly good considering the low budget. They are obviously influenced by SPR. The cinematography is fine. Be forewarned, the movie is pro-Mormonism, but it is subtle. As far as accuracy, it's portrayal of the Malmedy Massacre is satisfactory. This sincere little movie deserves to be watched and is much superior to its cousins.

                        Last edited by warmoviebuff; 20 Jul 18, 08:01.


                        • #13
                          On the lighter side, this war movie by Mel Brooks is the equivalent drubbing he gave Westerns in Blazing Saddles


                          • #14
                            REGENERATION (Behind the Lines)

                            “Regeneration” is a war movie released in 1997. It was a British-Canadian production. It was released in America as “Behind the Lines”, but was lost in the wake of “Saving Private Ryan” and "The Thin Red Line". It is based on the acclaimed novel by Pat Barker. Although based on a work of fiction, it features several historical figures and is based on actual events. You can say that a vast majority of war films are anti-war, but few are as serious about sending that message as this film.

                            The movie begins with an awesome tracking shot over no man’s land to set the mood of “war is Hell”. Don’t be fooled by the opening – this is far from an action picture. Words substitute for bullets and what words. The movie is very lyrical and not just because of the poetry which is effectively blended in. Kudos to Allan Scott for staying true to the novel and to director Gillies MacKinnon for bringing it to the screen.

                            This is an excellent movie. It was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Picture, but is virtually unknown in America. This is a shame because the movie is only lacking in action. It is well written. It is intelligent. It is very well acted (especially by Pryce). The cinematography is interesting. Some of the scenes are done in a surreal style. It sheds a light on the mental wounds of war and treatment of those traumas. If you have seen standard WWI combat films, this movie should be required viewing to take you “behind the lines”. If you insist your war movies be seen and not heard, skip it.


                            • #15
                              THE BEAST

                              “The Beast” (also known as “The Beast of War”) is a war movie set in Afghanistan in 1981 in the second year of the Soviet invasion. It was directed by Kevin Reynolds. It is based on an off Broadway play. William Mastrosimone adapted his play entitled “Nanawatai”. The movie opens with a poem by Rudyard Kipling; “When you’re wounded an’left on Afghanistan’s plains / An’ the women come out to cut up your remains. / Just roll to your rifle an’ blow out your brains. / An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier”.

                              It is hard to explain why this movie is almost unheard of. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has only one review. It made less than $1 million at the box office. It certainly looks like Columbia Pictures dropped the ball. It deserved better. Part of the problem may have been the stupid title. Although the tank does resemble a beast, the title must have thrown viewers off. The film is not great, but it is a good effort. It is well acted, especially by Dzundsa as the despicable commander. He has the best line when he summarizes Russian tank doctrine: “out of commission, become a pillbox; out of ammo, become a bunker; out of time, become heroes.”

                              It is hard to explain why this movie is almost unheard of. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has only one review. It made less than $1 million at the box office. It certainly looks like Columbia Pictures dropped the ball. It deserved better. Part of the problem may have been the stupid title. Although the tank does resemble a beast, the title must have thrown viewers off. The film is not great, but it is a good effort. It is well acted, especially by Dzundsa as the despicable commander. He has the best line when he summarizes Russian tank doctrine: “out of commission, become a pillbox; out of ammo, become a bunker; out of time, become heroes.”


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