Universal presents a film directed by Sam Mendes. Written by William Broyles Jr. Based on the book by Anthony Swofford. Running time: 122 minutes. Rated R (for pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content).


A quote was shared with me recently by our friend and director Sam Mendes that went something like… “Great movies are told through images, not dialogue.” Now, I may disagree and sight examples like Spartan and Goodbye Girl and anything by Woody Allen, but great images do have there place. I’m reminded of a quote by George Lucas, “Special effects without a good story is a pretty boring thing.” Great images and special effects, while different, share a common purpose, visual stimulus. Where both of these men have succeeded is in story which provides the most important stimuli, mental. There films are interesting because of what is being told and there films are remembered because of strong images to back up an already memorable story.


The benefit of reviewing this film now is that I am now in the middle of award buzz time and can remind you all of a film that has been completely forgotten about, but didn’t deserve to. I read that the problem was that this film had no audience. I beg to differ and sight that a good story has all the audience in the world. Once again marketing and the education system has let us down. People don’t want to go to a war movie that doesn’t have the equivalent to the Omaha Beach sequence from Saving Private Ryan.


There’s a small speech by Bob DeNiro in a Mamet script called Wag the Dog in which he explains that the U.S. hasn’t declared war since the second world war and that the war of the future would be fought by small factions and off shoots of small dictatorships with nuclear weapons. Wars won’t be fought the way they used to, there’s nobody’s war but his war. The war he refers to only exists in words and phony ad campaigns. This kind of war is simply to give power to one man and it’s the same in this county as it is in the Albania.


My point with the before mentioned and with Jarhead is the war has a new face and that the sacrifices by soldiers now is harder to justify than ever before.


~ by fumikaelson on January 5, 2006.

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