Archive for War

Valkyrie

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on August 28, 2009 by ldw

I LOVED this movie.  Even though everyone else hated it!  I even liked it with Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise plays a real life Colonel in Hitler’s SS army.  Claus Von Stauffenburg leads one of the initiatives to kill Hitler and he almost succeeded!  Von Stauffenburg decided during time in Africa (where he lost an eye) during WWII that Hitler was a threat to Germany and needed to be stopped.  He found others like him and helped lead a mission called Valkyrie.  Valkyrie was the code word for the assassination of Hitler.  Von Stauffenburg was to become close to the Fuhrer in order to gain access to special meetings of Hitler’s elite team members so he could plant a bomb to kill the commander of Germany’s army.  On a signal Operation: Valkyrie would be enacted putting all of Von Stauffenburg’s followers in charge of the Nazi army.  However, Hitler was not killed in the blast and Valkyrie was not effected fast enough to work before Hitler made radio connection with his SS.  Von Stauffenburg and his followers were all put to death by firing squad.

I enjoyed this movie because it was historical and entertaining!  Cruise was really good as Col. Von Stauffenburg.  He even worked well with the ensemble cast making the movie less of a TOM CRUISE film and more of a production of great actors.  Others in this wonderful cast are Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighly, Tom Wilkinson, any many others.

I loved the colors used in Valkyrie.  It was greyed with a lot of red to accent Nazi emblems or important items.  There were a lot of bright contrasting colors in women’s dresses or banquet foods but most of the movie had a sinister feel because of the greys and blacks used.

Overall, great movie.  I’d watch it again!

Rating: * * * *

Valkyrie

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The Lucky Ones

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on July 6, 2009 by ldw

In this movie three soldiers have a chance meeting on their way home from Iraq and have a little adventure.  Fred Cheaver (Tim Robbins) is finally 0ut of the army and ready to get back to his life with his wife and son.  Unfortunately she’s left him and wants a divorce and they can’t afford to send their son to college so he is going to put off his education for the army because they will give him the money he needs for school.  Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) is on her way to meet the family of a fallen soldier who was in love with her.  She just wants to give his guitar back to his family, but he finds out that her loved one was a father and in some ways a liar.  T.K. Poole (Michael Pena) was shot in Iraq and just wants to make sure his “manhood” still works before getting back to his girlfriend.  He’s willing to use a prostitute to do it.  Everyone calls him lucky but he’s very cynical and dark about life and the future.

These soldiers are thrust together because of an organization error that left many soldiers stranded in NYC.  So these three share the last rental car at the airport and drive across the country to their respective destinations.  They form a weird bond that helps each of them deal with the issues they encounter.  They are there when Cheaver’s wife drops the divorce bomb, when Colee’s dreams of finally having a family fall short, and when T.K. gets his first post-shot “happy dance.”  They support and encourage one another as soldiers and friends do.  And they are there when each of them go back to Iraq (Cheaver reenlists so his son can go to college).

This movie was beautiful.  The storyline was deep but simple so you could easily follow and invest in it.  You deeply cared about each of these soldiers and their lives.  You wanted them to succeed and fulfill their dreams.

McAdams, Robbins, and Pena were perfect for this movie.  They embodied their characters masterfully and really made you feel like they cared for each other.  It was McAdams best role yet!  The casting director should pat themself on the back and the director should be proud to have created such an environment that these three actors could become someone else.

You don’t have to agree with the war to support our troops and I think this movie showed that personality and  affection well.

Rating: * * * *the lucky ones