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Erik The Movieman
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 8587
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL USA

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 3:36 pm    Post subject: MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE (MGM) - Five War-Themed DVDs Reply with quote



The Best Years Of Our Lives - BUY THIS DVD!
Perhaps the most memorable film about the aftermath of World War II, it unfolds with the homecoming of three veterans to the same small town. The leads all touch emotional truths: Loy seems able to express longing, joy, fear and surprise - mostly with her back turned - in a particularly poignant welcome home. The movie never glosses over the reality of altered lives and the inability to communicate the experience of war on the front lines or the home front. A landmark achievement. WWII vet Russell, who lost his hands in the war, is the only person to win two Oscars for the same role, Best Supporting Actor and a special Oscar "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance."

Hope And Glory - BUY THIS DVD!
Based upon director John Boorman's experiences as a young boy during World War II, HOPE AND GLORY stars Sebastian Rice-Edwards as Bill Rowen. Seen mostly from the nine-year-old boy's perspective, the film is uniquely astute in exploring the exhilarating effect that the bombing of his London suburb and the war's general tumult has on a young boy, at least temporarily. After bombing raids, Bill and his mates scavenge through the rubble of destroyed buildings, carrying off still-smoking shrapnel as booty. When the boy's school is leveled by the bombing, putting the local kids on permanent vacation, the Luftwaffe pilot is hero for a day. For Bill's harried mother, Grace (Sarah Miles), the war is less amusing. Not only is her husband away fighting, but the war's disorder has made her children more difficult to control, especially her teenage daughter, Sue (Geraldine Muir), whose burgeoning sexuality makes Grace nervous about arriving Canadian troops. Then one day, while the Rowens are out, their house is demolished by a bomb, and Bill begins to see the war a little differently. Boorman's superb re-creation of the London blitz is likely the best account of that experience on film. Through the accretion of a myriad of brilliantly observed details, he immerses the viewer in the reality of wartime London yet gives due weight to the subjective nature of that experience for each of the family members in a film that's flawlessly executed by all hands.

DVD Features =
113 mins, PG-13, Widescreen (1:7Cool, Dolby Digital Mono (English/French), Original Theatrical Trailer, Subtitles (French/Spanish)

Platoon (Special Edition) - BUY THIS DVD!
Set in 1967; Produced and released in 1986. In PLATOON, Oliver Stone draws on his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the brutality of guerrilla warfare: the heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or "new meat," who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a fire fight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group. When the platoon takes some gruesome losses, an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic climax, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the United States' division over Vietnam but the timeless truths of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss.

DVD Features = Commentary by director Oliver Stone, Commentary by military supervisor Captain Dale Dye, Theatrical trailer(s), "Tour of the Inferno" Documentary, Photo Gallery

Pork Chop Hill - BUY THIS DVD!
Based on S.L.A. Marsall's account of his Korean War experience, the film stars Gregory Peck as Lt. Joe Clemons, the officer charged with taking the strategically meaningless Pork Chop Hill from the Chinese, while diplomats dither about the terms of peace in Panmunjon. Some of the men under his command, which include Fedderson (George Peppard), Marshall (Martin Landau), Forstman (Harry Guardino) and Velie (Robert Blake), are doubtful about the wisdom of this order, creating a tense atmosphere.

DVD Features = 98 mins, Not Rated, Widescreen and Full Frame, Dolby Digital Mono (English/French), 8-Page Booklet on the Making-of, Theatrical Trailer, Subtitles (English/French)

Windtalkers (Director's Edition) - BUY THIS DVD!
WINDTALKERS begins quietly--with widescreen aerial shots of clouds that gradually clear to reveal the beautiful mesas of Monument Valley. A bus collects Navajo volunteers Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) and Charlie Whitehorse (Roger Willie). It's 1943, and the U.S. has developed an indecipherable secret military code based on the Navajo language. Yahzee and Whitehorse are to be trained as code talkers. Then John Woo's Pacific war film erupts into violence, with a savage battle that has one survivor, Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage). Badly wounded and feeling guilty at the loss of his companions, Joe recuperates in Hawaii where he is helped by a sympathetic nurse (Frances O'Connor). Joe disguises his hearing loss and he is promoted as Yahzee's battlefield bodyguard. Ordered to "protect the code at all times," Joe must prevent Yahzee from being captured. At first, Yahzee and Whitehorse, whose bodyguard is Ox Henderson (Christian Slater), are subjected to prejudice--particularly from Rogers (Noah Emmerich). But when the unit is shipped to Saipan, the Marines begin to appreciate the code talkers. Director Woo has created a powerful drama. The visceral battle sequences are strikingly filmed and there is fine acting from Cage, Beach, Willie, Slater, Emmerich, and Frances O'Connor, who portrays the poignancy of love in uncertain times.

DVD Features = 153 mins, R, Anamorphic Widescreen (2:40), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English) & Stereo Surround (French), Personal On-Camera Introduction by the Director, Commentary with John Woo and Terence Chang, Commentary with Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater, Commentary with Roger Willie and Navajo Consultant Albert Smith, Original Theatrical Trailers, Historical Documentary “The Code Talkers – A Secret Code of Honor”, WWII Tribute Piece “American Heroes: A Tribute to Navajo Code Talkers”, “The Music of Windtalkers” Featurette, Battle Sequence Multi-View of Four Key Action Scenes, Four Fly-on-the-Set Scene Diaries, “Actors’ Boot Camp” Featurette, Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery, John Woo Biography Pages

HOW TO WIN? SIMPLE. FIRST - Rate and place your comments for the 5 movies here in our database. Just scroll down to the bottom of any review, drop a quickie comment and click "Submit Your Comments".

in the subject line and cross your fingers. There will be 3 lucky winners. We will draw names and the DVD set from MGM will be yours. Only 1 entry per household.
Erik Childress
Online Film Critics Society / Chicago Film Critics Association
Nick Digilio - WGN Radio Chicago
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