Browse Category: Military

RECAP: The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai (2003): Ed Zwick

Tom Cruise. Yeah, he’s on the poster. His face is one of the most recognizable in the world. For several years he topped list after list of the most bankable stars. Cruise is one of a few actors to star in a Best Picture winner and a year’s number one box office success. He’s also 5’7”, four inches shorter than his ex-wife Nicole Kidman, but you would never know that from watching his films. He also does his own stunts. You would know that, at least from the press for his movies. Cruise has worked with Stanley Kubrick, Cameron Crowe, Michael Mann, and Steven Spielberg. He’s as successful as any actor could even hope to be.

The word "is" is not on this poster. That's important.
The word “is” is not on this poster. That’s important.

Cruise is a titan of action films, especially the science-fiction versions. War of the Worlds, Minority Report, Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow, and the terrific actioners of Mission: Impossible. But today I’m talking about the 2003 samurai drama The Last Samurai

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An American soldier flees America to be a soldier in Japan, and he falls for the samurai culture.  Continue Reading

RECAP: War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017): Matt Reeves

The world is fifteen years removed from the spread of the Simian Flu, a disease that wiped out most of the world’s human population, while adding human-level intelligence to apes, at least in the San Francisco area.

The new Planet of the Apes franchise tells the story of what transpired on Earth from normal society to an ape society. Will this movie bridge that gap?

The war between ape and Man has raged for two years. Let’s check and see how that’s going.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Caesar and his super-intelligent apes wage war against the final bastion of human military strength while seeking a new home far from humans. Continue Reading

RECAP: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014): Matt Reeves

Ten years have passed since the outbreak of the Simian Flu, a disease that killed at least 99.8% of human beings. That makes life pretty good for climatically adapted chimpanzees living atop Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California.

An opening montage retraces the spread of the Simian Flu shown at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this time using red lines across a map. News reports trace the downfall of civilization, even in America! Gasp! It CAN happen here.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Charged with a virus making them highly intelligent, assorted apes led by Caesar are a genus divided against itself, and they must fight a scrappy band of humans to survive.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Predator

Predator (1987): John McTiernan

Arnold, the jungle, muscles, aliens, grenade launchers: it gets no better than Predator.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An alien hunter haunts the jungle tracking America’s finest soldiers. Continue Reading

RECAP: The Kingdom

The Kingdom (2007): Peter Berg

Saudi Arabia is the kingdom. Let’s get that out of the way. In case you were wondering.

What happens when local terrorists kill dozens of Americans in Saudi Arabia? You get…Jamie Foxx Investigates.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Homegrown Saudi terrorists attack a compound of American oil workers and their families, and the FBI flies in to investigate against the will of many in the Saudi government.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles (2011): Jonathan Liebesman

Only Hollywood execs would make a movie with “Los Angeles” in its title and set it in Santa Monica. In their defense, most people in the world have never heard of Santa Monica, not so the titular city. Point taken. Title passes.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Marine squadron is the last gasp for humanity against an alien invasion off the coast of southern California. Continue Reading

RECAP: The A-Team

The A-Team (2010): Joe Carnahan

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Framed for a crime they didn’t commit, a quartet of Army Rangers seeks to clear their names by blowing up a lot of stuff and making a lot of folks mad.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Battleship

Battleship (2012): Peter Berg

Nothing gets me excited for a movie like seeing the word HASBRO on the screen. A military science fiction film literally based on a board game, Battleship was a star vehicle for Friday Night Lights actors and Rihanna. If that sounds like a good time to you, by all means.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Aliens attack Earth, and the only way to stop them is with a child’s board game.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016): Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher goes forward through a ton of bad dudes to investigate some crimes and stuff. There’s a woman imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. There’s a possible daughter situation. You get the idea.

Edward Zwick comes onboard to direct a tightly portrayed character-based thriller, not at all like his epic period pieces such as The Last Samurai (also starring Tom Cruise), Glory, or Defiance.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jack Reacher defends a colleague for a crime she didn’t commit, and both of them protect a teenage girl for some reason.  Continue Reading

RECAP: London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen (2016): Babak Najafi

After an OK debut at the box office, the studio decided to give Gerard Butler another chance. Saving the president, singlehandedly, wasn’t enough of a challenge for him on home turf. This time, they sent him to England.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The world’s most unfortunate president is again held hostage, but he’s got the world’s best bodyguard to fight for him. Continue Reading

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