Browse Tag: world war 2

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge (2016): Mel Gibson

Ten years and loads of tabloid covers passed between Mel Gibson’s previous directorial output Apocalypto and Hacksaw Ridge. Hollywood essentially blacklisted him for a decade partly for his deeply anti-Semitic remarks following a DUI arrest in 2006.

Hollywood, like America, loves second chances, and Gibson got one with this story of a man who went to war without fighting.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A conscientious objector and Army medic holds onto personal beliefs and saves dozens of lives without firing a shot during one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

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RECAP: Dunkirk

Dunkirk (2017): Christopher Nolan

Folks got confused when they heard a war movie about British heroes directed by British director Christopher Nolan would last–gasp–less than two hours.

Thank Chris it did! Dunkirk was 2017’s most exhilarating action movie, with about as many words spoken as minutes lasted.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Trapped at Dunkirk, the British Expeditionary Force wants to go home, and they’ll do whatever it takes to survive.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Fury

Fury (2014): David Ayer

Written and directed by David Ayer, Fury rolled into theaters with a palette of green and a smirking Brad Pitt. The titular tank might be the first tank character in a World War II movie.

Fury, the tank, is named for the word “Fury” painted in white across its cannon. Nazi war medals dangle inside amongst a crew of five: commander, gunner, loader, driver, and assistant driver.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Five American soldiers drive a tank, Fury, through Germany in April 1945.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line (1998): Terrence Malick

Hollywood loves to double up its tentpole movie themes, and 1998 was no exception. The more celebrated, more revered, more watched, more beloved Saving Private Ryan is a classic of the war genre.

This is the other movie. The Thin Red Line was longer and more beautifully shot, its cast of characters was larger and its moralizing stronger. But was it better?

Malick left a 20-year gap between his 1978 Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. About every male actor in Hollywood expressed interest in appearing in his return.

Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Robert Redford, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mickey Rouke, Viggo Mortensen, Bill Pullman, and Gary Oldman: all these guys performed for the movie and DID NOT make the final cut.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: American soldiers discover, even on a beautiful island, that war sucks.  Continue Reading

RECAP: BloodRayne: The Third Reich

BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011): Uwe Boll

I saw this title on Showtime and immediately recorded it. I didn’t know a thing about it, except that Nazi movies are always fun. You know you’re going to get Nazis doing evil things, and the crazier they are the better the movie.

I should have stopped during the endless opening credits, because when one says “AND Clint Howard,” it’s time to quit. But I didn’t. I stayed for a sexual splatterfest tinged with National Socialism.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Rayne, a super vampire, finds herself in Eastern Europe, Nazi hunting/getting laid. Continue Reading