Tag Archives: soldier

Deer Hunter (1978)

Director: Michael Cimino
Starring: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, Georeg Dzundza, Chuck Aspegren. USA. 3h 3m

Michael Cimino is a fairly laid back director, with only 8 titles under his belt he seems to only get out of bed to make a groundbreaking movie if and when he has something poignant to say. So 4 years after Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) he returns with this dark cult classic that will forever be etched in the minds of many cinema enthusiasts.

There isn’t much I can say about Deer Hunter that hasn’t been said already. It’s impact has been massive, but even with the parodies, tributes and deep analysis, what is the film trying to say? Is it anti war, is it purely dealing ? It is purely about the male bond of a few good friends? Whatever you get from the movie it starts with a wedding and ends with a funeral and there’s a lot of pain and torment that happens in between, which sounds like a nihilistic  analogy for life itself. I think I knew more about the movie before watching than any other film

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Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Guy Pearce, David Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Jeremy Davies, Stephen Spinella, Nail McDonough, John Spencer .USA/UK/Czech Republic. 1h 41m

Through all the beautiful landscape shots and bloody battles, Ravenous is a poetic journey of one man dealing with the mental conflicts of honour and cowardice set in a allurgin remote mountain location and having to deal with one of the most ferocious Algonquian legends. The film raises tough questions on how heroes are perceived and the effects on the individual, what if a moment of bravery is pure accidental luck, how can a man continue to live the lie before he’s found out?

After their first two initial weeks of filming the original director Mick McCluskey was sacked and leading cast member Robert Carlyle called on an old friend Antonia Bird to complete this prestigious project. Antonia had previously directed him in a brilliant English council estate mobster film called Face (1997) where Carlyle stars alongside Ray Winstone as an average Joe socialist who forms a gang to rob a bank, the movie still has a strong cult following and is highly rated along other Brit classics such as the highly acclaimed Nil By Mouth (1997) and really cemented burden Carlyle in the memories of dedicated fans. Continue reading Ravenous (1999)

Jauja (2014)

Director: Lisandro Alonso
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Ghita Nørby, Viilbjørk Malling Agger. UK. 1h 49m

Sometimes I watch a movie and I’m left with a feeling of nostalgia hinted with the question of did I really just watch a dream come to life on screen? There’s a rare select group of directors who can achieve this unique atmosphere but the determined efforts of Lisandro Alonso and Viggo Mortensen have made a movie which starts out quite straight forwards eventually boils down to a crazy trip in the desert, akin to any modern classic but it’s set in the past and it almost fools you into thinking that such a step into the unknown is not plausible.

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Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m

Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.

This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black.
Starring. Thomas Jane, Boyd Holbrook, Keegan Michael Key, Sterling K Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn USA. 1h 58m

For a while I had a lot of faith that after Shane Black’s death by the hands of the original Predator back in the 80’s cult classic jungle sci fi mayhem epic adventure, and his subsequent career as a director, that he could be trusted with this remake. But then I remembered he’s Shane Black and you cannot trust this man! To be fair Shane is totally okay and I still regained some faith but the writer, Fred Dekker was an odd choice. His previous classics are cult but for very different reasons, Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad (written with Shane Black) were high for their levels of comedy antics. Dekkers contributions for House (1986) gave the film a surreal and yet again comedic undercurrent, and his more recent work included Robocop 3 which ruined the trilogy by adding in some cute kids and morals… this is when I knew someone has fucked up. Continue reading The Predator (2018)

Black 47 (2018)

Director: Lance Daly.
Starring. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keogham, Sarah Greene. USA. 1h 40m.

This brilliantly dark poetic revenge flick from the bleakest part of Irish history is rough but so intense. Based on the Irish Language short called An Ranger by PJ Dillon and Pierce Ryan, this lengthy retelling is focused on an Irish Ranger returning home from war and finding his homeland is very different to how he left it.

Starting on another tangent, the film opens with Hanna (Weaving) losing his temper with a prisoner, a member of the Young Irelander movement, while losing his temper he strangles the man he sips from his canteen while another guard realises Hannah has killed the prisoner.

Meanwhile Martin Feeney (Frechville) a former Connaught Ranger arrives in Connemara, west Ireland in 1847, the worst part of the Great Famine, he finds family home hollowed out and filled with pigs, he learns that his mother died from starvation and his brother was hanged after stabbing a bailiff during the family’s evection. Feeney stays with his brothers widow (Greene) who are squatting in one of the few remaining houses. Soon the landlord arrives to evict the family, killing Feeney’s nephew and destroying the home. Feeney is arrested but managed to kill his captors and destroy the barracks and re returns to find his sister in law and her daughter dead from exposure. This sparks something dark inside of Feeney and he begins to seek a tortuous bloody revenge on the men who have wronged him. Continue reading Black 47 (2018)