MOVIE REVIEW: Act of Valor

Last night I went out with a friend and we watched “Act of Valor”.  So I thought I’d share a brief review. As for firearms, you get plenty…lots of explosions, etc, etc.  The sound of Gatling guns….one day I’ve got to shoot one of those.

What is interesting in this film is that it utilizes real “active duty” U.S. Navy Seals and other personnel.  (UPDATE: Per this article they also utilized scenes involving live fire instead of blanks.)  As such, we see aspects in this film that you seldom see in other films. One of my favorite scenes is when a sniper has an enemy standing on a dock sighted in. But the sniper doesn’t take the shot and you’re left wondering why –  until a minute or so later another SEAL slowly pops-up next to the dock. The sniper than takes the shot, while the other SEAL catches the fallen body to soften (and quiet) it’s impact into the water.

There were a number of interesting tactics used in this film. Including how to smuggle someone out of a room quickly and without much notice.

Where the movie lacked was on some dialog moments. You could tell the dialog at times came across choppy and less consistent than in a typical Hollywood film. But mind you, many involved are professional soldiers NOT professional actors. We do not get to see the names of these serviceman, understandable.

Act of Valor, is very reverent to servicemen. And the credits which honor our fallen soldiers and their families pretty much left me in tears.  (And left me royally pissed off that our politicians are such cowards that they will send young Americans to war, but are terror filled and afraid to declare it such. How does America tolerate such cowardly leaders – I do not know.)

The ending also included an inspiring poem, attributed to Tecumseh (and a few other Indian chiefs):

Live your life

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

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Movie Reviews: Defiance / Gran Torino

Oleg Volk posted his movie reviews. And I realized this is something I’ve been meaning to do but have continued to put off.  I’m not going to give as detailed scoring of the film as Oleg. Mostly just my feelings.

Defiance

Enjoyed the movie. It was a decent film, nothing spectacular. But it was fun and a good gun guy’s night out movie.  I mean who doesn’t like seeing Mosin-Nagant’s on the big screen. My understanding is that the movie really diverged from reality and history on many levels, and mostly used the concept as a springboard. That said, the underlying themes that I got from the film were that if you concede to corrupt totalitarian government it will likely lead to your death. It is better to flee and fight. And flee again. And fight again.  It also showed the strong need for both community and leadership. Without strong leaders, the sheep perish.

It also reminded me of my concern regarding the advancement of technology. In one scene the encampment is spotted by airplane. This leads to their having to move and suffering a number of casualties.  That was WWII.  How does one avoid a Predator drone with infrared cameras and advanced targeting systems.  In truth, as much as the antis oppose semi-automatic (so-called assault weapons) and describe them in the fashion of true automatic assault rifles.  I am left with the continual question of how can men even with fully automatic rifles survive, hide, and exist against the like of Predator drones?

***

Gran Torino

Okay, this movie isn’t going to win an Academy award.  And there are a few aspects in the movie where it feels like there should be more (Dirty Harry, extended edition please).  But the beauty of this film is two fold. One it is the absolute anti-epitome of “political correctness”. People utilize ethnic throughout the film. Both in derogatory fashion but also in friendship and camaraderie.

It also is a gunnie film. Fans of classic military guns, 1911s, etc should enjoy.  (I am curious if these were from Clint Eastwood’s personal collection?).  The movie also tends to be a bit more realistic than many gun films. (ie: Clint Eastwood pumps the shotgun before engaging, less cinematic but a heck of a lot smarter).  Also this movie is realistic. It’s not a super-hero vigilante goes guns blazing and takes down all the bad guys type film.  It confines itself to reality…which is nice.

The film does contain some disturbing scenes, topics. Rape, racism, violence.  Seems like every review has to make caveats for the political incorrectness. But that’s what’s beautiful about the film. You see prejudice, you also see such barriers change. But that doesn’t get rid of the political incorrectness. Just changes the heart behind the statements.

All in all the film was well delivered…rumor has it that this may be Clint Eastwood’s last screen appearance as a leading man.

I’d label Gran Torino a “must see” gunnie film.

Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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