Well on Saturday, I went paintballing with a big group of friends. It was actually really fun. I loved it! I've always loved the army, and I got to live out my dream of being a soldier for a few hours. It was actually really dramatic- we had to drive waaay out of town, we got lost, ran low on gas, and had to stop at a place called 'Ghost Gas' for a fill up (the gas pumps were so old the gas dripped out slower than molasses).
|This is seriously what happened. Except there were 7 of us and we weren't driving a hamburger.|
When we were back on the road, we drove for what my friend described as "Forever and a half". We played paintball in a forest in the rain, and it was so much fun. And then it got me thinking...
I've always loved, respected and admired soldiers, and what they do for my country. But after running through a field in the rain, carrying (what I found to be) a heavy gun, I developed a whole new kind of admiration for them. I couldn't possibly imagine doing that for real. Being a soldier would be HARD. My heart really goes out to the men out there that serve my country, today and back in the day. So I feel it is appropriate to do an article on my Top 10 favorite army movies. HUAH!
|Charlie Sheen's twin. Winning!|
10. Platoon (1986)
Directed By: Oliver Stone
Which War: Vietnam
Reason: I watched Platoon once, and though it wasn't incredibly graphic, I found it to be considerably disturbing. One scene sticks out in my mind, and I haven't quite been able to shake it from my memory: "Shit, I've never seen brains like that before, man!" Platoon was grimy and it reminds us all just how filthy war is. And even though we all love our troops, some of them did some dirty, terrible things while they were overseas. But I do recall one particularly adorable scene, where Johnny Depp (that's right kids, Johnny Depp was in Platoon) carried a local child out of a village on his shoulders. Awww.
|Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox is hot!|
9. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Which War: WWII
Reason: I love Quentin Tarantino for his delightfully twisted mind and phenomenal movies. When I heard that Tarantino would be doing a WWII movie, I pretty much died and came back to life. 5 times. From pure joy and utter excitement. And although Inglourious Basterds has made it onto my sacred bookshelf of well guarded favorite films, it is 9th on my list of favorite army movies for a couple of reasons.
1.) It is MEGA historically incorrect.
2.) The Military just doesn't work that way.
|Oh darling dear, I really do like pilots!|
8. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
Directed By: John Moore
Which War: Bosnian Conflict
Reason: What's this? Owen Wilson? In a serious movie? It blew my mind too. Seeing Owen in something other than a rom-com just feels...wrong... When I first watched this film, I was honestly expecting some cheesy war comedy starring Owen and his crooked nose. What actually happened was quite different and a bit of a surprise. The main selling point in this movie, for me, was the jets. Oh how I love fighter jets. Behind Enemy Lines was well done and entertaining to watch. Though I wouldn't call it a masterpiece and it had it's cheesy moments, there were a couple parts that were unsettling (the mass-grave scene made my stomach churn).
|These two share everything!|
7. Pearl Harbor (2001)
Directed By: Michael Bay
Which War: WWII
Reason: Pearl Harbor is a very well done film. It hosts a number of great, well developed characters and packs an emotional punch. When the movie really picks up, it gets gory and will surly leave you squirming (at least a little bit). I absolutely love the hospital scene for that reason. It was so bloody and terrible and honest... it broke my heart and I love it for that reason. I can imagine that that scene was not at all far from the truth. But like every movie, it had its flaws. I found it to be terribly long- over 3 hours (it had 2 disks. Enough Said). And I have a confession to make... I hate love stories in war movies. And this movie just so happened to have strong romantic undertones. Yuck.
|1940's + Daniel Craig + Leather Jacket = Good things about to happen.|
6. Defiance (2008)
Directed By: Edward Zwick
Which War: WWII
Reason: Previously reviewed by the cinema club: [Link]! This movie was so cold, so realistic and so uncomfortable that I wrapped myself in a blanket and mentally started a food ration plan. Everybody who worked on this film made it very clear to the viewers that the characters were cold, hungry, and Miserable. I just love the fact that Jamie Bell is in the film, and Daniel Craig did an impressive job. Though this movie isn't really an "Army movie", it's about WWII and that's good enough for me! I definitely channeled this film while running through the rainy forest while paintballing. Win.
|Silly little Nazi Child.|
5. Valkyrie (2008)
Directed By: Bryan Singer
Which War: WWII
Reason: Earlier in this entry I mentioned that I had written an entry which blogger promptly deleted. That entry was actually me revealing to the world who my 2 most favorite actors are. I am utterly disappointed with Blogger (frankly that epic let-down was grounds for face slappage). That clever entry that I had crafted was my grand reveal to you who my favorite actor is. And folks, believe you me, he's a hottie. He just so happens to be in this film. And like, every other WWII movie. His Name is Thomas Kretschmann. Unfortunately though he is not the center of attention. He is never the center of attention. Tom Cruise is the main star of this film. And that is ok considering I don't wish dismemberment and partial blindness on my precious Kretschmann. Valkyrie was an enjoyable action film. It wasn't gory or heavy or serious, and I'd recommend it to the fair-weather army movie watcher.
|Don't cry, Mr. Brody! :(|
4. The Pianist (2002)
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Which War: WWII
Reason: This movie is the definition of "Depression". It was long, exhausting, and sad. The Pianist stars Adrian Brody, who plays a Jew during the second world war. There isn't a large amount of dialogue in this film, and it isn't action packed or sexy. It's raw, grey, depressing, and absolutely perfect that way. Thomas Kretschmann (I really do regret not introducing him with a Bang- siiigh) stars as a good Nazi. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him (Um, for the 1000th time!) while watching this film. You haven't seen a WWII movie until you've seen The Pianist.
|He takes Cranky to a whole new level.|
3. Der Untergang [Downfall] (2004)
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Which War: WWII
Reason: Oh my Goodness Bruno Ganz does THE best portrayal of Hitler EVER. This is a German Film, and I love it to pieces. You know for a while that "Someone stole Hitler's Car" vid (and all it's variations) that were so popular? (If you have answered "No", here is a [Link]for you to educate yourself with). Well, that was a clip from Der Untergang. And trust me kids, after seeing this film, no other movie portrayal of Hitler will be satisfactory. Bruno Ganz Rules. Thomas Kretschmann is also in this movie! HOORAH! But he plays a [handsome] Secondary-Character-Twit that we shall disregard. (PS: If you're sitting there wondering to yourself: Gee, who is this handsome devil Miss Capitain here is so fond of?, he's the babe that walks into the room 2 seconds into the Someone stole Hitler's Car video. You're Welcome.). Anyways, the movie takes place in Germany, 1945. It's a bit tedious and the subtitles may be a bit tiring, but it's really good.
|This is reality|
2. Black Hawk Down (2001)
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Which War: Battle of Mogadishu
Reason: This movie is LOUD, Jarring, and fantastic. It's full of explosions, amazing characters, and best of all.... *drum roll* UH-60 Black Hawks (my favorite Helicopters). It tells the true story of an elite group of US Soldiers that were shot down in an effort to capture a Somalian Warlord. I pretty much fell in love with the cast... some of my favorite actors are in there! Ewan McGregor, Ron Eldard, Tom Sizemore, Josh Hartnett, William Fichtner, and even Orlando Bloom. I thought this movie was phenomenal, and it really stressed the importance of team work. It showed how beautifully these men function as a team. It also helped fuel my absolute hellbent passion to be a helicopter pilot (a dream that mathematics has managed to extinguish). Anyways, I love this film, and there is no doubt why it's a favorite amongst men and troops alike. "Super 6-4 is going down"
|D-day is my favorite event in history. Spielberg captured the ugly reality of it perfectly.|
1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Which War: WWII
Reason: Graphic. Honest. Heartbreaking. This movie sums up the whole damn war in 169 minutes. Starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, who do a very good job playing two very normal people trapped in the nightmarish second world war. I love the idea behind this film, and I would most definitely recommend it to someone who loves the history of WWII. The opening scene sets the mood right away, and I can't help but love how terribly realistic it is. The first couple times I saw the Omaha Beach scene, I cried. Upon seeing the young man laying in the wet sand, his belly completely torn and his insides spilling out, yelling "Momma! Momma!" I just started bawling. Because folks, that's the reality behind it. Love this movie.
And thus concludes The Cinema Club's article on Army movies. Unfortunately it is very late and every time I get to my feet I sway and feel as if I may pass out. I have to write a math test tomorrow, and I am less than thrilled. Thank you for reading, and I will make an honest effort to avoid going AWOL again.
El Capitain OUT!