First time back at the movies after lockdown!
Dramatisation of the push to upgrade the Air Force Cross awarded to William Pitsenbarger during the Vietnam War to the Medal of Honour. A young bushy-tailed Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman is assigned the task of investigating whether a MoH upgrade is warranted based on eye-witness accounts and new evidence that comes to the fore.
Along the way he encounters lotsa ducking and dodging as some of that new evidence creates a few sticky situations for our man to navigate through. Starting out with more than a little disdain for upgrading an award from a conflict 30 years prior, it becomes an exercise in gaining full recognition of the sacrifices that become so necessary in wartime.
Excellent performances from some of America’s acting royalty with William Hurt, Christopher Plummer, Samuel L Jackson, Ed Harris, Diane Ladd & Peter Fonda in his final role turning on the acid to help Huffman achieve his goal. And watching him change his perspective through the experience even in spite of seeing his own future become somewhat murky is a quite fascinating element.
Powerful, emotional and thought-provoking, this one isn’t a mere war movie and gives just a little insight into what men will do despite being faced with insurmountable odds.
With cinemas only just starting to get back into business still not a lot to review out there so we checked out this latest Netflix push.
Aussie hambone Chris Hemsworth is a mercenary hired to extract (hence the title) the son of an imprisoned Indian drug lord from the kidnapper clutches of a rival. Trouble is there so much double and even triple cross to keep track of, coupled with Hemsworth bouncing from pillar to post, off balconies, cars and trucks, into canopies, dumpsters, market stalls and over trailers, bikes and police cars, it all reads like a Rambo outing on steroids.
The action scenes of which there are plenty, are one long shoot ‘em up video game and after a while start to become a bit ho-hum; only so many ways the bad guys can get shot!
So, not too much to the story unfortunately, and we can only marvel at the resilience of the Australian body as Hemsworth is shot, knifed, burnt, bazooka’ed and generally pillaged throughout the proceedings. Still, not as bad as some in this genre and Mumbai is an interesting setting.
Of course with lockdown there’s no going to the movies so Netflix, Amazon Prime etc have been getting the workouts. And most of those have been reviewed before or are, to put it bluntly, not worth the effort. However this one on Acorn breaks the mould, featuring a few sizable names in Eddie Redmayne, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie and Christopher Lee, its a psychological thriller based at the outset of WWII.
A gentrified family is involved in a few things that might be considered a bit naughty but eldest daughter figures something smelly and slowly turns over the stones to reveal the reality of the situation. It’s a bit of a slow burn to start but as we go we see that all is not what it seems and it ducks and dives down a number of avenues and alleyways before we’re finally able to suss out what’s really going on.
Beautiful English countryside and ye olde architecture is the setting against a backdrop of the early days of the war when many Britons could perhaps be forgiven for thinking it might all be a sham. Good performances all round including a few no-names who equally foot it with the heavyweights.
Keeps you guessing until the very end, and when the lights do finally go on it’s a eureka moment. Suspenseful and clever - almost too clever in parts, but overall good to catch.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.