Review of the Movie, “Red Dawn”

Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 movie with the same movie title. In the movie, Washington State was attacked by ultranationalist extremists from North Korea that took over the USA. With the increased deployment of US troops abroad, the mainland was easily reached as an initial target and was occupied by the enemy. With the determination to fight back and save their hometown, a group of young nationalists, which they themselves named “Wolverine,” evacuated to the woods with their weapons and bug out bags and trained themselves into a guerilla group ready for fighting against those enemies.

This movie review was submitted by Josh B, the author of The Best Bug Out Bag List.  His website has great content about bug out bags, survival and preparedness.  You can visit his website here.

Although the remake of Red Dawn is similar to the original movie, it was not as good. A lot of negative critics and movie reviews were written about the poor quality and storyline of the remake. As for my point of view, nothing really beats the original.

Before watching the remake, I made sure to have a glimpse of the original to have some points of comparison to the new one. One movie review also interested me when the critic faultlessly pointed and emphasized all the bad areas of the movie with a boring demeanor.

Admittedly, the remake was in a real trouble. In the opening shots, a montage of news reports, sound bites, and political clips that seem not to have any associations with each other. It is very important that the opening shots should interest the audience because it’s a forecast of the rest of the movie.

The cast, which was primarily starred by Chris Hemsworth (who is popular as Thor), is a non-charismatic group of youngsters. Part of the cast was Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, and Adrianne Palicki. The names did not give any excitement when you compare to block buster action movies.  However, the action scenes and stunts made by the actors, co-actors (with or without stuntmen) were really superb. The battle scenes, of course with the new technology that came in handy, were very effective that were the inculcated with a momentous sense of pressure.

One thing that was confusing in the movie is the attack of the alliance group with North Korea. Only political clips and sound bites from the opening shots were shown without any explanation in the latter shots of the movie.  That is why you will think that the movie doesn’t make any sense at all. It is just rehashing all the action-star-moves-plus-guns-and-bullets-flying-everywhere.

If the remake was one with a lead actor like Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Nicolas Cage or Denzel Washington (if they were younger considering the plot), and a well-comprehended screenplay then it would really hit big on the screen.

Better luck next time.

Review of the Movie “Born on the 4th of July”

Born on the 4th of July begins in the early 1960s with footage of John F. Kennedy on the television saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Reused with the permission of Ultrasound Technologist

The first part of the movie happens entirely in Massapequa, New York between the late 1950s and 1964. It traces the childhood of Kovic, who grows up in a fiercely patriot household. His parents are fierce supporters of the country and devout Roman Catholics. Kovic was inspired by a Marine to sign up and leave for Vietnam leaving his family and girlfriend Donna behind. This segment of the movie is filmed by Stone with an abundance of nostalgic elements. Click here for more information. The lighting and colors hint at a time-clouded innocence. The style, which evokes Capra, is overly romantic. The director is setting us up in order for what comes after to have maximum impact.

This is a guest post by Henry Wayne, a movie critic who has read various article such as Doctor of Osteopathy and also comments regularly on different topics like Surgical Instruments and Celtic Insurance. He is passionate about his field of work. His views are clearly noted here although they are not necessarily reflective of the views of this site’s owners.

The “in country” portion of the film picks up the action in October 1968, when Kovic, now a sergeant and well-respected member of his platoon, is in his second tour of duty. While on patrol, an error in the received intelligence leads to a civilian massacre, and Kovic is shaken. During the retreat, he mistakes one of his men for an enemy and accidentally kills him. The XO exonerates Kovic, ignoring his claims of “friendly fire,” and informs the sergeant that things like this happen in the confusion of battle. Three months later, Kovic is seriously wounded in another engagement – an incident that ends his battlefield involvement in the war. The directors approach to the fight segments in Born on the Fourth of July are similar to those in Platoon – short, brutal, and unflinching. He is more interested in showing the bloody, inglorious elements of war as opposed to those promoted in military recruiting films. More information would be revealed through this website.

The most puzzling part of the film is during Kovic’s rehab at the Bronx V.A. hospital. It show the deplorable conditions in government-run facilities established to treat injured soldiers. Kovic tries to keep a positive mental attitude even if he was paralyzed from the waist down. He became obsessive about rehabbing, despite his surroundings. Drugs are rampant in the hospital, rats wander freely (one patient is advised to feed them to keep them happy), and the equipment is old. When Kovic falls and fractures his leg, he must undergo a long and torturous treatment to avoid amputation. Eventually, he leaves the hospital and returns to Massapequa, where he is hailed as a hero.

Born on the Fourth of July’s final hour is devoted Kovic’s change from war-supporter to rabid anti-war activist. I believe this part is the directors least effective. Kovic?s transformation seems to be hurried and incomplete. When Kovic returned home he defended and approved of the war. It is only after attending an anti-war rally that he changes his position. Once he has become a war protester, Born on the Fourth of July plays like a “greatest hits” collection, recounting key points in Kovic’s life between 1970 and 1976, but losing some of the character in the process.

The thing best accomplished by Born on the Fourth of July is its contrasting of the glorious illusion of war as seen from thousands of miles away to the barbarity of it up-close. Kovic’s change in perspective becomes the filter through which we view Vietnam. His gradual disillusionment with the government and the military is given weight because of events in his life. He is credible because he has been involved in activities that many pro-war and anti-war activists have seen only from afar. The only thing missing from Born on the Fourth of July is a more complete accounting of Kovic’s shift in perspective.

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