“All Quiet on the Western Front” is definitely not the easiest watch of 2022, but it is one of the better movies of the year.
Based on the famous novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front” tells the story of Paul (Felix Kammerer), a young man who enlists in the German Army in 1917, a year before World War I ended. He enters the war filled with enthusiasm, driven by messages of nationalism during his enlistment.
That enthusiasm dissipates quickly, though, as Paul is thrust into trench warfare. As the war drags on, Paul sees his friends regularly killed in action while facing constant danger in the muddy trenches.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Western Front’ features a heartbreaking perspective of WWI”
In the past 20 years, sequels have been made to 80s franchises like “Rambo,” “Rocky,” “Die Hard” and “Indiana Jones.”
It just feels right that “Top Gun” joins the club.
“Maverick” follows the titular character (Tom Cruise) as he enters what looks to be the last stage of his career. Rather than move on to other ranks and jobs, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has remained a captain in the United States Navy, with the decision based on his love of being a pilot.
At the request of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), Maverick is taken off his current assignment as a test pilot for new aircraft and placed back in San Diego at Top Gun. He was chosen because he’s the only pilot with enough experience to train the top aviators in the country for a dangerous, nearly impossible mission. The situation is complicated by Maverick’s guilt, though, as his late wingman’s son Bradley (Miles Teller) is one of the pilots he intends to train.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Maverick’s new mission in ‘Top Gun’ sequel is worth seeing”
Sometimes you come across a movie where you ask “what the hell did I just watch?” when it gets done.
“The Tomorrow War” is one of those flicks.
The movie follows Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), a family man and retired soldier-turned school teacher in the year 2022. The story starts when the family watches a group of soldiers walk out of a portal on live TV. The soldiers inform those watching at home like the Foresters that they’re from the year 2051 where a massive war is taking place against aliens, and it’s not going well.
In order to push back against this threat, humanity developed a time bridge back to 2022 in order to get more fighters. The present day leaders agree to start a draft to send soldiers to the future and Forester ends up getting sent back into combat.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Tomorrow War’ weakened by convoluted concept”
This film features an amazing true story about brave individuals who volunteered to do daring work to hold back the German war machine in some of the darkest days for Europe in World War II.
One just wishes the movie was less dull.
The picture introduces British intelligence officer Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), who recruits candidates to help the French resistance communicate with each other and plan sabotage efforts. To do so, Atkins recruits Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas) and Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte).
Atkins has the two young women go to two sections of France, with Khan focusing on radio communications and Hall planning sabotage efforts. Doing so isn’t easy, though, with Germany’s occupation forces everywhere.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘A Call to Spy’ is sadly underwhelming”
A major battle during the War in Afghanistan where United States soldiers were completely out numbered is featured in this 2020 war movie.
The picture is set 11 years ago, in the fall of 2009, and follows United States soldiers who are stationed at Combat Outpost Keating. Life for the soldiers is never easy, as the outpost was labeled indefensible.
Centered in a valley and with an enemy threat constantly looming, it is difficult to keep the outpost safe and secure. This becomes most apparent in early October, when more than 300 Taliban insurgents attacked the location in what’s called the Battle of Kamdesh.
Continue reading “REVIEW: After slow start, ‘The Outpost’ rallies for strong finish”
Tom Hanks returns to the World War II era in this feature, trading a mission to save a soldier after D-Day for escorting ships across the Atlantic Ocean.
“Greyhound” follows the Hanks character Captain Krause, who commands a destroyer named Greyhound. The craft is responsible for protecting supply ships from German UBoats as they make their way from the United States to the European Theatre.
Danger is always around the corner for the Greyhound. There’s a constant enemy threat lurking under the waves, which keeps the crew active throughout their mission. As a result, Krause has to remain alert and is required to be regularly giving orders.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Action and Hanks’ performance keep ‘Greyhound’ afloat”
Maybe Spike Lee should have used a five-part mini-series to tell the story of “Da 5 Bloods.”
This film, released recently on Netflix, is about four veterans who return to Vietnam decades after they fought in the war. The men who go to the country include Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.).
They journeyed to the country for two primary reasons. One is to return to the place where their friend and fellow soldier Norman (Chadwick Boseman) died to collect his remains and bring them back to the States. The other reason is to collect gold they found and buried there when they were soldiers. Joining them on this journey is Paul’s estranged son David (Jonathan Majors).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ falters due to storytelling”
If you want to talk about turning point battles in American history, Midway is easily one of the most important. The results allowed the United States to bounce back at a critical time in the Pacific Theater, considering what happened months earlier in Hawaii.
The portrayal of the battle here, though, leaves a bit to be desired.
The film is the second major portrayal of the battle. In fact, it shares the same name, too, as the year 1976 also saw a movie titled “Midway.” Like that picture, the 2019 version, directed and produced by Roland Emmerich, begins before the battle.
Pearl Harbor is attacked and in the ensuing months, officials in Washington and the Pacific are trying to organize a response as sailors and airmen are anxious to fight back. The film follows key figures in the lead up to Midway as they try to outwit the Japanese military, such as Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Lt. Edwin Layton who worked intelligence.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Midway’ is stuck in mediocrity”
Collaborations between Director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg have been OK. But this latest one… Oof.
In their new team-up, Mark Wahlberg plays James Silva, the head of a special operations unit under the leadership of the CIA. The story picks up with the team at United States embassy in a country that is never specified throughout this feature. The audience soon learns that the unit is there because there is an informant named Li Noor who has a computer drive with the location of nuclear weapon materials.
That informant, played by Iko Uwais, wants something in return, though: asylum in the United States. As a result, the team take the informant on a 22 mile trip to an airfield to get him out of the country and reveal where the materials may be. However, Noor is a target in the country, making the journey dangerous for the CIA team.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Mile 22’ is an awful action picture to end the summer”
A man who seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders at one point is explored in “Darkest Hour.”
The movie takes place in 1940 with the German military invading countries and pushing back the forces of Great Britain and France. With new leadership needed, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) is brought in as a Prime Minister who is ready and willing to defend the island nation.
As Churchill enters office, he faces a massive problem with German forces surrounding the British at Dunkirk. Meanwhile, at home, Churchill has to deal with politicians including Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane) and Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) pushing back against the new prime minister’s plan for war and opting to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Oldman’s Performance Energizes The Historical Drama In “Darkest Hour””