Three Must See Movies
|Inglourious Basterds - 2009|
There are a number of apocalypse type films available on DVD that are popular with the survival/prepping community. Many may find my selection of these three as too narrow a focus, and in truth, they may only speak to those of my generation.
I chose three based on my criteria of:
1. The film must not have gratuitous violence, sex, and/or negative language.
2. The film must be character driven with great character development.
3. The film must have believable characters who advance their cause in a realistic fashion.
4. The film must educate in the process of entertaining.
5. The film must have a story that cohesively interacts with the genre and period of the film.
From my Torantino experience you might guess I don't particularly care for violence when watching films or television. Ditto that for sex, and also "bad" language. That being said, I also know there is a place for those when telling a good story, and so do watch films that may be rated "R" because of the content - I just advert my eyes, or sometimes leave the room, if there are scenes too graphic for my senses. Good, well developed characters, with a cause, that are believable and who reside in a believable world are important, also. To this end, the film must have a realistic topic and relate believably to the time period in which it is set. Additionally, I want to not only be entertained, but want to come away having learned something or have my life enriched.
My three must see movies are:
|Bravehaeart - 1995|
I know that there are those who have been very critical of the film because of it's portrayal of Wallace and elements of the time period in which the story is set. The screenwriter, Randall Wallace, has acknowledged Blind Harry's 15th century epic poem The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie as a major inspiration for the film. In defending his script, Wallace has said, "Is Blind Harry true? I don't know. I know that it spoke to my heart and that's what matters to me, that it spoke to my heart."
There is no doubt that Braveheart is a stirring film. Although it portrays nationalism at a time when there was no nationalism, it does so in a way that we can connect and relate. I always come away from viewing the film most appreciative of those brave hearted souls who lived through the ages of kings and despots and resisted the tyranny of their time.
|The Patriot - 2000|
IMDB synopsis: It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." Peaceful farmer Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia in what becomes the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.
In his review of the film Roger Ebert said, "I enjoyed the strength and conviction of Gibson's performance, the sweep of the battle scenes, and the absurdity of the British caricatures." However, that was the nicest of what his review related. Film critic James Berardinelli of ReelViews noted, "Caleb Deschanel's gorgeous cinematography and John Williams' score give the film an impressive sheen, but there's little substance for the gloss to adhere to." He also complained, "Characters have been built from stereotypes and cliches and nearly every plot development has been lifted from another film."
Even with the poor reviews, I feel the film has much merit. As Berardinelli noted, ". . . there have been a number of powerful and memorable Civil War-era films (including Glory, Dances With Wolves, and Gettysburg), but correspondingly few representations of the time of the Revolutionary War. The last major motion picture set in North America during the 1700s was 1992's The Last of the Mohicans, a rousing adventure that transpired during the so-called French-and-Indian War." That being said, though The Patriot may be a critically "mediocre motion picture", it does tell of a family's personal struggle and sacrifice during an important American time period and for that reason alone is worth watching.
|The Postman - 1997|
A solitary wanderer (Costner) enters a small town to present a one-man Shakespeare show as a means of earning a little food and shelter. General Bethlehem pays a surprise visit to this village and the nameless loner is conscripted into the Holnist army. He is a rebellious man, however, and it isn't long before he escapes. Fleeing from search parties, he hides out in an old, broken down mail carrier's truck. Taking the full letterbag and the coat off a skeleton, he becomes the Postman in hopes of passing out long overdue letters in return for food and shelter. As he travels from town-to-town, speaking words of hope about the "Reformed Congress of the United States" and giving out letters, his reputation spreads.
Like The Patriot, this film is not much liked by its reviewers. James Berardinelli of ReelViews noted, "It's hard to believe that the same man who directed a modern classic, Dances with Wolves, could be responsible for something this horribly mishandled. Where did it all go wrong? Probably at the very beginning. The Postman is a bad idea, poorly executed. The plot is dumb and riddled with gaping holes of logic, and the dialogue sounds like it was penned by a hack writer."
At this point you can see that my film choices have been pretty much panned by mainstream critics. In fact Ebert and Berardinelli both loved Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Perhaps it is just me, or perhaps it is mainstream media critics, but my three picks have messages that resonate. Their pick left me feeling as Ebert wrote, “It’s either the best film of the year or the worst film,” he said. "I hardly knew what the hell had happened to me."
At the end of my three movies, I was left cheering for US, those of us with principles we believe and live by, who are resilient, and are readying for the next turning of our society. It is those people we see represented in these three movies. Unfortunately, the mainstream either can't or don't want to see the power in it, and perhaps they don't want us to see it either.