Uncommon Valor (1983)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Writer: Joe Gayton (Screenplay)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Patrick Swayze, Harold Sylvester

 

Plot: Ten years after his son went M.I.A. in Vietnam, U.S. Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in P.O.W. camps in Laos.


Tagline – Seven men with one thing in common.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Movie

 

Story: Uncommon Valor starts when Col Jason Rhodes (Hackman) recruits for Vietnam soldiers Wilkes (Ward), Blaster (Brown), Sailor (Cobb), Johnson (Sylvester), Charts (Thomerson) and son of a mission in action soldier Kevin Scott (Swayze) to go on a mission in Laos, to free the soldiers in a prisoner of war camp believed to be controlled by the former Vietnamese soldiers.

First he must get them back into shape, before taking them on this mission which could break the bonds that are being rebuilt between the countries and go against the men’s wishes. This is a life or death mission that could be for the right reasons, but deadly for those involve.

 

Thoughts on Uncommon Valor

 

Characters – Col Jason Rhodes had to eave his son in Vietnam while escaping the enemy, never giving up hope of finding his son alive, her learns of a prisoner of war camp and puts together a team to rescue those prisoners and return them to his family, what is a broken man inside but a determined one on the outside we have a leader that will put this team together. Wilkes is the member of the team, still suffering from the nightmares of what happened to him, maybe the deadliest member of the unit, he will be the one to watch out for through the film, the rest of the unit have their strengths and weaknesses which helps bring them together to be the full unit.

PerformancesGene Hackman was always a brilliant choice in a leading role, this is no different because he can control the people well, while also being able to show of his strengths as an actor. Fred Ward shows us a great performance in his supporting role, while Patrick Swayze comes well in this film, he is the rookie character and working in this role we see his strengths too.

StoryThe story came out when people were still feeling the effects from the Vietnam war, American families were not complete and loved ones were still unaccounted for, this story shows us just how far soldiers would go for a loved one with the unit they were close to during the war. While the story is good it does play into what you will expect with an American group of soldiers being better than anyone else, which entertains throughout.

Action/WarThe action is mostly saved for the finally, which does feel safe with everything and is filled with war themed battle going on.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a couple of locations, first the training camp to prepare for the battle, then the mission to the location before the final battle, this works for the film, we don’t need to see more or less from the settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is more of America to the rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good war film that plays everything safe and makes us believe that the war wasn’t over on the first date believed, it was the prisoners of war that still needed rescuing from the impending fates.

 

Overall: War fans will enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

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Jason’s Letter (2018)

Director: Terrance Tykeem

Writer: Terrance Tykeem (Screenplay)

Starring: Vivica A Fox, Michael Pare, Robert LaSardo, Quinton Aaron, Joseph R Gannascoli, Claude Jordan, Jamol Manigault

 

Plot: This powerful film addresses the unarmed police shooting in America thru the eye’s of 2-young boys, one of whom had to give his life in order for change to even be considered.


Tagline – This is a film that will do more than any other before it to humanize young black boys, while shining a bright light on an on going problem in America.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brave Message

 

Story: Jason’s Letter starts as we head to a city in Delaware, the city has been having an ever-increasing number of black men and children being killed by the cops, the latest killing has bought City Hall to look for a solution, Sammi Brooks (Fox) is part of a city meeting, which has teenager Jason McKey (Manigault) has come up with a letter which he believes could end the killing problem.

As the Principal of the school is trying to figure out how to control the bad behaviour by bringing the parents into detention to see how their children act, we get to see how the white cops treat the black residents and how one council meeting is looking to bring a stop to the problems in the neighbourhood.

 

Thoughts on Jason’s Letter

 

Characters – Jason McKey is the teenager that has seen his friends killed by the police and has come up with a letter/petition to hopefully bring an end to the heartache families would be feeling, his vision could bring a change to the way the country is run and his innocent views reflect the culture that won’t be budged. Sammi Brooks works in city hall, she has been working on the problems, she is the connection that will get Jason to speak to the council. We get to meet a lot of characters in this film, parents of victims, council members and we get the generic push against the white police.

PerformancesJamol Manigault is good in the leading role of the film, he keeps the vision his character wants to feel innocent like we needed it to be. Vivica A Fox is the biggest name of the film at gets to give a good performance in the role. We do have good performances throughout the film, through the many different performers.

StoryThis story looks to find a solution for the police brutality being used on the black people in America focusing on the most innocent victims, the children. We follow the town who have been searching for a solution, which one of their own children might have come to a big, ambitious solution too. This is also one of the hardest stories to discuss without getting political, this does have the big message that needs to be addressed, the idea is big, but there are clearly certain points that paint people in one light only. The only issues with the story that should have been addressed is that not all white police officers are bad.

SettingsThe film is set in a minority black, Hispanic and Asian neighbourhood almost running in fear of the number of deaths in the neighbourhood.


Scene of the Movie –
The Letter Reading.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have a brave message, though one sided.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film is a big important message about a real problem going on in America, it does show a solution which could realistically work too.

 

Overall: Important and brave message.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – A – Autumn (2009)

Director: Steven Rumbelow

Writer: Steven Rumbelow, David Moody (Screenplay) David Moody (Novel)

Starring: Dexter Fletcher, David Carradine, Dickson Tolson, Lana Kamenov, Anton Brejak

 

Plot: A horrible virus kills billions within minutes. The few survivors that are left have to deal with the shock of the apocalypse, and they have no idea that things are about to get much worse.


Tagline – Silence is your savior.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too slow.

 

Story: Autumn starts as a mysterious plague kills most people in the population instantly. The few survivors left seek shelter as we follow Michael (Fletcher), Carl (Tolson) and Emma (Kamenov) who try to find their way to the coast, knowing that the dead bodies would only spread disease.

As the three believe they have found safety things soon change when the dead do come back to life, not with a hunger, but just wondering aimlessly around searching for a place, until they start to become deadlier, leaving the three to board themselves in for safety.

 

Thoughts on Autumn

 

Characters – Michael was a school teacher that joins the group that leaves, he knows their choice is smart as he prepares for a new life. Carl and Emma join him but if we are honest we barely learn anything about them along the way. We have faceless characters to show it could be anyone trying to survive.

PerformancesThe performances are for a ack of a better word, fine, they are not good and are not bad, you understand why they are acting the way they are.

StoryThe story is like most end of the world stories, a virus kills millions, we follow a group of survivors as they search for a place to be safe while learning how big the damage to the world is. This does try to be difference by having the slow changing in the dead into the zombies we know now. As for the survival side of the film, it is nothing new and does feel slow.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror is the end of the world idea, zombies and the unknown, whereas the sci-fi comes from just where it could go wrong with the undead.

SettingsWe get the countryside settings which show the sensible locations to head to during the potential end of the world.

Special EffectsThe effects seem mostly practical with the camerawork hiding the weakness.


Scene of the Movie –
The first breakout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is very slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow end of the world movie, it plays along the idea of zombies taking time to turn up and just doesn’t live up to any of the expectation.

 

Overall: Dull and boring for the most part.

Rating