Film Reviews - what have you seen lately, what did you think?

gatorev12

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Thanks Detroit, I’ll check those out.

Tagging @Detroitgator for a few other recommendations.

The Unknown Soldier is a really good Finnish war movie (based on a book); but if you liked 1944, this one is even better. Deals with the Continuation War of how the Finns invaded the Kola Peninsula during WWII and how the Russians eventually pushed them back. The full movie with subtitles is on YouTube (linking below). The first few minutes throws you into the thick of it, but stay watching, things will click and much of the action really happened (the main protagonist guy was supposedly a real dude from the author's unit).



Sunstroke was a Russian film that you can find for free on a few platforms (I know I watched it on Amazon, not sure if it's there anymore); but its a good period piece from the era before/during the Russian Civil War. Think of it somewhat like a Russian version of "Gone with the Wind" rather than a pure war flick; but it's a good period piece and has a lot of fascinating bits of history.
 

wrpgator

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Tagging @Detroitgator for a few other recommendations.

The Unknown Soldier is a really good Finnish war movie (based on a book); but if you liked 1944, this one is even better. Deals with the Continuation War of how the Finns invaded the Kola Peninsula during WWII and how the Russians eventually pushed them back. The full movie with subtitles is on YouTube (linking below). The first few minutes throws you into the thick of it, but stay watching, things will click and much of the action really happened (the main protagonist guy was supposedly a real dude from the author's unit).



Sunstroke was a Russian film that you can find for free on a few platforms (I know I watched it on Amazon, not sure if it's there anymore); but its a good period piece from the era before/during the Russian Civil War. Think of it somewhat like a Russian version of "Gone with the Wind" rather than a pure war flick; but it's a good period piece and has a lot of fascinating bits of history.

Excellent, thanks Rev
 

B52G8rAC

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Previewed #Ordinary Angels Sunday. Hillary Swank stars. I would pay to see it again. Take the family when it opens in February. Great family movie with a good wholesome story, no cursing or gratuitous sex. If you've lost a child, there is a dust machine in the theater.
 

TLB

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Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) <Prime>

IMDB: After a heroic death, a firefighter navigates the afterlife with the help of three guides. A better explanation is: Having died unexpectedly, firefighter Ja-hong is taken to the afterlife by 3 afterlife guardians. Only when he passes 7 trials over 49 days and proves he was innocent in human life, he's able to reincarnate, and his 3 afterlife guardians are by his side to defend him in trial

TLB: I was drawn to this thinking it was a sequel to Double World (missing the year of release discrepency and failing at Engrish in general on my part). General overview is that it is a Korean film, great CGI, pretty good story and characters. I watched in Korean with English subs as I am wont to do.

Premise is a firefighter dies in the opening scene and two Associate Guardians are there to take him to the afterlife where he is judged on his life. Lots of Korean culture throughout with their view afterlife, use of 7 and multiples of that number - but not enough to be distracting, simply noticeable. Their use of the various hells for judgement fits to the culture, but the film takes us through the judgements and we go a little deeper in how his life did and did not meet the expectations of the god of each hell. Along the way we get a good bit of interplay between the pair of asst. guardians, their captain, our central firefighter, and Yeomra (King of the Underworld).

Our central character is supposedly a 'paragon', meaning if he passes his trials he can be re-incarnated. For the guardian trio, if they can re-incarnate so many paragons in so many years, they too can get re-incarnated and this guy is #98 out of #99 (or something similar = they are almost there, and this guy puts them one short). His journey through hell is given a twist early on as he left on earth his mother and younger brother (military), and one becomes a 'vengeful spirit' by dying and raging which causes issues both on earth and in hell. The captain guardian has to deal with that while bouncing back and forth with the asst's and main guy on trial. Decent action (mainly CGI), but it's these wrinkles that take the story deeper than you might expect...but it doesn't go real, real deep. Not a thinking movie per se, but that meat is present for you if you want it.

Final: 8/10 worth the watch for several factors. Only detractor is if you have issues with dubbing or sub-titles, otherwise enjoyable.
 
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TLB

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Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2018) <Prime>

IMDB: In the afterlife, one guardian helps a man through his trials, while his two colleagues help a former guardian on earth.

TLB: The first film (above) closes with our Guardian trio sent to ascend some old man into the afterlife. Apparently many other guardians tried, but were cast out by a house god (Ma Dong-seok, Wong of Dr. Strange films). Grandpa is hanging on with his grandson, and the house god is protecting them. Also, we pick up from the last film in that the 'vengeful spirit' was the younger brother from the first film who died badly, and the captain who had been fighting him the first film is now assigned to bring that person through the hells as well. Surpise of surprises, despite being a vengeful spirit, this one is also a 'paragon' and would be the last sould needed for the guardians to earn their re-incarnation.

Half the film is following the second brother and the captain through hell and the associated trials. There is a good bit of dialogue where the brother is less concerned about being re-incarnated and more interested at picking away at the captain, his background and his motivations/struggles. For the two asst's and the house god, a deal is reached to wait for the kid to go to school before taking grandpa = this is the other half of the film that we alternate with. Likewise, the house god engages the guardians in dialogue, dropping hints about the history of all involved. SPOILER: Turns out the house god used to be a guardian like them, and he knew the history of all 3 of our guardians. For the asst's, their memory was wiped after dying so they don't know how, why, or when they died; but the captain knows it all and hasn't been telling them any of it.

We have good crossover connection between captain-brother in that we find both had issues with their brothers in life. House god fills in all the history for the two asst's to expose that a thousand years ago on the outter edges of a kingdom the male ass't was a fierce invading warrior and the female was an orphan caring for others but of the invaded tribe.

I won't share much more of the story, but it was unexpectedly good. Still good CGI and action, but the dominant factor of the film is the characters, the telling of their stories, and how it all folds together at the end, to include Yeomra (King of the Underworld) being an unexpected character. Yeomra even has a twist mid-credits at the end, which sheds even MORE light on the interwoven lives - not to set up any further films, but it isn't expected and really does put a solid knot to tying up the loose ends.

Final: 8.5/10 yes, better than the first primarily for the depth it brings after building on the first.
 
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Detroitgator

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Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2018) <Netflix>

IMDB: In the afterlife, one guardian helps a man through his trials, while his two colleagues help a former guardian on earth.

TLB: The first film (above) closes with our Guardian trio sent to ascend some old man into the afterlife. Apparently many other guardians tried, but were cast out by a house god (Ma Dong-seok, Wong of Dr. Strange films). Grandpa is hanging on with his grandson, and the house god is protecting them. Also, we pick up from the last film in that the 'vengeful spirit' was the younger brother from the first film who died badly, and the captain who had been fighting him the first film is now assigned to bring that person through the hells as well. Surpise of surprises, despite being a vengeful spirit, this one is also a 'paragon' and would be the last sould needed for the guardians to earn their re-incarnation.

Half the film is following the second brother and the captain through hell and the associated trials. There is a good bit of dialogue where the brother is less concerned about being re-incarnated and more interested at picking away at the captain, his background and his motivations/struggles. For the two asst's and the house god, a deal is reached to wait for the kid to go to school before taking grandpa = this is the other half of the film that we alternate with. Likewise, the house god engages the guardians in dialogue, dropping hints about the history of all involved. SPOILER: Turns out the house god used to be a guardian like them, and he knew the history of all 3 of our guardians. For the asst's, their memory was wiped after dying so they don't know how, why, or when they died; but the captain knows it all and hasn't been telling them any of it.

We have good crossover connection between captain-brother in that we find both had issues with their brothers in life. House god fills in all the history for the two asst's to expose that a thousand years ago on the outter edges of a kingdom the male ass't was a fierce invading warrior and the female was an orphan caring for others but of the invaded tribe.

I won't share much more of the story, but it was unexpectedly good. Still good CGI and action, but the dominant factor of the film is the characters, the telling of their stories, and how it all folds together at the end, to include Yeomra (King of the Underworld) being an unexpected character. Yeomra even has a twist mid-credits at the end, which sheds even MORE light on the interwoven lives - not to set up any further films, but it isn't expected and really does put a solid knot to tying up the loose ends.

Final: 8.5/10 yes, better than the first primarily for the depth it brings after building on the first.
So was this guy #98, 99, or 100?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!

I'M SO CONFUSED!!!!!
 

B52G8rAC

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The Chosen, Season 4, Episodes 1-3. Excellent family outing I would highly recommend to all who post here.
 

Detroitgator

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Thats a great lineup. I have lots to look forward to. Thanks for putting that together Det.
Another one: Battle for Afghanistan, free on Prime. Another Russian anti-war one made in 2019 about their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this one before, I think it’s great for a lot of reasons.
 

wrpgator

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Another one: Battle for Afghanistan, free on Prime. Another Russian anti-war one made in 2019 about their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this one before, I think it’s great for a lot of reasons.
Started this one earlier. Will finish it during half time.
There’s a gritty quality to these films that most modern Hollywood war movies lack with their pretty boy actors and soaring violin background music. This is superior.
 

Detroitgator

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Started this one earlier. Will finish it during half time.
There’s a gritty quality to these films that most modern Hollywood war movies lack with their pretty boy actors and soaring violin background music. This is superior.
I was actually going to type the same exact thing in my post.. they are all far more realistic, especially when it comes to the human effect.

I didn't want to go "too far," in my comments, mainly because of my Afghanistan connection, but this might be the "best" war movie in my opinion... certainly in my Top 3 and I'm not even sure what the other two would be.
 

wrpgator

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I was actually going to type the same exact thing in my post.. they are all far more realistic, especially when it comes to the human effect.

I didn't want to go "too far," in my comments, mainly because of my Afghanistan connection, but this might be the "best" war movie in my opinion... certainly in my Top 3 and I'm not even sure what the other two would be.
My top two change some over the years but now they happen to be two documentaries:
They Shall Not Grow Old (WW1)
Into The Cold Blue (8th Air Force)
 

Detroitgator

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My top two change some over the years but now they happen to be two documentaries:
They Shall Not Grow Old (WW1)
Into The Cold Blue (8th Air Force)
12 O'clock High (the movie, not TV show, also 8th Air Force) is (and probably always will be) my #1 movie about leadership, in any environment. I made all my 2LT students watch it, and they still mention it to this day.
 

B52G8rAC

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12 O'clock High (the movie, not TV show, also 8th Air Force) is (and probably always will be) my #1 movie about leadership, in any environment. I made all my 2LT students watch it, and they still mention it to this day.
We used that movie to teach the Hershey Blanchard Situational Leadership model at Squadron Officers School.
 

wrpgator

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Another one: Battle for Afghanistan, free on Prime. Another Russian anti-war one made in 2019 about their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this one before, I think it’s great for a lot of reasons.
"Battle for Afghanistan" was excellent by the way. Amazon Prime followed it up by suggesting "The Rifleman". That's good too. WW1 Latvian Russian Army conscripts eventually realize they've been had by the Bolsheviks and reform as Latvian defense forces. Well acted--dubbing was okay on this one.
1708099796911.png
* The all-time top grossing film in Latvia!
 

Detroitgator

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"Battle for Afghanistan" was excellent by the way. Amazon Prime followed it up by suggesting "The Rifleman". That's good too. Latvian conscripts eventually realize they've been had by the Bolsheviks and reform as Latvian defense forces. Well acted--dubbing was okay on this one.
View attachment 67579
Thanks, I'll give it a watch (maybe tonight)...

FYI - on the Battle for Afghanistan note, yesterday was the 35th anniversary of General Gromov being the last Soviet back across the Friendship Bridge

Also on Battle for Afghanistan, there are so many parallels (and key differences) between their experience and our, and so many subtle (but important) things in the movie that would be a huge conversation.
 

wrpgator

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Thanks, I'll give it a watch (maybe tonight)...

FYI - on the Battle for Afghanistan note, yesterday was the 35th anniversary of General Gromov being the last Soviet back across the Friendship Bridge

Also on Battle for Afghanistan, there are so many parallels (and key differences) between their experience and our, and so many subtle (but important) things in the movie that would be a huge conversation.
Deet you’re at that point—empirical experience, historical background, personal relationships, people & places, perspective on all this where a book should be forthcoming.
 

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