German-American wrote:I just bought the new star wars as a digital copy, would rather have dvd but my laptop doesn't have a disc drive.
Last night I watched unbroken..love that movie probably in my top 3 war movies of all time.
What're your favorite war movies?
1) saving private Ryan
3) We were soldiers
They're all kinda... middling, boring films though innit? I mean, how many times can one juxtapose the theme of "war is hell" unto cool-ass action sequences before something starts feeling off about it? Yeah, Spielberg pulled his best, emotionally manipulative chops to get across the whole chaos bit in Ryan, but even then it felt uninspired outside the extremely visceral opening scene. I kinda wished he had gone more brutal with that movie, to Lars von Trier-esque extremes, to make the viewer uncomfortable rooting(justifiedly, in the long haul of course) for american troops getting their war-crime on (shit, I wonder how big a proportion of the audience can differentiate between German and Czech, was it?, after a 20-minute onslaught of explosions and bullets). But Spielberg doesn't deal in challenging, his shtick has always been the eventual feelgood factor with all the unfortunate and frankly disturbing implications it brings (Close Encounters anyone?).
That said, it's important to differentiate between "war movies" and "movies set in a war". The latter is where you find thought-provoking artistry whereas the former is, generally, violence porn for teenaged boys (and boy do I know it from experience!) that leaves little more to the viewer than a perverse enjoyment of a real world tragedy (and this is coming from a guy whose favorite movie scene of all time is quite likely ED-209 putting over a hundred bullets in some poor douchebag).
(as a side-note, I kinda thought 1998 was a really poor year for films considering all the awards Saving Private Ryan hauled in until I remembered it was a year that brought us The Big Lebowski, The Truman Show, Rushmore and most of all motherfvcking American History X)
When it comes to movies set in wars, I guess the Vietnam classics of Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter (heh, "war movie" my ass) and Born On The Fourth Of July are all top-notch films. If the general theme of militarism is what one looks for, The Hunt For Red October is a supreme thriller. Basterds is a great example of how the backdrop of a war can lend itself to so many artistic opportunites. Starship Troopers is the best satire made this side of Robocop, but considering its entire existence is mocking the very concept of a "war movie", it might not be right up your alley. Der Untergang has Bruno Ganz competing for the title of "most compelling portrayal of a nazi" right behind Christoph Waltz
and the (absolute and obvious winner) Kenneth Mars.
Then I guess The Day After technically counts as being set in a war, nuclear or otherwise - whatever it is, the slow gradual buildup to eventual nuclear combat is directed so well that it sends chills down your spine. Hotel Rwanda is worth seeing for Nick Nolte and Don Cheadle alone. I've only heard good things about The Man Who Would Be King, Come And See (Idi I Smotri) and The Thin Red Line so they're on my watchlist (which is increasingly bloated these days) so they're probably good too.
This meandering rant has been quite pointless though considering the best war-themed film of all time is Paths Of Glory.