Films About War: Support or Avoid?

Posted by on March 30, 2008 in Film, Politics | 0 comments

We almost went to see Stop-Loss this weekend, but didn’t. We also intended to see the following films in the theater, but will rent them instead:

  • Grace is Gone
  • In the Valley of Elah
  • The Kingdom
  • Lions for Lambs
  • Rendition

None of the movies listed above have done well at the box-office, and people may very well be staying away due to the current political climate and war. I do think that there is something to be said about watching those films in the comfort of your own home. However, my decision to wait and rent is not political; regardless of my voting proclivities or opinion about the war in Iraq, these types of movies simply does not rank high on my list of favorite genres.

We did go see Charlie Wilson’s War, but that was much lighter fare than those above; more of a farce and character-heavy piece, and not a very successful one at that.

When I was younger, my vision of war was formed by films like M*A*S*H and Rambo. And in college, I had to compare Apocalypse Now to Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. Now THAT was quite an assignment…I think I got an A-.

I don’t really have a favorite war movie, but I suppose a contemporary choice would be Three Kings. I would count both of Spielberg’s toward the top (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), as well as The Bridge on the River Kwai. My choices from the 80′s include Born on the 4th of July, Casualties of War and Platoon. On a somewhat cinematically cheesy level, I have to admit that I also loved both The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves. But my true guilty pleasure for this genre is G.I. Jane; don’t judge me…you can’t flip past the one-armed push-up scene either. I’ll take bald badass Demi over psychotic break bald Britney any day.

I digress. And we’re back.

There have been very few films about war which I really disliked; Life is Beautiful and Cold Mountain are two of them.

Do you tend to support/attend movies about war? Which are your favorites?

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