Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

Starring: Caine, Michael Howard, Trevor Jurgens, Curt Andrews, Harry McShane, Ian More, Kenneth Olivier, Laurence Shaw, Robert Shaw, Robert Howard, Trevor
Director: Hamilton, Guy

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 151 min (original version)

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Amazon.com There's something about this film that's so irresistible, despite its grandiose manipulation. Maybe because it recounts the greatest air battle in history, achieving the greatest aerial battle in film history. Maybe because it has such a terrific cast (Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curt Jurgens, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Patrick, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Robert Shaw, Patrick Wymark, and Edward Fox). Maybe because it's so technically well-made, thanks to the Bond team of producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy Hamilton and the great cinematographer Freddie Young. Or maybe because there is something truly riveting about watching the British kick the Nazis back to Germany. --Bill Desowitz --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Starring: Wilson, Owen Hackman, Gene Malik Whitfield, Charles Keith, David Macht, Gabriel de Almeida, Joaquim Krupa, Olek Mashkov, Vladimir Mashkov, Vladimir Podell, Eyal
Director: Moore, John

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 106 min

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Amazon.com Smart casting and sensible plotting make Behind Enemy Lines an above-average military thriller. Perfectly timed to bolster patriotism, the film is partly set (during a hypothetical "day after tomorrow") on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which was on alert status in the Persian Gulf when this film was released. Proving his versatility as an unconventional movie star, Owen Wilson plays a navy navigator who is shot down over Bosnia during a reconnaissance mission. Pursued by rebel Serbian forces, Wilson must fight for survival while his commanding officer (Gene Hackman) plots a daredevil rescue. After a successful career in TV commercials, Irish director John Moore makes a promising feature debut on Slovakian locations, borrowing a few techniques from Saving Private Ryan while adding impressive flourishes of his own. The gung-ho ending's a foregone conclusion, but it works like a charm after the movie's exciting game of cat and mouse. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Big Red One, The

Big Red One, The

Starring: Marvin, Lee Hamill, Mark Hamill, Mark Carradine, Robert Ward, Kelly Audran, Stéphane Rauch, Siegfried Marquand, Serge Marquand, Serge Doutey, Alain
Director: Fuller, Samuel

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: Color by Metrocolor. Prints by T

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Amazon.com In Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg depicts the D-day landings with a realism lauded by veterans. The Big Red One depicts the D-day landings, too, and it was made by a veteran. Writer-director Samuel Fuller, who served in the First Infantry Division from North Africa to Czechoslovakia (including the Normandy landings), made a career out of swift, punchy B movies, such as Pickup on South Street and The Naked Kiss. The Big Red One became Fuller's nod to A-movie filmmaking, yet it has the solid, matter-of-fact perspective of the ground-level infantryman. The episodic action ranges all over the European theater, as a tough squad of American GIs (including Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine) follow their hard-bitten sergeant (Lee Marvin, at his best) and try to stay alive. Filmed mostly in Israel, the film delivers on the requisite war-movie conventions and tough-guy humor but also introduces notes of poetry. Fuller's D-day doesn't match the pyrotechnics of Spielberg's version, but it creates power from the simple image of a dead soldier's watch, ticking away in blood-soaked surf. A fine and memorable picture, The Big Red One might have been even greater had it been released in Fuller's full-length cut--someday perhaps a restoration will allow the director's vision to be seen for the first time. --Robert Horton

Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down

Starring: Sexton, Brendan Holt, Brian Van Giovinazzo, Carmine Hofheimer, Charlie Bana, Eric Murciano, Enrique Bremner, Ewen McGregor, Ewan McGregor, Ewan Dancy, Hugh
Director: Scott, Ridley

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 144

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On October 3, 1993, Army Rangers and members of the elite Delta Force participated in a covert operation in Mogadishu, Somalia that went horribly wrong. Sent to abduct two lieutenants of a vicious Somali warlord, the soldiers found themselves surrounded by hostile militia. Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and many men lost their lives. Mark Bowden of the Philadelphia Inquirer told the story of the battle in his exhaustively researched, critically acclaimed book, BLACK HAWK DOWN, and filmmaker Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR) and screenwriter Ken Nolan have done an amazing job of bringing the dramatic story to the screen. Like Bowden's book, the film does not thoroughly examine the context of the conflict, but gives a detailed and intense blow-by-blow account of the fighting. The outstanding ensemble cast includes Josh Hartnett as a competent but nervous Ranger sergeant leading his first mission, Ewan McGregor as a "desk jockey" who excels when sent into combat, Eric Bana (THE INCREDIBLE HULK) as a cocky and enigmatic Delta, and Ron Eldard as a downed Black Hawk pilot. The violence of the film is brutal and nearly constant. Scott unflinchingly captures the chaos and mayhem of battle with tremendous visual finesse. Theatrical Release: DECEMBER 28, 2001 (NY/LA) JANUARY 18, 2002 (EXPANDS)

Blue Max, The

Blue Max, The

Starring: Peppard, George Mason, James Schell, Carl Newark, Derek Nesbitt, Derren Towb, Harry Mason, James Kemp, Jeremy Kemp, Jeremy Woodthorpe, Peter
Director: Guillermin, John

Rating: Unrated
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min (FMC Library Print)

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Amazon.com The Blue Max is highly unusual among Hollywood films, not just for being a large-scale drama set during the generally overlooked World War I, but in concentrating on air combat as seen entirely from the German point of view. The story focuses on a lower-class officer, Bruno Stachel (George Peppard), and his obsessive quest to win a Blue Max, a medal awarded for shooting down 20 enemy aircraft. Around this are subplots concerning a propaganda campaign by James Mason's pragmatic general, rivalry with a fellow officer (Jeremy Kemp), and a love affair with a decadent countess (Ursula Andress). As directed by John Guillermin (who later made The Battle of Britain in 1969), the film's main assets are epic production values, great flying scenes, and stunning dogfights. The weak point is the sometimes ponderous character drama, not helped by Peppard, who is too lightweight an actor to convince as the driven antihero. Clearly influenced by Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1958), The Blue Max is a cold, cynical drama offering a visually breathtaking portrait of a stultified society tearing itself apart during the final months of the Great War. --Gary S. Dalkin

Bridge Too Far, A

Bridge Too Far, A

Starring: Caine, Michael Connery, Sean Fox, Edward Gould, Elliott Hackman, Gene Caan, James Olivier, Laurence Caine, Michael Caine, Michael O'Neal, Ryan
Director: Attenborough, Richard

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 176 min

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Amazon.com essential video This massive 1977 adaptation by director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) of Cornelius Ryan's novel features an all-star cast in an epic rendering of a daring but ultimately disastrous raid behind enemy lines in Holland during the Second World War. A lengthy and exhaustive look at the mechanics of warfare and the price and futility of war, the film is almost too large for its aims but manages to be both picaresque and affecting, particularly in the performance of James Caan. The impressive cast includes Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery, and Liv Ullmann among others. While not a classic war film, it nevertheless manages to be a consistently interesting and exciting adventure. --Robert Lane --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Eagle Has Landed, The

Eagle Has Landed, The

Starring: Caine, Michael Sutherland, Donald Duvall, Robert Quayle, Anthony Pleasence, Donald Marsh, Jean Agutter, Jenny Standing, John Standing, John Hagman, Larry
Director: Sturges, John

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.8/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 123 min / USA:131 min (DVD vers

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Amazon.com This 1976 adventure story set in World War II concerns a Nazi plot to kidnap Churchill from his retreat--or murder him if need be. The large, great cast and a director, John Sturges, who's been down this road of ensemble action before (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape) make this project exciting if not as memorable as Sturges's more famous works. The weak ending doesn't help. -- Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket

Starring: Modine, Matthew D'Onofrio, Vincent Baldwin, Adam Howard, Arliss Harewood, Dorian O'Ross, Ed Major Howard, Kevyn D'Onofrio, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vincent Jecchinis, Kieron
Director: Kubrick, Stanley

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 8.1/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

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Amazon.com essential video Stanley Kubrick's 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the '80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of the Vietnam War as Platoon and The Deer Hunter. Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London), Full Metal Jacket comes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best. Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future's role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way, Full Metal Jacket is the wholly grim counterpart of 2001. While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death), Full Metal Jacket is a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s' hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence. Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D'Onofrio). Matthew Modine gives a smart and savvy performance as Private Joker, the clowning, military journalist who yearns to get away from the propaganda machine and know firsthand the horrific revelation of the front line. In Full Metal Jacket, depravity and fulfillment go hand in hand, and it's no wonder Kubrick kept his steely distance from the material to make the point. --Tom Keogh DVD features EDITOR'S NOTE: According to a Warner Home Video technician involved in the production of The Stanley Kubrick Collection, Kubrick authorized all aspects of the Collection, from the use of Digital Component Video (or "D-1") masters originally approved in 1989, to the use of minimalist screen menus, chapter stops, and (in the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining on DVD) supplementary materials. Full-screen presentation of The Shining and Full Metal Jacket was also approved by Kubrick, who... read more

Hamburger Hill

Hamburger Hill

Starring: Barrile, Anthony Boatman, Michael O'Shea, Daniel Swerdlow, Tommy James, Don McDermott, Dylan Nickles, Michael A. O'Reilly, Harry O'Reilly, Harry Quill, Timothy Patrick
Director: Irvin, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 112 min

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Amazon.com Because it was released less than a year after Oliver Stone's Platoon and within months of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, this exceptionally well-made film about one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War was largely overshadowed and overlooked. It's a pity, because in some respects this is the best of the Vietnam films of the late 1980s, at least in terms of the everyday authenticity it depicts. Stripped clean of dramatically extraneous narrative, the movie opts instead for a straightforward approach to its day-by-day account of one of the war's costliest victories--a deadly siege on Hill 937 in the Ashau Valley, where soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division engaged the enemy over the course of eleven brutal assaults between May 10th and 20th, 1969. The film specifically follows the 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, a mixture of "new guys" and battle-weary "short-timers" who fought against terrifying odds and suffered a 70% casualty rate. From first scene to last, Hamburger Hill traces the rise and fall of their battle experience, from the horror of firefights to the camaraderie of men who've faced death and survived. Racial tensions flare and subside, trusts are established, and courage emerges from unexpected places. Through it all, writer Jim Carabatsos and director John Irvin maintain a purity of focus that pays tribute to the soldier's life without promoting false patriotism or gung-ho theatrics. In addition, the film features a cast full of talented and well-known actors in the early stages of their careers, including Dylan McDermott (from the TV series "The Practice") and Don Cheadle, before gaining fame in Devil in a Blue Dress and Boogie Nights. Color accuracy, image clarity, and the explosive soundtrack have been remarkably preserved in a flawless DVD transfer, lending even greater immediacy to this underrated film. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Hart's War

Hart's War

Starring: Willis, Bruce Farrell, Colin Hauser, Cole Brandis, Jonathan Roache, Linus Iures, Marcel Landes, Michael Weston, Michael Weston, Michael Worthington, Sam
Director: Hoblit, Gregory

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 125 min

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Amazon.com Anyone who appreciates subtle tension will enjoy this World War II prison-camp drama, based on John Katzenbach's novel, in which honor, courage, and sacrifice are revealed in unexpected ways. Bruce Willis plays the ranking U.S. prisoner in a Nazi POW camp, joined in December 1944 by a law-student lieutenant (up-and-coming star Colin Farrell) who'd been captured despite his father's powerful military connections. When a black pilot (Terrence Dashon Howard) from the famous Tuskeegee airmen is falsely accused of murdering a fellow prisoner, Farrell tries his case and discovers the real motivation behind Willis's kangaroo court. While combining elements of Stalag 17 and The Great Escape, director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, Frequency) spices this moral dilemma with well-crafted suspense and a rousing dogfight sequence, but the human drama remains muted despite fine, understated performances by Willis, Farrell, and Howard. An escape thriller with an ethical twist, Hart's War works best as a study of heroism under extraordinary circumstances. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Hunt For Red October, The

Hunt For Red October, The

Starring: Baldwin, Alec Glenn, Scott Connery, Sean Jones, James Earl Carhart, Timothy Neill, Sam Curry, Tim Ackland, Joss Ackland, Joss Vance, Courtney B.
Director: McTiernan, John

Rating: PG (MPAA)
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 135

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In the tradition of DIE HARD and PREDATOR, Director John McTiernan presents audiences with yet another techno thriller: THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. Sean Connery plays Captain Marko Ramius, a dissatisfied Russian commander who navigates his submarine towards America in an attempt to defect. Soviet intelligence claims that Ramius is a warmonger and that he plans to launch nuclear missiles at the United States. Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), an iconoclastic CIA agent, believes otherwise: American spies have determined that the submarine is powered by a stealth engine. In order to save the "caterpillar drive" and avoid a nuclear incident, Agent Ryan must board the Red October and assist Captain Ramius in its navigation to U.S. waters. Both murky and captivating, the underwater visual and sound effects are reminiscent of DAS BOOT. Once again Director McTiernan produces a winning film with a jagged plot, a well acted script, and plenty of explosions. The role of Captain Marko Ramius was originally to have been played by Klaus Maria Brandauer. Shot in Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Alaska; Puget Sound in Washington State; Leningrad and Moscow, Russia. Color by Technicolor. Began shooting April 3, 1989. Released in USA March 2, 1990. Approximate budget $30 million, of which Sean Connery reportedly received $4 million. Tom Clancy received $600,000 for the rights to his novel. Among the writers who reportedly worked on the script were Robert Garland, David Shaber, and John Milius. Followed by a sequel, "Patriot Games" (1992), starring Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan. Available to buy in the UK. Rated BBFC PG by the British Board of Film Classification. DVD Features: Region 1 Keep Case - Checkpoint Widescreen Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English DTS - English Dolby Digital Stereo - French Additional Release Material: Audio Commentary - 1. John McTiernan - Director Trailer - 1. Original Theatrical Featurettes - 1. BENEATH THE SURFACE Interactive Features: Interactive Menus Scene Selection

Longest Day, The

Longest Day, The

Starring: Burton, Richard Wayne, John Mitchum, Robert Anka, Paul Buttons, Red Burton, Richard Wagner, Robert Connery, Sean Connery, Sean Buttons, Red
Director: Annakin, Ken

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 180 min

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Amazon.com The Longest Day is Hollywood's definitive D-day movie. More modern accounts such as Saving Private Ryan are more vividly realistic, but producer Darryl F. Zanuck's epic 1962 account is the only one to attempt the daunting task of covering that fateful day from all perspectives. From the German high command and front-line officers to the French Resistance and all the key Allied participants, the screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative book, is as factually accurate as possible. The endless parade of stars (John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, and Richard Burton, to name a few) makes for an uneasy mix of verisimilitude and Hollywood star-power, however, and the film falls a little flat for too much of its three-hour running time. But the set-piece battles are still spectacular, and if the landings on Omaha Beach lack the graphic gore of Private Ryan they nonetheless show the sheer scale and audacity of the invasion. --Mark Walker

McKenzie Break, The

McKenzie Break, The

Starring: Keith, Brian Griem, Helmut de Goguel, Constantine Allan, Eric Griem, Helmut Janson, Horst Hendry, Ian Watson, Jack Watson, Jack O'Connell, Patrick
Director: Johnson, Lamont

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 108 min

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Amazon.com McKenzie is a remote, understaffed POW camp in Scotland, where an assortment of German fliers, U-boat men, and soldiers are being held prisoner. The restive POWs stage a well-orchestrated uprising in which they essentially take over the camp. When word of the prisoners' siege gets back to British military higher-ups, they assign rogue Irish officer Captain Connor (Brian Keith) to get to the bottom of things. The Germans have been receiving orders directly from Berlin that call for 28 of the submariners to escape and return to the Deutschland's U-boat fleet. The Germans are led by SchlÜtter (Helmut Griem), an intelligent, articulate graduate of the Hitler Youth; they have devised an elaborate tunnel and a plot to take them to the Scottish coast, where they will rendezvous with a U-boat to take them back to Germany. The hard-drinking Connor learns of the plan, and stakes his career on letting the Germans escape and tracking them down. Keith is excellent as Connor (though his Irish brogue comes and goes), locked into a three-way battle of wills with the determined SchlÜtter and the stuffy, by-the-book CO of the camp. The movie's pace and suspense swell as Connor's gambit plays out and the Germans make good their escape plans, all set against the breathtaking scenery of rural Scotland. With intelligent, believable characters and tough direction, this is a sorely neglected World War II POW drama that compares well with better-known films such as Stalag 17 and The Great Escape. --Jerry Renshaw

Midway (Collector's Edition)

Midway (Collector's Edition)

Starring: Heston, Charlton Fonda, Henry Albert, Edward Ford, Glenn Holbrook, Hal Coburn, James Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Robert Wagner, Robert Wagner, Robert
Director: Smight, Jack

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.4/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 132 min

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Amazon.com Six months after the Japanese destroyed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans discovered the Japanese were planning to seize the Naval base at Midway Island--a perfect staging point for invading Hawaii or the mainland. Outnumbered four to one, the Americans won a surprise victory and shattered the backbone of the Japanese Imperial Navy. This 1976 film feels more like a history lesson than a drama, but World War II buffs will appreciate the attention to historical fact (especially the way in which fate and a few bad decisions turned the tide), as well as the generous use of actual battle footage. The all-star cast includes Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Cliff Robertson in cameos and a whole slew of familiar TV faces in supporting roles. Hal Holbrook is fun as an oddball intelligence officer. --Geof Miller --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Starring: Affleck, Ben Beckinsale, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Baldwin, Alec Bryniarski, Andrew Kellner, Catherine Gooding Jr., Cuba Aykroyd, Dan Aykroyd, Dan King, Jamie
Director: Bay, Michael

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 5.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 184 min (director's cut)

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Amazon.com To call Pearl Harbor a throwback to old-time war movies is something of an understatement. Director Michael Bay's epic take on the bombing that brought the United States into World War II hijacks every war movie situation and cliché (some affectionate, some stale) you've ever seen and gives them a shiny, glossy spin until the whole movie practically gleams. Planes glisten, water sparkles, trees beckon--and Bay's re-creation of the bombing itself, a 30-minute sequence that's tightly choreographed and amazingly photographed, sets the action movie bar up quite a few notches. And in updating the classic war film, Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) use that old plot standby, the love triangle--this time, it's between two pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who find themselves stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during what they thought would be a nice, sunny tour of duty. Then, of course, history intervened. For the first 90 minutes of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale find a nice, appealing chemistry that plays on his strengths as a movie star and hers as a serious actress--he gives her glamour, she gives him smarts. Their truncated romance--the beginning of which is told in flashback so we can get right to the point where he has to leave her to go to England--works, thanks to their charm. They're no Kate and Leo from Titanic (a strategy the film strives hard toward), but they're pretty darn adorable in their own right. Hartnett, as the not entirely unwelcome third wheel, squints bravely but makes only a slight dent in the film. Everyone else in Pearl Harbor--from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brave navy seaman to Jon Voight's able impersonation of FDR--is pretty much a glorified walk-on, taking a backseat to the pyrotechnics and action sequences that keep the three-hour film in fairly constant motion. But when that action does take hold, Pearl Harbor is quite a thrilling ride. --Mark Englehart

Platoon

Platoon

Starring: Berenger, Tom Dafoe, Willem Sheen, Charlie Whitaker, Forest Quinn, Francesco McGinley, John C. Edson, Richard Dillon, Kevin Dillon, Kevin David, Keith
Director: Stone, Oliver

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 8.0/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 120 min

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Amazon.com essential video Platoon put writer-turned-director Oliver Stone on the Hollywood map; it is still his most acclaimed and effective film, probably because it is based on Stone's firsthand experience as an American soldier in Vietnam. Chris (Charlie Sheen) is an infantryman whose loyalty is tested by two superior officers: Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), a former hippie humanist who really cares about his men (this was a few years before he played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ), and Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), a moody, macho soldier who may have gone over to the dark side. The personalities of the two sergeants correspond to their combat drugs of choice--pot for Elias and booze for Barnes. Stone has become known for his sledgehammer visual style, but in this film it seems perfectly appropriate. His violent and disorienting images have a terrifying immediacy, a you-are-there quality that gives you a sense of how things may have felt to an infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam. Platoon won Oscars for best picture and director. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Raid on Rommel

Raid on Rommel

Starring: Burton, Richard Colicos, John De Metz, Danielle Colicos, John Preiss, Wolfgang Alberty, Karl-Otto Cary, Christopher Orchard, John Orchard, John Mullavy, Greg
Director: Hathaway, Henry

Rating: PG
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 4.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 99 min

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Posing as a Nazi officer, an American infiltrates the heavily armed ranks of General Rommel as part of a desperate plan to destroy the heavy German artillery at Tobruk.

Run Silent, Run Deep

Run Silent, Run Deep

Starring: Gable, Clark Lancaster, Burt Dexter, Brad Rickles, Don Warden, Jack LaRoche, Mary Cravat, Nick Bond, Rudy Bond, Rudy Bond, Rudy
Director: Wise, Robert

Rating: NR
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 88 min

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Amazon.com A movie's lasting value can often be measured by its influence in the years and decades following its original release, and on that basis Run Silent, Run Deep is certainly a classic of sorts. It remains one of the seminal World War II submarine pictures, and its intelligent script and tautly executed action are clearly echoed in such later submarine dramas as Das Boot and especially Crimson Tide, which borrows liberally from this 1958 film. In one of his best and final roles (he appeared in only four films after this), Clark Gable plays a submarine captain without a command, having been saddled with a desk job after his previous ship was destroyed due to his overzealous pursuit of the enemy in dangerous Japanese waters. He finally gets another boat--this time with a vigilant first officer (Burt Lancaster), who stands poised to assume command if Gable puts his crew in unnecessary danger. The tension and mutual respect between these two principled men is superbly written and directed (Robert Wise was just two years away from his triumph with West Side Story), and the crucial inclusion of a strong supporting cast (including Jack Warden and Don Rickles) enhances the movie's compelling authenticity. Based on a novel by former submarine commander Edward L. Beach, Run Silent, Run Deep is rousing entertainment with the added benefit of paying honorable tribute to the men who navigated through the most frightening and claustrophobic channels of the Pacific theater. --Jeff Shannon

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Starring: Balsam, Martin Robards, Jason Robards, Jason Balsam, Martin Yamamura, Sō Tono, Eijirō Cotten, Joseph Senda, Koreya Senda, Koreya Tamura, Takahiro
Director: Fleischer, Richard

Rating: G
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 144 min

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Amazon.com "Sir, there's a large formation of planes coming in from the north, 140 miles, 3 degrees east." "Yeah? Don't worry about it." This is just one of the many mishaps chronicled in Tora! Tora! Tora! The epic film shows the bombing of Pearl Harbor from both sides in the historic first American-Japanese coproduction: American director Richard Fleischer oversaw the complicated production (the Japanese sequences were directed by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, after Akira Kurosawa withdrew from the film), wrestling a sprawling story with dozens of characters into a manageable, fairly easy-to-follow film. The first half maps out the collapse of diplomacy between the nations and the military blunders that left naval and air forces sitting ducks for the impending attack, while the second half is an amazing re-creation of the devastating battle. While Tora! Tora! Tora! lacks the strong central characters that anchor the best war movies, the real star of the film is the climactic 30-minute battle, a massive feat of cinematic engineering that expertly conveys the surprise, the chaos, and the immense destruction of the only attack by a foreign power on American soil since the Revolutionary War. The special effects won a well-deserved Oscar, but the film was shut out of every other category by, ironically, the other epic war picture of the year, Patton. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

U-571 - Collector's Edition

U-571 - Collector's Edition

Starring: McConaughey, Matthew Paxton, Bill Keitel, Harvey Jovi, Jon Bon Keith, David Kretschmann, Thomas Weber, Jake Noseworthy, Jack Noseworthy, Jack Estes, Will
Director: Mostow, Jonathan

Rating: PG-13
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 116 min

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Amazon.com Taut and gripping, U-571 follows the exploits of a fictional team of World War II U.S. submariners who undertake a secret mission to capture a German Enigma machine to decode German documents. Writer-director Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown) tells an intense, economical tale, reminiscent of the best classic war films, while infusing it with modern sentiments. Spring 1942: A crew of young submarine sailors are on a much-needed 48-hour liberty when they're suddenly called together and engaged in an expedition. At the helm are Lieutenant Commander Mike Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), Lieutenant Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey), and Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel). Other pivotal crew members include Tyler's Annapolis pal Lieutenant Pete Emmett (Jon Bon Jovi, proving his acting mettle) and Lieutenant Hirsch (Jake Weber), who, along with Marine Major Coonan (David Keith), organizes the mission. As much of the movie takes place in a submarine during WWII, there are inevitable comparisons with the technical masterpiece Das Boot, but Mostow's masterfully shot tale can hold its own. McConaughey's Tyler is believably earnest as he comes to grips with the reality, tragedy, and consequence of being in command. While this explosion-filled film consistently maintains its tense pace (as did the underrated Breakdown), it also presents with surprising restraint a genuine human story--and the remarkable journey of an unexpected hero. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

We Were Soldiers

We Were Soldiers

Starring: Gibson, Mel Pepper, Barry Klein, Chris Kinnear, Greg Russell, Keri Stowe, Madeleine Elliott, Sam Duong, Don Duong, Don Bagnell, Robert
Director: Wallace, Randall

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.2/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 140 min / Germany:126 min (cut)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Based on the book by Lt. Col. Harold Moore (ret.) and journalist Joseph Galloway, We Were Soldiers offers a dignified reminder that the Vietnam War yielded its own crop of American heroes. Departing from Hollywood's typically cynical treatment of the war, writer-director Randall Wallace focuses on the first engagement of American soldiers with the North Vietnamese enemy in November 1965. Moore (played with colorful nuance by Mel Gibson) and nearly 400 inexperienced troopers from the U.S. Air Cavalry were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army soldiers, and the film re-creates this brutal firefight with graphic authenticity, while telling the parallel story of grieving army wives back home. While UPI reporter Galloway (Barry Pepper) risks his life to chronicle the battle, Wallace offers a balanced (though somewhat fictionalized) perspective while eliciting laudable performances from an excellent cast. Like the best World War II dramas of the 1940s, We Were Soldiers pays tribute to brave men while avoiding the pitfalls of propaganda. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

When Trumpets Fade

When Trumpets Fade

Starring: Whaley, Frank Eldard, Ron Yoakam, Dwight Donovan, Jeffrey Donovan, Martin Futterman, Dan Petrarca, Steven Yoakam, Dwight Yoakam, Dwight Olyphant, Timothy
Director: Irvin, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 7.5/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 95 min

Color Dolby

Amazon.com First broadcast on HBO in June of 1998--shortly before the theatrical release of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan--this World War II drama offers an equally intimate and devastating study of combat and its tragic aftermath. Set in Germany during the closing days of the war, the film uses a little-known episode of U.S. military history--the bloody battle of the Hurtigen Forest--as the backdrop for the story of a battle-weary private (Ron Eldard) who is the only surviving member of his platoon. Despite his request for dismissal on the grounds of mental disability and shell-shock, he is considered a promising soldier by his superiors, promoted to sergeant, and assigned to command a fresh platoon of young, inexperienced soldiers. The cycle of war continues, and the film ends as it began--with one soldier carrying a mortally wounded comrade from a scene of devastating loss. A veteran of several war films, director John Irvin emphasizes the gritty, physically exhausting realities of combat with keen attention to detail on location in Hungary. This film is decidedly downbeat (don't look for any Spielbergian uplift here), but its depiction of warfare is undeniably powerful, earning praise for Irvin and HBO for tackling such an uncompromising project. --Jeff Shannon

Windtalkers

Windtalkers

Starring: Cage, Nicolas Beach, Adam Stormare, Peter Emmerich, Noah Ruffalo, Mark Holt, Brian Van Henderson, Martin Willie, Roger Willie, Roger Slater, Christian
Director: Woo, John

Rating: R
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 5.9/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 153 min (director's cut)

Color Dolby

Amazon.com Having earned Hollywood's respect with blockbusters like Face/Off and Mission: Impossible 2, Hong Kong action master John Woo lends his signature style to serious World War II action in Windtalkers. Recognizing the long-forgotten contribution of Navajo "code talkers," whose use of an unbreakable Navajo-language radio code was instrumental in defeating the Japanese, the film serves as an admirable tribute to those Native American heroes. Unfortunately, it falls short of importance with its standard-issue story about a battle-scarred sergeant (Nicolas Cage) assigned to protect a code-talker (Adam Beach, from Smoke Signals), with unspoken orders to kill him if Japanese capture is imminent. This allows for an involving drama of hard-won friendship, but cardboard supporting characters suffer in the shadow of nonstop action that's as repetitious as it is technically impressive. Windtalkers is best appreciated as a more substantial vehicle for Woo's trademark ballet of bullets. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the Theatrical Release edition.

Wing and a Prayer

Wing and a Prayer

Starring: Don Ameche Dana Andrews
Director: Henry Hathaway

Rating: NR
Category: Action & Adventure : General
User Rating: 6.6/10 (IMDB)
Running Time: 98 minutes

Black & White Dolby Digital

An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their individual worries and concerns, but become increasingly frustrated at their avoidance of combat, for reasons unknown to them. But in the end, all get their chance to fight.