Director Neil Burger’s follow-up to his romantically clever The Illusionist, The Lucky Ones, is a wry character study about three American soldiers posted in Iraq. Like his first movie, this small-scale picture is involving. Watching an Army trio’s road trip to Las Vegas—on leave from service in Iraq—is easy.
Admittedly, Jarhead looked awful from the tag line, “Welcome to the Suck,” and this 1990s rehash of a zillion war movie clichés is a plotless nomad in the desert, which is a shame; with 2,000 U.S. military deaths in the Middle East, where the movie takes place, America could use a provocative movie about what it means to fight.
Paramount’s Stop-Loss is overdone but pointed, the type of topical war drama Hollywood used to make for television, (Carol Burnett’s searing 1979 Vietnam War picture, Friendly Fire, comes to mind). Because it’s made by attention-deficit Music Television (MTV), which assumes everyone under 30 has the patience of a puppy, Stop-Loss doesn’t rise to that level of quality.
Packed with star power in a dialog-driven drama about the most urgent issue of our time—the Bush administration’s undeclared, unsuccessful so-called war on terror—Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs roars.
This 2006 article was published at Box Office Mojo.
For those who want to gain knowledge, build a home library and understand the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attack—at present the worst in American history—a few DVDs stand out as relatively consistent. Each contains graphic images, appropriate to the barbaric act of war, key photography of every target in the attack and acknowledgement of the enemy’s philosophy.
Oliver Stone makes the worst attack in American history seem practically humdrum in World Trade Center, his take on the darkest day—so far—in this undeclared war between radical Islam and the West.
United 93, a taut recreation of the September 11, 2001, United Air Lines flight in which passengers counterattacked Islamic suicide hijackers, is powerful as a perceptual-bound experience. Unfortunately, that’s the sum of it; the motion picture, written and directed by Paul Greengrass, achieves nothing else.
This 2005 article was published at Box Office Mojo.
While it is generally assumed that what happened on September 11, 2001, is chronicled and remembered, news broadcasts stopped showing footage of the attack long ago and many anniversary presentations are memorial in nature, with an emphasis on emotional, rather than historical or philosophical, aspects of the worst act of war on the United States of America.
Once again, Steven Spielberg transforms a serious subject—an historic act of Arab terrorism—into a skillfully arranged horror show, trivializing another example of 20th century barbarism. Recalling the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich, West Germany, Olympic Games, in which 11 Israeli athletes were seized and murdered, Munich tracks besieged Israel’s response. It makes for a slow motion wreck.
This 2004 commentary was published in the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.
A turning point in what President Bush has called the War on Terrorism is at hand. How and whether the American military handles enemy confrontations in Iraq during the coming weeks will tell Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors everything they need to know about America’s resolve to defeat them.
This 2004 commentary was published on Capitalism Magazine.
This week marks 25 years of America’s appeasement toward Iran, which began in earnest on November 4, 1979, the day Iran declared war on America. Ayatollah Khomeini’s thugs stormed the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, and held 52 Americans as prisoners for 444 days. Despite a previous attack, the embassy’s U.S. Marines had orders not to shoot.
This 2000 article was published in the Hartford Courant, the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Daily News.
Sandwiched between the worldwide upheaval of World War II and the controversial Vietnam War, the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, is the forgotten war.
This 2000 article was published in the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, Portland Oregonian, San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Daily News. Please note that the author’s father, Lawrence Holleran, fought in the Second Division of the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
The Korean War, 50 years old this June, is sadly deserving of its other name: the forgotten war.