on November 22, 2010
I saw this at the Rehoboth Beach film festival this year and it was really very well done. It took a serious, timely topic - that of getting discharged under the DADT policy - and gave it a face. Both women were superb and the supporting staff was quite good as well.
on February 22, 2011
"A Marine Story" was one of my favorite feature films at the Beaufort International Film Festival last week. The story line about Alexandra, a Marine who is nearing retirement age, gives the audience a view of a strong, determined and brave woman who also has some personal issues. Still, she agrees to help a resistant, troubled young woman from her hometown buck up and straighten out by training her as though she's already in boot camp.
Alexandra puts aside her own personal and professional issues to mentor someone else, giving her an opportunity to get her life on the right track. In the meantime, Alexandra is trying to do the same, but without much support from anyone else. Her struggles are her own to bear, but she's a Marine. She knows what to do.
The ending was satisfying and timely. You care about Alexandra and her future, wanting a happy ending for her. The film delivers.
on May 22, 2011
A woman is discharged from the Marines for being a lesbian right before retirement. She returns to her small home town where she quickly loses herself in a bottle of tequila. She tries to keep her reason for discharge a secret while battling old demons, courting an old lover, battling small minds, and meth heads...all the while attempting to help a troubled teen girl.
Brief behind shower nudity, women kissing, occasional f-bomb. Good acting, although for a straight male the drama and action is difficult to relate to.
on November 28, 2011
I really liked this movie. So far, the only bad things I've read in these reviews had to do with the gay theme or the storyline itself. If you don't like gay people or if you read the summary of the movie and don't find it interesting...don't watch it.
For not being a lesbian herself, Dreya Weber does a wonderful job at making the experience come to life. In this movie, her character was drummed out of the military on suspicion of being gay. So, for the first time in her life, she is learning how to live honestly with who and what she is. One way she comes to terms with herself is by training a troubled and lost teenager who has been court ordered to do jail time or join the military. The teenager is straight, so this isn't a romance. Though there is a lot of chemistry between these two actors. The town she comes back to is one that is in trouble. Being a female ex-marine, she is pulled into some fights that she would rather not be a part of. For anyone who has dealt with coming out or knows someone who has, this story will hit home. It was beautifully told, if a bit slow in the telling. Personally, I like slow movies that require you to sit back and soak it all up. This is more a character movie than an action flick, though the fight scenes are very good. It's fun to watch a strong woman kick a jerk's butt. Again, I stress that this is not a romance. It's difficult for our American minds to come to terms with this as we are used to romance being involved in everything. She does find love, of course, but it is a very small part of the movie. And the point of involving the other woman seems to be more about showing how difficult it can be for these soldiers who have lived in fear of being found out for so long to free themselves. The real story here is about the pain that Don't Ask Don't Tell and the narrow-minded views of homophobic people have caused in this country. However, it is not preachy. It's real.
on January 29, 2012
I found this movie while surfing around the free selections in Amazon Prime. I recognized Dreya Weber from her appearance in the P90X DVDs, and I wasn't expecting much from her as an actress--you know, here we go with a female Jean Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren. Man, was I wrong! Weber carried off this role with intelligence, sensitivity, compassion and (of course!) an amazing physical presence. The story line is interesting and well crafted; the cinematography is California Inland Empire beautiful; and I especially liked Weber's rendition of the closing song. The supporting cast was outstanding as well. Some people may find the theme of don't ask don't tell in the military, and homosexuality in general offputting. Well, folks, that's real life, and it's time to get used to it. I have my own questions about the topic as well, but this movie proves yet again that there are no easy answers, either for the gays or the straights. Come to this film with an open mind and you will be richly rewarded.
on May 7, 2011
At first glance, I thought the movie was about a woman Marine. I thought "How cool!" since I'm a female vet. Watching the story unfold in this movie, I was awe-struck at how well this was done. This is a really great, great story. And probably as real as it gets! I am impressed at the actors. The military scenes had me do a de ja vue. I hated the military since I was released with "behavior unsuitable for the military", meaning I was lesbian. What was unsuitable was the way I was treated as a human being.
Regardless of my past, this movie is spiracular. A definate MUST SEE.
on February 21, 2011
I saw this film at The Beaufort International Film Festival, where it won Best Feature Film. Acting, directing, and editing were all superb. Very realistic portrayal of the many dilemmas brought to the fore by the DADT policy in the military. A tight, well-crafted work by all involved.
on April 17, 2011
Fantastic storyline. I am not American and not involved in the military, but as a lesbian I can relate to the unjust reality of life under dont ask dont tell. The theme surrounding Dont Ask Dont Tell has been told before on many occassions but this story was new and different. Dealing with life after suddenly being cast outside the military is hard enough without all the other issues of sexuality.
This movie tackled an array of day to day realities within society. Drugs and all the offences and conflicts associated with users and the community. The military and the stigma associated with serving your country. And one womans struggle with all of the issues to breaking point.
I loved the portrayal of Alex. You dont need endless dialogue to convey a strong message. Her body language and decision making processes reflected her strong feelings of dispair, isolation, patriotism loss and anger.
Highly recommended viewing.
on May 7, 2015
I was interested in this movie because of the storyline related to gays in the military and being discharged when being found out. I watched the movie, and I found the subject matter to be treated respectably with no preaching, activism, or anything of the sort to detract from the message. As a gay man, I wasn't sure if I would want to watch what could be perceived as a lesbian drama, but I was surprised to see the lesbian-themes were subtle with no overt sexual overtones or imagery. If anything, I found this to be an interesting parallel to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy defining a central theme of the film.
The majority of the stars of the movie work in the entertainment industry in stunts or behind the scenes work, which explains why they may not be household names. Dreya Webber has a charismatic charm about her that makes you sympathize with her, respect her, and feel her pain with her struggles. The story flows at a natural pace with no real lulls.
I gave a 4-star rating because the scenery is beautiful, the scenes are not overdone, and no one really overacted (except maybe a tad for Paris Pickard, but considering her character is out of control, perhaps she was spot-on). I didn't give 5-stars because a few things that happened were just a little predictable....but entertaining nonetheless.
on December 28, 2011
This was a quietly understated, beautiful movie. Really well written and superbly acted. What the end left you with was that justice would be a good thing if applied equally to all.
I thought the scene in the paint-ball was just terrific. Whoever put that together knows something about how paint-ball relates to real-life shooting.
As someone who is a 16 year immigrant to America, I really liked the imagery of the country. I wish more film makers showed more of this America.
As the movie credits close out, don't turn off, there's a wonderful song...sung by the lead actor, Dreya Weber, with some fine harmonies, and a couple of excellent side men (Craig Richey) playing instruments. It's an old traditional song from 1863, but following on from the movie, it has some real pathos. It is performed beautifully, so don't miss it.
I am so glad I watched this movie, it lifted me and filled me with optimism that film-makers are out there trying to tell great stories, without constant explosions, CGI and all the rest of the noisy fol-de-rol of today.
Watch, you won't be disappointed. This is what cinema is supposed to be about.