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Gunner Palace DVD (2005)

Devon Dixon , Terry Taylor (VII) , Michael Tucker (III) , Petra Epperlein  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Devon Dixon, Terry Taylor (VII), Bryant Davis, Richmond Shaw, Nick Moncrief
  • Directors: Michael Tucker (III), Petra Epperlein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE) / Palm Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00096S45I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,132 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunner Palace DVD" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Three "Gunner Freestyle" audio rap tracks
  • Weblinks

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Genre: Education/General Interest, War, Documentary, Theatrical Release, Soldiers, Military (Usa), Weapons, Saddam Hussein Director: Mike Tucker Description: In this striking documentary shot in 2003, early on in the US-led war on Iraq, a group of American soldiers in Baghdad who have taken over a bombed-out palace that belonged to Uday Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein, offer the camera a view on their world. While they party poolside for most of the day and lead raids on homes of suspected bomb-builders most nights, they also have a lot to say about the war and their situation. Rapping to each other or to the camera, they use rhyme to speak their minds about various aspects of the war, their day-to-day duties, and life in Iraq. Their youth and immaturity is striking, as is the war itself and the nebulous reasons that they are stationed there. While the primary purpose of GUNNER PALACE is to give the perspective of the soldiers, secondarily viewers get a glimpse of Iraqi civilians and how they react to the US military presence--some are terrified, others are skeptical, still others are compliant and grateful if not totally sure why. However, giving voice to the soldiers remains the film's major theme, and for this reason, filmmakers Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein appealed the original R-rating given to the film by the MPAA, and won. With a PG-13 rating, filmmakers explained, teenagers considering military careers can watch the film and benefit from seeing soldiers in combat and hearing them talk about what it's like. Release Notes: DVD Features: Region (unknown) Audio: Stereo 2.0 Surround Sound 5.1 Additional Release Material: Deleted Scenes U.S. Theatrical Trailer DVD Rom Features: Weblinks

Gunner Palace may well prove to be the emblematic film of the Iraq war, offering a yet-to-be rivaled level of intimacy with the inner lives of those who hate war more than anyone--the soldiers who have to fight it. A war documentary seemingly without an agenda, at least in political terms, it appears to neither support left-wing nor right-wing interpretations of the Iraq war (or perhaps it supports both). Director Michael Tucker provides a ground-level view of the conflict by closely following members of the 2/3 Field Artillery. He lived with these soldiers, documented their daily lives in a bombed-out former pleasure palace once belonging to Uday Hussein, accompanied them on raids, and recorded their brutally honest observations on film. We learn that mortar attacks typically fail to rattle the troops, but that paper bags or packages in the streets that may contain Improvised Explosive Devices evoke gut-churning anxiety. We see Iraqi civilians whose homes are raided, cowering with fear as these members of the occupation search for contraband weapons. We meet soldiers who express profound doubts about the morality of their mission, soldiers who earnestly hope they’re helping the people of Iraq, soldiers who roll on the ground with laughter at the ineffective armor they've been provided for their Humvees. Most of these men (and occasionally women) hail from small towns and vacillate between exaltation for the adventure they're experiencing on the world stage and deep confusion and disillusionment at how it's proceeding. At one point in the documentary, Tucker returns to his home in the states; some footage of him making breakfast in his kitchen is shocking when one considers that only twelve hours previous he was in a war zone. Gunner Palace recapitulates this dissonant sensation by virtue of its candor and proximity to the conflict. In the 1970s the major broadcast media brought Vietnam into our living rooms via the nightly news. Gunner Palace, practically by itself, provides the same service today. --Ryan Boudinot

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Roger Ebert June 9, 2005
I may be somewhat biased in my review, having a husband in Iraq. I know that I saw the trailers and looked so forward to it, I marked it on my calendar. My friend and I, who both have husbands in Iraq, were curious to see the day to day happenings.

The things they don't feel the need to discuss with us, because to them it isn't news. I figured if my husband won't tell me I might find it in this movie.

I am sure I caught a glimpse of the macabre humor that he and I have always shared. If you joke about it enough you can get through it. If you are looking for Platoon, this is not the film for you. If you are looking for uncomfortable reality, this is it. This isn't Hollywood, and that was my favorite thing about it. There is no message, there is no happy ending. Tom Hanks doesn't die in the end or walk off into the sunset. It doesn't really end. It goes on still. There is no neat and tidy tie up at the end when all the subplots come together.This is Life. This is reality for countless men and women. This is not eating bugs or jumping a car off a ramp, this is the real Fear Factor. See how they deal with it. See the look in their eyes.

I loved every minute of it. I loved it's humor and it's stark reality. Mostly I loved Wilf.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget about our troops...see this movie April 20, 2005
I have seen Gunner Palace and must admit that prior to seeing this movie I had not given much thought to the war in Iraq.

When I saw Gunner Palace, I tried to view the movie as a major Hollywood production and maintain distance from the "actors". Somewhere in the middle of the movie, I realized that the director, Michael Tucker, was holding the camera, riding with the troops and putting his own life at risk to show people like me, safe in the US, safe in our jobs what our employees and neighbors were experiencing in Iraq.

When the director shared with us the death of Ben Colgan, this hit home and I was jolted back to the reality that these young men and women are not actors. I appreciate that Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein had the courage to show us the reality of this war. Gunner Palace gives us permission to talk about our own fears and axieties about this war without being told what to think. Our soldiers deserve our support as I am sure they would support people viewing and buying this movie.

Congratulations to the Directors (Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein) for having the courage to create this movie.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gunner palace September 1, 2005
i dont wont to come across has some sort of hot shot, but i have a real problem with the other soldiers giving there critizism about this movie when they weren't stationed with us. being stationed with 2/3 i feel the director did an excellent job of portraying the way we lived and operated. If you werent in my unit how can you come on to these websites and downplay our job? your pride is not at stake so stop making us come accross like idiots. we did our job and this movie captures what we did with no political agenda. he gave us a chance to share our feelings about the whole situation. please respect that, and any other soldier who spent his time deployed overseas and shares his feelings about it.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was there May 10, 2005
look i was there i was a Gunner I was in Alpha Brty 2/3 FA and i can tell ya they had to take some thing that happened while they were filming out so it could be put onto the big screen this movie is as real as it gets.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I have seen Gunner Palace twice. Each time a different experience. It's a stunning film, you really feel the grit and heat of the sand. You feel the tension of a war that fights an unseen enemy. As the troops go from house to house in the dead of night looking for insurgents, you feel the tension the fear. I wonder how scared the women and children must be? How would I feel standing in my jammies looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at me, with men yelling at me in a strange language? How scared would I be if I were a soldier riding in an open truck? What the terror must feel like day to day, not knowing if today is your last day alive, away from your loved ones. The sad result of war is a lot of damaged human beings on both sides of it. This is not a film made by a big corporate film company. This is one guy who cared enough about what is really going on in Iraq to risk his life and show us. To show us the dirt, the grit, the boredom and the non hollywood version of this kind of war. War is not pretty, not romantic and certainly not fun! Through his lens we get to walk a mile in the shoes of our young women and men risking their lives every day in Irag. Buy this DVD and keep independant film makers like Tucker and Epperlein making films that make us think...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gunner Palace- worth it! June 28, 2005
By Tim
This a war movie unlike any other. It is a documentary that follows the lives of American soldiers living in Gunner Palace and dealing with day to day life while at war. Unlike other war documentaries Gunner Palace takes a very neutral approach at telling the story. This is a breath of fresh air in this genre. It is very interesting to see soldiers' take on the war and their experiences. A brilliant film!
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60 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much less than it could have been.... July 26, 2005
On the one hand, I really WANTED to like this movie... the news media has done a remarkably poor job of covering this story and of letting the American people know what's going on in Iraq, so I was really jazzed that someone actually went to Iraq and filmed what's going on.


As a documentary, this is pretty lame stuff. In an effort to remain politically neutral (at least, I'm guessing that's the reason...) the director refrains from saying anything at all, or from letting the soldiers say anything at all, that has any real bearing on the situation they're in. There's no context, in other words. There's no discussion of why they're in Iraq, if they're succeeding in their goals or not, what they suppose those goals to be, how they feel about being there, etc. Instead, we get a lot of footage of soldiers jumping into the swimming pool, goofing around in their off-hours, and doing raps. Lots and lots of raps.

I'm guessing that the director is really interested in rapping. Either that, or the soldiers in Iraq really spend half their waking hours rapping to one another. Seems unlikely...

Beyond that, the chronology of the movie is confusing. About 2/3 through the film, the director leaves Iraq, with the expected cliches about "I had mixed feelings about leaving... for me, home was only 10 hours away. For these guys, though, the war would continue." and so on... he goes home... we see footage of his kitchen as he makes some tea (?), footage of his daughter holding a sparkler (???), and he dramatically reads aloud an email about one of the soldiers being killed shortly after he left Iraq.

So, you'd think that would be the end of the movie.

But, no. Instead, it goes on from there. So, my question is, if he's gone home...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great dvd
I found this dvd to be very informative and educational. I would highly recommend this to anybody that likes this kind of movie
Published 23 days ago by scott davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Long weird commercial for the war?
Watch out for this one, it was actually made in 2004, during the re-election, and it plays like a very manipulative commercial for the war and for staying the course in Iraq. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Budas Root
3.0 out of 5 stars Times have changed
It was hard watching this after serving in that same sector and running missions out of that same damn palace. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ruben
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done
great movie over all. well done documentary. Liked the documentary, but could have had more historical references/ experts in my opinion.
Published 13 months ago by Elizabeth Jost
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had bought it sooner
I served with the same Brigade as the Gunners and saw a lot of old friendly faces Hello Gunners from a Provider
Published 18 months ago by Jeff Herdebu
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary
The documentary was a pretty good view on how things are in Iraq. This was my dads unit so it hit home a little more than usual. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Michelle Patterson
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the 4 star average reviews indicate.
I found it a waste of money. It tries to be like a modern day "Apocalypse Now" and it falls way short. The narration needs to be louder for starters. Read more
Published on January 4, 2012 by Otto
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti-war documentary
It's valuable to "experience" the war via video like this.
However it's apparent that the final goal of the filmmakers is against America's efforts in Iraq and not responsible... Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by Rextrent
5.0 out of 5 stars Best report on this subject
I believe it is to my own knowledge that GUNNER PALACE is the best report on the subject with LIMA COMPANY.
Published on October 12, 2009 by Xavier Buaillon
4.0 out of 5 stars Hours of Boredom
War has been described as "hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror" but nothing much happens in this documentary. Read more
Published on January 5, 2008 by Robert Carlberg
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