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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Roger Ebert
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...
Published on June 9, 2005 by Geraldine Keys

versus
60 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much less than it could have been....
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.

But...

As a documentary, this is pretty lame stuff. In an effort to remain...
Published on July 26, 2005 by GLBT


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Roger Ebert, June 9, 2005
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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
By 
CJ (Bellingham, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was there, May 10, 2005
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Walk a mile in a young soldiers boots see Gunner Palace., April 20, 2005
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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 "Tim" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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
By 
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
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.

But...

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... who's filming the documentary??? Why is it still going on? Shouldn't the movie have ended with him leaving Iraq???

My final criticism is that we never really get to know any of the soldiers, which should have been one of the main objectives of this documentary. Sure, we get to see them goof around a lot, but again there's no real depth to the thing. I don't know these people. I don't know how they really feel about being in Iraq.

So, what was the point?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart, April 20, 2005
By 
Richard Henry (Bellevue, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
Viewing Gunner Palace was a powerful experience for me. I feel it gave me an understanding of the reality of this war that I haven't gotten from any other source, certainly not from the news. I came away with a deepened appreciation of what is required of our soldiers - we ask much more of them than most realize. Although I oppose the war and the way it was sold to us, I honor those who are willing to sacrifice so much on our behalf. And I honor Michael Tucker's courage and commitment that allowed him to make this film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was with them!, December 17, 2006
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
I had heard of this DVD about six months after returning home from Iraq. I was excited to buy this documentary and even more so when I watched it with my wife. Seeing these guys on film was just like seeing them again in the desert. My Military Police platoon and I worked with these men for about two and a half months (June to mid-August) being their laison for evidence custody and apprehensions. What we all did in terms of rapping, singing and playing guitars was a way for us to keep some sort of normalcy that were were used to having in a country that wanted us there at first and then wanted us out quickly. What you saw on DVD is what happened on a day to day basis. There was no embellishing of the soldiers; no one acted any different in front of the camera. The soldiers of the 2/3 FA are the real deal.

John Castillo

(Formerly) SSG, 812th MP CO
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary- Music an issue??, September 26, 2005
By 
El Jimmy (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gunner Palace DVD (DVD)
Before I get into the review, I just gotta point out that the music in the film has become an issue by other reviewers, that the RAP MUSIC is not appropriate for the film. Did it not occur to the reviewers who had issue to this that the RAP MUSIC is original stuff from soldiers featured in the documentary? (You can see some of them perform it for you on camera. It isn't P-Diddy or Snoop Dogg or Dr. Dre...Its our own US Troops!) I'd say its appropriate enough, wouldn't you? Yes, they curse and use the N word, but i'd say they have the right to say whatever they want, wouldn't you? Or is it that those people don't like RAP MUSIC for whatever reason? (The guitar music heard in the film was also played by one of the troops, SPC Wilf to be exact.)

Anyways, I agree with other reviewers that it could've been better, the film didn't really flow and was somewhat disorganized, that being the fault of the director. But otherwise, we get to see what this particular unit goes through for a couple of months, which is something you don't see on CNN. You get insight on what the soldiers are feeling and going through. They show the interaction with some of the pro-US Iraqis helping catch insurgents. It then resembles a COPS episode when they investigate possible insurgent houses and weapons caches. And I'm glad there was minimal combat seen on the film, as some reviewers were disappointed with. I know its going on over there on a daily basis, but i don't enjoy seeing footage of our troops getting killed.

I especially liked the part when they pointed out the customized armor on one of their Humvees, showing that the soldier that brought up that point to Rumsfeld a while back really wasn't BS like some White House reps have pointed out. This is not a political film, pro-war or anti-war, although some of the soldiers interviewed don't believe in the war. Overall, a very good documentary. And people, don't judge it for its music, especially the RAP MUSIC.
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Gunner Palace DVD
Gunner Palace DVD by Petra Epperlein (DVD - 2005)
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