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on February 26, 2009
I viewed this film at a pre-screening, and I left the theater deeply moved. It's a simple story made into a heartfelt film -- Marine Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl (perfectly played by Kevin Bacon) accompanies the remains of Private First Class Chance Phelps from the mortuary at Dover AFB in Delaware to his home in Wyoming.

The Marine's death in Iraq occurs in the tense first minute of the film, with viewers only hearing the radio chatter and the explosion on a black screen. The screen comes to light with PFC Phelps' remains being sent to the U.S. The care of the remains and the personal effects makes visible and gives dignity to the anonymous work at Dover AFB.

The story takes the viewer into some seldom-seen corners of America -- from airport cargo facilities to the mountain highways of Wyoming -- and shows everywhere the reverence for the fallen. When the escort gives Phelps' watch, dog tags, and wooden cross to his parents, eight days after his death, even men will feel the tears coming. Finally, as LtCol Strobl (who had not yet been to Operation Iraqi Freedom when he accompanied Phelps' remains home) thinks over the experience, there's a meditation on where duty lies for a Marine Corps officer.

Director Ross Katz, Kevin Bacon, and HBO have given us a profound film that grants us a rare look not at America's prosperity, or freedoms, or politics -- but rather America's soul.

-30-
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on March 1, 2009
A deeply moving story and another plus for HBO. To my mind you just don't see too many movies that have this kind of honesty. One that comes to mind was The Straight Story. Taking Chance, though, is a completely different theme dealing with death, respect, honor, patriotism, family and love. Fortunately all of this is handled in a straightforward no-nonsense way and thank goodness it was. Hollywood really doesn't have too much of a reputation for presenting a simple truth without twisting it into something else.

The story unfolds very much like a documentary I thought. Kevin Bacon plays Lt. Col. Michael Strobl as the military escort taking the body of a dead soldier home to be buried. His performance was just right as was everyone else because the story was greater than all the parts combined. Particularly rewarding to watch, while the coffin, covered by the flag, was at airports or on the highway, was the way ordinary people took it upon themselves to pay their respects to someone they didn't know but who had died for his country: for them.

I don't know if this kind of movie is awards material. I think the story, in its simplicity and honesty, puts it way above the hype, razzle-dazzle and celebrity PR nonsense that surround awards. It's just too good to be commercialized in that way. It would be wonderful if its stature was achieved by word-of-mouth alone.

See it and be moved!
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on February 24, 2009
I'm a Marine Mom and I found this movie very moving. It was well made and Kevin Bacon did an excellent job portraying his character. I think it showed the honor our fallen hero's receive and deserve.
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on March 2, 2009
As I sat and watched as my Marine son did 2 tours in Iraq in 2003 - 2005, I wondered about our many KIA's coming home...how would they be treated? Did other Americans even care ? Now everyone knows the sacrifices these young Marines made, and everyone knows how Marines take care of their own. More important, we know that these young men will not be forgotten. Well done, Mr. Bacon, and thank you for sharing the story, LtCol Strobl.
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on February 28, 2009
This movie tugs at your heart strings. It shows what happens to our fallen heros and how they make it back home to be laid to rest. Kevin Bacon plays a brillant part as a Marine Lt Col who volunteers to escort the remains of a young Marine from Dover AFB to his final resting place in MT. Mr Bacon shows definitely that he can act. You feel his dedication to the Core, his respect for the young Marine and the Marine's family, and the emotion packed feeling that one gets as he briefly encounters people along the way. A young Kevin Bacon will always be remembered for his role in FootLoose. He'll never shake that. But an older Kevin Bacon will always be remembered as the Marine Lt Col, Escort, in Taking Chance. This movie was perfectly cast and well directed. And of course, comes from Lt Col Michael R. Strobl's moving journal Taking Chance.
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on February 26, 2009
This movie is unlike any other military movie you'll ever see, and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even more touching. You'll watch the entire movie through patriotic tears!!! Every American should see this movie!!
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on February 27, 2009
this movie is recommended for all. Everytime the LTC gave a silent salute, i tear came to my eye. This movie should def be on your list to buy. it gives an accurate portrayal.
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on February 24, 2009
Every American should see this movie out of respect for our military and civilians who have fallen to protect us. EXCELLENT movie!
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on June 1, 2009
I actually went to boot camp with Chance. So knowing him somewhat from the little time spent together was even more touching. This is a very good movie and well deserved not only becuase he was a good Marine but a good person also.
Sgt Smith, Kyle E
Fox Co Plt 2008
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on August 24, 2009
I was one of the fortunate who had the unique opportunity to view this great film at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Kevin later told us at the Q&A following the screening that he had not had military experience personally, so he underwent months of extensive probing and research to gain the depth of his character. He interviewed many families who have lost sons and daughters, and even talked to the Strobl family to assure that it would be presented tastefully and in deference to the true soldier's memory. Kevin played this role right to the hilt, when it could have been overly-sentimentalized, but it never goes over the top. [CAUTION, spoiler ahead]....when the cars slowly turn their lights on as the hearse passes, I really lost it there. It was a great and moving scene. I highly recommend this compassionate and stirring film.
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