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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
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Academy Award® winner Ang Lee (2012, Best Director, Life Of Pi ) brings his extraordinary vision to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, based on the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. The story is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing battle in Iraq and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through a sequence of flashbacks the truth about what really a happened is revealed – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s distorted perceptions of heroism. Co-starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel, and Steve Martin.
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I was also anxious to see how it looked in UHD, some reviews mentioned it was quite distracting, but I didn't think so. I personally liked the detail.
So, no this is not an action filled summer blockbuster with lots of explosions unless you count fireworks at the halftime show. It does have a good story that makes you think a little deeper about what it is to send these kids off to war and what they wrestle with from their experiences. It almost requires a sequel itself though, I would really be interested to see how the guys adjust after the war and they settle into a civilian life as this movie just portrayed them receiving a brief reprieve to do promotional stuff for Uncle Sam.
The cast was good, and Vin Diesels character though short lived was interesting, would like some back story on this guy.
It's a movie that asks several important questions with no easy answers. What really makes a hero? Billy Lynn wasn't trying to be heroic. He didn't asked to be videoed. He didn't ask to be an internet sensation and he certainly didn't ask to be a hero to a nation in desperate need to feel good about something. Now he's sent home and the Army put him and the others of Bravo squad on tour in the U.S.
Everyone treats him like he's a celebrity and expect he should now act the part. Strangers behave as though he should be alright with a now lack of privacy. The Army, exploiting his new found fame, parades them around the country further spreading their celebrity status. The men of Bravo haven't got much of a choice in the matter. It's either play the hero and go along or face disciplinary action and "Let down a Nation." After all, this is now America's story. Think -- The Jessica Lynch story.
The men play along, all the while some of the men battle with PTSD from their experiences in Iraq. They're not being treated, in fact, they're not even being diagnosed and they have to play the Hero role and not by their own choosing.
There is a hero in this movie and it's played by Vin Diesel's character. He dies early on but we get to know him through flashback sequences and he's the hero we should celebrate. Overall, a good solid movie with heart and daring. They dare to ask good questions. This movie is not unlike Flags of our Fathers by Clint Eastwood and somewhere bordering on the Jessica Lynch Story.