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Broken Arrow VHS
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Broken Arrow (1996) VHS Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans. Director: John Woo Writer: Graham Yost Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis |
John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people... he even smokes!
If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original Die Hard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat, Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. We have plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout, and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins. You're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with labored jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (The Killer, Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins's gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action, but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woo later reteamed for Face/Off. --Doug Thomas
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As has been stated, this is one of the first and one of the few westerns to show Native Americans sympathetically. Having seen this when I was very young, I think it gave me a positive view of Native Americans at a very young age. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking film.
This movie is notable as one of the first Westerns to present the Indians sympathetically and point out that they had legitimate grievances against the whites. It presents the figure of Gokliya (Jay Silverheels), later known as Geronimo, who did in fact "walk away" when Cochise agreed to try peace, and its scenery is splendid, showing the Southwest as more than just arid, sandy desert. Its chief fault is its failure to point out that one of Cochise's conditions was that Jeffords be appointed the Apaches' agent--a position he didn't want at first, but agreed to take, and filled ably for years afterward. And Stewart, of course, makes the part his own, while Chandler presents a fierce but dignified demeanor as a chief who--like George Washington--could well be described as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." The movie also inspired a successful TV series which ran for four seasons (1956-60) and starred John Lupton and Michael Ansara.
Jeff Chandler does a great job playing Cochise, even though we all have to roll our eyes at a Jewish guy from Brooklyn covered with heavy makeup playing a Native American Chief. Same with Debra Paget. But that's how it was done back then. At least Geronimo was portrayed by a Native Canadian, Jay Silverheels. And it has been noted that this movie is perhaps the first big production to portray Indians in a more sympathetic light when looking at the aggressive expansion of the movement west by whites. Movies tend to take political correctness to an extreme and reinforce stereotypes, but at least they get people to see the other side's position and plight.
Definitely worth a watch...
The Blu Ray version has now been issued here in the UK in the Pal version, so it will be interesting if it is a better in comparison..It also has a Dual format plus CD. However, I can really recommend this Region A version.