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I liked this movie because I am a Viet nam vet that fought in Tet and therefore I have some considerable experience with war in a city, or as the Army used to call it War in a Built Up Area. If you have actually seen this kind of war, the movie is frighteningly accurate and like war, necessisarily fragmentary and incomplete.
For example, in one perfect and horrific, scene Andie MacDowell and her two journalist companions are moving through a city to find a hospital where her husband may be. They come upon a situation: a young child, probably a girl runs out of a building in front of them. A soldier follows her out of the building, and kills her. War's brutality? Certainly. A killing mad soldier, killing an innocent child. Possibly. But, even more likely, the scene represents wars brutality on multiple levels. If you knew that the child had just thrown a hand grenade and the soldier escaped it but his buddy, or even more likely in this kind of war, his actual brother did not would that change the nature of the scene for you? Or, if that was true and you knew that the child had another hand grenade, or a pistol, would that change your impression of the meaning of the scene? And how about that soldier many years later as he looks down at his own child, assuming he survives the war, will he be able to forget the look on that other chid's face as he shot her? However good his reason and in real war there are many reasons that can make such an act necessary, will he be able to forget, or will it haunt him. This kind of awful situation, but not unusual situation, is precisely why William T. Sherman said that "War is Hell.Read more ›
Onto the movie, FRENCH/PAL version vs. American release. Hands down the FRENCH version is superior and it was VERY difficult to find when I bought it, now there's a few copies floating around...
When I saw the French version only a few years ago and the American version 10 years ago, I automatically felt like someone was treating Americans like children in the way the American/HBO (and DVD) version was watered down, there must be at least 15 minutes less, entire characters and their stories are cut out, and even the entire musical score is different. The French version has some generic synthesizer music and the American version has some violin music throughout, the only plus for the American version.
The PAL/French release however is far superior, you can see great actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Elias Koteas, Caroline Goodall, and even Gerard Butler give these cutaway type interviews in between the action from the eyes of War Photogs (and their families) which they totally cut out of the American version.Read more ›
Plunged into Croatia as Vukovar was being overrun by Serbs, the characters take the audience into a hell where everyone - men, women, children - must kill or be killed. We are witness to atrocities and inhumanities that take the breath away. While war in the movies has often been played for thrill-packed adventure - even anti-war films - this one leaves you with a sense of powerlessness in the face of unimaginable horror. Urban warfare and ethnic cleansing cease being abstract concepts. We see their portrayal with our own eyes, and the efforts of one American woman to retrieve her husband in the midst of it all are dwarfed by comparison. Worth seeing anyway for what CNN missed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of action and drama. Love the story. Great acting and great to see Andie M.Published 7 months ago by Time On Hands
Good movie! Very sad! It gives you true to life insight into the war that was going on at that time!Published 11 months ago by Dorraine Wood
Very sad movie about the conflict in the Baltic states years ago. Sad and brutal, but probably true...Published 21 months ago by Atlas 1943
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