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Deal of the Day: "M*A*S*H: The Complete Series + Movie" on DD
Today only, save big on this M*A*S*H bundle, which includes all 11 seasons of the hit television show and the feature film. This offer ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
James Woods stars as James Boyle, a freelance journalist who had formerly been a reporter in Vietnam. His life in California is spinning out of control. He has no money, his wife has left him, and he craves the excitement of being where the action is. He and his disk jockey friend, Doctor Rock, played by James Belushi, drive down to El Salvador, drinking and drugging and spinning bad jokes all the way. At first it all seems like fun.
Then reality hits. And the two friends are plunged into the violence. There's one scene after another that made me cringe in horror. And yet, James Woods is quite a con man and keeps getting himself and his friend out of scrapes by his fast talking and former connections. He falls in love with a local woman, tells it like it is to the American Ambassador, and keeps getting into trouble. There's lots of action and lots of people getting killed. And yet, it's mainly about the personalities of the two lead characters. This adds a light touch to the horror that surrounds them.
It's a fast paced film without one dull moment. I couldn't stop watching and wondering what would happen next. The DVD extras feature a long documentary about the making of the film. That was interesting background and added to my enjoyment although by then I was dozing off. During the actual film, however, falling asleep would have been impossible.
Regarding the Special Edition DVD, the extra features are EXCELLENT! The "making of" of documentary was fascinating (if a tad vulgar). Also, you will appreciate Woods' performance all the more when you see how prudish he is in real life, and how much he despised the real life Richard Boyle (not to mention Oliver Stone). A great value for these extra features.
The "Abbot & Costello go to war" plot is a bit offensive, but ultimately effective: when the film was released, and today still, most Americans didn't know what was really going on in El Salvador, and this film manages to encapsulate the events leading up to the war by placing two naive Americans as witnesses. And yes, all of the events depicted in the film really happened, and they all happened before the war in El Salvador actually started in 1981.
I am from El Salvador, and I know that most Salvadorans hate the film for the relentless violence that it depicts. To be fair to Stone, the film depicts real events that took place within a period of 12 months (1980-81) the most violent period in the history of that country (20,000 were killed that year, mostly by death squads). To be fair to Salvadorans, the films misses on the cultural nuances: Salvadoran women do not parade naked in the beach and no, death squads were not killers only because they were people with pathological/physical problems, but because of their political and ideological views, unfortunately. Perhaps this is the question to ponder: why was the US even involved in this war and why did they supported people with such twisted ideologies?
I also know that the left often complained about the portrayal of the leftist guerrillas in the film. But I happen to know that even in this aspect Stone deserves credit.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gritty realistic portrayal of tragedy, mans inhumanity and brotherhood.Published 5 days ago by alvaro salce
Too much revisionist history. I've been to El Salvador and and what really happened is dramatic enough. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael McCandless
A terrific DVD at a terrific price in great condition and delivered earlier than oromusedPublished 5 months ago by michael schwartz
This movie is definitely not for the "faint of heart"!
It's an excellent movie portrayed by realistic characters. Read more
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