Friday, December 4, 2009


Last night I saw a pre-release screening of "Brothers," a film directed by Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot," "In America," "In the Name of the Father") and featuring Toby McGuire, Jake Gyllenhall, Natalie Portman, Sam Shepard, and others. It'll be widely released very soon. DO NOT MISS THIS FILM. It is the most powerful film about war, the military, and the people affected that I have ever seen. Fine films like "The Deer Hunter" and "Coming Home" pale in comparison, and it is vastly different from the usual action films like "Full Metal Jacket," Apocalypse Now," and those of the Rambo genre. "Brothers" is very tough to watch, and it never, ever lets up. Sheridan never goes Hollywood, so in the end, he does not take the cheap way out. Don't miss it, but be ready for a very rough ride. A truly remarkable film. kk

I'll definitely see it. Great review.

I've had a little of a hard time seeing the war movies. There's something about watching a war movie while the war is still going on that is almost sacriligious for lack of a better term. I personally think it has to do with the detachment of most of our society from the military. As a society we have bought into the concept of somebody else's children fighting our wars. I keep waiting for the voluntary army to fail--it has other than in numbers as it is a far cry from bring representative of who we are. However, kids keep joining and the powers that be keep proclaiming how successful we are.
I saw In the Valley of Elah which is the best I've seen. For years I could not watch war movies. I went with a friend to see Platoon and almost broke out in hives. To me, Hamburger Hill, is the most authenic Vietnam one to my experience. jda

You make an interesting point. A war film will affect us in the context in which the conflict it portrays rages, certainly when that conflict is being burned contemporaneously into our individual and common experiences. So, "Sands of Iwo Jima" (WWII) will necessarily affect us differently from "Hamburger Hill" (Viet Nam) which will affect us differently from "Brothers" (Afghanistan). But while comparisons may be awkward and difficult, even specious, if I use my emotional response as my guide, I found "Brothers" to be the most affecting for me. Ripped me apart. I'll be very interested to hear your comments after you've seen it. Don't go alone. KJH