Friday, November 23, 2007


  • War drama

    Meryl Streep: cable television journalist Janine Roth
    Tom Cruise: Republican Senator Jasper Irving
    Robert Redford: political science professor Dr. Stephen “Doc” Malley
    Andrew Garfield: Todd Hayes, one of his gifted students
    Michael Peña: Ernest Rodriguez, recently enlisted soldier
    Derek Luke: his buddy Arian Finch

    A well structured anti-war film seen from three perspectives: that of a Senator, as seen by soldiers engaged in fighting the enemy and viewed by the intelligentsia. However, the latter only serves to muddy the waters (except for one brief flashback) and it really just showcases Redford’s acting abilities. But it’s not needed.

    Another thing not needed is the static approach taken with the Senator and also with the professor. In both cases, two cameras are plunked down and the shots simply flip-flop back and forth so we can see the speaker. The cameras hardly move so it makes for a monotonous visual experience. The action shots in Afghanistan aren’t much better.

    The acting is fine with only Meryl Streep coming across as making any real effort. Although there are a lot of words, thankfully the movie is fairly short so we’re not totally overwhelmed.

    for some war violence and language.

     The right drawstring on Todd’s hoodie has a mind of its own: a single thread hanging off the end comes and goes between shots.

     So do Doc’s glasses. They simply will not stay put, moving about on his desk pretty much at random.

    The name of the film is derived from Alexander the Great’s proclamation,
    “I am never afraid of an army of Lions led into battle by a Lamb”

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