Category Archives: military

A War

3D_CMYK_AWarBDWrpDirected by Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, A War begins with company commander Claus M. Pedersen, played by Pilou Asbæk, and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark, Claus’ wife Maria, played by Tuva Novotny is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in a heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him and his family back home.

Asbæk as Claus is believable and visceral. The commander is an experienced, knowledgeable and admired Danish army officer in charge of a company stationed in a rocky, distant wasteland in Afghanistan. Claus’ orders are to keep the village safe from Taliban attack. The mundane and tedious patrols are edged with the potential for dangerous combats, which places Claus’ company in harm’s way.

Several firefights ensue. Lindholm films them as a vortex with spinning in combat. Such harrowing intensity, I found it worse than the usual blood and guts of other war movies.

One of his men is killed. That is a major turning point in the movie where Claus resolves to forsake his safe commander’s tent and lead the patrols himself.

I rather not go into full details on what happens next in the movie because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I want you to enjoy the movie and see how it all plays out to the end. I will say, what happens to Claus and his family is heart wrenching. War is a terrible commodity that we should never have to endure.  You would think the powers that be would have figured that out by now. Today, there is no need for war.

With that, the movie is great, and rightly so. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Movie, Son of Saul won, but the movie is so good. I am surprised it didn’t win.

Lindholm reaches the audience with realism. He once again employs those who have been closest to the conflict. In A War, he uses Danish soldiers and Taliban warriors, relatives, and refugees, as he strives towards realism.

A Hijacking is another film by Lindholm, also starring Asbæk,  that won quite a few awards, winning a Critics’ Award (Bodil) for Best Danish Film as well as five Danish Academy Awards. He is definitely a filmmaker to watch. I recommend A War.

Sniper: Special Ops

sniperDirected by Fred Olen Ray, who is known for directing awful T and A movies, takes on Sniper: Special Ops with Steven Seagal.  The combination speaks cheesy to the third degree unless you are a devote Seagal fan.

The story is about a Special Ops Military Force, led by Sergeant Vic Mosby, played by Tim Abell, with a proficient sniper Sergeant Jake Chandler, played by Seagal, who watches over as the sniper. They go on a special mission to an isolated Afghan village. Once at the village, they extract an American Congressman being held by the Taliban. The rescue mission is a success, but Jake gets caught up in a firefight with the enemy and is separated from the mission and decides to stay back in order to help an injured soldier.

Sergeant Mosby distraughtly fails to convince Lieutenant Colonel Jackson, played by Dale Dye, to allow him and his team to go back and save the soldiers. Instead, he is commanded to take on a new mission that will retrieve a truckload of munitions. The munitions are vital for the military base, but Mosby doesn’t follow orders. He and his Special Ops Team head back to the village and rescue the abandoned soldiers. Outnumbered and outgunned, Vic and his men engage in a massive shootout against the enemy while Jake uses his proficient skills to help save them all from undeniable death.

Clearly, Abell has the bigger role compared to Seagal. With that, the movie authenticity is nowhere to be found with an army not wearing helmets in a war zone, including utter disrespect for military dress code. The story is predictable with cliché after cliché, and Pro Wrestler Rob Van Dam has a minor role.

The other problem with the movie is the director or lack of directing, depending on how you want to view it.  But, like I said if you are a devote Seagal fan you will want to see this movie because he is in it. That is about as good as it gets.

History of War Collection

History WarHistory Channel is pretty darn good at making documentaries. The History of War Collection is an excellent example of how well the History Channel produces documentaries. The 17-Disc set takes you on a tour of America’s military role through all of its major wars.

You will learn and see how warfare evolved from the time of the American Revolution up through the Civil War and into modern times. The discs offer so much information about how America became the land of the free and home of the brave.

I was able to immerse into the 17-disc set, which digs deep into the twists and turns of America’s most significant and deadly conflicts-from the American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War to WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

Produced as a documentary, the set features over 42 hours of programming amassed from over 20 History Channel documentaries. The credits are impressive with renowned historians and scholars, special guest narrators Edward Herrmann, Oscar de la Hoya, and Sam Rockwell on several programs.

Teachers, historians, and students will find the set informative and eye-opening tour of America’s military role through all of its major wars.

I was most impressed with how warfare evolved from the time of the American Revolution into modern times. Evidence depicted with reenacted stories of the countless brave Americans who put their lives on the line to defend their country and their beliefs.

You might not get through the entire set, but I highly recommend The History of War Collection.