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  • War- what is it good for? Absolutely noth-…

  • Actually, probably entertainment, now that I think about it... This isMovie Night”!

  • *theme song plays*

  • Hello, and welcome toMovie Night.” I'm your host, Jonathan Paula.

  • On tonight's episode, per your suggestions from Facebook and Twitter last week, we will be highlighting two classic war films...

  • the first of which is the 1979 Vietnam epic from director Francis Ford Coppola, "Apocalypse Now."

  • Martin Sheen stars as Special Forces officer Captain Willard, a disenchanted and troubled Army vet...

  • who is tasked with heading down river into the Cambodian jungle to find Colonel Kurtz...

  • played by Marlon Brando, a Special Forces officer himself who is feared to have gone rogue.

  • This is a movie with a tremendous reputation. Brando showed up late on set, unprepared and drastically overweight.

  • Sheen himself suffered a heart attack and had to be replaced by his brother for some long-shots and voice overs...

  • and Coppola struggled for years to edit the film, after shooting over 200 hours of footage for just a three-hour movie.

  • "Apocalypse Now" is as epic as it is iconic. The film opens without any titles or credits of any kind to an impressively edited montage of Willard's face...

  • superimposed over images and the unearthly sounds of slow-motion helicopters bombing a tree-line in Vietnam...

  • with the sounds of The Doors' "The End" echoing ominously in the background. Visually speaking, this film is beyond astounding.

  • Every shot is meticulously framed, focused, and lit, beautifully capturing all of the sights and sounds of a real war zone.

  • It's no surprise then that, of its eight Oscar nominations, the two that it took home were for Best Sound and Best Cinematography.

  • Scene to scene, this film is engaging, thought-provoking, disturbing, and yet, it remains entertaining.

  • An early and now-famous scene in the movie features Robert Duvall as Colonel Kilgore and his fleet of helicopters...

  • as they launch an attack on a Vietnam-held beach, blasting to the sounds of Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" as the bombs drop on the small village.

  • The imagery is impressive and well-executed. Unfortunately, though, when these individual scenes are glued together into a 202-minute film, they begin to lose their effectiveness.

  • The all-star cast also features appearances by Harrison Ford, Lawrence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper...

  • only further solidifying that this movie's parts are indeed greater than its sum.

  • There are a number of sequences that, although fascinating, linger on for much too long, and fail to forward the plot in any capacity.

  • When the third act finally does arrive, the characters that we're left with are so beaten-down and apathetic about their situation...

  • it is difficult to really empathize with their position or motives. Coppola takes us from an inspiring high to a delusionally self-serving low...

  • where the movie just drags on with slow-paced scenes of character babble that are beyond boring.

  • There is certainly something to be said about a director who sticks to his artistic vision without trepidation...

  • but, in this instance, it only serves to ruin a masterpiece of war-inspired cinema.

  • "Apocalypse Now"- "Impressively epic, but dreadfully pompous."

  • Well, those are my thoughts on the film. Now, let's see what you had to say about it in the YouTube comments.

  • Here's the Rate-o-Matic now, to show us how we both scored "Apocalypse Now."

  • A “cooland anawesome”! I really appreciate this film for what it is attempting to accomplish, but that isn't an excuse...

  • for its egotistical and bloated scenes towards the end of the movie that really hurt its effectiveness. I had to give it a “7.”

  • While some of you agreed with me regarding this film's slow pace, many were able to overlook that fact...

  • praising the film for its visual style and iconic imagery of the Vietnam War, scoring it a “9" out of "10."

  • Our second film tonight is the World War II story from director Steven Spielberg, "Saving Private Ryan."

  • Tom Hanks stars as Captain John Miller, who, similarly to Sheen's character inApocalypse Now"...

  • is assigned a team of soldiers and tasked with venturing into hostile territory to find a single man.

  • As the title suggests, that man is Private Ryan, a young soldier who recently lost all three of his brothers, fighting elsewhere in the war.

  • Fearful that Ryan's mother will get all four death notices for her children at the same time, Miller is dispatched to bring Ryan home safe and sound, to prevent such a tragedy.

  • The film opens with a now-famous 27-minute scene that faithfully and rather ambitiously recreates the Allies' Normandy invasion on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

  • The scene is a visceral experience to behold, truly implanting the viewer into the horrors of a war zone, especially so if the scene is watched with surround sound.

  • From there, we follow Miller and his team through war-torn France, as they search for Ryan while attempting to stay alive.

  • Tom Sizemore, Ted Danson, Jeremy Davies, Matt Damon, Nathan Fillon, and Paul Giamatti are some of the names in this mammoth cast...

  • who, unfortunately, are rarely developed to any emotional satisfaction. Scene after scene, our heroes are risking their lives and dying in battle...

  • but only a select few of them actually receive any back-story, making the middle of the film feel more like a video game than an Academy Award-winning drama.

  • The last act, however, brings together the survivors in one final battle against the Germans...

  • in an amazingly impressive sequence that combines all of the incredible editing and camera work of the beachhead assault...

  • with the emotional development of Miller's character from earlier in the movie, making for a gut-wrenching and entertaining battle.

  • In a present-day setting that bookends the film, it's difficult not to well-up as we witness a veteran thanking the graves of his friends who died in battle over 50 years ago.

  • As always, Hanks is the embodiment of talent and class, bringing to life a nuanced solider...

  • who must struggle with his thoughts of returning home and keeping his company alive.

  • Spielberg won his second Academy Award for directing here, which is, of course, more than well-deserved.

  • Everything from the chaotic battle scenes to the quiet moments of dialogue are carefully choreographed and filmed...

  • ensuring the audience never feels lost during the movie's 169-minute run time. If you ever wanted to understand or appreciate...

  • the glory and disaster of war from the comfort of your own home, you need not look any further than "Saving Private Ryan.”

  • "War personified, an emotional quest."

  • Well, those are my thoughts on the film. Now, let's see what you had to say about it in the YouTube comments.

  • Back again, the Rate-o-Matic, to score "Saving Private Ryan.”

  • A “9” and a “10”! This film is perhaps the very best war movie ever made, but, for me, it was lacking a bit of cohesion...

  • in the first half of the movie for me to really score it a perfect “10.” But it was most certainly a solidawesome.”

  • Few of you had anything negative to say about this film, praising the movie for its effects, characters, and battle scenes, rating it anamazing.”

  • But that does it for tonight's films. So, now, let's take a look at what's currently playing in theaters, with some Tweet Critiques.

  • Remember, if you're going to the movies this weekend, make sure to submit your Twitter review, using the #JPMN hashtag, to have it featured on an upcoming episode.

  • Next week, to close out the second season ofMovie Night,” we'll be once again examining the greatest films of all time, as I highlight yet another ten of my personal favorites.

  • But I'll need your help to update our list for the best movies ever made.

  • So, if you didn't leave a comment last week, please leave one below with your top-5 favorite films.

  • I'll tally the results and reveal our most popular selections in next week's episode. But, until then, my name is Jonathan Paula.

  • Thank you for watchingMovie Night.” I hope to see you right back here next Friday!

  • *end credits play*

  • *Be sure to check out the latest microwave episode, where new girl Gabriele gives the first "bad idea" for a produce experiment!*

War- what is it good for? Absolutely noth-…

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The Best War Films Ever

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    VoiceTube posted on 2012/12/13
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