Thursday, August 19, 2010

“Movie Review: 'Tillman Story' - Delaware County Daily Times” plus 3 more

“Movie Review: 'Tillman Story' - Delaware County Daily Times” plus 3 more


Movie Review: 'Tillman Story' - Delaware County Daily Times

Posted: 19 Aug 2010 02:50 AM PDT

In this film publicity image released by The Weinstein Company, Pat Tillman, left, and his brother Kevin are shown in a still from, "The Tillman Story." (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Donald Lee)

NEW YORK (AP) --- Pat Tillman was many things to many people: a son, brother, husband, friend and, as a player for Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals, a football star who drew cheers for his exciting, physical style.

But once he gave up his NFL career to join the Army Rangers in 2002 and then was fatally shot in Afghanistan in 2004, he became something else entirely, something larger than life through his death: a symbol of American patriotism, a poster boy, a crucial part of the government's message. And that turned him into something he wasn't.

"The Tillman Story" attempts to get to the bottom of what happened the day he was killed by following the exhaustive investigative efforts of Tillman's family — namely, his mother, Dannie — and, in the process, allows us to get to know who the man himself really was.

Director Amir Bar-Lev, whose previous documentaries include the smart, suspenseful "My Kid Could Paint That," approaches "The Tillman Story" as a bit of a mystery, as well. Tension builds as details emerge and the disparity between lie and truth becomes more glaringly obvious. Sometimes it's little things, like the moment Tillman and his brother, Kevin, decided to enlist — not immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, as had been depicted, but rather six months later.

Sometimes the discrepancies are galling, as in the documented evidence that Tillman didn't want the very military funeral he was given; his widow, Marie, describes being forced to comply with the wishes of military brass.

And sometimes there's just flat-out deception, as in the military's attempts to cover up the fact that Tillman died as a result of friendly fire, something that was known a week after his death but didn't come out until some five weeks had passed. A memo written by then-Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal and leaked to The Associated Press shows that knowledge of this possibility went all the way to the White House, but it was kept quiet for a while to avoid "public embarrassment."

Not all of this is new. Books have been written on the subject since Tillman's death, including one by his mother. But Bar-Lev thoroughly and methodically lays it all out and lets the information speak for itself.

He takes interviews with the men who were there that day and reams of documents (the military tried to overload the Tillman family with over 3,000 pieces of paper, many of their details redacted) and presents them in a clear-eyed, streamlined way. Most importantly, he lets the emotion shine through on its own without overdramatization. Obviously, there is enough inherent heartache and frustration here.

But getting to know the Tillman family — and through them, Pat — provides inspiration. At the funeral, with all its proper military pomp and circumstance, youngest brother Richard hopped on stage in a T-shirt and jeans, holding a beer and dropping F-bombs; "He's not with God, he's (expletive) dead," he matter-of-factly asserted.

Dannie, meanwhile, was tireless in making phone calls and poring over documents filled with jargon intended to intimidate her. And middle-brother Kevin, who was part of the same mission as Tillman that fateful day, has only spoken once publicly about his brother's death — before a congressional committee — but he did so eloquently and forcefully.

Through the memories and anecdotes they share, we learn of a young man who loved to laugh, take risks and goof off with his younger brothers — a truly decent man but not the saint the government's spin suggested. But he was also a reader and a thinker and not at all what you might expect when you consider the stereotypes associated with football players or soldiers.

We may never know exactly who shot Pat Tillman on that ridge in Afghanistan or why, but we have a better idea of who he was.

"The Tillman Story," a Weinstein Co. release, is rated R for language. Running time: 94 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

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How To Download And Watch Vampires Suck Movie - PRLog (free press release)

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 06:44 PM PDT

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Fall movie season flicks to watch - Central Michigan Life

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 11:44 PM PDT

As the fall semester swings into motion, students will quickly become overwhelmed by the hustle-bustle that comes with full-time coursework and part-time jobs.

However, rest assured — there is an escape to be found in the form of cinematic adventure, and there are plenty of upcoming titles sure to grab your attention.

Now sit back and relax — the fall preview's about to start.

"The Social Network"

Release date: October 1, 2010

Genre: Drama, adventure

Directed by David Fincher, "The Social Network" tells the story of how one of the biggest social networking website, Facebook, came into being and how its success affected the lives of those who played a part in its genesis.

The film portrays Facebook's creators, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) as they break the rules and face lawsuits, all in the pursuit of allowing Facebook users to stalk their exes and play "Farmville."

Who wouldn't want to watch the background story on the creators of a website that has, at times, received more weekly traffic than Google?

"Due Date"

Release date: November 5, 2010

Genre: Comedy

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is going to be a first-time father — his wife is expecting to have their first child in just five days.

In a hurry to catch a flight home from Atlanta, Highman unexpectedly meets an aspiring actor named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). As per usual, something goes horribly wrong and Highman is forced to hitch a ride with Tremblay, which surely promises to be a fun-filled adventure in which hilarity will ensue.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"

Release date: November 19, 2010

Genre: Fantasy, adventure

The Harry Potter saga continues this fall as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) leave Hogwarts on an adventure to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes — the secret to his immortality.

The perilous journey will strain their friendships and trust and prove to be the ultimate test for Harry and his friends. This is the final chapter in the HP legacy until the real final chapter is released next year.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

Release date: December 10, 2010

Genre: Fantasy, adventure

C.S. Lewis' famous world of Narnia will return to the big screen this fall. In the upcoming Narnia installment, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) Pevensie and their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) travel to the magical world through a mystical painting. Afterward they embark on a journey upon the Narnian ship known as the Dawn Treader. Joining forces with King Caspian (Ben Barnes), the crew will face unknown obstacles on a dangerous and exciting adventure.

"Tron: Legacy"

Release date: December 17, 2010

Genre: Action, sci-fi

Samm Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) begins investigating the disappearance of his father Kevin (Jeff Bridges) and is drawn into a digital world existing in the realm of computer programs and hardware that has imprisoned his father for 25 years. The pair must survive an onslaught by malicious, militant programs in an expanding and increasingly hostile cyber world.

E-mail the author: Ryan Taljonick

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Movie review: 'The Expendables' - News-Leader.com

Posted: 19 Aug 2010 12:56 AM PDT

"The Expendables" is an exercise in nostalgia for the bygone era of muscly, macho action films. It's willfully out of date, like an aging hair band that can't pack away the spandex.

Sylvester Stallone, the director, co-writer and star, has said he set out to make a movie "with brains and brawn, not modern technology."

Stallone is Barney Ross, the leader of a group of mercenaries: British action star Jason Statham (blade expert Lee Christmas), Chinese martial artist Jet Li (as Yin Yang), WWE wrestler Steve Austin (Paine), ultimate fighter Randy Couture (Toll Road), former NFL player Terry Crews (as the absurdly named Hale Caesar) and Dolph Lundgren, the Russian boxer Ivan Drago from the "Rocky" films (as the loose cannon Gunner Jensen). The "all-star" action lineup also includes cameos from Bruce Willis (as a contractor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as a rival mercenary).

The most respected actor to be summoned for duty is Mickey Rourke, who plays the group's job hunter, a grizzled former mercenary named Tool.

The crew is hired out to storm the fictional Caribbean island of Vilena, where a corrupt general (the usually comedic David Zayas) and a villainous, rogue CIA agent (the well-chosen Eric Roberts) are in power. The general's daughter (Giselle Itie) is leading a resistance, and she quickly becomes a focal point of the mission.

That Stallone can be so ardent about returning to this kind of film gives "The Expendables" a strange charm. It's absurd, easy to make fun of and remarkably out of touch. But one imagines it's exactly the movie Stallone wanted to make.

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