Reviews: Movies that I saw a long time ago and/or vaguely remember.

We Were Soldiers

After he enjoyed Lethal Weapon glory but before he suffered international admonition, Mel Gibson played a Vietnam Colonel. The movie begins with typical lightheartedness. A scene shows Greg Kinnear and other “wild animal” soldiers playing baseball with beer cans, I think.  I remember the point is to show that Greg, (best actor in this movie) is a free spirit. Perhaps he doesn’t belong in the army, doesn’t like rules and stuff.  I’m not positive that the players in this expository baseball game pitch and hit beer cans instead of baseballs, but the point is to show rowdiness, and fun. Lots of shirts off. Yelling and loud laughter.  A Credence song probably blaring, and Credence is good.

So still cheery, sunny, and safe at home in a USA army base, we watch as movers move books into Mel Gibson’s new house.  Two privates or otherwise low-ranking boyish soldiers note that the new Colonel must be smart cuz of the books. This shows that Mel isn’t your ordinary stupid army person I suppose.  I remember this movie sucking because Kerri Russell…you know what? that’s enough.  Chris Klein is in it.  He sucks. It sucks.

This Movie, I Only Caught The End

A LOOONG time ago, when I was maybe 14, I turned on the TV and caught the last five minutes of a movie that consisted of messages left on answering machines.  Shots would show the answering machines and the empty rooms they were housed in.  For instance, one setting would be of an answering machine on a nice wood desk in an office of a nice home.  The shot would show the desk and behind it, a sliding glass door with the curtain drawn, exposing beautiful Southern-Californian foliage. I can’t remember what was said in the messages but I remember them as bittersweet and nostalgic.  Perhaps a female’s voice mentioned characters and places I would have been familiar with had I watched the first two hours of the film.  Perhaps Cindy called and left a message that she was eating lunch at Highland Kitchen when she saw Luzy and Stevo.  And they looked so lovely!  Another answering machine might have been in a darker setting, like clearly a single and wealthy male-  A shadowy apartment with expensive but cold looking furniture.  A bit of sadness in the voicemail left on this machine.  Maybe it’s Dale, and it’s the third time he’s called.  Maybe he nervously laughs after he asks “We still friends Stevo?”  Maybe there’s an invitation for Stevo to go to lunch at Highland Kitchen.

If not cold, rich, and single Stevo’s apartment, most of the answering machine shots showed sunshine and greenery out the windows and sliding doors and whatnot.  It was very late-80’s/early-90’s and it was very LA.  Birds of Paradise and Ice Plant were definitely on display. Birds of Paradise existed before 1985 and after 1993, but I feel like they were very much in their prime in the late-80’s/early-90’s.  I think the Brat Pack should consist of Emilio Estavez, Rob Lowe, Everyone that was ever in a John Hughes movie, and a Bird of Paradise plant. This movie, the name of which I’m unaware of, is probably better than We Were Soldiers.

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