Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I used to like Nicolas Cage a lot, but hadn't been that impressed with the movies he's made the last few years.  I would say he impressed me in this one.  He plays an ex-con named Joe who wants to be a good man and is trying to stay out of trouble.  You can tell he has a good heart, but sometimes has issues controlling his inner demons.  He comes across a 15-year old drifter named Gary (played by Tye Sheridan from Mud) that has an alcoholic father who abuses him, and Joe eventually hires Gary to work for him.  Joe actually becomes kind of a role model for him and they are both able to help each other find some direction in their lives through the friendship they forge.  But, being the kind of movie this is, everything cannot be all rainbows and butterflies - Joe's past will always haunt him, Gary has a dad that's just getting worse and will do almost anything to obtain alcohol or money, and you know it's all going to come to a head in this small town sooner or later!  I wouldn't call this film "enjoyable" - I liked it, but it wasn't always easy to watch.  There was a lot of physical violence, quite a bit of language, and it just felt like a dark, depressing time for everyone in the movie highlighted by a few good moments.  It felt real and raw to me.  Joe and Gary both made me think about how things may not always turn out the way you want, but you have to keep trying and keep fighting and never give up, even if it seems like there is no way out of a situation.  I'm going to remember Joe for a long time...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lone Survivor

I wrote this blog after seeing this movie in the theater.  It is now out on DVD and  my thoughts are still the same. There are no words to really express what a powerful, emotional, brutal, raw and heartbreaking film this is!  If you don’t know about it – it’s the story of the failed 2005 mission in Afghanistan of four Navy SEALS whose mission it was to find and capture a Taliban leader.  Things go horribly wrong when goat herders cross their paths and they have to choose what to do with them.  Also, the radio contacts with the base failed and they were left alone to face the Taliban by themselves.  As the title suggests, only one of them makes it out alive, barely, and that was Leading Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell.  This is his story of the fight for their lives and the death of his fellow SEAL mates and friends.  This movie is larger than life on the big screen and you witness the most extreme brutalness of the rugged country in which they were fighting in and what they endured.  It is heartbreaking to see the deaths of his fellow friends, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matt “Axe” Axelson.  As this movie ended, not one person in the theater said anything- there was a revered silence for the men who lost their lives serving their country.  I believe this is an important film to see for what it stands for.  For more detailed information; you can also read the book with the same title. 

Lone Survivor

This movie puts you right in the middle of the action with a group of four Navy SEALs while they are on a mission trying to capture a Taliban leader.  Besides getting caught in rugged terrain and in unfamiliar territory, they begin having radio and communication problems that make their situation worse.  It was very engaging and I found myself “forgetting” to breathe and trying to stay calm and quiet during tense moments.  It really makes you appreciate what our military does for us and the sacrifices they make for us every day.  It’s easy to second-guess some of the decisions they made, but there was a lot of wondering what I would do in the same situations, too.  I really don’t know.  I was exhausted after viewing this film.  When the movie finished, I just sat there…  I’m STILL thinking about it all…