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Completely Unrealistic **Possible Spoilers**
While I do not have a degree in science, it was painfully obvious that those who put this "production" together had NO concept of physics. Other commenters have covered most of the glaring inaccuracies so I won't repeat them but will add that they are certainly on target. The producers and writers also had little understanding of current military technology and likewise had little comprehension of the Navy, its command structure, and how its people handle situations. I won't go into the multitude of reasons that the whole scenario the movie is built upon is so incredibly improbable that it borders on ridiculous. I will say the production crew and writers did NOT do their homework.
Having spent 23 years in the Navy, and a good deal of that time with Navy pilots I think I can speak with a bit of authority when I say that the Navy would NEVER even think of trying to "resolve" the situation in this poorly contrived plot in the manner attempted. While there certainly could be a officer with the low morals of Dean Cain's character, there would not be a whole command that would blindly follow along with something as immoral as what Cain's character was proposing. The Navy teaches it's people to think and if given an order that is obviously immoral they are not required to obey it and are in fact supposed to report it to someone above their chain of command. In speaking with some Navy pilots I know, none of them would accept an order to shoot down the airliner if there was ANY chance someone might be alive. Even if they knew for a fact everyone was dead, they would ONLY shoot it down when it posed an immediate (not just possible) danger of crashing and causing civilian casualties on the ground and given they were over the middle of the ocean, that was not the case. As support to this I point to the sad story a couple of years ago where a pro golfer's private jet plane took off from Orlando, FL. The plane decompressed as it reached altitude, and apparently was on autopilot. Because the plane did not respond to air controllers, an Air Force F-16 fighter was scrambled to investigate. From the pilot's report after making contact, everyone was certain that all aboard were dead. But the plane was allowed to continue on for hundreds of miles, run out of fuel, and crash on its own in an uninhabited area. All the F-16 did was follow the jet to ensure it did not crash into any populated areas.
It is an old, contrived, worn out plot to have the military make a mistake and then try to cover it up. Can't writers think of something new? That road has been used so often it has ruts in it. Is the Navy perfect? No. Do individuals try to hide mistakes, I imagine they do. But a mistake of this magnitude would never get as out of hand as was portrayed in this sorry excuse for a movie. I have seen worse than this and probably should have given it at least a 2, but the stereotypes were so predictable and bad, 1 out of 10.
Secondhand Lions (2003)
Laughed Till It Hurt! (Some mild spoilers)
(A couple of mild spoilers)
I so enjoyed this movie. I loved the characters, especially the bigger than life (but quite sure if it's true) nature of Hub and Garth. Duvall and Caine did some of their best work. They were absolute rascals but absolutely lovable in doing so. Osment continues to grow as a young actor and should become a very successful adult actor (which not all child stars do). They touched my heart many times, like when Jasmine comes to the aid of "her cub". I found myself with tears welling up one minute and then laughing till it hurt the next (Hub hitting sleazy Stan with the butt of his shotgun while laying there). Even the times when you knew what was coming (Duvall kicking the stuffings out of the 4 thugs in the general store), the performances were so good it was fun watching it all happen. This was a 9 out of 10 for me. Highly recommend it for anyone.
Our Mr. Sun (1956)
What A Great Way to Introduce Kids To Science!!!
I remember seeing this as a kid in elementary school. I was absolutely fascinated and captivated by it. It and "Mr. Hemo" were what got me interested in science. Keeping in mind when it came out, the ideas and possibilities for the future were back then astounding. Many like solar power became reality. Our Mr. Sun was at a level I could understand at age 9 and years later as an adult I found it was still interesting. It made such a great impression that when I was older and saw it on a list of films available for my class I had jumped at the chance to show it. The kids loved it. As an adult it was great realizing that it was a younger Eddie Albert as the "host". It is hard to find but it is definitely worth the time if you find it. Most Highly recommended.
Full Fathom Five (1990)
Submarines Are Supposed To Blow Ballast, But ....
Submarines are supposed to blow ballast in order to surface, but that couldn't save this one from taking the plunge to the bottom. Other commenters have noted the low budget. That is too kind. There is no excuse for this waste of celluloid. The technical advisor (if there really was one!) had to be asleep or high. They were using comic book tactics and terminology that no self-respecting military member would. For heaven's sake, they were using Navy ROTC cadet insignia on the Khaki uniforms (a minor point I agree, but it's highly reflective of the overall low production quality). If you see this one listed in your program guide or on the shelf of your local video rental, do yourself a big favor, SKIP IT. Thank goodness I saw this on cable and didn't waste any money on a rental. If you like submarine movies, look for ANY OTHER one. If I could score this movie a (.5) out of 10 I would. But with IMDB's system I can only give it a 1 out 10.
Not The Real Pacific War, But Typical Woo *Possible Spoilers*
** POSSIBLE SPOILERS** The story of the Navajo code talkers was one of the great success stories of World War 2 and had not received it due for so long. Woo had picked an excellent and very worthy topic to film. However the code talkers story deserved so much more than it received in this film. While some parts were well done, The movie suffered from far too much Hollywood movie "action" that was artificially inserted to "jazz" it up. Woo likes action films and usually does them well "Face Off" for example. Reality was not a big issue in that movie, but if you are telling a story from real life which appeared to be the intent of this film, then overdoing the action hurts it. There was a constant litany of contrived scene after contrived scene designed to allow more and bigger special effects (mostly big explosions) rather than build and enhance the story. The tactics and manuevers used in the movie reflect a flawed Hollywood mentality trying to set up a scene for big special effects, and NOT what the Marines (who were fairly wise to Japanese tactics by the time they landed on Saipan) really used. The movie did fairly well in potraying the brutal, savage, no quarter type of close hand to hand combat that the Marines faced with the Japanese. The fighting in the town and brush were OK in that respect.
But ONLY in a Hollywood movie do artillery rounds land right on target on the first shot. It was absolutely RIDICULOUS to see nearly EVERY shot be precise enough to hit a tank, truck, or individual man!! I spent 2 years in an artillery battalion, it does NOT work that way. There are too many flaws to even begin to list them. These flaws and the numerous contrived situations in the movie caused the real story (which should have been most important) to be lost. Woo should stick to action films with story lines that allow a person to suspend their disbelief (like Face Off). Windtalkers was just a bunch of hot air. Too bad, the guys in real life deserved better representation. My vote is a 3 out of 10.
Follow That Dream (1962)
ELVIS does Florida
One of Elvis's better comedies. The movie has some good Elvis tunes and overall a nice light feel to it. The final courtroom scene is great and makes you wish every day in court ended up this way. While it is a "formula" movie in many respects, it does make for a nice evening or rainy afternoon "get away from it all" and have a laugh sitting. A must for any Elvis fan!
Disneyland: Johnny Shiloh: Part 1 (1963)
A Great Portrait Of A Brave Young Man *Spoilers*
SPOILERS This is one of Disney's best TV movies and despite being nearly 40 years old has a message that is timeless and inspiring for all ages. It demonstrates how courage and determination can overcome the worst of things. I have not watched it for many years, but it had such an awesome impact that I can still vividly remember nearly every scene. It is the true story of a idealistic young man named Johnny Clem who wants to be part of the monumental event that is shaping the future of his country, The American Civil War. He sees the men he has grown up around in his little town joining the Union army as a volunteer unit. Wanting to do his part he tries to join as well and is told that he is way too young. But his spirit and determination triumph as he becomes a drummer boy in the unit. He is befriended by a wise and savvy sergeant (one of Brian Keith's best roles) who watches out for him. His unit goes to fight in the battle of Shiloh, where he earns his nickname. When grown men all around him are panicked and running he stands fast and continues to play his drum. I'll leave it at that so as not to spoil any more of the story. Time and again throughout the movie, little Johnny (Shiloh) Clem displays the type of courage that made America great, facing down fear and doing what needed to be done. In real life John Clem went on years later to become a general in the U.S. Army. Stories don't come any better than this, and best of all it is true.
Due South: Pilot (1994)
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
This series was a wonderful change of pace, a TRUE breath of fresh air in a medium that strives for mediocrity. It is so boring getting constantly bombarded in show after show by Hollywood's bogus philosophy that "Nice Guys Finish Last". The good guys usually win but not without acting like the bad guys. So here is a novel idea, and more importantly a reminder that there are ideals and values that we would like to see lived out. The Nice Guy Does Finish First for a change. Who wouldn't want this guy to be your neighbor or friend. It is truly a shame that the networks did little to support the show and practically everything they could to let it die. This reminds of the show Christy which had a HUGE audience and often won its time slot (proven by the Nielsens) but was dropped because it did not do as well in a couple of markets that are the network favorites (I.E. New York, and L.A.). Nice to know that 2 cities control everything that Americans get to watch.
The Piano (1993)
D E P R E S S I N G
This has got to be one of the most depressing movies EVER made. The main characters are so self absorbed and mostly devoid of any semblance of decency that it is hard to sympathize, empathize, or relate to any of them, even the long-suffering pianist. One scene of abuse (verbal, emotional, or physical) is merely a lead in to another or frequently an even worse situation. New Zealand was no doubt a harsh place in the last century but this movie took it to the point of overkill. Should all movies have a `Brady Bunch' type of feel or ending? NO!! But this movie went to the equally bad extreme on the other end of the scale. The only thing I found myself caring about was for the movie to end. It was a waste of celluloid. 1993 must have been a poor year for Oscars since this received a best picture nomination. No offense to Hunter and Pacquin who played their roles well, but their Oscars should have gone to others. This movie is ONLY for those that want to become depressed. How do you spell loser? THE PIANO.