Mel Gibson may have fallen out of favor with Hollywood but his movies are awesome. Hacksaw Ridge is another Mel Gibson master peace. Hacksaw Ridge is a biographical drama that takes place during World War II and tells the experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacificist combat medic who is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa.
Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), grew up just outside of Lynchburg, Virginia. As a young man he nearly killed his younger brother, Harold “Hal” Doss (Nathaniel Buzolic), during an altercation. This experience along with his Seventh-day Adventist upbringing strengthened Desmond’s belief in the commandment, Thou shalt not kill. Years later, Doss meets and falls for a nurse, Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer). when he brings a car accident victim to the hospital. At the outbreak of World War II, Doss, wanting to do his fair share, is motivated to enlist in the Army. His father, Tom Doss (Hugo Weaving), a troubled World War I veteran, is deeply upset by the decision. Because he is a conscientious objector, Doss intends to serve as a combat medic. Before leaving he asks for Dorothy’s hand in marriage and she accepts.
Doss is placed under the command of Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn). He excels physically but becomes an outcast among his fellow soldiers for refusing to handle a rifle and train on Saturdays. Howell and Captain Jack Glover (Sam Worthington), attempt to discharge Doss for psychiatric reasons but fail. Howell then torments Doss by putting him through grueling labor, intending to get Doss to leave of his own accord. Despite being beaten one night by his fellow soldiers, Doss refuses to identify his attackers and continues training. Doss was made fun of, his fellow soldiers suffered weekend passes withheld and much more was done to get Doss to quit and go home. Still he would not leave. Finally, upon completion of basic training and on leave, during which time Doss intended to marry Dorothy, he is arrested for insubordination for not following direct orders directing him to carry a firearm. To see how Doss gets out of this, marries Dorothy and ends up assigned to the 77th Infantry Division and deployed to the Pacific theater during the Battle of Okinawa, you have to see the movie.
You will see the most remarkable scenes in a war movie imaginable. I thought “Saving Private Ryan” was graphic but it really has nothing on Hacksaw Ridge, I was more than blown away. These men were in the fight of their life is way beyond an understatement. Doss did something so profound, he deserved more than a medal for, more than respect and more than a heroes recognition. Mel Gibson proudly captured the fear, the intensiveness, the faithfulness, the determination and the heart that went into the task at hand and what it really is to fight a war on the battlefield. There is nothing we, the civilians at home, shouldn’t want to do for these brave men coming home from war, broken up both mentally and physically and even whole after what they go through. Hacksaw Ridge is a movie for all to see. Of course if you can’t stand blood, it’s not for you. GREAT JOB MEL AND THE CAST OF HACKSAW RIDGE, WHICH IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY!!
[HACKSAW RIDGE is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 77th infantry, andrew garfield, battle of okinawa, captain jack glover, conscientious objector, desmond doss, dorothy schutte, firearm, hacksaw ridge, harold "hal" doss, hugo weaving, mel gibson, nathaniel buzolic, pacific theater, pacificist, sam worthington, sergeant howell, seventh day adventist christian, teresa palmer, tom doss, vince vaughn, world war i, world war ii
Silence is not for everyone. It is a heartbreaking story about Jesuit priest whose job was to spread the Gospel (Good News). In 1587, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Imperial Regent of Japan and Unifier of the country banned Catholicism. Japan, who chooses Buddhism as their nation’s religion. Hideyoshi proclaimed Christianity as dangerous and executed 26 Christians in Nagasaki as a warning to those who went against Japanese customs.
After an Italian Jesuit priest, Father Alessandro Valignano (Ciarán Hinds) receives news that Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), a Portuguese Jesuit in Japan, renounced his faith after being tortured. Ferreira’s two young pupils, also Portuguese, Fathers Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), set off in disbelief to find him. Kichijiro (Yōsuke Kubozuka), an alcoholic fisherman who fled Japan (later revealed to be a Christian who renounced his faith to save himself), agrees to guide them. At the Japanese village of Tomogi, the priests are surprised to find the local Christian population driven underground. They eagerly welcome the priests, who administer long-awaited sacraments and confessions to the people. A samurai searching for suspected Christians, whom the villagers refer to as “the inquisitor” (Issey Ogata), straps some of the villagers to wooden crosses on the beach and places them in the ocean, where the tide eventually kills them. The bodies are then cremated on a funeral pyre so that they cannot be given a Christian burial.
Garupe leaves for Hirado Island, believing that their presence forces the shogunate to terrorize the village. Rodrigues goes to Gotō Island, the last place Ferreira lived, only to find it destroyed. Wandering around Gotō, he struggles over whether it is self-centered and unmerciful to refuse to recant when doing so will end others’ suffering. He eventually reunites with Kichijiro, who betrays him into the hands of the samurai. An old samurai, who had earlier accompanied the inquisitor to Tomogi, tells Rodrigues that other captured Christians will suffer unless he commits apostasy.
Rodrigues is taken to Nagasaki, where he is imprisoned with the captured Christians from Gotō. At a tribunal, he is told Catholic doctrine is anathema to Japan. Rodrigues demands to see governor Inoue Masashige (Issey Ogata), who he learns to his dismay is the old samurai. Rodrigues is returned to prison, and Kichijiro arrives. He explains that court officials threatened him to give up Rodrigues, then says he is a Christian and asks to be imprisoned to be absolved of his betrayal through a confession, which Rodrigues reluctantly grants him. He later is released after agreeing again to step on a fumi-e (a crudely carved image of Christ), an act symbolizing rejection of the faith. Rodrigues is brought to witness a famished Garupe, and three other prisoners (who have apostatized) about to be drowned. Garupe refuses to apostasize, and the prisoners are drowned.
While Silence is not based on a true story it is based on true events. Japan used the above mentioned methods to get Christians to renounce their religion and did in fact, kill 26 of them as a warning. 55 more were killed in 1632 through out the missionary period on Mount Unzen and approximately 1000 were killed overall. The ban was lifted in 1873. There are roughly 500,000 openly practicing Christians in Japan today. Silence was directed by Martin Scorsese and is a historical drama worth your attention. It’s an incredible film with incredible acting and an incredible story to tell.
[SILENCE is nominated for Cinematography]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam driver, andrew garfield, catholic, christian, father cristovao ferreira, francisco garupe, fumi-ekichijiro, inoue masashige, inquisitor, issey ogata, japan, liam neeson, martin scorsese, mount unzen, nagasaki, samurai, sebastiao rodrigues, silence, tomogi, yosuke kubozuka
I wasn’t thrilled when they started making my beloved Spiderman movies with someone other than Toby MaGuire. Not being into the comic book scene, I was very surprised and confused when they remade Spiderman instead of continuing where the last Spiderman movie left off. This surprise sort of clouded my judgement towards the new Spider-man series making me very unhappy with the new film. I’ve since had time to adjust and see the errs of my ways. Little did I know Spiderman is a trilogy. I went into the Spider-Man 2 movie with great expectations. I knew a lot of fans were not too excited about the movie after seeing it but I forged on with my new attitude anyway. Oddly, I don’t agree with the fans who didn’t think much of Spider-Man 2. I think it was fantastic. It was more true to the comic book story (which I read up on) and it had lots of action and endless special effects. Hollywood threw everything at Peter Parker, including the kitchen sink. I like the added original comic book character of Gwen Stacy played by Emma Stone and I love Sally Field as Aunt May. I even like Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man. TAMN2 had all the usual bells and whistles; villains like Harry Osborn/The Green Goblin played by Dane Dehaan, who wants Spiderman dead, the unresolved death of Peter Parker’s parents, Oscorp powers that be cover-ups and always a new and different super-villain struggling for power. In this case, Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Eletro was quite convincing as an invisible person who finally gets noticed, albeit in a bad way. I couldn’t see anything not to like, as this movie wasn’t any different than other Spider-Man movies. Lots of destruction, action, romance and special effects. There’s so much going on in this movie, you won’t have time to be bored or uninterested. Some say Peter Parker’s relationship with Gwen Stacy is corny and cheesy but I disagree. I guess it’s a personal call — you’ll have to decide for yourself. TASM2 is worth seeing on the big screen and runs 2 hours and 22 minutes. I found the movie very entertaining.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged andrew garfield, aunt may, cheesy, corny, dane dehaan, electo, emma stone, gwen stacy, harry osborn, Jamie foxx, max dillon, oscorp, peter parker, sally field, special effects, tamn2, the amazing spiderman 2, the green goblin