December 05, 2007
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Parachute Movie Ratings 5 parachutes
One chute- read the promo material.

Two chutes-Rent the DVD: just as good as seeing the movie.

Three chutes- See at Discount price.

Four chutes-Worth your time to see at regular price.

Five chutes-If you miss it, you'll be sorry. Need to see it on the big screen.
lions for lambs dvd jacket
Lions For Lambs

Reviewer: Kelly Thomas

Lions For Lambs is a good ethereal movie! Stereotypical characters were necessary, in the movie, to convey various points of view. The basic anti-war arguments are implied: Bad intel that led us into Iraq(basically doing what the President wanted anyway, along with Rumsfeld, Pearl, Wolfowitz); and, of course, no real consideration to what could happen after the overthrow of Saddam and surely not an exit strategy. But, we know all this.

The movie is basically divided into three stories which maybe somewhat or a lot implausible- Could these happen? There were no real heroes in Lions and Lambs other than the soldiers. Robert Redford, a college professor, (political science, I think) uses one of his disillusioned students to make his point. The student is the prototype for the Ipod or X generation.

Much of this seems contrived; but, for the purpose of the story, is irrelevant to me. In the course of this amazing dialogue about all the issues of the Iraq War , we discover that Redford is himself a Vietnam vet but became a "John Kerry" type or antiwar proponent.

Two minority students from Redford's class decide that they can make a difference, but only in being directly involved in the war-by serving-in the military. Redford's character is taken a back because this is not what he intended. What makes it a little impausible is the idea that two minority students would opt to leave college-some place like UC, Berzerkerly(Berkeley, University of California) to go into Special Forces and suffer in war just to make a point. I don't think so.

But, such are movies and they can make anything happen they want too. The movie is done in many flashbacks, one being where the two minority students are making a presentation in the class. The class has to be about making a difference in society. They actually present my idea of National Service.

The senator, played by Tom Cruise, is really a stereotypical conservative, possibly a reactionary. His character didn't give one much confidence in politicians or politics, even if we needed any encouragement to think they were self0serving.

The soldiers were part of a small A-Team of Special Forces soldiers which represented a supposely new strategy in Afghanistan, fight and operate in small groups and be a force. This was a strategy that the Senator, a West Point graduate, finished 1st in his class, helped develop. A concept, which, by the way, we used in Vietnam and. I believe would have worked in Nam had we not introduced conventional forces into the mix. It might work in Afghanistan or Iraq if we were willing to stay there for years and years, which we are not.

The soldiers died; they ran out of ammo as they were fighting the Taliban, we assume. It didn't seem that they had much ammo-no grenades, anything. Actually, they had fallen out of the back of a hook(helicopter), close to the ground when it took fire and turned around, thus leaving them on the ground.

The critics panned it and I can understand but I don't think they saw the larger picture. One critic called the movie a "talkathon" and it is mostly. However, I think critics are jaded themselves mostly and have lost their sense of seeing soemting for its greater good. (I saw August Rush and loved it. Now, this is an implausible movie but you should take your grandchildren).

I think the most striking thing to me had to do with the concept of those whom this country has given the least are in fact those most willing to serve, i. e, at least as this movie portrayed it. But, too, I think that it is much of the Volunteer Army concept even if soldiers are serving for different reasons- Since we have a volunteer Army, you not going to see kids from wealthy families serving-mosting those from lower socio-economic levels.

What is equally interesting to me is why the war movies aren't doing any better at the box office and not just the Iraq ones. Even Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, didn't do well. Americans or those who ordinarily give a da--, are possibly tired of the war, disinterested,or uninvested.

I think that what we are seeing or beginning to see are the early stages of the same things that Vietnam vets saw. There is already an apathy out there. I see it with comments from soldiers. Let's face it, people in America have little interest in hearing soldiers experiences. The few Iraq vets that I've talked with, seem to feel, that, since there is little sacrifice in America, there is lack of interest. I think so, but the soldiers don't really objectively know this, simply they think it, which is equally important. Now, of course, the poor attendance at the war movies bear this out.

There's only so much to be said. But, still, these young guys, like us, have participated in the event of their lives. I think soldiers would like folks to be interested-even to see the movies(With the exception of one I haven't seen, Redacted, which is the first movie that is critical of soldiers, at least I hear it is Bill O'Reilley, supposedly railed against it).

To be honest, I don't know what's wrong. When I've tried to engage people about Iraq, I don't get much traction. What most don't get either is for Vietnam vets or for Iraq vets, the war doesn't end when someone comes home. God bless the soldiers. Two parachutes.

2 parachutes

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