Tag: Viet Nam War

The Post

December 29th, 2017 — 7:29pm


The Post

This movie tells a great classic American story with outstanding lead actors a strong supporting cast and of course it has Steven Spielberg as director. We approached this film with very high expectations. After its sluggish start, where we weren’t sure who were all the characters and what exactly was going on, we soon got with the flow and we were not disappointed. We trust the filmmakers, so we believe this is a true behind-the-scene story which those of us who can recall the time and the events, did not know all the details.

If you know anything about these historical events, a government worker by the name of Daniel Ellsworth (Matthew Rhys) leaked secret documents to the New York Times and Washington Post which reveal a government study showing that the United States could not expect to win the Vietnam War. This had tremendous implications since this would mean that subsequent United States military deaths and casualties would serve no purpose.

The drama centered around Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) who inherited the ownership of the Washington Post and had to make the decision whether or not to publish these papers and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) the heroic editor of The Post who advocated publishing the story despite possible risks to the newspaper and staff. There was an important back story as the viewer came to appreciate that Graham found herself in the unexpected role for a woman of her time and rose to the occasion. One of us was disappointed that part of the story, which involved Daniel Ellsworth’s psychiatrist, was not explored. Much of the drama in the movie involved phone calls often in the evening, which will have to be explained to any younger generation you might bring to the theater as they used “dial phones” “Princess phones” “payphones” which will be totally unknown to anyone under 40 who of course only has been familiar with cell phones (2017).

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary, Drama


October 26th, 2017 — 3:30am



If you are of a certain age or a student of history and can remember Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. this movie should grab you, fascinate you and hold your attention. Johnson (magnificently played by Woody Harrelson) was a seven term United States senator from Texas who was for many years, majority leader of the U.S. Senate and was chosen by JFK to be his vice presidential candidate. He rode to victory with Kennedy in 1960. Rob Reiner, who directed this movie with the use of very realistic flashbacks, builds up the tension leading to those fateful days in Dallas in 1963 when Johnson assumed the presidency.

Much to the surprise of his former southern Democratic colleagues in the Senate, Johnson did not support their views on segregation and discrimination. This movie written by Joey Hartstone deals mainly with how LBJ pushed through JFK’s cutting-edge Civil Rights Legislation.

Harrelson is fantastic in capturing the essence of LBJ, his mannerisms, facial expressions, and speech inflections. Along with the script by Joey Hartstone and direction by Rob Reiner, in our opinion, this is one of the best pictures of the year. There also are some very fine performances by Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lady Bird, Richard Jenkins as Senator Richard Russell and Michael Stahl-David who plays Bobby Kennedy.

Much of Johnson’s presidential legacy is often tainted by his failure to end the Vietnam War which this movie did not focus on. However, the realistic depiction of Johnson’s domestic accomplishments which not only included civil rights legislation but also welfare reform and Medicare and Medicaid is often forgotten. This movie gives him the well deserved recognition and appreciation for his contribution to our country. Likewise we believe this film should receive great accolades for being a very well done and engrossing cinematic accomplishment. (2017)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, Politics

An Unlikely Weapon

September 7th, 2010 — 1:27am

An Unlikely Weapon* * * *
An Unlikely Weapon
– sp – This is a an outstanding documentary about Eddie Adams the photographer who in 1968 photographed a Saigon police chief shooting a Vietcong guerilla point black Some say that photo ended the Vietnam War by it’s influence on the US public.This film shows how Adams, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the picture, never really understood why it was so great and but was profoundly effected by the incident for much of his life. He strove for perfection throughout his career and never believed he came close, despite continually trying He was a complex but an immensely likeable person. He felt his greatest accomplishments were when he returned to Viet Nam and joined the rejected boat people on what seemed to be a hopeless journey. He took pictures of them which probably influenced President Carter and the US Congress to let a couple hundred thousands of these Vietnamese refugees into the US and become part of the next generation of immigrants. When he moved on to subjects beyond the war he related well to them whether they be Fidel Castro, the Pope, or movie stars, which is why they allowed him to capture such unique photos of these well known subjects . You may have to search out this film or wait until it comes on DVD since it is going to have an uphill battle to get good distribution. If you are inclined to see this picture you will not be disappointed. We had the opportunity to hear a discussion of this film not only with Susan Morgan Cooper the Director/Producer but also with Pulitzer winning photographers David Hume Kennerly and Nick Ut (who took the also unforgettable photo of the Vietnamese girl running down the street after a Napalm bombing) Both were in Viet Nam with Adams and confirmed the authenticity of the film and of the subject himself. (2009)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary, War

The Fog of War

September 6th, 2010 — 3:11am

* * *
The Fog of War
– nf  – We had always wanted to see this 2003 Documentary about former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. It won an Oscar and is directed by Errol Morris who used a special technique (Michael learned about it during a documentary about documentaries) where McNamara talks to the interviewer while looking at a monitor directly under the camera that is filming him so he speaks directly into the camera. McNamara was 85 at the time of the filming and is intent on giving the story of lessons learned through his experience with the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Viet Nam War (about which we were most curious) as well as during his time as head of Ford and later the World Bank. The film was interesting, held our attention, made McNamara more likeable than we expected and showed him acknowledging he made mistakes. However at the conclusion we still didn’t really understand exactly where he felt he went wrong in Viet Nam or where he substantially disagreed with Lyndon Johnson. Political junkies will want to see this especially if you lived through this period of time. 2003

Comment » | 3 Stars, Documentary, War

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