Seal Team Six An Underappreciated Military Thriller

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainmen

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainmen

Movies based on actual events make up one of the largest genres of movies in the modern movie industry.  From stories centered on legal cases to sports to everything else in between, movies based on actual events are more bountiful than the egos that fill the movie industry today.  That’s saying something.  Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to discount so many of those movies, whether they be big budget or independent.  And then there are those such as the recent megahit, Zero Dark Thirty that was anything but passable. It was a definite hit for a variety of reasons.  Ironically, as big of a hit as it was, it actually came after a far lesser known, but just as enjoyable story in Anchor Bay Entertainment’s, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden.  It leaves one wondering what prevented this surprisingly entertaining story from gaining the fame and success of its big blockbuster brother.

The most obvious of reasons why Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden didn’t gain the fame of Zero Dark Thirty is that the prior was an indie flick, while the other was backed by a major studio.  Despite the fact that it was backed by an independent studio, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden is surprisingly entertaining. Any viewer that was a fan of CBS’ short-lived military drama The Unit or Entertainment One’s more recent military action/thriller, Special Forces will enjoy this movie.  It may not have the deep drama-filled storyline of Zero Dark Thirty or the major special effects, etc.  But it still manages to hold its own against its big brother.  As was noted in the movie’s bonus “Making of” featurette, those behind the camera did not set out to make it another Zero Dark Thirty.  It’s obvious this statement was made after the movie in question had been released, considering that this movie was released before the other.  That aside, it’s good to know that it didn’t want to be about all the extra drama that surrounded the raid before and after.  That it focused mainly on the raid itself and the men that carried out the orders is perhaps another reason that it wasn’t as warmly welcomed as its big screen counterpart.

One of the most important factors pointed out in the “Making of” featurette that accompanies this movie is its tri-pointed story approach.  It’s noted that the story is told from the vantage point of not just the members of Seal Team Six, but also from the point of the CIA operatives in Washington, D.C., and from a pair of intelligence gatherers inside Pakistan.  The three points eventually intersect for the final action filled sequence that will have viewers on the edge of their seats.  What is most impressive of the three stories is that the melodrama between Cherry (Anson Mount – Hell on Wheels) and Stunner (Cam Gigandet—The O.C., Twilight, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Easy A) is kept to an extreme minimum.  This allows the story to progress much more smoothly and stay focused on the central story of the operation to take Bin Laden.  In turn, the story’s pacing never lets up, thus keeping viewers engaged throughout the story’s hour and a half run time. 

The script’s limited melodrama is the tip of the iceberg for Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden in keeping audiences engaged.  Keeping the melodrama to an extreme minimum allows for more time for action and focus on story development from all three perspectives.  Instead of wasting unnecessary amounts of time focusing on each member’s personal and family drama, it instead used that time to develop the characters themselves and build tension as preparations began for the operation to take Bin Laden.  Throughout the course of these developments, the script’s pacing never lets up.  This is the center of everything.  The pacing is never too fast or slow.  This combined with the minimalist drama and energy packed action scenes all come together to make this movie an underappreciated military action movie.  It proves, in the end, to be a movie that while it may be a TV movie, is still one that is worth at least one watch by fans of this genre now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  It can be ordered online direct from Anchor Bay’s official website at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=78fae55b-2924-e211-a8d1-d4ae527c3b65.  Fans of this movie can keep up with even more from Anchor Bay on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBayEntertainmentCanada

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Eastern NC The CW Holding Special Advance Movie Screening

Courtesy:  Eastern NC The CW

Courtesy: Eastern NC The CW

One of the biggest films of 2013 is set to hit theaters next Friday, January 11th.  And it boasts some of the biggest names in the business today.  Gangster Squad, presented by Warner Brothers Pictures and Village Roadshow stars a who’s who of Hollywood’s past and present in: Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Mickey Cohen.  Now audiences in Eastern North Carolina will get to see the movie before it premieres.  And it’s all thanks to Eastern North Carolina The CW.

Audiences will get to see a special screening of Gangster Squad Tuesday, January 8th at the Carmike 12 on Firetower Road in Greenville.    All viewers have to do to get passes is go online to http://www.gofobo.com/rsvp and enter the code, CWGRNCHVJR.  Audiences need only register on gofobo in order to use the code and retrieve their passes.  Simply follow the instructions to get up to two passes for the screening.  Passes are in limited quantity.  So they are first come first serve.

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Crazy, Stupid, Love is crazy, but not stupid

Boy meets girl, loses her, and gets her back in the end.  Name that movie.  Pretty tough call, right?  That’s because it’s the most common theme for nearly every romantic comedy ever made.  The plot has been done so many times–in so many different manners–that it’s amazing the genre is even still considered viable.  Thankfully though, every now and then a diamond in the rough comes to light, and renews hope in the rom-com genre.  In 2011, that diamond in the rough was the ensemble piece, Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a quirky and original rom-com led by the one and only Steve Carell.  It’s not the first rom-com with an ensemble cast.  Who out there remembers Valentines Day?  I should be ashamed for even knowing about that movie.  It was an awful movie, by the way.  But I digress.  Unlike so many other movies that pollute the rom-com genre, it’s a movie that actually has heart, and an original story.  The problem with the story is that as original and heartwarming as it is, it has too much going on.  There are too many interweaving plotlines.  The general story tries so hard to cover all of its bases that it leads to a pacing problem.  The issue with the story’s pacing is so noticeable that it can lead some audiences to want to hit the fast forward button on their remotes.

The primary storyline in the movie is between Cal Weaver (Carell) and his wife, Emily.  Cal is trying to rediscover himself after Emily tells him during a night out, that she wants a divorce.  She proceeds to admit to Cal on their drive home, that she had been cheating on him.  This is where things begin to get complicated.  So pull out your scorecards.  Ready?  In attempting to rediscover himself, Cal meets playboy Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who teaches Cal how to woo women.  During the process, Cal meets his son’s teacher, Kate (Marisa Tomei), and Jacob meets Hannah, whom he later falls for.  This results in Jacob changing his ways, and a surprise twist thrown in for good measure.  The tie in with Kate is directly related to Cal’s son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo) cursing in class one day because his affections toward an older girl were spurned.  The girl in question is named Jessica (Analeigh Tipton).  Jessica has a schoolgirl crush on Cal.  And that leads to some interesting events.  So, is everyone following along?  The whole game of six degrees continues on even more, to the point that a person would need a program to follow it all.  It simply bogs the story down too much. 

No one can be blamed for wanting to skip through portions of the movie, due to its pacing problem.  No one can even be blamed for actually doing it.  However, those who don’t will be rewarded with a happy ending that’ll leave them with some sense of fullfilment, and a smile on their faces in the end.  Said audiences’ minds might be reeling from all the storylines after it’s all said and done.  Those who manage to keep up with it all will definitely find Crazy, Stupid, Love to be crazy, yes.  But they’ll also find it to be anything but stupid.