Movie Review – Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

TL;DR – A powerful and deeply compelling film that explores a key moment in Australia’s military history and the cost it took.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a credit sequence and a mid-credit scene

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan. Image Credit: Transmission Films.

Review

Australia has a long history of making truly excellent war films. From works such as the pivotal Gallipoli to Beneath Hill 60 to The Rats of Tobruk and many more. So walking in I knew that there was a level of quality that was going to be there no matter what. However, for me, I can either be drawn in fully to war film or I can bounce off it like Andy Dwyer off an ambulance, so there was still a little hesitation. But I should not have been concerned because this is some of the best of Australian cinema at the moment.  

So to set the scene, it is 1966 and it is the height of the Vietnam War, a Cold War proxy conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union played out in the context of a civil war between North and South Vietnam. The 1st Australian Task Force headed by Brigadier David Jackson (Richard Roxburgh) is set up in Nui Dat where they send patrols out into the local countryside. One night the camp is attacked by mortars and while the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery were able to target them, the 1st Field Regiment, need to follow up the next day to find the source. Alpha Company didn’t find much, so part in punishment Harry Smith’s (Travis Fimmel) Delta Company was sent out to chase them down while a musical performance was happening back at camp. All was going well until at the rubber plantation at Long Tan the 11th Platoon of D Company came under heavy fire and it is soon discovered that this is not just a raiding party but a full battalion of the North Vietnamese Army heading their way, 100 men against and advance of 2000 and a monsoon is just about to hit.

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Movie Review – The Wolf’s Call (Le Chant du Loup)

TL;DR – A submarine film that knows how to be a great submarine film and have you sitting on the edge of your seat.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Wolf's Call. Image Credit: Pathé.

Review

It has been a while since I have watched a good military film, let alone one set on a submarine. There is a level of tension that you can rarely get in other films as two ships hunt each other in the dark. It is a scenario that you can really use to your best advantage if you have the cast that can sell it. Well, today we look at a film that is taking all of these elements, but can they pull it off, well let’s take a look.

In the not too distant future, where America has isolated itself and Russia is on the rise, we open in the waters off Syria. A commando team has been watching the Russian Port at Tarsus and is in need of an evacuation. Luckily France has a submarine offshore for that very reason. However, as the submarine gets into position Chanteraide (François Civil) the ship’s Acoustic Warfare Analysist can here something else out there other than the Iranian frigate, but as there is no submarine with four props it is discounted. That is until it lights the ship up with a sonar blast, alerting the Iranians to the submarines position and everything gets messy real quick. Back at base, everyone is on edge because Russia has invaded Finland, and there are threats of nuclear war. Chanteraide is certain that what he heard was not a drone, but time is running out.     

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Bells

TL;DR – The rushed final season is starting to show its issues … badly.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Bells. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

I have honestly been really happy where the final season has been going so far. I liked how Winterfell and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms were these slow-burn episodes giving us some much-needed character development and interaction. I found The Long Night to be a really emotional experience as the dead came and slaughtered. I was ever really jiving with The Last of the Starks up until that last 15 minutes. It was like a speed boat suddenly threw out its anchor grinding everything to a halt. This means for the first time, I am coming into an episode of this 8th season, and the penultimate episode at that, with a lot of hesitation and I don’t know how to feel about that. 

So to set the scene, last week everyone was celebrating their win over the dead and the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) but there was still one big threat on the horizon. Cersei (Lena Headey) still controls King’s Landing, and with it the legitimacy of the throne. Just one problem Cersei captured Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and beheaded her in front of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and well that did not go down well. So we begin today with everyone getting ready for the final push but some people have reservations and one of them is Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) who is finally caught out. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. This week we are going to do something a little different and focus our review on different character relationships because it is through these relationships we see the very highs of this episode and the real lows.  

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TV Review – The Orville: Blood of Patriots

TL;DR – A much more mature episode that we have seen in the past looking at the fallout of war and what that does to people

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Blood of Patriots. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

War is hell” it is one of those phrases that gets thrown around all the time by people trying to sound profound, without a real understanding of what that phrase actually means. War means making difficult decisions, one that haunts you at night, ones where there is not clear right option, and ones where even if you are doing the right thing, it may have disastrous consequences. Today’s episode puts the crew in the middle of such a quandary where they have to weigh in the choice of saving a hero or protecting a peace.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode Identity Part 2, The Planetary Union barely fought off an invasion and only stopped it because the Krill, a mortal enemy, was convinced that there was a bigger threat at play. This week we start off with the news from Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) that after decades of trying the Krill are finally ready to start peace treaty negotiations. This is a big deal because the thought of peace after so many years of war is something everyone can feel. The Orville is sent to a neutral location to meet with a Krill ship to begin the opening prelude to maybe having a peace treaty. As they arrive, they give the Krill a bit of trust and approach with deflectors down only to discover that the Krill ship is firing on one of their own shuttles. The shuttle askes to land, and when it does the crew find Orrin (Mackenzie Astin) and his daughter Lana (Aily Kei) in the badly disabled ship with only basic survival rations left. The Krill demand that they return the man because he is a terrorist putting Ed (Seth MacFarlane) in a very difficult position. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Punisher: Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that works just because of the charisma of its lead, however, it would have been better if it was more condensed

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Punisher

Review

Without a doubt, The Punisher might be the most difficult character to get right in the Netflix TV Marvel Universe. How do you make a man who murders a lot of people, a lot of people, yet still keep him a relatable character. Revenge driven storylines are thus really hard to make work because of this and for every Punisher or John Wick you have a plethora of others that don’t stick the landing. So the Punisher or Frank Castle first appeared in Season Two of Daredevil (see review) where he was one of the best parts of the entire season. However, the question is can a character like Frank work in a series all by himself? Well, that is what we will be looking at today.

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Movie Review – Darkest Hour

TL;DR – A beautifully realised look at the world of British politics on the onset of WW2, but it loses some of its impact with an unclear portrayal of its central protagonist.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Darkest Hour Banner

Review

Well, today we are looking at our third Dunkirk related film in the last year. Dunkirk (see review) looked at the retreat on the ground, sea, and air, Their Finest (see review) looked at how Britain used the retreat to mobilise the populace, and now Darkest Hour looks at the politics behind it all. Today we are exploring the rise of Winston Churchill from being an outsider of the political spectrum to a wartime ruler facing the might of Hitler and his European blitzkrieg. So in today’s review, we are going to look at the acting and how it captured that moment in time.

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Movie Review – The Post

TL;DR – A wonderfully filmed, brilliantly acted look at what was one of the most controversial periods in United States’ history. While it is interesting it does take a bit to get going.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

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Review

I don’t think a film in recent history has had an easier sell as The Post, a film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Meryl Streep & Tom Hanks, scored by John Williams, and based on one of the most controversial periods in United States’ history. Indeed, this is a kind of line up that you don’t see happen very often, and it is truly amazing to see it all come together. That being said there are some structural issues that do hold it back, and it does have a very clear message, and it is subtle about it which might work for you or not.

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