Special Forces (2010/E1 DVD)/Superpower (2010/Cinema
Picture: C+/C Sound: C+/C Extras: C-/C- Main Programs: C-/B-
has seen political extremism spill over into various kinds of features from
dramas to documentaries. Here are two
that show both ends within reason, why they fail and how they can date quickly…
Rybojad’s Special Forces (2010) is
not war porn, but is part of a “rah rah” cycle of military narratives about the
war on terrorism that seem very formulaic, cookie-cutter, forgettable and in
the face of Zero Dark Thirty very
anti-climactic. This one has Djimon
Hounsou, Diane Kruger as a reporter and real life leader Marius in Afghanistan as
said reporter is kidnapped. Can they
hoping this might pick up at any moment and having French forces for a change
made this more bearable to watch, but it becomes impossible to suspend
disbelief after the first half-hour as it all goes wrong, becomes highly
formulaic and never recovers. Heroes
should never be boring, which is why this should really have been about and
based on Marius.
Scenes that needed to be cut and look at Real Life Special Forces are the only
Steegmuller’s Superpower (2010) was
released two years after the Bush/Cheney White House ceased to exist, but you
would not know this from watching the often informative but also dated and
sometimes slanted two hours. Some of it
continues ideas that a certain far Left discourse has been talking about since
the 1980s including the U.S.
as imperialist, still touting communism to a great extent as feasible as and
with more than a few overgeneralizations.
hardly mentioned, suggesting he is not far Left enough for the makers of the
documentary, while some historical points are shockingly glossed over. The former country of Palestine is brought up off hand as if it
still existed, the reign of terror Stalin was responsible for is shockingly
ignored when he comes up and there is some information that is outright dated.
even when it is wrong, it is still a piece that makes the viewer think, but it
has its points to make just the same and is bold in doing so. However, it becomes more dated all the time
and as usual, has no alternative suggestions for all the awful things it sees
as happening and some of the and ones that are undoubtedly are.
fascinating was a long list of countries the U.S. intervened in without calling
it a war, but this is just thrown at us with very limited explanation,
including no extras on the DVD to back up what is being said. That kind of looseness with the facts also
undercuts this work. A trailer is the
only extra, believe it or not.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Forces
and 1.78 X 1 image on Superpower are
both soft and not great, but you would expect the former to look much better
except it is styled down while the documentary has some very rough footage and
more than its share of aliasing errors and other flaws throughout. Both have lossy Dolby Digital sound with the 5.1
on Forces good but not great with
more sound towards the front speakers than expected, while Superpower is barely 2.0 Stereo with plenty of compressed audio and
other audio issues.
- Nicholas Sheffo