Soldiers: The Militarization Of Love
(2018/DVD*)/Hypnosis To Be
(**both 2018/IndiePix DVDs)/King
(***/****both 2018/FilmRise/*all MVD/***all Blu-ray)
B-/C/C/C+/C+/B Sound: B-/C+/C+/C/C+/C Extras: D/C-/C-/D/B/C
a group of offbeat dramas, most of which you probably have not heard
of yet, plus a documentary that fits in well enough...
of the best soldiers on the battlefield are the brave canine soldiers
that assist their Military handlers. This new documentary by Nancy
Schiesari (Regret to Inform), Canine Soldiers: The
Militarization of Love (2018), explores this undeniable bond
between human and canine as these animals are trained from birth to
sniff out bombs, and other threats in the line of duty, saving lives
in the process. Some of the film's highlight points include video in
Iraq of soldiers on the battlefield with dogs, the training of the
animals, and a touching funeral for a fallen canine soldier.
cast of the documentary includes soldiers who have bonded with combat
trained dogs firsthand including SGT Tyler Budge, SSG Elizabeth
Davies, SGT Marcin Radwin, SGT Brad Mrsny, SSG Copeland, and many
you're a dog lover or perhaps someone interested in the military
subject, then this doc is touching, and certainly shows that no
matter how many millions are spent in extensive weapons and tech,
nothing can sometimes top a properly trained military dog.
Audiffred's Hypnosis To Be
Happy (2018) is about two
friends who are not happy. Felipe and Pilar are friends drifting on
their own, but he suddenly decides to ask her to marry him out of
nowhere and will this help either of them? A semi-road trip film,
Pilar offers him some New Age thinking from a 1970s-era audio tape to
remember, though it too may be in vain.
runs only about 75 minutes and the actors are not bad and the ideas
are workable, but the script and film simply do not have enough time
to get this to work, develop enough to make this effective and this
is one of those rare works of late that could have used 15 to 45 more
minutes to really have some impact. Nice try and anyone interested
might want to try it out, especially being this short, but I was a
little disappointed after a good start.
are the only extra.
(2018) is shot in a semi-documentary style and has all the main
characters eventually meeting in Shanghai, which is made just enough
into a character itself, a new city with rich architecture,
increasingly iconic buildings and the idea that it could become
greater tomorrow, which draws young people there, no matter how
strict some of its laws may be. One comes from the country and likes
the city, so she goes there, meeting a rich girl who has everything
and is not too happy.
like some of the look of the film, the idea and its attempt at
character study, yet it also has more than a few moments that just
seem like documentary out of nowhere and that throws the film off a
bit. It runs 101 minutes and could have used its time a little
better, but this is the director's first film and shows promise for
the next. This is worth a look for those interested.
are the only extra.
lawyer Captain Hargreaves is to defend private Hamp for desertion in
a military tribunal in the middle of WWI battle field. What seems
like a simple open and shut case, as Captain Hargreaves pleads his
case he begins to understand how it isn't a simple case. Soldiers in
the field are dying everyday and when one wants to go home he is to
be shot as if he was the enemy in Joseph Losey's King
and Country (1964).
Hargreaves is a lawyer for the military and is order to defend a
private when he is caught for desertion. To the military, deserters
are classified as traitors and subject to summary executions. As
Hargreaves defends his 'client' he realizes private Hamp isn't a
coward or traitor, he just wants to go home. In the time before
PTSD, armies call soldiers 'shell shocked' and military command
treated soldiers with little justice and even fewer respect. To the
generals, soldiers must follow order and even die when ordered. In
the end, Captain Hargreaves case for justice is ignored and Hamp is
still executed as an 'example' to 'boost moral' for the troops and
Hargreaves realizes the military has no respect for the lives of
soldiers and their 'call' for justice was a hollow one.
was a early historical black and white war movie that showed what was
it like for soldiers during World War I and how they were treated.
Soldiers in the war for long time they begin to get depressed and
become tired of violence and death suffered PTSD (Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder) which was not recognized until 1950s (and even then
the military did nothing for the soldiers until the 1970s). It
basically showed how the military cared more about the war than the
lives of their soldiers. Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern,
Barry Foster, Peter Copley and James Villiers lead the great cast.
takes her daughter Clara to meet her eccentric grandmother Ethel for
the first time. Grandmother Ethel lives secluded up in the mountains
away from society, but as she learns about her grandmother (AND her
mother), she learns about their pasts, their secrets and why her
mother became estranged from her. Three generations of woman come
together, dark secrets from the past will brought to light and
forever change how Clara sees her mother and grandmother in Alex
O Eaton's Mountain
is a young girl on the verge of womanhood and journeys with her
mother to meet her grandmother for the first time, but on meeting
her, not only does she discover she is dying, but she was a former
actress and was in Hollywood. Ethel lives with Frankie's
ex-boyfriend Bascolm and he is her male gigolo. Bascolm still holds
a torch for Frankie but he also openly flirts sexually with Clara
saying she looks like Frankie when she was younger, but later Frankie
hints that he maybe Clara's biological father. At first, Clara is
awed by the audacity and admires her grandmother's spirit and
lifestyle, and she is praised that she has talent to become an
actress one day. Then she learns through town gossip her grandmother
was also the town whore and she slept her way into Hollywood with
anyone who could help give her a role and was kicked out naked in the
streets afterwards. Only then Clara begins to realizes the
townspeople and boys saw her as a future 'mini-whore'. She then
begins to understand why her mother left because of the shame.
Frances Conroy and Natalia Dyer lead the cast.
was a film made by women for women. In particular it seems to focus
on the relationship between mothers and daughters. The person you
are closest to are sometimes also the hardest to understand. Extras
include interviews, deleted scenes and trailer.
filmed during the recent California wildfires, Wildland (2018)
takes you behind the scenes and follows a team of trainees as they
learn to fight fire. As they struggle against themselves and natures
elements, learn of their stories of how they started, came together,
trained and became a team. A literal trial by fire, what started out
as a group of strangers become a band of brothers to fight nature's
most primary and destructive forces.
follows a group of trainee forest fighters as they learn and train on
how to fight fires destroying hundreds of thousands of acres. It
takes strength, endurance, fortitude and courage. The group of
trainees made of drop outs, junkies, ex-cons and thrill seekers who
at first wanted to find a second chance or to test their mettle. At
first, they believed it to be an adventure and they would become
'heroes', but through their training they changed and learned all of
what they thought is nothing, but to survive is everything. And when
the call came to the real thing, life is not about the rewards but
just to DO what they can to survive a REAL inferno ...and to never
giving up, defending others who will never see, hear, know or thank
documentary is about how ordinary people who train to fight large
scale forest fires, it IS hard work, it ISN'T easy and there are NO
rewards except for what they take away with them. Through their
experiences they learn how fragile life is and how nature can easily
destroy everything, but to survive the training and then forest
fires, the one thing nature can't take away was their experiences
together. Extras include deleted scenes, photo gallery and trailer.
for playback quality, the 1080p
1.78 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image on King
can look good, but also shows the age of the print, has minor
compression issues and framing is a bit tight, while the 1080p 1.66 X
1 digital High Definition image on Mountain
has more motion blur than it ought to, so it is a surprise that the
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Wildland
somehow looks the best of the three Blu-rays despite the problems you
can run into in live location shooting of real life and real life
subjects without a script. The PCM 2.0 Mono on King
shows its age, but why Mountain
have lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes when they should have lossless
sound is odd and gets in the way of enjoying either.
is interesting from the beginning and nicely shot and cut. The film
is presented on standard definition DVD with an anamorphically
enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2.0 stereo mix. The
film has some moments that look better than others as compression
issues are evident, but that's native to the format and to be
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Happy and
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Intimacy have some
good shots, but both have more motion blur than they should, plus
they have burned-in subtitles that are too small and should have
never gone out that way. In both cases, the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo is good, but could be better and would be more noticeable if
you were speaking the native language of each respective film.
Nicholas Sheffo (IndiePix), Ricky Chiang and James