Beau Travail is the 1999 cult classic from renowned director, Claire Denis. It tells the story of Galoup, an ex-Foreign Legion officer who recalls his time leading troops in the country of Djibouti; and thanks to the folks over at Janus Films, the world is finally receiving a brand new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Agnès Godard and approved by director Claire Denis. From an outsider’s perspective, this seems like something that has been a long time coming and I cannot think of a better way to watch this film for the first time.
January 1942. The Atlantic War has been raging for three years and the losses on both sides are high. Despite the massive expenditure of man and material, the Atlantic still has to be crossed in order to secure the supply chain for the Allied powers. Time and again, convoys with a large number of transport ships are flanked by destroyers in order to bring them safely to their destination. As far as possible, airplanes provide escort. The not so young Ernest Krause was given command of the USS Keeling shortly after the USA entered World War II. The destroyer, nicknamed Greyhound hears is supposed to bring a convoy of 37 Allied ships safely through a five-day period in which air support is interrupted.
It's a shame that few will be watching this film. That shouldn't surprise anyone given that it was released on Apple TV+.
Greyhound is an exciting, fast paced, action movie written by Tom Hanks and directed by Aaron Schneider, a director not exactly known for fast paced action. Schneider directed the slow paced, not particularly well remembered Get Low, about a character played by Robert Duvall as a man struggling to plan his own death and burial. Get Low is actually a pretty good movie but it doesn’t exactly prepare you for the whipsaw action of Greyhound.
Following a group of four black American Vietnam-war veterans, we tread with careful steps through ghostly memories and volatile grounds as the men return to a field they never truly left. With a masterful cast, immersive cinematography, a Hollywood classic soundtrack, and charmingly frank directing, it’s safe to say that Spike Lee has done it again.
The plagues of the last 60 years of American history come to the fore in Spike Lee’s new movie Da 5 Bloods. The film is a reckoning of the Vietnam war, race relations, the murder of Martin Luther King, and the emptiness of avarice and greed. All of this on display amidst Spike Lee’s virtuoso direction and with a pair of performances from Delroy Lindo and Chadwick Boseman that will leave you breathless.
Spike Lee’s newest feature is an absolute gut-punch. I don’t think any introduction besides that would do Da 5 Bloods justice. Lee’s latest follows four Vietnam veterans, jovial Eddie (Norm Lewis), an often-drunk Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), measured and thoughtful Otis (Clarke Peters), and the wild card Paul (Delroy Lindo). The group travels back to Vietnam to recover the remains of their Bloods squad leader, Norm (Chadwick Boseman), who was killed in action, and also to recover a large fortune of US gold they buried when they were in the war.
I typically have something witty to say in my introductory paragraph. However, I can't think of anything funny at the moment, so imagine that the beginning of this review is some witty remark.
Da 5 Bloods had an amazing trailer that excited me for its release. It looked like a movie about war veterans coming back to Vietnam to look for treasure that they had buried back in the day. What we got was a lot more than a simple treasure hunting movie. As with many Spike Lee movies it's a study in the characters and the environment that they live in. It's a pretty interesting movie and although there were some interesting sidebars to the movie it was entertaining.
Released: 12th June 2020 (Netflix)
Released: 8th February 2020
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Summary: During World War I, two British soldiers – Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake – receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades – including Blake’s own brother.