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Gunner Palace
DVD disk
07.08.2005 By: Quigles
Gunner Palace order
Director:
Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker

Actors:
Stuart Wilf
Bryant Davis
Devon Dixon

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In a bombed pleasure resort previously owned by Saddam Hussein, American soldiers live their life there day to day, dealing with the war in their own way. This is their story, told about them by them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
GUNNER PALACE delivers a whole lot more than any news channel has ever done, due largely to its focus on, well, everything. One second we see a group of soldiers partying it up, the next second the same militia team are knocking down doors and capturing those out to cause them harm. There is no actual structure to any of it, as we just seem to be flip-flopping back and forth between various events. There is also little to no bloodshed, so if thatís what youíre looking for, just turn on any news station instead. No, instead of all that, we are given the real deal Ė soldiers, not reporters, talking about what they do. Itís hardly sentimental, and not at all tear jerking, but it is certainly eye opening.

At times this documentary delves into political ideals, but itís done from the standpoint of the soldiers. They say what they feel, we listen, and then draw our own conclusions. They donít force us to believe what they believe, they just speak honestly, sometimes even through rapping. In fact, there is a whole lot of rapping throughout the movie, sometimes in the background, other times done in freestyle by soldiers. The music (or ďnoiseĒ as some people call it) sets the tone for the film, so if you hate rap, then you may find the movie particularly grating and maybe even a little hateful (since rap seems to have that effect on some people). I found the rap music not only surprising, but also oddly fitting. If you listen to the words in each freestyle, a story is told in a near poetic method. So, as with the rest of the film, all you have to do is listen, and then make up your own mind. So now you know, and knowing is half the battle Ė GI JOE! (Sorry Ďbout that, got a little carried away...)
THE EXTRAS
This isnít an overstuffed DVD, but we do get a few special features to check out, the most important of which is the additional footage. On a separate note, I really dug the DVD casing, which is a clear box with a double-sided sleeve, so that you can see photos through it when it is opened. Very nice!

Additional Scenes (27:49): There are 17 of them. These arenít as harsh as many of the scenes in the actual movie, but are definitely worth checking out if you liked it. Some of them are just as insightful as the film itself.

Gunner Freestyles: There are three audio tracks (no video) to listen to and enjoy, that is, if you appreciate rap music. The lyrics are fairly good at times, and I especially liked the first track.

There is also the US Theatrical Trailer and 3 Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Whether you are for or against the war, this is still a must watch. You get to hear the soldiersí story through them, and not through reporters and politicians. Itís done a little sloppily, but it works overall, and stresses a strong message. That message isnít one thatís preached, but one that you have to figure out yourself based on your own personal beliefs. GUNNER PALACE is an informative and honest documentary that should be seen by everyone at least once.
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