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Three Kings
BLU-RAY disk
Nov 2, 2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Three Kings order download
Director:
David O. Russell

Actors:
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Ice Cube

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The Gulf War is finally over but before Uncle Sam packs up to go home, some of his soldiers stumble upon a map that could possibly lead to Saddam Husseinís treasure trove, so the boys decide to fly under the radar in hopes of landing the payday of a lifetime.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Iíve never been a big fan of war films or the army in general. I remember the turmoil surrounding the Gulf War but seeing as how I have no family involvement with army (and that I was still too young to care) I couldnít help but feel detached from the whole thing. 9-11 was a totally different story, I was working at a restaurant when that hit the news and was blown away, but again, thatís another story. I remember renting this one and liking it when it came out and not much has changed over the years as itís still a pretty entertaining trek through the desert.

What defines this film for me is the fact that our heroes (who are jokingly referred to as the three kings of Bethlehem) are indeed soldier whoíve been fighting the good fight but after discovering a goody map in the enemyís (ahem) lower bunker, decide to forget Uncle Sam and go for the gold, Saddamís gold that is. I was all about these boys getting a piece of the pie just as Iím all about cops who take a bit off the top during drug busts, these guys risk their necks to serve and protect and from where Iím sitting they should be entitled to the spoils of war, so yes, I was rooting for them the whole way.

George Clooney led the way here back when he was still the man and not reduced to fluff roles. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN may not have been Oscar worthy but Clooneyís performance in it sure as hell was. Thatís the kind of bad ass mojo I like seeing Mr. Clooney bring to the table and thatís exactly what I got here. Marky Mark and the Cube played great wingmen and all in all these boys got the job done when it came to action, quick witted dialogue and drama. Conscience in a bitch and bites these boys clean in the ass by the end of things but I guess things could have gone down worse.

THREE KINGS played a vividly coherent card when it comes down to the Gulf War but at the same time painted a believable picture of what can happen when we get a little too greedy. Army based films are hit or miss for me; THE KINGDOM and THE HURT LOCKER were my two favourites over the past few years but again, for the most part, I donít care for films like these. The FX approach used here was also rather clever when it came down to showing what happened inside the body when shot (I really dug that) and despite being Gulf War explicit, this flick still packs a worthy punch.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: There are a couple commentaries here; one with David O. Russell and one with Edward L. McDonnell. The first oneís a bit more flamboyant than the second but both capture the raw essence of the film from each perspective view point. There was a bit of bickering on set that made for some juicy gossip at the time and though I was hoping to hear a little more about it, sadly we get zip on the subject. Canít say Iím surprised though, itís not like they talked about the Bale blowout on the TERMINATOR: SALVATION commentary.

On Set with Catherine Hardwicke: Here we get a look at all the locales used in the film and how the production designer thought theyíd fit. Again, if youíve seen one desert youíve pretty much seen them all as far as Iím concerned.

David O. Russellís Video Journal: Here we get some insight into what it was like shooting outside and creating a dessert setting at war. Though interesting, Iíd have to side with the piece they did for PRINCE OF PERSIA as working in Morocco trumps the hell out of this.

The Cinematography of Three Kings: This one was interesting as it delved a little deeper into how they shot those internal scenes I dug so much. Add to that, thereís so much a soldier needs to know before he can be combat ready in the field.

Under the Bunker: This making-of segment focuses upon the overall ups and down when it came to shooting the movie along with the physical rigors they put the actors through. They got their very own boot camp, Iím sure they were pumped.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iím sure the military pays well but Iíd be all about going for that gold too. I like this story; itís well grounded and entertaining especially if you dig war flicks. That said, if you own the DVD I canít say double dipping is necessary here as this one doesnít have a lot of replay value.
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10:34AM on 11/02/2010

Spike Jonze

How can you write a review without mentioning the greatest character in it played be no other than the great Spike Jonze?
How can you write a review without mentioning the greatest character in it played be no other than the great Spike Jonze?
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9:21AM on 11/02/2010
I love this movie. This was the first movie I think dealing with the Gulf War, and makes an interesting statement about that conflict, in which most of the guys didn't even see much action. Also, along with "Being John Malkovich," this was the year I was introduced to Spike Jonze, who's pretty damn hilarious here.
I love this movie. This was the first movie I think dealing with the Gulf War, and makes an interesting statement about that conflict, in which most of the guys didn't even see much action. Also, along with "Being John Malkovich," this was the year I was introduced to Spike Jonze, who's pretty damn hilarious here.
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