#1  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:45 AM
Act of Valor - The "Real Navy SEAL movie"



Directors: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh

Writer: Kurt Johnstad (written by)

Starring: Real Navy SEALs

Genre: Action

Tagline: The only easy day was yesterday.

Plot: An elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent

Rared R

Running time: ??

Release dated: Feb 24


Trailers at Apple.com

So, at first I didn't know what to make of this movie. Low budget, no cast, but good looking marketing... my first instinct was that this was another one of those god movies like Fireproof and Courageous, but I was wrong.

Turns out this is straight up Pentagon propaganda aimed at recruiting people into the Navy. The actors really are Navy SEALs and the movie had full support of the Department of Defense. In fact, it was an office within the DoD that actually prompted the movie itself.

Now, I'm not saying any of this is bad; I'm just making it clear up front what this movie is. That said, I do think this looks pretty good, even if it comes off as Call of Duty: The Movie.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:48 AM
'Act Of Valor' And The Military's Long Hollywood Mission

Jordan Zakarin Jordan@huffingtonpost.com

First Posted: 02/17/2012 12:10 pm Updated: 02/17/2012 8:36 pm


A crack team of highly skilled warriors, outfitted with the most advanced weapons of the world’s most powerful military force, storms an enemy compound, firing round after round of ammunition through concrete walls and the skulls of their terrorist adversaries.

The good guys have yet to suffer a single casualty until, suddenly, one of its leaders takes a rocket to the chest. The audience cringes, but the bang never comes -- the rocket clangs to the ground, unexploded, and the battle rages on.

The upcoming film "Act of Valor" is replete with that kind of action, but there are a few things it doesn't have: There are no corrupt officers, no damaged heroes, no queasy doubts about the value of the mission or the virtue of the cause.

That's because "Act of Valor" was born not in Hollywood, but in the Pentagon. It was commissioned by the Navy's Special Warfare Command and its success will be measured not in box-office receipts, but in the number of new recruits it attracts to the Navy SEALs.

"Early on, we were pretty honored and humbled to be asked to take a look at potentially telling their story," said "Valor" producer and former stuntman Scott Waugh, "to take a look at what telling their story would even look like."

This may be the U.S. armed forces' first feature-length recruiting film, but it's far from the first time unsuspecting audiences have been treated to Pentagon propaganda at the movies. As early as 1927, when military assistance on the film "Wings" helped it win Best Picture at the first Oscars ceremony, the Department of Defense has long maintained its own production office that offers filmmakers the latest in arms and high-tech vehicles at cut-rate prices -- as long as their scripts are deemed worthy.

That's not the most restrictive the government has been, however. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States officially entered World War II, the film industry fully enlisted in the war effort. Studios fell in line behind the government's Office of War Information, which included the Bureau of Motion Pictures and the Office of Censorship. Together, these agencies kept a close watch on Hollywood's output. Actors went to war on film (and some, in real life), narrated documentaries about the threat posed by the Axis powers, and lampooned America's enemies -- especially the Japanese -- using racial stereotypes.

While studios may have been happy to help out, they also didn’t have much of a choice; the Motion Pictures Bureau read over movie scripts and the Office of Censorship controlled all international film exports.

After the war, while Senator Joseph McCarthy waged a campaign against suspected Communists in Hollywood, the military sought to influence the industry with access to technical advice, weapons, vehicles and troops. The Film Liaison Office, established in 1948, was charged with reviewing scripts by filmmakers who wished to use U.S.-issued guns, tanks and ammunition to ensure that they portrayed the armed forces in a suitably positive light.

For nearly two decades, the Pentagon and Hollywood told stories of the Allies’ glorious victory, with John Wayne and friends taking down the Nazis time and time again. By the late sixties, however, filmmakers' love for the military began to sink like boots in the swamp as the horrors of Vietnam were broadcast nightly to homes nationwide.

From "M*A*S*H" to "Apocalypse Now" to "Platoon," heroism was supplanted by harrowing portrayals of hopeless, endless brutality. Soldiers coped with drugs, leaders went mad and the government conspired against its own men. Unsurprisingly, those war films, among the greatest of the past half-century, were produced without assistance from the Pentagon.

By the time "Platoon" was released in Christmas 1986, however, the Film Liaison Office had started reasserting a measure of control over the military's image. Earlier that year, Paramount Pictures released "Top Gun," which did for pilots what James Dean did for mopey teenagers with red cars.

The military was ready to capitalize on "Top Gun." After a two-hour romp in which Tom Cruise made the Navy look like an adventure filled with catchphrases and gorgeous women, theatergoers, who may not have known that the Pentagon worked closely with producer Jerry Bruckheimer to tailor the film’s message, were greeted by recruitment tables outside their theater. While it's difficult to quantify the movie's direct impact on the image of the military, recruiters to this day point to anecdotal evidence of a "Top Gun" boost.

Hollywood liked what it saw, too. With $176 million in domestic box office receipts and another $177 million internationally, "Top Gun" was such a hit that the film industry's requests for military assistance quadrupled by the outbreak of the first Gulf War a few years later.

Today, the Film Liaison Office is among the most powerful forces in the movie business. Teaming with each armed service’s own film arm, the office cuts sweet deals with studios desperate for the kind of real-life props and troops that can't be generated by computers.

Philip Strub, the current head of the office, wields one of the mightiest pens in show business. He reviews scripts sent in by producers and studios, deciding whether or not to provide material assistance based on, he said, "whether [the film] is something that might be of information value to the public or whether there is some benefit to military recruitment and retention."

As David Sirota recounted in his book "Back To Our Future," John McTiernan, director of famously Pentagon-rejected film "The Hunt for Red October," says studios began telling screenwriters and directors to be sure that they could "get cooperation from the military, or forget about making the picture."

As displeased creatives might tell you, every organization deserves to protect and promote its image, but most polish isn’t taxpayer funded.

Michael Bay has enjoyed a particularly fruitful relationship with the Pentagon, especially while making his blockbuster "Transformers" movies. The sci-fi series, in which gigantic alien robots team up with the U.S. military to defeat other gigantic alien robots, received record amounts of DOD aid, including various aircraft, tanks and active-duty soldiers (the first film alone had access to 12 different types of Air Force aircraft and troops from four different bases). Some "Transformers" scenes were even filmed in the Pentagon, as well as various other bases and training fields.

Strub acknowledged that the Bay movies aren't exactly realistic, but argued that they accurately reflected the way the military would act if facing down extraterrestrial invaders with a General Motors-inspired sartorial flair. A recently announced fourth "Transformers" movie is slated for release during Independence Day weekend 2013. Meantime, those impatient for more military-alien quarrels can check out "Battleship," the board game-turned-science fiction war flick starring Liam Neeson, which hits theaters in May. The Pentagon helped shepherd that one, too.

On the other hand, the Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker," which starred Jeremy Renner as an explosive ordnance disposal officer, saw its Pentagon assistance pulled just before it began production. Strub attributed that call to last-minute script additions by director Kathryn Bigelow, including climactic sequences during which Renner's character recklessly heads into town and battle by himself.

"I think one of the things that we encounter is the tendency of filmmakers to stick to proven stereotypes," Strub said. "Whether they're in uniform or not, they seem particularly fond of the loner who must disobey the rules, thwart his or her own organization and kind of go rogue in the name of achieving justice or redemption or whatever the goal might be."

"The Hurt Locker" divided the Defense Department. Some decried it as a gross exaggeration of warfare, while others, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, hailed it as the most realistic sketch of life in Iraq to date. The film won Best Picture and Bigelow won Best Director at the 2010 Academy Awards.

The past decade has seen a flurry of other gritty looks at U.S. wars in the Middle East that have eschewed the support of the Film Liaison Office. Paul Greengrass’s "Green Zone," starring Matt Damon, was a less-than-flattering look at life in Iraq, Kimberly Peirce’s "Stop-Loss" focused on the purgatory between the front lines and the homefront, and Paul Haggis’ “In The Valley of Elah,” based on a true story, tackled post-traumatic stress disorder and its effects.

Unlike their Vietnam-era forerunners, however, most such films have failed to resonate at the box office -- even "The Hurt Locker" made just $17 million in the United States.

With ticket receipts fixed as the north Star guiding Hollywood, those fiscal failures haven’t gone unnoticed. And if the message taken from those losses is that today’s audiences prefer big booms to existential treatises on violence in their war films now, it only help increase the Pentagon’s influence on the industry.

Still, public opinion polls matter to the military more than box office numbers, and by 2007, the military realized it had to shift perceptions to up recruiting for the nation's two draining, unpopular wars. Bolstered by findings in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, an internal report that set a goal of increasing Special Operations Forces enlistment by 15 percent, the Navy solicited recruiting video pitches from friendly producers.

Among those, the "Bandito Brothers" -- Waugh and motocross champion Mike "Mouse" McCoy -- who had worked with other offices in the Army and Navy on a number of commercials through their production company of the same name. The pair spent six months visiting the Navy base in Coronado, Calif., conducting interviews and research as they developed their pitch.

That face time led them to suggest using real SEALs instead of Hollywood actors for "Act of Valor." The brass loved the idea, though the SEALs themselves were initially resistant to the idea of acting, Waugh said. They needed some convincing, he said, that, "it was going to be authentic and legitimate and not some hokey, cheesed-out Hollywood version of their community."

Eventually, the Banditos’ reassurances -- and, not least, the Navy’s move to make acting in the film a compulsory assignment -- compelled eight active-duty troops to step forward and play dramatized versions of themselves.

The film, also directed by the Banditos, is nearly all action and is based on five real-life stories strung together by Kurt Johnstad, who wrote the screenplay for the Greek war epic "300." The narrative has the SEALs tracking a Russian-Muslim-Filipino-Mexican terrorist cell seeking to set off a media frenzy and economic collapse within the United States with one deadly bomb.

The terrorists' international flavor presents a nice representative sample of U.S. enemies and bogeymen from the past half-century, though their most important trait is their inability to properly fire their guns.

The battle scenes were shot during live SEAL training missions, plotted out and blocked by the troops themselves, with cameras placed atop their helmets for a video game-like first-person view of the action. To a generation well-accustomed to guiding digital soldiers through combat zones, all that’s missing is a PlayStation controller in a theater seat.

The filmmakers said they were unconcerned with the recruitment angle of the film, focusing principally on the sacrifices made by the SEALs. They also stressed their full creative control of the film during its four-year production process, asserting that the only edits made by the Navy Special Warfare Command were designed to scrub military secrets from the final cut.

The Banditos, of course, were carefully pre-screened. Their final product is a mix of trying acting and "Call of Duty"-style action, earnest and visually impressive but unlikely to garner the kind of praise "The Hurt Locker" and Hollywood's grittier takes on combat have received. Then again, the military has never had Oscar in its sights -- he’s far too old to enlist.

Even McCoy admits that the picture is about changing perception and breaking away from the cynicism still pervasive in Hollywood, not winning gold.

"I'd like to see the legacy of Vietnam put to bed. Vietnam was 40 years ago, and I think arts and entertainment is still suffering from that hangover," he said. "It was a really bad time in American history, absolutely, but it's time to sort of forget that and forget those sensibilities and don't associate our troops and our men and women to that conflict anymore, and time to really open our eyes to say, 'What's going on in this world? What are our men and women in uniform really doing right now for us?'"

Will "Act of Valor" accomplish that? Relativity Media, which won a bidding war to distribute the film following the SEAL-executed death of Osama bin Laden, has been aggressively pursuing publicity, airing multiple trailer spots during the Super Bowl and holding big premieres on each coast -- the New York City opening was held on the USS Intrepid, while SEALs parachuted down to the theater for the Los Angeles bow. Every ad for the film touts the participation of real Navy SEALs; whether that is appealing to young audiences or smacks of propaganda, may help determine how it performs.

Only time will tell if the military can be a viable lead producer, and even Strub admits that the big screen is best at reflecting public opinion about a war, not leading audiences to a conclusion. “I'm of the opinion that movies don't create public opinion, but they can bring focus to it,” he said. “What's going on now, you can make an argument that it's too soon to tell."

In the meantime, the covert mission to win hearts, minds and boots will continue to run through Hollywood.


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  #3  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:07 AM
Looks like a piece of shit.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Looks like a piece of shit.
This,and thats putting it lightly. Pure propaganda bullshit,its pitiful. No thanks
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:16 AM
It looks entertaining despite such staggering cliche dialog in the trailer like when the guy says, "if you are not willing to give up everything then you've already lost".
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBateman View Post
This,and thats putting it lightly. Pure propaganda bullshit,its pitiful. No thanks
How the hell is it propaganda to attempt to show a realistic portrayal of life as a Navy Seal? The only thing pitiful I see here is your miserable attitude.

I can't wait to see this.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2012, 11:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz68 View Post
How the hell is it propaganda to attempt to show a realistic portrayal of life as a Navy Seal? The only thing pitiful I see here is your miserable attitude.

I can't wait to see this.
Thats cool that you wanna see it,not hating on that. But if you read badbirds posts,this movie is being used as a recruitment tool. Thats where the pitiful part comes.

My attitude is just fine,not pitiful or miserable as you said.

At the end of the day it still looks like a steamy pile of shit of a film.

have fun at the movies.

sidenote where in michigan are you from?

Last edited by PBateman; 02-19-2012 at 11:58 AM..
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:06 PM
It's not being used as a recruitment tool, it started out as a recruitment piece and became a feature length film. If it ends up convincing some people to serve, so be it. It's not like the movie is going to be streamed into high schools across America with a recruiter waiting outside the door.

I'm from Westland but live in Plymouth.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:08 PM
Yeah, the trailer has been playing in front of flicks for a while now. I saw in front of some movie a couple of weeks back. At the time I remember thinking how bad it looked, and how ridiculous it was that the government still resorts to mass media propaganda.. Oh well.
Maybe one day we will live in a non-biased, propaganda free world.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz68 View Post
It's not being used as a recruitment tool, it started out as a recruitment piece and became a feature length film. If it ends up convincing some people to serve, so be it. It's not like the movie is going to be streamed into high schools across America with a recruiter waiting outside the door.

I'm from Westland but live in Plymouth.
Fair enough,i read the post from Badbird,i still believe its propaganda though,which i guess is all around in everyday life. But i see your point.

I used to live in the Romeo/Washington township area
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:20 PM
Looks like fun. I used to play 'war' when I was young with my friends, pretending like we were special ops in the forest. Now I've been active duty for 8 years and love being in the military. I think it's great having a movie about my profession. I'm not a special operator, but I've had my share of sacrifice and deployments.

Hopefully it plays worldwide or I'll have to wait until DVD.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:07 PM
I bet the action will be good but every thing else is going to be absolute shit about this movie. Although I don't think the action will be great because I've seen a couple of bad CG shots. The story and the acting is going to be bland, I can just tell that from the previews. I love a cheesy action movie with even cheesier acting but this movie looks like it's going to be highly boring and uninteresting all around. I have the utmost respect for Navy Seals and the rest of our service men. They do shit that I know I don't the balls to do but to me this is just straight propaganda for the military to get boost in recruitment. Most of the time I don't like movies the strive for a lot realism because I think it ends up taking away from the story. The filmmakers end up getting to involved in the details and the story ends up getting sacrificed and it bores me to death. I think that's ultimately is going too happen with this one.

Last edited by Frosty_86; 02-19-2012 at 09:44 PM..
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:53 PM
Quote:
Looks like fun. I used to play 'war' when I was young with my friends, pretending like we were special ops in the forest. Now I've been active duty for 8 years and love being in the military. I think it's great having a movie about my profession. I'm not a special operator, but I've had my share of sacrifice and deployments.
There are tons of movies and television shows about service men and women. Behind the scenes people talk and talk about service men loving stories about service men, and I understand the brotherhood, and I understand the enjoyment in being validated, but Act of Valor is called Act of Valor, and it previews another line of guys in sunglasses doing their Armageddon walk at dusk narrating how nobody can understand what they do, only that they gotta do it. Camp is camp. I'm not in the military, but my lifestyle finds its way into escapism a lot too, and I oppositely find myself 'more' critical of romantic interpretations. Not to say anything of you personally- I'm just not sure why people in the reality of these professions (police officers, jar heads, whatever) sometimes seem to encourage fantasies like Act of Valor, as if chasing wish fulfillment. I know, who doesn't want a Hollywood movie making their profession look good? But it feels unique to these particular professions, and incessant with particular people.

I don't want this to be a judgment call, although it is. I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to military fantasy, because it affects people in a realer way than other fantasies.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2012, 05:46 PM
I don't understand how when a film makes the military look good and doesn't continuously bash it like most other mainstream movies it is a bad thing. I don't see this outrage when a film bashes the military, but when it makes the military look good there's so much complaining. Now onto the movie, I think this is alright looks like it has some pretty exciting action and hopefully a pretty good storyline, I am hoping I can check this out.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderStorm View Post
I don't understand how when a film makes the military look good and doesn't continuously bash it like most other mainstream movies it is a bad thing. I don't see this outrage when a film bashes the military, but when it makes the military look good there's so much complaining. Now onto the movie, I think this is alright looks like it has some pretty exciting action and hopefully a pretty good storyline, I am hoping I can check this out.

It's just how the internet rolls. Some people take every chance they get to trash the country, government and military. I guess it makes them feel better about something.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:38 PM
Quote:
I don't understand how when a film makes the military look good and doesn't continuously bash it like most other mainstream movies it is a bad thing
The idea our media is preoccupied with perverting the military is only an idea. On the majority of television shows and movies in which the military is portrayed, it is portrayed favorably. The military is not being persecuted in movies and television, and these ideas to the contrary are 'just' ideas. Television shows like NCIS continue to pride military service as heroic and disciplined and positive. I went to look down the lists of the top 100 grossing movies the past few years, expecting to find one, maybe two movies with 'critical' portrayals of the military. I was surprised to find none.

Among the top 100 grossing movies of 2011, none portrayed the military or service men in a negative light. Among those with 'substantial' portrayals, all portrayed the service positively, sensationally or heroically (transformers 3, war horse, battle los angeles, captain america, etc). Among the top 100 grossing movies of 2010, none portrayed the military or service men in a negative light. Among those with 'substantial' portrayals, all but one portrayed the service positively, sensationally or heroically (the expendables, the a-team, etc). The one wild card is Green Zone, which portrayed the bureaucrats negatively and suggested complexities in the war, although it certainly stopped short of "continuously" bashing the military. But I will give you Green Zone. One mainstream film in the past two years with a critical portrayal of the military.

Military service, like police service, is fraught with danger and guns and action, so of course 'mainstream' Hollywood wouldn't demonize it, but embrace it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but like I said in my first post, camp is camp. To suggest mainstream movies not only don't embrace the military, but insult it constantly, is demonstrably wrong.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:02 PM
Since the movie isn't being coy or bashful about what it is (a gung-ho, sloppy wet kiss on the Navy SEALs), I have no problem with what it is. I think it looks like a pretty decent action movie, or at least it could be.

I'm fine with totally pro military movies that serve as a form of propaganda, so long as that isn't the only information we have about the military; there's nothing wrong with glorifying any given profession. My favorite movie of last year (Battle Los Angeles) was one of the most screamingly pro military movies I've ever seen, and I loved it.

My biggest concern with Act of Valor is that the acting will be absolutely terrible.
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinigami View Post
The idea our media is preoccupied with perverting the military is only an idea. On the majority of television shows and movies in which the military is portrayed, it is portrayed favorably. The military is not being persecuted in movies and television, and these ideas to the contrary are 'just' ideas. Television shows like NCIS continue to pride military service as heroic and disciplined and positive. I went to look down the lists of the top 100 grossing movies the past few years, expecting to find one, maybe two movies with 'critical' portrayals of the military. I was surprised to find none.

Among the top 100 grossing movies of 2011, none portrayed the military or service men in a negative light. Among those with 'substantial' portrayals, all portrayed the service positively, sensationally or heroically (transformers 3, war horse, battle los angeles, captain america, etc). Among the top 100 grossing movies of 2010, none portrayed the military or service men in a negative light. Among those with 'substantial' portrayals, all but one portrayed the service positively, sensationally or heroically (the expendables, the a-team, etc). The one wild card is Green Zone, which portrayed the bureaucrats negatively and suggested complexities in the war, although it certainly stopped short of "continuously" bashing the military. But I will give you Green Zone. One mainstream film in the past two years with a critical portrayal of the military.

Military service, like police service, is fraught with danger and guns and action, so of course 'mainstream' Hollywood wouldn't demonize it, but embrace it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but like I said in my first post, camp is camp. To suggest mainstream movies not only don't embrace the military, but insult it constantly, is demonstrably wrong.
Alright I do understand what your saying but the Hurt Locker did at points negatively portray the military, however I am talking about not only recent films, but films in general and I am sorry I did not specify that.

Last edited by ThunderStorm; 02-19-2012 at 09:16 PM.. Reason: misspelling
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2012, 03:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinigami View Post
There are tons of movies and television shows about service men and women. Behind the scenes people talk and talk about service men loving stories about service men, and I understand the brotherhood, and I understand the enjoyment in being validated, but Act of Valor is called Act of Valor, and it previews another line of guys in sunglasses doing their Armageddon walk at dusk narrating how nobody can understand what they do, only that they gotta do it. Camp is camp. I'm not in the military, but my lifestyle finds its way into escapism a lot too, and I oppositely find myself 'more' critical of romantic interpretations. Not to say anything of you personally- I'm just not sure why people in the reality of these professions (police officers, jar heads, whatever) sometimes seem to encourage fantasies like Act of Valor, as if chasing wish fulfillment. I know, who doesn't want a Hollywood movie making their profession look good? But it feels unique to these particular professions, and incessant with particular people.

I don't want this to be a judgment call, although it is. I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to military fantasy, because it affects people in a realer way than other fantasies.
I respect your opinion. But there's been a lot of bad military movies. Or military movies that potrary soldiers in a bad way. I'm just glad they decided to use real operators and try something new. This movie will do for special operators what Top Gun did for pilots. Maybe on not such a grand scale, but it will help with recruitment and retention.
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  #20  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:44 AM
I think it's an interesting idea to have this done with real SEALs but I don't see anything groundbreaking in this or any other factor that will get my money.
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xseanymacx View Post
I think it's an interesting idea to have this done with real SEALs but I don't see anything groundbreaking in this or any other factor that will get my money.
I'd call using live ammo for the action scenes pretty damn groundbreaking.
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz68 View Post
It's just how the internet rolls. Some people take every chance they get to trash the country, government and military. I guess it makes them feel better about something.
Yes I guess you are right.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:54 PM
Here's the thing. If a hollywood flick comes out portraying the military in a negative light, then it's a criticism of that organization.
When the military contracts a hollywood studio to portray them in a positive light, that's propaganda.

The military has no business in the entertainment industry. The military has a job to defend our nation in case of attack, not to be making hollywood flicks showing how awesome they really are.

Also, there are plenty of pro-war films. I very rarely see anything so critical of the military anymore.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMovie View Post
Here's the thing. If a hollywood flick comes out portraying the military in a negative light, then it's a criticism of that organization.
When the military contracts a hollywood studio to portray them in a positive light, that's propaganda.

The military has no business in the entertainment industry. The military has a job to defend our nation in case of attack, not to be making hollywood flicks showing how awesome they really are.

Also, there are plenty of pro-war films. I very rarely see anything so critical of the military anymore.
So you're fine with the military being portrayed negatively but not positively? Nice.
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  #25  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz68 View Post
So you're fine with the military being portrayed negatively but not positively? Nice.
Nope, never said that. Nice try though.
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  #26  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:17 AM
Quote:
I'd call using live ammo for the action scenes pretty damn groundbreaking.
Act of valor uses live ammo in some training exercises, but the entire movie is not live ammunition- obviously, scenes where characters are shooting at each other use blanks. As far as groundbreaking prestige, GI joe is also purported to have used live ammunition for select scenes, and a recent police raid turned up live gun rounds on the set of World War Z. It's completely illegal to shoot a scene where actors are firing at each other with live ammunition, even if those actors are navy Seals.

Quote:
Alright I do understand what your saying but the Hurt Locker did at points negatively portray the military, however I am talking about not only recent films, but films in general and I am sorry I did not specify that.
I could go back year by year by year, and the results would be similar. Hollywood sometimes- and I stress sometimes, portrays war negatively, although their negativity still makes room for heroes and warriors. But they rarely portray the military negatively. And the only potentially negative portrayal of the military by Hurt Locker was the suggestion that the military would allow someone as reckless and unstable as the main character to continue in the field. Which is arguable, and also a far cry from the constant criticisms you're imagining movies and television to have. They demonstrably don't, even in years with Vietnam movies.
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  #27  
Old 02-21-2012, 10:51 AM
Navy SEALS are some of the most badass motherfuckers on the planet BUT I don't really want to see them acting.

Pass
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  #28  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Navy SEALS are some of the most badass motherfuckers on the planet BUT I don't really want to see them acting
Bahahaha
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  #29  
Old 02-21-2012, 12:40 PM
I'm pretty sure that when I watched a behind the scenes, the directors openly admit that the movies original intent was as a recruitment tool. I understand how that puts a bad taste in people's mouth.

Using real active duty Seals though as the leads is a brilliant idea. Working in live rounds instead of using all blanks will surely take the action up a notch, and I expect these guys pushed themselves to their physical limits in order to not be an embarrassment to their elite profession. I doubt we'll have ever seen such an accurate portrayal of soldiers in a Hollywood movie before this.

I may be a long haired, pot smoking, liberal, but I anxiously wait for this movie to rock. Hope the over the top patriotism doesn't turn people away like the movie Warrior did to some.
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  #30  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:59 PM
I think The General's Daughter is one of the only movies I can think of where the military is looked at negatively. Otherwise, it's the government, not the military, that is looked down upon. Like Green Zone, for example. Matt Damon is fucking badass in that movie. The whole movie is about his character trying to find out the truth. It's the government who are seen in a negative light.
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preston_79 View Post
Hope the over the top patriotism doesn't turn people away like the movie Warrior did to some.
Warrior had over the top patriotism?
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  #32  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:03 AM
8% on rottentomatoes so far, but the critical quotes about a lack of character development are odd. And critics have never been the friends of mindless action movies, so I don't really give the percentage much weight. It's a little silly they're frustrated the characters are interchangeable.


Quote:
rogerebert.com
...In the same week I saw "Act of Valor," I also saw an extraordinary film named "Hell and Back Again." It's one of this year's Oscar nominees for best documentary feature, and will open in many markets on the same day as "Act of Valor." It is about a real man, Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris, and his real wife, Ashley. Harris led men in combat in Afghanistan. Shortly before the scheduled end of his six-month tour, a sniper's bullet entered his right buttock, shattered his hip socket and bounced back to destroy leg bones. He's quite willing to show people the entry scar and describe how he has two rods filling in for bones.

When Nathan Harris was a teenager, he says, "What I wanted to do was kill people." He enlisted in the Marines. He doesn't actually say if he has killed anyone or not, but the director, Danfung Dennis, who was embedded with Harris' Echo Company, followed him in action, and we see that he has grown into a natural leader of men. Some of the film's most involving scenes show him debating village elders (through an interpreter) about the role of America in Afghanistan; he sincerely believes he is helping to bring them freedom, and finds it hard to answer their statements that they want to be left alone by both the Americans and the Taliban.

The film follows Harris home, through an agonizing period of rehab and shows that his life will never be the same. Memories of battle haunt him, and "Hell and Back Again" intercuts actual sights and scenes from Afghanistan with scenes back home in North Carolina. He doesn't have post-traumatic stress syndrome. He dreams of returning to action, and it is hard for him to accept that it may not happen.

"Act of Valor" is gift-wrapped in patriotism. It was once intended as a recruitment film, and that's how it plays. The action scenes are harrowing but exciting. Lots of explosions and special effects. At the end, there is a full-dress military funeral, honoring three generations of warriors. The real action scenes in "Hell and Back Again" don't play like an action movie. I don't recall seeing a single Taliban fighter. One of Sgt. Harris' men is killed on the first day in the field. Harris is wounded late in his tour. Nobody saw either one of the snipers.

I have a feeling that the teenage Nathan Harris, who wanted to kill people, would have loved "Act of Valor." But "Hell and Back Again," in describing his life today, doesn't play like a recruitment film. A great deal is made by the directors McCoy and Waugh that actual live ammunition was used in the making of their film. Actual live ammunition was also used in "Hell and Back Again." If you asked Sgt. Nathan Harris what he thought about using live ammo in a Hollywood action movie, what do you suppose he would say? My best guess is, he would say they were damned fools.
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  #33  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:40 PM
Well that certainly was disappointing. I didn't have a problem with the shallow plot and the (to be expected), bad acting. My problem was with the action scenes. There's one great action sequence and that's the first one in the movie. The finale is a huge letdown and nothing more than a standard action sequence that's been done thousands of times before. After the first action scene, I was thinking that this was going to be an awesome ride and then slowly realized that the movie had peaked at the beginning and was slowly fizzling out. The only other thing I found interesting besides the first action piece is a scene
Spoiler:
showing how the Seals randevu with, and leave, a submarine.


The acting is bad but not so bad that it detracts from the film. There really isn't a lot of acting being done, more like random banter between the Seals. There are some awkward lines, some because that's really how military people talk and others because of some bad writing.

There is a plot and it's one that I think is relevant in today's world. I'm actually kind of surprised that we haven't had incidents of
Spoiler:
suicide bombers attempting to detonate themselves in the USA.


There are a couple scenes of blatant propaganda such as when
Spoiler:
the master chief mentions to the guy he's interrogating that he'll be "locked away but treated well"
that made me cringe but I guess are to be expected in a movie like this. The ending also lays it on a bit thick. As far as being a recruiting tool, I just don't see it. Sure it shows the Seals doing some pretty awesome things but it also shows
Spoiler:
them being killed and permanently disabled.


The one thing that I expect most people to roll there eyes over is something that they really shouldn't.
Spoiler:
I'm talking about the Seal who throws himself on a grenade. While I was in the Army, I took the time to read hundreds of Medal of Honor citations. You wouldn't believe how many were awarded to soldiers who sacrificed their lives by doing just that.


Not a horrible movie but I expected more. 6/10

Last edited by jz68; 02-24-2012 at 07:53 PM..
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  #34  
Old 02-26-2012, 10:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMovie View Post
Oh well. Maybe one day we will live in a non-biased, propaganda free world.
Unfortunately, without bias or propaganda, we wouldn't live in a democracy. Sad but true.

The movie looks like it contains decent action but the motive is definitely less than noble.
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  #35  
Old 02-27-2012, 05:15 AM
Even though the film Act Of Valor was made with the full support of the U.S. Navy and Pentagon,and

the film stars actual active-duty recruits,i wouldnt define it as a recruitment film,as many critics have over the past 2 weeks.

Directors Mike McCoy Scott Waugh present a story of what Navy SEALS experience,their dedication and courage in 2 missions:

The rescue of a a kidnapped CIA officer,and stopping some uniquely made explosives from

entering the U.S via Mexico.

The action sequences are terrific,well paced and intense.The fact that active-duty recruits are the stars of the film

and the most hyped up and big selling point of the film,you would think the directors would have at least attempted to get

stronger performances or some type of emotion from the soldiers.

I cant fault the recruits because they're not actors.I know a soldier has to disconnect from his own feelings and keep the mission

at hand at the forefront in order accomplish his mission,stay alive,and keep his fellow soldiers alive in his unit.

But when you have a scene in which a soldier is stating he may not

make it back home to his family and it comes off with the same emotion as if he just said: Hey we may not have cream for our coffee tomorrow,

thats a problem.The delivery of the dialogue is so stiff and without emotion,i began to laugh.

Then when you couple them with real actors who act with true passion and fervor ,you end up with a mismatched film.

Catch the film on cable or DVD.

Scale of 1-10 a 6½
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  #36  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:10 PM
6/10

I’m kind of all over the place with this film. Personally, the concept of propaganda that serves to highlight the dedication and brave acts of what these remarkable men do in real life is fine with me. Idealized grit can be useful and entertaining if done right (I am a big John Wayne fan afterall) but this movie didn’t feel like it was done right for whatever reason. Maybe it was the lack of ANY shades of gray at all. Everyone folds neatly in to the “good guy” or “bad guy” roll almost to the point where they lose dimension and their characters lose depth. There are also some puzzling plot points where they made life harder for themselves then it had to be. We all know in real life things would be handled differently. I also hated the POV video game cuts to a shooter like game during the action gun fights. Still, seeing real Navy Seal techniques in action as well as the tools/toys they utilize to keep us safe was worth the ticket price. It certainly reminded me to be thankful for life and freedom in general. Highlighting their real life sacrifice and devotion wasn’t lost on me as I choose to spend a day at the movies free from fear knowing that people just like those depicted/idealized on screen are out there right this minute. I also know that I have such freedoms and such days because of those that have come before and sacrificed much. So, the film sits in an odd spot on the pallet but the message got through loud and clear.
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  #37  
Old 03-04-2012, 12:08 PM
I would be okay with an accurate protrayal of the military invested in by some third-party production company, but a Call of Duty: The Movie made by the government in order to recruit people really doesn't appeal to my tastes at all. I enjoy some war films (although I am very anti-war and violence in most cases), but I don't like it to be romanticized at all.
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