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Friday, May 30, 2008

SAINTS AND SOLDIERS (2005)

Modest, but solid, fact-based WWII story about four Yanks & one Brit who find themselves behind enemy lines shortly before the Battle of the Bulge. Helmer/lenser Ryan Little does a nice job detailing action and characters, though the acting is a bit wobbly and the religious parable elements stick out like markers in a treasure hunt, but it’s a pleasure to watch the old tropes taking hold in such honest fashion. Darryl Zanuck in his heyday @ Fox might well have signed on as producer. (see DECISION BEFORE DAWN/’51) And while you're at it, you might also check out Keith Gordon’s finely realized A MIDNIGHT CLEAR/’91 which hits similar notes a bit more confidently. The ‘Good War’/Greatest Generation attitudes have long calcified into cliche, but keeping the scale down to a human size revivifies the genre. A notion Spielberg, Eastwood, Hanks & Howard might well ponder.

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