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Postby Malice » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:05 am UTC

Saw this tonight, along with a stellar Q and A (had the main female lead, two secondary male characters, the director, and the co-writer).

I'm not sure what to think of the movie. It's basically about this group of soldiers who come home from Iraq traumatized, and the different things that go wrong because of it, particularly focusing on the leader of the group, who gets "stop-lossed" and decides to go AWOL instead.

I liked parts of the movie; the dialog was great, the acting was phenomenal, I didn't even recognize Ryan Phillipe (the lead) until a third of the way through, the cinematography was reasonably beautiful, and there were some very good edits...

But the aesthetic of the film as a whole is kind of confusing to me. It's deliberately focusing on our generation--it bears the MTV label, and the film is filled with music--and most worrisome is the way it fluctuates between a drama about soldiers coming home (ala "The Best Years of Our Lives") and an action movie about a man trying to buck the system (ala... I don't know what). It felt like it kept hitting action "beats", so that after every ten or fifteen minutes of drama, you knew there was an action sequence coming up. There's a bar-fight, a gun-fight, combat footage, wrestling, etc...

I can't tell, and it could go either way, whether the movie is brilliant for taking a standard action picture and making its hero a deserter from the military and getting this message in there; or whether the movie is crass for taking a really good, heartfelt drama and sticking in action scenes and rock music in order to sell it to teenagers.
In at least one respect, it seems to go halfway and get stuck there, which is in the character of one of the soldier's fiancee. She hangs around for almost the whole picture with Phillipe, as if she's going to become a love interest, but then doesn't. It seemed kind of pointless--almost as if the director was forced to put in her, culminating in a sex scene or something, and then had to fight to take it out. I don't know. (One question I wish we had asked was how she fared with the MPAA this time around, after hearing her talk about her troubles making "Boys Don't Cry" in the documentary, "This Film is Not Yet Rated".)

Anyways, I know they've been screening it around. Has anyone seen it? Seen the trailer? Thought about going or not going?

Note: Joseph-Gordon Levitt is incredibly fucking hot. I considered just sort of tackling him, but I probably would have been arrested.

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Re: Stop-Loss

Postby Aleril » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

Joseph-Gordon Levitt is probably one of the main reasons I will see this movie (Brick FTW!), along with what seems like an intriguing story.

I found it funny that it was advertised before Juno.

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