Redacted

There have been a few minor spats regarding the move Redacted. First, the director, Brian DePalma, is frustrated with the studio (Magnolia Pictures, owned by Mark Cuban) over their refusal to include certain images in the film. There is a short YouTube Video of an press conference where DePalma and a studio rep verbally spar.

Second, Mark Cuban and Bill O'Reilly have been sparring over this film. Apparently O'Reilly feels that it is unpatriotic. The film depicts an alleged incident of rape and murder of Iraqi civilians by US Soldiers. Bill seems to feels that the film will motivate 'the enemy'. Mark has a summary of the interactions in blog posts here, here, here, and here.

One of Mark's main points against Bill is that he judged the move based only on the summary. He didn't actually watch the movie (it had not been released yet). Well, I have HD Net, which showed a preview of Redacted, so I was able the entire film in the comfort of my own home (for free). I'm glad it was free.

Frankly, it wasn't a very good movie. My biggest issue with it is that it is a 'fake documentary'. All of the movie is fake camcorder footage recorded by one of the soldiers, fake security camera footage, and fake television reports. I did not find this style compelling. I dislike reality television, but this felt like the worst of both worlds. It played like reality television, and the performances seemed to target style, but it was scripted so you ended up with actors following a script trying to act like they are being 'real'. It didn't work.

Second, I just didn't find the actual issue compelling. Yes, the alleged act is disgraceful, and only makes it more difficult to be successful with the mission. However, the whole movie encompasses what is essentially a subplot in every war movie. Platoon deals with the very same issues, with a much deeper level of emotional involvement. The characters in Platoon seem much more 'real' than in Redacted. I think the fake documentary made them less real instead of more. I'm sure there are incidents like this in nearly every war we've fought. It isn't right, and the people should be punished, but I just don't see this as a shocking or even particularly interesting film.

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