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Red Dawn (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [Import]
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Truly ridiculous but somehow moving, this right-wing paranoid fantasy by John Milius (The Wind and the Lion) from 1984 concerns a Soviet takeover of the United States and a band of ragtag adolescents who metamorphose into freedom fighters. One can laugh at the notion of Nicaraguans, Cubans, and Russians having worked out a master plan to invade America, but Milius's account of how such a grim day affects a small Western town really does get under one's skin. The cast--most of whom were not yet stars (Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had probably never heard of a script called Dirty Dancing at the time)--are quite persuasive as nice kids who come to recognize the tragedy of their lost innocence through fierce, uncompromising struggle. Powers Boothe is very good as a pilot who briefly comes to their aid, and Harry Dean Stanton is stirring as a solid working man and father who represents the virtues his sons are fighting for. The DVD release includes production notes, the original theatrical trailer, trivia, scene access, and an optional widescreen presentation. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In these terrorist ridden times however, the film's ultimate irony is that the situation, and even the characters themselves are American transpositions of the very Mujhideen fighters we now lable as terrorists. Back during the 1980s the Mujhideen were so iconized by our society as heros fighting the good fight against the Soviet Juggernaut that a 'boodnguts' American director felt it was a small step between turning Muslims in Afghanistan to Christians in Colorado. Today the director of such a film would probably be interviewed by the FBI, and thrown in a prison brig when it turned out one of the technical advisors was actualy a Mujhideen veteran.
This film is not some chest-beating, American-flag waving film. It does not reak of the false patriotic sentiment so common now (Proud to be American (Since 9/11!))It is not so much about nations as it is about ideals, and today more than ever, the movie goes to show that oppression and evil can come in any shape and size, be it Taliban Muslims, or Soviet Athiests, or even American Christians. On the flip side it shows that people of any nation and creed can be 'the good guys' and 'innocent victems'. A lesson we'd best learn soon.
The price of peace is eternal vigilance.
For example, NATO doesn't appear because it was dissolved. The bulk of the US military doesn't appear because the front lines are in the Dakotas, Utah, Montana, California, and the Mississippi river. We can't nuke Russia because they destroyed almost all of our nukes in their first-strike. Also, Washington DC and the other major centers of communication are destroyed in the first-strike. Finally, guerilla groups always have a large success rate when they begin. It's after the enemy figures out what's going on and how to counter it that they start getting losses.
But, to the review. I find this one of the best movies ever. Not because of some political statement (ever notice that the people who pan this like equal-caliber anti-American movies?, not because of the strong American support. No, I like it because it shows what would have happened if we were in the position of Afganistan 1979-89, or in the USSR 1941-44.
I am just thankful that this movie, and nothing like it, actually happened.
And, just for the heck of it: WOLVERINES!
I'd like to add that Amazon's ratings for sound/picture are VERY accurate! I bought the DVD knowing well that it received 3 points for both, and found every point made exactly correct (explosions needing more kick, etc.). But hey, what choice is there, VHS? At least w/ the DVD it won't get any WORSE play after play. Some shots look very dark, etc... but if you like the movie, and you know this coming in, it's worth it. Though there aren't "bonus features," the TRAILER has 3, maybe 4 shots that weren't in the film... including a sound bite by Lea Thompson! That was a nice treat :-)
If you want REALISM, get Saving Private Ryan & stop complaining.
This is not a pro-war film
1) Remember, Jed didn't want to fight at first. He new his family would want him to remain safe and hidden. He only fought, and led his friends and brother into fighting AFTER his family was murdered.
2) The dialog never focuses on the "killing those commie bastards". The message is that Jed and team "live here" and that's what drove them to their actions, they didn't invade Russia, right?
3) There is as much focus on the Cuban officer's conflicts about war and reasons for being involved. Remember he had the opportunity to kill matt and Jed at the end of the film and didn't. And that sappy part just before Matt and Jed attack at the end of the film where he is reminiscing about better times.
Films don't have to be realistic to make a point. Who cares if the likely-hood of this happening is unrealistic? Who cares if the United States has ever been invaded and the line extending through Colorado is unlikely (although the colonel explained the line worked it's way north after months of fighting, over the grill just after he joined the wolverines.)
Films can be whatever the hell they want, to express any point they like. Simplifying this film to a pro-war, pro-arms, right-wing prop piece is too simple, and really, unfortunate.
I think the bottom line message is that war is terrible. The most interesting take away from the film, especially given the current situation in Iraq where American troops are being retaliated against, is that it tells a very common and very modern story from an uncommon perspective. Our nation has inflicted the kind of hurt represented in this film many times.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great 80's classic the remake did not do justice to this one, great movies like this they should just leave alone this is a must see and a must havePublished 6 months ago by Paul
This is a movie that could only have made sense in the 1980’s and then only partially. It played on the trumpeted fear that if Nicaragua went communist, it would mean that Central... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Charles Ashbacher
Can't beat the original Swayze and cast did a great job on this one.Published on July 5 2014 by Chales V. Jones
This original copy of Red Dawn is by far better than the remake. A movie that is definitely worth owning if you are fans of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Elizabeth Shue or any of... Read morePublished on June 30 2014 by Jennifer
This movie is much better than the remake, and it was nice to walk down memory lane while watching it!Published on March 27 2014 by Michelle Hillier