Marty Katz

Marty Katz

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The Great Raid Review


OK
Sometimes you can have the best story a filmmaker could ask for, a giant pile of money and all the best intentions, only to end up with what is ultimately a sub-par piece of work. Such is the dilemma of John Dahl's much-delayed The Great Raid, a gorgeous-looking film about an impossibly dramatic and yet mostly-forgotten real-life World War II rescue mission, which has everything going for it and yet never quite makes it to the finish line.

The facts are these: In 1945, as the American army is pushing back the Japanese in the Philippines, Tokyo has issued an order to exterminate every prisoner of war, an order enthusiastically carried out in the beginning of the film, which recreates an episode in which 150 U.S. POWs were covered in gasoline and set on fire. The Americans know that as they advance, the Japanese will do the same thing at every camp they get close to, and that the American Sixth Army is only days away from the camp at Cabanatuan, with over 500 prisoners - a starving and miserable bunch who survived the Bataan Death March and three years of privation only to face murder just as their fellow soldiers approach. So a team of 121 soldiers, mostly inexperienced Rangers, are ordered to sneak 30 miles behind Japanese lines and liberate Cabanatuan. It's a jury-rigged, rag-tag sort of mission, with the soldiers knowing it's a suicide detail, but also knowing they couldn't stand not to try.

Continue reading: The Great Raid Review

The Four Feathers Review


Weak
In grade school, history lessons were painfully boring, but at least we learned the facts. I wish the same could be said for history lessons found in today's movies. Last year, Pearl Harbor wasted an opportunity to study the December 7 invasion - rather, it chose to pursue a useless love triangle. The Four Feathers is nothing more than an equally bad retread of Pearl Harbor. It has little to do with the history regarding British colonialism it seeks to explore; in fact, I doubt the film is even historically accurate. And, like the details of the Japanese attack in Pearl Harbor, the historical events in The Four Feathers only exist to provide the framework for the telling of a predictable and implausible romance.

Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger), a soldier with the British Army, is unwilling to travel into the Sudan with the rest of his regimen to protect British interests there. So, he resigns his commission. In response, Harry's fellow soldiers issue him three feathers symbolizing his cowardice for leaving. Looking for support, he turns to his father (a former military officer), who disowns him. As well, his fiancé Ethne (Kate Hudson), who provides a fourth feather and calls off their engagement. Unable to cope with the harsh reactions his decision prompts, Harry hastily departs for the Sudan to find a way to help his friends and redeem his honor.

Continue reading: The Four Feathers Review

Impostor Review


Very Good
Not long ago, some genius a lot smarter than me decided it might be nice if instead of just one sheep, we could have two. Thus began man's obsession with cloning: an obsession that, for better or worse, has somehow managed to spill over into your local cineplex. Some days I wish they'd never cloned that damn sheep at all.

Impostor is Hollywood's latest cloning experiment. Based on a short story by futurist Philip K. Dick, Impostor takes place in a future far away, when man is at war with an alien race. Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) is on the front lines of weapons development to combat man's alien threat. But one day, things go horribly wrong and Spencer finds himself accused by the military of being an alien replicant, with an assassin's bomb implanted in his chest. Unable to believe he is anyone other than himself, Spencer escapes to search for the truth.

Continue reading: Impostor Review

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Marty Katz Movies

The Four Feathers Movie Review

The Four Feathers Movie Review

In grade school, history lessons were painfully boring, but at least we learned the facts....

Impostor Movie Review

Impostor Movie Review

Not long ago, some genius a lot smarter than me decided it might be nice...

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