DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Lions for Lambs



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Produced, directed by and starring Robert Redford along with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep, you would think this is a promising film right? Well not quite.

To begin with, I am not an American and my view on American politics is my personal opinion. That said, I am not deeply moved or even slightly affected by the enormous left-wing propaganda this film has to offer. To that effect, as a movie reviewer I wonder what impact this politically charged film will have on the American public. The problem I see happening is that after all the brilliant questions raised during its 90 minute run time, the American people will be left with no answers in the end. So much so, I also see Michael Moore kicking himself for not having thought of making this movie first.

The plot is acted out in three scenarios running parallel to each other in different places but in real time. In Washington D.C, Republican Senator Jasper Irving (Cruise) hosts a very to-the-point interview with veteran TV journalist Janine Roth (Streep), and in the process brings to light why the â"war on terror" is far from over. He even comes clean for the record while emphasizing why billions of tax payer's Dollars have been pumped into this war since the ill fated September 11th. The problem as he sees it is that bad decisions have been made by the powers that be, owing to which majority of the war is against a country that has not attacked America (Iraq) whereas only one-tenth of the US armed forces are fighting the ones that did (Osama Bin Laden and gang in Afghanistan). The gist of the interview emerges when Irving reveals a new plan of strategic engagement being deployed in Afghanistan as he speaks; a bold venture he hopes will be accepted by America through his contact (Roth) with the media.

Elsewhere At a university in California, political science professor Malley (Redford) is debating the lack of involvement from American youth in appreciating the salient features of politics. As a liberal, Malley induces this discussion with a brilliant student who couldn't care less how and what politicians are doing about homeland security. Though thought provoking, the ensuing debate appears contradictory to the over confident ranting of a senator in DC.

Meanwhile, Irving's new strategy takes a beating when a Chinook on route to a designated landing zone is hit by triple A (anti-aircraft artillery) batteries over the Afghani Mountains. Unknown to Malley, two of his former students currently enlisted in this war now find themselves as pawns in this entire political mess. Even as they lay wounded and engulfed in snow with little hope of rescue, they only have each other as they wait for death. As death approaches, all Uncle Sam can do is watch with clenched teeth in the safety of a satellite reconnaissance bunker hundreds of miles away.

In the end and after the interview, Roth is left with a huge dilemma where she must decide whether her story should reach the American people propagating the need for another war or ignore the facts and undermine a presidential hopeful senator.

While The Kingdom is an action flick that focuses on avenging the lives of American civilians in the Middle-East, Matthew Michael Carnahan's screenplay here assumes the efficiency (or lack of) behind the thinking prowess exhibited by the higher echelons of power within the US senate. Amongst all the important questions posed in the form of unending dialogs, the biggest and scariest of them all is how well citizens are protected from rash decisions made by lambs without combat experience leading brave patriotic lions. Equally questionable is whether or not tax payers actually care why each Dollar buys another nail meant for a soldier's coffin.

Aside from a vague insight behind the ongoing â"war on terror", Redford's failure may be in relying heavily on a script that asks too many bright questions without offering any answers. It's like challenging a viewer's intellect and then accepting guess work in response. On the other hand, acting is commendable to Redford and Streep, both veterans giving it their all. Cruise however, shoots from the hip and is as pompous as the character he plays but with a sub-par performance compared to his role in A Few Good Men, a similarly themed politically flavored classic.

Conclusively, Lions for lambs has all the makings of a phenomenal film from A-list actors to major distributers like United Artists and MGM, yet somehow doesn't carry enough fire power to create an impact. In the end, what could have been a lion's mighty roar is reduced to a cat's purr.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 2.40:1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 Surround Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.

Supplements:

* Commentary
o Feature-length commentary track with Robert Redford.
* Featurettes
o The Making of Lions for Lambs (20:45)
o From Script to Screen - (8:00)
* Previews - teaser and the full trailer for Lions for Lambs, there is a seven-minute compilation reel celebrating the legacy of United Artists and several trailers for other films

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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