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Heroes of War Collection: Soldier's Stories [4 Discs] [DVD]
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$13.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Tigerland
A young man tries to fight the military system only to find it fighting back in unexpected ways in this hard-edged drama. In 1971, Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) is a draftee who has been sent to the Advanced Infantry Training Facility in Fort Polk, LA, where with hundreds of other new soldiers he's to be taught a final course in combat skills before being shipped out to Vietnam. Bozz has no interest in going to war, and is determined to get sent home as a troublemaker. But his plan backfires; his superiors regard his insubordination as a sign of intelligence and independent thinking, and he's told he might some day become an officer. Bozz and his fellow soldiers -- aspiring writer Paxton (Matthew Davis), sensitive Miter (Clifton Collins Jr.), philosophical Cantwell (Thomas Guiry), bloodthirsty Wilson (Shea Whigham), and heroic Johnson (Russell Richardson) -- are taught how to survive as they face their fears of death and wonder if they can somehow escape going to war. Tigerland was directed by Joel Schumacher; in a change of pace from his best-known work (Falling Down, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin), the film was made on a relatively low budget (under $10 million), was written by first-time screenwriters Ross Klavan and Michael McGruther, and features a cast of young, little-known actors. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Thin Red Line
The return of director Terrence Malick to feature filmmaking after a twenty year sabbatical, this World War II drama is an elegiac rumination on man's destruction of nature and himself, based on James Jones' semi-autobiographical novel, his follow-up to From Here to Eternity. James Caviezel stars as Private Witt, a deserter living in peace and harmony with the natives of a Pacific island paradise. Captured by the Navy, Witt is debriefed by a senior officer (Sean Penn) and returned to an active duty unit preparing for what will be the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt goes ashore in the company of his fellow soldiers, they meet diverse fates. Sergeant Keck (Woody Harrelson) is killed by an exploding grenade. Captain John Gaff (John Cusack) is an intelligent, sober leader facing the destruction of his command because his commanding officer Colonel Tall (Nick Nolte) is bucking for a general's star. Sergeant McCron (John Savage) loses his mind. Private Bell (Ben Chaplin) gets a "Dear John" letter from his beloved wife. However, as the U.S. troops advance up grassy slopes toward entrenched Japanese positions, it is Witt's voiced-over ruminations on life, death, and nature that are the real heart and soul of The Thin Red Line (1998). Adrien Brody appears as Private Fife, the major character of Jones' novel and the author's alter-ego, although Fife has been relegated to a minor supporting role by Malick's filmed adaptation. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Men of Honor
This military drama is based on the true story of Carl Brashear, who was the first African-American to serve as a diver in the United States Navy. Brashear (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) was born to a poor farming family in the deep South, and joined the Navy in hopes of bettering himself. When Brashear applies for diving school, he first encounters Master Chief Billy Sunday (Robert De Niro), a gruff and tyrannical diving instructor who holds absolute sway over his charges. Sunday does little at first to encourage Brashear's ambitions, and the would-be diver discovers racism in the military is an ugly fact of life when his white comrades refuse to share barracks with him. But Brashear's courage and determination make an impression on Sunday, and the two men become allies as Brashear must fight prejudice, military bureaucracy, and even a crippling injury in order to realize his dreams. Originally announced under the title Navy Diver, Men of Honor also features Hal Holbrook, David Keith, Michael Rapaport, Charlize Theron, and Powers Boothe; Bill Cosby served as an executive producer for the project. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Courage Under Fire
A soldier discovers how elusive the truth can be in this first major film about America's role in the Gulf War. Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) was the commander of a unit during Operation Desert Storm who mistakenly ordered the destruction of what he believed to be an enemy tank, only to discover that it actually held U.S. soldiers, including a close friend. Since then, Serling has been an emotional wreck, drinking heavily and allowing his marriage to teeter on the brink of collapse. As a means of redeeming himself, Serling is given a new assignment by his superior, Gen. Hershberg (Michael Moriarty). Capt. Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) was a helicopter pilot who died in battle during the Iraqi conflict, and the White House has proposed that Walden be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Serling is asked to investigate Walden's actions on the field of battle, but he quickly discovers that no two stories about her are quite the same; Ilario (Matt Damon) says Walden acted heroically and sacrificed herself to save the others in her company, while Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillps) claims she was a coward who was attempting to surrender to enemy troops. Meanwhile, reporter Tony Gartner (Scott Glenn) is hounding Serling, trying to get the inside story on Walden and on Serling's own difficulties. Matt Damon lost 40 pounds to prepare for his role in Courage Under Fire, which resulted in a potentially life-threatening illness for the young actor. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Colin Farrell
    Colin Farrell - Roland Bozz
  • Matthew Davis
    Matthew Davis - Jim Paxton
  • Clifton Collins Jr.
    Clifton Collins Jr. - Miter
  • Tom Guiry
    Tom Guiry - Cantwell
  • Shea Whigham
    Shea Whigham - Wilson
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