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Tigerland/Hart's War/Windtalkers [Blu-ray]

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Overview

Synopsis

Windtalkers
Loosely based on a real-life operation during World War II, this action-adventure from director John Woo stars Nicolas Cage as Joe Enders, a Marine traumatized by the loss of his entire platoon in the Solomon Islands during an ambush he believes was deadlier than necessary due to his indecision. Suffering from eardrum damage in Hawaii, Joe manages to be declared fit for duty once again thanks to a sympathetic nurse (Frances O'Connor), but his new assignment isn't what he expects. Joe is ordered to safeguard a Navajo soldier named Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) because the military has developed a new secret code based on the near-dead Navajo language that is proving unbreakable to the Japanese. Any soldier that speaks Navajo is an immediate asset, including Ben and his pal, Charlie Whitehorse (Roger Willie). Joe's orders are to "baby sit" Ben during the invasion of Saipan, protecting him if possible, but -- if the code-talker's capture becomes imminent -- to kill him before he falls into enemy hands. Meanwhile, Charlie is to be guarded by affable harmonica player Ox Henderson (Christian Slater). Joe reluctantly accepts this new duty as a way to get back into the war, and in the ensuing carnage, his nearly suicidal acts of bravery make him a hero while Ben becomes paralyzed by fear. Determined to live up to Joe's example, Ben musters up his courage, even in the face of racism from a fellow soldier (Noah Emmerich), and ends up rescuing his own protector behind enemy lines by briefly posing as a Japanese soldier. Despite their growing mutual respect, Joe is eventually forced to take an action that threatens to shatter his bond with Ben, as the war's tragic losses strike closer to home for both men. Windtalkers co-stars Peter Stormare, Jason Isaacs, and Mark Ruffalo. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Hart's War
Based on the novel by John Katzenbach, author of Just Cause (1995), this prison camp drama combines elements of A Soldier's Story (1984) and the classic Stalag 17 (1953). Colin Farrell stars as Lt. Tommy Hart, a second-year Harvard Law School student who enlists to fight in World War II but ends up being taken prisoner by the Germans. When a murder at the Nazi-run Stalag Luft 13 leaves a black Tuskegee airman named Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terrence Dashon Howard) accused of the crime, high-ranking prisoner (and fourth-generation war hero) Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis) persuades camp commandant Col. Werner Visser (Marcel Iures) to allow the prisoners to hold their own trial. Hart is recruited to defend his fellow officer, but as he reluctantly investigates, he discovers that not all of his fellow allied soldiers are fighting the same war and that his "client" may well have been framed. In the meantime, it becomes apparent that McNamara is using events to mask his true intent, a mission to destroy a nearby munitions plant that he still intends to carry out despite his incarceration. Hart's War (2002) co-stars Vicellous Shannon, Cole Hauser, Rory Cochrane, and Jonathan Brandis. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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

Cast & Crew

  • Nicolas Cage
    Nicolas Cage - Joe Enders
  • Adam Beach
    Adam Beach - Ben Yahzee
  • Peter Stormare
    Peter Stormare - Hjelmstad
  • Noah Emmerich
    Noah Emmerich - Chick
  • Mark Ruffalo
    Mark Ruffalo - Pappas
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