Friday, September 03, 2010

9th Company

"Charlie Wilson's War", from the opposing side. CIA armed terrorists stop a superpower cold in Afghanistan (which begs the question, who is stopping the hyperpower today?). One cannot take the eye off of the machines, or the machinations of war.

Comparisons to "Full Metal Jacket" are apt, if misguided. 9th Company is a based on a true story, and this film apparently captivated the Russian -- no longer Soviet -- public when it hit the screens there, 5 years ago. Who loves US Film Distribution more than me? Everyone! Can I get an Ong Bak in da house? /digression

The Hind gunship is very photogenic, particularly when flying in formation. The Soviet troops, in their striped tanks n' tees, chanting "pull the pin, throw the grenade" as they jog even more so, it is just a matter of scale. 9th Company  has a lot of hardware on display, and even more bared souls.

Our war films are so close to us now. The bitter taste and high cost of Iraq and now Afghanistan(as if Afghanistan was a new front for us) have borne several small, tight and great films that have failed to keep people in the theaters, precisely because of their concision, and the lack of distance.

Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and the 9th Company are all exploding history, not current events. 9th Company is now current events for the United States. All of these films have one thing at their center, and Conrad said it best, "the horror, the horror."

9th Company is filmed organic. The vistas and machines and men glow with warmth. Heart and soul and the can-do make it work ethic in the face of adversity rule the day. Vodka, pot, dreams of Olya and home inked tatts fill the spaces in between. The score is as dead on as the action and actors are riveting.

Tears will flow before you pull the Blu-Ray disc from your PS3, subtitles or not.

Somewhere in the film it is stated, "no one has ever beaten Afghanistan in all of history." God forbid we learn a lesson from that.

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