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Act Of Valor Review

Filmmakers Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh make the ultimate tribute to the troops film; Act of Valor; a film that works well when it comes to showing military strategies on film in a Call of Duty fashion and a film has no problem making you feel nothing but respect for the men and women that risk their lives every day so that we can continue to live in freedom, but that’s where the compliments stop. As an actual film, with a story, dialogue, acting and coherency, Act of Valor gets an F and earns itself a dishonorable discharge.

The film stars real, active-duty Navy SEALs as they do their day-to-day missions that involve bringing in captured hostages and preventing the world from things like nuclear war. It’s real inspiring stuff that very few are cut out to do. The latest mission involves a woman who has been captured by a group of men that are planning to bring explosive bomb vests into America and set them off at dozens of populated locations throughout the country. The team must rescue the girl and find (and kill) the bad guys before it’s too late. Act of Valor starts off with a little intro from the directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh and then it jumps right into action. (Literally, the characters jump out of a moving plane to reach the target quicker and to add some cinematic pop)

From the opening credits Act of Valor briskly sets its self apart from other war films. This specific war film is more real than the others, which means the emotional punch is supposed to be stronger and the action is supposed to be that much more genuine. They use actual Navy SEALs instead of actors and they use live ammunition and real strategies used by the SEALs to make the film feel more authentic. And it works really damn well. The gunfire is noticeably louder and more forceful, making the action feel threatening. The missions are even setup like something you’d see on the screen while playing Call of Duty (character HUD’s and location markers).

But while McCoy and Waugh are so focused on getting real SEALs to reenact real scenarios, someone must have forgotten to write a script. When the film isn’t busy showing you some nifty camera techniques that might even make Neveldine/Taylor jealous, it’s just another generic war story that’s given no depth or real thought.

Captain Obvious and Lieutenant Dumb-Ass lead the SEALs with not one line of believable dialogue. I can understand the lack of acting skills from real SEALs, but that doesn’t excuse the poor writing. If the men are having troubles reading the lines wrote for them, then tone it down and focus on the action. Nothing is worse than not laughing at a joke that falls flat and feels forced and uncomfortably awkward. As for the bad guys, they fit the normal description of having a beard and a funny accent. There’s no humanity added to them because after all, they’re just faceless bad guys that need to be killed. They have no reasons or motives to why they want to kill innocent lives, and if they do it doesn’t matter because they’re going up against America and America doesn’t like excuses. Shoot first and ask questions later seem to be the motto of this film.

I’m assuming the terrorists are played by real actors, unless they somehow managed to cast REAL terrorists, which in that case this film has more balls than I thought. Chances are they’re just actors, so why not give the actual actors some lines to work with? Giving them a better motive or more time to establish their characters would have really helped add some weight to the final showdown.

Shaky cam is given a new meaning with Act of Valor. Never before had I become so lost while watching a movie. Spatial awareness doesn’t exist in Act of Valor. McCoy and Waugh must have dropped the camera a handful of times and went with it because some of the shots are so headache worthy. By the end of the film you’ve been rolled up in a rug, thrown out of a plane and launched into buildings. It’s poor camerawork that hides either the budget or the lack of creativity behind the camera.

The ending is surprisingly a step in the right direction, but even that feels like an attempt at some cheap tears. Act of Valor does a good job transferring the action of the Navy SEALs to the big screen, but its characters are either underdeveloped or over-stereotyped, which makes the film fun to look at, in doses, but it’s mostly a roller-coaster of rapid eye movement. The film also lies on the sappy stuff real heavy, hoping to collect nothing but wet tissues by the end of the film. I mostly laughed at stuff that wasn’t supposed to be funny because of how forced everything felt. If the message makes you emotional then I completely understand, but if Navy SEALs trying to act comes off as anything other than funny then you’re just kidding yourself.

Act of Valor is a neat concept that suffers where it tries to be different. The action is great stuff and impressive considering the budget they probably had to work with, but it doesn’t work as an actual film because of its talentless cast. The SEALs belong on the battlefield, not on the big screen, unless it’s a documentary.

Act of Valor – 5.5/10

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  • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

    What I hate about movies like this is that they fall into the trap of not being actual movies. Instead, they’re 90 minute “join the military!’ recruiting videos. I could tell immediately from the trailer what this represented.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

    Propaganda films, all it is. They can be fun to watch, but they’re not actual movies. They’re messages disguised as films. Goebbels saw their value.

    • hucklebur

      “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

      • GenPatton43

        He who ownths the shovel, picks up the dogshit.

        • hucklebur

          And that is relevant how?

          • GenPatton43

            Its relevant simply because both yourself and Canfield seem to think that there is some kind of comparison with the film and Joseph Goebbels which is utter BS if I’ve ever seen it.

          • Sean Canfield

            How does Goebbels fit? He saw that shaping the culture through film was one way to gain widespread support for his radical cause. The makers of this film obviously thought the same, or they wouldn’t have made this film.

            You might not think waging war in two foreign countries unprovoked is a radical cause, but I do. Killing ANYONE in the name of ANYTHING is radical human behavior. If that’s bullshit, then the whole of human psychoanalysis is bullshit.

            You know, the years of research of psychoanalysis the military employs on a daily basis.

            I suppose, when we invade Iran, unprovoked (the government calls it “pre-emptive), there will be a renewed fervor for Jingoism like there was in 2001 and 2003.

          • hucklebur

            Propaganda is propaganda. It doesn’t matter who’s making it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to respectively disagree with some of this:
    At the beginning the directors justified the “shaky cam” aspect by saying they wanted the audience to be in the mission. Which I kinda felt. By the way shaky cam was in quotes for me because I didn’t find it too noticeable.
    I will agree, the line delivery between the Soldiers was pretty bad but the actual dialogue wasn’t terrible.
    And never once did I feel like I was watching a recruitment video, unlike Battle: Los Angeles.
    I liked Act of Valor mostly because I have some sense on compassion which made me appreciate what was going on on screen
    Just my 2 cents and wouldnt mind seeing it again

    Oh yeah… EPIC BEARD!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      I do agree that Battle: Los Angeles is the strangest (and fictional) propaganda film I’ve ever seen. Propaganda against fake aliens? Umm, ok.

      • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

        I’ll take Battle LA over Act of Valor because at least it’s got a story worth following. Yeah, it’s way too “HOORAH” for me, but I enjoyed following around the characters.

        Act of Valor didn’t even have any. They used the whole “REAL” thing as a cover up for a shit story.

        EVERY film should at least have a plot to structure the film around.

        • Jawegra

          Dude its “OORAH”. No H.

          • hucklebur

            Dude, it’s onomatopoeia and I’ve seen it spelled both ways depending on the specific branch of the military we’re talking about. Next time, try criticizing actual content as opposed to just grammar and spelling. (And while we’re at it, if you’re going to criticize other’s grammar, you should make sure that you yourself are using proper syntax, etc.)

          • BobTheBuilder

            Actually, it’s “hoo-AH”, how one pronounces the acronym “HUA”, meaning “Heard, Understood, Acknowledged”.

  • GenPatton43

    Its amazing, for 20 years now, Hollywood has been berated by attacks of no longer having any originality as all it does is remakes. As for it being propaganda, there is an element of truth about that, but not how everything thinks it is. The film came about not because of the directors boldly trying to do something different. in actuality, The US Navy themselves approached the writers and directors for the sole premise of creating a recruiting video for the navy as well as the SEAL’s themselves. It wasn’t until they started to shoot that, when the idea to produce a full length film came about and the Navy agreed. The film itself took two years just to shoot because they had to work around the actual deployment cycles of the SEAL’s themselves.
    From what I’ve heard of the story so far, it seems much more realistic than most of these other flicks where someones trying to stop a nuke from going off or bio warfare attacks.
    Also, when it comes to the writing, I don’t think its so much as being bad writing as it is the SEAL’s and their reluctance to do the film in the first place. So yeah, maybe they don’t put a gun in a guys face and say “Make my day.” They’re not programmed that way. When they speak, they don’t pussyfoot around, they get to the point and move on. KISS, (Keep it simple stupid) is there MO.
    I’ve just started to read the book and so far have yet to see anything in the way of really bad dialogue and I expect it to be the same thing since the book was written after the film and seems so far to follow the same route as the film. I’m also appreciative to the fact that there is a complete lack of any sort of politics in it as well, not too mention the normal “Conflicts” portrayed in other films about “How does it feel to kill” and the trauma that comes along with it. While I am not saying that SEAL’s are immune to that, they keep it close to their vest and don’t let it show because if they do, they or a teammate could be killed by it. Compared to many of the genres of other films, soldiers are not “murders” or fascists as they are portrayed in some films like “Valley of the Wolves:”
    I applaud the directors for attempting it and for the Navy to allow it and most of all I applaud the SEAL’s for “taking one for the team” in order to take part.

    • Harrald

      Do you have a source for this comment? If so, please share it.

      “The US Navy themselves approached the writers and directors for the sole premise of creating a recruiting video for the navy as well as the SEAL’s themselves. It wasn’t until they started to shoot that, when the idea to produce a full length film came about and the Navy agreed.”

      • GenPatton43

        Certainly. Take your pick.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Valor
        AND

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576528293606172306.html

        “In 2008, Navy Special Warfare invited a handful of production companies to submit proposals for a film project, possibly a documentary, that would flesh out the role of the SEALs. The goals: bolster recruiting efforts, honor fallen team members”

        A little farther down in the column is this also

        “he project offered filmmakers access to SEALs as well as military assets, but no funding. A production company called the Bandito Brothers, which had previously worked with Navy Special Warfare on a series of recruiting videos, got the assignment. Co-founded by Mr. McCoy, a former off-road racing champion and stuntman, and Scott Waugh, who had run a stunt company, the Bandito Brothers specialized in shooting action-driven viral ads for brands such as BMW and Mountain Dew.”

        • GenPatton43

          Oh, sorry, I almost forgot. I “think” one of the writers or directors mentioned it also during the “Making Of” video on the official website.

          • Harrald

            Thanks. Wiki is never a great source of reliable information. The WSJ article from last summer though is spot on.

          • GenPatton43

            Oh sure, I understand about Wiki, I just happened to see it mentioned ther and than went to look for more info on it.
            Still, I could swear it was mentioned in one of the vids on YouTube or on the site itself.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      Thanks for the info on the directors getting approached for a commercial. I wish they would have mentioned that in the video that played before. They kind of hinted at them wanting to “change the game” and film something that has never been done before.

      • GenPatton43

        Also, if I am not mistaken, but I do recall seeing someone associated wiith the film having there own blog that said a number of the “environments” that the film takes place in are the actual SEAL/SOF training grounds themselves. for instance the jungle and river extraction were shot in the swamps of Florida where a majority of all SF and Ranger units train and its because of that, using real ammo was enabled to be used as opposed to say, shooting in another country/region.
        Sadly though, I went through the google alerts I still had and couldn’t find it the blog to back that up.

      • GenPatton43

        sorry, one more thing, you know on the official site there are three separate videos? There is “The Making Of” as well as the first trailor and than there is a third, thats kinda hidden. That ones called “Real Bullets” and I believe the link for it doesn’t show up for it until you start watching “The Making Of” spot.

  • Drew

    Nothing wrong with a video that shows the military in a positive light. The Seals are the best of the best. They deserve 10 times what we give them. They sacrifice without asking for reprisals or restitution. I will be honored to watch this movie. Even with below average acting. The rest of you who obviously don’t care for your troops can go eat a bullet somewhere for all I care.

    • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

      I care about the troops, but don’t act like they were drafted. These guys are doing what they do by their own volition. No one forced them to join the military. I don’t see how we should be “honored” for watching poorly made movies. If you care, wouldn’t it serve as an embarrassment to the troops that the creators did such a lousy job?

      • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

        Amen.

      • GenPatton43

        Couple of questions Brad. First, when did it become taboo to join the military? When I read your first post, to me, it almost seemed that you’re treating the current generation of soldiers in the same manner that the soldiers who served during Vietnam were treated, with resentment and disgust. I find VERY unsettling in my eyes.
        As I mentioned above, this film came about because initially, it was exactly as you said, a recruitment video. So what? Sure, these guys all signed up to be in the military as well as being SEAL’s, but I can promise you one thing, if you were to meet all of the SEAL’s that are in the film, I guarantee you that not ONE of them “Volunteered” to do the film to begin with. From what I have read so far on other sites, the Navy brass basically had to order them to take part in the film.
        My next question is, how are you able to determine from 60 seconds or so of trailers< that this was a lousy job to begin with?
        I'll grant you that, I'm sure the acting isn't going to be all that riveting. But I don't care. If I want that sort of acting, than I'll just go watch Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn in "their" version of navy SEAL's, which, like Delta Force, was a pair of pretty bad films.
        So, when I go to see it for the first time, I will be watching it more than I will be listening. For example, the one scene that shows the hands of one of the SEAL's slowly come out of the water so thatg after the sniper kills the guy in the boat, his body doesn't splash and alert every drug runner or insurgent in the immediate area. Thats the kind of thing that Hollywood would never think of. It because its so basic, yet "Basic" tactics such as that vitally important when it comes to them executing their missions. THAT's the sort of thing that I will be looking for instead of worrying about whether or not the SEAL's are good "Actors".
        I think the one thing we can all agree on is the fact that for the last 10-15 years, Hollywood in general has lost its imagination and originality. Instead, they'd rather take some B movie from the 70's and "remake" or "Reboot" a film instead of coming up with something new.
        So, next to the actual SEAL's being in the film to begin with, I have to totally stand up and applaud the directors, writers and producers for taking a risk by thinking outside of the box and essentially shooting a film that really has no comparison to any other war film in movie history. If I'm not mistaken, its been close to 30 years since any film was shot using REAL ammo and not blanks or percussion caps.. Those are the sort of things I'll look for instead of stupid scenes showing Charlie Sheen riding around a golf course in golf cart.

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          I find it kind of funny that your username is GenPatton and each reply you leave tends to go off on a random military rant.

          We get that you like the movie, but you need to realize that movie watchers are going to approach this from a movie watching angle. Do I give a shit if the film stars real soldiers and uses real tactics? No and why should I?

          I’m not speaking for Brad here, but when I go into a MOVIE I try and break it down on factors that make movies better. Sure, the film gets points for authenticity, but that doesn’t mean it can go around and use that as an excuse for some truly SHITTY dialogue and a tired story that I’ve seen a hundred of times.

          I’ll take Full Metal Jacket or Saving Private Ryan over Act of Valor, not because those films are more realistic, but because their better FILMS.

          Act of Valor should deserve some recognition for its unique approach, but that’s where the compliments end. The rest should be judged as a MOVIE because it’s a fictional movie. They use real tactics, but this particular story is fake, thus making the movie a form of entertainment.

          It’s a shallow and cheap fucking movie that reminds me of those god awful Christian based movies like Courageous and Fireproof. Stop shoving shit down peoples throats!

          I like movies that manage to merge both an important message and good film qualities. Great acting, direction, story, writing and a powerful message to back it up is awesome.

          Please don’t reply with 6 paragraphs on how they recruited REAL SEALS because I honestly don’t care. I’ll take Charlie Sheen’s laughable performance in Platoon over Solder #1 in Act of Valor.

          That’s kind of funny that they didn’t want to be filmed, but had to anyways. Nice to see the respect they have for each other and their privacy.

          • GenPatton43

            I find it pretty funny that the first thing that you have to mention is the name I used? Seriously? Please don’t attempt to “Assume” why I chose that particular name. Because there’s no need to. Of all of the things that I spoke about, the very first thing you focused on was attacking the name I used which, like many of your type, is very typical. Quite honestly, I’m half tempted to just tell you to take your Crayola Activity Set and go stand in the corner and do some finger painting while the adults talk.

            Now, as far as my so called “rant” goes. You wrote nine paragraphs of you’re own little “rant” yet, you failed to answer my initial and quite simple, question. So, I’ll ask it again, why is it Taboo for the military to have a recruitment video to begin with? I mean, in case you haven’t noticed this country has had an all volunteer force for over 30 years now. Although I am not going to “assume” that you had , like many others , the following belief that at some point since 2001, Bush or the government as a whole was going to reintroduce the military to having a draft, I will say that it wouldn’t have surprised me if you did,, even though at no point was that even contemplated in depth. Instead, the force remained volunteer and unless, god forbid, we got into a large land war with a nation like China, I don’t see how a draft would ever be held again in this country.
            So, please, at least answer for me that question of why is it taboo for the military to have a recruitment video?
            Also, I think you and “Brad” are trying to make such a video more than it actually is. I mean, you are aware that just over the last two weeks it was announced that the military as a whole could be reduced in size close to 25% over the course of the next few years, right?
            My other question Jeremy is, I take it that you have seen this film already? Or are you simply going by the review posted above?
            I myself have not, however, I did start reading the book and so far have yet to see any sort of horrible dialogue between the characters that you speak of. Also, just to be clear, the book for this film is basically the same concept as the book for “Top Gun” was. Both were written AFTER the film as opposed to the obviously more common movie based on the book.
            The point I’m getting at is that the writers/directors did as they claimed, they found 5 different missions that SEAL’s have actually done and attempted to write a story that not only encompassed all of the missions, but is more of a realistic “Threat” than some films where the so called “Special Forces” team is trying to stop a nuclear attack against New York or Washington. Yay, what fun that is.
            As for your opinion that this film should really only be looked at as entertainment. I really cannot put into words how much I disagree with that notion. Especially since you seem to want to include a film like “Saving Private Ryan” in the same manner. Simply as entertainment.
            I’ll tell ya what, the very first time I saw “Saving Private Ryan” in the theater, it became clear real fast that NO ONE in that theater was there to be “Entertained.” Instead, what struck me, was the vast majority of vets who had served in WWII that were present and from the way many of them acted, they might as well have been Omaha Beach right than and there. Some cried, some shouted some even looked as if they were praying, but every single person who watched the first half hour DID SOMETHING. And, it certainly wasn’t for entertainment purposes. As for myself at the time and the friends I was with, we were in shock over what we were witnessing. It wasn’t until Black Hawk down came out in ’01 that I could even remotely understand what those other vets were experiencing. No, I wasn’t over in Somalia and had no role whatsoever to the events of that day. I was just beginning my 2nd year in the Army. But, I was stationed at Ft. Benning Ga, where many of the Rangers who were killed that day were also stationed. I saw two caravans that each had a hearse carrying someone who had died. So, even when I saw BHD, as much as I loved the film as well as the book, the last reason on my mind was that I was there for “Entertainment” purposes.
            So, by now you’re probably saying “Blah, blah, whats your point in this latest “Rant of mine” My point is this, to you, maybe all this film would be is for entertainment. Fine. No big deal. but don’t try and speak for everyone because I’ll tell ya what, when the captain from the Mursk Alabama watches it, hes not going to be watching it for entertainment purposes, same goes for Jessica Buchanan or anyone who had friend or relatives who were killed on 9/11.
            For the first time in years, someone in Hollywood came up with a unique and original idea for a film, navigated numerous obstacles that would kill most other films of the type, yet all your selfish ass is going to rip it because the dialogue, according to you, is not good? What would you like to hear them say? “Go ahead, make my day?” or some other catchy phrase that “Entertains” Armchair Generals like yourself? LMAO
            Puh-lease…..Go watch “The Dolphin Tale”. I’m sure you’d find that much more to your “Entertainment Liking.”

          • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

            Yeah, I saw the film… the review posted above is..erm… mine.

            Nothing wrong with a 2 min video on TV, but a stretched 2 hours at the movie theater is just too much. It’s the same reason why religious movies don’t work as a whole. The “bible bangers” will flock, as will the “military junkies”. As Brad has pointed out a hundred times, there isn’t any sort of draft, no one is forcing anyone to sign up, so when people come ASKING for respect by way of these silly movies I’m not going to give it to them. My cousin served in the Army and my grandfather and so on and I respect them, but not because I watched some horribly acted, over-dramatic piece of shit excuse of a film.

            I found Saving Private Ryan entertaining. It informed me of the harsh conditions the soldiers had to go through without shoving the whole RESPECT THE MILITARY BECAUSE THEY’RE SO DAMN SPECIAL down my throat. Not once did they push any of that. It made you appreciate what they did and it also served as a great universal story. Act of Valor on the other hand was simply a 2 hour recruitment video for the SEALS, which you mentioned was the original intentions, but that sort of stuff just doesn’t work on the big screen, in wide theatrical release.

            Good commercial, horrible MOVIE.

          • GenPatton43

            Oh my god dude, your something else. Why is it so wrong to respect someone who puts their life on the line for others everyday?
            I mean, if that’s the case, than police officers and fireman don’t deserve respect either?
            I mean, that’s so incredibly selfish, and misguided that honestly, its a tad tough to comprehend.
            Why is someone who is willing to lay down their life for someone else, not worthy of respect?
            I mean, listen, had you said that those in the government who put others in harms way, don’t deserve respect, I think every single person here would agree.
            But why not the soldier, policeman or fireman who is simply doing there job?

          • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

            And I bet if Dolphin Tale starred EX-SEALS who retired to help dolphins, you’d probably be all over that shit, spouting out random facts and tidbits you learned while eavesdropping at the local VF.

          • GenPatton43

            Nah, people like you who thought “Free Willy” was nothing more than being cruel to an animal would have gotten there first……way before me./

          • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

            Never saw the film. Looked like another uninspiring message.

          • Cbaidchris

            Well this may be late but I would just like to point out that joining on your own accord is more respectable than being drafted because you willingly risk your life to protect people. Oh and I’m by no means saying any of the recent wars have been just but that’s not why people join, they join to protect and serve and at the end of the day you do need them. Just pointing that out, not in regards to the movie at all.

        • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

          I like how you automatically assume that Sheen’s “Navy Seals” is something I’d rate higher than this movie lol

          The Navy brass made them do it? Exactly. You’re proving my point again that it’s flag-waving patriotic recruitment bullshit. You’re misinformed in believing that 100% military tactic realism = good movie to me. The great war movies are the ones that show not only the devastating toll on the average soldier, but the absolute folly and uselessness of war. Great war movies don’t glorify war or try to capitalize on a generation raised on Call of Duty. These are the young men who think “yeah let’s go kick some ass and protect our homeland from the bad guys!!” when their only notion of a “bad guy” is what they’ve learned from the TV.

          When did it become taboo? More like when did preying on young men and women become something to celebrate? I’m sorry, but it’s no coincidence that most of the soldiers come from small, dying towns where there is no commerce, no jobs and no prospects – except for the military. The problem is that most of these people believe that sending their kids off to war is some sort of patriotic duty to protect the country. We all know this is bullshit.

          Do you think that serving in the military makes you an automatic hero? How do you think the Germans feel about their old SS warriors? Think they’re proud of their Deutschland “heroes” over there?

          I’m not undermining the danger they’re put in, but they choose to join the military and know what they are getting into. That may be their only economic choice, but that doesn’t absolve them of all the blame for what they are doing. This whole “join the army and be a hero!” war mentality will never be overcome until the deaths of BOTH sides are put in front of people so they can see what the “troops” actually do.

          If America and the government care so much about troops, why do they try to give them the shaft and screw them out of every possible benefit when they get back? I know plenty of friends fresh out of their military experience with emotional/physical damage. Many of them were/are disowned by their families. They spend decades, sometimes the rest of their lives, unable to maintain a relationship of any significance with anyone, including their children. Employment problems, as you know, are massive. Anyone who thinks the military counseling programs are of any use is dreaming. Calling them a joke is giving too much credit.

          I should know, because my brothers just returned from Iraq (brother 1) and Afghanistan (brother 2.) Not long ago, we met up with their “squad” and I listened to a father spout his pride of his son’s military experience. He says that never regrets convincing his son to join. His son is a quadriplegic. I wonder how he feels? The patriotic fanaticism I see with this type of shit borders on mental instability and is right up there with the Islamic fanaticism we’re all so nuts about fighting.

          We need to begin a campaign against this war-mongering empire we have become. The military image has become so much a part of everyday America that people have totally lost track of any reality. The flags and anthems and flyovers at all sporting events have turned the notion of “war” into nothing more than an excuse to shout USA, while we puff up in imaginary superiority before we go back to guzzling beer. The idea that some flesh and blood person is being slaughtered in a distant land for absolutely no reason is not going to impinge upon the psyche of your average uninformed American.

          It’s not resentment and disgust, it’s reality. There have been over 100,000+ deaths to civilians in Iraq alone. Keep in mind that civilian = innocent. Are you okay with killing over 100,000+ people to avenge 3,000? Explain where the heroism comes in, because if you’re going to pull the “they are protecting freedom!” card while our liberties are disappearing at home and our “enemy” is the rich elite businessman in the USA, I’d like to tell you now that it’s a waste of time.

          • Kevin me

            Brad, how do your brothers feel about your point of view?

          • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

            One of my brothers didn’t let the war get to him, because he was never caught in any heavy fire or dangerous situations. That’s the one who came back from Iraq. He doesn’t care.

            My other brother from Afghanistan is far more critical of the military than me, because he saw it first hand and can point out the obvious fallacies of our regime.

            If you’re at all insinuating that they would try and quell my voice, you’d be wrong. Wouldn’t that be a bit hypocritical to claim you’re fighting for “freedom” and then try to silence my voice?

        • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

          In essence, what you liked about it was the propaganda elements, because you believe in what is being told. Those that don’t, see it for what it is, a way to inspire young men to risk their lives for this country in pointless wars.

          If you want to argue that Iraq and Afghanistan are just wars, you’ll have the same problem George Bush had in explaining it, because it’s nothing more than fascist indoctrination that we can go to another country and change everything about them politically.

          • GenPatton43

            In essence, what you liked about it was the propaganda elements, because you believe in what is being told. Those that don’t, see it for what it is, a way to inspire young men to risk their lives for this country in pointless wars.

            Well, lets just say that there, we agree to disagree. because neither is going to see it in the same light as the other. I mean, what knowledge do you have to base the comment that you “See it for what it truly is?” as if you’re more intelligent than anyone else here?
            And just so that we’re on the same page, basically you and Jeremy see no redeeming qualities in the military at all, correct?
            The millions of kids that went and obtained degrees or job skills that they otherwise would never obtained because they come from some small, “Poedunk”, dying town? I mean, you guys don’t see that as a positive quality. Instead, those who served are basically viewed as murderers as they’ve been depicted in films like “Valley of the Wolves, Iraq” right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

            You infer quite a bit. I said the wars currently being waged are unjust. Does that make any implication toward the individuals involved in military service? No. You just want something to defend.

            I respect the hell out of the people that have made something of themselves, no matter how they got there.

            However, to say that the military is the best avenue for these young men to gain said education is just ignorance. Most of these young men are far too under-educated (not to mention poor) to afford school any other way than through the military. A policy of “risk your life for a chance to be something more than a Wal Mart associate” should not be the only avenue for these young men. It’s the country’s failing as a whole.

            I wholeheartedly support the military itself. I just don’t support the wars they are currently fighting, and I don’t understand how preemptive strikes in the past 10 (probably more, as you pointed out, many of these conflicts are kept classified to avoid public arousal) armed conflicts we’ve been involved in will make up for the fact that we joined World War II a whole three years too late.

            Syrians are currently fighting for their freedom. On a daily basis, with thousands of innocents being literally murdered on the street. If you can sit there and say our involvement in Iraq is more justified than a reactionary involvement in Syria, well, I just can’t take you seriously.

            Did I mention we did a fantastic job in Libya just months ago? Fantastic. Turned the tide of war without forcing our way into the conflict, or the culture. We didn’t even need to risk our fine soldiers for that one, or civilians.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cody-Rowan/592334740 Cody Rowan

    Thank you Jeremy for providing a fun read!

  • Sk_marc

    I didn’t think people were so ignorant about the military until i looked at most of these posts.

    The movie, accurately, portrays the lifestyle and job assignments that SEALs encounter. Don’t think that just because you looked over an article about seals after Bin Laden’s death that you have any shred of an idea of what these guys do. I do, i work with the Teams.

    Act of Valor isn’t a movie for you government vultures that consider paying taxes a service to our country. The movie is for the men and women who truly put there lives on the line each day. And, it was made to show, in a true nature, what SEALs do.

    There are actually operational pieces in the movie that have never been filmed before. Also, the types of transportation vehicles are the actual vehicles that would be used, i.e. the fast boats, submarine craft. And, best of all, they didn’t “Hollywood” up the battle scenes. They are done true to life.

    Now, for the people who have posted or will and respond to my post and talk about there military experience, please let me say this. Unless you work with in NSW and with SEAL forces, your knowledge of the military or even of war is not the same as theirs. Even if you know or have worked with other special forces, they are not the same as the SEALs because these men are the Elite, plain and simple. There is a reason that you never hear about 99% of their missions, that is because things don’t go wrong and there are meant to be covert.

    BTW, for those who mock the acting skills of the 8 SEALs in the movie just think about this. Those men have probably killed people and will kill others after the movie. They are not actors, they are warriors….you think they give a sh*t what you think about their “acting” abilities? Have respect people.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      Again, a film review is to provide a critique of the qualities of the film as a MOVIE, not a commercial, so yes, acting should be considered.

      • AP-84

        I watch a lot films just for the acting and the story , but when it comes to a film like this , I looked at as way to show Americans what it means to serve your country , i wasn’t concerned with the seals acting b/c they are out there fighting while the rest of us are back here enjoying the so called sweet life of an AMERICAN . YOU SIR shouldn’t knock film that is using a active duty NAVY SEALS even if they are order to partake in film. if you really expected a story in this film and or any character development , your crazy . It’s a newer verison of NAVY SEALS(1990) thats all but with real SEALS living up to their MOTTO “KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID”.

        • Anthony Stofferahn

          To say that he shouldn’t knock a film using active duty Navy Seals would be to say, “You sir, Navy Seal don’t do your job.” You have to understand that this is his living. He critiques films on what they have to offer. Of course he is going to critique it to his best ability just like anyone else would do their job. To turn a blind eye just because it “shows American’s what it means to serve your country” would be a disgrace to critiquing films.

          Also, if we shouldn’t expect a story in this film or any character development then it shouldn’t be a film.

          Personally I haven’t seen this film but to say that a movie shouldn’t have a story line or any character development at all is absolute ludicrous.

          • GenPatton43

            If he was just critiquing the film, I think most would not have an issue. However, when he starts poppin off about it being “propaganda designed to suck our youth into the military of our fascist government” is going a tad past that
            I mean, like it or not, these days, people want know more and more about Navy SEAL’s. They’ve had three very successful operations, (that we know of), so obviously they are on the minds of many people.
            The next issue concerns with his ability to be a “critique”
            If his only basis to grade a film is simply whether or not it entertains him, and not what message or explanation the film is built around, than I’m sorry there is something wrong there as well.
            I’ll say it again, who was “Entertained” by Schindlers List? I mean, what a freakin hoot that was wasn’t it?
            BANG! Dead Jew
            BANG! BANG! More dead Jews. Whoeeeee were havin fun now!

          • Anthony Stofferahn

            Didn’t you say before that it was originally designed to be a commercial for the Navy SEAL’s? Therefore wouldn’t it be propaganda? Definition of propaganda, “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to HELP or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.”

            Sounds like something commercials do to me. I honestly have nothing against the military. If they want to do movies like this so be it. By all means do it.

            And it comes down to what your definition of entertainment is. Yeah it is too have fun and what not but my definition also includes “hospitable provision for the needs and wants of guests.” If the film doesn’t provide me with the needs and wants (acting and story line) then I might not be entertained. Yeah, Schindler’s List might have been depressing or whatnot but I bet people would say that it PROVIDED them a good time. Obviously people liked the movie. It really all comes down to what is your definition of entertainment. If you want to be a stickler and hate on everything then so be it.

            I’ll say it again. Critique is an evaluation of something. He is giving his thoughts of what the film presented to him. Yeah one can argue saying that it wasn’t this or it wasn’t that. It really doesn’t matter. There is no point in arguing against someone’s opinion. Based off what HE saw, that is what he thought it was. Like it or not, this review is how he took the movie.

    • GenPatton43

      Great post, just be prepard because some here have tunnel vision and would look at this film, or any other film for that matter, as pure “Entertainment” Which is really sad because I can’t think of one part in Schindlers List that “Entertained” me. Not too mention that in there eyes this is purely propaganda designed to lure, poor, lower class people from small towns into joining.Yet, they don’t take into account the number of poor people who, without the military would never have the opportunity to obtain skills and go to college.

      This next part is in reference that the writer does not believe men in uniform deserve respect. After thinking about it, hes partially correct. Everyone in any job field has to work in order to gain respect, but the unifotm itself DOES deserve respect.

  • Sk_marc

    One last thing, the Navy SEALs are turning away recruits because there numbers were inflated before the movie came out. So how is this a propaganda movie? Those who think that are obviously talking out of ignorance and miss-information.

    • GenPatton43

      Not too mention, whats the drop out rate for recruits who go through BUDS or Hellweek? 85-90%

  • JT

    Counterpoint to your flip review by a real critic:

    Act Of Valor seems like one of those films where the story behind it is destined to be far more interesting than the story it tells. It began as nothing more than a Navy (or, more specifically, for Naval Special Warfare Command) recruitment video, directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh. McCoy and Waugh felt like they were on to something greater, and petitioned the NAVY to allow them to use real Navy SEALs for a full-length feature film. What came out of that is something wholly unique — a work of fiction (based on actual SEAL missions) that doesn’t just feature, but stars actual SEALs. There are actors playing the antagonists and supporting cast, but the main players are the real deal, so much so that due to military confidentiality, their names aren’t even featured in the credits.

    That makes for fascinating background story, but it doesn’t necessary mean a good movie. Taking a group of real-life badasses and expecting them to act, via a couple of film makers with almost no major motion picture directing experience, and you’ve got a hell of a gamble. The only one with any real experience with film was their writer, Kurt Johnstead, who had previously co-written Zack Snyder’s 300, a film that was handsomely shot, but not what I’d call good. Needless to say, I walked into Act Of Valor with some trepidation.

    Remarkably, I walked out pleasantly surprised. The film is, in good ways, much more and much less than I expected it to be. The story is intense and complex, a convoluted plot involving tracking Jihadist terrorists intent on smuggling suicide bombers on U.S. soil. It takes the intrepid SEAL team on a harrowing journey through the Philippines, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia and elsewere. Each setting, whether on location or using sets in San Diego, Puerto Rico, the Ukraine, Cambodia, or the John Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, is gorgeously shot and meticulously designed. It all starts with a suicide bombing in the Phillippines, then goes on to involve their recovery of a captured CIA agent. and is breathlessly intense from the get-go. In many ways it’s far more tautly affecting than regular Hollywood action, because it eschews all of the bombastic effects wisecracking silliness of the conventional war movie. All of the tactics, weapons, and technology are drawn from actual SEAL combat situations, and with a breathtaking attention to detail it gives a riveting insight into just what their lives are like in the field.

    What makes the combat scenes so extraordinary isn’t just the furious intensity of the firefights, but the quiet moments that lead up to it. They are men who have what novelist and film critic Stephen Hunter called “the gift of stillness,” the ability to move quietly and with nerve-wracking slowness as they creep towards their targets. It’s this ungodly patience and silence that makes the sudden explosiveness so compelling, realizing that they can simply flip the switch. No matter how much supposed “training” a Hollywood actor may receive, it never feels even remotely close to the same thing, and watching the real deal on the big screen is brutally compelling. The film pulls no punches with its violence, and never glamorizes the action on screen. In fact, it’s actually quite uncomfortable in parts, particularly a rather grotesque torture scene and some terrifying close-quarter combat scenes. The combat is both vicious and precise, with (mercifully) little slow-motion or other gimmicky effects.

    Interestingly, the characters that are played by the SEALs are pretty decent. Yes, their acting when they’re off-duty and spending time with their families and friends is wooden and stilted, but strangely forgivable. In many ways, that’s because the dialogue is quite realistic, never reducing itself to overly dramatic speeches and proclamations, but rather sticking to quiet introspection and somberness. Similarly, what humor there is in the film feels genuine and unscripted, more like brotherly camaraderie than forced one-liners. Some may not be able to get past a feeling of amateurishness by the SEALs (in acting terms), and it does feel a little like they’re acting out a high school play at times. But that’s frequently assuaged by avoiding too much emotional manipulation, and instead creating honest moments of tension, terror, and sadness.

    The film has some weaker parts, to be certain. The acting, as mentioned earlier, is pretty rough in parts. The villains feel rather stock, and even though their motivations may be believable, theirs is the dialogue that ultimately was the flimsiest (ironic, given that the villains are the real actors). Similarly, some of the tropes are a little bit much — the soldier with a baby on the way, the family man, etc. It felt a bit too much like Hollywood insta-plot, which was frustrating since so much of the rest of the film is built on realism. These are the inevitable consequences of a film that evolves in such an unusual manner — the meat of the film is substantial, but the spaces in between feel like just so much filler. It’s in these parts that screenwriter Johnstead failed, being unable to reconcile the gripping realism with the fictional world he placed the story into.

    What surprised me most was that Act Of Valor rarely feels overwrought or jingoistic. Despite its origins, it’s not filled with patriotic silliness like the military ads you see on TV. It’s not about securing America’s future or saving the world, it’s not America rah-rah-rah, but instead about the men on the ground and the work that they do, both at home and abroad. Act Of Valor isn’t an action movie in the conventional sense — for much of it, it almost feels like a documentary. It’s visceral, scary stuff througout, harsh and unflinching and believe me, it does not make you want to be a Navy SEAL. But it does make you respect the hell out of them, and when they go down, you mourn with them as well.

    • GenPatton43

      Not too mention that as far as other films that are made today, there’s no political angle in the film either. No “Why do we fight” scenes and other morals of war because SEAL’s cant afford to show that side of themselves.

      • Alec

        When my wife and I first saw the teaser on TV, we laughed at its claims that the combat was “real” and the actors were “active duty SEALS”. Since this film is not a documentary, we were turned off by the shallow, tawdry attempts to tug at our patriotism to induce us to pay money to see it. Hollywood prostitution at its worst.

        • GenPatton43

          Not really sure where in the teaser you saw them saying that the “combat” was real, however, the weapons and ammunition were real. There were little or no blanks or percussion caps. Navy SEAL’s did this film just as they train, with live ammo which is something Hollywood or, just about any other film makers for that matter, have not done in some 30 years. I saw somewhere that the last film that used real ammo was a WWII film called “The Iron Cross”

          • Alec

            So when the bad guys were filmed being killed/injured by ammo, etc. it was real ammo, etc? And when the good guys were filmed being hit, it was with real stuff as well?

          • GenPatton43

            C’mon dude, get a grip. For starters, in many war films, the gun being “fired” and the person being “Hit” are rarely in the same frame, Instead, you’ll see the gun in one frame and in the next, you’ll see the “squibs” exploding simulating the bullet hits.
            Seriously, that’s the best you got? I mean, granted, its better than the guy who saw my posting name and decided that was one of the first things to be attacked. But you’re only a notch or so above. But I will give you one example, when the extraction boats are seen in the teaser firing their M214 mini guns and shredding vehicles, yeah, that’s real.
            .

          • Alec

            If that is the basis of the producers’ claim, it only supports my point: they stretch the facade to the point of overkill, to where it’s laughable.

          • GenPatton43

            Weak, very weak argument.Just because a film mentions that it does something other films do not, how is that stretching?

          • Alec

            I apologize for not being clearer. My wife and I laughed at the TV teaser because it clearly conveyed the impression that the film contained scenes of “real” combat. Since Hollywood stages scenes, I’m sure you’ll agree that, on its face, this impression is a stretch, whether live ammo was used or not. Sadly, the film’s target audience will only be too eager to overlook the fact that the business of Hollywood is to suspend reality, even if for only a few minutes.

          • GenPatton43

            OK, I follow you a little more, however I’m not sure what your seing that leads you to believe that the film makers are trying to portray this as any sort of real combat. I mean, technology has come one hell of a long way but I don’t see the day where everyone is shooting at each other with the intent to kill them and all for a movie no less.
            Two of the films biggest draws are;
            “Real SEAL’s” &
            “Real Ammo”
            I’ve seen all of the trailors on the home site and none mention real combat, so, its just that which leaves me scratching my head.

      • JT

        And the interrogation sequence was unscripted, they turned a real Seal interrogator loose on the actor who played Christo and let him have at him.

        • GenPatton43

          Oh really? That I did not know. I actually thought that he was one of the few actual actors that were in that film. Specifically, I thought it was Lee Tergesen who played the Reporter Evan Wright in the HBO series “Generation Kill.” I never looked that up until just now and its not Lee Tergesen.

          • JT

            Part of an October 2011 Wall Street Journal article and another source I lost track of. The WSJ article also talks about how reluctant the guys were to participate and the months of Navy scrubbing of the film to make sure nothing classifed was disclosed. This film has a facinating story behind it.

            Also, having been deployed mutiple times, I think they got it right about the family at home aspect for once. I had guys with kids on the way, all kinds of family issues, but they did their jobs and for the most part their families (and mine) supported us even though scared from what they saw on the news. My wife still about looses it when a civilian wife talks about her husband going to a convention for a week and how glad she is to “get break” from him. Try it for 12 to 15 months at a time!

  • Iodvaner

    20/10

  • Sensai216

    This movie makes me proud to be an American. And damn proud to know there are men who are out there defendIng you criticizing talking heads out there who only think of the BS! Salute to the men and women who serve and everybody who walks on this soil should go see this!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Aparently our world has gottten so messed up that at least some people think a movie is not good unless the “acting” is good. I ask acting like what? Several years ago acting meant to be ably to act like the real deal or to be able to act in such a way that viewers would think what they were seeing was really how things happened. One thing that makes Act of Valor good is that there is no or little “acting” by the Seals. If they were acting that would mean they would be trying to act like a real Seal behaves in real life. one standard acting should be rated by is how real the actor played a real life part. Some people think good acting is better than the real deal. The real thing should be what we set our standards by, not some hollywood version of what sells or how someone thinks life should be. The Seals in this movie sould not be rated on “acting” because if they were behaving like themselves no actor can “act” better that they did they were not “just acting” they were real. Unlike most hollywood films the “acting” in this film was correct and real, so at least part of the movie was real and a bunch of hollywood lies. There is something wrond when we believe in order for something to be good it has to be acted out in a certain way like we think is should be not really how it is. The real thing should always be better than something fake “an actor”. So in “Act of Valor” how could you rate the “acting” of the Seals any lower that perfect 100% if it’s the real deal. No hollywood actor can act good better than perfect. Perfect acting is when it portrays the real deal, not what we think it should be. Everyone should see Act of Valor so they can get a better understanding of what real life as a Seal is like and so they see how really proud they should be of the millitary and the USA for keeping us safe. This movie should not be compared to hollywood acting it’s the real deal, not JUST acting. The word good does not always have to mean fake, far fetched, or acting, it can also mean real life. Saying the Seals were not good actors would be like saying you don’t do a good job at what ever you do for a living or at being yourself because you don’t do those things like hollywood says you should. The Acting in Act of Valor should not be rated by the standards of other “acted out” war movies, the others should be rated by Act of Valor’s standards because it is the real deal.

    • GenPatton43

      Wow man, that’s one hell of a good post and dead on balls accurate. Kudos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.r.novak Jonathan Novak

    Interesting review. Interesting comments, too. Captain Obvious and Lieutenant Dumb-ass, though? Really? Captain Poordelivery and Lieutenant Crappyacting or something might have made sense. I guarantee you that Lieutenant isn’t a dumbass nor would you call him a dumb ass were he standing in front of you. Shitty reviews always contain blatant keyboard warriors like this. You mention “cheap tears” in your review. You’re going for cheap shock value with profanity and weak insults.

    If you’re going to write reviews it’s probably a good idea to keep your biased, outside of the movie opinions to yourself let alone make (what was already fairly obvious) crystal clear in the comments section that, in reality, you just have a problem with the military.

    Not to be repetitive but, really, Lieutenant Dumb-ass? Lieutenant “Dumb-ass” is one of the greatest warriors the world has ever known. Even if America were to be destroyed, 1000 years from now America’s Navy SEALs will be remembered. Will some asshole that found a keyboard, the internet, and a way to vomit his incoherence onto it? I really don’t think so.

    You don’t have to applaud military members for what they do nor would any of us ask it of you. But if these men and what they do hasn’t earned respect then I don’t know what will.

    • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

      While I agree about Captain Obvious being silly, how can you expect someone to leave their “outside of the movie” opinions out of it? You obviously don’t, because you automatically attribute the Navy SEALs in the movie with their real life counterparts and claim they’ll be “remembered forever.”

      “Even if America were to be destroyed, 1000 years from now America’s Navy SEALs will be remembered. Will some asshole that found a keyboard, the internet, and a way to vomit his incoherence onto it? I really don’t think so.”

      Oh really? Can you tell me all the soldiers that died fighting for the Roman Empire? That’s only been extinct for about 550+ years. Keep believing the empire that you’re dying for a noble cause and you’ll always be remembered. Quick, name all the Navy SEALs that died in the Korean War. No, it’s only your self-serving ego that believes you or any soldier is going to be remembered forever.

      • GenPatton43

        Hey guess what. I can name every single Navy SEAL killed in the Korean War.
        Zero
        Zilch
        Nada
        SEAL’s didn’t exist until JFK formed them as well as the The US Army Special Forces in 1961 (Green Berets). Prior to that, they were recognized as UDT, Underwater Demolition Teams or “Frogman”
        However, if you’d care to know the names of all killed lists can be easily found on the net if you so choose

        • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

          That was exactly my point. Yet people think of the marines and seals and think they’ve been around forever. Again, you make my point. The killed lists can be easily found online with a simple search, but guess what, so can Jeremy’s writing. So, who lives more.. forever?

          • GenPatton43

            If that’s your point, than why not use an analogy that actually has substance to it?
            Fewer and fewer people are posting their thoughts here so, obviously, it wont be long before this entire review becomes “the last piece of sand in the ass crack of Critiques”

            Oh let me guess, I just “Made your point again too, right?”
            Again, I’ll spell it out, had he been a critique of the film itself and not made an attempt to make it appear to be a Jon Ford film from the 40’s no one would care. This “review” would have a 1/2 a dozen comments on it and already be collecting internet dust.
            Because, there is one thing I can guarantee you, 5 years from now, a year from now, hell 6 weeks from now. No one is going to remember “The Daily Rotation” let alone a two bit wannabe film critique.

      • GenPatton43

        Oops, sorry, one last thing. if you’re going to bring any military unit into a discussion, could you please at least take the time to learn “the basics” about them?
        For example, I am by far not, nor will I ever be, a fan of Michael Moore, however, I have seen a number of his films in order to better educate myself to the hypocritical, lying, rich fat slob that he is.
        Could you please d the same?
        Thanks cupcake!

        • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

          There’s no point in continuing a discussion with you, because you’re already locked into the mindset that American imperialism = good for the rest of the world. My words are not an attack on the American people or the average American soldier, they’re an attack upon the system within which they operate. Since 1945, the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, and in the process the US has caused the end of life for several million people. Is that heroic? We have Christopher Columbus syndrome.

          This country has done awful things to many foreign countries, and you have to be willfully ignorant to ignore them. For example, how about the blockade we imposed on Cuba in 1960 because Fidel refused to support the brutal US-backed dictator Batista? Cuba has been crippled, losing out on 750+ billion dollars in economic revenue from 1960-2010. Ever year for the last 20 years the UN votes condemning this blockade 187-2. The only countries who support it? The USA and Israel.

          Apparently the screams America has caused never reach your ear holes, because you’re too busy filling it with American Exceptionalism fed to you through mainstream media. America has inflicted thousands of “ground zero” level events around the world. So, sorry GenPatton, I’m not anti-America, America is anti-me.

          No, it’s YOU that needs to better educate yourself on the politics of America, cupcake.

          • GenPatton43

            First off, why not call it for what it is, an embargo, not a blockade. BIG difference. Yet here you go, embellishing it. Even during its most prosperous time, The Soviet union couldn’t pump enough money into Cuba to keep its citizens accommodated. But Fidel always lived well and “high on the hog” didn’t he? And the thousands of political prisoners that he kept in jail without justification or trial? No wonder Che sold him out. I have more respect for him at least, whether I agree with socialism/communism or not. He stayed true to his beliefs and didn’t get fat and drunk with power and become the very thing he was fighting against. I guess Castro was the Michael Moore of his day,.
            . I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this country hasn’t had strange bedfellows, especially during the Cold War. Certainly we have. Name a relevant nation during that time period that hasn’t? Can you? No, you can’t. Sometimes this country has had no other choice but to accept the lesser of two evils. Who came out of the Cold War still standing?
            There’s no better example really than Iran. Was the Shah corrupt? Yeah, he was. But he was also a “tripwire” against the one nation that sought to conquer the entire region.(That would be USSR). And even after his being overthrown, the same can be said of Castro as well, this nation had the opportunity to not become enemies from the beginning. Carter, like Kennedy, chose not too.
            However, its also not 1980 anymore and Iranian citizens certainly do not see us in the same negative light as they did during the 80’s.
            The same could be said of Mubarak. Was he corrupt? Sure he was. But were we able to steer him out of the Soviets military camp thus protecting the Suez Canal and the worlds #1 trading route? Yeah, it did.
            The problem with you and others like you have is you want to see the world in black and white and as opposed to the grey that it truly is.

          • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

            No, life is absolutely gray. That’s what I think you’re missing. You seem to have the perspective that a soldier is a hero and that’s final. That’s an awfully black and white view of the world.

            The problem with America and citizens like yourself is the ritualistic piety. This not about the “heroes” who “keep us safe.” This piety does nothing but make it harder for us to have an honest debate about our empire, our wars, and our defense budget. Call me a pseudo-liberal fascist asshole, or whatever, but I’d gladly play the piñata on Fox and Friends any day.

            Our lionization of the military leads the country to charge the Armed Forces with missions—nation-building and “democracy conversion” broadly speaking—that it isn’t trained to carry out. The support in “support the troops” is really a mile wide and an inch deep. Anyone can see that. What you don’t seem to realize is that saluting the troops is good business, and why a majority of corporations do so. You don’t think Rolls Royce only makes cars, do you?

            The constant language of heroism distorts the reasons people enlist, as well as the things a lot of them do in uniform. Some people do indeed join the military for idealistic reasons, but most do it because they need a job, or to get money for college, or to get away from the place they live. Some just like the idea—let’s be honest about it—of having a big gun and killing people. Don’t give me this amazingly noble heroic spiel again. Every officer knows that soldiers fight to protect their buddies, not to keep the country safe.

            Of course, it doesn’t really matter why you joined or why you’re fighting if you’re now exposed to mortal danger (as well as the moral danger of taking a life). But far from everyone in uniform is. Most people in the Air Force have glorified desk jobs. Sailors at sea are extremely unlikely, the way our wars now go, to find themselves in peril. There’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is throwing a blanket of “heroes” over a couple of million people and thinking that you’re honoring them by doing so.

            Yet, the hardest thing to say is this: the people who fight for us, who die for us or have their minds or bodies shattered for us, are not keeping us safe or “preserving our freedom.” They, and people like yourself, may certainly like to think they are, but how many of the wars that we’ve fought in the last 50 years, major or minor, have done that? Vietnam and Iraq are not the Revolutionary War. Mainly, we fight to preserve our empire—which means, to enrich the people who run our empire—and to help politicians get re-elected. In other words, our service members don’t fight for “us” at all. I’m not a pacifist. I believe we need a military, but I’m sickened by the way we use it now.

            You may think I’m some giant soldier hater, but what I mainly feel for our people in uniform is not veneration (or contempt), it’s pity—it’s sadness. It’s such a criminal waste of life.

          • GenPatton43

            For starters, lets get something clear so that it doesn’t look as from what I have looked over in previous posts and do not recollect, have I ever used the word “Hero” for ALL serviceman and woman. There’s quite a big difference between that and the word I have used, that being “respect.”
            Now, if I have said anywhere on this site anything that even remotely resembles me as throwing soldiers, police, fireman etc all into the “Hero” category, please show me and I will abruptly apologize.
            Instead, the discussion has been mainly based, at least from my argument, that people in uniform are entitled to a certain degree of respect, simply because of the uniform itself.
            I say that, because those in uniform are granted responsibilities and duties, by us, citizens, to do jobs that are more dangerous, less financially secure as well as needing a larger degree of trust that that they in fact will do their job as we, the citizens and government ask or require.
            Now, that goes without saying, do I have respect for others who work in dangerous fields, say for example, coal miners? You bet. Just not so much for the foreman who maybe never goes into the mines at all but sits in an office somewhere.
            However, the impression I get from you is that you seem to think that the only way our freedom is threatened is if enemy troops hit our beaches and invade. Not too mention your comment about REMF’s, (Rear Echelon Mother……) or as you said “Most in the Air Force who have glorified desk jobs.” Here, I do not agree If you were to look at the list of those who have been killed or wounded in action in Iraq by MOS or Job type, you would find some very unexpected results. Unfortunately, the one link that I have seen that broke down those killed by MOS no longer appears to work and right now, I’m not researching for another.
            Also, during the Iraq War, the Air Force used some of its people who, outside of their original job description, “Picked up the slack” shall we say and did jobs that were normally carried out by Army soldiers or US Marines. I’m sure there were those in the Navy who did this as well. Some of these people, no doubt at some point had jobs that, in most other conflicts, would not have put them near a danger zone.
            There is a reason that EVERY single person, regardless of branch, is trained to fire a weapon as well as learn basic combat tactics in basic training.
            So, therefore, as has been my argument, the uniform itself requires a certain amount of respect on its own.
            Also, that same rspect is a two way street. Those in the service should have the same degree of respect for every single citizen of this country, even those who don’t support the war or them.
            I’ll be honest here, I’ve seen some message boards where serviceman attack people like Cindy Sheehan and that is sad and it is wrong. Despite her beliefs or antics or whatever, she still lost a son who wore a uniform.
            Without wanting to open an entirely different can of worms here, MY only personal exception to that above statement and will never receive MY respect, despite being an American is Jane Fonda.. But, like I said different can of worms entirely. Her and the “American Taliban” who are members of Al Queda will never have my respect.
            Listen Brad, clearly neither of us are ever going to change each others opinion completely but I’d like to think that at the very least we can see where the other person is coming from.

          • http://www.reelmaniacs.com/ Brad

            Then I think we misunderstood each other. I’m not saying NO soldier deserves the respect/heroism tag, I’m only saying that not all of them should be awarded that distinction by default simply because they put on the uniform. I feel the same about any profession that can be considered dangerous. Oil rig men, miners, soldiers, police officers, firefighters, etc. There are plenty of people who disgrace the uniform, abuse the power, do it for all the wrong reasons, and have no business being given my respect. I respect my brothers for putting their ass on the line and surviving. I may disagree with their decisions to do it and the whole military operation in general, but I don’t disrespect them to their face.

            It’s the same with the President. The President, no matter how “awful” a job I think he’s doing, deserves respect because he’s the President. I tore apart G.W. Bush many times and made fun of him for being an idiot constantly, but I wouldn’t say “you’re an idiot” right to his face. That’s the difference. I met him when he came to my town, and I couldn’t stand him then, but he’s the President, so you smile and shake his hand, then go back to grumbling when he leaves.

  • freedvyr

    Saw the movie on base in Germany. The film is obviously not going to win any best actor noms – I think everybody realizes that. The Senior Chief, however, pretty much steals the few scenes he is in and did a great job in the interrogation. The action scenes are impressive and I particularly enjoyed the freefall and SWCC extraction. As for respecting the people in the film or the military for that matter, it is entirely up to you, just as it is for every American. While the emotions of the spouse may seem contrived and the delivery of some of the lines may be weak from an acting standpoint… they are indicative of what military service members, spouses and families experience and were some of the things that spouses were actually talking about after the film. I saw a comment on here that criticizes the film for tear jerking or something along those lines. I believe the director was simply trying to convey some of the experiences we share as service members, particularly in the SOF community where the deployments are continuous and the threat is constant. It was worth watching if you want to see a display of the capabilities of NSW and if you want to get a feel for the missions they are trained to conduct.

    I will finish with this observation – every person in the audience stood up for the national anthem at the beginning of the movie and every person in there knew somebody personally who had died in service to our country… srvice that was voluntary, as many have pointed out in other posts, both in a positive and negative manner. When the film ended, not a single person got up until we saw all the names of the SEALs who have died in combat over the past 11 years. That won’t make it into a film but it sure made it easy to reflect on why we keep on “volunteering.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      Really though, the final point to all of this is we aren’t here to review the accuracy of Navy SEAL protocol used in the film, or the dialogue’s true to life nature. We’re watching a FILM, first and foremost.

      Is The Hurt Locker an accurate film? Not in the least. A real MARSOC bomb tech would cringe at a lot of the stuff in The Hurt Locker. That doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome film, and one of the best war films I’ve ever seen.

      On the same token, Act of Valor’s true to life nature doesn’t make it a good film. That’s the base argument here, and a lot of people replying don’t have the sense to realize it. Instead, they must inject their own beliefs on the national war system into a review of a movie. We aren’t “Military Accuracy Reviews.com” or “MilitaryMovies.com”.

      I guess no one knows that Restrepo is one of my top 10 favorite films of all time, and I guess no one really saw my review of “Hell and Back Again”, a fine documentary on a soldier’s individual story of war.

      http://thedailyrotation.com/hell-and-back-again-review/

      I thought it was quite well done, and I respect Sgt Nathan Harris for what he’s done, and how he goes through life every single day since. But the film was dramatic, and had something important to say about society through this one young man’s story. Act of Valor doesn’t have that.

      Showing tactical strategy is not dramatic tension, I’m sorry. Hell, I heard a vet raise a good point after the trailer “So we’re giving a manual on how SEALS operate? For who, the Taliban?” While I don’t agree, it’s an interesting point, if we’re going well beyond the confines of the film.

  • Tjane21

    Still living in your mom’s basement i see. Blog4Life huh? Every loser needs hobby. Ha ha ha…. it’s funny that i know you from high school.

    • Tjane21

      Hey Jeremy!

      Think of me as the girl you couldn’t get.
      By the way, my brother is in the military, so you can suck it a$$ clown.

      • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

        The girl I couldn’t get? This topic just went from boring to entertaining! I love how people randomly drop in to mention that they or their family members were/are serving in the military, as if that is supposed to matter when reviewing a FILM.

        freedvyr is the only person so far that see’s the topic on the opposite side as me, and still manages to leave a good, not hating or biased comment. He (or she, I’m not sure) managed to leave their own comments and opinions without preaching or explaining why I or anyone else for that matter is wrong.

        Because reviews aren’t about being wrong and right, it’s about different people having different opinions and learning to respect that.

        I’m not sure if your “know you from high school” comment was directed at me or someone else, but that is irrelevant to the topic, so I’m not sure why you even included that.

        I doubt I know you and if I do you obviously don’t know me, because most people don’t find my review of the film all that surprising.

        PS: What’s an a$$ clown?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cody-Rowan/592334740 Cody Rowan

          “suck it a$$ clown” personally sounds like your still in high school.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cody-Rowan/592334740 Cody Rowan

            plus using $$ to replace ss……..really? sounds like junior high…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      Every loser does need a hobby apparently. It looks as though you’ve taken up online stalking of people, that, by your own indication, are far beneath you on the social ladder. Wouldn’t that, by your own accord, put you lower on the social ladder, since you went out of your way to find him and then make a post about it?

  • TravisDelbow

    I have seen this film with Jer (Author of this article) and we both left the theater with VERY different opinions. We’ve known each for 15+ years and we didn’t let this ruin a friendship, which is more than can be said for others who a commenting in the movie that they haven’t even seen… Seriously!?
    It’s like me saying the Moon ain’t nothin’ to write home about. I’ve never been there but from what I’ve seen from pictures, there’s not really anything to do there.
    I have seen the film and I personally enjoyed it. It made me really appreciate what the SEAL’s do; yes they may have chosen to risk they’re lives but if they didn’t then we would all be terrorists or something(I don’t know how the present would be if past events hadn’t actually happened).
    **What really makes me mad is when all of our military fight for our freedom when people sitting at home trolling on the internet can’t use proper FUCKING ENGLISH!! I’m typing this comment on my MOBILE PHONE and I’m using better sentence structure, proper grammar and fluent sentences thAn (not thEn) some of you assholes you appear to be typing response just to give yourself a sense of self-worth. You’re the reason why the human species, as a whole, are becoming “de-evolved”. You take no pride in other people’s opinions yet you pride yourself on be “Fully American”. You guys seem to be depreciating the value of the first amendment which you apparently fought for, a bit of irony if you ask me.

    Back to the movie..
    The dialogue, which seems to be the focal-point of this argument, would have been atrocious if it were real actors, but these aren’t real actors. Not saying that’s a scapegoat, but it captured a real connection between a group of soldiers. It’s the same reason why reality TV shows are so popular. I don’t really know who would want to recreate that pile of atrocities that’s known as Jersey Shore, but you just could get that same effect from actors on a set with well-established dialogue.
    It’s the same way with your job. If you recorded your conversations with other coworkers, and then played it back, you would think its just real-life conversation. Take that same day of work a apply a script to it and it wouldn’t seem as natural, and sometimes natural beings aren’t always the most beautiful creatures, like the aforementioned trolls, as is the case with Act of Valor. The dialogue wasn’t pretty but it seemed more natural than if it were more meticulously planned.

    Those are my two-cents and now I hope to hear some chatter on my words of harsh reality for those I called out on your English skills

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Allen/1383872439 Cory Allen

      Sailors, not soldiers. Please rectify.

  • Voice

    I’m looking forward to this film because of my fascination with military tactics and hardware. Anyone going into a movie being billed like this one has been, shouldn’t expect great cinema, or really any cinema at all. It’s eye candy for those who are into military tactics, procedures, etc. I have friends who served, including one who was in Marine Recon, who has taught me a LOT about the tactics they used, how they are developed (he was in the Operations Planning Team), how they are applied, and the realities of the military hardware we often see (misrepresented) in video games, TV, and movies. The realism of the film–not the acting, not the cinematography, not the writing–is what will make me see this movie.

    I am very critical of the military, but not of those who serve. I am critical of those who put soldiers, SEALs, Marines, sailors, airmen, etc., into harm’s way. As a song I love says, “It’s always the old who lead us to the war, always the young to die.” That I resent deeply. But the men and women who put their lives on the line, fighting for what they believe in–whether or not I agree–are deserving of respect. Respect does not mean you have to love them regardless of anything else, but at least acknowledge the massive risks they are taking, ostensibly to protect us. Unfortunately, our political leadership has and continues to take advantage of the commitment they make, and men and women die for less-than-just causes. I look at this film as a bit of a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse into the SEALs. To get that glimpse, the Navy has to control what gets seen, censor out sensitive info, and the result would probably be a recruitment film even if that wasn’t the intent.

    See the movie (or not) for whatever reason you want. Like it or not, for whatever reason. It’s just a movie.

    • Robert

      Saving private ryan, black hawk down..we were soldiers all great military films. I looked up idmb to check out what some people arrrr saying about this film. Well obviously I picked the wrong link! Could we say “propaganda” one more time please? take your anti~military bs and shove it! The review and discussion there after have been extremely offensive! Wonder why our country is going to shit..because of you liberal pinheads. Lets HOPE that you CHANGE! But we all know how that story goes…

      • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

        Our country is going to shit because we are waging losing wars in two foreign countries we have no business being in, other than to expand American financial interests abroad. Which, obviously, we are doing very poorly at.

        • GenPatton43

          And what financial gain did we receive by going into Afghanistan?
          Their ability to make high quality rugs? Or was it their opiate trade?
          I mean, at least with Iraq you had the ability to try and claim we went to war for oil.(And how much truth was there behind that?
          How well did that entire argument turn out for us? Thats right, it didn’t)
          But Afghanistan? What great economic power do they wield that we need so badly??
          (Again, thats right, there isn’t)

          • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

            Yes, in fact. The price of high quality opium has dropped for import into the US, because US forces control what comes in and out of the country. Opium that goes to Turkey for illegal manufacture into heroin is much more expensive than the ‘legal’ opium that comes into this country for pharmacological production. Not to mention it’s a great place to be for aggression toward Pakistan, which has increased vastly since our entry into Afghanistan.

            For both countries, the people that profited are companies like Blackwater and Halliburton. If you really want to argue they didn’t make any more money there then they did anywhere else, look up their annual financial reports.

            This is how misled you are. The countries of Afghanistan and Iraq wield no financial power, but countries that do can go there, install infrastructure (that the nomadic tribal communities that have been there for thousands of years would rather do without) and then justify writing off the cost as a cost of war. Yet, the money lands in the pockets of the private security and construction companies that have been there for 10 years.

            It’s like saying we went there to spread democracy. The Arab Spring spread democracy, not a war. But if you listen to most Americans, a war would’ve been faster.

          • GenPatton43

            And the difference between those companies and Ford, GM, GE, Boeing and so on during World War II is what exactly?
            Because they are private and have ties to politicians? That’s a brand new concept all of a sudden? Well, just so ya know, its not.
            Ahh yes, the Bush-Cheney monopoly scenario and while it has been around awhile I will say its better than the “Blood for oil” campaign. When it became clearly evident that wasn’t the case, than we start head hunting from another angle.
            Oh, no need for me to look up Haliburtons P&L, pretty sure I saw it when I was looking at Michael Moore’s ownership of their stock. Oh sorry, his “Foundation” owned the stock. LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

            “And the difference between those companies and Ford, GM, GE, Boeing and so on during World War II is what exactly? ”

            If you have to ask that, obviously you’ll never understand the difference. The difference is those companies mobilized and overhauled production to help us win wars that were not the result of preemptive American aggression. They made products by and for American consumption. Saying Blackwater has the same noble intention in building phone lines in a country where they chop the poles down and use the wood for fires to feed their families is just plain silly.

            And Michael Moore jabs? Do you really think I’m some ideological leftist because I think this film is all pap? Just so you know, I’m pro abortion and pro death penalty. I love guns and hate big government and corporations. None of that has to do with the fact that this film is, as Renn at CHUD put it best: “pick-up truck patriotism”.

            It was wrong that GM, Ford, etc became such large corporate entities because of war profiteering, and you can call it what you want, but making profit from the tools of war is war profiteering. At the very least, they provided a backbone for future economic growth. You can’t really argue that companies like Halliburton did the same. Well, you can, but you’d be laughed out of any real broker’s office. Same as if you said there are fewer American controlled oil fields in Iraq than there were in 2002. It’s simply not true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      I do respect some people that are in the military, just like I respect some civilians. But doing a certain job doesn’t not earn automatic respect from me. A firefighter may have a job that saves thousands of lives yearly, but that doesn’t mean the individual firefighter isn’t a piece of shit.

      My father is a retired police officer, and I grew up with people respecting him based on his job. Those that knew him personally, didn’t have the same reverence or respect. Yes, he put his life on the line for the safety of others, but he did a lot of things that destroyed individual lives he was close to. I respect that he did the job every day, but that doesn’t mean I automatically respect him.

      Saying that all military personnel should be respected because of the job they purposely signed up for is bullshit. They chose the career. Whether they are any good at it, and if they use their career positively is what should be taken into account when doling out respect. Anything else is small-minded tomfoolery.

      • GenPatton43

        “My father is a retired police officer, and I grew up with people respecting him based on his job”
        You might have perceived that in your mind, but I don’t see that being the case at all. My best friends father was a cop for 30 years, but he’d be the first to tell you or anyone else, that the uniform itself deserves respect, while at the same time, the person in it, has to earn there own measure of it also..

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          New rule: Everyone wearing bright orange pajama pants = deserves instant respect. Anything less is to be considered disrespect towards America on the highest level…. *rolls eyes*

          • GenPatton43

            If thats your belief, I won’t argue other than asking in what way do people in orange pants risk their lives for the other citizens of the country day in and day out?
            If you’d prefer that I use Fireman as an example, that would be fine also. I’d put them in the exact same category, maybe even ahead of policeman for the simple fact that many of them are not even payed to risk their lives.
            I mean seriously dude, my post has been here for almost two days now and that’s the best retort that you can come up with?
            As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss”

          • GenPatton43

            Actually, lets just cut to the chase, is there anyone that you DO respect? Seriously? Your elders? Teachers? Anyone?

          • guest

            What a limp wrist coward Jeremy is. Such self-loathing that he needs to hate on those who are physically and mentally superior to him – the SEALS.

        • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

          I agree completely. Saying the uniform itself should be respected is saying that any corruption behind it should blindly be respected as well. EVERY uniform needs respect won by the person wearing it. Since not 100% of all people in uniform are respectable, the uniforms themselves obviously earn nothing on their own merit. It’s like saying dying on 9/11 at ground zero is automatic grounds for respect. If you think that way, then Act of Valor is indeed the perfect film for you.

          • GenPatton43

            “the uniforms themselves obviously earn nothing on their own merit.”

            I CANNOT DISAGREE A MORE WITH THAT COMMENT
            Perhaps only those that have worn the uniform can understand this. But the uniform means EVERYTHING because I think people get so engrossed with the word “uniform” that they cannot understand what exactly the uniform itself means. I spent 8 years wearing one and every single time I put it on I did so in a respectable manner, meaning, I didn’t just “throw it on” like some high school kid whose late for their job at Burger King. Respecting the uniform has nothing to do do with politics, apple pie, and the grand ‘ole US of A. Its not even a direct reflection on the service the uniform represents.
            But the one and only true reason a uniform, whether it is a sailors, soldiers, police, is a DIRECT reflection of those who have worn that uniform in the past and lost their live doing so. THAT’S what an “empty” uniform means and why it deserves its own separate piece of respect.
            Now, you’re dead on when you bring those that are “Corrupt” into the fold, however, you’re taking that thought farther than needed.
            Again, without attempting to open yet another can of worms, who here believes the American Flag itself deserves respect?

          • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

            “But the one and only true reason a uniform, whether it is a sailors, soldiers, police, is a DIRECT reflection of those who have worn that uniform in the past and lost their live doing so. ”

            You do realize that, by turn of your own logic, if the uniform itself deserves respect for the good accomplishments that have been achieved wearing it, you must also acknowledge, and give equal weight to, the bad things done in the uniform.

            For every police officer who has saved a life wearing the badge, you must also recognize every police officer who has taken a life (obviously, not in a justifiable or honorable way) wearing the badge. If there is one exception, it proves there is no rule. Therefore, in my opinion, one bad apple does taint the entire barrel, and every apple must be closely scrutinized and judged on its own merit, no matter how fancy or well respected the barrel.

          • GenPatton43

            You do realize that, by turn of your own logic, if the uniform itself deserves respect for the good accomplishments that have been achieved wearing it, you must also acknowledge, and give equal weight to, the bad things done in the uniform.”

            Well, umm, yeah, hence the very common phrase, “He/She is a disgrace to the uniform.”

            As for tainting the whole bunch, I don’t believe so because I have no doubt that for every bad apple, there are at least ten that are good if not more. Obviously, people who are not Americans may interpret it that way, especially since negative propaganda will go hand in hand with that.
            I mean, take for instance, Abu Graib, I can understand where citizens of a foreign nation will want to include ALL American soldiers or just ALL AMERICANS in general, into that, especially when it comes to citizens of nations that have been hostile to us for so long as Iraq or Iran have. And ya know, there was a time not too long ago where Americans themselves believed it also. of course, by that I mean during Vietnam where, as i’ve mentioned before, protestors might call ANY GI a “baby killer” or gave soldiers bags of animal feces at the airports when they returned home. Now though, I think a vast majority of us have realized that doing so is wrong.
            Was the incident ay My Lai a disgrace? Yeah, no argument there, but were most of the GI’s who went there, (Vietnam) and did what they were lawfully called upon to do culpable as well?
            No way and and I’d even agree to an extent that its because of than that the word “Heroes” is thrown around as much as it is.
            And that’s why there were a number of Vietnam vets included during the ticker tape parades after the first Gulf War.
            Because people now realize that if a war itself is unpopular or not supported by the majority of the citizens, you don’t take it out on the troops themselves but the ones who ordered them there to begin with.
            If I had a chance to meet say 5 people who are no longer living, one of them would be Pat Tillman. He saw Afghanistan as the true fight. He enlisted for some of the same reasons as most others id. but he also made it well known that he believed the Iraq War not only to be wrong, but unlawful. yet, he still did a tour there before he even did a tour in Afghanistan.

  • HShaw

    Great review, pretty much pinpoints most of the things I disliked about the movie. You could tell they were trying to wring tears out of the audience but between the writing and the acting you don’t know who any of the characters are, let alone care about them. A bunch of slow-motion shots of the soldiers sitting around looking a bit glum aren’t going to change that. On the plus side, it did make me want to replay Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Allen/1383872439 Cory Allen

      Sailors, not soldiers. Please rectify.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      For those that think we’re just a bunch of commies, turns out we just like good movies, and others agree it’s not a good movie:
      http://www.chud.com/84308/review-act-of-valor/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Allen/1383872439 Cory Allen

    Good review. I liked how you didn’t let the fact that they were real SEALS hinder your opinion. I’m pretty sure they aren’t over stereotyped. SEALS have a commanding presence and their demeanor is normally nonchalant. A very odd mix, but that might be one of the reasons you feel this way. “I don’t give two shits about the crumby dialogue or attempted humor; I just want tons of violence!” Is what you said about The Expendables 2. It is also one of your most anticipated films of 2012. I would just like to ask if there was not “tons of violence” in this film. You didn’t hit on that topic in this article.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      Hey Cory,

      There was a decent amount of violence in Act of Valor, but not enough to cancel out the problems the film had (in my opinion).

      Also, I’d like to point out that Expendables 2 was on the bottom part of my “Most Anticipated” list, where I pointed out that I’m hoping it’s good, but I don’t have high hopes. Everything from The Avengers on down are basically just mentions of films that COULD be good.

      Not really anticipating those films, despite them being in the post. Sorry for the confusion.

      • GenPatton43

        Ehh, a little CYA never hurts right?
        The fact that it could even garner a thought let alone an “expectation” or “Hope” that is good to begin with is just plain hilarious and quite indicative of your, or should I say, lack thereof, critiquing skills?
        If nothing else, that was one hell of a good laugh! Thanks J!

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          God bless trolls.

          • GenPatton43

            Yeah but, trolls are usually long gone by now looking for another nest to infect. But since I’ve been received so warmly by those of you from the Left Coast, I think I’ll beak out the marshmallows and stay awhile.!

          • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

            Hell yeah! We got a spot by the fire for ya.

          • GenPatton43

            By it or in it? LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

            Hey, now, with the exception of Jeremy’s last post there, we’ve been pretty cordial in our discussion. I’ve never resorted to name calling or derision. I (along with Brad and a few others) have been debating our points of view. Yeah, this got a bit off the topic of Act of Valor, but that’s the joy of art. Be it good or bad, true art always provokes a discussion. That is what has brought us here, and as the site’s (only) diplomat, I welcome you to stay and debate any post or article you see fit.

            For those that don’t know, running a website is a business, and our aim is to get as many people to read as possible. I’d actually like to thank you, as your posts, and our debates, have sparked a greater interest in our website than before you came. We’re even in a position to get better access to material thanks to this single review, all because people were interested enough to come and talk about it. I will never discourage that, and while we might disagree whole-heartedly, we are proof that democracy works and the United States is the most free country on the planet. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I think we’re involved in two unjust wars, and that ‘Act of Valor’ is nothing more than glorified patriotic pornography made with every intention that I despise about this country’s military stance.

            Please stay.

          • GenPatton43

            My apologies if someone took my comment “By it or in it? LOL ” as anything other than a joke. That was the intent, to actually poke a little fun at myself. I took to no offense to being called a troll, it was funny though because having been a fan of certain TV shows and posting on message boards or reviews in the past, I think it was the first time someone ever called ME a troll. To me, mine and jeremys comments were playful. nothing else.

            GP43 “Yeah but, trolls are usually long gone by now looking for another nest to infect. But since I’ve been received so warmly by those of you from the Left Coast, I think I’ll beak out the marshmallows and stay awhile!”

            JL “Hell yeah! We got a spot by the fire for ya. ”

            GP43 “”By it or in it? LOL ”
            As in, again, jokingly at this point, “Are you sure you don’t mean you’ll ave a place for me IN the fire or by it” LOL

          • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

            By it, of course. My troll comment I’ll admit sounded harsh, but I was only fooling.

            Like you said, trolls are usually long gone by now, but you’ve stuck around to defend your points and continue to converse with everyone else.

            We at The Daily Rotation have no problem with you and we encourage you to continue to post your thoughts on whatever topics you see fit.

          • GenPatton43

            No offense taken Jer. just thought we were having some good nature’d fun at my expense for a change.

  • GenPatton43

    Jeremy Lebens wrote, in response to GenPatton43 (unregistered):

    God bless trolls.

    Hey Jer, c’mon now man, I dare to say that the “Expendables” comment thread never brought forth the amount of discussion new readers that this one has, has it?
    Have any been as long as this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

      While he might have resorted to a childish form of name calling, he really was saying thank you for coming. We at the site have discussed this thread and its success a bit, and you’re right, this is our top article of the past two months, netting us more viewers and repliers than ever before. Which was our intention in building the site, so I believe he was thanking you for fanning the flames of interest.

      • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

        Bingo!

      • GenPatton43

        Again, yes, I know. Does the LOL I put next to “”By it or in it? LOL “not show up here to everyone else. That’s totally how I understood it. No need to have deleted the posts either. (That’s why I put them in my last message)

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          I’m not sure if its just confusion from all of these spinoff replies, but we didn’t delete any posts on our end. The LOL does show up, I probably read it after I replied.

          It gets confusing trying to figure out where we’re talking lol. Especially when we reply to one person and then someone replies to them.

          Disqus commenting breaks it off into sub-conversations and everything gets a little messy.

          Closing statement: Yep, we’re all having fun here!

  • GenPatton43

    OK, love or hate the film, hopefully we can at least agree there’s one person who deserves respect from the film.
    Read the article, you’ll see it about seven paragraphs down.

    http://www.utmpacer.com/mobile/life/act-of-valor-honors-fallen-west-tennessee-hero-1.2800224

    I didn’t know about this until just tonight.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      It’s always nice to see donations like that. I remember last year the movie Take Me Home Tonight donated 10% of its box office intake to some sort of foundation or group. Then, Topher Grace himself matched it!

      • GenPatton43

        Actually, that was only part of it. I had not heard of a SEAL from the film itself who was killed, prior to its release.
        I knew that instead of the names of those in the film itself, SEAL’s who have died were put in the credits in their place, but did not know one of them were in the film itself.
        Also, I’m kinda shocked to also find out that that he was in SEAL TEAM 6 as well. I never would have imagined that the Navy would ever allow someone from that specific Team itself to even have his face shown considering how “Under the radar” that Team itself flies.
        Sorry for the confusion, changed my name on another site from GenPatton43 and didnt think it would effect here.

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          Oh! I was kind of wondering what you were getting at. I read the full article, but wasn’t sure if you were pointing towards the donations of the fact the an actual member of the team died (who was in the movie).

          That’s just insane.

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