Act of Valor SEALs the deal at the box office

posted at 9:50 am on February 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

While Hollywood celebrated at its annual Academy Awards ceremony last night, a group of Navy SEALs infiltrated and secured their box office over the weekend.  Act of Valor, a low-budget film with actual Navy SEALs playing their own roles in the action movie, trounced its competition, hauling in nearly $25 million in its opening assault on theaters:

Relativity’s R-rated Act Of Valor has stayed No. 1 all weekend. It’s the the Bandito Brothers’ independently financed low-budget U.S. Navy fighting force tale using actual SEALs from an original screenplay by Kurt Johnstad (300). …

Marketing-wise, Relativity launched an aggressive 400 screening program in over 40 markets as part of a multi-pronged strategy that spoke to gamers, action fans, sports fans, ethnic audiences, country music fans, patriots, military, women, and the faith-based community. It was all about word of mouth then and now: audiences are complying by giving it an ‘A’ CinemaScore.

In comparison, the #2 film was Good Deeds with Tyler Perry, which took in $16 million from over 2100 screens nationwide.  Relativity’s marketing plan for Act of Valor obviously worked, but a great deal of that credit goes to the film itself.  While critics largely panned the film, as its 31% “freshness” rating from critics’ reviews shows at Rotten Tomatoes, it got an audience rating of 85%.  (My review from Saturday morning may explain why.)

Entertainment Weekly has another explanation for its success, especially compared to other movies about the military released in the last few years:

Act of Valor‘s $24.7 million opening marks the best debut for a modern war film (excluding sci-fi titles) since 2005′s Jarhead, which began its run with $27.7 million but fell quickly from there to a $62.7 million finish (Jarhead cost $72 million). Since then, most every military movie has failed to ignite much excitement in theaters. 2007′s The Kingdom grossed $47.6 million against a $70 million budget. 2008′s Stop-Loss found $10.9 million against a $25 million budget. 2009′s The Hurt Locker pulled in $17 million, the lowest total for a Best Picture winner since box office began being tracked in 1978. And 2010′s Green Zone utterly flopped, with $35.1 million against a $100 million budget. What did all those movies have in common? They all dealt heavily with the Middle East, and they were all based on recent, real-life military conflicts. In other words, they offered no escape from the constant coverage of America’s controversial presence in the Middle East, which people already hear about every single day on the news. Act of Valor, meanwhile, served up a fictional international story about anti-terrorism efforts, which may have made it more accessible/desirable to audiences.

Did this fictionality actually make a big difference? There’s no quantifiable way of knowing for sure, but I’d suspect that it helped the film not be seen as a politically-charged drama, which could have proved alienating to some audiences. Still, regardless of why it broke out, one thing is certain: Act of Valor is major box office winner.

I think there is something to that analysis, and I’d go one further by saying that The Hurt Locker was damaged by the perception that Hollywood was antagonistic towards the military, a pattern seen by the other films on that list rather than the reality of The Hurt Locker itself.  That film took care not to take sides (and mostly succeeded) but instead give a glimpse from the point of view of the soldier.  The rest of these films betrayed a deep hostility toward the military and/or the Bush administration, which audiences can get for free simply by turning on MSNBC.  Why go to the box office and pay for the lecture?

However, the supposed “fictionality” of Act of Valor springs from the fact that we don’t hear much about commando missions, not that the missions depicted were works of fiction.  The movie opens with a statement that the scenes are based on actual SEAL missions, and the film deals with radical Islamist terrorists attempting to attack inside the US.  That may be alien to Hollywood films, which have mainly refused to use that reality as a story line in its films, but for the rest of us since 9/11, it’s not “fictionality” at all.  Maybe moviegoes appreciate the honesty of Act of Valor rather than the usual political correctness in Hollywood that insists on avoiding the subject matter this film tackles head-on.

Don’t expect too many Oscars this time next year for Act of Valor, but then again, Navy SEALs don’t need no steenkin’ Oscars anyway.  But from the description by Hank Stuever at the Washington Post, the Oscars could have used some vigor and life from the SEALs:

Buoyed by a nostalgic notion that a silent movie is totally where it’s at, Sunday night’s 84th annual Academy Awards telecast on ABC turned into a dull exercise in the ol’ Hollywood self-salute, a sentimental journey, as if the industry was performing CPR on a business model that is vanishing before everyone’s eyes.

Billy Crystal, hosting his ninth Oscar show (his first was in 1990, his most recent was in 2004), seemed to be overseeing a cruise ship dinner show designed to appeal to the over-50 travel club. Early on, it hit the rocks and started to list. Almost everyone drowned. …

Broke and desperate? How 99 percent. “Nothing can take the sting out of economic crisis like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues,” Crystal joked. He pulled out a lot of ba-da-dum gags that at least (the very least) had the appeal of seeming familiar as comfy slippers: There was the opening montage inserting the host into some of the year’s more memorable movie scenes (Justin Bieber and Crystal’s Sammy Davis Jr. in a 1920s “Midnight in Paris” bit, for example — “We’re going to go kill Hitler!” Sammy effused). Crystal followed that with one of those Gridiron-style musical medleys where the plots of current films are set to old show tunes and standards.

This nursing home feeling was all very apt, from the opening moment when actor Morgan Freeman came out and announced that show would “celebrate the present and look back on the [film industry’s] glorious past.” …

And sure enough, large amounts of time went to montages of classic film moments from yesteryear, as if the 30 or 40 million Americans still bothering to tune into the Academy Awards had somehow ditched film appreciation class all these years. Everyone remembers such Hollywood 101 clips and characters. The montages could have been assembled in an iMovie tutorial session.

On top of that, viewers had to sit patiently and watch sappy, pre-recorded interviews through the show that featured movie actors and filmmakers gushing about their most formative moments as moviegoers. It’s true that this entire event is built around an industry honoring its very existence — but it felt like a long commercial.

Sounds more like they were desperately trying to convince themselves of their own significance, a conceit that got thoroughly punctured by the performance of films like Stop Loss, Green Zone, The Kingdom, and Jarhead.

 


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I enjoyed The Kingdom and it wasn’t really anti-American except for a little moral equivalence ‘we are just as bad as they are’ message tagged on at the end.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I’d definitely see this movie again.

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM

dec5 on February 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Spot on with these comments. Spot on. I loved Hamburger Hill. I’ve talked with Viet Nam vets and families and they seem to think it’s the most accurate.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

While critics largely panned the film

All the more reason for folks to watch the movie. The critics usually hate anyhting that appeals to common people and love the “artsy-fartsy” crap (like “The Artist”, which I will never watch because it looks boring).

I think “Act of Valor” is popular because it stars real-life Seals.

Bitter Clinger on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Go Navy! Beat Hollywood!

Pablo Snooze on February 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Ask any Apache pilot what they think of Firebirds. Make sure you ask them if they still keep a Stinger Missile in that compartment in the tailboom.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Funny you should mention that:

The AIM-92 Stinger or ATAS (Air To Air Stinger) is an air-to-air missile developed from the shoulder-launched FIM-92 Stinger system, for use on helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache, Eurocopter Tiger and also UAVs such as the MQ-1 Predator. The missile itself is identical to the shoulder-launched Stinger.

Remember this was the early 90′s, This AH64 was still new. Plus this was Hollywood. And the scene was fun anyway.

The movie even had a happy ending.

dec5 on February 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

We are going tonight to see it. I did my Navy time too early and was out before there were Seals. Richard Marsinko (sp?) did much to bring the Seals to light.

mixplix on February 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Black Hawk Down

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Not a “best”, unless you like being depressed.

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Except for the melting of several actual servicemen into Hoot and a bit of timeline, it happened. It would be hard to make a movie about The Battle of Mogadishu and have it turn out less somber.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

One of my favorite books and movie. Excerpt from the book

The 3rd of October 1993
There were twenty false alarms for every real mission. Waiting for the code word for launch which today was “Irene” they were a formidable sum of men and machines.

Black Hawk, Super Six Four, heard over the intercom the soft voice of the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant, clearly pleased. Durant announced “F*ckin Irene” And the armada launched, lifting off from the shabby airport by the sea into an embracing blue vista of sky and Indian Ocean. They eased out across a littered strip of white sand and moved low and fast over running breakers that formed faint crest parallel with the shore. In close formation they banked and flew down the coastline southwest. From each bird the booted legs of the eager soldiers dangled from the benches of the open doors.

One by one, the various units would repeat “Lucy” the code word for the assault to begin: Romeo Six Four, Colonel Harrell; Kilo Six Four, Captain Scott Miller, the Delta assault-force commander; Barber Five One, veteran pilot Chief Warrant Randy Jones in the lead AH-6 gunship ; Juliet Six Four, Captain Mike Steele, The Ranger commander aboard Durant’s bird; Uniform Six Four, Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight, who was commanding the ground convoy poised to take them all out. The convoy had rolled up to the spot several blocks away.

*This is Romeo Six Four, to all elements. Lucy, Lucy.
*This is Kilo Six Four, roger Lucy.
*This is Barber Five One, roger Lucy.
*Juliet Six Four, roger Lucy.
* This is Uniform Six Four, roger Lucy.
*ALL ELEMENTS LUCY.

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I think “Act of Valor” is popular because it stars real-life Seals.

Bitter Clinger on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

AND, it denies the box office $take$ from all the Film Actor’s Guild commie bastages…..

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

It was a great movie but I prefer films where my heroes don’t lose.

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Black Hawk Down is great, it set the standard on how war films, even in sci fi, are depicted.

dec5 on February 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

An imperfect one. Perfect countries are exclusively squid and jarhead based.

cozmo on February 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

There’s a reason they call’em ‘squids’ and ‘JARheads’, you know.

Solaratov on February 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

There’s a reason they call’em ‘squids’ and ‘JARheads’, you know.

Solaratov on February 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Envy?

cozmo on February 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

It was a great movie but I prefer films where my heroes don’t lose.

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Define Lose? We lost 18 Rangers they lost by some accounts over 1500. What happened to that war lord we were trying to capture again?

Died August 1, 1996 (aged 61)

My brother in law is an Officer and a Ranger, he told me he didn’t understand why we withdrew – we were winning. It was a political decision made in response to mission creep.

A loss in the sense that the politicians in D.C. Powell and Clinton didn’t figure out that Al Qeada had attacked us, yes it was loss.

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Spot on with these comments. Spot on. I loved Hamburger HillI’ve talked with Viet Nam vets and families and they seem to think it’s the most accurate.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Agreed, this movie is great. Can’t say enough good things about it.
Hope some day when Hollywood is replaced with something better,this movie will be highlighted as a excellent classic.

dec5 on February 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Envy?

cozmo on February 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Accuracy.

Solaratov on February 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Mike Durant is the president and CEO of Pinnacle Solutions and boss to some subcontract fellow instructors I work with. I’ve had an opportunity to meet him twice when he came to the contract site to see his guys. A great American.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Dr. Evil, if you never have, get and watch the History Channel Ranger interview from The Real Black Hawk Down. Struecker is featured for quite a bit of the commentary and he’s great. (Now a Chaplain) I have never heard any account of war better describing that struggle you face to go against the instincts of self preservation. Down to Earth, simple man with centuries of wisdom in his words.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Act of Valor OUTRAGE: Navy SEALs Movie’s Terrorist is JEWISH (Tortures, Murders CIA Agents, Smuggles Jihadists ) http://shar.es/gCKhI

georgealbert on February 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Dr. Evil, if you never have, get and watch the History Channel Ranger interview from The Real Black Hawk Down. Struecker is featured for quite a bit of the commentary and he’s great. (Now a Chaplain) I have never heard any account of war better describing that struggle you face to go against the instincts of self preservation. Down to Earth, simple man with centuries of wisdom in his words.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I agree, that is a great historical account of it from firsthand sources. I have served with Jeff Struecker and he is a solid guy all the way around–a great Christian, a great Ranger and officer/chaplain. There is a story about him when he was a RIP instructor at Ft Benning when he was a SSG. On day 1, he’d come out in front of the formation and give his spiel about what it means to be a Ranger. Apparently he’d say, “God put me on earth to do one thing, and that is to train Rangers….” Following that, the PT would begin, and it was harsh. Stellar individual and the US Army is a great place because Jeff Struecker is in it.

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Independence Day

AirForceCane on February 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Hate to break it to you, but Will Smith portrayed a Marine Aviator. The President military adviser, General Grey, was a Marine.

PrettyD_Vicious on February 27, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Mike Durant is the president and CEO of Pinnacle Solutions and boss to some subcontract fellow instructors I work with. I’ve had an opportunity to meet him twice when he came to the contract site to see his guys. A great American.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

After the Black Hawk Down incident, I asked my brother in law about what happened. I just figured as an officer, he would have a better idea of what went wrong. He told me the problem was mission creep, and he said the best account was the book Black Hawk Down out at the time. That’s when I picked up a copy. It wasn’t that he didn’t see the political side of the incident, but he told me our side was winning if we wanted to, we could tear them a new one from off shore just pound the he11 out of them. The whole point of going in was to feed starving Somalians not kill them. I get that it was a no win public relations fiasco. I remember my brother in law telling me that our readiness was suffering, and that he estimated in about 10 years that we would be hit, and we wouldn’t be ready for it……he was off by 2 years, 8 years later 9-11 happened.

I am never going to forget Mike Durant or Elvis. It’s so cool you got to meet Durant.

Wilkinson was suspended upside down as he reached in and felt Wolcott’s carotid artery for a pulse. He was dead. He and Briley had taken the brunt of the impact, and Wolcott, because his side had hit the ground, had gotten the worst of it. The whole front end of the helicopter had folded in on him from the waist down. He was still in his seat, and his head and upper torso were intact, but the nose and instrument panel and crumpled front end of the aircraft had collapsed into his lap.

Now the rescue team had to figure out a way to cut Elvis out of there. They were not leaving without him. They would not consider it. They did not leave their dead on the battlefield.

Wilkinson tried to slide his hand to grab the pilot’s legs, but there wasn’t space. He could not be lifted or pulled free. Wilkinson then slid completely into the helicopter and crawled back behind the pilot’s seat to see if Elvis could be pulled back and out that way, but that vantage looked no better.

He climbed out and got down on the dirt by the smashed left underside of the cockpit, digging to see if there was a way to create an opening underneath the wreck so that Elvis’ body could be extracted. But the Blackhawk had plowed hard into the soil. There would be no easy way to get the body out.

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Mark Bowden is an extraordinary investigative journalist. If you enjoyed Black Hawk Down, pick up a copy of Killing Pablo, Bowden’s earlier account of how we helped track down Pablo Escobar in Columbia. Much of the methods, SIGINT stuff, that we use today, was in its infancy back during the days when we tracked Pablo down. An excellent read from a talented author.

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that Americans aren’t necessarily the target audience for Hollywood’s anti-US manifestos….

ironman on February 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Firebirds was a great movie, but I’m still the greatest :)

Blackhawk Down was a great movie, and I took away from it not as a depressing movie but a show of how badass our military is and the lengths they will go to save a fellow soldier and complete their mission.

If there’s one war movie that I think should be made, its the adaptation of Steven Pressfield’s book “Gates of Fire” about the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae. The book describes almost perfectly the Warrior Ethos. There’s apparently been a script roaming around for years, but nobody’s been willing to take it up.

As for modern war movies, an adaptation of David Bellavia’s book about Falluja should be made.

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Glad to have done my part and seen it this past weekend.

Yakko77 on February 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I have a copy of Killing Pablo too. I didn’t know, until I read Killing Pablo, that we were trying the Colombian drug cartels members in our country (Florida Federal Courts)I think Bowden is a gifted writer.

I haven’t read, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam.

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The 2012 Illuminati Awards

apocalypse on February 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

If there’s one war movie that I think should be made, its the adaptation of Steven Pressfield’s book “Gates of Fire” about the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae. The book describes almost perfectly the Warrior Ethos. There’s apparently been a script roaming around for years, but nobody’s been willing to take it up.

As for modern war movies, an adaptation of David Bellavia’s book about Falluja should be made.

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I agree. I have a signed copy of that book. I was disappointed with “300″ for the most part. There was a movie called “The 300 Spartans” that came out in the 1960′s that was pretty good and does a good job telling the story.

ted c on February 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

And they don’t make any movies about the Air Force. Ha!

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Not any more they don’t it seems. Back in the Cold War when Jimmy Stewart was still in the Air Force (you know, back when Hollywood actors were proud of their country and not above serving) there were a few Air Force movies.

Let’s face it though, big ships are cool(Battleship might do well if only for the spectacle of warships in action even if it is against a very Transformers looking alien) and Navy SEALs are bad ass. Simple.

I’m not sure if/when we’ll see the next Top Gun with F-22s (I guess that movie would have to be called Red Flag) but a movie based on the work of Air Force forward air controllers who are often the true “first ones in” as they help guide munitions from out attack and bomber planes or their pararescue jumpers who are also pretty freakin’ elite as well.

Yakko77 on February 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Act of Valor OUTRAGE: Navy SEALs Movie’s Terrorist is JEWISH (Tortures, Murders CIA Agents, Smuggles Jihadists ) http://shar.es/gCKhI

georgealbert on February 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Your point? Are you saying there are no evil Jews? Or are you just outrageously outraged? Did you even watch it, or are you a MediaMatters tool repeating the talking points to drive down attendence?

As the Senior Chief elicited out of Christo, he was amoral, he didn’t care about anything, as long as he could make a buck. Sounds like Soros, or that Rosenberg dude from Media Matters that Derschowitz is going after. Or how about J.E.’s article now in the Greenroom about some Jews that participated in the “International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem”? The whole aim of that conference, which included representatives from the US & UN is all about exterminating the nation of Israel.

AH_C on February 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

300 was entertaining but I too would like to see a more accurate but still epic telling of that battle.

I would also like to see a better remake of the Battle of Midway without the I love a girl in an internment camp drama. But mostly, I want tot see a movie that properly shows the absolute desperation our Navy overcame at the Battle off Samar. That battle is one of the most lopsided victories in naval history (but still very costly, USS Johnston & USS Samuel B. Roberts among others for example) but could be epic on the big screen if done properly.

Yakko77 on February 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

U.S. Bulks Up Iran Defenses
Pentagon plans new sea, land measures to counter any attempt to close Persian Gulf oil gateway
(WALL STREET JOURNAL 25 FEB 12) … Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes
The Pentagon is beefing up U.S. sea- and land-based defenses in the Persian Gulf to counter any attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz.

The next great Navy movie to be made . . .

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Yakko77 on February 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

You have to get better uniforms, bottom line.

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I saw and loved the Kingdom, even more the second time I saw it. The moment from the attack on the Saudi freeway was non stop action to the finish. There was SOME soft headed attempts to compare Saudi Arabians as “just like us”, but all in all I would put it in the pro-American camp of films. Looking forward to Act of Valor and happy it is playing here in Canada.

Faramir on February 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Act of Valor OUTRAGE: Navy SEALs Movie’s Terrorist is JEWISH (Tortures, Murders CIA Agents, Smuggles Jihadists ) http://shar.es/gCKhI

georgealbert on February 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

1) The character was just money-driven, not nationalistic driven.
2) He wanted to back out of the plan (though later was bullied by the Islamist terrorist back into it).
3) We Jews have a few bad apples, just as Americans have traitors or people whose non-nationalistic motives are de-facto treasonous.

Conclusion: This Debbie Schlussel woman just lost me forever with that kind of outrageous commentary. My impression is that the inclusion of a Jewish guy in the plot was not just “political correctness”, but is probably not far from the truth of what happened on one or 2 of the countless SEALs missions.

AlexB on February 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Dr Evil on February 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Nothing to add to that. Great comment.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM

In its first weekend, Act of Valor is already outperforming best picture winner ‘The Artist’ which has taken in a paltry $32million in 14 weeks.

Keep handing out those awards to films that nobody watches.

The Ugly American on February 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

. What did all those movies have in common?

Actually, there is something that those failures have in common:

They all are created with anti-war leftist actors and director who sneaky fill the narrative with their leftist opinions

Pretty sure that is not the case with this set of actors

huntingmoose on February 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The lead terrorist who funds the acts of murder and torture of CIA agents in this movie is protrayed as being a Jew. The real terrorists from the philipines (abu sayef I think) are protrayed as less than cooperative when putting on suicide vests, to the point of being in tears. This I find offensive. What kind of pc agenda were the former stuntment/directors fllowing? I will not watch this movie.

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Sounds more like they were desperately trying to convince themselves of their own significance, a conceit that got thoroughly punctured by the performance of films like Stop Loss, Green Zone, The Kingdom, and Jarhead.

Haven’t seen Stop Loss.

Green Zone was just another Matt Damon anti-US screed. (I thought his role in Team America World Police was better acted, more accurate to detail & a more appropriate role.)

What was so bad about The Kingdom and Jarhead? The former gave both perspectives, had good acting & great action… The latter was based-upon experiences “from an individual soldier’s point of view”.

Danny on February 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Reality is, suicide bombers can be and have been people who were manipulated and/or unwilling participants in the act.

Here’s a recent news story that came up when I googled: retarded suicide bomber.

Mentally Retarded Women Used in Bombings
Feb 1 03:02 PM US/Eastern
By STEVEN R. HURST
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8UHNN081

This is not an isolated incident.

hatespam on February 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM

hatespam on February 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Understood, this happens in Iraq and Afghanistan et al places, but to portray a real terror org such as Abu Sayef as reluctant to put on suicide vests is my point. The director should have showed that that very thing is going on. That is by explicitly getting actors to portray “mentally retarded women”, and children who were the unwilling forced by muslim terroists. And what a score for the truth would that be, huh? Instead, they project the fog of war in order to slip past the viewer a piece of terrorist propaganda.

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I think there is something to that analysis, and I’d go one further by saying that The Hurt Locker was damaged by the perception that Hollywood was antagonistic towards the military, a pattern seen by the other films on that list rather than the reality of The Hurt Locker itself. That film took care not to take sides (and mostly succeeded) but instead give a glimpse from the point of view of the soldier. The rest of these films betrayed a deep hostility toward the military and/or the Bush administration, which audiences can get for free simply by turning on MSNBC. Why go to the box office and pay for the lecture?

I actually really liked The Kingdom and would recommend it to anyone here looking for a good thriller dealing with terrorists. aside from a couple throwaway lines putting forth your typical moral relativism, it was actually a very well made movie which highlights the influence of radical Islam on our supposed allies in the Saudi Government. The last half hour of that film is some pulse pounding cinema. It’s a genuinely good film, so is Traitor which is also relatively fair aside from a line or two meant to satisfy the Hollywood crowd.

Daemonocracy on February 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Dude you’re in over your head with this one. Read up on Jihadwatch and Blackfive and a few other places. Ask Froggy over at B5 who terrorist groups use for suicide bombers. Seriously, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

As Senior Chief in AoV would say, “your BS quota is full”

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I do not disagree, but, that was not always the case, that is until AQI and AQA ran out of volunteers. Then they resorted to manipulation, coersion and physical threats. I still stand by my statements on the ” score one for the truth”. “Valor” should have portrayed that explicitly. Instead, the viewers were saying “yeah yeah so what” lets just get to the next SEAL kickass sequence.

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

*sigh*

go read up some, or better yet, find a SEAL and ask them. You’re trying to prove a point that doesn’t exist. Not every thing you read on MSNBC or FOX is true. Typically, there’s a bit more depth to every headline.

Durka-Durka on February 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

I do not disagree, but, that was not always the case, that is until AQI and AQA ran out of volunteers. Then they resorted to manipulation, coersion and physical threats. I still stand by my statements on the ” score one for the truth”. “Valor” should have portrayed that explicitly. Instead, the viewers were saying “yeah yeah so what” lets just get to the next SEAL kickass sequence.

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

You havent even seen the movie, yet you think you know all about it???? And as for the “jewish” a$$wipe in the movie, guess you must have forgotten about the Jew, George Soros, whose family sold the wearabouts to jews hiding from the Nazi’s…Scum comes in all sizes and nationalities…

lovingmyUSA on February 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

peace out

jake49 on February 27, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Is that a swiftboat as the post picture? It’s been a long time since I thought about swiftboats. Oh the memories!!!!

Glenn Jericho on February 27, 2012 at 7:50 PM

get and watch the History Channel Ranger interview from The Real Black Hawk Down.

Hawk and Ted C: Thanks for this tip. I crewed a mission moving the guys across the pond and have never cared to see the BHD movie-just too close to home. I’d like to hear the real story though, so will check out History Channel interview.

indyvet on February 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Act of Valor is a great movie, we all enjoyed it, including my artsy daughter (who LOVED The Artist) who thought that the SEALs were “bada$$”. My son has already seen it twice and intends to go again.

We liked it mostly because of the realistic action, the fact that they are real Navy SEALs, and we support our military. Watching bad guys get blown away is fun too.

There were several surprisingly funny moments, especially during the interrogation.

We also liked the plot connection between Islamist terrorists and Mexican drug smugglers, a scenario that is all too real and mostly ignored by the government.

As for the Oscars, I didn’t see ANY of the best picture nominees. In fact, I don’t think I saw any of the nominated movies. My daughter, who is dating an actor, saw all but one movie and eagerly watched the whole thing. I mostly watched while I was doing other things and really just for the dresses. Cirque de Soleil was pretty cool and Octavia What’sHerName had a very touching speech for Best Supporting Actress.

Common Sense on February 28, 2012 at 2:10 AM

“If you’re not willing to lose everything, you’ve already lost”

“If you’re not willing to lose everything, you’ve already lost,” intones the narrator. It might have been said by Sun Tzu or by Tecumsah, and it’s the heart of the movie: courage, valor, sacrifice; daily and forever. This is a story about CHARACTER, graven in stone ten feet high, about virtue rooted in bedrock and reaching for the sky.

It is about men living and dying as men should. Those who do are, in the words of the movie, “Damn Few.” See it and, if you weep, weep proudly.

http://www.bayshoreteaparty.org/btpg-blog/2012/2/26/act-of-valorowl-eye-says-see-it.html

njcommuter on February 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

I saw the movie on Sunday. I still can’t think too deeply about it withou tearing up a bit. It was the most emotional movie watching experience I’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. It ranged from heart in your throat intensity to tears, and sometimes both at the same time.

I am grateful that we have brave young men like those in the movie, who are willing to make such sacrifices for us all.

fast richard on February 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM

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