[VIDEO REVIEWS]Fighting Men From the Past and PresentNew videos this week star medieval knights and modern-day soldiers.
APOCALYPSE NOW: REDUX (2001)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen.
Twenty-two years after Coppola told of America's folly in Vietnam with "Apocalypse Now" (1979), he re-created the nightmare with "Apocalypse Now: Redux." This version includes 49 minutes of previously unused footage.
Loosely based on Joseph Conrad's "Heart ofDarkness," the film follows a U.S. Army intelligence officer, Captain Willard (Sheen), as he journeys into Cambodia. He is under orders to exterminate "with extreme prejudice" Colonel Kurtz (Brando), a great soldier who has gone over the edge.
The onslaught of images - from Colonel Kilgore (Duvall), who blasts Wagner while leading a helicopter attack, to an appearance by Playboy playmates that results in chaos - shows the madness surrounding the war.
ENEMY AT THE GATE (2001)
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Starring Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Ed Harris.
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted six months and took the lives of 2 million Nazi and Soviet soldiers. Annaud leads the viewers into an intimate, sometimes claustrophobic, view of World War II.
A young peasant Vassili Zaitsev (Law) is thrown into a disorganized assault. Danilov (Fiennes), a Soviet officer, watches him take out several Nazis with a borrowed rifle, and turns him into a national hero. Zaitsev quietly stalks his enemies, but his sharpshooting skills draw the attention of the Nazi's best sniper, Major Konig (Harris).
Inexplicably, however, Annaud also inserts a love triangle in the film, clashing awkwardly with the otherwise compelling story.
JUST VISITING (2001)
Directed by Jean-Marie Poire. Starring Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Christina Applegate and Malcolm McDowell.
In 1993, French writer and filmmaker Jean-Marie Poir released "Les Visiteurs," a farce about a nobleman and his squire who are magically transported into the modern world. The film outgrossed all the American film imports in France that year.
Eight years later, Poire remade the film for an English audience. Blame it on the translation, but "Just Visiting" just isn't that funny.
The original star, Jean Reno, is a 12th-century knight, Count Thibault, with his faithful but smelly servant, Andre (Clavier, also in the original). The local wizard (McDowell) casts a spell on Thibault and Andre, sending them to the year 2000. There, they battle strange monsters (cars) and strange customs, aided by Thibault's descendant, Julia (Applegate).
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