Jerry Levine

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Born On The Fourth Of July Review


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Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is not an adaptation of the memoir by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, though that's what the credits indicate. It's an indulgent style showcase for Stone, who, with his longtime cinematographer Robert Richardson, employs every act of film trickery imaginable that doesn't involve CGI effects.

Tom Cruise, in a role that was a brave departure for him in 1989, plays Kovic in his adult years. Kovic grows up as a child of the American dream in 1950s Long Island. He's a God-fearing, baseball-hitting, patriotic lad who lives in an environment full of parades and malt shops. As a high school senior, young Ron doesn't think twice about signing up for the Marines, believing that he's doing the right thing for his country.

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Jerry Levine

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