Patrick Sheane Duncan

Patrick Sheane Duncan

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Courage Under Fire Review


OK
The so-called Gulf War is the only war in which America was involved that, due to my age, I can personally remember. I saw it on CNN like everyone else, listening to the death toll of Iraqis climb into the 100,000 range, while U.S. casualties stayed around 300 -- half of whom were killed by accidents or friendly fire. The idea of a Gulf "War" will always be kind of silly to me, because the word "war" implies two sides fighting each other. The Gulf War was the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis by U.S. troops.

I'm not saying the Gulf War was a bad, or unjust, operation. It's more of a joke than anything else, and that's why when a film comes out attempting to glamorize the war and make heroes out of fictional soldiers and fictional events, I greet it with a bit of skepticism. Courage Under Fire (just out on DVD) is the first real Gulf War movie. It probably won't be the last.

Continue reading: Courage Under Fire Review

Mr. Holland's Opus Review


Very Good
Out-and-out begging for an Oscar might have been more dignified than the brazen performance by Richard Dreyfuss in the title role of Mr. Holland's Opus. Here, Dreyfuss makes his bid for Oscar number two (he won in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl), and given the fare Hollywood has seen fit to throw us this year, I'll be surprised if he doesn't win.

Mr. Holland is, of all things, a lowly high school band teacher, and the film follows 30 years of his life, from 1965 to the present. Mr. Holland, in his first year of teaching, finds himself turning into that very thing which he detests, a dry and boring instructor who isn't getting through to the kids, so he decides to make a few changes in his teaching style to get the students involved and interested. Using all manner of unorthodox teaching methods, Mr. Holland eventually breaks through and becomes the darling of John F. Kennedy High School, and we see the profound effect he really does have on a number of his students.

Continue reading: Mr. Holland's Opus Review

Nick Of Time Review


OK
The experiment was this: Make an action/suspense movie that takes place in real time. That is, 90 minutes of film shows us 90 consecutive minutes in the lives of the hero and villains. Real time has been done before (see also Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, which is not only in real time, but has the appearance of being one continuous shot with no cuts). Real time has never been done quite like this.

In Nick of Time, director John Badham has taken a traditional three-act thriller and jammed it into a sparse 90 minutes. The plot follows accountant Gene Watson (Johnny Depp), now a single father of 7-year old Lynn (Courtney Chase). Arriving at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Gene and Lynn are picked from the crowd by the enigmatic Mr. Smith (Christopher Walken) for a devious task. Smith gives Gene a gun and a little over an hour to commit a murder or else his daughter will be killed. The catch? The target is the governor of California (Marsha Mason). Watson then has to balance the life of his daughter with the far-ranging conspiracy he finds himself caught up in. And time is running out.

Continue reading: Nick Of Time Review

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Patrick Sheane Duncan Movies

Courage Under Fire Movie Review

Courage Under Fire Movie Review

The so-called Gulf War is the only war in which America was involved that, due...

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