I'm going to try something I haven't ever done before. Critique movies. We'll see how it goes.
I saw We Were Soldiers all the way through for the first time last night. It's about a battle of the Vietnam War that took place in what came to be called The Valley of Death. It stars Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, and Sam Elliott.
Not a bad war flick. It was one of the most brutal battles in American history, so the battle scenes are pretty intense, although I think Saving Private Ryan was more so. The movie seems to be written to get you to care for Mel's character and his family, but I didn't find myself getting attached to any of the other characters. So when the other characters start dying off, I don't find myself caring as much, aside from a general sympathy and appreciation for what all soldiers must go through in war.
Another part of the movie that falls short is an attempt, toward the end, to make you connect with the Vietnamese soldiers. It's too little too late. You've already spent most of the movie watching them throw themselves at the American troops, who even if we weren't American, we care for more because that's what the story focused on at the beginning. So, seeing a Vietnamese soldier looking at a picture of his girlfriend/wife in a journal before he heads off to battle isn't going to get us to sympathize very much.
Overall, it was a good experience. The acting was great, and so was the dialogue. Of course, I may be slightly biased since I enjoy most movies with Mel and Sam.