Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I finally went to the movies to see "Act of Valor".  I seldom go to the movies, preferring instead to wait for them to come to Turner Classics.  In this particular case, I shouldn't have waited so long.  It was absolutely phenomenal.  By snubbing the cocktail commies and snob socialists of elitist Hollywood, opting instead to cast actual active duty Navy SEALs, the filmmakers achieved a realism that I personally have never experienced in a war movie - and I love war movies.  Real life heroes of the highest order portraying heroes on film.  It has been done before - Audie Murphy, may God bless him, portrayed himself in "To Hell and Back"; Harold Russell turned in a staggeringly moving performance in "The Best Years of Our Lives".  "Act of Valor", however, has heroes in spades.  I've seen a few mainstream reviews describing the performances as thin and wooden.  To those big-shot big-city movie critics, I would recommend they spend some time in real America, with real Americans.  I would also recommend they get real jobs.

There is yet another element to the appeal of "Act of Valor".  War films too seldom include the reasons why we fight, often opting instead for cheap sexual interludes thinly veiled as romance.  I'll put 10 to your 5 that "Pearl Harbor" illustrates the point nicely, though I haven't bothered to watch it.  "Black Hawk Down", "Saving Private Ryan", "Band of Brothers", and "The Pacific", all great modern war movies, but all fail in what I feel to be the critical element of a Great American War Movie.  It is here that "Act of Valor" doubles down on pure awesomeness.  The soldiers are fighting for their country and their families and for the flag that symbolizes the greatest freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.  Period.  "Act of Valor" is a stunning tribute to the members of our beloved armed forces who have been willing to lay down their lives so that the innocent folks back home wouldn't have to.

I do not have the honor of signing off here with the Navy SEAL motto, so I will instead think back to the Sailor's Creed, as we recited it way back in basic training:

I am a United States Sailor.

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of my superiors.

I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Commitment, and Courage.

I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

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I would be remiss if I did not give a hat tip to Bill Whittle and his PJTV video "Han Shot First!", for bringing my attention to this movie.  I don't keep up with new movies, and might've missed this one entirely.  Check out his film production project, "Declaration Entertainment", and support his efforts to bring meaningful non-Hollywood films to the big screen.

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