Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Thin Red Line (1998)

Tagline: Every man fights his own war.
Cusack plays: Captain John Gaff

The Thin Red Line was released at around the same time as Saving Private Ryan, and consequentially was overlooked by some, although many contend its a much better film. Ryan is probably more accessible and tear jerking, but this is also a good film (and it was nominated for 7 Oscars). The action focuses on the battle of Guadalcanal (in the South Pacific) and instead of having one of two leading men, its stacked full of big names (Clooney, Penn, Travolta, Harrelson, Nolte). If there's a lead its arguably Jim Caviezel as Private Witt, although a lot of the heart comes from Ben Chaplin pining for his wife back home. I also thought that a young wide eyed Adrien Brody did a lot with his few lines and limited screen time and made a real impression.

The first cut of the film was a bum numbing 5 hours, and was then cut down to 2 hours 40. This editing meant completely cutting the appearances of talents such as Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke, Bill Pullman, Gary Oldman and Martin Sheen. People who thought they had big roles had them reduced to only a few lines.

Cusack is impressive as a captain who leads a charge to take a bunker on a hill where the Japanese are holed up and shooting at them from. He stays cool and gets the job done. What a man.

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