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Tears Of The Sun - 27/3/2007 1:20:42 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
I heard an amusing rumour several years ago. As the American war machine got ready to pound Afganistan and the Taliban back to the Stone Age, Bruce Willis apparently volunteered for armed service. He was apparently refused due to him being to old and instead vowed to make pro-US military films instead. He then went off to make Tears Of The Sun.



Now I have no idea whether this story is true or not but I missed Tears Of The Sun at the cinema as I feared it would be American flag waving pap where US SEALs tried to implement a false American foreign policy and bring peace to an uncivilised area of Africa. However with Last King Of Scotland and Blood Diamond making Africa very ‘vogue’ these days, I decided to pick up the Directors Cut of Tears Of The Sun and give it a shot completing my ‘African Trilogy’ if you will and I was very surprised my what I saw.

Firstly, despite being set in a ‘fictional revolution’, Tears of the Sun managed to convey the horror and violence of African tribal conflict better than Blood Diamond I thought. Despite being filmed in Hawaii (!), the locales had a very primal look to them and the scene were Willis’ team come across an ethnic cleansing in progress is shocking stuff. Women are being raped and mutilated, men are being set on fire and shot and babies are lying dead. It made Blood Diamond look almost tame.



Interestingly though, the film doesn’t try to explain why things happen, it’s just dismissed with a ‘This is Africa – this kind of stuff’ happens feel. The SEALs can’t understand how things like this can happen where as the refugees they are protecting are survivors of similar raids. It’s all about man’s inhumanity to man and how we generally stand by and do nothing. Supporting US foreign policy or damming it? I suppose you can look at it either way but as Willis’ character Lt Waters makes the decision to accompany the refugees to Cameroon to avoid slaughter, you get the feeling you’re not watching the ‘guns and explosions’ film you thought you’d bought. You’re watching a film that is trying to show what happens daily in Africa and what we let happen.



While this was ravaged by the critics, I found myself rather enjoying it. I have no idea how it differs from the Theatrical Cut but I thought it was an intelligent thriller. Of course it’s not perfect – Water’s explanation for why is does what he does is muddled (“I’ll tell you as soon as I figure it out”), his Marines aren’t really fleshed out, there’s an attempt at an ill advised love story but on the whole it’s a very, intense and gripping watch and if you haven’t seen it for fear of watching US vs The World, I suggest you do.

It’s not what it appears.


_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh
Post #: 1
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 28/3/2007 5:38:34 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
I’m glad to see someone else appreciated this film. I’ve also only seen the director’s cut, as I too initially feared it would be a flag waving exercise, when it’s actually more complex than that.

Tears of the Sun works as a tense war/action film, education on genocide and an ode to intervention. Made just before the Darfur crisis kicked of and after the horrors of Rwanda, it is an allegory of the problems affecting a number of African nations. However, while the situation depicted is fictional, it was based on the Biafran conflict of the late 60s, in which Nigerians of Christian origin were the victims of a form of ethnic cleansing.

There are moments towards the end where it does descend into a bit of flag waving, but then you think to yourself, “if we have the firepower, why can’t it be so deployed”. By that point I’m also so swept up in the story that I’m willing on Bruce and his Seals to let the raiders have a taste of their own medicine.

Of course there’s a degree of audience manipulation there, having seen the missionaries get slaughtered and then the horrors of the village, we want to see these people wasted and there’s no attempt made to explain why this is happening. It’s also the case that the African characters are a bit of a sideshow, with the audience perspective somewhere between Bruce and Monica Bellucci, who does manage to be quite irritating (if beautiful as ever).

Ultimately you either go with it or not and willed on by Hans Zimmer’s terrific score (I thought it as good as his work on Black Hawk Down) I find it hard to say “no”.

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(in reply to Timon)
Post #: 2
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 28/3/2007 6:15:35 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
quote:

ORIGINAL: Axel Foley

Of course there's a degree of audience manipulation there, having seen the missionaries get slaughtered and then the horrors of the village, we want to see these people wasted and there's no attempt made to explain why this is happening.


That did semi-confuse me as I like to think I'm relatively clued into world events and I really couldn't work out which conflict the film was portraying. I couldn't recall any recent Nigerian coup or internal conflict but as I found out it is a fictional event and as you said Axel, based on similiar massacres in the 60's.

It's odd that they didn't choose a more recent and non-fictional setting to have the film - like Rwanda and Sierra Leone but then I guess some may have thought they were watching a true story. In the end though, it's rather confusing what they did. It might have even been easier to create a fictional African nation for the film or nothing even mention where it was set.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 3
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 29/3/2007 5:54:05 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
I'd agree that it would've been better not to mention where the film was set. It was made as allegory, so it didn't need to deal with any one nation specifically and I'd think it must've been quite weird for Nigerians to see a film set in the present world, depicting their country in chaos.

It just struck me, though, that the set-up is very similar to Crimson Tide (beginning with TV pictures of the worsening situation, before we pick up on the miulitary side of things), so I suppose it's intended as a "what if".

I think you were right to say that the motivations of Waters and his team were also a bit muddled, but I think in Waters case, he was a man of few words and just chose to do the "right thing". When he and his team are flying out after leaving the refugees behind, Bruce's expression says it all. In that way it's also very similar to Three Kings, where from being on a straightforward enough mission (stealing gold in the latter, rescuing the westerners in the former) they are dragged into a more complex situation and wrestle with their morals before reaching a decision. Once "LT" has made his mind up his team follow suit (with a few gripes): they're a pretty uncomplicated bunch.

On another note, the climax is pretty amazing. Running from a barrage of artillery and bullets, the Seals hold out as the refugees run towards the border. Bruce is wounded, but manages to carry on as more of his men are cut down and then finally the cavalry turn up and the day is saved. Whatever the circumstances around it, that's a terrific finale.

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Post #: 4
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 29/3/2007 11:50:49 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
The Marines are uncomplicated except for the more ethnic ones that start claiming the Nigerians are 'their people'. Also Cole Hauser's character is meant to be the more sensitive one but that never really works...especially when he's booby trapping bodies.

You know what Axel? I think we're the only ones that have seen it...or like it.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 5
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 30/3/2007 3:16:54 AM   
thomasp


Posts: 109
Joined: 7/10/2005
From: Nottingham
I just need to know much Bellucci figures...

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Post #: 6
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 30/3/2007 4:30:27 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

You know what Axel? I think we're the only ones that have seen it...or like it.

Judging by the only other post and some of the replies I noticed in the reviews thread, we may have had some more interest if the ‘Belluccis’ had made an appearance. In truth her character was a bit unnecessary, but I did appreaciate her sweaty, bouncy charms.

Perhaps if we keep on for long enough, a few others will give it a try…

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Post #: 7
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 1/4/2007 8:19:42 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
 


Well at 3 quid. you can't go wrong.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 8
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 21/5/2007 3:22:10 PM   
JagLover

 

Posts: 457
Joined: 11/5/2007
Quite a decent movie, that is hardly a flag waving excercise because it shows at first what does happen in most African conflicts, ie westerners are rescued if necessary and the Africans left to be slaughtered. The fact that these men stopped and said 'hang on a second, these are people too' is hardly waving the flag for America, rather it seems a critique of current policy.

It is a little unfortunate they picked a place, Nigeria, that aside from some intercommunal rioting is not the war zone depicted. They could have easily invented a fictional African country.

(in reply to Timon)
Post #: 9
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 1/6/2007 11:47:15 AM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
Yes! Someone else who likes it!

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to JagLover)
Post #: 10
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 1/6/2007 7:27:18 PM   
justified by grace

 

Posts: 1551
Joined: 4/2/2007
Tears of the Sun is a brilliant film.  I'm not a huge fan of either dramas or war movies, but this is one of the best dramas and one of the best war movies I've ever seen.  It's intense, gripping, atmospheric, and moving.  The cinematography is excellent.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Axel Foley

On another note, the climax is pretty amazing. Running from a barrage of artillery and bullets, the Seals hold out as the refugees run towards the border. Bruce is wounded, but manages to carry on as more of his men are cut down and then finally the cavalry turn up and the day is saved. Whatever the circumstances around it, that's a terrific finale.

I totally agree with you there.

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Star Trek: Nemesis ****

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 11
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 2/6/2007 8:01:15 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

Yes! Someone else who likes it!

Hey the appreciation level is building.

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Post #: 12
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 12:27:29 AM   
ADRIAN MOORE


Posts: 113
Joined: 24/1/2007
From: The island of Summersisle
Where did you get it for 3 quid Timon?

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Post #: 13
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 11:35:02 AM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
Amazon marketplace. Brand new, plastic wrapped and everything. Great place for a bargain.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to ADRIAN MOORE)
Post #: 14
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 2:22:36 PM   
ADRIAN MOORE


Posts: 113
Joined: 24/1/2007
From: The island of Summersisle
£5.97 delivered is the cheapest i could get it Timon(from Asda).Now,i'm buying this blind,but because i trust you Tears Of The Sunnies,i'm willing to part with my hard earned for a belter.However,if shiteness looms and i have to come back here,i'm cracking skulls!

_____________________________

"How'd it get burned?"
"HOW'D IT GET BURNED?!"
"HOW'D IT GET BURNED??!!"

"Shut yo' ass!And that goes for the two monks too!"

(in reply to Timon)
Post #: 15
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 2:39:05 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
quote:

ORIGINAL: ADRIAN MOORE

£5.97 delivered is the cheapest i could get it Timon(from Asda).Now,i'm buying this blind,but because i trust you Tears Of The Sunnies,i'm willing to part with my hard earned for a belter.However,if shiteness looms and i have to come back here,i'm cracking skulls!


You won't go wrong - it's a good war film with a slightly different feel to the type of thing that has been released in recent years.

(in reply to ADRIAN MOORE)
Post #: 16
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 2:43:13 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
He's right. I was expecting Bruce Willis and The US vs 'puny non-American bad guys' and was very suprised.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 17
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 4/6/2007 2:47:19 PM   
Peter Dragon


Posts: 1635
Joined: 27/9/2005
Oh I remember a long time on a forum far far away and orange, I posted a fairly positive review of this and got blasted by people on here.
I still think it's a cracking movie, so not the flag waving exercise you think it'll be.
G'wan Brucey!

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Post #: 18
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 5/6/2007 4:42:55 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27268
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: Axel Foley

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

Yes! Someone else who likes it!

Hey the appreciation level is building.


I like it. Only seen it once though.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 19
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 6/6/2007 12:50:22 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
Sometimes it's nice to see an action-film-with-a-soul rather than the types of (albeit brilliant) war films we have become used to in recent times.

The likes of Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima have added a level of blood spattered seriousness that makes watching these movies quite difficult at times. They have to be treated in this manner because they are covering real events and thus they cannot be glorified in any way.

Even though Tears of The Sun is still violent, because it is a work of fiction it allows it to roll along in the style of an action movie (thus entertaining us without battering us) while still managing to affect the viewer with it's depictions of the types of genocidal slaughter Africa has suffered in recent times.

< Message edited by Fluke Skywalker -- 6/6/2007 3:09:43 PM >

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 20
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 9/6/2007 6:30:57 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
Interesting you say that, as I thought that was one of the main reasons it (and also Blood Diamond) work so well. There’s an action film thread so as to lure in the viewer and at the end, you are just as affected by the genocidal horrors, as if the film had purely focused on them.

I watched Shooting Dogs a little while ago, and that has very much the opposite effect, as though it is an serious and honest portrayal of the Rwandan attocities, it just felt a bit too nasty (yes I relaise that was the point, but I wanted to “unwatch” it afterwards).

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RE: Tears Of The Sun - 23/1/2008 10:22:51 AM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
I just got Blood Diamond (2 Discer) for £4 off Amazon Marketplace so maybe this weekend, I'll rewatch this and have an African double-bill OR with today's news, I might go for A Knight's Tale/The Patriot double bill....and maybe The Four Feathers....well I liked it.

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 22
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 23/1/2008 2:28:51 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8113
Joined: 13/4/2006
I love the way it says on the poster that it's the best War Thriller since Black Hawk Down when that was only a few years before   Haven't seen this, didn't really appeal greatly.  Again I supose it's a different role and Genure for Willis.  He's far more devense than many give him crdiet for.

(in reply to Timon)
Post #: 23
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 24/1/2008 12:37:10 PM   
Guchmeister

 

Posts: 321
Joined: 28/11/2007
I only saw Tears of the Sun recently and it really suprised me. It really is entertaining and well worth a watch.

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 24
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 24/1/2008 1:31:38 PM   
Kobi

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 24/1/2008
Another fan here. Thought it was an intelligent war film and pretty realistic. Always liked this film a lot and have lent the dvd to several friends who thought it would be ott cheesy american pomp, but they were pleasantly suprised!

(in reply to Guchmeister)
Post #: 25
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 20/1/2009 1:40:11 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
Apparantly, Die Hard 4 was going to be called Die Hard: Tears of the Sun but Bruce liked the title so much he asked for it to be used on this film and in return, he'd do a fourth Die Hard... I can't remember where I read that...

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to Kobi)
Post #: 26
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 20/1/2009 1:53:11 PM   
morg1138


Posts: 1343
Joined: 23/11/2005
superb, just read the Black Hawk Down thread and thought about watching it then directly below this thread, a wee bit of a war weekend perhaps.

i have the directors cut of Tears of the Sun, what is the difference?!  Like some of the posters above I also heard the Bruce Willis signing up stuff and avoided this film on release.  Then I saw the Directors Cut for £3 in Asda last year so snapped it up.  i was really surprised after watching it.


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We've got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closin' fast.

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Post #: 27
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 21/1/2009 10:36:02 AM   
FGT


Posts: 246
Joined: 10/3/2008
I initialy saw it on Five and a couple of weeks later got the DVD at Sainsbury's....£3...well worth it.

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Post #: 28
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 23/4/2009 3:25:50 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14584
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
Good to see more appreciation for this under-seen film. Also, does anyone think Cole Hauser should have been a bigger star than he is...?

_____________________________

"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

(in reply to FGT)
Post #: 29
RE: Tears Of The Sun - 25/4/2009 11:57:54 AM   
Snake-Eyes


Posts: 9970
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: ZONE 2
I must admit I have only ever seen bits n' pieces of this. I'll probably pick up the director's cut soon. It's an Action film, it's got Bruce Willis as a Navy SEAL and it has...


....*sigh*.... 


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Post #: 30
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