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Hart's War

Starring: Colin Farrell, Bruce Willis, Terrence Dashon Howard, Vicellous Reon Shannon and Cole Hauser
Directed by: Gregory Hoblit

Hart's War has an excellent story, it's well acted, and thoroughly engrossing.

Lieutenant Hart (Colin Farrell) is a senator's son. As such, as the winter of 1944 and WWII rages on around him he sits in an office, warm and snug. Not his choice mind you...

Then he nonchalantly offers to give a soldier a ride to camp a few miles over. The two are ambushed; Hart survives, and is thrown head first into his own version of the war.

First it's interrogation by ruthless Nazi's hell-bent on pumping the handsome boy for secrets. Then it's a six day jog across the German tundra with frozen, frostbitten feet that one has to assume will not end at a fancy Hyatt with an open tab.

No. Hart ends up at a stalag (German prisoner of war camp) filled with fellow prisoners of war and one crusty smirky chap named Colonel McNamara (Bruce "Smirkman" Willis).

For the most part, McNamara runs the soldiers in this joint. He's their commanding officer. Hart wiggles in, uncomfortably, but feels this stalag, bleak, cold and unwelcoming, is certainly better than death would have been.

The happy-go-lucky (not) camp reallt takes a bitter turn when two black Airforce officers join the stalag. The hostilities start to boil over in murderous proportions. Remember it is 1944, take the racism we face today and multiply it tenfold to get an idea of how many of these folks thought.

The Airforce officers, Lt. Archer (Vicellous Reon Shannon) and Lt. Scott (Terrence Dashon Howard) are just trying to get along (no ancient reference pun intended). But even in war bigots will be bigots. So, the next thing you know one officer, Lt. Archer, is dead and the other, Lt. Scott, is on trial for murder.

Lt. Hart, an ex-Yale law student, is called upon to defend Lt. Scott. Oh, we all know Scott's been framed in a heavy, fancy carved mahogany elaborate frame, and it's going to take some hot-shot maneuvers to get this fellow off the hook.

Nothing is quite kosher at the ominous stalag. Even this Sgt Bedford (Cole Hauser) fellow who's kind of the "bank" within the place. That war prisoner guy that knows how to get things; cigarettes, gum etc.. Sgt. Bedford also happens to be a first class card carrying racist arse. There's no end to what this guy will do to make his point clear, perhaps frame or even kill someone over their skin's shade? Hmmmmm.

Then there's the charming, fourth generation West Point, Colonel McNamara. He's one suspicious character (of course it could just be Willis' perpetual smirk that makes him look so shady). Could he be involved in the frame up of Lt. Scott? Hmmmmm.

As his stalag mates get to know Lt. Hart, they see he's not quite as hoity- toity- blue- blood and suspenders as they have been lead to believe. And together with Lt. Hart they're about to learn a little about honor.

I loved this. Okay, there are some "yeah, sure" points. Top of the points, and higher then the peek of Lichtenstein's castle, is the convenient fact that the Stalag Colonel went to Yale (Hart's an alum), thusly, the story can move forward and it's his personal enjoyment that allows him to permit the prisoners (whom he despises) their little trial. The other is the survival of semi-aristocrat boy turned soldier, Lt. Hart. I doubt this young senate member in training ever had to hold his own at some Outward Bound retreat for wayward boys, or played street football yet, now in the midst of a barbaric winter during war, Mr. Lobster Bib is able to hike six days on frost bitten sockless feet without suffering death by pneumonia ? Begeesus! The kid would have had a touch of the sniffles at least! Um, please Hollywood, pay attention to these thing would ya? Finally, the moral clause within the film, laid on like a inch think full butter layer of chocolate cake frosting. They played the racist card so strong all it lacked was an orchestra version of "To Sir With Love" softly playing during flyer Scott's trial.

But, even with these small faux pas mixed in, Hart's War is still one helluva war film!

This Colin Farrell fellow is truly like a multi würst platter of yum! A true specimen of spectacular! Hunkasnaurus Rex Colin is also Irish, accented and all and that little fact just makes him all the more more edible. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this bloke, and that's no Blarney!

Terrence Dashon Howard reminded me of somebody…Benicio Del Toro! They have the same eyes, nose and mouth structure. It took me half the time the man was on screen to figure it out. He, like his facial clone Del Toro, is intense and exact with his delivery. Keep your eyes out for this new actor on the scene folks!

Bruce Willis is just adorable in military gear. He's not the lead here as the poster would lead you to believe. Heck he's not even the handsomest on the screen! But Bruce-a-la still oozes movie star presence signature scene destroying smirk and all.

The whole cast did a great job. If you're into war films get out and see this. Gals, you suffered through Black Hawk Down's bombardment of violence for "IT" mansicle Josh Harnett, do the same and discover this Colin Farrell fellow…but, be sure to let your date/mate/spouse think it was their idea to pick the film though, thusly guaranteeing a dinner of your choice. Thoughtful little you...(<- evil giggle).

Snack recommendation: Use the fore mentioned advise and pick a fine dining establishment.



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