Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tigerland (2000)

Director: Joel Schumacher

Writers: Ross Klavan, Michael McGruther

Composer: Nathan Larson

Starring: Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Clifton Collins Jr., Tom Guiry, Shea Whigham, Russell Richardson, Nick Searcy, Afemo Omilami, James MacDonald, Michael Shannon, Cole Hauser

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The system wanted them to become soldiers. One soldier just wanted to be human.

Plot: A group of recruits go through Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana's infamous Tigerland, last stop before Vietnam for tens of thousands of young men in 1971.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I wanted to like it but at no point was I engaged with any of the characters.  The acting was OK and it was great seeing Michael Shannon in an early role and seeing Shea Whigham (who's probably most known for his role as Eli Thompson on BOARDWALK EMPIRE) in a reasonably substantial early role.  Except for seeing these two guys in something new, I didn't care much about any of them.  I dug the grainy film look which makes it feel more like its period but the constantly shaking camera took me right out of it so therefore it doesn't matter if it was shot on Super 16mm.  And that's a damn shame.  The story is OK but it was the execution that muffled what good is found within it.  The 20th Century Fox DVD has a few extras including a director's commentary, about five minutes of footage with Farrell in a casting session, the theatrical trailer and two TV spots (all fullscreen), a four minute featurette which makes me wonder why bother, and a fullscreen trailer for TORA! TORA! TORA!.

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