July 29, 2012

A Few Good Men

I first encountered this movie in Justin Halpern's new book, "I Suck at Girls," which was a hilarious, page-turner book. Just to provide a background why watched this movie, I'll tell you how exactly I came across this movie. A few weeks ago, I saw Justin Halpern's first book, "$#*! My Dad Says," which I immediately found entertaining. I also found out that he released another book which I mentioned in the first sentence of this entry. I finished the first one in one sitting, and wanted to read the second one right after. I decided to let a week pass before I started reading the second one. Then in one of those stories, Halpern mentioned this movie which was playing when a significant event, as some would say, was happening. He claimed that it's one of his favorite movies, so I decided to check it out. I don't know why I told this story, but hey at least you know why I decided to check it out. Also, I wanted to promote his books because I thought they were ingenious, and incredibly hilarious, and actually inspiring. Not for the conservatives though, but these books are really worth checking out.

On to the movie. Another reason why I wanted to check it out was because I read that it's a courtroom drama. As you might have read, I do enjoy courtroom dramas. I enjoy learning things and details about how the proceedings happen, how the lawyers prepare and how intense cross examinations can e. Every time I watch a courtroom drama, or a courtroom scene, I pick-up and learn something new. I just enjoy the practice of law in movies, and even in television (which reminds me of the television show Suits - an excellent TV show and something you also should check out. Proceed with caution though because it could get you addicted). To Kill A Mockingbird's one of my all time favorites and the reason I appreciate court room dramas a lot. It's the movie I compare other courtroom dramas against.

A Few Good Men was not To Kill A Mockingbird, but it was damn close to being one. You'd have to sit through a gruesome 45-46 minutes before it gets good, but just suck it up cause once you hit the 46 minute mark, there's no getting out of it. The start was really slow and boring, and it wasn't driving or marketing the movie as something exciting or anything. It was just a series of scenes that should get people intrigued but it wasn't working for me. But when it got good, it really got good. I couldn't even stop to grab a drink because I was into it. I didn't want to stop cause I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I joined their preparation by speculating how they should approach the case. Once you get past that 46 minute mark, there's no turning back. That was the hook, and trust me, you wouldn't want to let it go.

It had all the elements of a good courtroom drama. It had competitive and diligent lawyers, it had villains you just want to punch over and over again, it had a legitimate conflict worth discussing and worth fighting for. The story was really inspiring and at the same time a little disturbing. Actually, I understood why the first portion of the film seemed irrelevant. I thought it was just a light preparation of what was about to hit me. Tom Cruise was very effective in portraying his character. Cocky but also doubtful. It took me a while to warm up to Demi Moore's character. While she was excellent in it, her character was a bit annoying at first. Kevin Pollak was another stand out in the movie. He was subtle but he also made sure his presence was known. Jack Nicholson literally gave me goosebumps especially in his last scene. It was really intense and really well-played. I also wanted to add how weird Kiefer Sutherland looked in this movie. If I saw this before (probably not 1992 cause I wouldn't have remembered watching it as I as still a baby), I wouldn't have imagined that the guy would go on to be Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer and Jonathan Kendrick, his character in the movie, were the opposite ends of a spectrum. Lastly, I wanted to include my admiration for the performances of Wolfgang Bodison and James Marshall as the two navy men accused of murdering their fellow marine. They also had two of the best lines in the movie; incidentally, they were their last scenes as well.

It wasn't as revolutionary as To Kill A Mockingbird. However, it doesn't take away the fact that this movie had a lot of substance. It had the proper atmosphere for a hardcore courtroom film. The actors had the appropriate portrayals of each character. The direction was nothing short of brilliance. Everything about it, at least after the first 46 minutes, was just breath-taking. I understood how Justin Halpern could consider it one of his favorite movies, and I understand the level of success the movie achieved. It's been 20 years since the movie was released, but I do think that it is the kind of movie that will still do well today. I really do.

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