Fox Home Entertainment has deemed it patriotic to release nine classic war films on DVD. One can only assume this is a blatent attempt to captialize on the national desire for military heroes would at the very least resurrect a few gems from the pantheon of American classics. That it does, but sadly, that”s all it does.
The films all conspicuously center on World War II, a war that met with much approval from Americans. It”s a touch suspicious that Fox chose to back-peddle over the past 50 years, skipping over many a controversial war.
Of interest, though, despite their haste putting the collection together, Fox did not simply include propaganda, pro-war films to slide down the throat of a Republican-led country. Terrence Malick”s 1999 film “A Thin Red Line,” is full of soldiers” internal struggle set against the backdrop of the battle of Guadalcanal. There are stars o”plenty (including George Clooney, Nick Noltle, Woody Harrelson and John Travolta), but it was overshadowed by the less introspective “Saving Private Ryan,” which came out the same year.
Also, check out “The Young Lions” staring Marlon Brando and Dean Martin. Brando is a sympathetic German soldier and Dino as an obnoxious American. It”s odd seeing the “bad guys” portrayed as anything but monsters, and it”s no wonder that this film has slipped from the public radar.
As the crazy general of all war movies, “Patton” is possibly the mascot of the entire collection. Though for the money, you could get the earlier, double-disc package that contained a great deal more than this film-and-trailer-only version.
A severe lack of any extras runs rampant throughout the collection. Most of the films are presented in wide-screen, and a few of them contain theatrical trailers. Fox has brought about an interesting group of films, but the presentation is worse than subpar.