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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stop-Loss: Early Review



Stop Loss
is a new film by Kimberly Peirce, the indie filmmaker who broke out in a big way in 1999 with her hit Academy Award decorated film Boys Don't Cry. The movie stars Ryan Philippe, Rob Brown, Timothy Olyphant, and the hotness that is...Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film opens up with Philippe as a solider who has just arrived home from his service in Iraq. He is finally ready to settle back home in Texas and spend time with friends and family. However, Philippe finds him self in an unfortunate situation when he is "Stop Lossed".

What is Stop Loss? It's when a soldier's service is beyond their expected term of service and they are called to go back and serve for an additional length of time. Typically this is a contractual obligation that is argued upon by many U.S. soldiers, however they are expected to complete their duties under the authority of the Commander-In-Chief. Peirce for the first time, touches upon this issue in a fictional film and introduces us into the world of soldiers who have gone AWOL and sort of an underground railroad of former soldiers who now "lay low" and have changed their identities to avoid criminal charges as result leaving their base and choosing not to serve in war.

Ryan Philippe gives a strong performance as Brandon King, a
gung ho army strong Texan who won't take no for an answer. He chooses not to serve his Stop Loss and decides to go AWOL. Channing Tatum who plays Steve Shriver gives an incredible performance as the solider who is not yet ready to deal with his home life and the girl he left back. Shriver begins having flashbacks of his moments in combat and we see the effects of what war can do to the mind of a human being.

The film also stars
JGL as Tommy Burgess who is conflicted when he returns home and suffers from deep seeded issues of alcoholism and figuring out what his place is in this world outside of Iraq. This is an amazing film. It's actually by far one of the best films about the current war situation in Iraq. It also opens your eyes as to what is really happening to our soldiers out there and the effect of the war insurgency called upon by George W. Bush. Stop Loss has passion and will definitely incite controversy on both ends of the spectrum. Whether you are anti-war or pro you will feel strongly about the message in this film. This is another plus for director Kimberly Peirce who directed a film about a woman posing as a man in a small Nebraska town in the film Boys Don't Cry.

Stop Loss is released in theaters nationwide on 3/28/08.

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