The usual way to celebrate Memorial Day would be to get out the grill and have a hefty cook out. But after the sun goes down it’s time to turn down the lights and turn on the war movies – what better way is there to celebrate the armed forces?
Stripes (1981) – Two adult men down on their luck decide to join the army to shake things up a bit. The result is a wild ride of one liners and hilarious situations. Originally intended to be a Cheech and Chong film, it is much better suited as a Harold Ramis and Bill Murray effort.
Behind Enemy Lines (2001) – A navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is wildly pursued after he finds out some tragic information. This film isn’t entirely full of action but the story is there. The acting is spot on and the overall feel of the movie is engaging.
Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Following the death of some soldiers a group of US soldiers searches for their brother. After this film it’s pretty obvious Tom Hanks can play any role. He does an excellent job with the part and is the highlight of the movie. Some consider this to be one of the best war films and it is quite understandable.
Schindler’s List (1993) – After witnessing the horrors that the Jews have endured during the war Oskar Schindler tries to save them. Like Saving Private Ryan this film was directed by Steven Spielberg and as always he knocks it out of the park. A very powerful film.
Inglorious Basterds (2009) – In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. This is truly one of the best films of 2009 with the highlight being the portrayal of Col. Hans Landa.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) – This film chronicles the events that led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and the US mistakes that may have caused it. While other kids were watching “101 Dalmatians” I was watching movies like “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Firefox.” Even just the way “Tora! Tora! Tora!” switches back from the American perspective to the Japanese perspective is intriguing. Truly a great film.