I initially supported the war in Iraq.  How embarrassing is that?  Not realizing we were back in era of Watergate, I actually believed the things I was told by the President and all the President’s men.  I thought there were WMDs in Iraq.  Once it was clear that there were not, we wiped that rationale from our collective minds and it became about freedom.  Now we’ve been there for over 5 years and 3,000 American lives and over 100,000 Iraqi lives.  Here’s a new film which looks at the human cost of these colossal blunders.

Starting this July 8th, now available on DVD from Paramount Pictures and MTV Entertainment comes a stunning and timely tale of friendship and life in the time of war.  Stop-Loss is ready for you to bring home and enjoy whenever you see fit.  Introduce your family to the human costs of hubris and presidential misadventures.

This film was the second one by award-winning director Kimberly Pierce of Boy’s Don’t Cry fame.  It stars Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Abbie Cornish, and Ciaran Hinds, all up and coming actors in the new Hollywood.  Phillippe plays a soldier over in Iraq who has seen a lot and killed some civilians.  Now he and his friends are coming back to the States and most of them have chosen not to re-enlist.  A few of them are struggling with PTSD, something a recent RAND Corp. study shows that over 25% of Army vets from Iraq are suffering, and they have drinking and relationship problems to boot.  When Phillippe goes quit his time in the service, he finds out that he has been stop-lossed, essentially a back-door draft requiring him to stay in the army since the President says he needs to.  So he takes off, maybe to Washington to meet with his Senator, maybe to Canada to escape.  What happens next defines the film and the attitudes we Americans are “allowed” to have about the war.

The special features included in this DVD are a featurette about making this film, optional audio commentary on the film from director Kimberly Pierce and co-writer Mark Richard, a featurette about what it was like putting the actors through a boot camp of sorts, and many selected deleted scenes with optional audio commentary.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  It was filled with good actors and good writing and good directing.  For the most part, based on the things I’ve heard and seen myself, it is a pretty accurate picture.  The practice of stop-lossing is completely un-American and should not be allowed to continue.

Stop and see this movie. You owe it to yourself.

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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