War is a shit hole. no matter how you turn it around, no war has never ended without a lot of pain, suffering and sadness. And even if some people might consider themselves as winners in a war, was it worth it all when innocent victims are taken away from their loved ones ? Wars portrayed in films have been done for so many years. and there are some really good titles to choose between. But if you ask me personally, one of the most powerful and well made war films of all time, i would choose the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, from director Francis Ford Coppola. If you ever wanted to see an epic war film about the Vietnam War, this is the perfect film to choose. This film does not only show the Vietnam war in a very powerful way, but this film also have some really powerful performances from the whole cast. Especially from legendary actors Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper and of course Marlon Brando. For those of you who have not seen this film, i suggest you see Apocalypse Now Redux, a much longer version of this film. The biggest reason why this extended version is better, is that you get a bigger understanding about the story surrounding the soldiers and their mission. Pick up the Blu Ray release of Apocalypse Now Redux this autumn, and i guarantee you will have a nice cozy September weekend. Speaking of the Vietnam War, and films that takes place during that time, most of you probably remember the Oscar winner Platoon. Best war movie of the 80´s and directed by Oliver Stone, who worked really hard to capture the mentality and the look of the Vietnam War. The most interesting detail about Platoon, is that this film is actually based on director Oliver Stone´s own experiences in the Vietnam War. This is also one of those films that you need to see, so i suggest you pick up Platoon on DVD or Blu Ray as well. If i say the name Spike Lee, most of you will probably think about his classic films such as Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X or perhaps Clockers. He have made a lot of good films, so when i got the news earlier this year that his latest film Da 5 Bloods is heading to Netflix, i just had to check this film out. Is it possible that Spike Lee still have more powerful stories to tell, or is he only repeating himself with his latest film ?
During the Vietnam War, a squad of black US Army soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division, Paul ( Delroy Lindo ), Otis ( Clarke Peters ), Eddie ( Norm Lewis ), Melvin ( Isiah Withlock ) and their squad leader Norman ( Chadwick Boseman ), who dub themselves the " Bloods ", secure the site of a CIA airplane crash and recover its cargo, a locker of gold bars intended as payment for the Lahu people for their help fighting the Viet Cong. The bloods decides to take the gold and bury it themselves, so they can retrieve it later. However, Norman is killed by Vietnam Soldiers, and the Bloods can not locate the buried gold. In present day, Paul, Otis, Eddie, Melvin and Paul´s son. They have returned to Vietnam to get the gold, and find the body of their friend Norman.
Since i really enjoy a lot of Spike Lee´s films in the past, i had pretty high expectations for Da 5 Bloods. And there are parts of this film where you can still sense the power of a Spike Lee film, where he still hit some high notes. However, this film is very long. And this is one of my issues with this film, since this film is over 2 hours and 30 minutes. There are films that can work, even if they are this long. And this film is good, but the story feels drawn out a bit too long. With that said, we do have some positive things to say about Da 5 Bloods. I enjoy the story of the old Vietnam veterans, going back to Vietnam, and most of all the actors who do a great job with their characters. One of my personal favourite characters in this film, is the character known as Paul, played by legendary actor Delroy Lindo ( who played Colonel Max Wilkins in the 90´s action classic Broken Arrow, from legendary director John Woo ). Delroy have no problem making his character Paul interesting, being a broken war veteran who have remorse over certain details in his life. Legendary actor Clarke Peters ( who i especially remember from the fantastic TV series The Wire ) plays the character Otis, and he is one of those men that you like right from the start. He cares about everyone, and he knows how to treat everyone with respect. I have to mention actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. who have been Spike Lee films 25th Hour and BlacKkKlansman. He is also in this film as the character Melvin, who clearly take this mission seriously. If there is one thing that Da 5 Bloods manage to do, is to show us that no matter how many years have passed by, the memories will always haunt the soldiers for the rest of their lives. The hunt for the gold is not really interesting to me, but i do feel that the characters in this film is the biggest reason why you should see Da 5 Bloods. Director Spike Lee still have his own unique way to tell a story, and he still manage to do so with his latest film. It may not be one of his best films in recent years, but i stil feel that there is an important subject to be told about war veterans, and this is something that Da 5 Bloods manage to do well. Have no idea what to watch on Netflix ? Give this film a chance, especially if you enjoy the films from Spike Lee.