HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Buffalo Soldiers At War With The Army
Year: 2001
Director: Gregor Jordan
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Ed Harris, Elizabeth McGovern, Michael Peña, Leon Robinson, Gabriel Mann, Dean Stockwell, Brian Delate, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, Amani Gethers
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: On a U.S. Army base in Stuttgart, West Germany, during 1989, Battalion Clerk Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) has a profitable line in black market goods to keep him occupied in peace time. The soldiers are always looking for something to fill their days, and drugs are as a good a way as any - Elwood is also a heroin dealer to the troops. One day, when playing a game of football indoors, one of the men is accidentally killed because of a rough tackle, so the men throw him out of a top storey window to make it look as if he's fallen off the roof while fixing an aerial. He's not the first casualty of peace, and he won't be the last.

Actually given a wider release in 2003 due to the political climate, this black comedy was written by Eric Axel Weiss, Nora Maccoby and the director Gregor Jordan, and takes a sardonic view of Army life. "War is hell," says Elwood in voiceover, "but peace is fucking boring." With no one to fight, the soldiers turn on each other, as Elwood finds out when his shady deals are investigated by the hard-nosed Sergeant Lee (Scott Glenn). When a tank goes out of control on manoeuvers due to the inebriated state of the men inside, the result is one petrol station destroyed and two soldiers, who stopped their trucks to see what was going on, killed in the explosion.

Opportunity rears its head when Elwood and his comrades are next on the scene, and they take the trucks, which are filled with arms, to sell on the black market. Up until now, Elwood has lived in a bubble of complacency, but with this deal he is in over his head, and has to use all his wits to outsmart Sergeant Lee. I've heard Buffalo Soldiers described as the dark side of Sergeant Bilko, and Elwood's machinations are certainly devious, the tone wryly amusing when it's not being serious in a "should we be laughing at this?" kind of fashion.

The battle of wills between Elwood and Lee steps up a gear when Elwood takes a fancy to Lee's daughter, Robyn (Anna Paquin), at first to get one up on the Sergeant, but later because he's fallen in love with her - finally he's impressed. Lee retaliates by using Elwood's new car for target practice, and the whole competition spirals out of control. The actors are all excellent, not just the initially smug Phoenix and dangerous Glenn, but also Ed Harris as the mild mannered general of the base, who's being cuckolded by his wife (Elizabeth McGovern).

The world Buffalo Soldiers depicts is one of men who are fired up for combat, but resorting to power games amongst themselves that become violent. Not just beatings, but resorting to murder as well. They are so wrapped up in their own obsessions with domination that they don't even know if they're in East Germany or West Germany. The humour is edgy, as with the soldier who died at the start, found filled with drugs - including a birth control pill he took by mistake. But there are the odd notes that don't quite hit the mark: the romance, for example, is out of place amongst the cynicism, and the explosive climax is too contrived to coincide with the fall of the Berlin Wall. That apart, Buffalo Soldiers skillfully shows that the peace can be just as crazy as the war. Music by David Holmes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7648 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: