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DVD Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:   111 minutes, feature audio commentary, 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary, two featurettes


VIDEO:   2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:   English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Surround

Subtitles:  English, French, Spanish


STUDIO:   Paramount Pictures/ MTV Films

RELEASE DATE:  7-8-2008


STOP-LOSS is a film that defines what is happening now in the USA. Brandon (Ryan Phillippe) wants to get out of the service after being in Iraq. He is sent home to Brazzos, Texas thinking he will get out with his best friend (Channing Tatum). Then he is hit with a stop-loss, a cheap-cheating back door draft that keeps 81,000 soldiers in United States military service beyond the end of their contracts they signed. STOP-LOSS shows the effects the conflict in Iraq is having on our soldiers and the government keeps sending them back no matter the psychological damage like Brandon's other friend (a riveting performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Then you have to consider Michelle (Abbie Cornish) who wants to marry Brandon's best friend and yet she ends up trying to help Brandon fight the stop-loss. The film shows what can you do when you don't have any way to fight against a government more interested in winning the conflict than protecting the state of minds of soldiers pushed too far. How do you deal with soldiers who want out from the horrors of the conflict while others have completely lost it (and end up being screw-ups). It is also a film about the brotherhood among soldiers. STOP-LOSS is a great film that makes you think while leaving you pissed off by the very end.

Director Kimberly Pierce and her co-writer Mark Richard have recorded an audio commentary for the film. Kimberly rules the commentary track and talks about the process of writing and rewriting scenes for the film and the casting. I think she would love to do a really violent action film. Kimberly Pierce also lays out her take on why 11 deleted scenes were cut (even though I think the Senator scenes should have stayed in).

THE MAKING OF STOP-LOSS goes into how the project began (Kimberly has a brother in the military), the attention to research, and the problems that popped up during production that proved to be a blessing.

A DAY IN BOOT CAMP goes behind-the-scenes of the actors doing boot camp for their roles.

FINAL ANALYSIS: STOP-LOSS is a great film that pissed me off by the end. It is the type of movie that will be a classic years from now.

this DVD review is (c)7-1-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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