A Soldier among Civilians
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Review by Ross Anthony

Loved Life of PI – expected big things visually from "Billy Lynn" – especially with the new tech: 3D/4K/120fps. That's five times the usual frame rate, so was I wrong to expect 5 times the visual stimulation? While there were certainly moments that really rocked (even gave me chills), for the most part, the visuals fell below the average cinema experience – even felt rickety, and reminded me of soap operas on old analogue TV. While the 3D was rock solid, the feeling of depth was minimal. And the image on screen lacked warmth and richness. A nicely lit scene on regular 2k at 24fps bests it. But worry not, there are only 2 places in the USA (and 5 in the world) that are actually showing the film in 4k/120 – you may have a much better experience at your local regular 2k/24 theatre.

As for the drama, the first half is also a bit rickety, as Ang Lee introduces us to his cast of Bravo buddy soldiers; the production takes at least 30 minutes to sell them to us as a brotherhood. Prior to that, they just seem like actors. That said, the war buddies do eventually endear us. And Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn will completely win you over. Ang does an excellent job of showing us our country from the bloodshot eyes of our overseas soldiers. To be metaphoric – the script is a mirror in harsh light that asks us to take a closer look at our values regarding freedom and war. The film splendidly juxtaposes Iraq flashbacks against the silly things we Americans think are important. And for that reason this film is important. Not only that, but it will certainly choke you up – both Joe Alwyn and Garrett Hedlund as his sergeant deliver some smashing short speeches and surprisingly Steve Martin gives a strong dramatic performance at a few moments where the 4k/120 proves itself worthy.

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  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Copyright © 2016.
  • Starring Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Makenzie Leigh, Steve Martin. Directed by Ang Lee. Sony Pictures.

Grade..........................B (2/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Thursday, 17-Nov-2016 15:25:55 PST