Movie Title: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Rating: R, 110 minutes
In a Nutshell: As an Army mom, I admit I watched this flag-waiving drama through different eyes. Based on the best-selling book, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel, this was the first time High Frame Rate technology was used in a movie at such a high speed.
It has an interesting effect that is supposed to be immersive in a new way. Unfortunately, most people will end up watching this underwhelming movie on a TV or tiny computer screen after it comes out on DVD, missing the impressive work in each frame.
- “Has anyone looked in the eyes of the dead?” – poetry at funeral
- “It’s not something I’m real proud of, but I did what I had to do.” – Billy Lynn
- "The karma of action…the way of the warrior." - Shroom
- “Sometimes I wonder if we really deserve what you guys do for us.” – Faison (Makenzie Leigh)
- “We're a nation of children, Billy. We go somewhere else to grow up, sometimes to die.” – Shroom (Vin Diesel)
- Loyalty, bravery, patriotism, war, freedom, politics.
Things I liked:
- The funeral at the beginning is heart-breaking when the ceremony includes calling out for the deceased soldier.
- Shout-out to Matt Damon, Hillary Swank, and Destiny’s Child. Celebrities who were actually in the movie are Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin.
- Newcomer Joe Alwyn has incredibly expressive eyes that allow you to see the conflict within his character.
- Ben Platt is so likable. He has only played small roles in movies so far, but I’d like to see him in a bigger role someday.
- Two-time Oscar winning Director Ang Lee broke new ground cinematically because of his technique. (I loved his work in Life of Pi.) I also liked how he tried to film it as if we were in the middle of the action, rather than watching the action.
- The film addresses PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) You might be interested in learning more about combat stress recovery programs.
- I loved how Shroom always said “I love you” to his men.
- This movie isn't really a war movie, but rather, a soldier movie.
Things I didn’t like:
- All of the guys talk at the same time, so it’s often hard to hear what everyone is saying.
- The film tells you how to feel.
- The acting isn’t particularly good.
- I realize the soldiers are just young kids. They are often extremely badly behaved, even at their press events. Doesn’t the military teach some etiquette to soldiers before they go on a media tour like this? It's embarrassing.
- There is some ignorant talk of gays in the military.
- On the one hand, the movie seemed like a satire. On the other hand, it felt like it was too saccharine.
- I wanted more of a backstory so that I would care about any of these soldiers.
- The script is rather dull.
- “It doesn’t have to be about God or country. Just find something bigger than yourself.” – Shroom (Vin Diesel)
- ‘I’ve kind of gotten used to telling people what they want to hear.” – Billy Lynn
- “It’s so weird, being honored for the worst day of your life.” – Billy Lynn
- “Sometimes nothing is better than something.” – Billy Lynn
- “Take us some place safe. Take us back to the war.” – Sykes (Barney Harris)
- “72 virgins in heaven? Why 72?” – random girl who talked to Billy Lynn at a football game.
- “I can appreciate trash talk. It’s not the best I’ve heard, but it’s pretty good.” – Steven Martin
- “Yeah, yeah. Let’s go get a middle school named after us!” – Dime (Garrett Hedlund)
Tips for parents:
- Lots and lots of profanity.
- A lot of inappropriate sexual conversations and a fairly graphic sex scene.
- There is a scene were some guys smoke marijuana.
- War violence, including a bloody hand-to-hand combat scene.