I've seen a lot of movies during this deployment. From the train up at Shelby, where we would watch DVDs in the barracks, to the flight over here on the plane, to the MWR tent in Kuwait, and finally here at the Sustainer Theater, I would guess that I've seen, oh, maybe 100 movies. Some of these I had seen before and was rewatching, but many were new.
I think that I am ready to declare my pick for best movie of the year. Drumroll please. And the winner goes to... The Departed! We saw this Sunday night, and it was phenomenal. It was supposed to open Friday, but we got hosed by the powers to be deciding to have military American Idol at the theater instead of the movie. Jerks. The story was interesting, lots of suspense, and the acting was unbelievably good. Damon and Dicaprio are the leads, and both are outstanding. I haven't been a Leo fan since the Basketball Diaries, but he is really, really convincing in this role. Marky Mark is also great. Jack is Jack, and Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin round out the cast very well. This isn't necessarily a family movie due to the violence (think Goodfellas) but it is definitely something you should check out.
Flags of Our Fathers opens Friday night here so we are definitely going to check that out as well. I read the book on the way back over here from leave, and it was really well written and I hear the movie is outstanding as well. It tells the story of the battle for Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest battles of WWII. It focuses on the image of the flag raising, and the story of the soldiers that participated. I have the Rotten Tomaotes web site linked on the right, if you are ever curious about how the critics are rating movies you should make this your first stop. What they do is they pull in most of the movie reviews for a particular movie and aggregate the ratings to give you an idea of what the critics are saying. This is nice becomes sometimes one critic doesn't give you the whole story, and with this website you can see all of the ratings at a glance. Anything over a 70% approval is considered "fresh", anything under is "rotten." For example, The Departed is a 92 and the Grudge 2 is an 8. That gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. Another good website for movies that the Hammer clued me into was the Internet Movie Database IMDB, also linked at right. What I like about this is that it has some really nice links between movies, actors, directors, etc. If you are trying to figure out what movies someone has been in you can just search and then follow their career. From there you can see who else has been in movies with them, what they have directed, etc, etc.
Good news from Iraq! AFN is doing us a solid and picked up the NU vs Okie State game, so another Husker party is in the works. It will be 1030 pm our time, so not too bad. I would think if both us and Mizzou win and stay in the top 25 than that game next week will get picked up as well. Actually we have a good shot at getting A&M and CU too. Good times will be had by all, provided of course we pull in a few Ws. No room for mistakes at this point of the season.