Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Kevin Macdonald's THE EAGLE

Kevin Macdonald's THE EAGLE

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

Swords, grit, shields, alien lands, culture clashes, honor, heroism, and a cruel empire. Mix wisely with colorful photography, human scale action, crisp editing, and intelligent dialog, and you have THE EAGLE.

Set in 140 AD we follow a Roman soldier as he treks with his slave companion into the wilds north of Hadrian’s Wall to retrieve a golden eagle. The eagle is a military standard lost 20 years before by the soldier’s father, leader of an ill-fated military campaign into the wilds of today’s Scotland.

The soldier’s goal: retrieve the eagle, restore his family’s honor. Simple, right? Of course it isn’t or we wouldn’t have a movie. What makes this movie special, writing as a lover of sword-and-sandal epics since childhood, is its clarity and unstinting focus on human action. Hardware, fabrics, costumes, weapons, campgrounds — all have the ring of a human scale reality where life was brutish and short but where humanity could occasionally break through into the light. As it does here.

Review copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald

Paul W.S. Anderson's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE

Paul W.S. Anderson's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE

Mario Bava's PLANET OF VAMPIRES

Mario Bava's PLANET OF VAMPIRES