OT: "Act of Valor" worth seeing

Submitted by StephenRKass on February 10th, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Last night I went to see a screening of the new movie "Act of Valor." There was an ad for it during the Super Bowl, I was intrigued, so I went. (Trailer: http://www.actofvalor.com/official/)

It is a great movie, one I really enjoyed, and I don't expect to see a better action flick this year. Hope you can see it. The main characters are a group of active duty Navy SEALs. They take out several sets of bad guys around the globe. I was dubious about what this meant, seeing it in the advertisements. Were the SEALs extras? Backgroud fill?  No, it means what it says:  Navy SEALs are the main actors, filmed in a story playing themselves in the role of Navy SEALs. The movie includes their wives and families, and a lot of live fire.

You might remember that the guys on the 2011 football team did something with the SEALs as a theme this last season. (Link:  http://mgoblog.com/content/hoke-killed-guy.) There also has been plenty of Barwis porn and awe at the exploits of Martin, Van Bergen, et al. Watching the movie will give a greater sense and appreciation of SEALs who are truly great athletes and do this when it really matters.

Some of the acting, as expected, is a bit wooden. But at the same time, the emotions and action are also much more realistic than you will ever see captured by actors.

I suppose some of you more creative types (think:  LSU Freek) will eventually use clips to create football GIFs, etc. It is somewhat problematic that our fearless leader (i.e., one Brian Cook) most closely resembles one of the two bad guy villians. That photobomb at the hockey game lends itself to this kind of photoshopping.

Anyway, just go see the movie when it comes out in a couple weeks. You'll enjoy it.

Comments

Moleskyn

February 10th, 2012 at 9:51 AM ^

I almost got to go to a screening of it last night too, but it didn't work out. I saw the commercial for it and thought it looked sweet. Definitely a movie I'll be seeing once it comes out. On the movie's official website, they have a behind-the-scenes vid talking about how they used live ammo throughout the movie. That's just insane. How would you like to be the camera guy for that movie?

HAIL 2 VICTORS

February 10th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Barwis Porn...The only kind of porn Mrs. Kass allows! 

I also watched a screening of this last night and enjoyed the action scenes...Kind of odd to release this flick near Valentines as anything resembling Brian is the last thing I want to see near the 14th.

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 10:14 AM ^

I had kind of wondered about some of the questions answered by your link. As I said, I really enjoyed this, and the fact that NSW initiated the project and helped from the get go made it truly unique.

While neither the personnel cast in the movie nor the Navy itself are going to profit financially, I'm kind of surprised that there wasn't some arrangement of a "donation," say to survivors of Seals who were killed in the line of duty, or a college fund for children of Seals. I'm sure there are needs out there not covered by the government directly.

MaizeNBlueInDC

February 10th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

Thanks for the preview!  I have been curious about this myself after seeing commercials for it. 

As a follow up (and I hope I don't sound like an ass) but their name is SEALs (short for Sea Air Land) so people might at first think you are talking about some bad ass yet cute and semi-cuddly creatures if they are reading too early in the morning.  

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

Thanks for correction. Henceforth, they are Navy SEALs, not Seals.

I'm curious:  when do acronyms (i.e., SEALs) change to words, and words no longer requiring capitalization? For instance

  • radar and sonar are acronyms, but they have entered into the regular lexicon, and are no longer capitalized.
  • Also, most internet slang/text acronyms aren't capitalized (i.e., lmgtfy, or tl;dr or rofl, etc., etc.)
  • When the letters stand for an organization or company, they seem to always be capitalized (i.e., UM for our beloved school, or IBM, or NCAA, or NATO, or NASA)
  • Likewise, medical terminology:  (AIDS, HIV.)
  • Some "words" had acronym origins, i.e., "Snafu." 
  • And some have double meanings, depending on context (DNR.)

I'll be looking now to see whether or not "SEALs" is capitalized in the press (or not.) Regardless, no one would confuse Navy SEALs with cute sea mammals.

MaizeNBlueInDC

February 10th, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I never thought about the common ones that have been in use for so long that they are simply regular words now.  As far as SEALs, I think since it is both a proper name and acronymn it will always be capitalized just like they other examples you had.  Just my attempt at an explanation.  

As far as the press, with all of the accounts (and there have been quite a lot in the past year) I have read I do not remember any that used lower case (except for the "s" on the end). 

WolverineQuaker

February 10th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

I had the honor of seeing an advanced screening the other night, thanks to my awesome girlfriend.  I thought the movie was incredible.  The acting was a little stiff, but hey, these guys are professional soldiers, not actors (and honestly, I've seen far worse acting in crappy action movies).  This fact actually enhanced the action scenes because, my goodness, the way they move is second nature to them!

 

In any case, this movie gave me a new appreciation for the "Damn Few", their families, and the almost-incomprehensible sacrifice they all make for the greater good...OUR greater good.  God bless them!

ironman4579

February 10th, 2012 at 11:58 AM ^

Just wanted to point out that the "drown and revive" at SEAL school has nothing to do with torture.  It's to give the guys a sense of what it feels like to drown and teach them not to panic, as that just makes things worse.  These guys spend a ton of time in the water and need to learn to be comfortable, no matter the conditions.

Torture and evasion aspects are taught at SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) school.  Spec Ops, pilots etc. have to go through the school (basically anyone that will/could be operating in enemy territory).  I did a detail back in '02 at SERE school in which we played the enemy forces (CNN was actually doing a story on it at the time, which you may be able to find somewhere).  The school is a complete mind f*** for the guys going through it, and the trainers are some extremely hardcore dudes.

justingoblue

February 10th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

The descriptions of that in One Bullet Away were beyond intense. I cannot imagine surviving the whole way through, Fick also goes to swim school with the SEALs and those stories are just a tad less ridiculous than SERE.

As to the guy above you and his comment about so few being able to make it, one of my best friends is a 22 year old gifted athlete who's currently an Ensign and attempting to lat-transfer to SEALs, he's been told the odds, and I forget what they are, but they're not good, and that's an understatement.

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

No. Just no. There should be a law against such things. Not to be rudely inquisitive, but for the love of all good things, what could motivate you to go to "The Vow?" I mean, I went to ballet recitals when my daughter was 5, but there's a good reason. Well, to each his own. I'm glad to have seen Act of Valor, and perhaps even more glad NOT to have to go to "The Vow."

BlueintheLou

February 10th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

I hope this is exactly what they mean by the actors portrayed and the Navy itself not profiting. It should most assuredly go to those who have lost loved ones or had their lives damaged for their service to the country. A great idea I hope is being exacted.

APBlue

February 10th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

Why the hell are people negging the OP?  Football season is over.  The 2012 recruiting season is (99%) over.  People need to get a life.  

Not only is this movie about the bravest and most courageous that this country has to offer, but it's starring those very same people.

The thread title is accurate.  If you're not interested in the movie, why bother opening it up, just to neg the OP?  #losers.

BlueVoix

February 10th, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

How is the plot?  I'm all for a good mindless action movie once in a while, but if I'm shelling out money at the theater, I'd hope there would be some semblance of a compelling storyline.

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

I purposely didn't go into this (didn't want OP to be in the tl;dr category) and didn't want to spoil the movie. However, I can tell any who want to read about the plot a bit, without spoiling the movie.

There is a very believable story, It involves a bombing of an expat school in Asia, masterminded by an old school jihadist who is truly motivated by hurting the USA, regardless of anything else. A true believer. There is drug smuggling, CIA agents taken into captivity and extracted, and a plot to infiltrate the US with highly explosive vests that are non-metallic and would thus avoid detection, to come in via suicide bombers.

For me, the plot line actually is what makes the movie particularly good. It makes sense, and connects around the globe, from the USA, to Asia, to Central America, to Africa, to Eastern Europe, to Mexico. Without giving away the plot, something that seemed fuzzy and nebulous in a basic extraction mission turns out to be connected to a much, much larger and nefarious plot to hurt the US.

The plot line was partially devised by Naval Special Warfare (see link from Mgoshoe above.) It had to be believable, and based on things that actually happened (or could happen.) If you happen to dislike the US military, and special ops, and violence, well, this movie isn't for you.

Very particularly, the movie is not unbelievable (think some of the stunts in the Bond movies, or Bourne movies, or Cruise Mission Impossible movies.) It also is not mindless and unconnected action and crash sequences (think parts of the transformer movies, or Fast & Furious.) It is not science fiction (not Star Wars, or Star Trek, or War of the Worlds, or Minority Report or Avatar.)

It is unabashedly a recruiting tool for special forces, especially for SEALs. It doesn't glorify war, nor is it politicized. It isn't like Apocolypse Now, or Platoon, or Hamburger Hill.

The closest movies (and they're not really close, but they're the best I can link to) would be  Black Hawk Down or Hurt Locker. Black Hawk Down was very intense. This is similar, but the good guys win, albeit, with losing some of their own to either injury or death.

The movie closes with a dedication to all special ops forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 9/11, a chilling and inspiring long list of all their names. It reminded me slightly of all the vets who came to the stage at Mount Rushmore when I was there during Sturgis a couple summers ago. Seeing all the Vets gave a tangible sense of all who sacrificed to serve their country. Special Ops, even more so.

MGoShoe

February 10th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

...servicemembers are asked to stand up and be recognized, but when my family and I visited Mt Rushmore en route to Yellowstone several years ago (and it was just before Sturgis time), I did come forward to the stage. Standing there in a long line of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Persian Gulf and OIF/OEF vets in that setting was something special.

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I can't justify terrorism and the indiscriminate destruction of the lives of children and civilians for any cause or reason. The logical implication of your statement is that the 9/11 bombings are not a bad thing, and are justifiable, depending on having a particular perspective. I don't care if it is for something I support or something I am against, suicide bombings will never be justifiable. As I said, we'll just agree to disagree.

ironman4579

February 10th, 2012 at 4:26 PM ^

There's a difference between the deliberate targeting of civilians in a specific campaign designed to do so, and accidental civilian casualties.  I'm not saying that no units of the American/Canadian/British etc. militaries have killed civilians on purpose, but it's not a specific policy nor is it to near the same level. 

Probably straying into political territory though, so agree to disagree.

SirJack II

February 10th, 2012 at 5:36 PM ^

But with the civilian dead in Iraq numbering over 100,000 people, it gets to a point where it no longer really matters whether it was part of policy or not.

And of course it is not Iraq policy to attack civilians, nor have they ever done so on American soil. They had nothing to do with 9/11.

SalvatoreQuattro

February 10th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

"Iraq policy"? Huh? Hussein murdered 300,000 of his own people and many of the 100,000 you cite were killed by native insurgents.   You can criticize the justification of the war all you want, but resorting to using inaccurate  statements is no way to go about it.

The truth is that in war ALL sides lie in order to achieve their end. Hence, it is the height of folly to believe unreservedly "facts" put out by the government, the "enemy",  and anti-war groups. 

SirJack II

February 10th, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

Yeah, "Iraq policy," that was a dumb thing to say. Just trying to indicate their nonresponsibility for 9/11.

There was always a hope that the long-term results of attacking Iraq would pay off, but almost nine years in there is no end in sight to the sectarian violence.

And you're right, concerning the 100,000 or so civilian deaths, it is estimated that the US is directly responsible for about 35% of them. I don't know what the Pentagon's official numbers are, but I seem to remember them reporting perhaps 20,000 or so fewer deaths than presumably unbiased (if there is such a thing) sources. That still leaves you with around 80,000 civilian deaths, and about a third of which are at the hands of the US. 

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

I am not suggesting that Americans don't kill, nor that they don't have blood on their hands. I do realize that many civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the American military. However, to the best of my knowledge, the American military hasn't deliberately targeted large groups of civilians in these countries for death.

The premise of this particular movie is based on suicide bombing, where civilians are deliberately targeted (as happend on 9/11.) The movie opens with a bombing by a Jihadist at a school in Asia, killing scores of innocent children. In the plot line, the major actions of the SEALs are taken to thwart the actions of this Jihadist, who is seeking to smuggle 16 suicide bombers into the USA, causing death and destruction in 16 large communities. The goal is indiscriminate death, in order to damage the economy. Sports stadiums are mentioned as an ideal venue to target. This is the premise which I personally abhor.

Suicide bombing used to destabilize any country is reprehensible. If a group in the USA or Europe was to recruit 16 suicide bombers to take out the financial districts of Dubai, Cairo, Amman, Baghdad, Islamabad, Riyadah, Damascus, and Kabul, I would find such an act wrong and indefensible. The ends do not justify the means.

Sugaloaf

February 10th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

POLITICS, POLITICS, POLITICS.

This is why these things should not be posted. They are INHERENTLY politically charged.  This is (by NSW's own admission) the "end result of a recruiting initiative". It is propaganda, it is a recruitment tool.  To act like it's not (no matter which side of the political divide you're on), is just ostrich behavior.

At the risk of being neg-bombed, The DoD recieves 20% of our national budget. They don't need money, they need bodies. Thus, this film.

It looks entertaining, and I'd like to see it, but I don't like "recruitment" masquerading as "entertainment".  These are our young men and women we're talking about. The same age as the freshmen we just recruited who have a great tendency to waffle back and forth on decisions because, well, they're 18.  All I ask is that the NSW be VERY upfront about what this movie is. And when I saw the trailer for it a couple weeks ago, it was VERY NOT clear.

 

Michigasling

February 10th, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

And no one cared that some of the performances seemed a bit wooden.  In fact, it was only in the very beginning that I noticed, maybe because as the movie went on these men understood the reality of what their characters were going through as most of us couldn't, and some of the performances were terrific.  I wouldn't be surprised if most people in the audience didn't realize they weren't members of [their] union until reading the credits with first names only.  The production quality is high, and for those curious about plot, don't worry.  It's stressful and tense, particularly because it was so believable. 

Hair Raid Offense

February 10th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

Haven't seen this yet and probably won't. It just seems a little fake and cheesy. Don't get me wrong, I stongly support the military and this country, and many of my close friends from high school joined the military and have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. But to me this movie just seems like the big studios are trying to make a quick buck off of all of the post-bin laden patriotism and Navy Seal media obsession. 

 

I don't think it's "propoganda" but something even worse: Hollywood big-wigs taking advantage of our boys who've risked they're lives to protect us.

 

I'm not trying to be a downer, it's just my opinion.

 

 

 

StephenRKass

February 10th, 2012 at 5:07 PM ^

Everyone has different tastes in movies. There's more than enough out there to find something that suits you. (Just don't tell me that you're going to see "The Vow.")

Also, I'm sure you are right that Hollywood wants to make money. Not sure they're taking advantage, though, because it seems from mgoshoe's link that the Navy was part of initiating the whole project, and the active duty SEALs who signed up were more than willing to do so.

M - Flightsci

February 10th, 2012 at 6:36 PM ^

SirJack, your slanted views on the Iraq war are not welcome here.  Talk about the movie.

 

One thing I noted a lot of people are picking up on: they were not shooting live rounds throughout the movie.  That's a no-brainer.

 

The one scene they used live ammo (~4,000 rounds of 7.62x51, about $2,000!) was the SWCC extraction.  http://screenrant.com/act-valor-live-ammunition-featurette-sandy-148715/