BUFFALO SOLDIERS Add To My Top 10

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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 25, 2003

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Anna Paquin, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Dean Stockwell, Elizabeth McGovern, and Gabriel Mann

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Lisa A.
Rice BUFFALO SOLDIERS takes
place in 1989, just before the
fall of the Berlin Wall. U.S.
soldiers are stationed in
Stuttgart, West Germany at the
Theodore Roosevelt Army Base,
readying the world for peace
and safety. On the inside,
however, things are not what
they seem. Specialist Ray
Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) of
the 317th Supply Battalion is
quietly concocting a very
illegal way to turn his
boredom into profit. Ellwood
is turning his military duties
into an intricate network of
black market deals. During the
day, he is a battalion
secretary to the inept but
kind Commander Wallace Berman
(Ed Harris), but on the side,
he sells the locals stolen Mop
N’ Glo and cooks heroin for
the base’s ruthless head of
Military Police, Sgt. Saad.
Berman’s wife (Elizabeth
McGovern) adds suspicion to
her already full plate of
jealousy and control, which
threatens the whole drug
operation, but Elwood is
confident he can outsmart the
couple and the system. When a
top sergeant (Scott Glenn)
arrives to clean up the base,
Ellwood is not only certain he
can handle the new guy, but he
insinuates himself into the
life and heart of the
Sergeant’s rebellious,
bitter daughter (Anna Paquin).
The deal gets trickier,
however, when he’s invited
to play middleman in a bigger
league involving $5 million in
stolen arms. To make matters
worse for Elwood, Anna finds
out that her father has plans
to murder her new boyfriend.
Now, in a time of supposed
peace and new world order,
Elwood must combat insane
jealousy, a murder plot, and a
possible Judas from among his
own ranks. BUFFALO SOLDIERS
premiered at the Toronto Film
Festival in September 2001,
but apparently the release
date has been pushed back
several times due to the fact
that American troops are
involved in the Middle East
right now, and most war
satires are typically not
welcome during such times.
Right on! The movie has a
peace sign on its poster, and
its content is certainly
caustic and anti-American. It
leaves a dark, nasty taste in
the mouth about the integrity
of our troops during wartime.
One ex-soldier in Germany
before the fall of the Berlin
wall wrote the distributor to
complain that the movie
wrongly portrays the soldiers
as idiots and druggies,
strange and psychotic. In
reality, he says, though there
were pockets of crime,
rebellion and drugs, it was a
very small percentage, typical
of any overseas stations, and
the Army of the 1980s was
typically educated men
professionally doing their
jobs. Overall, the movie is
full of violence, sex, drugs,
and a depressing outlook.
Moral, patriotic audiences
will likely avoid this movie,
despite the fact that it has a
star-studded cast who all give
full performances. There are
no redemptive elements in the
movie. Please address your
comments to: Bob and Harvey
Weinstein Co-Chairmen Miramax
Films 375 Greenwich Street New
York, NY 10013 Phone: (323)
822-4100 & (212) 941-3800 Fax:
(212) 941-3846 Website:
www.miramax.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 98 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(PaPa, APAPAP, Ro, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, DDD, MM) Dark, bitter, pagan worldview with caustic, exaggerated, anti-American portrait of criminally-minded, licentious U.S. soldiers in Germany with no redemption of their cause at the end, as well as a romantic theme with emotion-based, relative decision-making throughout; strong language with about 140 obscenities, mostly strong, plus numerous profanities; strong violence with one-on-one fist-fighting, beatings, torture, etc.; sexual encounters implied and shown slightly veiled; some slightly veiled full female nudity; numerous depictions of alcohol; numerous depictions of drug use, abuse, and manufacture; and, racism.

GENRE: Drama

PaPa

APAPAP

Ro

LLL

VVV

SS

NN

AA

DDD

MM

Summary:

In BUFFALO SOLDIERS, a criminal subculture operates among U.S. soldiers stationed in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and a network of greed, murder and betrayal threaten to hinder one soldier’s big crime plans. With excessive violence and language, as well as sexual portrayals and strong anti-American tones, moral audiences will likely avoid BUFFALO SOLDIERS.

Review:

BUFFALO SOLDIERS takes place in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. U.S. soldiers are stationed in Stuttgart, West Germany at the Theodore Roosevelt Army Base, readying the world for peace and safety. On the inside, however, things are not what they seem. Specialist Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) of the 317th Supply Battalion is quietly concocting a very illegal way to turn his boredom into profit. Ellwood is turning his military duties into an intricate network of black market deals. During the day, he is a battalion secretary to the inept but kind Commander Wallace Berman (Ed Harris), but on the side, he sells the locals stolen Mop N’ Glo and cooks heroin for the base’s ruthless head of Military Police, Sgt. Saad. Berman’s wife (Elizabeth McGovern) adds suspicion to her already full plate of jealousy and control, which threatens the whole drug operation, but Elwood is confident he can outsmart the couple and the system.

When a top sergeant (Scott Glenn) arrives to clean up the base, Ellwood is not only certain he can handle the new guy, but he insinuates himself into the life and heart of the Sergeant’s rebellious, bitter daughter (Anna Paquin). The deal gets trickier, however, when he’s invited to play middleman in a bigger league involving $5 million in stolen arms. To make matters worse for Elwood, Anna finds out that her father has plans to murder her new boyfriend. Now, in a time of supposed peace and new world order, Elwood must combat insane jealousy, a murder plot, and a possible Judas from among his own ranks.

BUFFALO SOLDIERS premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2001, but apparently the release date has been pushed back several times due to the fact that American troops are involved in the Middle East right now, and most war satires are typically not welcome during such times. Right on! The movie has a peace sign on its poster, and its content is certainly caustic and anti-American. It leaves a dark, nasty taste in the mouth about the integrity of our troops during wartime. One ex-soldier in Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall wrote the distributor to complain that the movie wrongly portrays the soldiers as idiots and druggies, strange and psychotic. In reality, he says, though there were pockets of crime, rebellion and drugs, it was a very small percentage, typical of any overseas stations, and the Army of the 1980s was typically educated men professionally doing their jobs.

Overall, the movie is full of violence, sex, drugs, and a depressing outlook. Moral, patriotic audiences will likely avoid this movie, despite the fact that it has a star-studded cast who all give full performances. There are no redemptive elements in the movie.

Please address your comments to:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein

Co-Chairmen

Miramax Films

375 Greenwich Street

New York, NY 10013

Phone: (323) 822-4100 & (212) 941-3800

Fax: (212) 941-3846

Website: www.miramax.com

SUMMARY: In BUFFALO SOLDIERS, a criminal subculture operates among U.S. soldiers stationed in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and a network of greed, murder and betrayal threaten to hinder one soldier’s big crime plans. With excessive violence and language, as well as sexual portrayals and strong anti-American tones, moral audiences will likely avoid BUFFALO SOLDIERS.

In Brief: