Feb 192022
 

Movies IMDb


Zulu

DirectorCy Endfield

Year1964

Trailer

[Synopsis]

In 1879, a communiqué from Lord Chelmsford to the Secretary of State for War in London (voice-over narration by Richard Burton) details the crushing defeat of a British column at the hands of the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana. In the aftermath of the battle, the victorious Zulus walk amongst the scattered bodies of the British soldiers and gather their rifles. At a mass Zulu marriage ceremony witnessed by missionary Otto Witt and his daughter, Zulu King Cetshwayo is informed of the great victory.

A company of the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot is using the missionary station of Rorke’s Drift in Natal as a supply depot and hospital for their invasion force across the border in Zululand. Receiving news of Isandlwana from the Natal Native Contingent Commander Adendorff, who warns that an army of 4,000 Zulu warriors is advancing on the British position, Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers assumes command of the small British detachment, as he is slightly senior to Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, an infantry officer. Realising that, with wounded and sick soldiers, they cannot outrun the Zulus, Chard decides to make a stand at the station, using wagons, sacks of mealie (maize), and crates of ship’s biscuit to form a defensive perimeter.

A contingent of colonial horsemen arrives. They advise Chard that defending the station is hopeless. They retreat in haste, despite Chard’s desperate pleas for them to stay. Witt demoralises the men with his dire predictions, and the soldiers of the Natal Native Contingent desert. Chard orders Witt to be locked up in a supply room.

The Zulu impis approach and then charge. The British open fire, but Adendorff informs them that the Zulus are only testing the British firepower. Witt becomes drunk and again proclaims that the soldiers will die, prompting Chard to dismiss him and his daughter from Rorke’s Drift. Chard is concerned that the northern perimeter wall is under-defended and realises that the attack will come from all sides. The defenders are surprised when the Zulu warriors open fire on the station with rifles taken from the British dead at Isandlwana.

Throughout the day and night, wave after wave of Zulu attackers are repelled. The Zulus succeed in setting fire to the hospital, leading to intense room-to-room fighting between British patients and Zulu warriors, as the former try to escape the flames. Private Henry Hook takes charge and leads the patients to safety.

The next morning, the Zulus approach to within several hundred yards and sing a lament before launching again into their war chant; the British respond by singing the Welsh song “Men of Harlech”. In the final assault, just as it seems the Zulus will finally overwhelm the tired defenders, the British soldiers fall back to a small redoubt constructed out of mealie bags. With a reserve of soldiers hidden within the redoubt, they form into three ranks and fire volley after volley, inflicting heavy casualties; the Zulus retreat. After a pause of three hours, the Zulus re-form on the Oscarberg. Resigned to another assault, the British are astonished when the Zulus instead sing a song to honour the bravery of the defenders before departing.

The film ends with another narration by Richard Burton, listing the eleven defenders who received the Victoria Cross for the defence of Rorke’s Drift, the most ever awarded for a single action.

Sep 302018
 

Movies IMDb


A Bridge Too Far

DirectorRichard Attenborough

Year1977

Trailer

[Synopsis]

Operation Market Garden envisions 35,000 men being flown 300 miles (480 km) from air bases in England and dropped behind enemy lines in the Netherlands. Two divisions of US paratroopers are responsible for securing the road and bridges as far as Nijmegen. A British division, under Major-General Roy Urquhart, is to land near Arnhem and hold both sides of the bridge there, backed by a brigade of Polish paratroopers under General Stanisław Sosabowski. XXX Armoured Corps are to push up the road over the bridges captured by the American paratroopers and reach Arnhem two days after the drop.

As General Urquhart briefs his officers, some of them are surprised they are going to attempt a landing so far from their objective as the distance from their landing zone to the bridge would render their portable radios useless. Although the consensus is that resistance will consist entirely of inexperienced old men and Hitler Youth, reconnaissance photos show the presence of German tanks at Arnhem. General Browning nevertheless dismisses the photos and also ignores reports from the Dutch underground, believing the operation will be successful regardless.

The Arnhem bridge is the prime target, as it serves as the last means of escape for the German forces in the Netherlands and a direct route to Germany for the Allies. The road to it, however, is only a single highway linking the various key bridges, and vehicles have to squeeze to the shoulder to pass. The road is also elevated, causing anything moving along it to stand out.

Though the airborne drops catch the enemy by surprise and encounter little resistance, the Son bridge is demolished by the Germans just before it can be secured. Furthermore, troubles beset Urquhart’s division, as many of the jeeps either do not arrive or are destroyed in an ambush, in addition to their nonfunctional radio sets.

Meanwhile, XXX Corps’ progress is slowed by German resistance, the narrowness of the highway and the need to construct a Bailey bridge to replace the one destroyed at Son. They are then halted at Nijmegen, where soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division perform a dangerous daylight river crossing to capture the Nijmegen bridge, and XXX Corps is further delayed waiting for infantry to secure the town.

The Germans close in on the isolated British paratroopers occupying part of Arnhem at the bridge, and although Sosabowski’s troops finally arrive after being delayed in England, they are ultimately too late to reinforce the British. After days of intense fighting against SS infantry and panzers, the outgunned troops are eventually either captured or forced to withdraw to Oosterbeek. Urquhart receives orders to retreat, while the other Allied commanders blame the various difficulties encountered for their failure to provide the needed support.

Urquhart escapes with less than a fifth of his original ten thousand troops, while those who are too badly injured to flee stay behind to cover the withdrawal. Upon arrival at British headquarters, Urquhart confronts Browning about his personal sentiments regarding the operation, wherein the latter contradicts his earlier optimism regarding it.

Back in Oosterbeek, Kate ter Horst, whose home was converted into a makeshift hospital by the British, abandons its ruins. Passing through the front yard, now a graveyard for fallen troops, she and her children leave with an elderly doctor, pulling a few possessions in a cart, while wounded British troops sing “Abide with Me” as they await capture.

Aug 192018
 

Movies IMDb Joey King


Going In Style

Rated – 61.5 (100)

DirectorZach Braff

Year2017

Trailer

[Review]

Mediocre crime comedy featuring a top notch cast.

[Storyline]

Joe, Willie, and Albert are senior citizens and lifelong friends living in New York. During an unpleasant appointment at the bank, Joe is one of the victims to witness a robbery in progress carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. During the robbery, he notices the leader bearing a Mongol warrior tattoo on his neck as the only lead that could help the police identify the culprit. However, the leader sympathizes with Joe when he finds out about his current financial situation brought up by the bank. The robbers subsequently escape with over $1.6 million.

When the company they worked for is bought out, their pensions become a casualty of the restructuring. Joe is hit particularly hard and finds out that he, his daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Brooklyn, will be homeless in less than thirty days. Willie finds out he’s gravely ill from kidney failure and needs a transplant and is even more frustrated because his financial situation forces him into a long-distance relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. Desperate, the three friends decide to rob the bank that is going to restructure their pension funds and take back what is rightfully theirs.

Inspired by his experience of the robbery, Joe originates the idea; at first Albert and Willie are appalled, but eventually agree when they later learn that their bank intends to steal their pensions. Trying to shoplift some items from a grocery store, where Al’s love interest, Annie, works, results in a comic disaster, so the trio turn to Joe’s former son-in-law, Murphy, and a professional criminal and pet store owner named Jesús to teach them the ropes. They plan an alibi using their lodge’s carnival as a cover.

Joe, Willie, and Albert disguise themselves as “The Rat Pack” (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) and use guns with blanks so that no one gets hurt. The robbery almost goes awry when Willie collapses briefly and a child witness partially pulls off his mask to allow him to breathe better; she sees the wrist watch he wears with a picture of his granddaughter on it as he engages in a friendly conversation so as not to let her feel intimidated; however, the three manage to get away with over $2.3 million. They are soon arrested on suspicion by FBI Agent Hamer after the manager from the grocery store recognizes Al’s walk from the video surveillance cameras, but they all stick to their alibis.

Hamer puts them along with other senior suspects into a police lineup, using the child witness who partially took off Willie’s mask. She refuses to identify Willie, leaving Hamer with no case. Willie suffers total kidney failure and is near death until Al agrees to donate a kidney. While part of the money is used to help the three friends with their financial situations, the rest is given to their families, friends, co-workers, and fellow members at the lodge. Joe finally gets his granddaughter a puppy he promised her if she got A’s in every subject at school; courtesy of Jesús, who is later revealed to be the leader of the robbers from the robbery Joe witnessed and has laundered the money that they stole. The tattoo on his neck is also revealed to be a fake made of henna, intended to throw the FBI and the police off the scent. The movie ends at Al and Annie’s wedding as the three friends celebrate their good fortune.