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Basic
Basic
Actors: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, Tim Daly, Giovanni Ribisi
Director: John McTiernan
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
R     2003     1hr 38min

An ex-Army ranger and DEA agent is brought in to investigate the disappearance of an Army Ranger Drill Instructor and a group of cadets. — Item Type: DVD Movie — Item Rating: R — Street Date: 02/03/04 — Wide Screen: yes — Direc...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, Tim Daly, Giovanni Ribisi
Director: John McTiernan
Creators: Andy Given, Anson Downes, Arnold Messer, Basil Iwanyk, Brad Fischer, Dror Soref, James Vanderbilt
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/08/2003
Original Release Date: 03/28/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 03/28/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 79
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson back together at last!
Shade123 | USA | 05/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Travolta plays Tom Hardy, a ex-military Ranger now DEA agent brought in by an old friend to investigate the disappearances and/or deaths of several Army Ranger trainee's and their legendary drill instructor, Sgt. Nathan West (Jackson), during an exercise at a basic training camp, Fort Clayton, in Panama.
Once Hardy gets there a series of different storys are told and changed by the trainee's that he question's on the events that occurred at this training camp. Which starts to form a huge question in the audiencies mind, WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH? However by the end there is a huge climax and everything is explained and leaves you in half shock, half amazement. I recommend this movie to anyone who liked 'A Few Good Men' or 'Mission:Impossible'.
'Basic' has terrific performances by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta although a shaky performance by Connie Nielson. It also has great supporting acts from Giovanni Ribisi, Taye Diggs, and Brian Van Holt."
Basic - Twists and turns!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 07/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Taken as a whole, this movie is a pretty good one, with plenty of plot twists and turns that aren't too transparent or predictable; for the better part it will keep you guessing as to who the real killer or killers are. While I must admit that I've never really been a big John Travolta fan, I would have to say that his performance in the movie was better than his norm. Samuel L. Jackson's performance is, albeit brief, poignant and in good keeping with his usual high standard of performance. Connie Nielsen does a wonderful job of playing a Provost Marshall. With actors of such high caliber and a high profile director like John McTiernan, whose work includes "Die Hard", "Predator", "The Hunt for Red October" and other such high profile films; this movie does move along at a high pace and it is a well told story.Conceptually this movie is highly plausible, the plot is well written, the actor's performances are well done and the soundtrack is well suited to the movie. I do have one major problem with this film though. Without searching the credits, I'm going to have to make one of two assumptions about whether or not the filmmakers hired a technical consultant with knowledge about the United States Army or not. I'm guessing here that they didn't hire one because if they did, they wouldn't have had a scene where Samuel L. Jackson is wearing BDU's (Battle Dress Uniform), yelling and screaming at his soldiers, with them calling him Sergeant and then you look at his collar and he's wearing the rank of a Specialist, which is a junior enlisted member, "below" the rank of Sergeant. Later of course, he's wearing the stripes of a Master Sergeant which would be in accordance with how he was being addressed. Then there is the issue of a Ranger squad having a female as a member. While the films producers addressed this, quite briefly, in one of the special features, where they basically said that they knew she didn't belong, but they threw her in the bargain anyway. These two issues and the "soldiers" referring to their ruck sacks as packs, instead of "ruck," blew a lot of this films credibility with me, a soldier with several years in the Army.The premise:Samuel L. Jackson plays a Ranger Master Sergeant, in Panama, prior to our pulling out that country, and he's in charge of training what looks like a platoon of Rangers in jungle warfare. As the movies main title rolls, we see Jackson and a squad of his, in a Huey (an aircraft long since relegated to the National Guard), flying over the canal, preparing to drop in and run an exercise, all the while, a hurricane is raging around them. The scene cuts to another helicopter searching for the Ranger squad which is well over due for their check in and then they spot one Ranger carrying another and being shot at by another of the Rangers. Here is where the murder/mystery kicks in and the Colonel, played by Tim Daly, calls in John Travolta to interrogate the witnesses to determine what happened out there in the field.What follows from this point is an intriguing movie that gets rather fascinating as the plot carries forward and you're trying to figure out "whodunit." Outside of the "annoyances" of improper Army uniforms, terminology and tactics, this movie is good film to watch. {ssintrepid}Special Features:- Director's Commentary
- Filmographies
- Theatrical Trailers- Featurettes:
* Basic: A Director's Design
* Basic Ingredients: A Writer's Perspective"
"It's all about telling the story right!"
A. Chopra | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The movie is full of twists and turns, in fact just two minutes before the end there is another twist. This is the beauty of this film. While watching this movie, whenever you try to believe something, it turns out opposite and only to find later that it was not correct either. This one is definitely not the typical war movie. It's not the actions, but the script that keeps the audience riveted throughout the movie, and critics will have a hard time in pointing out for a moment that was boring in the entire run.

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson were average. I mean their performance was as good as any of their other movies. However, the real credit in acting will go to Connie Nielsen. If you have liked the movie "A few Good Men", you will like this movie too. Highly recommended.
"
Really Dreadful Ending that burns the film.
OverTheMoon | overthemoonreview@hotmail.com | 04/06/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Basic was panned by its critics and rightly so. It is opportunity squandered on a nonsensical ending. Basically the story is not so basic. In fact it is the opposite of basic and makes no sense at all. The story is about a group of trainee army recruits who must survive a training exercise only their drill instructor is killed during the task and then the recruits start killing each other and the premise is a sort of "who dun'it" with two survivors left to tell the tale and an ex-ranger brought in to interrogate the suspects. The first half of the film is great and above average for a murder mystery. There is a good story there that will keep you tuned in. The characters are farcical and the dialogue really macho vs one-liners, but the over the top treatment works for awhile. However the man who brought us Die Hard and Predator, John McTeirnan, has really gone down the tubes much like John Carpenter and William Friedkin. The ending stinks so bad that the movie is lost into 1 star purgatory. Basically it has this double twist ending and then a final third twist and at that point you just want to get your money back. It really is that stupid. Do not say you have not been warned. Basic ends in a way that casts shame on all involved. What a waste."