Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Into the Storm|
Actors: Brendan Gleeson, James D'Arcy
Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Genres: Drama, Television, Military & War
Prime Minister Churchill rallies his countrymen and allies to enter the fight against the Nazis.
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IVOR I. from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 2/23/2011...
About as lame as sequels get. 'Into the Storm' follows the destiny of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his blessed will to win World War II with a little help from a few friends. A ham-fisted sequel to HBO's 'The Gathering Storm,' its makers clearly decided to abridge a 2,000 page self-serving memoir into a 98 minute ode to a 'Great Man' who fits in the crusty-but-well-meaning category. Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a warts-and-all bio of a great man, as in 'Patton' or HBO's recent 'John Adams.' The problem is that history is one story after another, and World War Two mostly didn't involve Churchill as much as he would have liked because he and his coalition government witnessed the defeat and humiliation of the British Empire and its subsequent rescue by Stalin's Russia and the United States. The HBO movieís greatest error was the goofy decision to shift back and forth in time as we get to see Churchillís post-war life as well. It moves the story along, as they say, but in leaving out so much story/history, we are left with an unexplained emptiness in our great man's life. After being tossed out of office by British voters for the Labor government of Clement Attlee and its promises of a welfare state, Winnie was an embittered, humiliated man, tossed onto the scrapheap of history just like his country. The character quirks that make Churchill a brilliant wartime leader(his ruthlesness, his contempt for the lower classes), make him a disaster in peacetime ((his ruthlesness, his contempt for the lower classes). Everybody who grew up in England knows this stuff already. The magic thing about 'The Gathering Storm' is that Hitler and the war take a back seat to the relationship between Winston and Clementine 'Clemmie' Churchill, who was very much his equal in all things. The brilliant interplay between Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave was almost channeling. They are really that good in 'The Gathering Storm' that it's kind of uncanny. Clearly, they both saw Hugh Whitemore's dog of a script for 'Into the Storm,'and turned down the big paychecks. This flashback-type storytelling allows the war to go by fast, a mere vehicle for Winnie's brilliant patriotic speeches and noble beautiful-loser efforts to stem the tide of bourgeois American culture and Soviet barbarism he cannot halt. The screenwriter, Hugh Whitemore, caves to the inevitable paucity of the narrative's simplistic hero-worship. A superb playwright--his 'Breaking the Code' is the antithesis of the historical view touted here--Whitemore truly seems to have sold his soul to the devil for filthy lucre and the chance to do something more personal later for the film's executive producer Ridley Scott. A great man makes great alliances the movie posits, whether it's with Clementine, in a part phoned in by Janet McTeer or Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Len Cariou) or Stalin. Brendan Gleeson is a passable enough Churchill, but there's not much depth there beyond the shtik of mannerisms and dialect. The tiny McTeer is normally a fine performer, but she's simply too petite and small-voiced to play the ultra-aristocratic, tough, Norman nosed Clemmie in anmything but a cursory manner. Worst of all the decision by the film's hack director, Thaddeus O'Sullivan to cast the Canadian Broadway performer Len Cariou as F.D.R. I keep expecting Franklin to call Winnie a "Pepsi hoser, ey!" throughout. Stick with the 'The Gathering Storm' and give this one a pass.
Into the Storm
Norman Ross | Tucson, AZ | 06/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent representation of Britain and Churchill's fight for survival during the Battle of Britain and beyond. The only mistake that Churchill made was "annointing" Bernard Montgomery as the head of the Imperial Staff.
Montgomery was a loser and second rate who got very, very lucky at El Alamein in North Africa. That was the ONLY battle that he won throughout WWII!
Jonathan Sandys | Houston, TX | 05/25/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second film that HBO have produced on the life of Sir Winston Churchill and Brendon Gleeson does a good job of depicting Churchill. However, my personal preference was very much Albert Finney, who most certainly took the role of the Prime Minister and made it his own.
Despite the change in actors, HBO has done a good job reporting on the ten days leading up to Churchill's 1945 General Election defeat, however, the Churchill they have depicted in not the Churchill that existed. Sir Winston Churchill may have, (on rare occasions), used choice words when upset, but swearing as a pastime was not something he was often given to. Swearing shows a great lack of language command which Churchill never suffered from.
I am only disappointed from the language point of view and feel that although accurate history is very important to report, by including the bad language, the film cannot be widely seen by the younger generation.
Many of the moments when Churchill is depicted as swearing were personal entries and artistic license, as evidenced by the fact that Churchill was alone and there were no witnesses.
In my opinion, the language ultimately draws away from the important and interesting story that tells of those last trying days when Churchill was first Prime Minister.
A weak sequel
R. C Sheehy | Foxboro,MA USA | 05/11/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin by saying that Brendan Gleeson's acting is one of the few things that saves what otherwise could have been a disastrous movie. For one thing, the story does a poor job of telling why Churchill was so instrumental to England's survival in WWII. The story is random and bouncing and really does a poor job of showing both Churchill's character and the events he lived in. The first film, "The Gathering Storm," was told much better as it gave a firm view of Churchill and showed who he was and what he was trying to accomplish.
While I do enjoy seeing Brendan Gleeson act, Albert Finney did a much better job of catching Churchill's often difficult and brilliant spirit. The rest of the cast, except of Churchill's wife Clementine were almost wall paper. The best role which went unexplored was Churchill's first encounter with Montgomery. That bit was brilliant but went unexplored.
All in all, I found this very dull and a poor sequel to "The Gathering Storm.""