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Monday 3 October 2011

Machine Gun Preacher

I laughed when I saw the title.  Matter-of-factly titles sometimes work.  What's Snakes on a Plane about? What about Cowboys and Aliens?  What about Alien vs. Predator? And you can't forget Bambi vs. Godzilla.

From the trailer, however, the Machine Gun Preacher title seems to trivialize the spirit of this film. Unless, of course, the makers wanted to attract guys looking for a shoot 'em up action movie, only to make them cry. Or, girls could dupe their boyfriends into seeing it by saying, "honey, let's go see Machine Gun Preacher tonight."  What guy wouldn't fall in love all over again at the suggestion of such a movie?

In the last ten years or so, through news, media and movies we've learned about the horrors of war in Africa.  Senseless slaughters, child soldiers, blood diamonds, lawlessness and the western world's inactivity have created a bleak picture of Africa.  Years ago I read a book by Franz Fanon called, the Wretched of the Earth.  It talked about the effects of colonization and de-colonization.  I didn't really get it at the time, but I think we are witnessing the effects of de-colonization, but what do I know?

Gerard Butler is a solid actor.  I liked him in Reign of Fire.  Hell, I loved Reign of Fire.  He was okay in one of the Tomb Raider movies, 300 was okay, too.... Damn! I just IMDB'd him and he was in Phantom of the Opera.  I mentioned in another review how much I hated the stage version.  Phantom of the Paradise was better, anyway.  No more on Gerard.

The trailer tells us that this is based on a true story.  Whether it is or isn't, it looks like a pretty inspiring story about one troubled man's search for meaning and finding it helping orphans in Africa.  Truth be told, I found the trailer to be quite moving, even though it gave away too much.

Despite the title and the connection to Phantom of the Opera, I still want to see this film.

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