Three Kings - 1999 - Directed by David O. Russell

Running Time: 115 minutes. Rated R by the MPAA.

Special Features:

DVD-ROM Features:

Technical Features:

Packed. Simply packed. Probably even more on the DVD-ROM part, but I don't have one to check. Sound and picture are great, too.

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A 1999 movie directed by David O. Russell, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze and others.

The Gulf War has just ended, and US troops are taking care of prisoners of war - and when strip-searching one of them, a map is found from the, ahem, place where the sun doesn't shine.

Four of the soldiers, Major Gates (Clooney), Staff Sergeants Barlow (Wahlberg) and Elgin (Ice Cube), and PFC Vig (Jonze) examine the map - that just happens to show where Iraqi forces hid a large amount of gold that was stolen from Kuwait.

Since a boring life would await each of them after the demobilization, they proceed to go out there, raid the bunker where the gold is hidden, and take everything they can carry.

However, there are problems in this: the civilians. After our protagonists find the gold, they need to make the difficult choice: Will they help the anti-Saddam resistance and refugees, or will they run with the gold? They end up helping them, but it is not as easy as it sounds to get a bunch of refugees to the border...

I think the movie is very good. It is not really a war movie, but it is not really a comedy either. It is a serious movie that is also funny at times.

The humor is pretty black, though - I'm somewhat squeamish so the first time seeing the movie was a pretty bad experience at times, but I can say it got easier after that and I've now seen the movie many times. Of course, this is the way things sometimes are - the war is insane beyond human comprehension, after all.

Also, it is not a typical "We're from USA and we're the Kings of the Battlefield, bang bang bang" movie. The movie shows that yes, Saddam's soldiers were actually just your plain normal human beings with feelings! It also criticized the US foreign policies and especially the way USA gave some false hope for the rebels - For US soldiers, the war had ended and they could not do anything but watch when Iraqi army kept killing people.

Also, there have been very few movies of modern warfare. This movie fills some of that huge gap.

The sets are fabulous! It was somewhat hard to believe that the movie wasn't shot on location - very realistic-looking places. The cinematography is also wonderful - very interesting color work.

Some refugees appeared as extras and also helped to create the sets. Apparently the paintings depicting Saddam Hussein were realistic enough that they threw rocks at them =)

(Oh, and the DVD starts with a "oh, by the way, they used some Special Effects in this movie, there's nothing wrong with your player or TV!"-style warning =)

Overall, an enjoyable movie.

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