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An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

This Tony Scott thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington as a Captain and his second in command at odds with each other over different interpretations of an interrupted order to file nuclear missiles during the outbreak of World War III, is a taut and intense thriller.  The submarine crew divides into different factions and teeters on the brink of mutiny, but the Navy never looked so exciting or so fun!  Plus, its fun to imagine what one would do if they were on the sub and in charge.  Follow what you think to be the last given order and fire a nuclear payload that could annihilate Russia?  Or hold off on the side of caution for the order to be confirmed and not destroy a country, even though it could mean losing a nuclear war?  (This was one of the scenarios in a recent article on ethical decisions in war movies!)

In real life, Antwone Fisher was a troubled youngster from a rough neighborhood.  Put into foster care at an early age, he was physically and sexually abused.  When he joined the Navy to avoid being homeless, he was angry, and prone to disciplinary problems.  By working with a psychiatrist though, Fisher was able to come to terms with his past, re-connect with his family that gave him away, and come to an understanding of who he is as a man, and what it is he wants in life.  This film based on his life story is not a war film, but it is a Navy film, and its also a powerful film about relationships, coming to terms with ones past, and learning to accept that which we cannot change.  It was directed by Denzel Washington.  (One of my best African-American war movies.)

Well, somehow that simple board game got translated into a giant science-fiction film with an alien Naval battleship.  Of course, the film is far less interesting than actually playing the game would be - or watching a Saturday morning cartoon - as a U.S. battleship finds itself locked under a force field, and at war, with the alien battleship.  The silliness knows no bounds as the ships goof-off also happens to end up

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