|THE KILL TEAMKILL TEAMREVIEWTRON|
Dan Krauss adapts his award-winning 2013 documentary as a narrative film. The Kill Team is the true story of war crimes committed by a platoon of American soldiers during operations in Afghanistan. It is a frightening and cautionary tale of moral degradation. Where hate, fear, and complicity led to calculated murder. The Kill Team paints a harrowing picture of humanity's worst instincts. Its lean runtime and pragmatic approach reinforcing how easily civilization slips away.
Set in 2009 Kandahar Province, Private Andrew Briggman Nat Wolff is excited to be a part of the International Security Assistance Force ISAF. The proud son of a father Rob Morrow who served, Briggman has core beliefs in the military and American values. His faith in the cause is quickly soured by the brutal realities of war. He watches as his commanding officer is blown to pieces by an improvised explosive device IED. His platoon is shaken and enraged by the loss of their leader; who preached respect for the local civilians.
Staff Sergeant Deeks Alexander Skarsgård becomes their new commander. Battle hardened and fierce, he views the Afghan villagers as complicit in the IED attacks. Briggman is horrified when a fellow soldier Adam Long kills a civilian, and is rewarded by Deeks. The platoon becomes ruthless in their search operations. When Briggman secretly reveals their activities to his father, Deeks becomes suspicious of a traitor in their midst. Briggman must prove loyalty to his brothers in arms, or risk becoming one of their victims.
The Kill Team is not a flowery discourse on the ravages of war. There are no epic battle scenes or bullet-ridden shootouts. Military life in a combat zone is portrayed with stark realism. Behind the base walls, the men drink, have barbecues, and smoke hash. Outside on patrol, they can be killed in an instant. Recognizing friend from foe among the civilian population is a dangerous gambit. The film establishes this treacherous constant early on. Sergeant Deeks has a great scene where he expresses zero sympathy for the villagers. They don't know where the insurgents are, but somehow avoid all of the IEDs. It is a cold rationale, the fuse that lights their murderous turn.
The Kill Team has excellent tension between the characters. Briggman's paranoia and Deeks' efforts to flush out the rat will have you glued to the screen. The drama compounded by the appalling violence perpetrated on the innocent Afghans. Alexander Skarsgård has made a career of dispatching brutality with an icy demeanor. Nat Wolff spends the majority of the film visibly on a razor's edge. The situation is dire from all sides.
The root of the film's message is the line between right and wrong. There is no gray area, despite the cruel environment. The men don't see themselves as murderers, but warriors fighting against an evil enemy. When you can't comprehend the difference between a civilian and combatant, then you risk...
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...
Disney+ has been in American homes since last fall, but the House of Mouse’s streaming service is only just now starting to expand to international territories.
It’s been one week since Disney+ arrived in Europe, turning The Mandalorian into quite the sensation among viewers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. Now even more international markets are getting a taste of the live-action Star Wars series, with Disney+ launch in India, which was previously delayed from debuting on March 29, starting today.
Deadline has word on the India launch of Disney+ happening today. The debut of the streaming service was pushed back due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the delay ended up not being extensive at all, which is good news for viewers in India who are anxious to start streaming.
In India, Disney’s streaming service will actually be called Disney+ Hotstar. That’s because Disney acquired Hotstar, India’s biggest streaming service, when they picked up Fox’s entertainment assets in their big merger. This will make India’s version of Disney+ significantly different from others.
Disney+ Hotstar will have three different subscription tiers for viewers to sign up for: Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium, and an ad-supported basic version of Disney+ Hotstar. Depending on your subscription tier, viewers will get access to not only Disney+ original programming and the movies of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation, but also Bollywood movies and even US shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.The Mandalorian Launches Big on Disney+ in Europe
While Disney+ is just launching in India, it’s already comfortable across Europe after launching a week and a half ago. The service is now available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland, and The Mandalorian is already a huge hit, based on what TV research company Parrot Analytics calls “demand expressions.”
Deadline has word from Parrot Analytics that the premiere of the first two episodes of The Mandalorian resulted in 33 million demand expressions, which comes from looking at data across social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging and research platforms. And that was just on March 24 when Disney+ launched in those territories. That’s not bad considering they’ve had months to pirate the series following its debut in the United States.
However, it should be noted that some demand expressions are not as valuable in measuring the impact of a television series. That’s because social media engagements aren’t indicative of engagement with a series, as in actually watching the show in question. But even so, the fact that so many people are talking about the series...