Machine Gun Preacher

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:09 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Machine Gun Preacher
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainmnet
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Kiddie Movie: Lots of brutal violence – send them to bed!
Date Movie: She might get frightened and hold you.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s some getting it on but this one is R for the violence.
Gratuitous Violence: Did I mention the brutal violence yet?
Action: Not really any action in this one, just gunfights.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: When the little boy shows Sam he might be going down the wrong life road at his orphanage.
Memorable Quote: Lynn to Sam: “Now get off your butt, stop your crying, and build it again.”
Directed By: Marc Forster
Cool things about the Blu-ray: Nothing, really. There is a weirdly added “Making the Music” feature, and a short segement with MarcForster explaining how he made the movie.

When “Machine Gun Preacher” was hitting theaters I heard a couple of interviews, heard the synopsis, and heard a couple of people on the radio that liked the movie, especially Gerard Butler’s portrayal of Sam Childers, and sort of wanted to see the movie for myself even if most of the normal reviewers weren’t so kind. It came and went out of the theater, and I missed the chance on the big screen so when the Blu-ray showed up for me to review, I was excited to see it – My wife, not so much. Violent movies aren’t really her cup of tea, so I watched “Machine Gun Preacher” on my own, and most critics be damned, me, I really liked it.

Let’s get to the story…

The movie is based on the life of Sam Childers, a man whose life was heading down the wrong path, filled with drugs, alcohol, and biker gangs, and a wife, Lynn (Michelle Monaghan in the movie), who started as a stripper but then found God. Sam’s (in the movie played by Gerard Butler) life is about to explode in total badness until he, too, finds God while attending church with his wife. He also hears the story of life in the Africa, how they need help with even the most basic of necessities, and finds himself first in Uganda with the missionaries, building homes for the refugees, but Sudan is calling him, and against the advice of many he travels to the land run by Joseph Kony and the LRA, finding a world of unspeakable horror, and feels he is called to build an orphanage in direct competition with the atrocities of Kony and his men, and with the help of his wife, founding and running the Angels of East Africa organization.

There isn’t a lot very pretty about this movie, only that no matter where they are, no matter the atrocities around them, sometimes the joy of children can bring light to the darkest days. It gives a brutal look, and I mean brutal, at the atrocities occurring in the Sudan, as well as intertwines a movie about a man, Sam, who is torn between his life in the safety of the United States with his wife and daughter or trying to help the innocents of a nation, and as we see the movie progress, he doesn’t do that well on the home front for awhile, but thankfully Lynn is a strong woman and Sam figures it out.

We hear the horror stories of things going on in the Sudan, but you won’t see most of it on TV, although you might see a viral video about it, and sure, “Machine Gun Preacher” is a movie adaptation of Sam Childers’ life and the brutalities happening in the Sudan, and maybe I’m totally wrong, but most of it seems scarily true to form, from villages being burned to the ground (including the people inside), and the journey of one man on his own quest for redemption.

I found Gerard Butler awesome in his role, delicately working the transformation from biker gang dude to, well, still a dude with a mean streak but now using it for good. A nurse warns him that Joseph Kony started recruiting his followers in much the same way Sam was starting to do, but thankfully the children help keep Sam on the path of being a better man.

I really liked the movie, so much so I give it 4 stars out of 5. There is a lot of brutal violence, but then again, a movie telling of the atrocities in the Sudan couldn’t really portray the story without it.

Blu-ray and DVD-wise there is an extra about “Making the Music” for “Machine Gun Preacher”, which I found an odd addition, especially since I’m thinking there aren’t too many people getting this movie for the music, and even on the Blu-ray there isn’t much else, just an added extra with Marc Forster, the Producer/Director of the movie, who pretty much tells you everything you would think of about the making of the movie.  Get this Blu-ray for how awesome it looks, even the violence, on your big screen, and to appreciate the acting of Gerard Butler a little more.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:57 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: For the love of any God, leave them at home.
Date Movie: She might like the buff bodies, but hate the violence.
Gratuitous Sex: Both sex and nudity!
Gratuitous Violence: Some of the most gratuitous I have seen in a long time.
Action: Lots of battles.
Laughs: There’s some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The opening scene with the baby sets up the entire story.
Memorable Quote: “Then we will fight in the shade!”
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Produced By: Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Jeffrey Silver

Because of some scheduling issues while I was visiting my parents last weekend, I couldn’t see “300” at the new theater with the stadium seating and good sound. Instead I found myself at a different theater, complete with sticky floors, lousy sound, and you’re happy it’s pretty dark inside because you probably don’t want to see the condition of the squeaky seats you are sitting in. And as I was waiting for the film to start it was obvious the theater didn’t give a damn about letting those under 17 into the R-rated film as the mid-teenagers began to infiltrate. Sadly this left my movie-going experience a bit underwhelming, especially for such a grandiose film, but at least the youngins were behaved, just happy to see gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex, and gratuitous nudity, although from the “What the hell is that?” comments I don’t think they liked the new commercial for Dove Pro-Age, the one with the naked, older people, before the movie started. But enough movie-going experience, let’s get to “300.”

I’m not a history buff, nor do I remember if any of my world history teachers ever told us about the Battle of Thermopylae, but the movie “300” is supposedly loosely based on that battle, but more based on the Frank Miller’s graphic novel. It’s a little after 500 B.C. and Xerxes (Rodrigo Santora) is leading the Persian Army all over the place, creating a big ol’ empire, but then he runs into Greece. He sends his ambassador to Sparta, but King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) is having none of the “surrender” talk he is being offered. And why would he – Spartans are bred from birth to be the best warriors in the world. They are so dedicated to their warriorness that if you are a scrawny baby you end up tossed into a pit to die. But Leonidas is not scrawny, and neither are his best Spartans, and he gathers up 300 of them to take on the Persian Army at a place where the hundreds of thousands of Persians mean nothing when they have to travel through the Thermopylae pass.

After a sendoff every soldier should get by their wife on the way to battle, Leonidas is off with his 300 troops to fight the Persians, but his wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) is left behind to keep things running in Sparta, and hoping to convince the Sparta council to send more troops to help her husband, even enlisting the help of the squirrelly Theron (Dominic West).

Back on the battlefield, Leonidas and his men are kicking such major ass that Xerxes meets with Leonidas, offering the King a butt-load of power in Xerxes’ empire, and yet again, Leonidas will have none of it, goes back to his men, and they continue to stab, decapitate, and pretty much destroy the best of Xerxes’ Army. Like the famed battle, though, there is a traitor in the Spartans midst, Xerxes finds a way to gain the advantage, and Leonidas finds himself dead (hey, I’m not giving anything away, it’s history dammit), but not before dispatching one of his men back to Sparta to tell the tale of the resolve of the 300, inspiring the rest of the Spartans and the rest of Greece to stand up to Xerxes and his army, and keep Greece from being taken over.

“300” is not for the kids, not for the squeamish, and not for those who are appalled at seeing nudity or sex on the screen. Yup, that’s right, Queen Gorgo knows how to send off her man into battle, there’s this naked Oracle Girl, and the violence is sometimes simple, but most of the time way over-the-top and in slow motion. Heads come off, arms come off, spears pierce right through torsos, but mixed with it are some great speeches of going to battle. The movie does have some slow moments, and seems longer than its hour and forty-five minute running time, but for the most part, if from the trailer, you think you might even be remotely interesting in the movie, you probably won’t be disappointed. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for “300,” and this is one I definitely recommend heading to the best theater you can, with the giant screen and great sound, or better yet, the IMAX experience is probably the ultimate way to see this film, because seeing it in a theater with sticky floors and questionable sound, well, I feel a little bit cheated.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!