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HTF REVIEW: "Gardens Of Stone" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Gardens Of Stone

    Studio: Columbia
    Year: 1987
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 111 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)

    The story of the war at home and the
    people that lived through it

    When you take a look at Director Francis Coppola's
    enormous body of work it may be easy to overlook
    Gardens Of Stone. It was one of those films
    that critically didn't fare as well as his other
    great films. Watching it for the first time since
    its release, I can see why.
    Though a movie about Vietnam, Gardens of Stone
    doesn't focus on the details of combat nor does it
    ever set foot in the country. It's the story of a
    green recruit named Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney) who
    joins the Army in '68, at the peak of the American
    involvement in Southeast Asia, only to be assigned
    to Fort Myer with the Old Guard, a unit whose duty
    it is to plant the honored dead at Arlington.
    Clell Hazard (James Caan) is a military officer
    working as a home guard at Arlington National
    Cemetery during the casualties of America's most
    tragic conflict. A much-decorated vet from Korea,
    Clell wants to make certain that the kids assigned
    are properly trained for what he knows to be a
    deadly and unwinnable battle. Hazard gets into a
    relationship with a Washington Post reporter
    (Anjelica Huston), who opposes the war in Vietnam.
    Though the film's primary focus is the struggles
    that soldiers and their families faced in the
    United States during the Vietnam War, the entire
    movie rolls along very awkwardly, leaving the
    audience a bit detached.
    How is the transfer?
    Generally, the transfer is very good. Once you
    get past the title sequence that is filled with
    blemishes and video noise, the rest of the transfer
    looks adequate. The movie looks soft and a sometimes
    a little too dark, but this is not the fault of
    the transfer. The only fault I did find was a
    noticeable amount of video noise in the background
    in a few scenes.
    The 2-channel Dolby Surround is just fine for
    a film with no action sequences. My receiver
    switched to a pro-logic mode where all the dialogue
    remained in the front channels and all the music
    played through the rears.
    Special Features
    Gardens Of Stone is presented on a
    dual-sided DVD, offering WIDESCREEN and FULL FRAME
    There are no added supplements, only TRAILERS
    for Birdy, Glory and Brian's Song.
    Final Thoughts
    I hate to say that I didn't particularly care
    for Gardens Of Stone. Though the film
    dealt with the attitudes of Americans at home,
    it all seemed a little too sedated for my tastes.
    Release Date: June 25, 2002
  2. R. Kay

    R. Kay Second Unit

    May 11, 1999
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    You should mention that this was James Caan's comeback film.

    He hadnt done a film in a long time before this was released.

    Personally, I liked the film. Caan was great.
  3. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

    Mar 5, 2002
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    I saw this movie back in the summer of '87, when I was in Army training at Fort Jackson, SC. So it's kinda got a nostalgic feel for me. I gotta pick this release up.

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