Buffalo Soldiers

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Elizabeth McGovern, Michael Pena, Leon, Gabriel Mann
Written By:
Directed By: Gregor Jordan
Studio: Miramax
Buy on Amazon.com

This movie kept getting pushed back because of it’s content and also because of 9/11. it finally got released in 2003 and it’s now available on DVD. I like black comedies, and but I’m still debating whether or not I liked this movie.

Buffalo Soldiers takes place in 1989 in West Germany, after the Cold War, on Theodore Roosevelt Army Base. To cure a bad case of boredom, Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) takes it upon himself to make some quick money by making & dealing drugs, and selling anything he can get his hands on. Elwood and his buddies discover a truck full of ammo, and he tries to sell them for a lot of money, but his new Sergeant is on to him and starts to make his life miserable. Ray starts to date his daughter to piss him off and but that’s just pushes the Sgt. over the edge and Ray might not to get out of what he started.

The movie was very edgy, and was funny at times. I think it started off well but the movie kind of lost it towards the end. I thought Phoenix played a likable bad person really well and Scott Glenn played his prick Sergeant great. He’s just has that look about him that makes him scary and imitating. Ed Harris and Anna Paquin were pretty much useless in this film. I wish they gave Harris more scenes. This is mostly Joaquin Phoenix’s movie though.

I think from the opening scene, you get a sense of what type of movie this is going to be. I think the reason why people might not like this movie is because of all the drug use and stealing in the military. Everyone is so patriotic these days, that they can’t seem to enjoy themselves with a little black satire. My problem with the movie wasn’t necessarily the content or what happens in the movie, it just felt like it could have been done better. I think that since most of these characters have a bad trait, it was harder to like the movie as whole or root for a good guy. The only one close to being decent was Ed Harris, but he was very inept though. I think if the movie didn’t have some funny scenes in it, the film wouldn’t have been that great.

There really isn’t that much in terms of extras on this disc. There’s a full length audio commentary with the director, Gregor Jordan that I didn’t get a chance to check out but what I’ve read from other reviews that it’s a pretty decent commentary. “Beyond The Iron Curtain” is only 5 minutes, and it’s a behind the scenes look of the movie with interviews with the director, the cast and crew. The best thing on the disc was the “Anatomy Of A Scene” featurette. It was from a show on the Sundance channel and it’s an in-depth look at a particular scene in the movie. It’s actually my favorite scene in the movie because I thought it was funny. The scene was about a few soldiers in a tank during a mission, getting stoned on Heroin. They get asked to meet up with the other group of tanks at another section, and end up in town during Oktoberfest. They cause havoc and run over some German Punks’ Volkswagen. The tank ends up near a gas station and they blow that up too. I think the music playing helps the scene out as well. It made it more comical.

Buffalo Soldiers had it’s moments, and was funny but I think it could have been better. Some people might not like a movie about a bunch of military guys stealing, and doping up and others might like that sort of thing. Rent it to see if you like it.

n- Commentary with Director Gregor Jordan n-
“Beyond the Iron Curtain”
n- Behind the Scenes of Buffalo Soldiers
n- Anatomy of a Scene

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: The scene with the stoned tank drivers crashing into an Oktoberfest and then blowing up a gas station. That was hilarious!
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 0 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: