Drama

Chosen: Custody of the Eyes, by Albert W. Vogt III

It has been roughly a year since The Legionnaire has reviewed a documentary, that one being Cameron’s take on Becoming (2020).  Typically, I try to steer clear of documentaries, at least for this blog.  I like them, but they are a different animal than your typical film.  There is rarely a plot to them, and they are trying to inform rather than entertain, though some do attempt both at the same time.  Believe it or not, you are using a different part of your brain when you consume products designed for different purposes.  While the material in some documentaries might not be agreeable, they are designed to be thought-provoking.  Movies… Read more “Chosen: Custody of the Eyes, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Ali, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of the often-repeated sports debates, no matter which one you choose, is who is the greatest of all time in a chosen profession.  For me, they are as follows: in baseball, it is Babe Ruth; basketball, Michael Jordan, of course; for hockey, you have to go with Wayne Gretzky; football is a tough one because I am biased against Tom Brady, so I will say, in true homer fashion, Walter Payton.  Those who know me best (and read this blog) may roll their eyes, but take a look at some of the things he did on the gridiron.  When he came to… Read more “Ali, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Tears of the Sun, by Albert W. Vogt III

At the end of Tears of the Sun (2003), there is a quote that is falsely attributed to Edmund Burke.  It reads, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  As it turns out, the late eighteenth century English philosopher was loosely taking from one of his country’s predecessors, John Stuart Mill.  Regardless, it is a good notion. If you consider yourself a good person, you have a responsibility to live up to that ideal.  Anything less, and what are you, really?  Worse yet, by not living out such a commitment, you could be letting something truly awful occur.  It does… Read more “Tears of the Sun, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Glory, by Albert W. Vogt III

Please let me know in the comments below, or on social media, if I have mentioned before the fact that I used to be a Civil War reenactor.  Given the stigma attached to this small subset of Americans in recent years with the rush to tear down all monuments to the Confederacy, let me make it clear that I portrayed a Union soldier.  If you do not know your history, that was the side opposing slavery, the side that ultimately won.  When you are young and you love learning about the past as I did (and still do), such an immersive experience as… Read more “Glory, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Manchurian candidate (1962), by Albert W. Vogt III

When I first put on The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the old man I live with commented that I appeared to be on an “overthrow the government” kick.  I replied to this false accusation by simply stating that I am watching what you all suggest.  I am also aware that there is a 2004 remake of this film starring Denzel Washington.  Going in to my viewing of the original, I was not entirely familiar with either version, though I understood them to have something to do with brainwashing and politics.  A none too subtle suggestion, I suppose, but there you have it.  Even though I had not seen… Read more “The Manchurian candidate (1962), by Albert W. Vogt III”

Seven Days in May, by Albert W. Vogt III

Now that I have passed the 500th post mark for The Legionnaire, I decided to go back to reviewing movies submitted by you, my loyal fans.  If you are reading this and saying to yourself, wait, what suggestions, I suggest you head over to The Legionnaire’s Facebook page, or find us on Twitter, and recommend as many films as you care to mention.  I also ask for patience.  While the list is pretty small right now (and I have yet to figure out why I need to coax more submissions out of you all), it typically grows, eventually.  While Cameron does contribute, these lists are typically left… Read more “Seven Days in May, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Alien, by Albert W. Vogt III

Ah, the 1970s, or at least the tail end of that decade.  When Alien (1979) premiered, it was a mere two years after arguably the granddaddy of all cinematic franchises, Star Wars, made its debut.  If you think cinema attendance is bad today, take a look at the numbers from the advent of television to 1977 when Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope came out.  Suddenly, the tales of a galaxy far, far away re-energized people to the escape that is going to the movies.  As for Alien, one could say that it fits within the scope of a renewed interest in space kicked off by Hollywood, and… Read more “Alien, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Casablanca, by Albert W. Vogt III

Many know me as a bit of a cinephile.  I suppose I better be with a movie review blog.  As such, a gift I often receive on the proper occasions are gift cards to movie theaters.  Those are always handy, and I am more thankful for them than I seem to be able to express.  In some respects, I enjoy it even more when somebody asks me for my opinion on a film. You know, person-to-person, rather than me replying so impersonally, “Check out my blog.”  I do stand by that response in many instances, though.  This review marks the 500th post by The Legionnaire, an accomplishment of sorts.  Hence,… Read more “Casablanca, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, by Albert W. Vogt III

Is it odd that I have reviewed the Star Wars films, my favorite cinematic franchise of all time, in such a piecemeal fashion?  Outside of the original trilogy, perhaps this is somewhat apropos.  After all, in the late 1990s, a full sixteen years after Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi (1983) came out, they released Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).  As someone who grew up with the first three, those specifically cemented my love for the tales of “a galaxy far, far away. . . .”  Such is my passion for these stories that I am willing to forgive them for the… Read more “Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Company of Heroes, by Albert W. Vogt III

Perhaps when I was scrolling through Netflix’s offerings a few days ago and landed on Ghosts of War (2020), I was actually looking for Company of Heroes (2013).  You know what would be nice of Netflix to do, even though it might end up costing them business?  Attach reviews of films to their on-screen menus.  Though I doubt they would want The Legionnaire’s content, it might expedite the process of cycling through their films and shows.  I am sure if you peruse the seemingly endless selections available on any streaming service, you will come to long forgotten titles that nobody has watched since they were still sending DVDs in… Read more “Company of Heroes, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I think about Westerns as a cinematic genre, rarely do I think of any films made in my life time.  I will not comment on how long of a stretch of years that is.  Regardless, Westerns reached their zenith at a time in our country’s history when we looked to a mythic past for inspiration in dealing with an increasingly chaotic world.  After World War II, the international boogeyman of fascism was replaced by global communism, and the Cold War set in between the United States and the Soviet Union.  In film, cowboys or the cavalry were the Americans and pretty much everyone… Read more “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Patton, by Albert W. Vogt III

As I have mentioned a number of times already, I am a historian by trade.  When I was a young one, my dad would regale me with tales of Napoleonic History.  He had majored in History in college, and the only outlet he had for whatever knowledge he gleaned from his studies was his son, me.  His passion for such subjects was not focused solely on the Corsican farm boy turned French emperor.  Military History, in general, provided a rich field of stories of the past over which we bonded.  It also helped that near where I was born in the Chicago area is the… Read more “Patton, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Star Trek, by Albert W. Vogt III

At no point in my life have I ever called myself a fan of Star Trek.  My parents were never into it, and I found Star Warsbefore the USS Enterprise.  As I grew up and studied history more, I would have happily read more about the historical ship on which the science fiction one is based than the other way around.  What I am trying to say without actually coming out and saying it is that I think Star Trek is boring.  Wait, I guess I did say it.  Oh, well.  Such are the vagaries of personal taste.  Still, I did watch the movies.  I believe I saw all the films associated with Star… Read more “Star Trek, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Edward Scissorhands, by Albert W. Vogt III

It is good to cross items off lists, not that Edward Scissorhands (1990) was ever on a list of mine.  However, like Fight Club (1999), or another film which I will not mention at this time (I have plans for it as our 500th review that will be coming up shortly), there are certain movies that have large followings that I have not seen.  Because I am aware of them, it constitutes some vague, unwritten set of items to be checked off when completed.  That is where my interest in Edward Scissorhands began.  It is natural to want to see what all the fuss is about, if only to satisfy curiosity.  Sometimes,… Read more “Edward Scissorhands, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Fight Club, by Albert W. Vogt III

The first (and apparently second) rule of Fight Club (1999) is that you do not talk about Fight Club.  I am guessing I am not the first reviewer, nor probably the last, who will point out that writing about this film breaks that rule(s).  Not that I care.  Before the other night, I had never seen the movie, a supposed cinematic masterpiece that people talk about in hushed tones as if they were describing the birth of their first child.  Now that I have seen it, frankly I do not understand the hoopla.  Admittedly, the film was ruined for me going into it because I knew that… Read more “Fight Club, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Walk the Line, by Albert W. Vogt III

I like to cultivate eclectic tastes.  I find delight in variety, and proof of the amazing wideness of God’s love for His creation.  In one form or another, everything is His.  We tend to credit an artist for producing an incredible work, but there would be no Mona Lisa without God first forming Leonardo da Vinci in his mother’s womb.  I also believe that God speaks to each of us through the way we are moved by what we consume, culturally speaking.  Those that bring us joy can serve to bring us closer to Him, assuming your heart is in the right place.  Those that cause… Read more “Walk the Line, by Albert W. Vogt III”

A Beautiful Mind, by Albert W. Vogt III

Sometimes I look back on my college career, getting ever distant in the past, and think about how it was quite the ride.  I entered my studies as a brash seventeen-year-old who thought he knew everything.  My first couple of years were a humbling experience.  I failed two classes, one of which was English Composition.  At some point during my undergraduate career, I saw A Beautiful Mind (2001).  In it, John Nash (Russell Crowe) goes into his graduate school years at Princeton University thinking he is above his mundane studies.  His attitude almost sinks his career before it begins.  While at the time I could not see the parallels… Read more “A Beautiful Mind, by Albert W. Vogt III”

In the Heights (Part 2), by Albert W. Vogt III

No, they have not already made a sequel to In the Heights.  The other night I got home from watching another run-of-the-mill Hollywood offering in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and wanted something special.  Because I have a subscription to HBO Max, I thought what could be better than In the Heights?  It is certainly the best movie I have seen so far this year.  If you follow my reviews, then you will know how high of praise that is coming from an avowed musical hater like me, though I do not like using words like “hate.”  Suffice to say, I do not enjoy musicals.  And yet the film’s message of… Read more “In the Heights (Part 2), by Albert W. Vogt III”

Minority Report, by Albert W. Vogt III

Raise your hand if you have ever wished you could see the future.  If you did not put your appendage up, then why are you being a spoil sport?  You are also lying.  We have all wanted to know what will happen before it occurs in some form, be they big happenings or little day-to-day decisions into which we put far too much stock.  No matter how hard we try, though, there is certain knowledge to which we will never be privy.  However, Minority Report (2002) offers us a world where only a select few people have what is referred to as “precognition,” and their ability is… Read more “Minority Report, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Town, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of the groups that I focused on when writing my dissertation in order to complete my Ph.D. in American History was the Irish.  No other people who came to the United States typified more what those outside of the Church conceived of as what it meant to be a member of the Catholic Faith.  With that in mind, it will probably not come as a shock that the second highest selling book in the mid-nineteenth century was a lurid tale (mostly made up) of a former nun who told of truly horrendous things going on in the convent in… Read more “The Town, by Albert W. Vogt III”

In the Heights, by Albert W. Vogt III

Once more, for the record: I do not enjoy musicals.  Yet, I chose In the Heights this weekend because I figured it would be the biggest release of the weekend.  I mean, I suppose I could have seen Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, but since I never watched its predecessor, I thought I would be out of my depth with the source material.  While that last statement is laughable, over a year of seeing previews for In the Heights created an anticipation that I thought might bring a large following wanting to see it.  And my instinct proved mostly right,… Read more “In the Heights, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Gladiator, by Albert W. Vogt III

Fun fact: I have “SPQR” tattooed on my left arm.  True story.  If you know your Russell Crowe films, then you know where this is going.  If not, then go watch Gladiator (2000).  I was quite taken with the film when it came out, so much so that I had the mark of the Roman Legion from it permanently emblazoned into my flesh.  I did this even though Maximus (Russell Crowe) is so incensed with the empire for which he fought for so long betraying him that he literally scrapes the letters from his skin.  We will talk more about… Read more “Gladiator, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Braveheart, by Albert W. Vogt III

The brain is one of the most incredible devices that God ever conceived.  Admittedly, this statement is fueled by a bit of egotism.  I love my brain, and I am thankful for it.  But it does some odd things sometimes, and in those moments I talk to it in the third person as if there were a gremlin inhabiting my skull.  I offer this brief explanation to contextualize why you are getting so many Mel Gibson movie reviews close together.  You see, I watched Maverick (1994) a few days after viewing Braveheart (1995), and typically I like to do my… Read more “Braveheart, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Last of the Mohicans, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I use films in my history courses, it is not without trepidation.  Hollywood, more often than not, gets the past wrong.  And yet, so many people look at historically based movies and believe that is what “really happened.”  No.  A thousand times, no.  Hence, when one of them makes it into my classroom (though I have not been in a physical one in a while), it comes with a great deal of contextualization.  Much to my students’ chagrin, we usually do not watch the whole thing either.  We are given only so much time with them, and if we… Read more “The Last of the Mohicans, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Pianist, by Albert W. Vogt III

Sometimes history is too painful.  Whether we look back on difficult moments in our own lives or those of the distant past, memories can flood our hearts and minds with emotions we would rather not feel.  Though there is clearly more to it than the oversimplification I am about to give, I believe this is part of the reason why we have what has been euphemistically referred to as “cancel culture.”  There are aspects of our culture once considered normal, but under the increased scrutiny of social media and the twenty-four hour news cycle appear ugly or offensive.  Some of… Read more “The Pianist, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I saw The Conjuring (2013), I recall coming away from it thinking that it was not that bad.  Typically, I do not go in for horror films.  Aside from the grotesque and sometimes purposely cursed images that I would rather not see, I find them to be formulaic and predictable.  However, two people drew me to The Conjuring, and they are Ed and Lorraine Warren.  Now, I do not claim to be an expert on them, but there are some things with which I am vaguely aware.  What makes them most interesting for me personally is that fact that… Read more “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Professor and the Madman, by Albert W. Vogt III

Somewhere in the progressively more distant past I read the book on which 2019’s The Professor and the Madman is based.  I snatched it off the shelf of Barnes & Noble one day, or whatever bookstore I was in, having had the imaginative title catch my eye.  Like the movie, everything is in the main title.  Even after reading author Simon Winchester’s full headline, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (2009), I plunged ahead with my purchase anyway.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The giant book of definitions… Read more “The Professor and the Madman, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Enemy at the Gates, by Albert W. Vogt III

Rounding out my recent war film kick is 2001’s Enemy at the Gates.  Yes, I watched it on Memorial Day, and no, it does not deal with the United States.  It does focus on a conflict the United States was in at the time it is set, World War II.  Does that count?  It should not matter, though, as it is a time when we honor those who fell in combat.  Granted, the people who are the heroes and heroines of this particular film lived in a country that would one day become the United States’ most bitter enemy, the… Read more “Enemy at the Gates, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Courage Under Fire, by Albert W. Vogt III

Since this past weekend was Memorial Day, I went on a little bit of a war film kick.  Most of the big ones I have covered, such as Saving Private Ryan (1998).  One who has made somewhat of a career out of making movies focusing on the clash of cinematic armies is director Edward Zwick.  He did many noteworthy ones like Glory (1989) and The Last Samurai (2003).  Today, I am going to look at Courage Under Fire (1996), a piece that examines a different side of war, and how the tangled and confusing sequence of events that often occurs… Read more “Courage Under Fire, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Cruella, by Albert W. Vogt III

There is a song played at the end of Cruella that has always bothered me.  It is called “Sympathy for the Devil,” and it is performed by The Rolling Stones.  Given the whole 1970s vibe of the film, it fits thematically.  For me, it is emblematic of my distaste for the movie overall.  Even before I began practicing my Faith in earnest, I always wondered why people would enjoy a tune about the embodiment of evil.  The lyrics speak to the terrible acts that the devil has enticed people into doing throughout history, including when Pontius Pilate washed his hands… Read more “Cruella, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Moonlight, by Albert W. Vogt III

Bear with me for a moment.  Most days, I go for a run.  I go out a certain distance from my house (at this point I am up to four miles) and then I turn around and walk back.  During my walk, I pray my Rosary.  It is my way of asking Our Lady to take the intercessions I lift up in the morning as soon as I wake up, and bring them to Jesus.  So much of being a Catholic is about routine, and unfortunately this loses many people.  Sit, stand, kneel, say this prayer or that one, recite… Read more “Moonlight, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Highwaymen, by Albert W. Vogt III

Given how terrible was Army of the Dead, and many other Netflix offerings, I had been avoiding a film that I would normally watch without hesitation.  I am a sucker for movies set during the 1930s, and The Highwaymen (2019) fits neatly into this category.  Many a night had gone by with me scrolling through the most popular streaming service around, searching desperately for something watchable.  Chalk it up to not hearing any buzz or excited recommendations from any friends for why I had not seen it until last night.  Anyway, it was good enough to merit giving Netflix produced… Read more “The Highwaymen, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Matrix Revolutions, by Albert W. Vogt III

And now for the supposed conclusion to the stupid Matrix trilogy, called The Matrix Revolutions (2003) for some reason.  Throughout this last installment there is a lot of talk about change and doing things differently, but we never actually see it.  We are just told, as we were in The Matrix Reloaded (2003), that the fall of the remainder of human civilization happened before, but this time it was going to be different.  Might a flashback have been in order?  Maybe, but the Wachowski sisters, the siblings responsible for this mess, apparently decided against any scenes that might help the… Read more “The Matrix Revolutions, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Matrix Reloaded, by Albert W. Vogt III

When we left off with The Matrix (1999), it was with Neo (Keanu Reeves) telling the titular alternate reality that he was going to be freeing more people from their mechanical enslavement.  After a four year hiatus, we got The Matrix Reloaded (2003).  Very little is said about what Neo, Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) had been up to since last we saw them.  Between the vagueness of the intervening years and what had been said at the end of the first one, I am not sure we needed a sequel.  However, Hollywood is going to be Hollywood,… Read more “The Matrix Reloaded, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Matrix, by Albert W. Vogt III

It was inevitable that I would get around to the generation defining film that is The Matrix (1999). I do not mean to sound hyperbolic, but it is fair to call it “generation defining.” It pioneered film techniques and story telling methods that were new at the time and have stuck with us to this day, whether you like the film or not. I suppose I liked it when it came out, but somewhere along the line it jumped the shark. Nowadays when I rewatch it, it seems trite and boring, no matter how hard it tries to be philosophical… Read more “The Matrix, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Profile, by Albert W. Vogt III

This past weekend was an interesting one, at least for me personally. The Catholic Church celebrated its birthday, which we trace to that first Pentecost. After Jesus’ Ascension, the Disciples, along with Mary, were in the upper room when God poured out His Spirit upon them. This was manifested by tongues of fire that rested on their heads, and they spoke in prophetic languages. From that point on, the Church became a missionary institution, charged from on high with spreading the Good News. For this Catholic, it is one of my favorite holy days we celebrate. As one who takes… Read more “Profile, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Great Escape, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I reviewed The Sound of Music (1965), I mentioned how it was a film that my mom forced my sister and I to watch when we were in middle school.  One movie that she liked that she never had to convince me to see was The Great Escape (1963).  Now, my mom is no history buff.  That I inherited from my dad.  So, I never quite understood what her fascination was with the classic World War II film.  And, like The Sound of Music, it is quite long, almost three hours.  That is without any musical interludes, too.  I… Read more “The Great Escape, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Basic, by Albert W. Vogt III

Sometimes films can be too cute, or clever for their own good.  They have an idea, a good one, and then they begin twisting and turning it in different directions.  There are those out there who know of such movies and think they are the greatest thing since Citizen Kane (1941).  Look, it is hard enough to make a movie that makes sense.  Occasionally, it is better to keep things simple.  This works best in action films.  With Basic (2003) you have a film that has bit of action, but also tries to be clever.  Luckily, it does not get… Read more “Basic, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Trial of the Chicago 7, by Albert W. Vogt III

Politics are strange.  I also find them to be headache inducing.  Despite what some who know me personally might think, I am not a fan of arguing, or confrontation of any kind.  When disagreements devolve to exchanging shouted words, or worse, nobody wins no matter who comes out on top.  Now, I do not want to give the impression that I am a push over.  I feel this blog is a testament of my willingness to stand for the things in which I believe.  It is important for Catholics to be able to exist in our society today, and I hope my reviews help them cope… Read more “The Trial of the Chicago 7, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Woman in the Window, by Albert W. Vogt III

Lately I have been taking a little break from the films that people have suggested The Legionnaire review. There are personal reasons for my doing so, nothing serious, but I feel they are legitimate nonetheless. Besides, I am near the end of the most recent list. I will get back to it soon, and then it will be on to more requests. In the meantime, something I have yet to plug on the blog is another venture with which I am involved, and that is a podcast called Down & Out Reviews. If you are interested, you can find it… Read more “The Woman in the Window, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, by Albert W. Vogt III

My love for Star Wars began at an early age.  I watched the original trilogy so many times that I had them memorized.  My favorite of them, as I have indicated in other reviews, is Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).  However, it and the rest of the billion dollars franchise would not have been possible without the grandaddy of them all: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).  Given my love of The Empire Strikes Back, you might be surprised to find out that it was not the film I had in totality fixed in my memory.  Rather, it was the one that launched the… Read more “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Departed, by Albert W. Vogt III

Being a practicing Catholic who is serious about their Faith is not without its pitfalls today. In the past few decades, the Church has been under siege to a degree with accusations, confirmed and alleged, of sexual abuse by priests. You can view it as fair or not (I do not), but priests these days face a great deal of scrutiny, always under suspicion. We like to think that the actions of a few do not represent those of the many. But when the Archdiocese of Boston began being investigated by the Boston Globe in the famous “Spotlight” case, the… Read more “The Departed, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Excalibur, by Albert W. Vogt III

There is a vague memory somewhere in my recollections of high school of seeing Excalibur (1981) in class as a freshman in high school. If you are at all familiar with this film (and there is no reason why you should be), then you will know how worrisome of a concept that would be because of some of the graphic content. Then again, are we at all surprised anymore as to what happens in our public school system, even in my day? My recall of the movie was not the greatest, but as I watched it unfold in all its… Read more “Excalibur, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Paddleton, by Albert W. Vogt III

How do you make a movie about assisted suicide good? As a practicing Catholic, I would first and foremost say that you should not make such a motion picture. However, let us say for you-know-what-and-giggles that I did not believe in the sanctity of all life, from conception to natural death, which is the stance of the Church. Is the idea of somebody diagnosed with terminal cancer truly comedic fodder? While Paddleton (2019) is arguably more dramatic than funny, how else do you fill an hour and a half? So, how does Paddleton go from somebody hearing that they are… Read more “Paddleton, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Percy Vs Goliath, by Albert W. Vogt III

Farmers are a proud people. They have to be. If you have never driven through the middle of the United States, or in the case of Percy Vs Goliath (2020) Southern Canada, then allow me to fill you in on a few things. Pride is a product of independence, and there are few more independent than those who till the soil. This probably goes without saying, but agricultural areas are sparsely populated. Being on your own with your neighbors miles away, you need to be able to find innovative methods to take care of yourself. It is a way of… Read more “Percy Vs Goliath, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Sting, by Albert W. Vogt III

There was a time when I made the mistake that many before have made when watching The Sting (1973): I thought the familiar piano tune “The Entertainer” was written for the film. Actually, it was penned by Scott Joplin a little over seventy years before the movie, and a full generation before the 1930s when it is set. Despite all this, it is the perfect tune for a clever little heist movie that set the standard for the Oceans’ trilogy, even though that too was technically stealing from another earlier picture. There truly is nothing original in Hollywood, but we… Read more “The Sting, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Nomadland, by Cameron J. Czaja

Every year on my birthday I have a personal tradition of doing one of favorite things that I enjoy in life, which is watching a new movie. Although I haven’t been faithful with that ritual over the years due to timing of work or other obligations, I was determined to see a new movie this year as I had the day off from work and that movie was Nomadland. Nomadland is a film that I have been following for quite some time now as it first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2020, and received glowing reviews from… Read more “Nomadland, by Cameron J. Czaja”

The Ten Commandments, by Albert W. Vogt III

Maybe I should have watched The Ten Commandments (1956) during Holy Week? It would have been good preparation for Easter Vigil. If you are not Catholic, or maybe are but have not gone to that particular Mass (they are all good, especially on that Holiest of days), the marathon ceremony includes a number of readings from the Old Testament, some of which include the events covered in today’s film. Like Jesus meeting the disciples on the road to Emmaus (a post-Easter event), these passages are meant to point the way to Jesus coming into the world and doing the acts… Read more “The Ten Commandments, by Albert W. Vogt III”

I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of the things I wish they would bring back about classic cinema is the way they used to do credits. For starters, they used to do them all at the beginning. Still, could you imagine a film like Avengers: Endgame (2019, has it been so long?) going with this style for their credits? I wonder how many people would stick with it, or would have gotten up and left the theater before it started? Actually, the culmination (thus far) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a fitting comparison in this regard to today’s film I Am A Fugitive… Read more “I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Suicide Kings, by Albert W. Vogt III

It would seem that, based on recent titles, I was in some kind of cinematic rut. Yesterday’s eminently forgettable Sorcerer (1977), by name alone, would not suggest the kind of movie a practicing Catholic like myself would enjoy. Luckily, it was bad for reasons other than magic, of which there was none. Of any kind. Whatsoever. Today’s film has another sobriquet, Suicide Kings (1997), seemingly dealing with a subject upon which the Church has long frowned. And yet, like the previous film, there is no actual ending of lives at the hands of the characters themselves. And I remember this… Read more “Suicide Kings, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Sorcerer, by Albert W. Vogt III

What is in a name? William Shakespeare asked that question in Romeo and Juliet. The tale about star-crossed lovers that everyone thinks they know (but probably never actually read) wrestles with the notion of bringing together opposing forces and whether or not it could ever work. Doing so involves a certain kind of magic, not one necessarily involving sorcery, but with the stuff that makes us feel those other worldly feelings that seem conjured from forces beyond our understanding. Can love truly conquer all? Can a Montague be with a Capulet? If these ideas ever occurred to the makers of… Read more “Sorcerer, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Tolkien, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of my favorite parts of the Easter Season (the period between Easter and Pentecost for my non-Catholic readers) is how one of our daily readings at Mass is from the Acts of the Apostles. Obviously, without God sending His only Son into the world, there would be no Christianity. And everything in the Bible, from Genesis all the way to the Epistles point to God being active in our lives, whether leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt or bringing forth the Messiah. What I love about Acts, though, is how we see the mission being given to… Read more “Tolkien, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Voyagers, by Albert W. Vogt III

Teenagers, am I right? That is pretty much the only reason why Voyagers is not the best movie. If you can ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of the main characters are in their late teens, then there are some pretty deep themes at work. It actually gets at the meaning of life, albeit in a cold, clinical setting in the middle of nowhere space. What is your purpose? The film gets at this question in a heavy-handed sort of way, but it is still something worth exploring in any cinematic piece. What ruins it is the behavior of… Read more “Voyagers, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Million Dollar Baby, by Albert W. Vogt III

Boxing is about more than two people punching each other.  Million Dollar Baby (2005) makes the point early on that people watch it because they are attracted to violence.  The film’s narrator and janitor of the gym where many fighters train, Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman), instead says that the sport is about restraint.  Somebody can step into a ring full of rage, ready to take apart their opponent as quickly as possible.  A properly trained boxer will face such a person and use their aggression against them.  There are a lot of other great messages in the film along these lines, and I was right… Read more “Million Dollar Baby, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Freedom, by Albert W. Vogt III

The Catholic supporters of The Legionnaire will no doubt know what is the incredible media platform known as Formed. For those who do not, it is basically Catholic Netflix. Yet, whereas the latter focuses on movies, shows/series, and documentaries, the latter has all those and devotional material, all dedicated to helping to fill your Spiritual needs. As I was in the middle of the Triduum, the three days that encompass Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (which technically begins with the Vigil on Saturday), I wanted to watch a film on Formed of my own choosing. I will get back… Read more “Freedom, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), by Albert W. Vogt III

There is a saying that bigger is not always better.  I can think of few movies where that is more applicable to than the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.  With its 1951 forerunner, there was a certain charm to its campiness and simplicity.  Premiering as the Cold War was still relatively new, its message of peace with the threat of nuclear war looming between the United States and the Soviet Union was refreshing.  Surely, this is not simply a case of being jaded by all the events since that gave me a distaste for the new version.  I am also puzzled as… Read more “The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Day the Earth Stood Still, by Albert W. Vogt III

Most diehard cinefiles will recognize the phrase “Klaatu barada nikto.” It is a little puzzling when you think about it. It is a line of gibberish from the campy 1950s science fiction “B” film called The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). I cannot tell you why it is so memorable, but my parents both remember it and neither were alive in 1951. As just mentioned, it was one of those movies that Hollywood cranked out seemingly on a daily basis at one time. If you think it is bad now for the cineplex industry with all the closings, imagine… Read more “The Day the Earth Stood Still, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Big, by Albert W. Vogt III

Before Tom Hanks began appearing in serious films, he made a name for himself doing comedy. Most of them were romantic comedies, formulaic pieces of cinema where guy and girl are put in ridiculous situations and end up falling in love. I guess Hollywood thinks true love is a joke? Okay, there are romance movies that are played straight, but they do not seem as common as romantic comedies. This genre can be hit or miss for me, and most of the time I sit through them not laughing and predicting what is about to happen. See There’s Something About… Read more “Big, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Dolphin Tale 2, by Albert W. Vogt III

Yesterday, I reviewed Dolphin Tale (2011), a dramatization of a real life sea mammal that was rescued from being stranded on a beach with a crab trap wrapped around its tail. Once it came to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, it had to have its tail amputated, a move that threatened its life until a prosthetic was made for her. The fact that it is seemingly a handicapable animal made Winter a sensation, both on and off the screen. As such, you would think there would not be much more to say about the creature, but they found a way. The… Read more “Dolphin Tale 2, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Dolphin Tale, by Albert W. Vogt III

One cannot live in Pinellas County, Florida, as I do without hearing about Winter, the bottlenose dolphin that lost its tail. Though some of the fervor has died down in recent years, there was a time when you could hardly drive down the road without seeing a billboard cajoling you to visit the Clearwater Aquarium and see the miraculous sea creature. Now, I do not want to be cynical because I truly do love animals with a Franciscan spirit, but was the film Dolphin Tale (2011) made solely to get people to travel to Clearwater and see the aquatic mammal?… Read more “Dolphin Tale, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Mauritanian, by Albert W. Vogt III

There are films that open with proclamations like, “Based on a true story.” The Mauritanian does not equivocate, unlike the most oft used phrase, instead saying “This is a true story.” When filmmakers use words like “based,” it allows them to take the kinds of dramatic licenses they think they need in order to make them more appealing. Since these tales invariably deal with the past, this can be pretty annoying to historian like me. The truth is always better, in movies and in real life. After all, we get “. . . you will know the truth, and the… Read more “The Mauritanian, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, by Albert W. Vogt III

You might look at the title of this review and say, “Wait, did not my favorite Catholic movie review blog already cover this film?” If so, thank you for making this your favorite Catholic movie review blog! And also, yes, in a way. If you care to read a discussion of the joke that is the first attempt at cinematically telling the story of DC Comics famous team of superheroes that is also called Justice League (2017), please feel free to do so. To add to what others have say and by way of summing up what was said about… Read more “Zack Snyder’s Justice League, by Albert W. Vogt III”

The Courier, by Albert W. Vogt III

It was nice to be back at the movie theater this last weekend. The joy was enhanced by the fact that I had spent the previous week seeing an awful set of movies, featuring the painfully repetitive Hotel Transylvania trilogy. In between, I was reminded of the great shows that used to make the Public Broadcasting Service (did you know that is what PBS stood for?) destination television. Whenever they need money, PBS reminds its audience that they once showed Downton Abbey. I loved that show, and my Facebook memories occasionally bring me the fun ways I used to announced… Read more “The Courier, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Operation Finale, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I noticed that Operation Finale (2018) was on Netflix, I began wracking my brain. Given how The Legionnaire has reviewed most big movies that have come out in the past couple of years, I was initially incredulous as to how this one was left out from being on the blog. It is also a history piece, and I rarely miss those. It came out in August 2018, and The Legionnaire premiered in January 2019 with Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (2019). I was off by a couple months with Operation Finale. Regardless, I am grateful for a couple reasons. First,… Read more “Operation Finale, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Chaos Walking, by Albert W. Vogt III

Of the main characters from the original Star Wars trilogy, outside of Harrison Ford, how many different movies can you name in which they have appeared, much less had a starring role? I will give you a moment to Google. . . . Back? I am sure you found some films, but how many had you actually known? Many of you might have known already that Fisher was in The Blue Brothers (1980), though that was more of a cameo, but a hilarious one. What about Mark Hamill in the World War II epic The Big Red One (1980)? Does… Read more “Chaos Walking, by Albert W. Vogt III”

Forsaken, by Albert W. Vogt III

There have not been too many Westerns reviewed for The Legionnaire. Off hand, I cannot think of a single one. I have no good reason for that beyond mere oversight, I suppose. It is a sub-genre of film that has never particularly interested me as they tend to be formulaic. Today’s film, Forsaken (2015), is no different. It has all the familiar tropes you expect if you are familiar with the cinematic tales of the Old West. Furthermore, no one has suggested any Westerns that I can think of until this one, though I think this has much to do… Read more “Forsaken, by Albert W. Vogt III”