NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Miracle at St. Anna DVD Review

By     get stories by email

Spike Lee's WWII Saga comes to DVD


Adapted by James McBride from his best-seller of the same name, Miracle at St. Anna chronicles the exploits of an all-black squad stationed in Italy during World War II. This character-driven saga specifically telescopes in on the plight of a quartet of enlisted men separated from their decimated unit and forced to survive by their wits in a tiny Tuscan village located behind enemy lines.

Each of the four protagonists represents a readily-recognizable archetype, starting with Aubrey Stamps (Derek Luke), the prototypical no-nonsense Staff Sergeant and highest ranking officer. Then there's the preacher-turned-playboy Bishop Cummings (Michael Ealy), gentle giant Sam Train (Omar Benson Miller) and Puerto Rican Hector Negron (Laz Alonso), a Corporal who adds a little Latin flava'.

The flashback flick opens and closes in New York City in 1983, courtesy of a wraparound featuring sixty-something Negron going postal just three months before his planned retirement. Was there perhaps a valid reason for his seemingly inexplicable violent outburst?

While only indirectly addressing the solution to that mystery, the multi-layered plot concerns itself with threading in an array of complicated sidebars. One involves Private Train's adopting a boy (Matteo Sciabordi) orphaned by a Nazi massacre. Another pits gentlemanly Sgt. Stamps against the womanizing Bishop in a love/lust triangle for the affections of the most attractive lass (Valentina Cervi) in town. The third strand raises the question of the trustworthiness of the leader (Pierfrancesco Favino) of the local cell of the anti-Fascist resistance.

The value of this seminal contribution to cinema lies in its groundbreaking portrayal of the Second World War from the heretofore unseen perspective of African-American soldiers. An overdue history lesson about the indelible stain left by Jim Crow on the conflicted minds of black men forced to wage a white man's war when they'd really rather be fighting for their own civil rights.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
R for graphic war violence, profanity, ethnic slurs, nudity and sexual content.
Running time: 160 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: None.

To see a trailer for Miracle at St. Anna,

Kam Williams
x

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site