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Hyena Road

Towards_the_gap

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Unfortunately, the devil is in the detail, as I humourously elaborated on earlier. If you can't get the look and feel of a particular time frame in history right, what chance have you of convincing anyone who had actually been there.

If someone asks me for a recommendation of a film that best encapsulates the 'afghan' experience, I'll direct them to 'Restrepo', 'The Hornets Nest', 'This Is Nowhere' or possibly 'Kandahar Journals'. All documentaries.

To me at least, the trailer for Hyena road is just too.....Hollywood-ish.
 

dimsum

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Towards_the_gap said:
Unfortunately, the devil is in the detail, as I humourously elaborated on earlier. If you can't get the look and feel of a particular time frame in history right, what chance have you of convincing anyone who had actually been there.

If someone asks me for a recommendation of a film that best encapsulates the 'afghan' experience, I'll direct them to 'Restrepo', 'The Hornets Nest', 'This Is Nowhere' or possibly 'Kandahar Journals'. All documentaries.

To me at least, the trailer for Hyena road is just too.....Hollywood-ish.

Agreed...if the target audience is former TFK folks.  For the average movie-goer or friend/family of a CAF member, whether the middle finger was on the trigger or if the patches weren't exactly right is, IMHO, irrelevant. 

At worst, most will come out watching a decent Canadian movie.  At best, it'll get them researching that time which leads to Restrepo, etc. 
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Well I have to say, from viewing the trailer, the decision to shoot the kid who was picking up that projectile/IED( as if it was made of styrofoam, weight wise) was a good one.  Anyone who can sling those around as if they're 2 lbs needs to be shot and put down for the safety of all humanity.  ;)
 

blackberet17

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Strike said:
Okay, if you're going to pick on a still (of a moving picture in which he may have been prepositioning) might I suggest to you that you DON'T go and watch the film?  ;)

I couldn't resist!

Besides, I was so thoroughly disappointed by Passchendaele, I had to pick on something before seeing this one.
 

The Bread Guy

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If you love/hate the flick, you'll soon be able to love/hate the book!
Paul Gross’s war movie, Hyena Road, about Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, isn’t hitting theatres until Oct. 9. But head to a local bookstore right now and you’ll find a novelization with Gross’s name on it, published by HarperCollins Canada.

A simultaneous cinema release and novel adaptation isn’t a common phenomenon anymore, especially for Canadian films, but it has happened before – with Gross, as it turns out. According to HarperCollins Canada editorial director Jennifer Lambert, the publisher worked closely with Gross’s team to create a novel out of the screenplay for his 2008 film Passchendaele.

Lambert says, “That was very, very successful for us, so when Paul had a new movie, his team at Rhombus Media reached out to us to say, ‘Would you like to collaborate again?’ Of course, the answer was yes.”

From there, a ghostwriter was hired and given access to Gross’s screenplay, a rough cut of the film, and the movie’s military advisers. Changes and additions were made, but it was important to Lambert that the novel honour Gross’s contributions, which is why the book cover credits his screenplay.

“It was our way of acknowledging his primary contribution to the novel and our way to acknowledge that this is based on the story, ideas, and characters created by Paul,” says Lambert.

HyenaRoadGross’s name on the cover also means that in the coming weeks he’ll be able to promote the book together with the movie ....

More on the book from the publisher's page here.
 

daftandbarmy

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jollyjacktar said:
Well I have to say, from viewing the trailer, the decision to shoot the kid who was picking up that projectile/IED( as if it was made of styrofoam, weight wise) was a good one.  Anyone who can sling those around as if they're 2 lbs needs to be shot and put down for the safety of all humanity.  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06nIz4scvI
 

fake penguin

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Download the book hyhena road last night.
In to chapter three, I am enjoying the book itself just not sure if it going to tell us what it was like over there. I think the book and the movie will be enjoyable I hope after it comes out people don't start to talk like they know all about it because the read or saw a movie.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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I have been given two tickets to the screening here in Ottawa tonight.  At least the price will be right for the film if it's another Passchendaele.  Still, I am interested to see what their in-country clips will include, what places I might know.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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I've just come home from the movie.  Dimsum had it right, it's no Passchendaele but if you're looking for everything exactly right, give it a miss.  To those who've been, there will be plenty to pick apart at leisure and entertainment but if you treat it as it's intended, a form of entertainment with artistic licence applied it's watchable.  Judging by the comments of the civilians in the audience at the exits, they enjoyed the film and were entertained.  Mission accomplished.

I didn't have the high hopes I had on going into the film as I did with Passchendaele, so in that respect I wasn't as disappointed by the film.  That being said, Kandahar Journal, is the film I want to see.
 

Teager

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jollyjacktar said:
  That being said, Kandahar Journal, is the film I want to see.

Saw it last night on the Documentary channel. It does not shy away from showing the more graphic side of the war. Since it has been aired once it may be aired again especially around Rememberance Day.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Went to the late night screening last night.

It was about what I expected. There were inaccuracies, but I accept that as it was not a documentary.
 

Sythen

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jollyjacktar said:
That being said, Kandahar Journal, is the film I want to see.

I went to the premier here in Ottawa a couple weeks ago. It's a decent movie, but I found the narration was cringy in some spots. It came across as trying too hard to be poetic and deep, but all it sounded was cliche. The video, and some of the narration was really good. Basically when he talked about what he saw and did it was good. When he tried to be poetic, it sounds like a high school kid wrote it.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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I had to give the premier a miss that night.  I suppose nothing will be perfect be it a film or doc, still, I want to see it.
 

Sythen

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It's definitely worth a watch, sorry if I came across saying otherwise. If anyone gets the chance, watch it no question.
 

Eland2

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I saw Hyena Road last night and thought it was a good movie, if a bit imperfect at times. Too often "roger that" was being said by a lot of the characters, and I was beginning to wonder - is this a movie about Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, or American ones? Even the discipline seemed a little slack. I realize that Gross probably opted to soft-pedal or gloss over some of the finer details about how the army functions in the field, as they would be unlikely to interest an audience much.

One thing that was impressive was seeing how authentic the voice procedure was in general - with proper callsigns, etc. and it imparted a very realistic feel to things. It also gave the audience a very rare look at how C3 functions are really carried out in a combat environment.

Most impressive of all were the battle scenes - very intense and very realistic. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie where, apart from the brutal opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, the combat action was that intense and that realistic.

I also thought there was a lot of honesty in the movie, in that Canadian soldiers weren't shown winning every battle, in an attempt to convey just how dangerous the Afghan mission really was and how the Canadian Army was routinely confronted with seething hostility and danger from virtually all corners. In short in an environment in which prevailing over the enemy was never a sure thing.

Hyena Road is definitely worth watching. It's well shot and the pacing is generally well done, and the story that underpins the whole enterprise is solid. The acting is highly variable, running from a bit wooden and poorly articulated, to excellent.

It's a much better movie than that pile of dreck Passchendaele was, although I do agree that as a writer and producer, Gross tends to get out of his depth when he attempts to be poetic.

As an aside, I saw quite a few young guys in the theatre. Judging from their very short hair and bearing, I suspect they were reservists as there haven't been many regular force people in town ever since 1RCR was moved from CFB London to Petawawa.
 

RedcapCrusader

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fake penguin said:
Download the book hyhena road last night.
In to chapter three, I am enjoying the book itself just not sure if it going to tell us what it was like over there. I think the book and the movie will be enjoyable I hope after it comes out people don't start to talk like they know all about it because the read or saw a movie.

There's a lot better books out there if you're looking for "painting the picture of what it was like over there"


Taliban Don't Wave
Outside The Wire
Clearing The Way

etc.
 

brihard

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Sythen said:
I went to the premier here in Ottawa a couple weeks ago. It's a decent movie, but I found the narration was cringy in some spots. It came across as trying too hard to be poetic and deep, but all it sounded was cliche. The video, and some of the narration was really good. Basically when he talked about what he saw and did it was good. When he tried to be poetic, it sounds like a high school kid wrote it.

So basically, Paul Gross.  ;)
 

Good2Golf

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Towards_the_gap said:
If someone asks me for a recommendation of a film that best encapsulates the 'afghan' experience, I'll direct them to 'Restrepo', 'The Hornets Nest', 'This Is Nowhere' or possibly 'Kandahar Journals'. All documentaries.

:nod:

Also, for a straight-up account of the extreme side of AFG, Sebastian Junger's War is a solid, if not, sobering read.

Haven't seen Hyena Road yet, but I'm open to giving it some latitude, poor trigger discipline of Paul Gross notwithstanding...  ;)
 

Strike

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Friend of mine, who's former ANA and now living in Toronto, went to see it over the weekend and he was thoroughly impressed.  He was very pleased with the portrayal of both his home country and the Afghans in general, saying it was one of the most accurate he's seen on film/tv ever.

I am going to have to wait until next weekend to go see it since I'm going to be out of town and promised the other half that we'd go together.  Given the reviews from soldiers and non-soldiers alike, this may be one of the few movies that has come as close to 'getting it right' as we're likely to see.
 
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