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Movie Title: The Last Castle
Official Website (it might still work): The Last Castle
Rating (out of 10): 10
Reviewed By: Robin McFetridge
Buy the: Video/DVD | Soundtrack
The Review:

A prison movie, not a good start so far, then a prison movie staring the ancient Robert Redford, you are thinking what, is he still doing movies? Well let me just say not only is the Last Castle staring Redford an astounding film, Redford was pretty fabulous too. I guess pigs are flying because I never thought I would say Redford in a movie is a good idea. I think maybe since we are not forced to look at him in a love interest leading man role we can continue to munch on our popcorn and enjoy the show without becoming nauseated at the thought. Although when he took his shirt off and that long straggly hair (chest hair, people, chest hair) was exposed I keep wishing heíd put it back on, please put it back on. This film was shot dark and gloomy to give it that desperate prison tone and at only one point do you feel or get an illusion of light and that was when all saluted the American Flag. Writer David Scarpa put together a nice story line and director Rod Lurie (also directed The Contender) brought it together in brilliant glory. Not only could you feel the strong leadership of Redfordís character, you wanted to be under his leadership. He could see your weaknesses, look past it for your strengths and bring it out of you. As Warden Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini from The Mexican) said  ďHe shouldnít be here, they should be naming bases after him.Ē Redford as General Irwin (three star general in case you were wondering) is a decorated war hero as well as a former POW. Not only does he accept his sentence of 10 years he pleads guilty and was transferred to the Castle on the same day. We donít learn until much later in the film why or what crime he did to land in a military prison.

Redford (The Horse Whisperer) arrives at the Castle and Gandolfini is in charge. Gandolfini has tremendous respect for what the General has accomplished, he owns a copy of Irwinís book, The Burden of Command. Gandolfini wants Redford to autograph his book and Redford agrees. While Gandolfini is searching his bookcase Captain Peretz (Steve Burton, soap opera gangster thug Jason Quartermaine Morgan from General Hospital) shows Redford the Colonelís war memorabilia collection. This is when Gandolfini overhears Redfordís remark about a nice collection, but people with collections like that have never fought on a battlefield. Gandolfini is offended, tosses the book and dismissed Redford. This is the beginning of the end for Redford. The colonelís pride is hurt and he strikes back. First he strikes back with petty little issues that encompass larger punishments. When Redford still manages to make Gandolfini look bad in front of the inmates he calls in General Wheeler (Delroy Lindo, Heist). The Colonel wants the General to find Redford insane and move him, only he doesnít want to admit to the General he canít handle Redford. When this doesnít work he enlists the help of inmate Yates, a former helicopter pilot (Mark Ruffalo, 54). Yatesís father was under Redfordís command when they both were POWs. His father came home because of Redford. Gandolfini offers Yates an early release if he spyís on Redford and his new little army.

Not only does this film offer the coolest helicopter crash I have ever seen in films, but strategy and subterfuge is so creative I was thoroughly enjoying every moment. Well except the moment Redford took off his shirt, oh please. Now back to Burton, not much of a stretch for this guy. He goes from playing second banana to the crime lord of General Hospital to playing second banana to an evil warden of the Castle. If you think he surprises you forgetaboutit that is the same way his character behaves in soaps. But Burton is not why anyone would be seeing this movie. Not only is The Last Castle worth full price, you learn the history of a salute. I grew up on a military base as a Navy brat and I didnít know that so hey a new brain wrinkle for me. I gave this film a solid 10 on the About-Movie.com scale. You go Redford.

Fall out.

 

 

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Last updated: Saturday, October 28, 2006 05:37:38 PM

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