1969 Reviews

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blkbomb
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2011
Scott: If you flunk out and die in Vietnam, that's the end of our friendship, fuck you, you know. 

"The year a country split apart and a generation came together."

1969 is a Vietnam film that focuses on what was going on in America as opposed to what was actually taking place in the war. It deals with two college students and friends who are against the war and want to avoid being drafted at all cost. That's why they went to college. The movie also deals with their families and how the war affected family and their community.

The movie really isn't good  at all. It takes every little chance it gets to pour as much melodrama on us as possible. Bruce Dern is horrible and Winona Ryder is awful(and I normally like her). Robert Downey Jr and Keifer Sutherland are decent, but they both have sone way better work since. I like the story, but the movie seems to be lacking in every other category. The dialogue between the characters is horrible. A best thing about the movie is it's soundtrack. Bands such as Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield are included in it; helping make the 60's setting a little better.

While I can't really say I liked 1969; I can't say not to watch it either. It's not a completely worthless movie; just one that never becomes as good as it could have. It does have 2 or 3 scenes I really loved, but other than those few scenes, every other one felt like it was missing something. I'd only recommend this to huge fans of Keirfer or Robert. If you're not a huge fan of either of them; it's really not worth the time.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
Another 80s movie that looked back at the 60s. This one has a great cast, a pretty good late 60s feel, and a realistic story. I liked it.
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2011
Looking back at 1969 it is a little melodramatic but I did really enjoy it when it came out in the late 80's. Robert Downey Jr and Kiefer Sutherland work off each quite well, I'm not sure why they haven't collaborated since (or have they?). It's definitely worth checking out anyway, a very different war film, focusing more on the battles back home during wartime.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2011
This shows a different side to the Vietnam war than we usually see. It takes the viewpoint of best friends evading the draft by going to college. It shows a lot of the protests and anti-war feelings, even within the family of a soldier. Kiefer Sutherland and RDJ throw out some truly solid performances and provide very different characters. They're not just filling in a running time, but trying to show that there was just as much going on stateside during the war.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2011
Two buddies from a small town in Maryland witness first hand the turbulence of the 60's as the war hits home for both kids. While eveyone in their sleepy town is oblivious, the two young men begin experimenting with drugs, growing their hair long, and protesting America's involvement in Vietnam. Much to the dismay of their parents. But a series of events will turn everything upside down and shake the town and this two families apart.

A very young Robert Downey, Jr. and Keifer Sutherland are phenomenal and gives us that glimpse of what we would later see in their long and great acting careers.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2008
Great movie!
½ February 22, 2007
I loved this! It was my kinda movie since I'm interested in anything that has to do with the '60s and '70s. I think Kiefer Sutherland was great.

Peace, man, peace.
January 8, 2009
So I am up and I happen to catch 1969 on one of my many movie channels. Naturally, I had to sit and watch it, for about the eighty seventh time.
It's the story of Ralph and Scott, two friends who are against the war in Vietnam, and who are trying not to be drafted. Things happen that test their relationships with their families and with each other. They find themselves and figure out what it is all about.
1969 has a great 80s cast. Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Winona Ryder, and the always excellent Joanna Cassidy.
Anyone that has ample adoration for all things 80s, as I do, needs to add 1969 to their must see list.
½ November 17, 2008
Not a very fast moving or action packed feature...but a great look at the impact of protesting and the importance of peace. Love RDJ! :)
½ July 15, 2008
better than expected, Robert Downey Jr is very good, as usual, and Kiefer gives a strong performance.
December 12, 2006
Terrible try on recreating the 60's. I love any film about the 60's and was excited to see this, but with bad acting and plot, 1969 was a major letdown.
½ April 15, 2015
This falls under the title a good solid family/friends drama.....surprisingly profound with good performances.
February 17, 2015
Deadly boring and trite. In closing; it's your funeral.
December 19, 2012
Good actors and soundtrack in this sort of mediocre movie
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Super Reviewer
April 27, 2011
Two buddies from a small town in Maryland witness first hand the turbulence of the 60's as the war hits home for both kids. While eveyone in their sleepy town is oblivious, the two young men begin experimenting with drugs, growing their hair long, and protesting America's involvement in Vietnam. Much to the dismay of their parents. But a series of events will turn everything upside down and shake the town and this two families apart.

A very young Robert Downey, Jr. and Keifer Sutherland are phenomenal and gives us that glimpse of what we would later see in their long and great acting careers.
March 16, 2010
I checked this little known movie out because I am a big fan of Kiefer Sutherland and although it might not be his best I am glad I did. It has an interesting story and I especially love the scene between Kiefer and winona ryder when she tells him he is beautiful and his reaction is so sweet and played really well. At first he is flattered because he always liked her to just would never admit it so he is happy that she feels the same way and then he turns humble. He becomes humble when she then says that he is the most beautiful person she has ever met(his caring passionate nature towards others really shown through to her by this point) so he quickly responds that she hadn't met that many people yet to feel that way. such a cute scene and to me their relationship makes this otherwise run of the mill story stand out as a sweet romance wrapped in a war story. also I think he proves himself as a great friend to robert downey, jr. obnoxious character because noone else would of dealt with him and stood by him though his craziness!
October 3, 2009
Cute movie, but not great. Good cast Robert Downey Jr, Kiefer Sutherland, and Winona Ryder.
½ February 10, 2009
A decent cast, but the film is a mess and a big bore.
October 10, 2007
In the end, if Lifetime channel did a movie about the Vietnam era it might have been this movie. The problems I had with it: Why do the random people in the streets join the march at the end when they could not possibly know what they were marching about? It's not like they were holding picket signs or anything. And, how does Robert Downey Jr.'s character become this martyr for an antiwar movement? He was just a goofball druggie. And, what about that cheesy "kodak" moment at the end when they all stopped to take a family photo in the middle of a so-called "protest."

On the positive side, the soundtrack was great (except the cheesy 80's synth generic "climactic moment of the film" background music at the end). Overall, though, you can't go wrong with the music from the 60's. And, the odd couple friendship between Kiefer Sutherland's character and Robert Downey Jr.'s character seemed to work. And, overall, the acting was quality with notable performances from Mariette Hartley, Joanne Woodward, and Bruce Dern. It was just the story that didn't work. I felt that even if it was focused on a small town's experience during the Vietnam war, it could have gone into why the nation was torn over the war, how long it went on, and how many troops were lost during the war. Instead, you get the feeling that the one soldier in the town who dies was enough to spark antiwar sentiment in the town. Either they could have developed the background better, or, they could have developed more of the "everyone knows each other" nature of the small town. Instead, you don't ever meet anyone outside of the two families, the cop that knows Ralph by name, and the nerdy girl who seems close to developmentally disabled. So, you don't see how the soldier's death at the end could move the community, because there is no closeness seen between him and the rest of the community.

Overall, this is movie was mediocre. It might have been a nice change of pace from what else was out in the late 80's, but nothing special overall.
March 20, 2006
[b]Sid & Nancy[/b], directed by Alex Cox, explores the tragic relationship of the Sex Pistols Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his American groupie/junkie girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). Those hoping for a detailed story about the Sex Pistols will likely be disappointed as this film is entirely about Sid and Nancy's relationship and their descent into heroin addiction. Punk rock was a huge part of my life growing up, and I remember being disappointed when I first saw this film back in the day. It fared a little bit better on a recent viewing, but I still believe it would have been a better film if it also included more about the band than just Sid and Nancy's relationship. Despite it's flaws, it's still an interesting film.

[b]On Golden Pond[/b], directed by Mark Rydell, is a family drama centered on the relationship of an elderly married couple. Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn star as Norman and Ethel Thayer. They are returning to a summer vacation home to celebrate Norman's 80th birthday. Norman has become grumpy in old age, has some health issues, and is becoming obsessed with death. The faithful Hepburn is more of an optimist, enjoying the twilight of her life. The actors have great screen chemistry, and their relationship is a joy to watch. The film gets muddled when conflict arrives in the form of daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda), fiance Bill (Dabney Coleman) and his son Billy (Doug McKeon). The entire "generational differences" subplot is cliched and overwrought, and Jane Fonda's character alone almost ruins the film. Her and Bill leave for a European vacation, leaving young Billy behind, and after some awkward moments he and Norman begin to bond.

I immensely enjoyed parts of this film (the relationship of Ethel and Norman) and disliked others (the entire Jane Fonda subplot). It doesn't break any new ground with the generation gap subplot, and at times is overly sentimental. That said the performances of Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda are very good, and make this watchable, especially if you are fans of these two actors.

[b]Glory[/b], directed by Edward Zwick, is an above average Civil War film that explores a volunteer all-black regiment. Despite the fact that the Civil War was fought over slavery, the black soldiers who fought did not receive equal treatment. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) leads the soldiers which include Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Andre Braugher. Denzel Washington won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Trip, a fugitive slave fighting for freedom. The cinematography (another Oscar) is outstanding, and the battle scenes superbly done.

[b]The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas [/b]is the film adaption of the hit Broadway musical. Directed by Colin Higgins, the film stars Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning, Dom DeLuise, and Jim Nabors. Having never seen the play, I can't really tell you how well this adapted to film, but it's a fun, lightweight waste of time. Charles Durning is a standout, and Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds supply plenty of laughs.

[b]1969 [/b]stars Keifer Sutherland as a draft age young man at the height of the Vietnam war who takes an anti-war stance after a friend dies. A terrible film about a fascinating period in American history.
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