A new first happened for me a couple of weeks ago while on assignment with Scenestr. I’ve been lucky to be sent to film preview screenings to write reviews for the magazine. These are usually screenings held for the public with tickets won in competitions, etc. The idea being to get word of mouth out for the film. I’ve enjoyed going to these events which usually have prizes or freebies for the crowd. The other night Karen and I went to  a press screening of 12 Strong which took place in a Gold Class cinema where there were less seating and clearly only critics and one guest were in attendance. For someone where being a film critic would be a dream come true this is one more thing to be happy about and grateful for.

So how did the film shape up, well gladly I can tell that 12 Strong is a solid film that mostly comes alive in its action sequences. A mishmash it feels of two intentions that struggle to reconcile with each other, a flag waving depiction of real American heroes and a stoic reflection on the realities of going to war and being a professional soldier. Still there are things to be commended here and at the end of the day soldiers are equipped with standard equipment all the time, why not make a standard action film about them but I’d sure like to read the original book Horse Soldiers the film is based on because their tale sounds incredible. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/12-strong-review-20180307

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken


    1. Thanks review Pete for liking the review. There were a small group of special forces on the ground in the early days and their swift seizure of these enemy strongholds were an incredible against the odds triumph with a large force of Northern Alliance fighters. And yes they used horses due to the rugged terrain of the country. This is kind of the issue, the film shows some of the difficulties of such an alliance and hints at the complexities of the war to come. The director was a photojournalist in the Kosovo war, there is a cast member who served in the Marine Reserves in various operations. So in some ways you have these truths you don’t see in a Hollywood film often like the sound effects and then you have these clichéd narrative choices that feel fake. Overall I recommend it but there are better films to see out there. I hope to check out your recommendation, for a more real look at combat in Afghanistan there’s also Restrepo.

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