Take 3: The Last Full Measure Review (PB & J Double Feature Part 1)

Welcome to the first part of my PB & J Double Feature! This review will contain spoilers and here is the link to the double feature’s introduction:

My PB & J Double Feature’s Introduction

The Last Full Measure poster created by BCL Finance Group, Boss Collaboration, Foresight Unlimited, Lightbox Pictures, Provocator, SSS Entertainment, SC Films Thailand Co, and Roadside Attractions. Image found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Last_Full_Measure_2019_poster.jpg

1. What is the purpose of Girl Scout fun patches? What is the significance of the PB & J patch that you talked about in the introduction?

Girl Scout Fun Patches are created to commemorate experiences where scouts either spend quality time with their troop or learn a new lesson/skill. They can also be earned by completing an activity or reaching a goal. One example is a Lock-In patch, given to a troop or a collection of troops after they spend the night at a local attraction, such as a zoo. The PB & J patch from my introduction is meant to recognize scout members who participate in the creation of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Some soup kitchens, food banks, or homeless shelters will serve these sandwiches to their patrons, with volunteers pitching in to help make the sandwiches and serve them. This experience can teach scouts about playing a vital role in their community and assisting those in need.

2. How did you come across The Last Full Measure?

I learned about The Last Full Measure when I stumbled across several production/behind-the-scenes photos for the movie on Pinterest. I’ve enjoyed watching Sebastian Stan’s portrayal of Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I was excited to hear he had been given a lead role in this picture. When I read the movie’s synopsis, it sounded like a story that was full of intrigue. I had heard this movie was supposed to be released in October of 2019. For reasons that are unknown to me, the film was pushed back to January of 2020. I was honestly surprised how little attention this project received. It got a small amount of marketing and was in theaters for about less than a month. I’ve also noticed how few movie bloggers have reviewed the film.

3. You elaborated in the introduction how a PB & J sandwich represents a collection of ideas. Can any of these ideas be found in The Last Full Measure?

Absolutely! When reflecting on the story of William H. Pitsenbarger, there are several ideas that come to mind. One of them is how one person can affect the lives of others. Throughout the film, the stories from veterans who fought alongside William are told to Scott Huffman, an employee from the Pentagon tasked with William’s Medal of Honor case. As the movie unfolds, the audience learns how William and his actions impacted the lives of the veterans, as well as William’s parents and Scott’s family. This point is highlighted at William’s Medal of Honor ceremony, where everyone is asked to stand up if they are either a veteran, a family member or spouse of a veteran, or had their life touched by a veteran.

When we think of a PB & J sandwich, it is a singular object that has one purpose: to feed the person that sandwich was created for. When giving the subject more thought, we realize the sandwich itself affects more than the person eating it. There are people who work in the companies creating the peanut butter and jelly. Farmers and agriculturalists grow the wheat to make the bread, as well as the peanuts and fruit to create the peanut butter and jelly. Someone or a group of people make the sandwich, making it whole or cutting it up into separate pieces. If the recipient is given more than one sandwich or has multiple pieces, they can give it to another person. A PB & J sandwich creates an interconnected web where each person plays a role.

4. Are there other patches you can think of that would complement The Last Full Measure?

The most obvious choice would have something to do with veterans. Whether that recognizes sending Valentines to veterans or hosting an Honor Flight, a patch of this nature reminds scouts of a veteran’s importance. Another good choice would be related to history. Events surrounding the Vietnam War are discussed in The Last Full Measure. Age appropriate lessons about a particular war-time era can teach scouts about the event itself and how moments from the past can be applied to the present.

5. Is there anything about The Last Full Measure that you liked or didn’t like?

One element that caught me by surprise was how good the scenery was! When Scott travels to Vietnam to speak with one of the veterans, he is taken to the spot where the battle took place. The place was transformed into a butterfly sanctuary. It was calming and serene to watch, as blue butterflies flew against bright green foliage. The cinematography captured this location well, as soft light radiated within the space. As for what I didn’t like about this film, I found Scott’s part of the story to be the weakest aspect of the narrative. This part wasn’t bad and Sebastian did a good job with the acting material he was given. But I found the veterans’ stories to be much more compelling than what Scott’s story had to offer.

Here is a screenshot I took of the patch from Mad About Fun Patches. I also provided credit to the people who created the patch. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

6. Did you develop any thoughts and/or questions while watching this film?

I didn’t develop any questions, but two thoughts did come to mind. When William’s parents are remembering their son’s life, they reflect on small details, like the smell of fresh cut grass on his shoes after he mowed the lawn. This reminded me of when Eric Draven, from The Crow, said that “Nothing is trivial”. When we lose a loved one, little things that may seem insignificant to others are the pieces we use to hold on to that person. On Thanksgiving, William’s parents share with Scott and his wife how they try to keep their son’s memory alive. This reminded me of what Sarah said at the end of The Crow about continuing to love someone after they are gone.

7. As stated in answer number one, fun patches are earned by either completing an activity or reaching a goal. What goal or activity could correlate with this movie?

Because The Last Full Measure is rated R, most scouts would not be able to see the film. However, there are activities that troops can participate in that correlates with the movie. Like I mentioned in answer number four, a troop or multiple troops can organize an Honor Flight. This is a plane ride/trip meant to recognize the military contributions of veterans. Younger scouts can make signs and cheer for the veterans as they arrive at the airport. Older scouts can assist their leaders in the event’s organization, showing them how to build connections in their community and organizational skills.

8. Fun patches are about learning new skills or lessons. Are there any lessons one can learn from this film?

A major overarching lesson that can be found in The Last Full Measure is how our actions and choices can affect the people around us. During the Vietnam War, William’s choice to sacrifice his life for his fellow soldiers greatly affected those soldiers in that battle. It also affected those same soldiers, William’s parents, and even Scott’s family years after the event occurred. This lesson reminds viewers to put a great amount of thought into the things we do before we act on them.

9. Sometimes, patches are created to tie in with a popular movie or IP (intellectual property). If given the opportunity to create a new patch, how would a patch for this movie look? What activity or goal would need to be met?

A patch bearing a picture of William H. Pitsenbarger would be an appropriate choice. Another good choice would be an image of the Medal of Honor with William’s name surrounding it. Any activity involving the recognition of veterans would make sense. It could be a grand gesture, such as the aforementioned Honor Flight or decorating a float for a veteran who is a Grand Marshal at a local parade. The act could be smaller in scale, like raking leaves for a veteran during the autumn season or delivering meals for a veteran who may be home-bound. The patch’s goal would strive to help scouts learn about a veteran’s importance and appreciate their inclusion in society.

10. After watching this film, is there anything you can take away from your movie viewing experience?

While I found The Last Full Measure to be a fine, well-made film, I think the story itself would have benefited more in a documentary format. I said in answer number five how the veterans’ stories were the most compelling part of the overall narrative. If this story were presented in a documentary, it would have given the veterans themselves a chance to share their experiences, especially since The Last Full Measure was based on a true story. In my last double feature, I reviewed the film Over the Edge. I stated in that review how the film was based on true events. This is one of the reasons why I felt that story should have been told through a documentary.

Children holding American flags during a sunset image created by rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/people”>People photo created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s After the Glory Review + 195 Follower Thank You

I spent Memorial Day with my family, so I didn’t publish a post on Monday. This is the reason why this week’s schedule will be shifted. However, Memorial Day has inspired me to choose a patriotic film for this blog follower dedication review. When I first watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Blind Spot, I saw a commercial for another film in this collection titled An American Story. The film looked intriguing and exciting, enticing me to want to check the film out. Recently, Hallmark Drama aired this film with a different title. This time, the movie is called After the Glory. Anyone who pays attention to Hallmark will know how the network loves changing their film’s titles after that project has been announced. But Hallmark changing a movie’s title 20+ years after its release seems like a strange decision. Despite this unusual choice, my family chose to watch this film in honor of Memorial Day.

Because I saw this film under the title, After the Glory, I chose to use this poster for my review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Last August, I reviewed I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. One of the strongest aspects of that film was Kathleen Quinlan’s performance, as it was well-rounded, emotional, and powerful. Kathleen’s portrayal of Hope in After the Glory contained those same qualities. In one scene, Hope is reacting to George recalling her husband’s, Tim’s, final minutes. She goes from being pleased about George’s visit to the Veteran’s Office to crying for her lost love. This scene is an example of how much emotionality Kathleen brought to her role. Speaking of George, Brad Johnson effectively adopted the persona that’s expected of a character like George, one of the returning veterans. He appeared confident and sure of himself. But what I also liked about Brad’s performance was how he incorporated a sense of humility. During the film, there were times when George was held accountable for his choices and faced his mistakes. This made the character more relatable. Tom Sizemore portrayed another returning veteran named Jesse. His performance was versatile and highlighted his adaptability. When he was introduced, Jesse is happy to finally return home. A few scenes later, he is angry over the corruption taking place in his town. The well-rounded nature of Tom’s performance helped his character stand out!

The discussion of a veteran’s mental health: In the world of cinema and society as a whole, it seems like the subject of a veteran’s mental health has been recognized more in recent years. When this film was released in 1992, I don’t think there were many films released before or during that year that addressed this topic, especially when a movie takes places around the time of World War II. In After the Glory, the mental well-being of veterans was one of the recurring ideas of the story. During the war, Hope went back to school to earn her psychology degree. She did this in order to provide psychological services to returning veterans. She even tries to use her psychology skills to stop Jesse from committing suicide. The way this idea of a veteran’s mental health was written into the script was done with respect and realism. It made the movie feel like it was kind of ahead of its time.

The veterans’ transition period: An important part of this story was the veterans’ transition period to civilian life. Because the movie focuses on three different veterans, their journeys toward civilian life look and feel unique from each other. When he returns home, George is welcomed to an elaborate parade. He is even offered a job at his father’s law firm and is given an opportunity to be a running mate in Mayor Cantrell’s election campaign. Meanwhile, Jesse is only greeted by a small group of his family and friends when he comes home. He also struggles with issues relating to his physical and mental health. Like the aforementioned subject of a veteran’s mental health, this part of the story was written very well, making the film come across as reverent toward military veterans. It shows that within the uniform is a person that has their own thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.

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What I didn’t like about the film:

Juan’s limited presence: One of the soldiers that was highlighted in this story is a Texas local named Juan. Despite facing racism in his civilian life, he still felt the world was bigger than his own backyard and that change was on the horizon. He was also starting civilian life as a newlywed. Compared to George and Jesse, Juan was featured on screen for a limited amount of time. His story was also weaker than George’s and Jesse’s. I’m not sure if this creative decision was meant to show how racism can negatively affective story-telling or if it was just a coincidence. But I feel Juan should have received the same amount of screen-time as George and Jesse.

A drawn-out first half: In the first half of After the Glory, the majority of the story focused on the veterans transitioning to civilian life. While this was an important part of the plot that provided context, it caused the film’s conflict, the town’s political corruption, to be placed on the back-burner. The conflict does maintain the plot’s primary focus in the second half of the film. But I think the conflict should have had a more consistent presence.

A limited amount of suspense: Because of the town’s election, it allowed the story to incorporate suspense. The process toward the conflict’s resolution was wrapped up in mystery, keeping the audience guessing what would happen next. However, the suspense in this movie was limited. This is the result of the aforementioned drawn-out first half. The creative team’s choice to adopt a more dramatic tone is also what caused the suspense to have a limited presence. Like the film’s conflict, I think the suspense needed to be more consistent.

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An overall impression:

During Hallmark Hall of Fame’s 69-year lifespan, there have been some films that took place either during or around the time of World War II. If you look at my post where I tier ranked every Hallmark Hall of Fame movie I’ve seen, you will see that I have enjoyed these films. It looks like After the Glory will be joining that tier with a “good” status! This movie shows how innovative and compelling a project in this collection can be! The subject of a veteran’s mental health being incorporated in this story shows how Hallmark wanted to start a conversation among their audience when it came to important topics. While this is not a new concept for Hallmark Hall of Fame, it has been a consistent part of this collection. While watching this film, I realized that if After the Glory had not been released in 1992, it probably would have never been created. This is because, ever since the Hallmark Hall of Fame branch was moved to Hallmark Channel in 2014, the network has placed an emphasis on trying make the films adopt the same tone and feel as the movies that usually air on Hallmark Channel. I still hope that Hallmark can take more creative risks with their films and promote more creative freedom. To my 195 followers, thank you so much for helping my blog come this far! This review would not have possible without you!

Overall score: 8 out of 10

Have you seen any of Hallmark Hall of Fame’s military related films? Which movie would you watch on Memorial Day? Tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Exciting news about upcoming Hallmark movies!

Last month, I talked about several movie titles that belong to either confirmed Hallmark movies or potential Hallmark movies. A few days after I published that post, there were some details revealed about three of the movies I mentioned! There was also a movie that was recently discovered on Hallmark Channel’s website! In this post, I will talk about these details and what they mean for these specific movies. I will also share my thoughts on these pieces of movie news. So, now let’s talk about these movie details, the moment you, my readers and followers, have been waiting for!

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In my aforementioned Word on the Street story, I listed several movie titles that could belong to potential Hallmark movies. Two of these titles are “Flip That Romance” and “Picture Perfect”. When I revisited the website, What’s Filming, I noticed that there were names of cast members listed who are now attached to these projects! For “Picture Perfect”, the stars of this film are Arielle Kebbel, Alexa PenaVega, and Carlos PenaVega! After making this discovery, I wondered if this could be the movie that Hallmark was talking about last year. At their Winter TCA Event last January, Hallmark announced that Alexa and Carlos PenaVega would receive their own mystery movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Within their announcement, Hallmark shared that Alexa’s character would be a photographer. Based on this information, the casting, and the title, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Picture Perfect” ended up being the movie that Hallmark talked about all those months ago. For “Flip That Romance”, Crystal Lowe has now been attached to the project, according to What’s Filming. The chances of this movie being a Hallmark film are, right now, 50/50. On the one hand, Crystal has been in several Hallmark films, including the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. On the other hand, Crystal’s involvement does not guarantee that this will be a Hallmark movie. As of early February 2019, Hallmark has not confirmed or denied that “Flip That Romance” is their movie. We’ll just have to wait for more information to be revealed about this project.

If you want to check out the sources for this movie news story, here’s the link:

http://www.whatsfilming.ca/inproduction/ (after February 6th and 15th, “Flip That Romance” and “Picture Perfect” will be taken off the “In Production” page)

https://www.crownmediapress.com/PressReleaseList/?SiteID=142&NodeID=144&page=18 (the announcement can be found in the article titled “ALEXA PENAVEGA AND CARLOS PENAVEGA IN DEVELOPMENT WITH NEW MYSTERY MOVIE FOR HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES”)

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While on Hallmark Channel’s official website, I stumbled across a title for an upcoming Hallmark film! The movie is called Lost & Found and it’s scheduled for a March 23rd release. Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady will star in the film. An official synopsis was also posted on the website, which is the following:

From the website of Hallmark Channel:

 

“Two single parents come head to head when their kids want to adopt the same dog. Agreeing to co-foster, free-spirited Kate and type-A Eric must work together to find the dog’s forever home.”

 

While I think the synopsis sounds fine, it does remind me of the film, Puppy Love, starring Candace Cameron Bure. That film was ok, but I thought the idea of two complete strangers sharing a pet was a bit too unrealistic for my liking. Despite the similarities that Lost & Found shares with Puppy Love, I’m still willing to give this film a chance. I’ve enjoyed Nikki’s and Michael’s acting performances in the past, so I’m hoping that their performance in this new movie is just as good.

Here is the link to the movie listing on Hallmark Channel’s website:

http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/lost-found

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In my previous Word on the Street story, I talked about how a Hallmark Christmas movie was planning on filming in Stonington, Connecticut. Last week, a short article by The Westerly Sun revealed a new detail about the film! The article’s author, Harold Hanka, says, “The cast and its plotline haven’t yet been revealed, but the director said the story involves military veterans”. While looking at the photo within this article, I noticed three business signs that were located over some of the buildings. Wondering if any of these signs were associated with real businesses, I did my research for each sign. The only business that I couldn’t find any information about was A & J’s Coffee Shop. This makes me wonder if Hallmark made this business up specifically for this movie? Maybe the protagonist’s parents are “A & J” and the coffee shop is a family business? We’ll just have to wait for more details to emerge for this movie.

If you want to check out the article from The Westerly Sun, here’s the link:

https://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/stonington/photos-it-s-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-christmas/article_4a8fcd6a-2399-11e9-9e5d-5729dc583ec6.html

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What are your thoughts about these pieces of movie news? Are you excited for any of these films? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen