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Edwin Fomichev
Edwin Fomichev

Second In Command YIFY


Second in Command is set in the civil war torn Eastern European country of Moldovia, there the situation is at critical as the newly elected President Yuri Amirev (Serban Celea) tries to Govern his people. However he has a huge insurgent problem, a 500 plus strong group of militia lead by Anton Tavarov (Velibor Topic), while trying to storm the Presidential Palace & seize control of the country several civilians are shot & killed by Palace guards which sends the angry mob into a violent frenzy. At the US Embassy ambassador George Norland (Colin Stinton) & his second in command, ex navy seal Commander Sam Keenan (Jean-Claude Van Damme), organise & carry out rescue mission in which President Amirev is saved from the insurgents & sheltered in the US Embassy. With US relations already low in Moldavia the Embassy becomes the point of attack for the insurgents who are determined to overthrow President Amirev...This American Romanian co-production was directed by Simon Fellows & as far as I am concerned Second in Command is pretty poor even by JCVD standards whose films are usually fun & watchable if nothing else. The script is a sort of poor mans cross between Black Hawk Down (2001) with it's story about US military soldiers trapped in some anti American country up against local militia with the base under siege plot of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, 2005) & there's even a Zulu (1964) style against all the odds fight at the end where the good guy's are badly outnumbered by the enemy but still carry on under impossible odds. To give Second in Command some credit I thought the story was alright & it certainly moves along at a good pace, there isn't much boring exposition but that obviously comes at the expense of the character's & the marines in particular suffer in this regard as it's very difficult to tell who is who since they all look the same & aren't even given names. The action is quite small scale, JCVD doesn't get to use his moves very often, there's that whole somewhat cheesy American patriotism in the face of overwhelming odds type sentimentality & was it just me or did it seem like no-one else lived in Moldovia apart from US soldiers & heavily armed insurgents? Where were the local population?As usual JCVD gets to be the hero, despite all the evidence pointing to one solution & one way JCVD opposes it for no good reason & then turns out to be totally right & he gets to save the day, save the US civilians, the Moldovian President & therefore the entire country. Just in a days work for JCVD really. The storyline in Second in Command is very topical & could be said to be based on some sort of realistic foundation, or you could say Second in Command uses the current political climate to hang a less than average JCVD action flick on. Whichever way you want to look at it I suppose. The single most annoying & irritating aspect of Second in Command is the cinematography, it's awful shaky hand-held camcorder stuff which I just hate anyway. You know, it's when the camera twitches, jerks, sways & just feels like it's being operated by someone who is drunk. I hate hand-held shaky camcorder cinematography, it's used quite often these days yet I don't know a single person who likes it. Why do filmmakers continue to use this style? Where's the evidence that people actually like it? The action set-pieces aren't great, there's a few shoot-outs, a couple of fights, an exploding bus & that's about it.With a supposed budget of about $12,000,000 Second in Command feels very cheap, the awful hand-held cinematography, the small scale action & some poor CGI work don't help either. Although set in Moldovia this was filmed in Bucharest in Romania. The acting isn't anything to write home about & JCVD seems to be on autopilot here & pretty much phones in his performance.Second in Command is very much second rate JCVD, if this is anything to go by his Universal Solider (1992), Hard Target (1993), Timecop (1994) & Sudden Death (1995) days are long behind him. Still, he has made worse than this although that's certainly no recommendation.




Second in Command YIFY


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A submarine story that sticks to a simple "clash of wills" storyline without the inclusion of sub-plots and worn-out clichés that existed in so many WWII war stories is RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP. It proves without a doubt that CLARK GABLE and BURT LANCASTER were not only genuine classic stars but extremely good actors when given a solid script. And under Robert Wise's no nonsense direction, the cast of submarine sailors delivers the goods in realistic fashion, avoiding the sort of stereotypes often seen in these kind of war stories.The main action involves Gable's revenge motif. He's like a Captain Ahab, fervently determined to sink the Japanese destroyer that took the lives of his former crew members a year earlier, just as Ahab ran after the whale. His motives are questioned by the man originally selected to be Captain, his second in command Burt Lancaster. It's the clash of wills between these strong personalities that gives the film its punch and keeps the situation tense and taut until the final battle.Franz Waxman's score is almost non-existent, one of the chief shortcomings for me, as I always expect great things from Waxman. Here he opted for silence on the soundtrack when the situations get tense, as when the depth charges are sinking to the bottom of the ocean, barely missing the submarine. Perhaps this was a wise decision, since the sounds we do hear are those the sailors aboard the sub are experiencing while waiting tensely in their claustrophobic surroundings.It's an admirable war film, graced by two excellent performances from Gable and Lancaster, both convincing in their display of authority and command. Although models are used in the battle scenes, all of the action looks very realistic thanks to some excellent B&W photography. Kudos to Robert Wise for keeping the whole story brisk and supercharged.It never drags for a moment, as some of the other big wartime movies like DESTINATION TOKYO did. The script is taut and concise without resorting to any arbitrary love interest or humorous shenanigans which would have weakened the drama--and it's all told in a tense running time of 94 minutes.


There's really nothing to knock about this excellent submarine film. The acting was stellar--with Clark Gable giving a generally restrained performance and Burt Lancaster doing a fine job as his second in command. The writing and directing were also very good and are meant to appeal to the intelligent and discerning viewers. Although not exactly upbeat, I like the way the movie ends--it may be a bit of a downer for some, but represents the sacrifices that are often made in war. As a result of all these pluses, it is an even better film than the exceptional Destination Tokyo. However, considering the absolute care and devotion to detail in the German film, Das Boot, it must rank as perhaps the second-best submarine film of all-time.


When I started watching "Captain Lightfoot", I was taken aback when I saw that Rock Hudson was playing an Irish highway man! But, after getting over the shock, I realized that Hudson wasn't 100% terrible...at least when he remembered to use his Irish accent! But, as I just noted...he often sounded like Rock Hudson and only sometimes remembered the accent. I really don't blame him so much....it was the director's job to notice these sorts of things. Amazingly, it was directed by the very well respected Douglas Sirk....who made some of Douglas' best films. It also was a big budget production...filmed on location in Ireland and in color.When the story begins, Michael Martin (Hudson) is a cheap and rather dim highwayman along with his friend. But they aren't very good at it and soon end up in really serious trouble with the law when one of their victims pulls Michael's mask off. So, he needed to go into hiding and is rescued by a traveling priest....or at least someone PRETENDING to be a priest. The man turns out to be the infamous Captain Thunderbolt (Jeff Morrow)...a combination Irish patriot, gambler and highwayman. But unlike Michael, he has class and common sense and soon Thunderbolt dubs Michael 'Captain Lightfoot' and makes him his second in command.A bit later, Thunderbolt is shot and injured during one of his incursions. While in hiding and recovering, he asks Lightfoot to take command of his gambling house AND his household...including his headstrong daughter, Aga (Barbara Rush). You just KNOW that this means sooner or later, the pair will become lovers (I am referring to Aga and Lightfoot, not Thunderbolt and Lightfoot). What's next for these folks? See the film.Despite being about highwaymen and crime, this film turned out to be a costume drama. Much of the time, folks are wearing colorful fancy outfits, dancing and living in luxury...not the sort of thing you might expect in a film about Irish patriots/bandits. Again, you could see that Universal really pulled out the stops with this one...with a large budget and lots of gloss.So is it any good? Yes...very good...but not great. The acting is generally good (apart from a few missing accents...not just from Hudson), the locations lovely and the story engaging.


While Douglas Sirk won't be everybody's cup of tea, which was as true then as to now, he was an interesting director. Perhaps best known for the last of his three primary periods which consisted namely of melodramas, that were always very well made and mostly well acted too but were either intense and moving or pure soap and unintentional camp. Another main reason for seeing 'Captain Lightfoot' was for one of his main lead actors Rock Hudson, who gave some of his best work under Sirk (with him being one of not many directors to fully understand Hudson's strengths).'Captain Lightfoot', made when Sirk was nearing the end of his middle period, is not among the best films of either of them or one of the best of its genre. Sirk did better with especially 'Imitation of Life' and 'All That Heaven Allows'. As far as his filmography goes 'Captain Lightfoot' is around middle of the pack level. Hudson though comes off better and one can see why he was a popular leading man at the time and in Sirk's, who again really knew what to do with him and what he particularly excelled in, films.Hudson is an immensely likeable lead, with such an endearing good nature and the charm and charisma factors are there. Barbara Rush is alluring and not too sugary, her chemistry with Hudson is sensitively charming and even if it is very cliched it didn't feel too rushed. Jeff Morrow is even better than the two of them, his performance brimming with authority. The supporting cast are not exceptional but are sturdy enough. Sirk's direction has skill and has some energy.The film looks great, being very lavishly produced and the photography is very sumptuous. The music has the right amount of heroism, sensitivity and edge. Enough of the writing amuses and charms and the story likewise in parts.At other points though, the story seemed a little uneventful and could have done with more oomph pace-wise. With the pacing sometimes being rather dull and not containing enough excitement. The script would have been better than it turned out if time constraints were kinder to it, there was a rushedly-written feel to it and with not enough time to give any depth to the characters or what goes on. Which all felt underdeveloped, with some vague politics, and some real credulity straining.Sirk's direction has moments but he didn't seem in full command of the story, some of it came over as routine.Overall, worth the look but not great. 6/10 041b061a72


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