Blu-ray Review: Sands Of Iwo Jima

Sands of Iwo Jima
Directed by Allan Dwan
Story by Harry Brown; Screenplay by Brown and James Edward Grant
Starring John Wayne, John Agar, and Forrest Tucker
Olive Films
Release Date: November 11, 2014

When it comes to vintage war movies Sands of Iwo Jima is about as old-fashioned as they can get. It was one of the last memorable features made by the late Allan Dwan, a Canadian-born filmmaker who had began working in the motion picture industry during its pre-sound infancy, and it starred silver screen legend John Wayne in one of his most iconic leading roles. In the decades that followed Sands‘ theatrical release, war movies got meaner, bloodier, and introspective about what it means to kill for your country, so Dwan’s film can’t helped but be regarded today as an antique from a different era of cinema history.

However, that hardly means Sands of Iwo Jima doesn’t bring to the table many of its own virtues, the most important being that it’s highly entertaining and features the Duke stepping outside his movie star comfort zone to deliver an actual performance to rank with his turns in the classic westerns Red River and The Searchers. At this point in his career Wayne had been firmly established as a star of big screen westerns and war epics. During World War II he saw celluloid combat in The Fighting Seabees, Flying Tigers, Back to Bataan, and John Ford’s They Were Expendable. Wayne could always be counted on to provide a hearty stew of sensitivity and machismo and marshal the war effort with his effortless performances. Sands wasn’t his last combat film, but it was probably one of his best.

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Lightning Deals: Moon, Community, The Karate Kid
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Every day, Amazon offers up “Lightning Deals,” limited quantities of various products for a discounted price for a 4-hour window of time. You have to be on the lookout for these deals and once the item runs out within that four hours, the sale is over. Meaning, if you see something on sale that you want, buy it immediately before it’s gone.

Typically you don’t know what will be on sale until the minute it gets posted, but as part of their Holiday event, Amazon has released this week’s Lightning Deal schedule for Movies & TV on DVD and Blu-ray. See below for a list of today’s deals — which begin at 8:30am PST and run through 9:30pm PST — along with more information on how these special deals work. The last deal goes up at 5:30pm PST.

There’s also TONS of extremely low prices and great deals on DVDs and Blu-rays right now, so visit the TOP HOLIDAY DEALS page to see the wide selection.

Also, Amazon’s Blu-ray box set deal of the week is the Glee: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Edition for only $34.99 (that’s 50% off the list price of $69.99). The TV Deal of the Week is Married…with Children: The Complete Series DVD box set for only $116.99 (that’s 53% off the list price of $250.95). Both deals are valid only for this week through December 18, 2010.


5:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. PST

The Karate Kid (2010)
DVD – $9.99

The Karate Kid (2010)
Blu-ray – $13.99

The Karate Kid (1984)
DVD – $6.99

The Karate Kid (1984)
Blu-ray – $11.99

The Karate Kid II
DVD – $6.49

The Karate Kid II
Blu-ray – $11.49

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Barry Pepper Joins Matt Damon, Josh Brolin & Jeff Bridges In Coen’s ‘True Grit’
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It’s been a while since we’ve covered Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s adaptation of Charles Portis‘s 1968 novel, True Grit. It was a year ago that the project was announced, and about six months ago that recent Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges joined the cast.

At some point along the line, superstars Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also joined the cast, and just a few weeks ago 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld grabbed the all-important lead role of Mattie Ross after an intense audition process that saw the likes of 15,000 or so teenage girls trying their luck.

Now, according to the trades, Barry Pepper is the latest to join in on the party. The actor has been cast as “Lucky” Ned Pepper. Pepper hasn’t been around very often lately, but he has certainly made his mark appearing previously as a talented sniper in Saving Private Ryan and as a prison guard in The Green Mile. Ryan director Steven Spielberg will act as an executive producer on this project as well.

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Hailee Steinfeld Joins Matt Damon, Josh Brolin & Jeff Bridges In Coen’s ‘True Grit’
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The most important casting in the Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s new adaptation of Charles Portis’s 1968 novel, True Grit, is the role of main character Mattie Ross. After an intense audition process that saw the likes of 15,000 or so teenage girls, the part was given to 13-year-old relative unknown Hailee Steinfeld.

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Coen Brother’s ‘True Grit’ Reboot May Have A Jeff Bridges
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Back in March we received the excellent news that film making masterminds Joel and Ethan Coen would be making a new movie based on the 1968 story by Charles Portis, True Grit (Read: Coen Brothers To Return “˜True Grit’ To The Screen). The story went on to become a 1969 movie starring John Wayne, which netted the legendary actor an Oscar. The first actor whose name has been attached to the project is none other than the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges. Bridges is currently in talks with Paramount to reunite with his Big Lebowski directors and appear in the movie as Rooster Cogburn — the same Academy Award winning role that Wayne played.

The movie follows a 14-year old girl whose father is murdered by his hired hand. She employs the assistance of an infamous old drunk of a U.S. Marshal named Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Bridges), who obtains honest and true grit (ta-da!), to track the killer down and get her revenge. The original film followed Wayne’s character, but it is expected that this new movie will be more book-faithful and follow the young girl.

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