Buffalo Soldiers 2001

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(28) IMDb 6.9/10
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Gregor Jordan's film takes place in Germany during the last days of the Cold War. Stuck on duty as Batallion Clerk at a US Army base in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) maintains a lucrative sideline in blackmarket trade under the nose of his superiors - and is even sleeping with the wife of his boss, Colonel Berman (Ed Harris). Things begin to change, however, when a new sergeant (Scott Glenn) arrives and tries to clean up the base. Elwood thinks he can handle anything, even the sergeant's daughter (Anna Paquin), but he doesn't realise who he is up against.

Starring:
Leon, Joaquin Phoenix
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 34 minutes
Starring Leon, Joaquin Phoenix, Elizabeth McGovern, Dean Stockwell, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Gabriel Mann, Ed Harris
Director Gregor Jordan
Genres Comedy
Studio 4DVD
Rental release 29 December 2003
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Godfrey-bridger on 7 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
Buffalo Soldiers is an original film with a wonderfully sharp script. Set during the demise of the Berlin Wall in an army base in Germany, Elwood (Phoenix) is in to making money by whatever means he can. He has no respect for the army and even less for authority.
In comes Elwood's sadistic new CO (Scott Glenn) who takes an instant dislike to him. In retaliation to the CO's resulting act's, Elwood starts to date his daughter (Anna Paquin) and what was a game to Elwood quickly becomes very serious.
As Elwood struggles to keep a grip on the ensuing situations, drugged up soldiers provide a surprising comedy aspect and you find yourself smiling (or even laughing) at some quite horrific things. The film gives off a real sense of doom as you wait for something really bad to happen, and even though undeserving, you find yourself rooting for Elwood.
This film is a refreshing and welcome change to the usual American soldier portrayal (which is probably why it didn't do so well in the US) and the superb supporting cast (Ed Harris was originally offered the part of the CO but wanted the part of the soft-hearted military man) along with the witty dialogue and awesome soundtrack makes this film a must buy for me. It won't be everyone's cuppa, so I will not tell you to be fooled by any bad reviews. If in doubt, rent it first.........then BUY IT!!!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By N. Williams on 3 Mar 2004
Format: DVD
In a summer crowded with huge scale blockbuster movies desgined to 'wow' you with spectacle, it always refreshing when a small scale film comes along and lays all the blockbusters to bed because basically, its just better.
Buffalo soldiers is a black comedy of the highest calibre, set on an American base in Germany around the fall of the Berlin wall. However, rather than taking the usual path of portraying american soldiers as patriotic ultra-commandos, we get an image of some very bored layabouts with some VERY big drugs problems.
Focusing around the central character of Ray Elwood (a career best for the fantastic Joaquin Phoenix), the soldier who will deal in absolutely anything to get himself some money, the plot quickly turns nasty. When a new First Sergeant arrives on the base and starts to take a dislike to Elwood (not helped by the fact that he's going out with his daughter, the lovely Anna Paquin). What follows is an escalating spiral of spite and revenge as Elwood begins to realise the dangers of his chosen professions, both dealer and soldier.
With a superb supporting cast (including Ed Harris playing, for once, a soft-hearted military man, and Scott Glen as Elwood's nemesis) and razor sharp wit, this film takes you into army life as you've never seen it before. Frequently swinging between hilarity (a tank full of junkies mindlessly plowing a German town into the ground), and horrific (said tank eventually plowing into a petrolo station and killing a fair few people doing so), its not suprising that this film didn't perform too well in America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hank Norville Carter on 26 Oct 2004
Format: DVD
Everything about this film is done well. The story is funny and has a good point to make (which probably explains why it took less at the box office than Dude Where's My Car). The acting and dialogue are believable. And the main character, a heroin cooking, thief, conman and stolen weapons dealer, is the best anti-hero in a long time.
The Usual Suspects, Donnie Darko and even King of Comedy were released to indifference amongst audiences but,with time,were recognized as works of genius. Buffalo Soilders is destined for that very exclusive club.Essential cult viewing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE on 19 April 2006
Format: DVD
A satire of the blackest hue featuring a raft of great performances, most notably Ed Harris, hilarious as a henpecked, incompetent officer. Not to be taken too seriously as a portrait of the US army (think Bilko on acid), but nonetheless hilarious viewing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 28 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
Buffalo Soldiers was made in 2001, infamously acquired by Miramax on September 10th 2001 (...or so the story goes). It's without dispute that the climate of Bush Jr's neo-con America & the McCarthy-exhumation that has been the so-called 'War on terrorism,' made it impossible for this film to exist. It was much easier to use Black Hawk Down as a balm instead- & a rise in dull-right-wing military adoration: Collatoral Damage, DC9-11: Time of Crisis, would the right win out in Hollywood? Buffalo Soldiers, like Gangs of New York & (bizarrely) Hero would be sat on anyway...
Which is a shame as there's much to commend Buffalo Soldiers, which shares the same edgy approach towards America and much of what it stands for as The Doom Generation,Fight Club, Natural Born Killers,The Rules of Attraction, & Three Kings. Buffalo Soldiers is the kind of film that doesn't have an issue with criticising a certain kind of America: one that is in thrall these days.
It also belongs to a classic American-genre, across the mediums, one that shows the other side of war to that glamorous militarist-ideology peddled by distant generals, or more distant chickenhawk-politicians. So it can be filed alongside texts such as Catch 22, The Naked & The Dead, Dog Soldiers/Who'll Stop the Rain, Biloxi Blues, the first half of Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Tigerland & a whole lot more (& yes I did think about saying something like,"Sgt Bilko on amphetamines!")
The film is a little plotless, then again so is Withnail & I and that's fine, thank you very much. The always watchable Phoenix is ideally cast here as our hero- stuck at the end of the Cold War in West Germany, bored out of his idiot-head over the lack of actual war.
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