(Nick Cannon, Chi McBride, Jay Hernandez, Matt O'Leary, Melonie Diaz, et al / DVD / NR / 2009 / Miramax)
Overview: Take an intimate look into the heart and mind of an American soldier in the riveting urban drama that captivated audiences at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. What would you do if you had just four days to say goodbye to everyone who was importrant to you? Nineteen year old Mike Holland (Nick Cannon) has 96 hours to make peace with his friends and family and maybe even begin a new relationship on the eve of his deployment to Iraq.
DVD Verdict: If I recall, this movie also screened at the LA Film Festival back in 2008 and garnered good review then. In truth, it deserves them as it is a great depiction of a soldier going off to Iraq. It was very moving to see how he interacts with his family, friends, and new acquaintances.
'American Son' shows the conflict young people face as they undertake a mission they know will present daily life-or-death situations. It's about taking stock of what is really important and acting on it, rather than sticking with an unfulfilling status quo.
Cannon is very good as Mike and we sympathize with him having to make decisions without enough time to think them through completely. We know what Mike will be facing overseas. Though there are no tanks, mortars, and roadside bombs, the war is already taking its toll.
I was disappointed that this film never made it into theaters, because I thought it would have definitely been a successful and popular film. That said, rent this today as it is a blinder of a tale. This is a Widescreen presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
A Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Audio Commentary with director Neil Abramson