'Sgt. Will Gardner'
(Max Martini, Omari Hardwick, Lily Rabe, Dermot Mulroney, Robert Patrick, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Cinedigm)
Overview: A forgotten Iraq war veteran with severe PTSD is trying to pick up the pieces of his life.
After a series of set backs he decides to steal a motorcycle and embarks on a cross-country road trip to reunite with his wife and son.
Along his journey, he tries to pick up the pieces of a life he s lost since returning from combat and experiences frequent flashbacks to the Iraq War and frequently has conversations with his best friend and war buddy.
DVD Verdict: Simply put, 'Sgt. Will Gardner' is the movie that needed to be made about this war.
It is powerful, highly realistic, raw, emotional, very relevant, and creatively done for maximum impact. This movie is going to affect you like never before. And does something very significant that no movie has ever attempted to do before.
A must see for conscientious Americans about the plight of an entire subset of our society who have sacrificed. And it goes far beyond what any of the others can, as it was designed in every aspect with the input and knowledge real combat veterans who have suffered the effects of war.
Its writer, director, co-producer and lead actor Max Martini has expertly crafted a story that tells what needs to be told. A story of a combat soldier who returns home from the war, and the suffering, loss, challenges, and tragedy that he faces.
There are a multitude of features of highlights of this movie that serve to tell the story and get some very important points across. The plot and storyline are clever in how they give the viewer an inside look to what all combat troops can face, what they think about, and what hundreds of thousands of our veterans, even millions, are facing now.
So much of this as well as the nuances and experiences of troops in combat and then the effects and dilemmas that can follow that were perfectly inserted into the dialogue and woven into a storyline, laced throughout with emotion, love, patriotism, brotherhood, sacrifice, humor, romance, and honor.
Yet, it is more than a movie, as this "movie" is playing out for real as we speak all over America.
Featuring varying degrees of screen time roles undertaken by such known actors as Lily Rabe (AHS), Omari Hardwick (Power), Robert Patrick (T2), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friends Wedding), and amongst a bevy of others, my friend Elisabeth Röhm (The Last Ship), it also (and importantly) features Gary Sinise.
Longtime famous for his military roles and contributions as the top philanthropist for veterans, he also brings to bear his extensive firsthand experience dealing with the needs of combat veterans; especially wounded warriors.
'Sgt. Will Gardner' is significant not just because of what it is as a movie, but because of what it does. And can do. It was written and produced with the intent of public awareness as well as to raise money for military charities that seek to help veterans out of the situations depicted in the movie.
Three very relevant charities are designated to receive 30% of the profits of this movie: Warriors Heart Foundation, Higher Path, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. That has never been done before.
Its realism and intense emotional impart will have a long term positive impact if we can get as many people as possible to go and buy this DVD or Blu-ray or even purchase it online. Then act upon it, of course, for as always, that is the hardest, and usually most forgotten of the emotions sought out thereafter such an experience.
In closing, and putting it in plain speak, 'Sgt. Will Gardner' will rightfully earn its place as an American military classic. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.