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  • amalex529 January 2003
    I turned on NBC one wednesday night at 9:01 expecting to see The West Wing.

    Instead, this was on. Even though I only saw the last hour, it was very moving, and far better than the West Wing.

    Still, the movie feels very much like the West Wing. The writing is similar, except clearer and easier to understand, and the directing is again similar but clearer. Jeff Goldblum is back in his archetypal charecter, the nerdy yet smart and passionate loyal man. In this case, his career happens to be a journalist, and he does quite a good job at it - just imagine Goldblum talking about how important journalistic impartiality is.

    The charecters are also extremely well developed.

    The film really presented several points of view, allowing the viewer to decide which one he believes in - the sign of a good film.

    This can't be called a TV movie - it's far too good for that. If it was on video, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I'm really disappointed that I only saw the last half of it, but still, I was really moved. Veyr powerful, deep themes. It makes you wonder how often things like this really do happen.
  • monimm184 November 2006
    When I saw this pilot episode of what was supposed to be a TV series, I was quite excited about it. The story was daring and original, considering the usual high-tech kitsch that usually air on broadcast TV ("24", "CSI" and the likes). This show felt different - in a way it felt real, like it had meat on its bones. It was more than just stories of people and the outlandish things that happen to them - it dealt with ideas and got one thinking. War Stories talked about the grittiest, truest and maybe noblest side of journalism: war correspondents. This was a show that seemed to chose story lines mirroring reality, even if that reality felt a bit uncomfortable to acknowledge. Finally, I thought, a series that tries to be more than pointless thrills and suspense. The series was even mentioned by Newsweek magazine for its originality and provocative subject. Unfortunately, by next week the show was cancelled. I guess, since the show was too daring, didn't fit a "format", and mostly considering the political climate and the attitude towards war at the time, someone threw their weight around, and instead of more episodes of War Stories we got more mind-numbing sitcoms, reality shows, and cheesy thrillers. Heaven forbid we see something controversial that expresses a different point of view, or gets us thinking. Still, I am hoping the producers haven't given up on this one yet...
  • This is a sexy, cynical tale about journalists in a war zone trying to uncover the truth as they dodge bombs, gun-toting extremists and a corrupt government intent on using them as spies. Not bad for a pilot episode though I doubt America will receive this series with open arms due to the current war fever spreading in Washington. Still, kudos to NBC for even considering doing a series like this. What is established right off the bat is that there is no truth, just stories. We have a crew of hardened war correspondents, lead by Ben (Jeff Goldblume), who throw themselves into hot zones (and into each other's beds) with wild abandon, tossing off cigarettes and snarky quips at each other as they hunt for the all-elusive scoop. This group includes a newbie photographer who is partnered up with Ben, a foreign-accented spy/source, a beautiful blonde British journalist who sleeps with everyone but Ed Begley Jr., and, well, Ed Begley Jr. I think War Stories has great potential as it addresses the age-old issue of journalistic objectivity with more contemporary arguments and with sexy results. It's a refreshing alternative from the slew of reality-based TV programming spamming our networks.
  • I wasn't expecting anything new or spectacular. I wasn' blown away by the tv-film itself, but more so by the potentiality of the program to be a series. I agree with a previous post that with the mind-numbing so-called 'reality tv' horse crap playing, a show like the example here could've been a refreshing change of pace.

    Jeff Goldblum's portrayal of Ben, an experienced foreign correspondent thrown into the lawless and chaotic world of war torn countries in search for the truth, was quite fascinating. Although it isn't quite new as far as composition is concerned, for tv it works quite impressively.

    I can't really imagine any other actor capable of such restrain from being overtly expressive. His reserve seems very accurate and is reminiscent of Dan Rather and Nic Robertson (CNN).

    Had this film been directed by Steven Soderbergh, a probability very slim for tv productions, it would have been very fascinating. I see a very interesting neo-realism treatment to the direction, something à la Traffic.

    Unfortunately, this show just isn't what it could've been. I believe, aside from the obvious plot holes, the useless subplot which for the shortness of the film's length seem to leave too many questions unanswered. A doubtful supporting cast, which appear only to count on Jeff to support them in such a way it seems forced, the show aimed at greatness, but fell short.

    I believe, a reason for such a miss perhaps was using a theme that is a bit too actual. Utilizing al Qaeda as an actual reference, the 9-11 slaughter and Usamah bin Laden himself appears only a bit too disrespectful for the memory of the very unfortunate victims of terrorism. Specially so soon after the events themselves.

    Basically, this feature seems more or less like an extended pilot of a terrific show with great prospects, but falls short as far as a film is concerned.
  • Why can't TV make better movies? No wonder the the big 4 networks lose viewers to TBS, HBO, and A&E. Their movies entertain, have originality to them, and have fresher writing. Another leftwing the US government is bad conspiracy movie where the media is the only true hero. This makes me sick, because I wonder how many times the media has destroyed careers, caused riots, ruin investigations, and caused deaths by unethical reporters. We need a media, but some of these tv movies are like a commercial for the nightly news. Conspiracy movie of the big bad gov and CIA have been around for 30 years; they need a new angle. After some of these crazy government conspiracy theories, people have become leery of these stories. The same formula, an Alan Alda type hero, a sex interested for ratings, a stupid Frank Burns right wing guy who does something stupid and gets killed, and as always CIA plot, everyone has to be good looking, idealistic, and all the world's problems simply can be blamed on the US and the government they support etc etc etc... Nothing new here, they even try to do the Vietnam flashback imagery, with that same Stones song used in everyone of these movies. War dirty, and evil nothing new there, except they get a big name b actor,Goldblum, to make you waste your time watching this crap. I think the ending left little for the viewer. 3/10
  • I wasn't expecting much from this TV movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. The mix of action, intrigue, exotic locale, danger and sex was just right and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was not as good as "Welcome to Sarajevo", which trod the same ground, but much better than the usual TV fare. I think a series would allow for the further development of the regular characters, and offer variety of subjects and locales. God knows there are enough wars going on in the world at any particular time! Kudos to NBC for trying something new.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Although this film was designed with the good intention of presenting the challenges faced by war correspondents in the Middle East, its overall delivery needs great improvement. I should have known what I was getting into when I rented the DVD being that this movie was produced by NBC as a "made for TV film." The first thing that I hated about this film was the opening montage and credits. Although the war photos were gritty and realistic, the quasi "made for TV" rock music that followed killed the entire mood of the movie. It got me to thinking whether or not I was watching a journalistic war movie or a failed TV program from the nineties. After the opening montage, the story takes off at a fairly nice pace when journalist Ben Dansmore (Jeff Goldblum) meets Nora, a green and inexperienced war photographer. The actual relationship between these two characters seemed to be presented very well, however, these are the only two folks in the movie that seem to have any depth and range. All the other characters seem to be missing that essential spark needed to make a movie worth viewing.

    Throughout the story, Ben and Nora delve lightly into the world of counter-terrorism politics and espionage as they try to determine whether or not the US Airforce intentionally bombed an Uzbekistani refuge camp controlled by Muslim rebel forces. In typical spy movie fashion, the two learn of plots being conspired by US Forces along with the US backed Uzbek government. Although a good attempt was made to depict corrupt alliances, the plots and other subsequent story elements were poorly portrayed and almost unoriginal. Put that together with a processed, contrived soundtrack and you have yourself one "made for TV movie" not worth watching.
  • Had no idea just how I was going to enjoy this film and quickly found myself glued to the TV where these Foreign Press correspondences take photos among and around the people in Uzbekistani and dealing with Muslin rebel forces and bullets flying over their heads. Jeff Goldblum (Ben Donsmore) experiences his partner being killed and his replacement is Lake Bell, (Nora Stone) who makes all kinds of mistakes with her photos and Ben is ready to get rid of her and send her back to the States. This film has many twists and turns and there is plenty of romance and love making especially with Louise Lombard,(Gayle Phalan) who seems to jump from one bedroom to another through out the entire film. This film will appeal to almost anyone who likes action and also a few female actors who add some sex appeal.
  • The DVD release does not include the extended voice-over complained about in other reviews...

    So far this is a funny flick, with serious issues. (I'm mid way thru it)

    Jeff does a great job delivering dialog, and the setting is...realistic.

    Reminds me a little of...Wag the Dog vs. Three Kings.

    I would recommend checking this movie out if you're in the mood for a good watch, and not a full out SFX orgy.

    It grooves man, dig it.
  • G-One27 December 2004
    Is it what it seems? The war I mean. Wherever we live, the information which reaches us is gathered by human beings, who are influenced day in and out. And what reaches us depends on the few people who are on the field, gathering the data, and writing conclusions. And it gets real difficult for them, when they're influenced by enemy and allies, who all try to get advantage. In recent times, we've had the possibility to learn the difference in what is told in the US, and what is told in Europe, not to mention the North-African region. At times, you'd wonder if those reports handle about the same war! Or should we refrain from using the term report and say Stories instead... War stories handles just about that. Ben Dansmore (Jeff Goldblum) is a war-zone reporter, who recently lost his regular photographer, and "gets saddled up" with a rookie, Nora Stone (Lake Bell). They, due to a series of actions get a different scope on a bombing, which opens a few doors on the other side of the trenches. Someone once said:" In war and love, anything is allowed" so expect everything, when they pursue their quest for "their truth", because there is no simple truth, except : "any war is dirty, even the clean ones". Some people get the feeling that the US government is held responsible, but seem to forget that the movie CLEARLY shows the dirty ways from the other side too , and above all, what is questioned most: "The War Stories"
  • This movie intrigued me right form the start because it's an american movie about Afghanistan. Also, the fact that it is about the mass media and war coverage was also pretty interesting. The movie's two main characters are Goldblum playing a sort of stereotypical ani-establishment type, and Lake Bell as his newbie photographer.

    The good thing about this is that it does show how much personal preferences shape the stories that make it to the headlines. One character at one point justifies his stance with the words "maybe I just love my country", proving that he is not being impartial, and that we cannot truly expect impartiality from the media.

    The movie goes back and forth between whether the US government is playing games or not and what a reporters duty is and whether or not reporters are impartial. In the end it is shown that the reports will give the story. But this isn't completely accurate given that many reporters are refraining from "asking the tough question" because they feel it would be unpatriotic to do so.

    The movie left me feeling a little unsatisfied but overall it is in itself (i think) relatively unbiased, showing all types of reporters and also things that may or may not be motivating the US government.
  • This "telefilm" starring Jeff Goldblum is simply amazing. The acting (even among the supporting cast) is top-notch, and the realism of the battlefield and of the characters make "War Stories" even more impressive. At a uncertain time such as we're living in now, it's refreshing to see a program take a chance and make us think about journalistic integrity, what are government is doing, and whether or not they're right in doing what they do.

    However, to give NBC the credit I think is misleading. It's easy to see that this "telefilm" was meant as a pilot. "War Stories" was originally intended to be a series, but NBC chickened out when they thought it was "too risky" to make a program about real life issues and make the audience think for more than 2 seconds. However, the pilot was already made, so "might as well" just air it.

    Coulda been a good show. Shoulda been a good show. Woulda been a good show...
  • I liked this film. It's comparable to HBO's Live From Baghdad. I was really surprised to find such a good film on "regular" TV. Jeff Goldblum is great in it. Hope he gets an Emmy nod. It's important for the American people to see a harsh depiction of what our journalists go through to bring us the war experience.
  • War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks. War Stories is a great movie centering on two journalists covering the war in Uzbek and 9/11 attacks.
  • In Uzbekistan war correspondents compete and struggle to get the "hot" story while risking their lives. The movie has various relationship triangles. The movie focuses on the life of one disgruntled, cold reporter in particular. An exploration of objectivity is explored. Refugee camps are reviewed with respect to their insignificance to governments. The human side of "terrorists" is depicted. Deep insights into the value of life and different peoples take on this is explored. There are various plot twists that add intrigue. A discovery is made about U.S. deliberate acts that defy morality to track a wanted terrorist. Good cinematography and pacing. Exciting and thought provoking movie.
  • This could be a really good show if they ease back on the sex and the long posses. Parts of the show (movie) had me thinking "Oh my God" while other times, I got up to clean out the litter boxes. The acting was okay. No character had me feeling the fear or passion. The story line was okay, but they tried to put in too much in too short of time. They need to really build up the characters. If it makes it to prime-time TV I will give it a go.