Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers (2011) Not rated

I wanted to like this film.  It tells the story of a heroic groups of paratroopers who landed in Normandy the day before D-Day to set up lights and beacons to guide the invading airplanes.  It offers to tell their previously untold story and explain how the invasion could not have worked without their efforts.  Sounds good, right?  Unfortunately what you see is a bunch of bad acting with forced and unconvincing dialog.  There are numerous really annoying camera shots with extreme close ups of people’s faces.  Instead of normal reaction shots or close ups, the actor’s heads are shown with all but their eyes and mouth cut off.  All of their blemishes and perspiration are shown in disgusting detail.  People are shown talking with their faces out of frame, words continue when phones are already hung up and other amateurish mistakes are made.  The sound quality is poor.  The story moves along slowly with too long of a build up.  The combat sequences are the best parts of the movie, and at least the film is not the usual f-word marathon that most modern war movies have become.  It is also free from sexual content other than a few crude jokes.  The dialog of the actors has some sloppy modern anachronisms, however, with phrases like “not a happy camper”.  Some of the aircraft are not shown with the correct historical markings.  A British house in the movie is shown with modern windows.  The countryside looks more like America than Normandy.  There are North American wildlife and fences shown.  Some of the songs used are not from the period.  Some of the weapons are fake looking.  Top-secret battle plans are discussed in public buildings.  And most ridiculous of all, one of the paratroopers arranges to be dropped by parachute so he can go on a date with an English girl.  Don’t waste your students’ time on this stinker.

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