Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)  » Movies  »
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  • That didn't changed until I found out the Whiplash -creator Damien Chazelle announced he has a new film coming out in December called La La Land
  • However, when they premiered Billy Lynn back in October for the New York Film Festival - doubt arises if this film was really good
  • The technology that was created for the movie - a staggering 120 fps compared to the normal cinematic 24 fps was much criticized
  • The first time I read the synopsis of the film I was immediately hooked
  • I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for his desire to push a hyperreal format that people seem to loathe (especially when we want to go to movies because we know they're not real) he would have struck another lightning in a bottle


by Laudemhir Jan Parel

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    At the beginning of the year, I immediately told my friends that my most anticipated 2016 film was Ang Lee’s new feature called “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”. That didn’t changed until I found out the “Whiplash”-creator Damien Chazelle announced he has a new film coming out in December called “La La Land”. But Billy Lynn comfortably sit as my 2nd most anticipated movie because I have huge faith in Ang Lee. He’s a two-time Academy Award winner for directing films such as Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi which we all know are great masterpieces. However, when they premiered Billy Lynn back in October for the New York Film Festival - doubt arises if this film was really good. The technology that was created for the movie - a staggering 120 fps compared to the normal cinematic 24 fps was much criticized. However, I kept my faith and decided to watch this one last night. Thankfully in my country, it is screened in 24 fps.
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)
  • The first time I read the synopsis of the film I was immediately hooked. Psychological analysis of characters in a movie is always a plus for me. This film deals with the post-traumatic stress disorders that Billy Lynn is having after surviving a tense battle in Iraq. He and his team went home for a quick victory tour after Billy bravely helped his dying sergeant - having to attend a halftime show in Dallas and also trying to get a movie deal for their brave story.

    I couldn’t care less about the technological advancement this film would have pursued in the beginning - I know it’s a failed evolution but what made me excited for this was because of Ang Lee. He really knows how to get inside the brains of his actors. He makes us see the movie through their eyes and I think that’s a great directional skill.

  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is no different. Joe Alwyn as the titular character was a real revelation. His acting debut was really solid and if the critics embraced this like they should have, I am pretty sure Joe Alwyn could have received a nomination for Best Actor in this year’s Oscar. The guy is really good - and for a guy who is suffering from PTSD he really did his character justice. The way the camera focuses on him and he just loses it and remembers everything that has happened to him was really heartbreaking. It really made my heart ache because I can relate to him despite the fact that the horrors he went through are definitely worse than mine - but still, there are times when I find myself just staring at something and remember something traumatic. And I can see it in his eyes - the darkness that has been haunting him ever since that fiery battle. “It’s kind of weird, being honored for the worst day of your life,” he says with truth.

  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)
  • After countless times of watching the trailer, I always thought this was going to be an epic drama and not a satire. But the truth is that it’s a great balance of both. Billy’s colleague really offers great comedy and enthusiasm for this film to work. It was kind of silly at first because I always wanted a real drama but from the get-go of this movie - it’s hilarious. Hilarious and sad at the same time, especially when we got to the part where Billy is already remembering the events.

    The supporting cast was very diverse as well. Garrett Hedlund as the leader of the group was very subtle at the beginning - although he offers one of the very effective scenes near the end of the film. Mackenzie Foy as Billy’s immediate love interest during the football game shines too. My God she was beautiful, it would be really hard not to fall in love with her. There were some silly moments between the two, especially during the National Anthem when Billy was crying, that scene was just out-of-the-face funny.

  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)
  • But the real winner aside from Joe Alwyn’s outstanding debut performance was Kristen Stewart - who acts as Billy’s brother who doesn’t want to let her brother be taken from her again. She was really monotonous in the Twilight saga where we came to know her but in this movie - her stiffness is her strongest asset. I love her in Still Alice but she’s definitely upping her game. The scene at the end of the film with her confronting her brother was really strong and emotional, I can’t help but cry. When Billy said to her, “I wish there was a way where I can make you proud of me,” was where I lost it. Goddamn, I can still remember feeling like I was directly punched in my heart.

  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016 Drama-War Film)
  • I don’t really get why the critics were so harsh on this. Granted, they have seen this in a very undesirable hyperreal format - but storywise it was really amazing to see someone trying to get out of the struggle of the effects of war. It’s a very neat character study and Ang Lee manages to capture it in a very beautiful way.

    The cinematography looks really beautiful in most scenes. The production design, especially during the halftime show was very well-executed. The editing was very seamless although I would have wanted a little backstory of Billy and his sister because it seemed awkward and off.

    One main complain is that the Halftime Walk was rather SHORT. It lasted for a mere 15 minutes when the title made it clear it should have been long, but other than that, I think it is a really solid film.

    In the end, I am glad I paid for a ticket price for this movie. It was definitely worth it. It’s not visually striking and spectacular like Life of Pi but it’s very compelling and affecting. It’s message is very beautiful and clear - you don’t know anyone and their struggles.

    Yes, Ang Lee did it again. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for his desire to push a hyperreal format that people seem to loathe (especially when we want to go to movies because we know they’re not real) he would have struck another lightning in a bottle.



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in November, 2016. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1115111656990430/k2311a1115/11.15.16
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