MovieChat Forums > Gardens of StoneĀ (1987) Discussion > There's no nice way to say this so ...

There's no nice way to say this so ...


THIS MOVIE IS BORING !!!

reason #1 : The premise of the story is boring. The Arlington Honor guards during Vietnam ? I'm sorry, but that's boring. There are so many other aspects of Vietnam which can be made into a movie - and you make one about the Arlington guards who bury the killed Vietnam vets ? Even a movie about a guy who goes over to Vietnam to be a DJ (Good Morning Vietnam) was more interesting than this.

reason #2 : James Caan cannot carry a movie. He can't. He's not a lead actor. He's a decent supporting actor - boring lead actor. If you don't beieve me, then watch something like Rollerball or Thief. Now, before you say something like "I loved Rollerball", try to think about how much better it could have been with so many different actors in the lead role.

reason #3 : DB Sweeney is a horrible actor. He's bland & he has no screen presence whatsoever in any movie he is ever in. He got a bunch of key roles back in the late 80s / early 90s. Then everyone realized how boring the guy was. That's why he doesn't get any more key roles.

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Well I found it boring too. I couldnt believe that it's a Coppola.
But then, I realised that it could have a meaning.
To show what it is all about, being a proud soldier, fighting FOR (something) as a soldier, talking about the FAMILY ARMEE (MILITARY).
And then I was reading the comments on this movie here on imdb, about loving the discipline and honor ... the guy died. Remember that! But some people just only want to remember the honor and discipline and dont look forward about the meaning of killing and get killed with or without honor.
It's something the mankind has to overcome.

It's alway more tough to live an honored life and keep the people up living.


Besides: I found the acting was awefully anyway.

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James Caan cannot carry a movie. He can't. He's not a lead actor. He's a decent supporting actor - boring lead actor. If you don't beieve me, then watch something like Rollerball or Thief.


... I dunno about Rollerball, but he's great in Thief!






You're the first person I've wanted to talk to for more than 5mins... ever!

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see, i'm not saying he was BAD in Thief - but when i watch that movie I inevitably start to think of all of the other actors who would have made that movie so much better in that lead role.

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... Like who??







You're the first person I've wanted to talk to for more than 5mins... ever!

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hmmm...just off the top of my head, some actors who would have improved Thief back in '81 :

Christopher Walken
Harvey Keitel
Jack Nicholson

I can think of more if I think about it some more.

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... Nicholson could maybe have done it, but I still prefer the ultimate choice. Caan works as the everyday guy who just happens to be a thief - that's why he's not blindly obvious, and has to give that great speech I remember...






You're the first person I've wanted to talk to for more than 5mins... ever!

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I don't remember the speech - what was it ?

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It's the second line of his; but I'll re-post the whole thing, since it strikes me as great writing...

Frank: Look, in what I do there are sometimes pressures. What the hell do you think that I do? Come on. Come on, every morning I walk in for five months, say hi - what the hell do you think that I do?
Jessie: You sell little f u c k i n g cars, that's what you do.
Frank: I wear $150 slacks, I wear silk shirts, I wear $800 suits, I wear a gold watch, I wear a perfect, D-flawless three carat ring. I change cars like other guys change their f u c k i n g shoes. I'm a thief. I've been in prison, all right?
Jessie: So what, I don't care.
Frank: So what?
Jessie: Don't tell me.
Frank: So what? I never even told my wife that...
Jessie: I don't care.
Frank: Who is now gone. Did I ever come on to you?
Jessie: No.
Frank: Well you see.
Jessie: See? See what?
Frank: See, I - I am a straight arrow. I am a true blue kind of a guy. I've been cool. I am now unmarried. So let's cut the mini-moves and the b u l l s h i t and get on with this big romance.
Jessie: ...What? I don't believe it. Do you think that I've been waiting for you to come along? What is this s h i t?
Frank: You think I'm kidding, I can tell. This is strictly on the up and up.
Jessie: Jesus Christ.







You're the first person I've wanted to talk to for more than 5mins... ever!

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ah, ok I remember that.

I'm know I'm gonna come off as an a s s for saying this after you just posted all of that, but I still feel somebody else could have done more w/ that role. I just feel that was a GOOD movie which could've/should've been GREAT.

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That's fine - we obviously just differ in opinion.






You're the first person I've wanted to talk to for more than 5mins... ever!

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[deleted]

i cosign with the threadstarter to the fullest

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As a Navy veteran of 20 years service I found this movie very true to form. I didn't find it boring nor pretentious (I'm adding that word). The 'Old Guard' or Honor Guard has a unique job t perform and they perform it with precision, discipline and tremendous attention-to-detail. The movie depicts that rather well. Caan, Jones, and Sweeney do well in their respective roles. They did their homework and portrayed their characters with dignity and aplomb.
I agree that to some this movie my seem rather dry but the storyline takes time to develop. And I disagree re: Sweeney's acting skills I find him a good actor.

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It is an interesting subject. It should have brought a tear to your eye when they buried the young man, but, it didn't for me.I guess that it was trying to be balanced--and it doesn't work like that.

I remember the ending of the "Deer Hunter". You are left guessing--is it pro-war or anti-war and it leaves you speechless.

This movie could have been a classic if it was done right.

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Vietnam movies were a hot commodity back in the 1980's, Francis Coppola directed this, and it was James Caan's first movie since Thief and I was excited to see him after all those years of only seeing him in old 70's films at home. Main reason I wanted to see this. And he looked O-L-D after seeing him in The Godfather and Rollerball!

Also, I was like 18 when this came out and thought I knew of every major young star my age and had never heard of D.B. Sweeney. Thought he would be a major star in the future and it never happened. Too ordinary of a guy. Even though he had the lead role in No Man's Land, Charlie Sheen stole the movie, and in Eight Men Out, he had maybe a total of 5 minutes screen time and with no presence at all. Cutting Edge and Fire in the Sky were good movies, but nothing to flood to.

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Gardens of Stone is an excellent film. Many civilians just don't "get it" and never will. I think it's one of Caan's best roles.

Favourite moments:

the line "how can you beat an enemy that is willing to fight helicopters with bows and arrows"

Caan kicking hippie (Bill Graham) ass at the party.

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"As a Navy veteran of 20 years service I found this movie very true to form. I didn't find it boring nor pretentious (I'm adding that word). The 'Old Guard' or Honor Guard has a unique job t perform and they perform it with precision, discipline and tremendous attention-to-detail. The movie depicts that rather well. Caan, Jones, and Sweeney do well in their respective roles. They did their homework and portrayed their characters with dignity and aplomb."

I agree with every thing you say. The acting was very good from a first class cast and the attention to detail during the ceremonial scenes was very impressive, though to be expected from Francis Coppola.

It's just disappointing that I found the story so very predictable and rather pedestrian at times.

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If you're bored with this fine film, most likely you are into action/adventure comic book type movies.

"Gardens of Stone" is an excellent movie with great character development. The cast includes some of the finest screen actors of the 80's including James Earl Jones, Dean Stockwell, James Caan, Lawrence Fishburne and Angelica Huston.

How can anyone say James Caan can't carry a movie? James Caan's portrayal of Sonny Corleone is one of the most indelible characters in film history. He always gives his characters many interesting layers and complexity. I often wonder why he never experimented a bit and took some softer, romantic roles, but perhaps he was always type cast as the tough guy. I've watched some of his TV work, but that dumb show in Las Vegas is so poorly written and loaded with bimbos & hookers & showgirls & caricatures rather than characters, Caan does not have much opportunity to flex his veteran acting muscles.

Also the production values in this movie are fantastic. But then I went to film school, and I can watch Ozu and be moved to tears. Don't need a lot of explosions and gun fire to keep me interested.

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