Published on June 28th, 2012 | by Chris3
Severe Clear (2009)
Lieutenant Mike Scotti took a camera in when his Marine artillery unit was sent across the Kuwait border into Iraq, and managed to compile this incredible footage, and bring this jaw dropping film to life. Broken up into "Chapters" for different stages, before, during, and after the invasion.... I don't think you'll find a more intense, more "condensed" history of the invasion, the bullshit, the feelings behind it at the time.... than this. If you want to know what it was probably like, I doubt you'll get much closer than this without actually being there.
Be forewarned. This film is not for the weak at heart, weak in spirit, or weak in the stomach. There are lots of clips and sentiment of Marines, well, being Marines. "We're going to go there, and kill everything." Because, not to put too fine a point on it, that's what Marines do. There's no attempt to rationalize this, which is pretty much how it should be. "We go where they tell us, and do what they tell us, and then we go home." There's also a rather large helping of uncensored wartime gore. Unpleasant, but necessary to drive the entire package home, especially in concert with his narration (presumably from his book which references several times.)
The frank-ness of his filming, commentary, and delivery is much appreciated. To me, at least, it never had that "reality TV" feel to it which I picked up with Restrepo and Armadillo.
And big kudos to the audio production folks. I actually jumped a few times when those combat scenes kicked in from near silence. Their ability to pull such convincing and deafening sound out of what was probably impossible source material is not to be ignored. Yes, the video is grainy and rather low quality, but that's the source you're looking at. Think state-of-the-art 2002 handheld video, probably 8mm or maybe early DV tape and that's what you've got.
I also don't know how old Mr. Scotti is, but the choice of soundtrack music (sounded like a lot of early 90's stuff) would put him about my age, which also hit home.
Going to have to go 8.5/10. A good solid piece of true reality-tv-free documentary film making. Find a way to watch this one, but be prepared. (Edit: Yeah I changed the rating. Realized I gave Restrepo an 8 and had to one-up it with this one!)
Severe Clear [Blu-ray]
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DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Sirk Productions, LLC.
Original Release Date:
- Factory sealed DVD
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
War Is War.,
This review is from: Severe Clear (Amazon Video)
All I can say is "Semper Fi" to everyone who served. No matter what war or Operation you've participated in all the emotions and feelings are the same. War is War. Killing sucks but burying a comrade sucks more. This documentary was like my own autobiography . I wish we had the technology to do this when I served. This is how it is and this is what it feels like. You cant really get all the emotions and feelings on film, but if you've been in combat and you watch this....youll be feeling everything and then some, so keep your meds close. This film is not for everyone but its the real deal .Probably a 100 times worst. Thanks to all of you who put this thing together. OUTSTANDING job .
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Film makes war Severe Clear,
This review is from: Severe Clear [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In my opinion this film should be viewed by all who have never been to war - especially the politicians who place our men and women in the armed services in harm's way. Whatever the motivation may be for getting our soldiers involved in any war, the impact it has on them is not fully comprehended by those who have not been there. Captain Mike Scotti has provided a realistic picture of the horrors of war and its aftereffect on those who have been there and returned alive and broken. I would also recommend reading his book, The Blue Cascade, which details his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both the book and the movie brought tears to my eyes, as I remembered the little boy Mike was, when I taught him in fourth grade many years ago. Pat Gatti
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This really is a modern day "Full Metal Jacket" come to life!,
This review is from: Severe Clear (Amazon Video)
Severe Clear brilliantly uses footage from various marines' handycams while stationed in Kuwait and Iraq. Before viewing, I expected another war documentary that would spend its time preaching politics or bore me with redundancy. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by these personal stories of marines and how I felt like I was in the middle of the action with them - feeling their longing for home, their pain, and even moments of unexpected humor. Severe Clear has a well paced, gripping narrative, that makes this documentary play like a great feature film.
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Summary: You want a no-bullshit, pulls-no-punches live-as-live-gets documentary on the initial push into Iraq in 2003? Then look no further than Severe Clear.