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WAR MOVIE MIX

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  • “Aim small, miss small.” — Capt. Benjamin Martin, “The Patriot” (2000)

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    • FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION - Enemy at the Gates

      Okay, let’s get this over with right now. For you haters out there, I like this movie. I can hear all the groans and I don’t care. And it’s not one of those unexplainable WTFs that you get when you read some critic inexplicably give a positive review to a terrible movie.

      “Enemy at the Gates” grew from the tiny seed of a few pages in the eponymously entitled non-fiction book by William Craig about the Battle of Stalingrad. (A book I read in high school.) Director Jean-Jacques Annaud took that seed involving a sniper’s duel in the rubble of the City of Stalin and grew a movie out of it. The movie was to be Europe’s answer to “Saving Private Ryan”. It was, at the time, the most expensive non-American movie ever made.

      My loyal followers know that I put a high premium on historical accuracy, especially when the inaccuracies make a mockery of history (as in “Braveheart”, for example). “Enemy at the Gates” does little harm to history (other than the laughable poster line “A single bullet can change history”). Craig might have been suckered, but the movie is obviously not a propaganda piece. The Zaitsev seed may have been fertilized with a ton of Soviet manure, but it makes for good entertainment for war movie lovers and more importantly for civilians (especially women).

      “Enemy at the Gates” is a fine example of a modern war movie. It does retain some of the elements and cliches of old school movies, but adds modern pizzazz and technology. The movie is surprisingly unpredictable to go along with its predictability. The action scenes are kinetic and the suspense is palpable. The acting is good, especially Hoskins (he chews the scenery – just like Khrushchev did) and Harris.

      The cinematography is excellent as are the sets. A lot of money went into rubble. The musical score is memorable and repeats a strong motif for impending suspense. The sound effects are also top notch. The theme of a manufactured hero is reminiscent of “Flags of Our Fathers”.

      Is it “Saving Private Ryan”? Definitely not. It’s a game try and you can’t seriously expect Europeans to duplicate an American epic. (Sorry, I didn’t mean that.)

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      • ON SET - What movie?

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          • BACK-STORY - Platoon

            “Platoon” is the semi-autobiographical account of Oliver Stone’s experiences in Vietnam. It came out seven years after “Apocalypse Now” and was followed soon after by “Full Metal Jacket” and “Hamburger Hill”. More than those other films, it impacted the movie-going public and Vietnam War veterans. It was cathartic. It became the definitive Vietnam War movie. The film was a big hit with audiences and most critics. Produced for only $6 million, it made $138 million. It was awarded the Best Picture Oscar and also won for Director, Sound Mixing, and Editing. It was nominated for Original Score and Cinematography. Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger got Supporting Actor nods. The movie is ranked #86 on AFI’s Top 100 list. The shooting was done in the Philippines and took only 54 days. The film was shot in sequence and this began immediately after the boot camp for the actors. Stone meant the film to be a counter to John Wayne’s “Green Berets”.

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            • TRIVIA - The Sands of Iwo Jima

              1. Kirk Douglas was going to get the Stryker role until Wayne made a big push and when the studio heard he was interested they jumped at him.Wayne originally did not want the role because he thought he was too old at 42 and he felt the public was tired of WWII movies.

              2. When Stryker instructs Pvt. Choynski (Hal Baylor), you are watching a man who got out of serving, instructing a Marine veteran of Saipan and Tinian.

              3. When Wayne was immortalized at Graumann’s Chinese Theater, sand from Iwo Jima was mixed with the cement.

              4. The dialogue included the first use of the phrase “lock and load” in a movie.

              5. The movie used actual footage from Tarawa and Iwo Jima.

              6. The $1.4 million budget was the largest ever for a Republic Pictures film.

              7. The movie was required viewing for Marine recruits into the 1980s.

              8. Several real heroes appeared in the movie including the three surviving flag-raisers – Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and John Bradley.Note:Recently it was proven that Bradley was not in the famous picture.One wonders what he felt as he reenacted the raising for the movie.If his original credit was a misunderstanding, surely he knew during the production that he had not participated in the photo.

              9. The movie was nominated for Best Actor (Wayne, although he felt he was better in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”), Editing, Sound Recording, and Writing.

              10. The cast was put through such strenuous training that they were left exhausted, then physically fit.They stopped carousing with Wayne at night.

              11. The movie created the image of Wayne as the iconic American soldier.

              12. The movie is the prime example of how the Marines made use of Hollywood for recruiting more than any of the other branches.The Corps was the easiest to get cooperation from and was the least hands-on when it came to the scripts.It provided a technical adviser and he jumped out of his seat on set when Stryker butt-strokes a private.He insisted the scene be changed, but the higher ups decided not to insist on it.

              13. The movie actually covers Tarawa more and better than Iwo Jima.

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              • MOVIE QUIZ - What movie?

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                • The White Feather?

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                  • Edge-Of-Tomorrow-Featured-Image.jpg
                    Attached Files
                    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                    Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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