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WW2 - World War II
#51
This thread seems as good a place as any to mark the centenary of the Great War-concluding Armistice:



A happy Veterans Day greeting to all US armed forces veterans, and a solemn Remembrance Day greeting to service members, veterans, and their families in the Commonwealth of Nations. Blush
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#52
Willems gets it:

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#53
(11-30-2018, 04:29 PM)Gaith Wrote: Willems gets it:


Thought of you and this thread when I watched that video.

Who's putting the chronological list together?
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#54
^ You mean "Film World War"? I've been working on it... slooowwwly... finally got my old man to sit down to record a full pass of my 17-page script right before the fall semester began, and while I spend significant chunks of time neglecting my studies in various frivolous ways, I don't like to fan edit while classes are in session; it just seems de trop. (I did, however, do some work over Thanksgiving break.) Hoping to make some serious headway over the winter holidays... we'll see...
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#55
The Brylcreem Boys (1998)

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Little-known fact (at least in the US): the Republic of Ireland was officially neutral throughout WW2 - indeed, they were the only Western Democracy to officially express condolences for the Third Reich's passing of a certain head of state in '45. Also little-known: 1998's The Brylcreem Boys, which I had to procure on eBay in the form of a crappy fullscreen dvd with a glitchy sound transfer, as it has yet to find a home on the digital market.

Anyhow, there may be a great movie to be made about "The Emergency," as the Irish call it, but this isn't that. (It is, however, another WW2 flop for Billy "Rocketeer" Campbell.) Also, it was filmed on the British Isle of Man, not Ireland. The plot concerns (sort of) a Canadian and a German POW pilot vying for the affection of a fetching red-headed (obviously) local lass. More interesting are the interactions between the British and German camps, separated by a small fence and a big gap in senses of humor. The whole thing is pretty clunky, but I guess I'm just a WW2 movie sucker, because I didn't hate it.

Grade: C, because hey, it's the best movie about Ireland's WW2 "Emergency" I've ever seen. (And because I want my wee collage project to capture a positively dizzying variety of flicks about the time, which severely limits my options at times.)
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#56
(01-20-2018, 03:57 PM)Gaith Wrote: SS-GB (2017)

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Just read for the first time about this five-hour BBC miniseries from last Feb/March: an alternate history murder mystery in Nazi-occupied 1941 Britain, from a '78 novel of the same name and 007 house scripters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. One of the leads from And Then There Were None co-stars.

Finally saw this! It's available for streaming on the STARZ network. It's... okay. The lead actor, Sam Riley, seems to be worn by his black trenchcoat and fedora rather than the other way around, his character's romance with a foxy New York Times reporter doesn't convince, the pace is pretty slow, and the last episode sets up a second season that probably won't get made. The show seems to have come under criticism in Britain for its mumbled dialogue, and I indeed watched most scenes with the subtitles on just to be safe, as there were enough barely-audible words here and there to justify the distraction. Production-wise, the show looks good when it wants to, though much of it plays out in dark, empty streets and rooms.

The best part of the show is how the British Resistance plays into a power struggle between the German Army and SS when it comes to a certain prisoner. Ultimately, however, the season is built around a murder mystery that's only mildly interesting, and in retrospect it would have been more fun to have focused on the Resistance the whole time, instead of peeking at it from the margins. WWII enthusiasts won't waste their time with this, necessarily, but everyone else should at the very least go for Amazon's The Man in the High Castle first.

Grade: B-
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#57
The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
The movie title and the opening red font of the credits over snowy Alpine footage (the film is actually set in rural England) seem designed to make you think "Oh goody, this is going to be like 'Where Eagles Dare'!". It doesn't have quite the same level of thrilling action but the character studies are a little deeper. On the surface this a WW2 film but its perhaps closer to the Heist-Movie sub-genre. Planning the caper, assembling the team, training and the execution and aftermath of the plan. The only difference is that instead of some ex-cons trying to steal diamonds, it's German paratroopers trying to steal Winston Churchill. The script is very careful to show us that our heroes are the "good Germans", courageous, moral, brave and all despising the SS and the Nazi command. The theme of honest soldiers having contempt for the top brass is reflected in the allied opposition, who are led by a vain and incompetent US Colonel.

Just about every celebrated character actor of the 70s is here and there is barely a part that isn't played by somebody you'd recognise. Michael Caine is great in the lead and a twinkle-eyed Donald Sutherland is fun but it's Robert Duvall as the grave and noble old Colonel planning the heist that take the prize. I watched the European theatrical cut but apparently there is also an extended cut with another quarter-hour more character stuff. I'll have to check that out next time.

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#58
At my old man's insistence, I once tried to read Catch-22, and covered five or six pages before concluding that it was utterly and entirely unbearable. But I do love Kyle Chandler, so... might have to give this a look.

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#59
Ill Met by Moonlight (1957)
The final film from 'The Archers' Production Company is a dramatisation of the daring abduction of a German General in April 1944 by SOE agents and the Greek Resistance on the island of Crete. I thought the story took a while to really get going but once they have captured the General, the long trek across the mountains to freedom, evading patrols at every turn got really tense. Mikis Theodorakis composes a distinctive dramatic score using Greek folk-music instruments. The two opposing characters, captor and captive (played by Dirk Bogarde and Marius Goring respectively) have an enjoyable gentlemanly respect for each other.

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#60
The Man in the High Castle, Season 3 (2018)

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(S1 thoughts here, S2 thoughts here)

Well, this bundle was definitely a step down in intensity...


After a second season devoted to a last-ditch effort to stop a renewed world war, culminating in a visit to Berlin and the deposition of Hitler's first successor, S3 revolved around a plot that was wildly implausible for sheer logistical reasons even if the portal had functioned exactly as the Nazis had hoped. Maybe showing a full-on Second American Revolution would have been way too expensive, but I thought it a bit of a letdown to get back to the relative mundanity of S1.

That said, as slow as the pace is once more, and as inconsequential as Childan and several other characters may seem, the acting is great all around, and I do remain intrigued in seeing where everyone's journey takes them, so I'll be back for S4. I'm just not sorry it'll be the last.
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