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Found 21 results

  1. "Das Boot" is perhaps the finest war film I have ever seen. It is certainly in my top three films about war. I recently watched the Director's Cut of this German film, released in 1997 (the original was first shown in German theaters in 1981 and then as a TV miniseries). "Das Boot" is an adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim's 1973 German novel of the same name, and it tells the fictional story of a German U-96 crew during World War II. The director's cut is 3 hours and 29 minutes long, combining action sequences from the 2.5 hour original theatrical release (which garnered six Academy Aw
  2. Can someone please explain this stat to me, and why it seems to be *THE* advanced metric of choice? How is dWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement) sewn into this? I have a feeling WAR grossly undervalues defense, and is extremely flawed, but until I see how it's derived, I can only speculate. dWAR seems very flawed to me, so if it's an ingredient in the WAR recipe, the dish is probably fundamentally wrong.
  3. If you're offended by any discussion about religion - even when it's being discussed as a tangential issue - then please click out of this post now because this may offend you, and that is not my intent. Minor **SPOILERS** will follow: --- Last week, I finished reading the biography of the amazing Louis Zamperini, "Unbroken," written by Laura Hillenbrand - one of the best and most thoroughly researched biographies I've ever read. No, it's not perfect, and if you click on the title, you'll see we have the beginnings of a meaningful discussion about the book. This thread, and this
  4. Apr 14, 2018 - "Trump Orders Strike on Syria in Response to Chamical Attack" by Luis Martinez, Elizabeth McLaughlin, and Tara Fowler on abcnews.go.com Does anyone know why Russia so vociferously supports Syria? I'm sure the answer is "strategic national interest," but what, exactly? I suppose a Russian could ask the same question about the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. --- Remember also this: Apr 7, 2017 - "US Launches Strike on Syria Air Base after Chemical Weapons Attack" by Luis Martinez, David Caplan, and Adam Kelsey on abcnews.go.com --- And I suspect many peop
  5. This probably isn't the best time to be watching "American Sniper," but I do get a childish pleasure out of Clint Eastwood films, and I make a mild effort to watch Best Picture Nominees, even though I realize that's hardly an arbiter of anything but notoriety. Still, it's 2:30 AM, I'm having a tremendous pain flare, and I guess I'm in a "misery loves company" mood, so ... Interestingly, my personal assistant attended Chris Kyle's funeral (long story, that one). I also feel that, since I'm never there, I learn something from war movies, although I realize I'm watching Hollywood, and n
  6. When I was in my mid-20s (maybe in the late 80s), "The Manchurian Candidate" made a revival on the big screen, and I saw it, and really enjoyed it while also thinking it was something almost campy. Now that I've seen it a second time, I realize that I was too uneducated to appreciate the film - this was an incredibly well-done movie, somehow able to take the absolutely unbelievable - bordering on the ridiculous - and make it seem positively realistic and possible. For me, The Manchurian Candidate is almost like a "Greatest Hits" album of actors, and I cannot imagine how Frank Sinatr
  7. It has been said that Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove is an anti-war film for those already convinced, and I suppose that's fair enough. But I've just watched it for about the 11th or 12th (or maybe 15th) time and I have to say that I think it's the greatest film ever made. It's visually ravishing, even though the process shots of the B-52 in flight are not as duplicative of reality as modern film graphics; they're still devastatingly beautiful. George C. Scott's performance is certainly his greatest in a long and wonderful career, and ditto Sterling Hayden. Peter Sellers's three performance
  8. I'm sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, but people may had noticed that our flags were at half-staff. President Obama ordered this to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941 ("a day which will live in infamy") - the attack killed 2,403 Americans, and directly led to America entering World War II Within one hour of Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech on Dec 8, 1941, America issued a formal declaration of war against Japan (as I write this, today is the 75th anniversary of America's entry into World War II - something which was entirely justified, and h
  9. One hundred years ago World War I began. It lasted for over 4 years and resulted in approximately 37 million deaths and injuries, with about 15-16 million deaths and about 9 million of them being military personnel. It also involved approximately 70 million soldiers being called to serve; about 60 million in Europe. All of those are staggering numbers. Before World War II it was called the Great War. Devastation on a grand never before experienced scale. The Atlantic is running a review of photos from the war years. They are grim. This weeks pictures available on the web: The West
  10. I've never seen "All Quiet on the Western Front," and since I've also never seen the 1929 version of "Broadway Melody" (and don't know how to find it), this will be the oldest "talkie" I've ever seen to win the Best Picture Award. I'm also eager to see a movie about WWI, especially from a German perspective - could this be an early version of "Das Boot?" As I start this movie, I'm realizing it's pre-Hitler (sort of), and that alone gives me the creeps. I can tell from the first scene, in the classroom, that this is going to be a really good movie - in just two short years, they reall
  11. "Platoon" was the first film in a trilogy by Oliver Stone (a director whom I respect more than I like), the other two films being "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) and "Heaven & Earth" (1993). I saw it in the theater when it first came out, and I still remember Willem Dafoe's face when he realizes he's about to be betrayed - that was an extremely powerful moment, and he was really good in this movie. Pretty cheesy opening the movie with Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" - sure, it's a great piece, but if you're going to drop $6 million making a movie, let's have an original score,
  12. "Ashton Carter: U.S. to Begin 'Direct Action on the Ground' in Iraq, Syria" by Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube on nbcnews.com How do Russia and China sit back and do nothing while this terrorist group is destroying 2,000-year-old works of art, and assassinating civilians using barbaric methods? I'm no hawk and I'm certainly no expert, but this organization needs to be eliminated by any means necessary.
  13. Sometimes, you just gotta have cheap escapism. I'm watching an HD version of this film on Amazon, and the cinematography is fantastic. The movie starts off strong, then gets progressively more incredible (as in, "not credible"), but it's good, tawdry entertainment, as well as being an important part of American pop culture.
  14. For anyone interested in this subject, check out "The Men Who Brought the Dawn", currently airing on the Smithsonian Channel. It's a fascinating documentary told by the men who flew the missions. I loved hearing their perspective on it. I had no idea how much authority Col. Tibbets had in mission planning. [FWIW I'm starting this in the History forum rather than the TV forum because I hope to ignite a discussion about the atomic bombings rather than a discussion about the TV show.]
  15. Cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, who also runs the wonderful blog, Viet World Kitchen, revisits the Fall of Saigon 40 Years Later. Looks like she might be doing a series of blog posts about her family's flight from Vietnam during April 1975.
  16. Another in the continuing series of Wikipedia random article fun: The Pig War In 1859, an American farmer killed a Irishman's pig on San Juan Island creating a conflict between the US and the British Empire. I found this article to be interesting because of the confluence of George Pickett (of Pickett's Charge fame), Geoffrey Hornby (of Admiral of the Royal Navy fame), and Henry Martyn Robert (of Robert's Rules of Order fame). Also, I like the concept of a "bloodless war" and soldiers on opposite sides being friendly with each other.
  17. This is going to drive Rocks nuts: he has a compulsion to break threads apart so that a subject can be looked at in isolation, whereas I prefer to look at things in relation to other things. (Example: I started a thread about Indian restaurants that went defunct after he moved posts to individual restaurant threads.) But here goes... What are your favorite war films? Or anti-war films? A few months ago I saw Grave of the Fireflies for the first time, and it's been haunting me ever since. According to the Wikipedia article, the director has denied that it is an anti-war film, but it was
  18. Here's another curiosity I found in my Wikipedia "random article" habit: The War of Jenkins' Ear I have foggy memories of sitting in history class going over the various North American battles involving England, France, and/or Spain before the good old USA told King George to fuck off but I don't recall this war with the catchy name. It's interesting how a conflict in one part of the world can impact a seemingly irrelevant situation in another part of the world. I mean, have you ever heard about Georgia (England) and Florida (Spain) attacking each other because Prussia and France didn't li
  19. Four and a half months after the Union Major General George Meade's Army of the Potomac repelled the attacks of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln delivered this short, moving speech at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA. Though only about two minutes long, this remains one of the most stirring speeches in American history. You should always be able to remember when it was given by starting in 1776, and then adding "four score and seven years," which will add 87 years and take you into 1863, the he
  20. I just started watching this movie (I am literally not even finished with the opening credits). However, I just noticed something fascinating that I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed before, and I'll bet the answer is no. When the opening credits roll, there are slow-motion, "Apocalypse Now"-type scenes occurring in the background. Music begins playing, and right before the camera focuses on an Iraqi woman holding up a sign that says, "Thank you, U.S.A.," two chords play in thirds: C-minor (C, Eb, G), then D-major (D, F#, A), and the moment I heard them, I said to myself, 'those chords
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