Saturday, March 12, 2011

War Films......

I am a Reenactor... and have been for over 20 years, as such you would think that I would have a collection of war films that I re- watch over and over... and I do, but what is surprising is how many of those film’s I do not like. Many films do have a scene or two that I enjoy re watching but those scenes seldom save the film in its whole.

“Saving Private Ryan” for instance, I do like the Omaha Beach scene at the beginning of the film, but don’t much care for the rest. “Band of Brothers”, the HBO mini serries that birthed a million Airborne reenactors has a scene or two I like... but as a whole ... not on my Favorites list.

Then there are the Civil War films like “Glory” and “Gettysburg”... Now I worked on both these films... They drive me nuts!! Don’t even get me started on “Gods and Generals”. I think the only real Civil War films that I have actually enjoyed have been some independent films that have steered well clear of the fake beard brigade and Fat Reenactors ( Note....I am a Fat reenactor and as a reenactor co-ordinator for England's National Armory, I didn't even allow myself in the film).

I am a fan of the Colonial period... but the films made like “Revolution” and “Patriot” make me want to restore British rule to this land. I do not like “Last of the Mohicans”, I love Daniel Day Lewis’s performance ( and his rifle... I would kill for) but the movie just makes me ill. The only “Colonial” combat scene I really enjoy is the 7 years war battles from “Barry Lyndon”.

As for Vietnam films... there are scenes I can watch from most, I have certainly watched them enough ( beggars can't be choosers) but there is only one that I would recommend or admitt to as being on “my list” and that is “Hamburger Hill”.

I do not know why I am so damn picky, I do consider some to be on my like list, “Paths of Glory”, “La 317eme section”, “Battleground” and “Downfall” to name a few, but not as many as one would think. Some “Pulp WWII” and Adventure films, like “Where Eagles Dare”, “The four Feathers” and “The Eagle has landed” do make it into my DVD player before some of the more... so called... popular films.

Maybe its that films that claim to be “Based on actual events” then proceed to weave some bizarre farcical tale drive me to distraction. History is dramatic... just the way it unfolds... it doesn't need a Love interest or a contrived over the top action scene to make it watchable, and films that change the personalities of those they portray to appease our concepts of what a hero is make me want to sniff glue.

I know “ F**k You Kendall”... I’ll take that, this is just my opinion and you are allowed your own. I just find it weird, I’ll buy these films, watch some scenes then turn them off, you would think for a guy with a basement full of uniforms and a office full of books I would be less picky about my films... but I am

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is often more difficult to enjoy something when you know a lot about the subject material, due to the bizarre Hollywood notion that actual events as they occured (or as they were written when adapting a book) just aren't interesting enough, so twists and flourishes need to be added. When you know the source material these stand out painfully, more so than someone who isn't as versed in the actuality. The idea that history is better served with contrived love interests, or that a novel needs to include different material or attitudes, is maddening to me. I mean, if you didn't want to tell THAT story, why did you decide to pretend to tell that story at all?

On a side note, I hope you saw the all-new "Battle of Los Angeles" on SyFy this weekend. You talk about a real-life war epic! Well, that isn't it. But it had Nia Peeples in it. She used a katana to defeat the highly advanced alien invasion.