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Oh! What a Lovely War

Look at war's tragedy and futility
I haven't seen this movie for quite sometime, but I remember this movie well.

The message of this movie is the futility of war, yet it misses the mark. War is not always futile if it has a purpose. World War I was a war that had no purpose equal to the losses suffered by the soldiers. The real tragedy of this war was that horrible as it was, the world did not learn its lesson and paled in

comparison to what would happen to the world in World War II.

World War I was the bloodiest most futile war up to that time and this film, as does All Quiet On The Western Front, examines the rah-rah attitude at the

beginning of war and then tears down the myth of glorious battle by showing the massive tragic loss. For those who are anti-all war, this is a great film that speaks to their point of view. To those who dislike war but see that sometimes the use of military power is inevitable in confronting evil, this movie is tripe.

World War II is still the most terrible event in human history, but the war was not futile for the allies who confronted fascism and cruel imperialism around the globe. Evil dictators still exist and must be confronted. Economic sanctions only go so far to prevent the filling of mass graves where instead of a field of crosses, you have a small plot of land filled with the mass murder victims of evil dictators. The loss of a soldier's life is always tragic. Ask the families who have lost a loved one or a friend in battle and they will tell you that nothing can fill the void left by the fallen.

In the same breath, ask the families of those who were murdered by evil

regimes or by terrorist acts, and those are equally or more tragic as they were usually unarmed defenseless civilians who were supposed to be protected by

their governments, not murdered by their governments.

Oh What A Lovely war may capture the futility and tragedy of war that was

World War I, but it is not applicable to fighting to bring or defend freedom.

Busy Bodies

OSHA was invented because of this two-reeler
Have you ever wondered why the government formed OSHA to help promote and protect worker safety on the job? This short demonstrates why OSHA was needed. No. It had nothing to do with unions or workers organizing. It all had to do with Busy Bodies as Laurel and Hardy turn the carpentry shop upside down, backwards and inside out.

Safety violation 1. No smoking in the work place.

Safety violation 2. Improper use of glue and adhesives.

Safety violation 3. Tools used for purposes other than what they were made for.

Safety Violation 4. Opening and closing windows improperly.

Safety violation 5. Just being Laurel and Hardy.

Did I mention that Laurel and Hardy were innovative and on the cutting edge of technology. They were the first to put a disc player in their car. The only problem is: Where's the motor? Their on board phonograph is durable though.

Busy Bodies is a laugh fest and along with Help Mates and The Music Box is one of the best L&H shorts. For any L&H fan or for any fan of comedy, this is a must see.


The funniest line of all time.
This is classic Laurel and Hardy. The origin of Dumb and Dumber and an inspiration for generations of comedians and comedy writers, Laurel and Hardy were the masters of complicating easy tasks beyond the point of minor disaster. Often referred to as the fiddle and the bow, this comedy team started in the silent era with slapstick humor. Many of the comedies revolve around the destruction of cars, for which they found many ways to destroy. Upon the coming of the sound era, many silent stars lost work because of voice flaws (see Singin' In The Rain for a great example) or because they could only do visual slapstick comedy. Laurel and Hardy were able to transcend the silent era of slapstick and successfully incorporate witty dialogue in amongst their visual humor.

This two realer is classic as the Boys try and clean up after Ollie's wild party before his wife comes home. The ending of this short comedy has the funniest line of all time. As usual, Laurel and Hardy are their bumbling destructive selves, which of course leads to one laugh right on top of another. As Ollie says in the beginning while looking at himself in the mirror, "I have two words to describe you. Impossible."

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Timeless: As relevent today as when it was written.
I have read the books several times and remember their messages. Peter Jackson and his team have not lost those messages or what the peoples of Middle Earth represented in Tolkien's time.

In the first movie the messages where:

"Not how much time you have but what you do with the time that you have."

"Even the smallest person can make a difference."

And there is, of course, temptation and corruption. Sarumon fell to corruption. Borimir fell to temptation.

The Two Towers main message is about isolationism. Treebeard will not help. "It is not our problem. This is a war of men." Much like the times Tolkien lived through in World Wars I and II when the United Sates did not want to fight a European War. When the hand of evil can stretch across the globe it affects all the world and thus all the world must stand up against evil as the United States eventually did. Genghis Kahn. Napolean. Adolf Hitler. Mussolini. Stalin. Khadafi. Saddam Hussien. Osama Bin Laden. The times change. The names change. The evil remains the same.

Of course there is the burden people must bare throughout history. Frodo bares this burden by carrying the Ring of Power to see to its destruction.

There are many more messages in this film and in the books. I challenge all to find them.

The movie itself is breathtakingly filmed and very well acted. I would like to put in a word for best supporting actor for Andy Serkis as Gollum and the animation team. They would rightly deserve the honor.

This film will definitely take home an acadamy award for special affects for the Battle of Helm's Deep.

I cannot say more. No words can really describe the granduer of this movie. It is a must see and one of the best movies I have ever seen.


Bigfoot(1970): This was punishment
My dad had a pair of Cinemacanica 35mm projectors and he bought this film. If he paid more than a nickel for it he was over charged. Then again, this movie was so bad that he decreed that if my brothers or myself acted out of line, then the perpetrator would be sentenced to watch this film.

Needless to say I watched this film many times and my father wore out the print. Maybe he did get his money's worth out of it. Heck! I bet my dad would gladly have paid a thousand dollars for this as much as he made me watch it.

By the way, this movie caused terrible trauma for me. I've never been able to watch another movie with Christopher Mitchum. He has to be the worst actor of all time.

Saving Private Ryan

This is war as it is...
Being a World War II historian and after talking to many veterans of war myself and after having served in the Air force for four years, I can appreciate a film like Saving Private Ryan. This is war as it is. The bravery. The stupidity. The loss. Nobody ever wins at war, you just hope to survive and get back to your family. There's plenty of 'guts' in the movie and I'm glad hollywood finally has the guts to show this, and war as it is. I don't like the ultra-violent action films made now, but this violence has a purpose. What 150,000 Allied troops went through on June 6, 1944 cannot be experienced first hand, but this film comes close. Just think, Steven Spielberg gets us off of Omaha Beach in just twenty minutes. For those who actually participated, it took them from 06:45 hours until well after 12:00 hours. That's around 6 hours or more. Just think of what hell that was for those who landed on Omaha Beach that day which will be remembered as the LONGEST DAY. Spielberg couldn't have assaulted us with 6 hours of combat footage, so he did the next best thing: 'e got us off the beach on the quick.

The story itself is deep in history, not just of WWII when they mention the story of the Brothers Sullivan who died on the same ship in the Pacific, but also mentioning Mrs. Bixby's loss in the Civil War which is also a cornerstone of the plot. Think of the sacrifice real people make on the homefront when they send their loved ones off to war. This sacrifice cuts to the core of the story. Should we sacrifice all of one woman's off-spring for God and Country? No is the resounding answer. An answer that tells us that sometimes one common man is as important as the world entire.

Private Ryan lives a good life. That's what he must do. Many men lost their lives so he could have his. So who does Private Ryan represent? One man in the war machine. One man to whom the war machine sacrificed an arm. Private Ryan represents you and me. Many men sacrificed their lives for us. Many people sacrificed their loved ones for us. Now we must all be like Private Ryan. We must all lead a good life.

Saving Private Ryan reminds us of this sacrifice. That is why this movie is a must see. Ninety-percent of US have never been to war. Ninety-percent of US don't know what war is, really. Ninety-percent of US need this movie to have a taste of what war is. Ninety-percent of US need this movie so we may know the sacrifice made for our freedom. One hundred-percent of US need this movie so we appreciate our freedom.

Thank you Steven Spielberg.

Star Wars

A movie that changed film making...
There are some movies that are over rated. Star Wars is one of those movies. Yes, I like the movie. Yes, it is fun to watch. But the dialogue, the plot and even the characters are all fairly standard. So this begs the question: Why is this one of the all time great movies?

Simply put, this movie was a landmark film. Star Wars changed the way movies were made and viewed. And, oh yes. Star Wars brought back fun and adventure to the big screen. What this film did for movie-goers and hollywood film makers is the reason this movie is an all-time classic. Movies of the sixties were fancy free, yet to me, very dull. Movies of the seventies were poorly made and dreary. Star Wars brought many things back; the pagentry, the fun, the adventure, the spills, the thrills...etc.

This movie also took us to new worlds we had never been to before. This movie also showed us what imagination could do, and without drugs. Life was fun again after you saw this movie. No, the movie isn't great. The experience was great. Star Wars was a movie which the audience lived. We participated in this movie. Front row seat in an X-Wing fighter. There was nothing greater for a thirteen year-old kid like me back in 1977. That's what makes this movie great.

Oh, by the way. I still think The Empire Strikes Back is a better movie.

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