10 items from 2014
Review by Sam Moffitt
With Memorial Day, Fourth of July and most importantly, another June 6th, (the 70th anniversary of the landing in Normandy called Operation Overlord but always referred to as D-Day) approaching, I thought it appropriate to shine a light on one of the greatest war movies ever made, if not the greatest, which details the invasion of Europe, step by step; Darryl F Zanuck’s super production The Longest Day.
Firstly I have to say, as I’ve said before, I am against war, being a practicing Nicheren Buddhist , a member of the Soka Gakkai International, I do not believe war is necessary. But even before taking up the practice of Buddhism I have questioned every war the United States has become involved in since Vietnam. Yet I also served four years in the Us Navy, in peacetime, true, but I did serve my time and was honorably discharged. »
- Movie Geeks
William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries Band of Brothers, has died. He was 90. His son, William Guarnere Jr., confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night. "He had a good, long life," his son said. The HBO miniseries, based on a book by Stephen Ambrose, followed the members of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from training in Georgia in 1942 through some of the war's »
- Associated Press
Review Robert Keeling 3 Mar 2014 - 06:58
Rob's daily Band Of Brothers look-back comes to one of the series' most powerful and striking episodes...
Read the previous part in this series, here.
The events depicted in this episode take place during the bloody Battle of the Bulge, a last-ditch German offensive in the Ardennes forest which caught Allied forces by surprise and proved to be the deadliest battle of the war for the United States Army. For me, this is one of the most powerful and striking episodes of the entire series. In Bastogne, we find Easy Company facing some truly terrible conditions and struggling against the odds to hold their position. At the outset, the real Easy veterans remind us that they were lacking in equipment and ammo, couldn’t get resupplied and the German forces had them zeroed in
Upon entering Bastogne, Easy Company had no winter clothes, next to no food, »
Review Robert Keeling 28 Feb 2014 - 06:15
Read the previous part in this series, here.
Crossroads is another episode with Dick Winters as the focal point and it starts off with the real men of Easy telling us just what a great leader and model soldier he was. They are all quick to point out that he was never shy about leading from the front and when he was Easy’s commander, he was always the first man into battle.
The episode itself plays out partly in flashback as Winters, now in effective Battalion command, sets about writing up his numerous reports on the recent events that have effected Easy. It’s clear throughout this episode that while Dick is proud and content to be a high ranking officer, he misses the camaraderie and closeness »
Feature Robert Keeling 24 Feb 2014 - 07:00
Over the next fortnight, we revisit each episode of HBO's superlative war drama, Band Of Brothers. Here's Rob's look at the series opener...
It’s been over twelve years since the ten-part miniseries Band Of Brothers first aired and it remains an incredibly visceral and evocative piece of war drama. Over the course of its ten episodes, the series allows us to become immersed in the difficult and often terrifying experiences the men of Easy Company faced during World War Two and brings into sharp focus the brutal and horrific reality of armed conflict.
The series traces its roots back to American historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s book of the same name. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers was an insightful piece of military history focusing on one specific cog in the wider military machine of World War Two. That crucial cog was Easy Company, »
George Clooney's epic about second world war art theft gets the true story of these art sleuths right, but needs to be liberated from too much material and a wayward plot
• George Clooney calls for Mona Lisa to be returned to Italy
Monuments Men (2014)
Director: George Clooney
Entertainment grade: C
History grade: B
The Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives programme was a group of men and women in the Allied armies who protected and preserved treasures during the second world war, and later found and returned art stolen by the Nazis.
It's March 1943. Belgian monks hide their altarpieces, a swastika flag flutters in front of the Eiffel Tower, and Adolf Hitler is pilfering art from all over Europe to build a collection for his planned Führermuseum. Meanwhile, in the Us, museum curator Frank Stokes (George Clooney) tries to persuade American commanders that European art is worth saving. "This is Da Vinci's Last Supper, »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
When my friend jokingly asked before our screening of The Monuments Men if this would be like an Ocean's Eleven part 4, she wasn't far off. Actor/director George Clooney assembles a cast of heavy-hitters for this World War II dramedy and only barely taps into their talent. I have a feeling the actors were having a better time chumming around together off the lot than we did watching the resulting movie.
Clooney's film is based on a group of men past conscription age -- art historians, architects and art directors -- who volunteer to go to Europe to save important works of Western art from Nazi capture or destruction. The characters all have names, but with the lack of any real character introduction or development, good luck remembering them. I could only keep the people straight by recognizing the actors involved.
- Elizabeth Stoddard
Directed by George Clooney
USA and Germany, 2014
The high-school history teachers of the world, or at least of the United States, can breathe easy, because they’ll have a new movie to add to their collections soon enough. Right before exam week, they can pop in The Monuments Men, a dull and flat period piece that takes a genuinely interesting nugget of a premise based on a true story and sands it down to a nub, removing all trace of personality within. Because the film’s co-writer and director, George Clooney, has assembled an all-star lineup with which to surround himself, The Monuments Men is not an entirely wasted affair, but it is absolutely a disappointing one.
- Josh Spiegel
World War II was the single most brutal and destructive conflict in human history. It not only changed the map of the world and led to an era of mutual hostility, but it also was the battleground for some of the most horrifying and cruel battles of all time. Whether the European, Asian or Mediterranean theater, millions were killed in operations and defenses which, whilst proving either tactically superior or inferior, were costly in terms of humans lives.
Some battles were worse than others, however, and have remained in the memories of those involved (and who survived) for years since. They have also, more often than not, proved to be crucial in determining the outcome of the conflict. They also demonstrated how little remorse or care was shown to both soldiers and civilians.
This list will try to show how brutal »
- Sam Orchard
Bernard Glasser, who financed the Three Stooges’ film “Gold Raiders” before teaming with Edward Bernds on low-budget films such as “Day of the Triffids” and “The Return of the Fly,” died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 89.
Born in Chicago, Glasser started out as a substitute teacher at Beverly Hills High, then started working as a production assistant. In 1950, he bought an old studio and turned it into rental lot Keywest Studio, where producers such as Roger Corman filmed movies such as “The Fast and the Furious.”
Glasser and Bernds then teamed on a series of movies for Robert L. Lippert’s Regal Films such as “Space Master X-7″ and “Return of the Fly,” starring Vincent Price. After parting with Regal, he went on to produce “Battle of the Bulge,” “Crack in the World,” “The Thin Red Line,” “Bikini Paradise” and 1963 cult sci-fi pic “The Day of the Triffids.” He »
- Variety Staff
10 items from 2014
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