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Full Fathom Five (1990)
This is the worst Navy movie I've ever seen. I'm a Navy veteran, and although many Navy movies are inaccurate as far as terminology, ship/weapon capabilities, procedures, crew behavior, etc., I cut them some slack because Hollywood knows that most people are not familiar with these things. And, since the story is fictional anyway, dramatic license takes precedence over accuracy. Fine, I can live with that.
What I can't live with is this abortion of a movie. Dramatic license can't even make excuses for this haphazard production. It had a weak plot, the acting was horrible, and the action barely qualified as lame. The fight scenes (choreographed so badly that you can actually see the actors pulling their hits and aiming wide), the explosions and damage to the sub (yeah, OK, not going there), and all the neat stuff catching fire and falling out of place (mostly air or oxygen tanks), were all so horribly carried out that they simply weren't believable. And of course, the bad guys had to do something totally senseless like count down to their moment of glory, making sure that the good guys had lots of time to annihilate them.
Aside from that, the terminology, the equipment, and uniforms, most notably the rank insignia, bore no resemblance to anything I ever saw in my tour. What was the CO's rank, anyway, Super-Lieutenant? For the year of this movie's production, 1990, there is no excuse for this kind of inaccuracy, not even budget. (How much would it cost to use the correct rank insignia?) Ordinarily, military technical advisors are high ranking officers, but any deck seaman from USS Neversail could have provided better technical guidance than was given in this movie. Weapons consoles could have been something better than Zenith Z-248 computers with EGA monitors using corny graphics for about the same amount of money.
It's a wonder that cable channels are even willing to waste the air time necessary to broadcast this... thing. I encourage anyone who sees it to watch it as long as you can take it, just for an educational experience on how to not make movies.
An excellent speculative drama backed up with actual WWII footage to add realism. I believe that if history had turned out differently, it may very well have happened just as this movie portrayed it. The premise of the Normandy invasion being repelled causing America to pull out of Europe and revert to isolationism, as well as America turning its wrath to and defeating Japan to avenge Pearl Harbor are completely believable and not the least bit hokey. It has an interesting and engaging murder plot, as well as a good amount of suspense as the various players try to reveal the truth about Nazi war crimes and evade capture by the Gestapo. Nazi callousness, like March's colleague about the "pure-blooded Aryan and a Pollock caught in the act", the Gestapo chief's nonchalance toward the need of evidence, and the retired actress' anti-Semitic take on America's "Jewish Problem", are well played out without overused, propaganda-style vitriol. Hauer's performance as March is impeccable. Miranda Richardson is very good as well. Actually, good performances were rendered by all cast members. This movie is very entertaining and sparks the imagination with one of the ultimate "what ifs?". I highly recommend it.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Pretty good movie
It's a bit drawn out in parts but you should think about going' and renting the DVD, take it back to the house, maybe get some chips and pop from the Giant Iggle, or maybe even get some Arn City Beer from the State Store. Afterwards, take in a Stiller game, an' that.
It's good for a couple of things: one, it's good essay on what Vietnam soldiers had to deal with, especially for being so soon after the war. (Only 3 years after Saigon). It does a very good job of demonstrating the effects of post-traumatic stress, and the different ways that different people cope with it (or don't cope with it). After watching it, I hope you have a renewed appreciation for what our soldiers went through over there. Whether or not you agree with the purpose of the Vietnam war, our boys deserve our respect and admiration for their sacrifices.
Another thing that it's good for is seeing the legendary Pittsburgh steel industry shortly before it collapsed in 1979. There are still a few mills running near Pittsburgh, but nothing like in the past (keeping in mind that Pittsburgh, which is not a large city, produced more steel than Germany and Japan combined during WWII, and the "Smokey City" was often dark at 3:00 in the afternoon). Pittsburgh natives will find a bit of nostalgia in this movie, at least, those who are old enough to remember the steel era. There is also a fairly good look inside the Polish culture that is very much alive in Pittsburgh. Polka music is common at large events, like air shows.
All in all, a very good movie that provides good insight on several different aspects of life: trauma, culture, love, and loss.
2001: A Space Travesty (2000)
I enjoyed the Naked Gun series (in fact, I'm watching the first one as I type this), but this movie was so unfunny it was tedious to watch. I forced myself to watch the entire movie hoping to reach some point in the movie that would become entertaining. Frankly, the only reason to watch it is for Ophelie Winter's phantabulous physique. Aside from that, don't waste your time.
Naked Gun was funny because the antics were so absurd, even stupid, but they were still funny. 2001 Space Travesty's comedy lived up to the movie's name in full form. Somehow I can't put words to why the slapstick antics in Naked Gun didn't work in this movie, but take my word for it, they didn't.