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Month in Review: November 2010

by on 2010/11/30

November 11th has many names for many nations. Whether it’s an Armistice, Remembrance, or a Veterans’ Day for you, we look back over a month of war on-screen.

Grushenka trawls the full sweep of histories real and half-imagined, while I charge the highest hill I can find: a sampling of my World War II videos.

Take point and scout the area . . . Hacker Renders’ list of war films for November 2010, a list of five: favourites, surprises, disappointments, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d most like to see, reviewed by my founding ally.


Favourite Film:
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

“Despite its sober depiction of freedom’s oft-forgotten costs, Saving Private Ryan leaves me feeling oddly uplifted. As grim as it gets, it’s not without moments of hope. As long as it runs, it’s never less than interesting. Truth and fiction, art and craft, agony and inspiration . . . to this day the movie remains a success for blending them all so well. Every viewing of it leaves me moved to live an appreciative life.”

Honourable Mentions:
Flags Of Our Fathers (2006)
The Great Escape (1963)


Greatest Surprise:
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

“I might as well have been watching The Bridge on the River Kwai for the first time, given what little I remembered from seeing it years — and more likely decades — ago . . . It had left me so unimpressed that, while I’d review it out of duty, I left it climactically late in dread of the task.

“And now, having paid it due diligence, I can honestly say, I haven’t felt quite as misguided since Yojimbo.”


Most Disappointing:
They Were Expendable (1945)

“They Were Expendable was no victory for me. While I learned a bit, I didn’t enjoy it. Often described as “elegiac”, I shouldn’t have been surprised. It squeaks by on education, despite being drier as fiction than any documentary I can recall. Consider mine a qualified recommendation. It’s more “important” than “entertaining”. I really want to like it, but I don’t.”



Least-Liked:
Stalag 17 (1953)

“I wanted to enjoy this movie as well, but came away feeling gypped. As much as it appealed to me — not only as a war story, but one set at Christmas time — it left me disappointed. I found its humour uneasy and, worst of all, unfunny. To sum it all up with a holiday metaphor: Stalag 17 wasn’t a bad gift per se, but it wasn’t well wrapped, and it wasn’t for me.”



Show Me:
Mongol (2007)

“The first in a trilogy about the life of Genghis Khan, Mongol is an insanely compelling movie about the infamous leader – from his boyhood to the early days as Khan of a unified Mongol nation. Yes, Genghis Khan’s life was nasty and brutish (if not short) but I have to admit I’m dying to see more.”

Honourable Mention:
300 (2007)


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From → Hacker Renders, list, War

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  1. Month in Review: November 2011 « Geek vs Goth

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