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Combat films

From: "Thomas.Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 11:18:59 -0500
Subject: Combat films

SPR the best combat film? It wasn't bad. It had some really good points.
first 10-20 minutes were... amazing. Horrifying. I think maybe close to
actual horrors of being there. And he did justice to the realities of
conflict by having the US guys gun down surrendering Germans and loot
dead (no shot at our US friends, just the Tuffley-esque comment about no
wearing a white hat). Some of the vehicles were real, and the faked ones
were reasonably well done (not quite the familiar panzer Chaffee we've
in so many other period flicks or M3 "German version" halftrack). The
characters were mostly interesting, even if the mission was a bit
bird-brained (ended up wasting a bunch of lives to save one... not what
consider wise policy). HOWEVER, they gave in to some cliches. The sniper
shooting the other through his optics.... I've seen this in N bad movies
before. And for some reason, in the climactic battle scene, despite the
director having some nice touches (the use of the 20mm AA gun), yet
German veterans were treated as idiots. They suddenly forgot how to use
cover during an assault (must have finally recalled their "Imperial"
stormtrooper schooling). The last attack was like in so many movies -
opponents were cheapened in order to make it a shooting gallery. So the
movie, which I liked a lot and found hard to watch (the beginning was
real), gets an 8.5 from me. 

Now, most films don't rate even close to that good. A couple of other
"combat" films were Cross of Iron (you want to see close combat? watch
scenes where Russians are overrunning German positions) and Stalingrad
(foreign film) gets an honourable mention for its room to room fighting
the depiction of German morale (I've talked with a family friend who was
survivor - 3 men out of his Battalion survived as far as he knew). All's
Quiet on the Western Front might also get some sort of nomination.

There have been a number of horrendous films (for various reasons - the
tactics employed, the vehicles badly done up, etc) such as the Dirty
(and the sequel especially) and possibly the worst rendition of a
situation I've ever seen, Battle of the Bulge. In most cases, these
were not even a serious attempt at historical accuracy (either in terms
personalities, tactics, or equipment). They were "fluff". And some of
were almost painfully funny, while not trying to be.


For Sci-Fi "combat" films/segments, I think Aliens was pretty good
the Laser Disk version with the Sentry guns and some other scenes was
better) though the sergeant who collected the ammo should have been
and the Marines' tactics weren't bright (though that was the point). The
combat scenes from the future in T1 and T2 were pretty good. Not too
other good sci-fi combat segments I can think of (not counting some
out of B5). Many bad ones (Moon 44 leaps to mind, as does pretty much
Imperial Stormtrooper appearance). 

Thomas Barclay
Software UberMensch
xwave solutions
(613) 831-2018 x 3008

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