Europa: The Last Battle (2017) review

So today is April 20th.  A day of infamy.  Where everyone is encouraged to roll a joint and smoke it; bake a batch of edibles and eat ’em.  It’s international pot day!  It’s a day to celebrate!

It’s also Hitler’s birthday.  The man who has been considered the most vile, racist, fascist, inhumane villain ever known to man (some would consider him worse than Stalin).  The man who founded the Nazis.  The man responsible for the Holocaust.  The man responsible for attempting to take over Europe.  The man responsible for making plans for Nazis to set up a base on the moon and eventually take over the world.  Well ok, that last bit might be a bit over the top.

Actually, there are those who say that virtually everything in the previous paragraph is over the top, minus the birthday.  That he wasn’t as villainous as many were and are taught.  That there wasn’t really a Holocaust.  That he wasn’t planning on taking over Europe, then the world, then the moon.  How much of that is true and how much of it isn’t?  Well, a documentary certainly aims to tell as much.

 

Rated: 4 / 5

Understand that any film we credit with changing the world is a distraction. Films don’t change the world. They react to changes in the world.

Sally Jane Black

I disagree with the above quote.  Because it’s been proven that propaganda can sway minds and thus influence a change in a community, in a nation, and in the world.  And they don’t necessarily react to changes either, they can cause these changes.  Many wouldn’t disagree that The Birth of a Nation (1915) made some changes in the United States, breathing new life into the Ku Klux Klan, which stuck around decades afterwards before dissipating again (except in the movies where they are bashed, which seems to happen roughly once a year).  But an even bigger reason to disagree with it is because those who have owned all the major film studios since that very era have pretty much all been Jews.  That in of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since we all like a good movie.  But we do certainly see their influence throughout history.  Same thing with documentaries like Blackfish which affected Seaworld.  Or Super Size Me, which impacted McDonalds.

For instance, the first major film to be released with actual audio (as in you hear what people say or sing) is The Jazz Singer (1927).  In the film, a man who has been rejected by his father because of what he sings, eventually decides to use his voice at a Jewish event to help lift his father’s spirits; so that his father doesn’t die from some bout of depression or something.

And…

Eh, I just don’t have the willpower to type up anything fancy, so I’ll just say what this documentary is.  It’s a long 10+ hour documentary divided into 10 parts (sort of).  It’s not professionally made.  It’a basically a glorified youtuber documentary.  Well that’s not entirely accurate considering YouTube won’t allow this documentary on their site.  But hey, there’s always BitChute (thank God for alternative platforms).  Mostly made by 1 guy by the looks of things.  But he certainly did pool his information from an assload of sources.  Various books, film, podcasts, documentaries, etc.  All of which are listed at the end of the last episode.  The episode lengths vary from 35 minutes to 2 hours (though only episodes 8 and 9 go that long).

And is the documentary overlong?  Kind of.  There are 2 episodes, maybe 3, that could’ve used some trimming.  Here’s basically what the documentary does that bugged me with some of these excessive sequences.  It talks about some event that caused a lot of pain and suffering to a lot of people, and then spends no less than 10 minutes (maybe even 30) showing interviews with these “survivors” who talk about the event(s) and cry about it.  Because this documentary really wants to hit you over the head with that sadness.  In all fairness, these are sad moments.  But they could’ve been condensed.  The point had already been made.  This doesn’t happen regularly, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t ruin the whole documentary.  But the second half of the first episode is basically like this, and it can be off-putting to some who would even dare try to watch this thing in the first place.  But stick with it.  You’ll want to at least make it through episode 8 to get the brunt of the impact of this documentary.

And what is this documentary?  Well, for the most part, it basically tells the story of World War II from a perspective you are guaranteed not to have been taught in any school or any university.  But it does more than that, it also covers the Bolshevik Revolution (and how that started and who started it), it covers World War I, it covers the Holocaust, and it then basically jumps ahead to some modern day messages about the current state of things (most of which is basically repetition to those who have been taking a good look at the state of the world through sources that aren’t considered mainstream).  But the main thing it does is state who was behind much of these catastrophic events and world wars.  The Jews, who wanted to establish the dreaded “New World Order,” along with an Ethnostate run by Jews and only occupied by Jews (Israel) to eventually, long term, control the world under a world Communist government.

Yeah, I know, I know, antisemitism, racism, fascism, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all before, and you’ve heard it all before.  But you likely haven’t heard much of what is in the documentary before.  And it’s worth watching for that alternative perspective.  Because this perspective fills in some gaps that I’ve wondered about ever since learning about these events in school.  Plus it provides a very compelling case that much of what we have been told has been a lie, and provides alternative (or additional) facts that are very much worth pondering.

It’s best if I break it down episode by episode.

“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.”

Episode 1: Primarily states that Jews were the ones that founded these major banks that have their tentacles in everything today, and have always been controlled by Jews.  Just to name one example: the Rothchilds.  The same organization stated to have created the Federal Reserve, which the U.S. has based its currency on ever since Woodrow Wilson allowed that to be in the 1910s.  In addition, it states that the people who organized, led, and funded the Bolshevik Revolution were Jews.  Because the Jews also founded Communism (and yes, Karl Marx was Jewish too).  Thus when Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks into taking over Russia, they turned Russia from Christian to Communist.

Episode 2: Basically talks about how it was those elitist Jews that started World War I in order to get a further grip on Europe (particularly Germany), and spread Communism.  And how the Treaty of Versailles made Germany lose parts of its country, and pay an insane amount of financial reparations for the war.  During post WWI, Germany was in dire straight, where everyone was in poverty and suffered, and how their society became corrupted with, well, similar stuff that many say is corrupting the U.S. today.  Either way you look at it, the Germans were suffering.

Episode 3: Hitler’s rise to power, how he eventually managed to overthrow the current rulers of Germany, kick out the elitist Jews that were running the financial system (basically the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve), and establish a Nationalist-Socialist form of government with its own independent financial system that brought Germany out of poverty and reparation payments.  And transformed Germany into an economic powerhouse.  Even those who believe Hitler was an evil son of a bitch have to admit that this achievement was nothing short of incredible, transforming the nation from one hopelessly in debt to being the most efficient and powerful economy in the world next to the United States in less than a decade.  And then the episode goes on about how it was the best of times, that it was the ideal place to live in, blah blah blah.

Episode 4-5: Well, the Jews weren’t going to stand for this.  They did allegedly want world control after all.  So they can’t have a strong independent nation that doesn’t base their currency on elitist Jew controlled world banks now could they?  So they use their communist influence (as they had communist infiltrators within just about every country, including the U.S.; something Andrew McCarthy tried to fight post-WWII) to get other countries to go to war with Germany.  Starting with Poland, then France and the U.K., and eventually Russia (though Hitler managed to get Stalinist Russia to maintain a peace pact between them for a while before Russia eventually decided to turn on Germany).  And it portrays Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill as major assholes who were influenced by elitist Jews.  As for the Jews in Germany, Hitler did propose a “Final Solution,” but it wasn’t to exterminate the Jews.  Rather, it was to relocate them to Madagascar.  That plan fell through for various reasons.  The documentary also points out how other nations (ie Axis powers) were so inspired by Germany’s sense of nationalism that they were willing to fight for Germany’s cause against the Allies.  What is especially interesting is that there were Jews in Hitler’s army, fighting for his cause, intentionally.  One of the reasons why the documentary points out that it is important to distinguish the elitist Jews from the regular Jews (who may or may not have supported the elitist cause, or even be Communist).

Episode 6: Part of the insurance for winning the war was to eventually get the U.S. involved.  While Roosevelt did want to go along with that plan, America wasn’t exactly pro-war at the time, despite some communist propaganda and front groups (elements of this are backed by a novel I read a portion of titled Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, by M. Stanton Evans).  But then came Pearl Harbor, which was apparently arranged by elitist/communist Jews who had political connections to influence the leaders.  Once that attack took place, that caused American sentiment to turn from anti-war to pro-war.  So they went to war with Japan and Germany (and Italy).  This was the nail in the coffin for Germany, as they had no hope of winning after failing to take the capital of Russia during their initial attack and push (which happened as a result of Hitler learning that Russia was planning on breaking the pact and secretly attacking Germany).  And it was even worse off for Germany once they lost the Battle of the Bulge.  And the Allies firebombed the ever-loving hell out Germany, indiscriminately hitting both the military and civilian population.

Episode 7: Apparently, there was a more effective way to enter Germany and get to the capital city of Berlin besides what the Allies actually did with D-Day.  But they intentionally took the long and hard way through.  Why?  So that Russia could have more time to push westward and be the first to take Germany’s capital.  Why let the Russians get there first?  So they could massacre the population.  The Russians were more brutal than the Germans, and I think even mainstream sources would be willing to admit this.  It was arranged that Russia would rape and pillage and kill their way towards Germany’s capital, where they would continue to do the same.  This frustrated certain military commanders, such as Patton who wondered why they weren’t driving into Germany more efficiently, and why they were receiving orders to halt on occasion.

And then came the post-war.  Even the mainstream narrative can’t disagree with this aspect.  Post-war, the allies treated the Germans in such an inhumane and deplorable manner it baffles the mind.  While it is alleged the Germans killed six million Jews during the Holocaust (something the next episode would address), the Allies caused the death of roughly 9 million Germans during a 6 year period after the war (outnumbering the number of Germans killed during the war).  Via slave labor camps (ie gulags, death camps, some of which were Eisenhower camps) among other reasons.  It was at this point that I thought this was pure incomprehensible insanity; that made me feel ashamed.  And these motherfuckers had the balls to use the piles of German bodies from these camps as historical photos claiming them to be a part of the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

In order to help rebuild Germany, there was a forced deportation of Germans from the U.S. (among other countries) to Germany that totaled between 11-12 million.  To help rebuild.

Are you a man of peace
Or a man of holy war
Too many sides to you
Don’t know which anymore
So many full of life
But also filled with pain
Don’t know just how many
Will live to breathe again

A life that’s made to breathe
Destruction or defense
A mind that’s vain corruption
Bad or good intent
A wolf in sheep’s clothing
Or saintly or sinner
Or some that would believe
A holy war winner

They fire off many shots
And many parting blows
Their actions beyond a reasoning
Only God would know
And as he lies in heaven
Or it could be in hell
I feel he’s somewhere here
Or looking from below
But I don’t know, I don’t know

More pain and misery in the history of mankind
Sometimes it seems more like
The blind leading the blind
It brings upon us more famine, death and war
You know religion has a lot to answer for

And as they search to find the bodies in the sand
They find it’s ashes that are
Scattered across the land
And as the spirits seem to whistle on the wind
A shot is fired somewhere another war begins

And all because of it you’d think
That we would learn
But still the body count the city fires burn
Somewhere there’s someone dying
In a foreign land
Meanwhile the world is crying stupidity of man
Tell me why, tell me why

Please tell me now what life is
Please tell me now what love is
Well tell me now what war is
Again tell me what life is

For the greater good of God

— Iron Maiden, For The Greater Good of God

 

Episode 8: And this was the episode that dealt with the Holocaust itself.  It’s one of those episodes you need to see for yourself to get a real grasp of it.  But in general, it basically states that the Holocaust was a lie.  That the “6 million” number was invented long before WWII, that this sacred number can be found in the Jewish book The Talmud itself.  And it was used as propaganda to claim that the Germans were killing that many Jews in Germany even before the Allies could enter that country to confirm this.  As for the “concentration camps,” if you could call them that, there were no gas chambers.  There were shower rooms, and mini-gas chambers used to disinfect clothing, as there tended to be a buildup of lice and diseases if there wasn’t some form of disinfectant (they often sprayed insect-killer on the jews in the camps).  The prisoners were not treated all that harshly.  And the reason many of them were put in these camps in the first place because 98% of them were communists or communist sympathizers (because the elitist Jews were all about control through Communism).  Any serious investigation of these camps proves that there weren’t any gas chambers or mass graves or anything like that.  However, there were plenty of deaths near the end of the war.  Because the Allied bombing runs eventually hit German supply routes, leaving the camps unable to gain supplies, causing many of the prisoners to starve to death, and for the German troops charged with running the camps to abandon them.  There’s more to it than that, but there’s no real way to explain it all in an adequate fashion without reading a book dedicated to it (virtually all of which have been banned from Amazon and any major retailers), or watching some documentary telling it from this perspective (like this one).

Episode 9-10: Basically epilogue episodes that go on for too long, discussing the present day situation and what the elitist Jews that run the major banks, the United Nations, the European Union, and Israel.  How they want globalism, 3rd wave feminism, inclusion, diversity, mass-migration, destruction of culture, etc.  Everywhere except in Israel (or China for that matter, so far).  Their plans for expanding the size of Israel westward towards Egypt.  And the slow awakening of nationalism in various parts of the world as a backlash against these globalist policies.

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So, yeah.  This documentary has some heavy stuff.  Stuff that is usually dismissed as “revisionist history,” racist nonsense, pro-fascist.  Dismissed without even giving it a thought.  In Europe, it’s illegal to even question the legitimacy of the Holocaust, which makes me even more suspicious of it and more willing to believe the stuff in this documentary.  And the way it’s presented, it’s very very convincing.

However…

… there are some problems here with it.  You have to take into account that every documentary tends to have some element of bias.  And the bias of this documentary tends to overlook that Germany was nationalist to a fault at some points.  For example, the White Rose movement.  How the people (primarily German school students) in that anti-war movement were prosecuted and killed in Germany for spreading anti-war propaganda.  And I doubt that’s the only instance of a German atrocity committed (though I’m willing to listen to those who wish to debunk that, or other alleged atrocities, like how this documentary debunked the Diary of Anne Frank, and the Holocaust).  I’m always suspicious of anything that tries to portray some individual, or some party, some nation, etc., under an angelic light.  And that’s what I was getting with episode 3 primarily.  It was so in love with Hitler and what he did with Germany I’m pretty sure the guy who made the documentary wanted to suck Hitler’s cock.  There’s no such thing as a perfect nation.

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That being said, I don’t find it far-fetched that Hitler and the Nazis were villianized beyond how they were in reality.  Especially considering where much of the information we gained regarding the Holocaust came from.  Especially considering that, if this New World Order run by elitist communist Jews is to be believed, the Jews own or control roughly 98% of all television networks, major movie studios, major news networks, and major newspapers.  Especially considering how questioning some aspects of this established history is a crime in Europe.  Especially considering how Europe has now passed laws that are going to make a stranglehold on the Internet, censoring sites for “hate speech” among other things (the definition of which is whatever the elites feel like making it).  I mean, just the number of anti-Nazi films that come out on a yearly basis seems to indicate they really want to keep anti-nazi sentiment fresh in everyone’s minds very very badly; even going so far as to promote the idea that “it’s ok to punch a nazi.”  All so that no one will take inspiration for how successful Germany became on an economic and cultural level because of their national-socialist policies (even the word “Nazi” was a slang term created to insult that party).

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If even half of the stuff this documentary teaches is true, and it certainly seems like most of it is, then it is a must watch just for the sake of hearing the other side of the story.  To gain another perspective.  To grasp the bigger picture of history.  Or at the very least be familiar with the arguments “revisionists” have.  This is not only a recommended watch, it’s a necessary one.

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Though that being said, there are portions of episodes 1, 3, and 9 that you’ll probably find yourself skipping through (there’s a portion of each of those episodes where the information gets monotonous).

“You watch those nature documentaries on the cable?  You see the one about lions? Look at this lion. He’s the king of the jungle, huge mane out to here. He’s laying down under a tree, in the middle of Africa. He’s so big, he’s so hot. He doesn’t want to move.

“Now the little lion cubs, they start messing with him. Biting his tail, biting his ears. He doesn’t do anything. The lioness, she starts messing with him. Coming over, making trouble. Still: nothing. Now the other animals, they notice this. And they start to move in. The jackals; hyenas.

“They’re barking at him, laughing at him. They nip his toes, and eat the food that’s in his domain. They do this, and they get closer and closer, and bolder and bolder. ‘Til one day, that lion gets up and tears the shit out of everybody. Runs like the wind, eats everything in his path. ‘Cause every once in a while, the lion has to show the jackals who he is.”

The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) review/critique

Remember the tagline “There is no single truth in war” for later.

Rated: 2.5 / 5

The Vietnam War.  Probably the most controversial war America has ever gotten involved in that has people bickering about it to this day.  Why did we go in there?  Was it ever winnable?  Should we have ever gone in there?  What were our initial intentions, and how did they change?  What were the intentions of each individual high-ranking official in a position of power to influence the war?  Do we have that much of a right to judge those who were involved when we are incapable of experiencing what they have experienced?

So I became interested with Ken Burns in particular after seeing his incredibly well-done Civil War documentary series from 1990.  Both that miniseries and this Vietnam one were done on PBS.  So I ended up getting this at Best Buy as an impulse buy.  And for the first 7 episodes, despite a few slow bits here and there with emotional reflections put on by veterans and family members of dead veterans, I thought it was pretty good solid stuff.  Like the Civil War documentary miniseries, it covered a good amount of historical ground, with events going as far back as 1858 leading up to the war, to the retreat of the French only to be replaced by the U.S., the political plays and disasters done by John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon, stories of the soldiers on the battlefield including Vietnamese from both sides, and so on.  I felt I was getting my money’s worth…

… at first.  But the thing is, when it comes to documentaries as ambitious as this, especially with Ken Burns involved, and with the tagline on the poster, my expectations tend to be high.  And when they are high, I make double sure about the quality.  And when it comes to documentaries, I am much more picky than normal about biases and context.  There were a few things that I found a tad questionable, in that it seemed like some detail was being left out.  For instance, the protests and calls for ending the Vietnam War in the United States, with many people, especially college and high school students, protesting the war, but not much given for those who protested against the anti-war protesters.  The Kent State incident, how it seemed like there was more to it than the documentary was letting on (similar to how some details of Abraham Lincoln’s surprise re-election during the Civil War were left unsaid in the Civil War documentary).  The testimonies of some Vietnamese, but not as much from the Southern side.  The portrayal of Ho Chi Min as a saint who had no ill intentions whatsoever.

The final straw that made me want to take a look outside of the box came when the whole Jane Fonda thing happened, where it showed how she was not only against the war, but seemed to hold a hatred for American troops yet had sympathy for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops.  Yes, it did highlight her voiced opinions on the matter, and how some (if not all) veterans felt betrayed by her (and rightly so in my opinion).  She also called the POWs liars for claiming they were mistreated by their captors.  However, there was/is a rumor that she did more than that, that she shook the hands of some of the prisoners, and one of the prisoners handed her some small paper scraps with the POW’s social security numbers, indicating that they wanted her to take the papers back to their families in the U.S., to let them know they are alive.  But she ended up giving the papers to the prison guard instead, who then severely beat the POWs.  Now, from what I’ve researched, this rumor is false, but it was one of the things that made me want to take a closer look.  Sometimes, what a documentary shows is all there is, and the rest is baseless conspiracy theories.  Stuff I’ve been careful of ever since wising up about 9/11 truthers.

However, there is stuff the documentary did leave out, that did really happen.  First, Ho Chi Minh.  The documentary portrays him as a somewhat peaceful man who desired a united and independent Vietnam country, and even quoted the Declaration of Independence by the United States.  It states that he admired the message of the U.S., of their desire for all countries to be free and independent.  How he didn’t really want a war, but it was really more of the prime minister’s doing for instigating the conflict in Vietnam,  Le Duan.  It basically puts Ho Chi Minh in a similar light as Gandhi, yet he was also a rebel when he needed to be, helping the Vietnamese against the French armies.  However, the documentary completely overlooks how repressive his regime came during the mid 1950s (after successfully driving out the French, but remaining in the North half of Vietnam, similar to how there’s a North Korea).  How due to the state of that portion of the country, he asked for assistance from communist Russia and China, began agricultural reforms, and became more brutal and oppressive as a result (Source).  How brutal and oppressive?  How about being responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of his own people (perhaps even hundreds of thousands)?  In a Soviet-style land-reform campaign (Source).  The fact that this was left out is unforgivable for a documentary series like this, especially when its tagline claims to be going over multiple truths in the war, indicating that it will highlight many of the grey areas.  Besides, whenever anyone is portrayed as purely angelic or as pure evil, I become skeptical.  I believe they should be portrayed as they were, as human.  And humans are flawed beings, with some good things about them, and some bad things.

Doing a little more research, I’ve also learned of incidents leading up to the first Indochina War (prior to the U.S. involvement).  A good amount is covered, but a few significant events were left out.  The miniseries did not cover France granting Cambodia independence in 1953 (Source), which at the very least portrays the French as less assholish and authoritarian-like when it came to their Asian involvement (though that doesn’t mean they should be left off the hook, it’s just better to have more facts like that to give more food for thought).  Little to nothing is said of the Japanese involvement as well (and there-bye completely overlooking president Truman’s involvement in the war), which is something fascinating in of itself, that America would entrust Vietnam to the Japanese for a brief period of time within a decade after defeating them in WWII.

The documentary covers the riots and protests not just in the U.S., but also around the world; though it’s very frustrating to show the international riots yet give no mention as to what they were about or why they were happening; you know, for those of us not as well educated.  International rioting aside, not enough detail is given regarding the U.S. protests when it came to the organized groups, like the Black Panthers or the Weather Underground.  Since the documentary indicated it was going to show not just how the Vietnam War affected things culturally, but also how a wave of civil rights was going on at the same time within the country, you would think details like that would be a bit more important than another 5 minutes of some soldier reflecting on some emotional moment in his/her life (there’s more than enough of that as-is).  Giving details as to what these organizations were, what their goals were, and some of the stuff they did.  No mentions of blowing up buildings or shooting people, thus indicating these protesters did bad things outside of just trashing streets and destroying cars and damaging property (by breaking windows).  Seemed too much in favor of the protesters.  The film is very much on their side when it came to the anti-war portrayal.  Hardly any time is given to vets and/or citizens who were against the anti-war protests, and thus not shedding any light on the perspectives of those who voted on certain gallup polls (which were mentioned) which was split on the protests, or mostly against them.  If nothing else, I would go so far as to say there’s a hint of contempt for that majority who voted as such in those polls.  The closest that I can remember regarding an alternate view is some woman saying something along the lines of, “I respect your right to protest, as that’s your free speech privilege.  But if you come knocking at my door again, I’ll blow your head off.”  And that’s it.  Every other interview ranges from support of the protests, to “It’s amazing that this is happening.”  That’s because virtually all the Vietnam vets that are interviewed for the documentary were a part of “Vietnam Veterans Against the War”.  I sense bias.

Then there’s the Kent State shootings in May 4, 1970, where National Guardsmen opened fire on the students in the parking lot, killing 4, wounding 9.  The documentary portrays it as a random act, letting the footage imply the guards turned and fired suddenly, as if alerted to something going on behind them.  But other than the footage speaking for itself, the narrative seems more on the side of the protesters, implying that the National Guard was in the wrong, and that this was a sign of the government forces turning on civilians, calling into question the purpose of the government being for the people by the people, and asking what exactly were the soldiers in Vietnam fighting for if all this was going on.  But the film never really goes into detail about the incident, such as how the National Guard felt they were in danger, becoming surrounded, cut off from escape by both the protesters and a fence, that several guardsmen had rocks thrown at them, and they felt firing was necessary because they felt they were threatened.  The documentary also doesn’t mention that several of the guards fired into the air to scare off the campus protesters, while others actually fired into a group in the parking lot, thus indicating there was confusion amidst the chaos (Source).  But the documentary did bring up an interesting point about how the burning of the ROTC building at Kent State by protesters, combined with the fact that the National Guard were anything but anti-military, implied that this created enough tension as-is, making a disaster like this borderline inevitable if the protesting continued on.  Still, would’ve been nice to have more detail and grey area shown, which wouldn’t have been difficult if more narration was provided over the footage.

The documentary also doesn’t mention the Hmungs, among others, who also fought alongside U.S. troops to combat the North Vietnamese.  It also doesn’t mention the atrocities committed against the Montagnards, Hmung, and Nungs after the war ended.

Richard Nixon is definitely portrayed as a worse individual than JFK and LBJ, despite the bad/stupid shit LBJ did (JFK though, if anything, was slightly overdone with his role in sinking the U.S. further into the war; yes, he did the stuff shown in the documentary, but it’s left unsaid some of the other things he did trying to prevent the U.S. from sinking so far into it).  Look, the bottom line is that all politicians are assholes, they all lie, but they also try to do some good things too, even if that’s ultimately secondary to staying in power.  This is more of a nitpick than anything else compared to all the other faults in the documentary, but it’s clear that Burns and/or Novick has it in for Nixon, going a bit beyond just stating facts when it comes to showing his faults (and very little of his successes, and even then underplaying them).

The infamous footage/photo of that guy getting shot point-blank in the head and dying, it highlights the reaction, viewing it as a terrible thing, yet fails to mention why the guy was getting executed.  It was because he killed the wife and 6 children of a police officer.  No single truth in war, remember the tagline!?!?

While the miniseries does show the instance of that Vietnamese girl getting burned by napalm in that famous photo, and stating that she lived and later moved to Canada, it failed to mention that she moved to Canada to escape from the Communist regime of Vietnam, because they wouldn’t let her attend school or get a real job because they were more interested in using her as a propaganda piece.

There isn’t enough information given regarding the disparity of U.S. troops, as in how they acted.  Not all U.S. troops acted as despicably as those in the My Lai Massacre, not all U.S. troops treated the Vietnamese like shit.  There was a decent number of troops that acted as respectful as one would expect and hope, especially back in the day when we had this naive belief that we could do no wrong.  On that note, and I believe I’m repeating myself a bit here, the documentary doesn’t really mention much of anything regarding how similar atrocities were done by the North Vietnamese (or the Viet Cong).

There is no mention of the role opium played.  The only indication of opium is that a decent number of U.S. troops got addicted to it.  There was more to it than that (something hinted at in the more recent TV show Quarry).  That opium was utilized in Vietnam by U.S. forces (I would assume the CIA) to help finance not just the Vietnam war, but also the Korean war.  And this financing eventually led to its spread into the United States (it wasn’t just the Colombians helping Americans getting hooked on that shit).

And lastly, the documentary doesn’t cover anywhere near the level of atrocities committed by the Communist regime after the war in Vietnam (or hell, even during the war; there’s more focus on the atrocities committed by the U.S. troops and by South Vietnam).  The only implication we get is that they got a hold of classified information regarding those who helped the U.S., and thus created a “blood list,” a list of those for the Communists to hunt down and kill.  It doesn’t mention anything beyond that implication, just that the war ended, China invaded briefly, and they suffered from trying out Socialism for 10 years with disastrous results before recovering and turning into a decent country.

This documentary is selective in its focus, lies by leaving out important details, and without a doubt has a bias extreme enough to cause a very tiny alarm in my head to ring at me when I saw that it was made by PBS.  “But the Civil War documentary was also made by PBS,” I said to myself.  “But that was 1990, not 2017,” I should have responded to myself.  A lot can change in 27 years.  The details it leaves out are focuses in a few specific areas, and the fact that they are focused in what is left out confirms my suspicions.  It leaves out much of the atrocities the Communists wrought upon the Vietnamese (it’s mentioned to a small extent, infinitesimal compared to how much is focused regarding the amount of atrocities committed by the South Vietnamese and the Americans to the Viet Cong and civilians).  It leaves out much of how North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were still able to function so well and in an organized matter despite the losses they were taking (such as by being supplied by the Chinese and Soviets).  Most importantly, most of the Vietnamese that are interviewed are of Viet Cong or North Vietnam origin.  The only bits dedicated to the South are of how corrupt their government has become, how poor their military conditions were, how much they disliked the Americans, and so on.  Nothing is ever really mentioned of the “victories” the U.S. and South Vietnam achieved during the war (such as the Battle of Dong Ha Bridge); it paints a grim picture of constant ambushes and inability to hold taken ground without showing hardly any evidence to the contrary (aside from coverage of the battle portrayed in the film We Were Soldiers, and holding out against the Tet Offensive), plenty of which does exist.

This documentary is a glorified rehash of the defeatist zeitgeist of the 1970s.  It paints the picture far too heavily on the traditional, “America fucked up by getting involved,” narrative without clearly displaying the fact that other countries were clearly involved as well.  In essence, it was a sort of proxy war between the U.S. and the Communists, a proxy war we lost thanks in part to having no clear strategy other than body count, bad intelligence, bad military decisions made by politicians and due to pressure from anti-war protesters.  That doesn’t in any way take away from the blunders and atrocities and levels of hypocrisy done by U.S. soldiers/generals/politicians, but it does show that this was a picture far less simple than the documentary lets on.  On top of all that, the documentary from the very beginning is clearly on the side of the message that states that Vietnam was a war the U.S. had no chance of winning, a message many disagree with; it never even considers the alternative that there may have been a way to win the war, even when there are some books written on that very idea.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they were right, but concluding from the start that the war was unwinnable leaves their opinions out of the picture, opinions that I believe are worth pondering.  The fact that it is dedicated to its very core towards keeping the picture so simple is a shame.

To quote an Amazon.com review of the film:

A veteran is quoted at the end of the film saying, “We have learned a lesson…that we just can’t impose our will on others.” While that daffy aphorism sums up the documentary, in real life the opposite is true. Alexander imposed his will upon the Persian empire. Rome indelibly imposed its will upon Carthage. After the Civil War, the Federal government imposed its will upon the Confederacy. Following World War II, we imposed our will upon Nazi Germany and bushido Japan. In 1975, the North Vietnamese Stalinist government imposed its will upon the South Vietnamese. — Joshua Welte

If they really wanted to do a good job covering as much as possible with the war, it needed more focus.  Part of that focus should have included what life was like for various Vietnamese in the North and South, before, during, and after the war.  How their lives changed, what hopes they had at various times, if America was affecting those hopes in a positive or negative way, how they viewed Ho Chi Min and Russia and China.

There is more that is left unsaid with the documentary that should’ve been covered at least for the sake of trying to be fair and balanced, but I’ll leave that for those who want to research further into the subject.

Now, with that being said, all those bits of historical facts that are absent from this documentary series isn’t enough for me to completely hate it.  There’s still plenty of good stuff to be had here.  Like showing how Nixon secretly went behind many people’s backs to prevent a peace meeting between the North and South Vietnam from happening so that he would have a better chance at winning the election, something LBJ was aware of, and could prove it, but wouldn’t do it because he had acquired this information illegally.  The documentary also goes into nice detail (albeit briefly, but justifiably so) of Vietnam’s history with the French leading up to the 1960s-70s war (though leaving out the bits with the Japanese).  Despite the bias, I currently agree that this was a war America should never have gotten into, as it did much more harm than good (though some still debate to this day if it was winnable or not; though I wouldn’t deny that any chance of victory for the South was fucked from the start due to political corruption and dumb political decisions from both the South Vietnamese government and the U.S. government), it just didn’t need to be so biased and anti-war to get that message across.  And it has a decent epilogue regarding the Vietnam Memorial (and how it came to be), and how our relations with Vietnam have improved since then, as we learn to make peace with the past.  Regarding that last sentence though, it showed Bill Clinton going to Vietnam to instigate peace, and it showed Barack Obama doing the same, but skipped over George W. Bush making the visit during his term in 2006 (Democratic bias much?).  So it is worth watching, but with a large grain of salt and with a critical eye.  Don’t be fooled in to thinking this documentary gives enough perspective to be considered satisfactory.

While there is enough information in it to make it worthwhile despite the bias, I just can’t in good conscience give it more than a 2.5 / 5 score, considering the flaws.  That being said, I’m going to search for another Vietnam documentary series that is less biased than this, and has more in-depth information.  A few films aside, this search has led me to an old 1982 documentary series titled Vietnam – A Television History.  Now while it has gotten a DVD re-release courtesy of American Experience, it has a serious problem.  From what I’ve gathered, it trims down on the fucking interviews!  It censors the original version and throws in more advertisements!  And I fucking hate censorship!  So now I have to track down a fucking VHS collection of the goddamn thing, watch it that way, likely download it onto my computer through Pinnacle/Dazzle (and I’m all ears for a better alternative than that software), and then put it in a safe storage space online somewhere so that it doesn’t get lost through the ravages of time.  The censored American Experience (there’s an ironic name for a company in this context if I ever heard one) version can currently be viewed on youtube, but I’m sure as shit not watching it that way.

Other sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/29/veterans-angry-disappointed-following-pbs-vietnam-war-documentary/

https://www.peakingat70.com/lets-talk-america/2017/9/13/burning-history-ossifying-the-false-narrative

http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/03/vietnam-war-vet-critiques-ken-burns-new-pbs-documentary/#disqus_thread

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/burns-vietnam-documentary-promotes-misleading-history_us_59bf4922e4b0390a1564df2b

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/167046

https://www.therussophile.org/what-ken-burns-left-out-of-the-vietnam-story.html/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/09/vietnam-war-ken-burns-us-imperialism

PS: For a fascinating yet gut-wrenching case study that gets right down to the horrors of war, atrocities committed by Americans at My Lai and how the effects carried on after the war, I know of two things I can recommend watching.  It will show soldiers who have regret, and will make you wonder if they can be forgiven, when they can’t forgive themselves, and have instilled a permanent hatred amongst their victims.  It is raw and powerful stuff, and I recommend watching them in this order: My Lai (by American Experience; yes, I’m recommending a documentary done by them after bashing them for censoring a previously made documentary), and Four Hours in My Lai (hosted by a show called First Tuesday).  Back-to-back, it becomes more clear as to how decent American citizens can devolve from being decent soldiers to being capable of committing some of the most atrocious acts imaginable.

Edit: Ok, so Ken Burns is definitely a leftist, as made clear with a speech made at the 2016 Stanford Commencement Address, which is hypocritical of him giving the context of the rest of the speech, not to mention flat-out lying with some of his statements.  A pity too, because he makes some really great statements in the speech.  Guess it sums up some of the pros and cons of his more recent documentaries in a nutshell.

Also, a Vietnam vet blog entry worth reading: https://colemanluck.net/2018/01/08/vietnam-1968-some-personal-thoughts-about-ken-burns-documentary-and-my-own-experiences/

The Power of the Dark Crystal (November 2017) comic review

Rated: 1.5 / 5

So in case you didn’t know, The Dark Crystal is my favorite movie of all time.  I love everything about it: the music, the practical effects, the old-school special effects, the simple story, the creatures, the lore, the philosophy, etc.  I love practically everything about that movie.  So I was a bit intrigued (and extremely skeptical) when I learned that Netflix was going to do a prequel to the film via a Netflix produced series.  Well, my hopes were dashed a few weeks ago when I got a hold of this comic.  Why should they be dashed?  Because I fucking hate this comic.  What does that have to do with the prequel Netflix series outside of being based on the same film?  Nothing, I just think it’s going to suck.

This comic does everything I dread having a sequel do.  It relies way too much on the prior entry it is extending (while this may be a comic, it’s a sequel to a film).  You know, like The Force Awakens.  This is a fatal flaw that makes the work incapable of standing on it’s own.  If you want an example of a sequel done right, look at The Godfather Part II (while a sequel that has the same characters from the last film, it continues the plot without too many call-backs to the first, and evolves the characters in natural ways, and contains enough original material to stand on its own), Aliens and Terminator 2 (while it does follow a similar pattern to the original film, with a similar last act of escape and blowing it out the airlock, it expanded the lore of the alien/robot creatures, had more backstory given to the protagonist which ties into events of this film, and utilizes the similar beats in a more action-oriented setting rather than a horror-oriented setting to give it a different feel and makes it its own thing), The Empire Strikes Back.  They all possess their own unique moments that make them stand out from their predecessors while not copy-catting them too much, if at all.

But not this comic book.  It has virtually all (and I mean ALL) of the problems The Force Awakens had.  Also problems that 2011’s The Thing had (those assholes couldn’t even add a fucking number to the title, or a letter, or anything, so now it’s more difficult to distinguish from the title alone which film you’re watching).  Not to mention that Brian Froud (if I remember correctly) was firmly against there being a sequel to The Dark Crystal.  The story was told.  It was done.  It didn’t need a sequel, it left nothing open for a sequel.  Anything that follows was meant to be left up to the viewer’s imagination (that thing Hollywood doesn’t remember anyone has).  Plus the theme was wrapped up, how the crystal was cracked because of the urSkeks’ pride and folly, a lesson they have learned from when they became reunited.

From here on, I’m assuming you’ve already seen The Dark Crystal, and don’t give a shit about me spoiling the events of what happen in this comic.

First of all, this film begins with the same goddamn opening narrative that the movie did.  Motherfucker, you should assume people reading this already know about this!  And if they don’t, encourage them to go watch the original movie!  This isn’t fucking Star Wars where everyone is ok with the opening intro, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…”

So right away I was getting a bit annoyed and worried when it was doing callbacks like that.  But this thing is just getting started.

So we get a new race introduced (just one character from that race).  Fire people.  This fire child needs to break the crystal open, take a shard, and take it to the core of the planet to restore her people, which will supposedly result in the destruction of the rest of the world.  But their time seems limited anyway, since the crystal doesn’t burn as brightly as it used to, because I guess the crystal is supposed to have a limited lifespan which must be rejuvenated by breaking it apart, taking it to the planet’s core, and restoring it to its glory while wiping out practically everything else.

RCO026_1487829212

Alright, I’m not going to lie.  While I am a fan of the film, I’m not a fanatical fan.  I don’t think I’ve ever been a fanatical fan of anything, despite what some reviews of some movies may lead you to believe.  If I’m a fanatic of anything, it’s regarding entertainment in general in the movie/series/books department.  I want to experience things that bring me joy; and let the others that don’t bring me joy, or disgrace the material they are based on, suffer my wrath so that I can feel better about myself (you know, constructive criticism disguised as destructive criticism).  Either way I’d like to get some joy out of the experience.  The point I’m trying to make is that I haven’t ever gone in-depth with the Dark Crystal lore.  I haven’t read every spin-off novel/comic, I haven’t read The World of the Dark Crystal in its entirety (though I enjoy the snippets I do read of the latter).  Because I believe there are some things that should be left to the imagination.  And if someone thinks otherwise, that they wish to explain things so that there are less things left to the imagination, then they had better know what they’re doing.  Because if they don’t, there’s going to be hell to pay.

So I don’t know if the Firechild was something brought up in The World of the Dark Crystal.  I don’t know if the crystal was meant to have limited power that would run out (because I guess getting powered by the 3 suns, by the conjunction, isn’t enough apparently).  What I do know is that the execution of these ideas is terrible.  Some firechild (emphasis on the “child” part) gets sent to explain her people’s plight and take the shard by force if she must.  Out of all the schmuks they have in their race, and they fucking send her?  Her!?  The girl who stumbles over her own words and seems to be new at just about everything?  Who is careless with her powers?  Christ, at least they had a decent explanation for sending Jen out into the world to set things right rather than anyone else, because he was all the hippy Ur-Ru had.  The main reason the writers seem to have done it this way is to have the firechild be exactly like Jen, only female, and stronger with more passion and character.  With similar hippies raising her to be the chosen one for a journey.  The only difference is the race and the context.

Second, the Gelflings certainly seem to have repopulated the world quite easily, and established social and political hierarchies.  After only 100 years.  I’m calling bullshit on that.  This is taking the easy way out to construct a traditional formula that we’ve seen done thousands of times in mainstream films/shows to make a socio-political message.  The Gelflings are back, repopulated, and running the show, in control of the crystal, and have low-class and upper-class people that are looked down and up upon respectively.  And it’s the lower-class that is looked down upon that are the chosen protagonists for the story.  A “child” of fire, a young Gelfling boy who is treated poorly by the upper-class of Gelflings.  What the hell has happened to this Dark Crystal world?  Why is this shit in a Dark Crystal tale?

Anyway, the firebitch does end up breaking the crystal (partly to spite the upper-class/religious asshole gelflings).  Which results in the skeksies and ur-ru to come back, as we all remember them from the last film.  Relying on the original source much?  But why would the skeksies and ur-ru come back when they’re supposed to be one as the urSkeks?  Why is it that the comic thinks things are supposed to work that way?  Because that seems to retcon a few details provided in the movie itself, nevermind Brian Froud’s The World of the Dark Crystal.  Oh, it gets better.  The skeksies throw a hissie fit at the chamberlain again, making him some-what outcast, and thus putting him in the exact same fucking position that he was in the movie, whimpering, and pursuing the two lead protagonists through much of the story.  Oh, right, and the Garthim show up, just like that.  Except the Garthim are now controlled by Jen (who wields the scepter, which I guess controls the Garthim), which he uses to pursue the firechild and the lower-class gelfling.

“What if” art concept that had some alterations for the final product.

This is just volume 1, which is supposed to be a collection of 4 issues, out of a 12 issue series, which means there are 2 more volumes set to come out later this year.  And I have no desire to read them.  I’ll read other reviews and stuff, but I consider this sequel series to be a disgrace, and am glad the planned movie adaptation didn’t come to fruition.  It has too many call-backs to the movie making this less capable of standing on its own.  The plot is dumb.  And it brings in socio-political stuff that isn’t utilized well enough to make it fit into this fantasy world.  Dune this is not (and was never intended to be).

The only sections that got me invested were when Jen and Aughra were conversing with the firechild and attempting to understand her position and grapple with the state/fate of the world.  But those moments are brief and fleeting.

A part of me wants to write (aka bitch) about this some more, but I’m going to reign myself in and leave it at that.  If you want to read a decent Dark Crystal spin-off comic, read the 3 Creation Myths comics.  Sure they’re not perfect, but they do enough to be their own thing and offer some interesting insights as a prequel series (which I believe the Netflix series will be based on).  I don’t agree with everything that is brought up, particularly in volume 3, but they’re nowhere near the disaster of this sequel.   There’s also one other prequel comic series titled Song/Shadow of the Dark Crystal, but I haven’t read them… yet.  I’ve heard the Netflix series is supposed to be based on those (mainly because the writer of those comics is involved with the writing of the prequel Netflix series).  There’s also a manga series (believe it or not) that I also haven’t read titled Legends of the Dark Crystal, a 2 volume manga series (which is miraculous considering how long most manga series go). #NotMySequel  #FuckTheSequel

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this.

“What’s that?  What the hell is wrong with you!?  Do you not know how to be entertained!?” you may ask/shout.  To which I would reply, “You sir/madam are too easily entertained.”  All the positive reviews this film has been getting, like just about every Marvel film released since, well, The Avengers, has been getting.  At this point I’m convinced the critics have been paid off (something I will dig into in much more depth, with proof, in a later review when that topic becomes more relevant for that specific film, never mind for Black Panther, which, for the record, I haven’t seen).

I’ve been worn out of Marvel superhero films ever since Captain America: Civil War.  I’m sick and tired of all these goddamn superhero films having the same goddamn stories, the same goddamn arcs, the same goddamn finales, the same goddamn CG overload, the same goddamn feel of coming off an assembly line that likes to play it safe and PC, with some subliminal advertising for either feminism or immigration tossed in for good measure.  This film, despite all the praise, is no different from all those other fucking Marvel films that have been coming out for the last decade, despite how it tries to have this 80s retro thing at times which just doesn’t mesh at all with what is going on.  Though I do appreciate the effort despite its failure, at least some today admit that the 80s were awesome and had awesome style and attitude, and wasn’t full of bland bullshit like much of the stuff today.

It’s all about the 80s, dude.

Guess I’m rambling too much.  Well, guess I mine as well as get on with this review.

I got a bigger laugh out of this gif than I did the entire movie.

So the first problem I noticed with this film, the humor.  A lot of people are saying this movie is funny, and it’s the funniest Marvel film to date, beating out Ant-Man in that category (which I also thought was a mediocre film, though I will admit the final fight was genius and far funnier than any of the shit in this movie).  Well, guess I don’t really share their sense of humor.  I mean sure, there were a couple moments that made me chuckle, but only a couple.  The humor in this film is forced to the extreme.  It’s ridiculous.  This film would’ve been far better if it played at least half the scenes straight, but you’d be lucky to get through a third of a scene without some half-assed joke being forcefully thrown in there.  From the opening fucking moment, with Thor in chains, dangling above the ground, turning slowly in mid-air while in a conversation with a CG version of Tim Curry from Legend except blown up to bigger proportions, and on fire.  “Up, wait a second, wait until I turn back towards you, hang on…  Ok, there we are.  You were saying?”  Shit like that happens throughout the entire film, even at the expense of moments which should’ve been dramatic and somewhat heartbreaking, like when ragnarok finally happens (oh yeah, spoilers by the way, not that I really give a shit because these films have gotten quite predictable, even without watching trailers that tend to give it all away anyway).  They just couldn’t let that moment go without inserting a joke into it, ruining what could’ve been a nice emotional moment where the protagonist looks on with sadness, and possibly regret over something he wished he didn’t have to do.  The jokes suck the life out of this movie.

As awesome as this image looks, it’s too brief and, believe it or not, played for laughs.

What else?  Oh right, the CG.  Yes, the CG is done well, it’s fine.  They even use it when Cate Blanchett is fighting off an army of people, because let’s face it, this woman in real life isn’t capable of pulling off this sort of stuntwork.  Kinda wish they would do what they used to do back in the day and have a stunt-double wear that ridiculous outfit and do all the kung-fu acrobats with it (I’m pretty sure the Chinese could pull that off, and it would be another excuse to get some Chinese people inserted into the movie so it could make a profit in China, though that didn’t work out so well for The Last Jedi).  So while the CG is fine and all, again, overload, making me not care all that much for what’s going on on the screen.  If a film is going to use so much of it, why not just make the thing animated?  I mean, for Christ’s sakes, they already have animated superhero films out there, they just need to make them more mainstream.  Considering that Disney owns both Pixar and Lucasarts and Marvel, you’d think that would be a cinch for them to pull off in terms of getting it into theaters.

To the film’s credit, there was one sequence that actually drew me in and got my investment.  When Thor fights the Hulk.  That entire sequence is the best part of the film.  Why is it good?  Why did that action scene get me invested when just about all the others didn’t catch my interest?  Because more than just fighting was going on during the fight.  Callbacks to the first Avengers film, Thor trying to get a friend to snap back into reality, Thor discovering his true powers (though I am getting a little sick of the trend, “You don’t need the weapon, the power is within you!”; a trend that was used as a parody in fucking Spaceballs, nevermind used too seriously in Wonder Woman).  There was actual development happening during the fight, and the action choreography was shot pretty well too.  Sure it had a good dose of CG, but let’s face it, there’s no way practical effects would make that fight work.  At least not in the way it was handled in this film.

You see, CG has made things too easy nowadays.  I know, you’ve heard this all before, but it fucking matters damnit!  And as long as I keep seeing movies that keep making my point, I’m going to keep bitching about it!  Back in the 80s (and earlier), because they didn’t have CG to utilize effectively and didn’t always have the best budget, they got creative with when and how to use practical effects, and how to shoot it.  Sometimes that creativity was a hit, sometimes it was a miss, but at least there was passion put into it that you could feel through the screen.  Hell, it’s even possible to pull off such restraint today.  Look at Gareth Edward’s adaptation of Godzilla.  He never overplayed his hand when it came to putting CG on the screen.  He showed just enough of the monsters and their fighting to keep you eager to see them trade blows, and showed enough of a payoff during the finale to make one satisfied.  Because he showed restraint.  And that’s an element that these fucking superhero movies are missing (and discouraged for utilizing) nowadays, restraint.  They have too much big explosive action too often and too early, without much if any buildup.  And even if it does have decent buildup, it lasts too long for what it is.  It’s like having foreplay before rough sex.  Foreplay is appreciated and nice, and the sex can be good while it lasts, whether it’s 10 seconds or an hour.  But just rushing into the rough stuff without the foreplay usually lessens the passion, and having too much sex can wear one out and make one exhausted.  All I’m saying is that there can be too much of a good thing to the point where you forget that it even was a good thing.

Fuck with me, and this is what will happen to your dick!

Well anyway, one last talking point, then I’m done with this.  This film has a pro-refugee theme to it, obviously made intentionally in this day and age for the purpose of encouraging viewers to believe that taking in refugees is a good thing.  Because of course the only optimal place to take them would be Earth, of course that’s where Loki would send Odin for some fucking reason (come on, how many other worlds are out there that he’s familiar with?  Earth can’t possibly be the best possible world Loki knows of.  You’re holding out on us screenwriters!).  Their world/country is fucked, so bring them on over to this world/country, we’ll take care of them, they’re all good people like in reality!  Ah, but whatever.  Despite that bit of subliminal messaging, it had a decent them to it about how it’s the people that are the world, that they matter more than the place, which shouldn’t be a permanent anchor for them.  And that bit of subliminal messaging is the least of the film’s problems (at least it’s not the worst of the film’s problems), and just more of a nitpick than anything else.

So, overall, this film turned out exactly as I was expecting.  Wouldn’t have watched it if not for a co-worker begging me to see it.  Well, considering I got the fellow co-worker introduced to the original Star Wars trilogy in exchange for this, I’d say it was worth bearing through this dull monotonous Marvel world again.

 

PS: And no, I’m not interested in Black Panther either.  I’m over Marvel films.  I’m willing to give Infinity War a shot (and even then my interest isn’t all that great), but that’s about it.

The Post (2018) review

Rated: 3/5

Intro

Warning, this review gets political, makes no apologies about it, and gives no free flying fucks if you disagree with it (unless any of you dare to try having an honest discussion with me). You’ve been warned.

The Post, a movie.  Like how there was a TV series called The Office.  Now all there needs to be is a miniseries titled The Post Office.  All joking aside, The Post is short for The Washington Post, which I guess wouldn’t have attracted as many viewers to the movie for some reason, or perhaps because they wanted to eliminate “Washington” from the title, considering it’s supposed to be corrupt and led by a corrupt president during this time period (everyone’s favorite corrupt president that films always like to remind everyone exists and is corrupt about as often as they like to remind us Hitler was a scumbag, Richard Nixon).  How they stood with The New York Times in publishing a story on the Pentagon Papers regarding how Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon both kept the reality of the Vietnam War hidden from public, that it was a war we were either destined to lose, or a war that we would have to be fighting for a long time with a lot of manpower in order to win.  Basically a similar situation to what the British faced during the Revolutionary War, except America had assistance from France.

I’m not going to lie, I had preconceived notions when going into this film.  I expected this to be a preachy movie that praised the Washington Post, to the extent that it’s the end-all-be-all of news and newspapers, that it should always be allowed to post stories because all their stories are flawless and true.  That, and to bash the Trump administration ever so subtly (something I’m sure we’ll see more of for the next few years, as evident from a few films that came out near the end of last year).  So yes, I expected some serious subliminal messaging, or even messaging that is too blunt to be considered subliminal.  And while that stuff is here, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Besides, as I had to remind myself, any decent movie is a work of art that can be viewed with different perspectives. More on that later.

 

Review

There are some negatives I had with the film.  There’s a brief moment near the end of the film after the Supreme Court sides with the papers over the government (oh, spoilers by the way, for any of you who didn’t already know or take an educated guess as to how things would turn out).  We see Meryl Streep walking down the steps surrounded by a bunch of smiling women.  Pro-feminism message much?  She can be an inspiration to both men and women, not just women goddamnit!  Can’t we live in an age where any gender and race can inspire all genders and races?  I mean, for Christ’s sake, the whole film is supposed to be about how an underdog newspaper company did a brave/bold thing which caused all other major papers to follow suit and side with freedom of speech over the power of the government telling them no.  That’s a cause everyone can rally behind!  But it’s just a minor moment that only lasts a few seconds, and I’m just making a big deal over a nit-picky moment.  The rest of the film is quite solid.

feminism-social-justice-warriors

For the first half of the film, I started to wonder why it wasn’t about the New York Times.  I mean, it seemed as if they were doing all the interesting stuff.  But then during the 2nd half, it becomes clear why The Washington Post is the main focus of the film.  While the New York Times was the first paper to print on the Pentagon Papers, and the first to be challenged by the government over their publication, it’s the Washington Post that gets a hold of the larger amount of paperwork, and ultimately follows what the New York Times did.  The thing is, I think the film would’ve been more interesting if it focused on both sides, on the New York Times and on the Washington Post.  Certainly would’ve been more energetic and intense.  But then there would be less time for the more dramatic character moments, especially this one moment between Streep’s character and her daughter, which is definitely one of those moments where Spielberg is indulging himself with the drama.  It’s the one aspect about him that’s been a bit bothersome ever since E.T., where the character drama and character interaction comes off as a bit too emotionally manipulative and overdramatic.  It plagues a respectable number of his films.  That said, I found it bothersome in only that one scene.

The obvious themes come up from a film like this, about freedom of the press, freedom of speech, needing high quality reporting for high quality newspapers that readers will love and therebye become loyal fans of, how the papers have a duty more to the people than towards the government, etc.  An element in the film that took me by surprise is how it showcased that some of the higher-ups in the press tend to have political connections, and are friends with some high-standing government officials.  And this causes an inner conflict when they must consider if they value their work more than their friendship, or vice-versa.  A welcoming subplot in a film like this.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/b1d79872-e1cd-11e7-b2e9-8c636f076c76

 

 

No More Pussyfooting

Now, with all that said, let’s stop pussyfooting around the pink/white/orange/black/whatever elephant in the room shall we?  I’m not going to ignore how many reviewers state that this is a timely and relevant film that has strong parallels to today’s environment.  And we all know what they’re talking about. Consider the headlines from some of the reviews:

‘The Post’ Review: Steven Spielberg’s Spectacularly Entertaining Journalism Thriller Is a Rallying Cry for the Resistance — David Ehrlich of IndiWire

“The Post” doesn’t feel so urgent because it was rushed into production — it was rushed into production because it feels so urgent. In a year full of accidental Trump movies, this is the first one that’s completely on purpose.

[…]

“The Post” works as a history lesson, but its priorities are clearly sorted by their relevance to the crises we’re enduring right now, the need for a free press being first among them.

[…]

Nixon is a pivotal character, but he’s sheared down to the parallels he shares with Trump

[…]

“The Post” is essential because it stares down cynicism with a smile, because it enshrines the fact that governments only see journalists as a threat when they have something to hide.

The Post film review: Steven Spielberg’s riveting newspaper drama could be subtitled: ‘FAO Trump’ — Christopher Hooton of Independent

Holding political feet to the fire, it will be applauded by a newly politicised Hollywood, looking to give the Trump White House some serious side-eye.

[…]

Is this a political film about holding truth to power? An industry meditation about journalists uniting for a common cause? A feminist reading of Graham’s role in history? Or a parable for the situation the press currently finds itself in with President Donald J. Trump (“I don’t think I could go through this again,” a character laments in one of the final scenes)?

‘The Post’ isn’t just a masterpiece, it is a call to arms against Donald Trump — Gregory Wakeman of Metro

What feels most prescient, though, is the fire that it looks to set underneath all of us, especially journalists, when it comes to their duty to take on Donald Trump and his attacks on the freedom of the press. “The Post’s” final speech will hopefully immediately stir and inspire.

So yeah, all that stuff. Even Spielberg noted that he made this film in 2017 because he felt either he makes it then, or not at all, because he felt it was so timely, because he spotted parallels between Nixon and Trump. Over the past couple years, Trump has been bashing several major news outlets, though never to the extreme that Nixon did in the early 1970s. Because that’s the reason the film exists, as a call against Trump bashing the news outlets.

However, and this is what I suspected would be the case, this is not the only way to view the film. Like any decent film, like any decent work of art, there is more than one way to view it, even if it doesn’t conform to the artist’s original intent. Some mainstream reviewers can attest to that.

Steven Spielberg’s The Post Is Good, and It’s Not About Trump — Kyle Smith of National Review

[…] the hacks will note that the film’s co-star, Meryl Streep — on the strength of her January Golden Globes speech, which she devoted entirely to attacking the president — is as strongly identified with anti-Trump sentiment as any major Hollywood player. For these reasons, The Post stands to be one of the leading contenders to win the Best Picture Oscar on March 4. Academy voters who are dying to turn the ceremony into an expression of revulsion for Trump will have no better weapon this year with which to attack him.

Yet The Post is simply a potent newspaper thriller that could have been released in the Obama years (when it was written) or for that matter at any other point in recent decades. It offers very little in the way of actual parallels to Trump, and to Spielberg’s credit he doesn’t include any overt Trump bashing. Hysteria-prone Hollywood liberals who see the president’s likeness in every passing cloud will be thinking of him throughout the movie, but only because hysteria-prone Hollywood liberals are prone to hysteria.

[…]

Today, of course, the public trusts neither the government nor the media, but it would take a more ironically minded filmmaker than Steven Spielberg to capture that in a film.

[…]

The lasting importance of the Pentagon Papers was not that they altered the course of the Vietnam War (I’m not sure they did) but that they heralded a media Reformation, a new era of doubt and iconoclasm in which journalists like Bradlee (and Graham, who was personal friends with McNamara) chose an antagonistic new stance toward institutions. This isn’t activism or partisanship: Journalists should relentlessly investigate whatever Washington is doing, regardless of party. While it’s true that the media are much more hostile to one party than the other, the principle is a valid one: Journalists should be diggers, not Victorian gents.

Good follow-up to the above article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/454367/steven-spielbergs-anti-trump-movie-post-meryl-streep-and-tom-hanks

Despite how much the film aims its sights at Nixon (a metaphor for Trump) as the villain for attacking freedom of the press, historically speaking, it was more due to Henry Kissinger for attacking the press than Nixon (though I’m sure Nixon was all for Kissinger’s actions). That aside, as I said earlier, this film doesn’t make any stretches or anything all that blunt about bashing Trump, it’s made well-enough to be considered a sort of time capsule that can be watched in any time period to reflect upon this historic moment in the early 70s, followed up with the Watergate scandal (covered in All the President’s Men), and eventually Nixon’s resignation.

Anyway, I bring this all up because I disagree, strongly, with the message being taken from this film by many people, even if it’s the message Spielberg wished to inject into the film (but again, viewers can have opinions differing from the artist). First off, the idea that the Trump administration is attacking the press anywhere near as violently as the Nixon administration did (or even McCarthy, as can be seen in the highly recommended and still quite relevant film Good Night, and Good Luck). He bashes them, sure, but never to the extent that he’s also attacking the first amendment. I mean, for crying out loud, there’s a scene in the film where Nixon bars the Washington Post from a wedding reception and from any other White House event. While that may have happened in 1971, the case is reversed in the present, where CNN (among others) voluntarily choose to not attend similar White House events of their own accord.

And then there’s the other message contained within the film. It is said briefly in some speeches early on in the film that reporter integrity is vital, the quality of the paper/article helps to gain readers/fans and thus keep the Post alive. They have a responsibility to report important events as much as they do for reporting the truth. So thus I found it possible to also view this film as a call for news integrity, for honest and unbiased news that doesn’t leave out facts much like how Nixon and LBJ left out some inconvenient truths/reports on the Vietnam war. Most, if not all, of the instances I’ve seen Trump bash the media has been because of their false/biased reporting. Because they are not being as honest as those from the early 1970s. And it’s a long list of events where the media has falsified stories or taken them out of context.

http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/10/washington-post-reporter-doubles-down-on-fake-news-about-guns/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/01/01/fake-news-and-how-the-washington-post-rewrote-its-story-on-russian-hacking-of-the-power-grid/#6fd9e4e27ad5

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/266714/anonymous-sources-washington-post-and-cnn-fake-daniel-greenfield

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/washington-post-blacklist-story-is-shameful-disgusting-w452543

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/05/15/washington-post-creates-fake-news-timed-release-story-intended-to-capture-evening-news-lede/

https://thinkprogress.org/washington-post-fake-news-lomborg-climate-e13681c350f8/

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265832/why-medias-trump-lie-machine-failing-daniel-greenfield

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/8/dems-media-have-no-problem-lying-about-trump/

Should news agencies not be bashed if what they report is bullshit (assuming they’re not literally reporting about shit falling out of a bull’s ass)? Do those they report against falsely not have a right to attack them back for doing so? Should fake news not be treated as false? It’s stuff like this that makes me think of the other elements in the film, about how the higher ups in the media/papers are sometimes associated with government officials, and how that can lead to bias and not producing coverage of their “friends” when it’s honest and negative coverage; much less the fact-checking and source-backing (done to a greater extent in All the President’s Men). The sort of thing that should be done more often to government entities that are corrupt like the Clinton administration and portions of what Barack Obama did.

So there’s the other perspective one can take from this film. Not just a call for government honesty, but also for press/media honesty. As they said in the film, the press is more for the people than it is for the government. More for the ruled than for the rulers.

Otherwise, there is the social media alternative, and more are emerging beyond Twitter and Facebook.

But anyway, recommended film.

Jumanji (1995) and Welcome to the Jungle (2017) dual review

Jumanji is one of my favorite films from the 90s.  It’s not just a good kid-flick, but a good film in general.  So when I heard they were making a sequel to it, all I could think was, “Why?”  Then I saw the trailer, and I thought, “WHY!?!?!?”

My second thought was, “So this is what it feels like to have your childhood raped.”  So I expected this to be terrible going in to see it.  That probably should’ve worried me, because setting expectations so low provided a decent chance for the film to rise above them.  Which is ultimately what happened, and that pisses me off even more.

I wanted a film that gives me plenty to rant and rave about damnit!  It’s supposed to be worse than Star Wars: The Last Jedi!  In all fairness, The Last Jedi is a better film than this one, but that’s only because this film is simple mediocrity, with no aspirations whatsoever (make the movie, have fun, cash out) where as at least The Last Jedi at least strives to be more than that.  And for that matter, so did the original Jumanji movie.  From here on out, when referring to the 1995 film, I’m just going to call it Jumanji, while this new one I’ll call WttJ (Welcome to the Jungle).

 

Rated: 4 / 5

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games!

When watching Jumanji, I admire several things about it.  This film is a drama, with some adventure and comedy thrown in.  At its core, it’s a film about taking responsibility and facing your fears, and the consequences of not doing so.  It takes a long while before this becomes evident, as the film does a somewhat unique style on how it introduces our main characters.  I haven’t seen very many films that pull this off successfully.  First we’re introduced to Allen, a young boy who doesn’t want to live a life his father wants for him, and wishes to run away rather than face his father on the issue (at least not too much).  His girlfriend is introduced more slowly, first by dialogue discussions between Allen and the bullies, and then she is revealed later on.  Then they (unintentionally) play the game, a mystical board game that looks too well-made from a wooden design standpoint for something that isn’t well known (thus helping with that mystic aura it gives off, sound effects and musical complimentary notes aside).  An accidental play, much like how life throws unexpected surprises (some good some bad) at us.  Allen is sucked in, and disappears, much as how he intended to run away and disappear.  And his girlfriend, Sarah, runs away rather than tries to help him get out of the game (but, in all fairness, she was just a girl at the time, and was scarred emotionally by the whole ordeal, so it’s easy to sympathize with her, just as it’s easy to sympathize with Allen).

Then we are introduced to 2 other characters, Peter and Judy, who we become acquainted with and spend more time with than we did with Allen and Sarah.  These two kids also desire an escape from their current lives, which have gone downhill ever since their parents’ unfortunate death via an airplane crash, while on their way to a ski vacation.  It’s not until far later in the film that Allen appears again, due to the 2 new kids playing the game.  And even later on, Sarah finally re-enters the film.  The main characters aren’t firmly established until the film is practically halfway over.  Have to admit, when taking it in that context, this film seems rather daring.  Having the main protagonists appear early on, then disappear for a good portion of the first hour, and then re-appear to continue the story.  The film eases its way into allowing the viewers to be familiar with the main protagonists.  And it works.

Oh yeah, and Lilith from Cheers is in this.

As the film goes on, Allen, now an adult played by Robin Williams in one of his best roles, eventually comes to realize not just how much his father loved him despite the fight they had, but also what can happen when he runs from his fears.  When he visits the old shoe factory, after going through his old town and seeing how terrible it has become compared to what it once was (think Detroit before and after the 60s), he meets a homeless man who is familiar with the town’s history, who must’ve been associated with it to some extent in the past before becoming how he is now.  His speech to Allen about how the town became how it is now, how the Shoe Factory went out of business, how it was all because Allen’s father searched for Allen endlessly after Allen disappeared, no longer caring about anything else but finding himself.  Likely blaming himself for Allen’s disappearance, thinking he ran away because of him (which is true, but under a different context).  It’s such a tear-jerking moment, especially seeing this realization wash across Allen’s face, realizing not just how much his father loved him, but how much damage his running away has caused (metaphorically speaking, as his disappearance was caused against his will, though he did intend to run away prior to that).

But the film doesn’t just settle for the character trying to right the wrongs of the past.  It also shows how Allen’s character has evolved.  Not just turning into a survivalist with his time in the jungle within the game, but also with how he has become like his father.  He is still afraid, hates himself for not being more mature earlier on, but also becomes angry at Peter for wishing to continue playing the game.  Because Allen knows what will happen if they do so, that more creatures, and individuals, and weather conditions will emerge from the game to make things worse.  He warns Peter of this, but also knows that Peter is right.  This doesn’t make him any less angry, and eventually tells Peter in his anger that he needs to man up and face all of this like a man, because it’s Peter’s doing for causing this to happen.  Immediately after doing that, Allen realizes how he’s acting like his father in the past, and also realizes how he’s being hypocritical, and tries to comfort Peter after this.

Regarding the facing of fears and taking responsibility, the film handles it as it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  And longer one runs from their own fears, the worse things will get.  This is shown early on with Allen confronting these bullies after running from them earlier, the bullies chasing him because he went out with their leader’s girlfriend (Sarah).  It results in him getting beat up, but then things more or less work out after that.  With him running away from his father, and staying away for years (again, the film plays with this with him wanting to run away, and him escaping to Jumanji unintentionally and against his will), this causes consequences resulting in the town going bottom-up economically when the Shoe Factory shuts down due to his father searching for him.  It’s also shown from a more metaphorical standpoint with them playing the game, something they must do to resolve everything, and it continually makes things worse not just for the main characters, but for the town around them.  It’s not until near the end of the game when Allen finally conquers his fear, his primary fear being that of his own father.  It’s some heavy-hitting metaphors, reminding me of Silent Hill 2 with how everything in that game is basically a projection of the protagonists own fears and desires.  And yes, I just compared Jumanji to Silent Hill 2.

Jumanji being a 1995 film, two years after Jurassic Park hit theaters, CG is used, but it’s used along with practical effects.  Granted, the film hasn’t aged THAT well, but it doesn’t look all that terrible either, all things considered.  The CG is dated, but acceptable.  Most of the practical effects work, but a couple are laughable (those spiders, I lose it every time they show up).  Then there’s instances of blending CG with actual objects, which do a good job of making them seem more real.

 

 

 

Practical spiders.

 

 

 

Blending CG with real objects.
Honestly, I still think this effect works.

So, yeah, a film that I still think is great today.  It still works as a character drama mixed with a fun adventure film, with some decent comedy moments thrown in for good measure.  Emotional, fun, all around solid even with the somewhat dated effects.  As for the sequel…

 

 

 

Rated: 2 / 5

Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here every day!

So like I said, I expected to despise this film.  And it started off meeting those expectations.  So some metal drummer punk finds the board game in the sands on the beach, more or less picking up where the last film left off.  Except that the last film left off with the board game on some beach in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or some place where they speak Spanish.  You know, it’s times like these that I think it might be a good idea for American film studios developing a temporary partnership with some foreign studio and allow them to take a jab at the property, whether it’s a remake or a sequel.  Seriously, it might not be a bad idea, and a perfect way to inject a different and fresh style into the film.  Granted, everyone will be of a different ethnicity and speaking a foreign language and viewers would have to read subtitles (unless they’re lazy assholes who refuse to watch any movie subtitled), but for those of us who care, it would be worth it.

But I digress.  Ignoring where the board game wound up in the previous film, this metal dude gets the board game out of the beach sand, takes it to his home, and opens it up to see what it is.  He sees it’s a board game, and says something along the lines of, “Who plays board games anymore?” before tossing it aside onto his stack of Playstation games.

Fuck you you fucking fucker!  Board games are fucking awesome, even back in the 90s!  What, cocksuckers like you never heard of Crossfire!?

How about Forbidden Bridge!?

Kiss my dick and suck my ass!  You deserve whatever fate befalls you for pissing off the Jumanji game!

But rather than letting curiosity get the better of him to try out the game, you know, by hearing that drum beat or something (which doesn’t fucking happen!), the board game transforms into some Atari cartridge game or something so that he can play it.  What the fuck!?

Scarily enough, this is likely foreshadowing.

So that’s basically how they decided to make this into a sequel to Jumanji, by having the board game transform into a video game just for the fuck of it.  And you know, from here on out, aside from this dumb fucking reference to the first film that happens in the middle of WttJ, this movie is completely different from Jumanji!  They could’ve called this film ANYTHING else, anything not associated with Jumanji, and I wouldn’t be forced to do this comparison bullshit.  It has more in common with Tron than it does Jumanji.  Stop making half-assed sequels and remakes Hollywood!  Do what Disney has been doing since the 90s, ripping off stories and making them their own (The Lion King = Hamlet + Kimba the White Lion, Pocahontas rewriting history, The Little Mermaid being more lighthearted than the original source, etc.).  Rip off movies, stop trying to claim that they’re remakes or sequels!

Tron

*deep breathe*  Ok, with that out of the way, and after metalhead gets sucked into the videogame, the film basically becomes its own thing that bares little resemblance to Jumanji.  4 kids get put into detention, one for be a snot-nosed bitch who refuses to turn her cell phone off, 2 of them because they cheated on their school assignment, and the other because she mouthed off to the PE teacher.  And in detention they stumble across this game (somehow), and plug it in, play, and get sucked into it, each becoming a different character based on which character they chose at the start of the game.  So each of them is given a new body with certain personality traits that peak through occasionally.

Like being so black and unfunny it pisses the Republicans off.

Now, before I continue, it’s worth noting that the dumb fucks who made this movie think that cartridge games actually have a loading screen.  Did any of you motherfuckers ever play a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo?  None of those fucking consoles had loading screens.  Why?  Because cartridges are faster than CDs!  Just take a USB drive compared to a fucking Disc for comparison in today’s world!  On that note, I wouldn’t be surprised if games eventually went back to a cartridge style play, assuming everything doesn’t wind up online (not likely since Net Neutrality has been killed and now cocksuckers like Verizon and Comcast can start throttling other companies if they don’t pay a little extra, like in 2005 when Comcast delayed BitTorrent traffic, or in 2007 when AT&T censored Pearl Jam, or 2007-9 when AT&T forced Apple to block Skype, or in 2011 when MetroPCS announced it would block streaming services over its 4G network except for YouTube, or 2012 when Verizon blocked tethering app use on their phones, or when Verizon and Comcast throttled Netflix until 2014 when Netflix agreed to pay them extra, or 2014 when T-Mobile used data caps to manipulate competition, until 2015 when net neutrality was in place until 2017 when that went away [those dipshits will likely throttle my site now just for bringing that up]).

Too much stress for the hair to endure.

With that tangent out of the way, the plot of the film is that our 4 heroes need to return a green crystal McGuffen to a big McGuffen statue in order to win and get back to the real world.  So no, there’s no trying to roll a 5 or an 8 on the dice.  That’s all I’ll say about the plot.

Honestly, the only time she was funny was during her make-out scene with The Rock, which was definitely one of the funnier moments of the film.

So, are there any deep character moments in this film?  What the hell do you think?  Of course there isn’t!  As if you would think otherwise after seeing any of the trailers.  There’s this theme of friendship, and acceptance, not being selfish, and of tranny stuff like being a woman trapped in a man’s body, or a wimp trapped in a muscular body (or vice-versa), or an average-looking chick trapped in a hot chick’s body.  There’s a line in the movie that goes, “What you are on the outside is not what you are on the inside,” which is stating that it’s your character and personality that counts, not your looks, but it’s more fun to think of this is as a transgender message.  Personally, I think the tranny theme existed just so Jack Black could do that role of acting like a woman.  And in his case, it works, because he completely steals the show from everyone else.  He gets the most laughs and produces the best comedic charisma out of everyone, even doing better than Dwayne Johnson (who also got a couple laughs from me here and there, by doing his usual The Rock routine).  He must’ve loved doing this, and I’m not going to lie, despite my gripes, it was fun watching him do this role.

Or maybe I’ve misjudged this film.  This bit could be a complex female fat joke.

This movie exists primarily to be a comedy, not giving much of a shit about the dramatic moments, which would be fine if it was funnier than it is, but it isn’t.  The film is just another typical forgettable comedy affair that offers some chuckles here and there, but nothing that’s going to be all that memorable.  It’s not the trainwreck I expected it to be, but it’s still a desecration to the Jumanji film, and it does not deserve to have that word in its fucking title.  I would’ve liked it more if it had nothing to do with that title.  Just being called Welcome to the Jungle would’ve been fine.  Hell, I’d be interested if they just called it Atari Jungle or something.

Oh, guess that title was already taken by this suckass film.

So in case you didn’t guess from the rating, this movie is a pass.  You’re better off tracking down and watching the Jumanji animated series.  And you can buy the entire series right now on DVD, all 3 seasons for less than ten dollars (hey, if this fucking movie is going to have advertisements in it, then so will this review!).

 

PS: Oh, right, and there were some blatant obvious advertisements in this film, mainly with Sony, their PS4, their smartphone, and Dave & Busters.  Well, at least they kept it game-themed with the ads.

 

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

So I know what you’re thinking.  Will this review contain spoilers?  You bet your ass it will.  I’m gonna spoil the shit out of this movie.  But before I do that, there’s a few things I need to get off my chest.  I’ll put up a spoiler warning sign when I get to that point.  So for those who are worried about spoilers and just want to know my opinion on the entertainment level of this film, how good or bad it is, I’ll say this.  It is better than The Force Awakens, and addressed some of the issues I had with that film.  That being said, this is a film that basically did 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, which frustrates the shit out of me because it could easily have done 4 steps forward and 1 step back instead (there was know way they were going to go all 5 steps forward, not with a Disney movie).  So if you loved The Force Awakens, you’ll love this.  If you hated The Force Awakens, this might change your mind and give you some hope for the final installment in the trilogy (except that that hack Jar Jar Abrams will be back in the director’s chair for that film, which has me worried, even if it’s an improvement upon the last director attached to that film; Christ I wish Christopher Nolan would grow a pair of balls and try one of these out).  And just to throw this in, if you loved The Force Awakens more than Rogue One, go fuck yourself.

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