Zack Snyder brings Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300” based on the Battle of Thermopylae onto the big screen. This movie is oozing with glistening manly chests (not one chest hair to be found) and (you may have guessed this much) 300 stout Spartan warriors from tip to toe clad in only the most necessary garments, wielding a hefty spear and shield.
Do not look for character development or historical accuracy here, if you want that go see the 1962 version “The 300 Spartans“. Here you get digitally enhanced muscles, lots and lots of slow motion battle scenes tinted in Sepia, severing of heads and limbs in slow motion and some heterosexual activities.
It’s been known for a while now, Rome, another superb HBO show has been cancelled and will end after only 2 seasons. Main reasons: lack of viewers and too expensive. [ source ]
Granted, Rome was originally intended as a mere miniseries but spawned into a full series after the network saw the quality of the scripts. Unfortunately for HBO and any other network, viewer numbers are everything, esp. when the cost for the entire first season is around 100 million U$. We cannot really blame HBO when the viewers rather prefer crap over intelligent, quality TV series. If more people would have watched shows like Rome, Deadwood, Firefly, Invasion they would not have been cancelled, easy as that. Networks need to make profit and have to provide what the majority wants to see and if the majority wants to see crap then they have to give them crap. Besides, what network are you looking for when you want to watch quality shows? HBO, right?
Rome will end on March 25th 2007.
Alistair MacLean’s “Where Eagles Dare” is summarized pretty well by its own tag line “They look like Nazis but … The Major is British … The Lieutenant is American … The Beautiful Frauleins are Allied Agents!” One may want to add that they also talk like American or British agents while the Germans have a silly accent but then again it was 1968 and having subtitled Germans would probably have been met with little acceptance. As a result this action adventure has only its escape plot going for it, the setting becomes secondary.
Major John Smith (Richard Burton) is sent to rescue an American general who is reportedly in possession of the plans for D-Day from a seemingly impregnable German fortress located high up in the Bavarian Alps. Lieutenant Morris Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) is assisting Smith in this Allied operation. As the men penetrate the fortress, facing an endless supply of German soldiers, it becomes apparent that some members of their own small Allied team may not be who they seem to be.
This is not a serious Second World War movie, neither in tone nor in accuracy, it is a bit of escape fiction that has a lot of bombs in stock for the viewer and never takes itself too seriously and you cannot help but laugh at some of the German officers and their moves on the “Frauleins” while Burton and Eastwood kick ass in their own fashion.
If rated as war movie “Where Eagles Dare” would fail miserably if watched as action movie it is ridiculously silly most of the time, still Burton and Eastwood carry this film the whole way through to the end and it is amusing to watch besides the scenery and the “Frauleins” are stunningly beautiful and sometimes treacherous.
“Band of Brothers” is the best WWII TV series I have ever seen. This 10 part HBO mini series running 600 minutes tells the story of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division, from their training to their landing in Normandy, their sacrifices, their courage, their fears, the hardship and the cruelty of war. It is a story about a few good men who tried to do what they were trained to do. It forever changed them and their lives. They formed a bond deeper than any bond that is forged during peace. It is their story and it is told with shocking detail and realism.
“Walt Disney Treasures: On the Front Lines” stands out from the rest of the Walt Disney Treasure releases simply because of its historical context. It contains 32 shorts and a full-length feature film “Victory through Air Power” originally released between 1941 and 1945. This makes “On the Front Lines” the most anticipated release of the Treasures series and rightly so. Shorts like “Education for Death” or “Der Fuehrer’s Face” have lost nothing of its potency and putting them into context really shows you the power of the media machine. Most of the material was made for propaganda purposes, supporting the war effort at home and some are educational hence the entertainment factor may not always be given but the historical context of these make them fascinating for generations to come.
Read on for a brief synopsis of the most prominent shorts or click here for the full DVD review over at eyecravedvd.com.