War is hell but it sometimes provides the backdrop for great movies. The recent Blu-ray release of 1917, followed by the 50th anniversary, this week, of the Oscar-winning Patton, starring George C. Scott, is as good an excuse as any for cinephiles to hunker down in the trenches of an impromptu war movie marathon (especially if you’re stuck at home right now due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic).
With that in mind, here’s a mission for you, soldier: work your way through this chronological list of the best war movies of the last fifty years. “Best” is ultra-subjective, of course, but when you’re Alamo-ed up in a fort of pillows in your living room and there’s nothing good on television, few of these movies should disappoint.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch as Aaron Paul surprises fans at a special midnight screening of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Plus, a real life Marine reviews the accuracy of military movies like Jarhead, Stripes, and others, and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams sits down for an interview and some (vegan) hot wings in the latest edition of Hot Ones. Read More »
R. Lee Ermey, the gruff character actor probably most remembered for his scene-stealing, vulgar-laced turn in Stanley Kubrick‘s Full Metal Jacket, has died at age 74. Ermey was a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and drill instructor who broke into acting, and spent a long career playing authority figures.
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Sunday on Twitter, former Simpsons consultant Brad Bird said “In The Simpsons universe, Christmas comes at Halloween; all stops are pulled, budgets are increased, no holds are barred.” He was referring to the show’s annual Treehouse of Horror event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sunday. The highlight of the show’s three segments (all of which were pretty fantastic) was A Clockwork Yellow. The story reimagined Moe, Homer, Lenny and Carl as Alex and his droogs from Stanley Kubrick‘s A Clockwork Orange. It borrowed dialogue, settings, shots, and music; in the story things get weird, and eventually just nosedive down a Kubrickian rabbit hole. It’s a much-watch for fans of The Simpsons and Kubrick alike. Read More »
In the realm of movie criticism, people love absolutes. This movie is better than that movie. This movie is 2 stars and that one is 5 stars, etc. However, if you actually critique movies for a living, you quickly realize not all movies are created equal. There are times and circumstances where films that may not be equal are given similar grades for different reasons. Speaking personally, did I love Man of Steel for what it was and give it a positive review? Yes. Was the grade the same or higher than films on my top 10 of the year? Yes. But Man of Steel didn’t make the list because it served a different purpose than those films.
One person who would have totally understood that is Roger Ebert. Ebert was a big proponent of context in criticism (hence giving a thumbs up to Benji the Hunted but not Full Metal Jacket, as seen in Life Itself) and recommending The Longest Yard and The Honeymooners over War of the Worlds. Below, watch those two clips to hear Ebert explain his reasons for movie review ratings. Read More »
Matthew Modine was a young actor when he played a starring role in Stanley Kubrick‘s next-to-last film Full Metal Jacket. I’d expect that working with Kubrick would be a formative experience for anyone, but to have such a role at a young age would be a special, life-altering thing. Modine has extensively documented his experience in the film, and now he’s translated his recollections into a great-looking iPad app.
The 2005 book Full Metal Jacket Diary is now available for the iPad, thanks to a collaboration with Adam Rackoff. Check out a couple videos below, showing off what the app offers. Read More »
There’s a lot of lore and misunderstanding with respect to what ‘improvising’ means with respect to filmmaking. I think there are some who take ‘improvised’ to mean that there is no script, or that actors go completely off-book when shooting a scene. And while there are a few directors who do shoot films like that — very few — most of the time improvisation on film means that an actor comes up with a new line or action in the context of a scripted scene.
Here’s a video that compiles twenty-five of the most influential unscripted moments in film. Some of these are things that weren’t in the script, but created on set between takes (supposedly Bogie’s “here’s looking at you, kid” line from Casablanca is one of those) and some are genuine spur of the moment creations. Read More »
Artist Tim Doyle talks his The Vietnam War Movie Memorial art:
“I was asked to participate in an artshow that is also a fundraiser for a documentary about VHS art, and this is the piece I created for it. VHS will always hold a special place in my memory. … Recently I had to re-watch Full Metal Jacket and another Vietnam War movie for poster assignments (the second one is not yet released, fyi) and I got to thinking about how much of our understanding of war in this country is filtered through the for-profit lens of Hollywood. And frankly, I think it’s gross. Multi-million dollar star vehicles showing us all how awful war is, but still with a slight sense of humor and a moral at the end, and the star never comes home with a permanent brain injury or a lost limb. It’s these celluloid fantasies that help shape and sell the narrative of how we in America “understand” what’s going on in all those other countries we can’t spell properly. Many of us here don’t even personally know the name of a soldier serving now, much less one that has died in a past conflict. Do I hate war movies? Heck no. They can be great fun, great social commentary, and depress the hell out of you. They can also exploit, lie, and whitewash. But no one should ever mistake them for what they are- complete fiction. Even the ‘true’ stories aren’t really true. So all of the above was kicking around in my head when I created the above piece. I hope it offends the right people and the original intended message comes through. “
Nakatomiinc is selling a 18×24 hand printed silkscreen print of Doyle’s Vietnam War Memorial, signed and numbered in an artist’s edition of 50.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A movie poster exhibit recently opened in Montreal, Canada and it comes complete with three beautiful new prints. The exhibit is called “J’ai tué le photographe” (which translates to “I killed the photographer”) and it runs through October 30 at the Cinema du Parc. The three prints made for the show are Oldboy by Rhys Cooper, Full Metal Jacket by Tim Doyle and El Topo by Martin Ansin. Cooper, Doyle and Ansin have each been featured numerous times on /Film and are just a few of the artists working to prove that specially designed movie posters are back in a big way. Hit the jump to see the posters, get info on how to buy them and read more about the exhibit. Read More »
Pajiba has edited another wonderful montage of movie clips, this time compiling the 100 greatest movie insults of all time in under 10 minutes. Watch the video now embedded after the jump.
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