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Watching Star Wars the wrong way, have you been

Posted November 19, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Like most families we have all the Star Wars vids on DVD and they get a regular thrashing over the school holidays. It's been years since i've bothered to sit down and watch them with the kids (which means Thomas, really) but I'm thinking that when I get off deadline (Ha!) I might give them another go. A marathon, indeed, but in the order suggested by Nicholas Carlson in this article at Business Insider:

There is only one proper way to watch the series, and it’s not from Episode 1 to Episode 6. There are lots of story arcs in the Star Wars saga that matter. The one that matters most, and every movie touches on, is the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader, also known as Luke’s dad.

Because of that, the best order to watch the movies is the original Star Wars, then Empire Strikes Back, then the second prequel, then the third, and then final movie in the original trilogy, Return of The Jedi.

Watched that way, you get a story that introduces a hero and a terrible all-powerful monster, reveals that the monster is the hero’s father, goes back in time to show how the father became a monster, and ends with the monster redeeming himself.

It’s a deeply resonant narrative framework — full of allusions to eras gone by and foreshadowing of drama to come.

23 Responses to ‘Watching Star Wars the wrong way, have you been’

Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 19, 2013

So you skip Episode 1 entirely? Meh I'm ok with that.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted November 20, 2013

Episode 1 was the film which stopped me watching the rest of the series.

Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted November 20, 2013

Me too. I went to the midnight screening when it came out...I left the theatre feeling somewhat unclean, vioated if you will. In later years my kids loved that show!

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted November 20, 2013

Although they realised Jar Jar Binks was shite from a very early age.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted November 19, 2013

I don't think Ep. 1 was a very good movie.
But I think, as the years go by, with the more considered perspective of history,
Jar Jar Binks will be given his rightful place as one of the most delightful and heroic characters within the Star Wars universe.

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Bangar would have you know...

Posted November 19, 2013

Star Wars Down Under, just saying.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19, 2013

star wars prequels.... um just no. No alright. No. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo

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Rob puts forth...

Posted November 19, 2013

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/ I recomend sitting down with your son and watching theses movies. You will need the same ammount of time as watchingthe real thing. My kids and I watched them. I also made them watch Fight Club with me when they hit 13. I'm sure that says something.

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted November 19, 2013

It's called the machete order, and it is the only way to watch it. It is the way I introduced my little boy to it, and you know what his favourite movie is? Revenge of the Sith.

http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/

I love the character Darth Maul, but really, it was the only thing that was really worth keeping from that movie. It was amazing after watching it in this order how complete a series it became.

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19, 2013

Straight to the synopsis...

http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/#toc-introducing-machete-order

It really changes the story, and makes it... dare i say it... great.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted November 19, 2013

I am looking forward to trying this in the holidays, but the question is which version do you use? The one with the extra scenes, Jabba The Hut at the Mos Eisley that Han Steps on, where he shoots Guido first?

In Return of the Jedi, in the scene in which Darth Vader stops Emperor Palpatine from electrocuting Luke with Force lightning by picking up the Emperor and hurling him into the bottomless shaft of the Death Star, Vader now screams "Nooo! Noooo!!!" as he does so.

Or in A New Hope the arrival of a howling hooded figure who scares of the Tusken raiders crowded around Luke's prone form--a figure that turns out to be Ben Kenobi. For some reason, Lucas altered this howl, supposed to be Ben's simulation of a Krayt Dragon cry, to make it much more shrill and unpleasant--and startlingly less scary

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted November 20, 2013

The Krayt Dragon cry was something added in later through the EU and novels. Sort of like how Boba Fett is meant to have survived in the Sarlaac. Which is bullshit because the whole point was that tough guys don't always go out in a blaze of glory - sometimes they die through a silly set of circumstances.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted November 20, 2013

I don't like Lucas's re-versioning: it was unnecessary & my 7-year-old self was quite happy with the original.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20, 2013

"Me Jar Jar Binks and Me Ruins de whole movie!"

Frequently heard quote late 1990s.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted November 20, 2013

This is the only way to watch Star Wars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_n8FRILoYE

Or this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A0rwG39Jzk

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted November 20, 2013

When I introduced them to wife and son I went 4,1,2,3,5,6 - that way they got the shock of Anakin being Vader (which was much bigger than finding out that Vader was Luke's father).

Also Episode 1 will be watched in 20 years. Kids like it - and as someone who has 2 lightsabers, about 200 different star wars ships, and shelves full of Star Wars books I remember that the target audience is 9 year olds.

Lucas once said that there was a generation of people that wanted Star Wars to be like The Matrix with cool fights and cool people doing cool things and that wasn't what it was about at all. It was about entertaining kids in the same way that 1930's serials did.

A primary reason why nerds get all angsty about Jar Jar and Ewoks is that they are obvious proof that the films are aimed at kids. If you want inception, go watch inception. If you want angsty Sci-Fi, go watch FireFly. But don't pretend Star Wars is anything other than escapist entertainment where 9 year olds are the primary audience.

MickH asserts...

Posted November 25, 2013

Totally agree with you Blarkon. I have said the same thing to others many times.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20, 2013

but surely we can all agree Han shot first!

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted November 20, 2013

fuckin' A

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20, 2013

Darth Maul. Is that some kind of jedi rugby thing?

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted November 20, 2013

No, it's just a typo. The Dearth Maul is what the Wobblies practice.

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted November 25, 2013

Having just read the blog that defines the Machete method, I can see how this would work. I'd still show Ep 1 but last as he suggests as a by line to the main story.

Wow I feel i have to go and find a Star Wars newby and try it out!

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Shifty Tourist puts forth...

Posted November 25, 2013

On a related point, there was a youtube clip of a guy discussing what Episode 1 should have done not to suck, essentially he discusses what a rewrite should do... it has some great ideas, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgICnbC2-_Y.

Essentially, it is no longer Anakins story per see, but Obi Wan's.... tracking his story from young padawan, to inexperienced Jedi, to master, his great failure (Anakin, his charge, becoming Vadar) and his redemption (his sacrifice so that Luke can become "the new hope" and fullfill his destiny.)

Not sure I agree with all his ideas, but some I think stand out;

Darth Maul doesn't die a pointless death, but remains a villain through the entire three films,

Anakin is not a child when he meets obi wan, maybe a late teen.

Bit of a love triangle, jeolousy thing between Obi Wan, Anakin and Padmae,

Yoda not appearing, but referred to (building his mystique), until the final episode.

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting appouch essentially making it not a trilogy, but a story arch that lasts four films beginning with Obi Wan meeting Anakin, and ending when Vada strikes him down.

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Man, those flying aircraft carriers turned out to be arse

Posted October 25, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

They always crash.

19 Responses to ‘Man, those flying aircraft carriers turned out to be arse’

Stuart ducks in to say...

Posted October 25, 2013

Well when ex-super carriers can be had for pennies, flying aircraft carriers might as well be disposable.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/23/uss-forrestal-sold-penny_n_4151288.html

Personally I don't think anything that isn't nuclear can really be 'super', but they didn't consult me for the classification system.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 25, 2013

The aircraft is a Helicarrier. That is, it is really just a big helicoptor.
This creates a problem of 2 competing film conventions.
(1) The hero's super cool conveyance survives, battered but indomitable.
(2) All helicoptors must die.
Clearly, that second rule is one very powerful rule.

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted October 25, 2013

* Helicopter
No excuses, bad spelling.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted October 25, 2013

Much as I like them the practical side of me wonders how much just one of these damned things cost? How do you hide the logistics needed to maintain just one of them let alone three? Where do you build them at? How do you keep the people who built them to keep their mouths shut?

And what are they actually supposed to be used for?

Personally, I think a more practical and believable vessel would be one that could submerge, travel undetected underwater and emerge to launch an airstrike with VLS cells popping off any flavor of missiles in support.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Stuart is gonna tell you...

Posted October 25, 2013

The Japanese tried that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-400-class_submarine

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted October 25, 2013

I could be wrong, but I believe Anton Chekhov advised screenwriters "If in the film you have in one scene a flying aircraft carrier, then in the following one, it should crash and explode."

damian reckons...

Posted October 25, 2013

Chekhov died at 44. That rings a few bells for me, since I'm 43. I quite liked Cherry Orchard, but I never read or saw Uncle Vanya. But I bet it inspired a whole lot of stuff I have...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted October 26, 2013

I've always felt that Uncle Vanya would adapt well to the action/adventure genre. By day, an elderly professor with a glamorous, much younger second wife; by night, a vigilante crime fighter.

Maybe even a musical, tentatively titled V: Take Back the Estate.

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted October 27, 2013

Unlike Pavel Chekov who is "now", apparently, an Admiral. http://techmash.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/st1.jpg

Mind you, Pavel would have had a lot of fun with a Helicarrier in his ST:TOS days.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted October 28, 2013

"Mild mannered professor by day..."

I can't imagine why that would appeal to you Paul.

Guru Bob mutters...

Posted October 28, 2013

I always thought Chekov did a reasonable job piloting the Enterprise, which was similar to a flying aircraft carrier...

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JBtoo puts forth...

Posted October 25, 2013

and was that Callan Mulvey playing a baddie? Are there any actors left in Australia?

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted October 25, 2013

Worf syndrome. Show the most badass thing you've got and then show the enemy beating it to show what a threat they are.

This is why the lions almost always don't form Voltron at the start - they have to be kicked around a bit to show "yeah, this enemy is badass" before going all Voltron and fucking up robeasts.

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted October 25, 2013

Thats because the fkn dumb as shit gits didnt fkn listen to me..ITS FROM FKN ORBIT!...OK, not atmosphere..that way the decay rates slower...of sorts I guess and..well, lets really fkn face it. I DO IT SOOOOOOO MUCH FKN BETTERER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anthony mutters...

Posted October 28, 2013

This trumps a flying aircraft carrier!

http://gizmodo.com/japan-just-successfully-tested-its-asteroid-shattering-1451371986

(The link thingy won't let me link)

Although research be damned. We all know the real reason and those Mysterians had better back off now! We've got a proper space cannon.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 29, 2013

Now that I think of it: surely the cray amount of energy required to make something like that fly would be more usefully deployed as a weapon in its own right...

Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted October 29, 2013

I've always thought the same with the gravity generators that must exist in most sci-fi ships and how there is so much missed war potential here.

Think about it, if you have a device which can essentially simulate the mass of earth, in something the size of the Enterprise, the Millenuium Falcon, Galactica, its only matter of scaling it up to simulate the mass of, say Beatlegeuse.... now given the size of ships vary, but the simulated gravity appears to remain the same, surely this means you should be able to simulate the mass of a giant sun, and compress it into the size, of say, a grain of sand or smaller.... which means of course we're in black hole territory.

To demonstrate how this may change one of the great sci-fi stories. Cylons invade, Humans realise its hopless, general evacuation is called, some humans escape the colonies, Blackhole bombs trigger, Cylon fleet destroyed, humans resettle and they all rejoiced.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 29, 2013

Thanks a lot. Most science fiction space travel stuff is ruined for me now.

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Bladerunner Noir

Posted October 16, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Of course Bladerunner is noir, of a sort.

But here it's the real thing.

17 Responses to ‘Bladerunner Noir’

Murphy puts forth...

Posted October 16, 2013

Awesome!

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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two glass taste mumbles...

Posted October 16, 2013

Sean Young steps right out the shadows like a Chandler-esque femme fatale

I could see Harrison Ford as a Marlow in space

Oh and all the smokes. Lots of smokes.

And those square booze glasses

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yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted October 16, 2013

Cool!

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yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted October 16, 2013

It is, however, no 'Han Solo, P.I.'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEigvdbzia8

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Trowzers is gonna tell you...

Posted October 16, 2013

Man, this is the kind of awesome that makes me glad we have Youtube, and kinda makes up for the horror that is the comments section.

The Burgers who are Night Vale fans might appreciate this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=061MpC5q1NM

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted October 16, 2013

Indeed I do

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted October 16, 2013

They are doing another one. (I love the extras on the super edition of Blade Runner - I even have the oragami bit and a model of the police car).

What freaks me out about that film is young Eddie Olmos.

Spanner mutters...

Posted October 16, 2013

That's Admiral Adama "Husker" to you son.

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Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted October 16, 2013

Ahhhhh.... Bladerunner. Now I need to revisit. Thanks JB.

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Legless swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 16, 2013

I've worked in IT all my life.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Sun-servers on fire over the shoulder of Ryan. I watched tape-reels glitter in the dark near the Mailgate. All those backups will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time... to die."

Squig Jones is gonna tell you...

Posted October 21, 2013

When youv'e pulled helpdesk on a sunday for seriously senior fukwits because you screwed up at work again then we'll talk.

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Sparty would have you know...

Posted October 16, 2013

Very Very nice.

I'm going to plug something I did for the greatest Film Noir of all time......

"Out of the Past, aka Build my Gallows High" with Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer (who Sean Young channels in Blad Runner) and Kirk Douglas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1jZaVxQz8g

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted October 16, 2013

The music at the start and the black and white made me feel I was wandering through Fallout 3.

Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted October 16, 2013

Oh Totes except the music wasn't quite cheesey enough.

Fallout FTW

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Barks puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

That was gorgeous.

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Squig Jones would have you know...

Posted October 20, 2013

Through a scanner darkly is how I've always seen the world unfortunately.

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Argo

Posted September 27, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Watched Argo with the kids yesterday, Ben Affleck's excellent thriller about the CIA operation to exfiltrate half a dozen State Department employees from Iran after the beardy nutters siezed the embassy and put a spike through the heart of the Carter presidency. The missing six escaped the embassy before the 'students' could lay hands on them.

It was great, if undoubtedly inaccurate, given the needs of dramatic pacing are rarely served by faithful reportage. The storyline about setting up the bogus film company to shoot a bogus sci-fi film in Iran was a joy to behold. I don't know much about the matter beyond what I saw yesterday, but I do understand that the Canadian ambassador, who was hiding the Americans, played a much greater role relative to the CIA, who were the heroes of Affleck's movie.

Still, as a movie, a thriller and a beautifully observed period piece, it was a cracker. Well worth the rental and the overdue fee. We had to keep explaining to the kids why nobody was using email or mobile phones. I'm not sure fax macines were even in common use at that point in time. And despite the history lesson during the opening credits, we still had to hit pause to provide a brief tour of the trail of tears that winds through western involvement in the Mid East since the rise of the internal combusion engine.

It also gave me to wondering about alternate histories turning on the same events. People forget now that the Soviet embassy was also briefly taken over at about the same time. Very briefly. That showdown was resolved quietly when the Sovs grabbed up the nearest and dearest of some high ranking mullahs and started mailing them back to Tehran, body part by body part. There was even a brief line in the film referencing that in an oblique fashion.

I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if someone other than Carter had been in the Whitehouse. Would the legacy of failure in Vietnam, which still dragged so heavily on US state power then have stayed the hand of another President? Would military action by a younger Ronald Reagan, for instance, have led to a very different map of the middle east in the following thrity years? Bloodier and even more chaotic perhaps. But different.

42 Responses to ‘Argo’

Ol' Jim puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

If Carter lost to .... was it Barry Goldwater in 1976 .... the Iran we know wouldn't be there. If the US had of invaded Iran, would the Soviets sit back or would that have gone in via Afgahistan 3 years earlier. Could have really upset he applecart. No Western support for Saddam Hussien because no Iraq/Iran war. And the rest is history

I smell a book.

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Ol' Jim puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

My apologies, I forgot about G. Ford

Would he have changed things - maybe not so much

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted September 27, 2013

Imagine those bearded nutters wanting to get rid of the western puppet Shah. Iran is like it is because of fucking stupid western cowboy policy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Revolution - when the cowboys then got in bed with their *ally* Saddam Hussein and had him attack Iran. That ended up a nice clusterfuck didn't it.

Imagine instead you'd had someone like Carter about earlier when all the shit that set up the decades of arse in the region instead of macho cowboys who dictated foreign policy and created the whole fucking mess in the first place.

What would have happened if you'd had one of those trigger happy turds in the White House would be yet another long fucking pointless war where a lot of people die to prop up a government that is only really supported by Washington and isn't supported by the majority of people that live in the country.

You can use B52's to drop all the "good ole freedom" you want on women and kiddies - but the fantasy that the US can remake the world into a carbon copy of its own suburbia is just that. A fucking fantasy.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 27, 2013

Actually, I'm not in favor of b52s dropping high explosive freedom on women and kiddies. But the ME is a tangled rats nest of what-ifs and Iran is the iffiest of them all. I suspect there are no good outcomes. Only slightly less worse ones. And lots of much much worse ones.

yankeedog asserts...

Posted September 28, 2013

'People forget now that the Soviet embassy was also briefly taken over at about the same time. Very briefly. That showdown was resolved quietly when the Sovs grabbed up the nearest and dearest of some high ranking mullahs and started mailing them back to Tehran, body part by body part.'

But in Orin's world, Americans are responsible for all the 'barbaric' actions and evils propagated today. How could the enlightened Soviet Union have done this? Surely, JB, you must be mistaken. It had to have been some, how would Orin say it? 'fucking US fucking cowboy', working out of Moscow or Alma-Ata or wherever, that was mailing the mullahs' body parts back to Teheran and placing blame on the Sovs. Clever of us!

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 28, 2013

What Yankeedog said.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

Pfft. I'm on the Lizard Emporer's team on this.

There is a line to be walked betwixt interventionism and isolationism. I dont think anyone (who has given it any serious thought) would sugest The USA should retreat to within its borders and play no role on the international stage. At the same time many interventions by US, GB & CCCP among others have resulted in blowback of unimaginable proportions and Escher complexity.

I'd posit that GB bears more responsibility for the septic mess that is the Middle East than The USA. Due largely to the apparantly random deliniation of borders (sorry Kurds), the external eenie meenie picking of ruling families (looking at you house of Saud.)

At the same time the US's ham-fisted interventions havn't exactly unleashed a horde of rainbow farting unicorns of peace and brotherly love. There is a line of argument that posits that Whitey's medling has done more for the growth of radical Islam tha the Israeli's Super Happy Fun Times in Palestine.

I am currently wading through Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation The take home seems to be; Irrespective of intentions, it is widows & orphans that pay the butchers bill.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

I find your lack of faith disturbing, Bob.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

achhghhhrhhhhhhh chhhgh ch ch hc

*flmp*

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted September 27, 2013

A topic worthy of real alternate history investigation is if someone stopped Churchill from launching Operation Ajax. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax - which arguably caused a lot of the problems that we have today with terrorism and that region. If Ajax hadn't launched, Iran might have been a modern and secular, a center of science, technology, and culture. Instead a western puppet ended up running the joint - which lead to the rise of a rabidly religious opposition that eventually overthrew him.

An Idle Dad has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2013

Search for Operation Ajax in the Apple app store and it has a brilliant comic (free) on the whole thing - with some of the original documentation thrown in as reference.

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Melissa Savage has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2013

The Canadian ambassador (and his wife, who is Australian) were interviewed by Richard Fidler on the ABC Conversations show a few months ago and tell a lot more of their story. You can get it on the ABC website here http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/04/09/3732980.htm?&date=201304

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2013

Ford was nice but dim, & may well have been swayed by the Pentagon to formulate a military response.

Thing is this was the ramping up of the cold war and so the CCCP's response would have been interesting. And it was because it was the coldwar and its zero sum games that Blarkons 'cowboys' had their way.

My father & I were in the gulf a year or two earlier(he stayed I didn't (bloody mothers!)), in Oman, Iran was always seen as a threat even though we had a lot of Iranian Air Force and Army advisors knocking around.

If Op Ajax hadn't have happened we'd have seen IMHO an Iran riven by cold war politics (esp betwen the Tudeh & the Shia clerics) which would have further destabilised the region. Not saying Ajax was a good idea but in the the lens of the time problably a better medium term solution.

Another thing to remember is that the Tudeh & secular revolutionaries were stabbed in the back by the 'students' and their leaders and the rise of Sunni lead Arab nationanlaism (in the 50's & 60's) was seen with deep suspicion by the iranian Ayatollahs so in all liukelyhood we'd have had an islamic republic no matter what.

Would it have survived? who knows...

Blarkon reckons...

Posted September 27, 2013

Without Ajax Iran would have probably either ended up like a former soviet republic such as Krygzstan or Kazakhstan or something like Turkey. The second half of the 20th Century is a litany of State Department fuckups where rose colored glasses and the belief that US intervention will be greated with gratitude and flowers.

What I'm hoping is that with the current things going on in Syria is that the US has finally figured out how to do machiavellian jujitsu where they get the Russians to go in and remove the WMDs. What's more likely is that Putin has a much better understanding of how to play diplomatic chess and Obama's grasp of handling international diplomacy is somewhere near his ability to manipulate congress into doing what he wants it to do.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted September 28, 2013

As opposed to Putins, which is more akin to his predecessors and their ability to play chess with Body pieces, never thought the Lizard was a proponent of violence.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted September 28, 2013

Look at the hard numbers:

Number of wars started by the US since the end of WWII

Number of fatalities in wars started by the US since the end of WWII

Number of wars started by Russians or Soviets since end of WWII

Number of fatalities in wars started by the Soviets/Russians since the end of WWII.

Every villian believes that he's the hero of his own story and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If you're constantly getting into wars to "defend freedom" with results that are at best ambiguous (go and look at Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi today and then ask yourself if all that blood was worth it given how those cities turned out when the "bad guys" won).

The dictator bastards who supress their people don't seem to be as great at killing as many people as "freedom loving bringers of democracy". It's a fact that the Taliban and Saddam Hussein killed their people in horrible ways. It's also a fact that western intervention *killed an order of magnitude more people* than either of these monsters.

Remember the comment "we had to destroy the village to save it". It seems to neatly encapsulate a lot of western intervention in the post WWII period.

It's exactly what would have happened in Syria. A million fatalities, the installation of a puppet pro-western government that doesn't last more than a couple of years, and we'll declare victory.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 28, 2013

Actually, Vietnam was about "communicating," with the enemy if I understand McNamara's strategy correctly and I believe I do courtesy of a book called Dereliction of Duty. We're using force to send messages and try to ellicit a response which suits our agenda.

Freedom? Not in the equation for that war. No one honestly expected to win it.

Bangar reckons...

Posted September 29, 2013

No way to win it when there was no direction or plan to win it.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

Well, that was McNamara.

And LBJ as well, who was more concerned with the Great Society than he was with a war. All he cared about was not being the one to lose the war.

Idiot.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Chaz mutters...

Posted October 1, 2013

Blarkon,as to number of wars started by the CCCP, are you counting all the 'wars of liberation' that the CCCP helped instigate (and actively supported) in latin america, asia and africa? Plus of course all those little revolutionary groups who they supported via their little friends in E-Europe and the ME.

Just a reminder that there was this little thing called the cold war which ran almost from the end of WW2 until the late 80's. This was the initiator of many of the conflicts that the USA found itself in.

The bottom line is that the USA at its very worse has never been as bad as the CCCP or the Russian Federation at their best.

Yes the yanks have made mistakes at many levels but generally they are mistakes not malicious intent.

Finally as to your comment about "we had to destroy the village to save it". tell that the the inhabitants of Grozny.

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pi mutters...

Posted September 27, 2013

For those of you who haven't read it, the book Whirlwind by James Clavell tells the story, and I've read a book that told it so beautifully

http://www.amazon.com/Whirlwind-James-Clavell/dp/0688066631/ref=sr_1_1/190-0609859-4150539?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380258735&sr=1-1&keywords=James+Clavell+-+Whirlwind

I don't care what anyone says, once you get into that story, it is a blinder, and quite uniquely, especially for a book printed in the 80's, shows a pragmatic, and even somewhat sympathetic view of the iranians in the midst of the revolution. From a guy who wrote Shogun, Noble House, Tai-Pan and King Rat, this is actually my favorite book of his.

Lulu puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

There is also a straight NF account in book form:

http://www.amazon.com/Argo-Hollywood-Pulled-Audacious-History/dp/0147509734/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380260127&sr=1-1&keywords=argo

I'd like to read it but at the moment busy with:

http://www.amazon.com/World-That-Never-Was-Anarchists/dp/B00AZ9FE2A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380260251&sr=1-1&keywords=the+world+that+never+was

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted September 27, 2013

This chap is referred to in Blarkon's Operation Ajax wikipedia article.
The 'straight out of an airport novel' character in the overthrough of Mossaddeq was Kermit Roosevelt Jr.

Reading the 'Head of Operation Ajax' and 'Roosevelt tells his story' sections in Roosevelt Jr's wikipedia entry gives us some flavour of the man.
'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Roosevelt,_Jr.

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Bangar mutters...

Posted September 27, 2013

What would have happened if the democratically elected government hadn't been "pushed"?

Chaz puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

Look at what was happening elsewhere at the time, the CCCP and their little helpers would have infiltrated the Tudeh, the west would have continued to influence the military and the Imans would have continued to build up their support.

Rather than a coup d'etat you might have got a civil war, and with Irans pride of place, neither the West nor the CCCP could afford not to interfere.

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Anthony puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

I wih they'd used a crappy second rate science-fiction novel as the basis for the fictional film. The bastards used one Zelazny's Lord of Light and have probaly ensured it will never be filmed. While it would have been difficult to film, it would have been worth the attempt.

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Sarahjane puts forth...

Posted September 27, 2013

So glad someone else liked it too! I thought it was fabulous. There was a doco on foxtel (one of the channels.....) that told a bit more detail. I loved it!

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Glenn Davies mumbles...

Posted September 27, 2013

I loved the movie when I saw it in cinemas. From memory, the shorter cut implies the CIA did most of the legwork, like forging passports. The extended cut available on Blu-ray gives more credit back on the cooperation with the Canadian government, who provided those passports via diplomatic couriers - essential props in the CIA cover story. Of course it's still a bit Hollywoodised, but I certainly admire Affleck's films as director and the way the tension builds.

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Matthew Mather has opinions thus...

Posted September 27, 2013

There was also a ruckus about the claim in Argo that the Kiwis and Brits turned the Americans away, as per this Guardian article http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/apr/04/argo-new-zealand-diplomat-diary

Still loved the movie though, channelled those 70's thrillers beautifully!

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Puma mutters...

Posted September 28, 2013

"Would military action by a younger Ronald Reagan, for instance, have led to a very different map of the middle east in the following thrity years? Bloodier and even more chaotic perhaps. But different."

Ironically, Carter attempted a military solution while the Reagan admin would later negotiate with the Iranians. Remember Iran Contra? Reagan didn't do jack after the Marine barracks bombing by Hezbollah either. Think again.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted September 28, 2013

Well, given the rather degraded state of U.S. forces in the wake of Vietnam, one must wonder why anyone tried a military solution at all? Especially, of all people, Jimmy Carter, a man who couldn't be bothered to campaign on the fact that he had been one of Admiral Rickover's officers in the nuclear navy.

One further wonders why the Marine embassy guards simply didn't mow every last person down until they ran out of ammo. They're supposed to protect the embassy as if they are protecting their front porch.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Blarkon asserts...

Posted September 28, 2013

Embassies are secure because of the convention that they are soverign territory. No embassy could hold out for more than a few minutes from determined attack and in many countries embassy security is handled by the local authorities (I know at the Oz embassy in Moscow the guys on the gate are Russians, as are most of the front desk staff (then again most of the people they deal with are Russians)). So why bother putting US marines there in the first place?

I've visited a number of embassies and consulates over the years in Oz and the only embassy where things were more complicated than a visit to the doctor was the US consulate where one had to go through airport grade security watched by people with automatic weapons when one wanted to go and hand in a tax form.

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Puma would have you know...

Posted September 28, 2013

The Marines at the barracks were operating under rules of engagement that prevented them from keeping their weapons loaded. All they could do was stare as the truck bomber broke through the barricades before detonating. Not sure about the Embassy bombing which was separate.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted September 28, 2013

I suspect the ROE is different today.

puma swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 29, 2013

Uh huh. But not in the immediate aftermath of the 83 bombings. Reagan's reaction was to withdraw the Marines and later negotiate with the same terrorists. Hardly indicative of a more hawkish policy than Carter's admin.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted September 29, 2013

Yeah, well, hard to get the go ahead to use military force with Democratic control of the legislative branch.

Frankly, I'm still somewhat amazed that we actually crossed the line of departure during Desert Storm. I figured we were doomed to sit there for decades.

Murphy reckons...

Posted September 29, 2013

Yeah, well, hard to get the go ahead to use military force with Democratic control of the legislative branch.

Frankly, I'm still somewhat amazed that we actually crossed the line of departure during Desert Storm. I figured we were doomed to sit there for decades.

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Mark R. Whittington mutters...

Posted September 28, 2013

I suspect that had Reagan been in the White House, the events in Iran that led to the hostage taking would have been butterflied away. Whether the alternate series of events would have been better or far worse could be argued equally.

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Boscolamb puts forth...

Posted September 29, 2013

The ROE in the 80's were sometimes incredibly stupid.

A buddy of mine was guarding the gates of his base in West Germany, carrying an M16 without a clip of ammo in the rifle. NOT an empty clip, no clip at all. Any WG radical or idiot with a lick of sense could clearly see this.

In contrast, last year I visited the USS DeWert when they were in town to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. They had us walk through metal detectors and pass through multiple security checkpoints guarded by heavily armed (if somewhat bored looking) SP's backed up by an armored humvee with an M60 mounted on top. It kept my interest.

Things have changed in 30 years time.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2013

I liked Argo. I thought it was a great film. But last night I watched Battleship and totally enjoyed it. Maybe we need an alien invasion middle east cross over? http://silentrob668.blogspot.com.au/

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2013

Loved Argo. Loved Alan Arkin.

If you watch the Iranian crowd scenes carefully you will notice they are composed of older people. The embassy take over scenes were shot in Turkey during an economic boom with high youth employment. Consequently, those available for "extra" work were older than the university students who stormed the American Embassy in Tehran.

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Sinnysider asserts...

Posted October 2, 2013

I watched the movie as a result of reading the first comments in this thread.

A great movie and the tension build up masterful; I really expected the 'bearded nutters' to open fire on the Swissair plane in their anger at being duped!

The cartoonish preamble, also honestly put into context, the anger at the US that enabled the mullas to ignite the protests that resulted in the embassy being stormed.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail; rebooted

Posted September 13, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

No, calm down. Not really. But this modernized trailer Beeso sent me is still very droll.

Also, a reminder, Bookclub tonight.

12 Responses to ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail; rebooted’

Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2013

I kept looking for the giant rabbit.

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Len ducks in to say...

Posted September 13, 2013

Seeing Spamalot in London this weekend. 50th B-day celeb. We'll see how it goes.

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted September 13, 2013

Or you might like this ultimate epic movie trailer.
A 6 minute mash-up involving 228 of your favourite films.

http://vimeo.com/70941166


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SZF would have you know...

Posted September 13, 2013

And it's STILL better than Orlando Bloom in "Kingdom of Heaven"...

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 13, 2013

Horrifying proof of the power of editing to make one movie look totally like another for advertising purposes.

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Peter Bradley would have you know...

Posted September 13, 2013

Yes PNB it does beg the question about the faithfulness to the movie every trailer you have ever seen but not seen the movie.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted September 13, 2013

These are becoming very popular here is even a gritty reboot for Galaxy Quest

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2013

Awesome!!!

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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S.M. Stirling asserts...

Posted February 10, 2014

Needs some wolves, a big cold wall, and tits.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted February 10, 2014

would wolf tits satisfy 2/3 of the critera?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 11, 2014

If you don't have a big cold wall, naked ladies (two, whenever possible) AND wolves, then you just don't have a story worth readng or watching.

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Robocop reboot

Posted September 6, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

The first trailer is out and stoking the inevitable fires of nerd rage because it doesn't look much like the classic and much loved proto-fascist man-machine mash up.

Well duh.

Why should it?

Looks plenty awesome to me, and possibly somewhat thinkier if the producers are going to squeeze in a whole subject/object philisophy lesson in between the 'splosions.

I dips me titanium monobonded armour lid to AgingGamer for the heads up.

22 Responses to ‘Robocop reboot’

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2013

Saw it myself.

I think this has potential.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2013

I loved the original. I'm looking forward to this, and, remembering Brothers Grim, Prometheus and Man of Steel, I am hoping the preview I just saw isn't fraudulent.

Quokka asserts...

Posted September 6, 2013

What Boylan said, except I haven't seen Brothers Grimm.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2013

Don't, Q. But do see the trailer/preview. It is spectacular, advertising a film that doesn't exist.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2013

I will defend the film Brothers Grimm a little.

It's a Terry Gilliam film. I don't like his films much and it does suffer from his weaknesses.
Messy, emotionally uninvolving, and a bit of a confused wank.
But, it is has a visual exuberance that is funny in its excess and has much to enjoy just watching how he tries to fit so much medieval dark forest Grimm_ness, while making a buddy movie, while oh shit I'd better insert pace.
From that perspective, there is quite a lot of fun.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2013

From the right perspective, National Socialism want that bad (at least it was an ethos).

The Brothers Grim wasn't all bad. Some of it was quite good. My pointis that the actual film wasn't the wonderful thing the previews advertised.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 6, 2013

Excellant nod to the ver 1 ED-209 @ 1:54.

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Lucian_Ventris would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2013

This could be very cool. Some of Gary Oldman's dialouge there had a bit of "Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex" about it. If the film can mainain a tone like that and still kick arse, we could be in for some fun.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted September 6, 2013

And I think that's an important thing for a reboot to consider, how has the cultural environment changed since the first movie. It would ring hollow to make a new Robocop movie that didn't recognise the influence of GitS.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 6, 2013

For example you couldn't remake Night of the living Dead and not refer to the 'walking dead' as zombies there are just too many cultural references to them to be credible and not call them Zed.

Lucian_Ventris swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2013

I think you are dead on about that. Seeing how a Robocop for our times and worries is going to work out will be really interesting. That is if the film is more then just a nostalgia cash grab. Here is hoping!

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted September 6, 2013

It does look good, and they kept in the signature "Dead or Alive you are coming with me"

now if he could just loose the arm.

Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted September 7, 2013

Yeah I thought the arm a little odd. And they don't seem to have attempted to wipe his memory like in the original. Good to see ED209 return. Will the SUX5000, complete with Blaupunkt return also? And I hope the dark humour is retained as well.

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Rob reckons...

Posted September 6, 2013

1. I hope its as subversive as Verhovans' flick.

2. and has boobs, lots of boobs in honour of Verhovans flicks.

3. gosh I hope they make another Dredd movie.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2013

And by another Dredd movie I trust you mean another one starring Karl Urban not another one starring Sylvester Stallone.

Rob puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2013

I don't mind the first judge dredd. I especially liked the art direction, photography and costumes. It looked like the comic books, plus the story wasn't that terrible. The new one was really good. But needed more sarcasm and belly wheels and maybe chopper, oh and the smokatorium....

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted September 7, 2013

Word in the city blocks is that they want to do a Dredd movie with the Dark Judges...they might want to up the budget a bit for that one.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted September 7, 2013

but I'd love to see Judge Dredd's response to Judge Fear's "gaze into the face of fear" comment up on the big screen though.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 8, 2013

The first Dredd was awful. The Karl Urban version was surprisingly good, and I admire any actor that is willing to be in a film where their face isn't shown.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2013

I'm in. Looks pretty good. It's not a transmogrified Dave Lister fighting the Vindaloo Monster, but it'll do.

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Eamon Hamilton swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2013

Did you see the Director's original movie, Elite Squad? Because it is exactly the kind of movie you would want someone to make before they went on to do a Robocop reboot. The Director got cross at the Hollywood execs for interfering with his 'vision', but c'est la vie.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted September 9, 2013

I'd buy that for a dollar.

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