Archive for: WWII

Fake Outrage & the Greatest Generation

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Comedian Natasha Leggero got slammed for an “insensitive” joke she made about WWII vets during the live telecast of NBC’s New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly. Instead of throwing herself on the mercy of the Internet and issuing an overwrought “apology to anyone I’ve offended,” she hit back, proclaiming “I’m not sorry” and challenging her critics to do something about the real issues that veterans face.

Let’s go to the videotape: +Continue Reading

A Gold Medal for the Monuments Men

George Clooney;Matt Damon;John Goodman;Bob Balaban

Congresswoman Kay Granger of Texas has introduced bipartisan legislation that would honor the “Monuments Men” of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.

After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved the idea of cultural preservation officers in 1943, the Monuments Men (and women) helped locate famous works of art confiscated by the Nazis, and return them to their rightful owners.

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JFK’s Navy Service Revisited

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and PBS’ American Experience is set to premiere the four-hour documentary JFK on November 11–12 as part of its The Presidents series. +Continue Reading

‘Foyle’s War’ Transitions to the Cold War Era

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The current series of Foyle’s War (now playing on PBS) arrvies today on DVD and (for the first time with this series) Blu-ray. The three new episodes take place in the summer of 1946 and, although DCS Christopher Foyle as retired from the police, he’s given the opportunity to move to London and join the newly-formed MI5 intelligence unit. +Continue Reading

WWII Tanks of ‘Fury’

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Director David Ayer tweeted the first promotional photo from Fury, his movie about a World War II tank crew commanded by Brad Pitt and fighting in Germany near the end of the war.

Ayer has bold plans for the movie, saying he wants to “bring a fresh execution to the genre… This will have incredible, visceral action and complex rich characters. I plan to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.”  Ayer has an impressive track record with L.A. cop films, either writing and/or directing some of the best recent movies in the genre: Training Day, Street Kings, Dark Blue and End of Watch+Continue Reading

Gangsters vs. the Invaders in WWII China

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The Last Tycoon (out now on Blu-ray and DVD) plays as a mashup of Casablanca and The Godfather: Part II. Set in Shanghai, the movie follows the rise of Chinese gangster Cheng Daqi (played by the legendary Hong Kong action star Chow Yun-Fat) and his heroic resistance against the Japanese invasion at the beginning of World War II. +Continue Reading

‘Monuments Men’: Saving Art from the Nazis

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Here’s a World War II story we haven’t heard before: the Monuments Men were a group of art curators and historians tasked by FDR with preventing the destruction of cultural landmarks during the Allied invasion and later recovering works of art stolen by the Nazis.

Robert M. Edsel wrote a fascinating history book about their efforts and now George Clooney has written, directed and stars in a new movie based on that book. Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Bob Balaban round out the cast. +Continue Reading

Putting the ‘Good War’ in Context

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Anyone who grew up in the ‘70s knows the myth: the Vietnam War was the bad war, full of atrocities and senseless killing but World War II was a virtuous campaign against evil, fought by heroes who saved the world.

Reality, of course, is always more complicated. Those myths didn’t help the men who fought in Southeast Asia and their families adjust to their lives after military service and those myths also didn’t help WWII vets whose experience didn’t exactly match up with the popular tales of the war.

Historian Keith Lowe reexamines the myths of WWII in Savage Continent, a prizewinning history book that’s just been released in paperback. +Continue Reading

‘Company of Heroes’ Visits the Eastern Front

PC gamers who want a game that requires a bit of thought and strategy instead of just a twitchy trigger finger should check out Company of Heroes 2. The sequel to the 2006 original is out this week (either at your local retailer or downloadable via Steam) and the battles between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany take place on the Eastern Front during World War II.

We talked to principal designer Quinn Duffy at the SEGA booth during this month’s E3 show in Los Angeles and he gave us the rundown on the new game. +Continue Reading

‘Shrapnel’ Reveals William Wharton’s WWII

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William Wharton wrote the novels Birdy and A Midnight Clear, both of which inspired highly acclaimed movies, one about Vietnam vets adjusting to life after the war and the other about an American intelligence unit’s encounter with a German platoon at the end of WWII.

Wharton was the pen name of Albert William Du Aime, a WWII vet who died in 2008.  Shrapnel, his memoir of his military service, has just been published in English for the first time.  +Continue Reading