Thursday, December 11, 2008

Movie Comments

Due to time constraints and OPTEMPO, I end up watching any movie in about a week-long series of 10-20 minute increments. As anyone who knows me knows, this drives me absolutely nuts. Still, it's better than putting a TV in my room (some of the guys have bought "garage sale" televisions from re-deploying troops; we procured an AFN dish and--boom--we're cooking with gas. I've abjured the television option, as I know myself well enough to know that if it's on, I won't be doing something productive that I should be doing. This approach will be modified when AFN starts broadcasting the new season of 24; at that point I'll be hanging out in Top's or Buddha's room for an hour a week--and yes, Voodoo, same thing whenever AFN puts a Chuck Norris flick on). Two movies that supplied something worth commentary were:
The Hulk: the new one with Edward Norton. Okay, liked it better than the first, and enjoyed the inclusion of Brazilian JiuJitsu into the screenplay. Tim Roth (much as I like the guy) was sort of miscast as the Bad Ass Operator that volunteers to take on the Hulk through similar treatments as those that transformed Bruce Banner. Roth looked reasonably kick-ass all kitted out in black; he probably could have pulled it off if the screenplay hadn't called for him taking off his shirt. After years of being an Operator in the Royal Marines, wearing full kit, the dude has to have developed something resembling traps, right?
So, when offered the opportunity to participate in the "Bio Tech Force Enhancement"--Super Soldier--program, he tells LTG Ross:
If I could take what I know now, put it in the body I had ten years ago...that would be somebody I wouldn't want to fight.
Isn't that the perpetual lament of professional soldiers everywhere, through history? That, when one finally reaches the apogee of technical and tactical proficiency, one has to perform despite the bum knee, the fused vertebrae, and/or the shredded rotator cuff? A good example of Hollywood accidentally stumbling on the truth when making a movie (despite the speaker of the truth being an unshaven Royal Marine wearing the US Army Class A uniform).

Equilibrium: Not too shabby. One has to swallow some wild improbabilities to get to the story, but okay, used to that. The one thing I appreciated, though, was the introduction of the "gun kata." I'm sure that, like me, most folks who have spent innumerable hours over the years training and adapting the Weaver stance (or modified Weaver stance), and concentrating on breathing, site picture, and trigger squeeze in order to deveolop a functionally sound and reliable handgunning capability, are driven to distraction by the point-the-weapon-anywhere-while-rolling-around-and-still-hit-the-target nature of shoot 'em up movies. At least this movie gave a plausible explanation for wild assed firing techniques and showed people actually having to train it. Kudos. Like any skill worth having, shooting takes practice, practice, and more practice.
Note to Hollywood: if you still want to strip out realism and keep showing movie characters shooting their pistols one-handed while holding the weapon lateral to the ground to the people (terrorists, insurgents, criminals) I may have to engage one day, by all means, feel free.

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