Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unbroken, a film by Angelina Jolie

Unbroken, a film directed by Angelina Jolie, based on the book by the same title by Laura Hillenbrand.

If you have read my book review (earlier post) you well know the story of Louis Zamperini.

It was interesting to see how the film developed - I had wondered how it would flow from page to film.  This film was so intense, masterfully adapted and hard to take one's eyes away from the screen.  

How Louis survived all the beatings that "The Bird" inflicted upon him is just unbelievable.

Yet, another film that surpassed this year's Oscar winner.

Not for the faint of heart or young children - just due to the awfulness of the violence of war.- yet well worth watching.

Unbroken, a book

's review
Apr 06, 15  ·  edit

Read from March 27 to April 01, 2015

Better late then never.

This book touched me in a way no other book has. After Pearl Harbor occurs, and Louis joins the Army Air Corps, the story revolves around the life of air crews of the B-24 (Liberator), I was nearly in tears the entire portion of this book. This part of the story brought forth how much my father must have seen and felt during WWII, as he was a navigator in B-24's in the Pacific, during the latter part of the war. As most men who fought during that time, he pretty much never spoke of what he experienced or saw during that time, how many friends and fellow fliers he must have seen go down in their planes. The only things I ever recall him discussing was he absolute dislike of canned fruit and "green" powdered eggs, and all the lizards they had in their tents in the Philippines to keep the bugs down.

How Louis survived "The Bird" in 2 POW camps, is truly a marvel of pure determination, emotionally, physically and intellectually. The Bird was possibly one of the most atrocious guards of any POW camp in the history of WWII. The Japanese had an "All Kill" order as the Americans and the Allies moved ever closer to the interior of Japan, the numbers of all Allied POW forces killed by the Japanese was greater then what the Germans and Italians killed in their POW camps. The military and the government could have prevented the loss of so many lives had they let the civilian population flee when the Americans dropped leaflets that they were planning to drop bombs of "mass destruction" (of course, they weren't called that at that time) the Atomic bombs, the military and government told the public it was just propaganda!

Life changed considerably for Louis, and all the returning veterans of WWII, so many suffered unseen traumas, now known as PTSD, but after WWII these heroes were expected to return to normal just shortly after coming back home. So much has changed for returning Vets now, thankfully. Louis was no exception, alcohol became a very large part of his life, until his wife "dragged" him to a Billy Graham crusade, not right off, but eventually Louis saw "the light."

However, this book was a very "easy" read, albeit the difficult subject, and very hard to put down. Laura's style of writing is amazing, one feels the despair of being torn apart from one's family, the camaraderie of the crews, the fight for survival, and the joy of seeing the end of the war.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Imitation Game, a film

We have been viewing the various films that had been nominated for this year's Oscars.

So far, most everything we have viewed surpassed the actual winner of the Oscar.

Benedict gave the most compelling performance in this fact based film of how an English team, lead by Alan Turning, broke the German's secret code, eventually turning the tide for the Allies to win WWII.

That we were unable to, even momentarily, to take our eyes from this film is amazing - sort of like someone casting a fishing line and never moving until the fish has taken the bait and been brought on board. 

Hollywood really needs to take a lesson from those outside the industry - so far everyone that I have spoken to about this film has basically felt the same way - this one SHOULD have won the Oscar for Best Picture, and at least, Benedict should have tied with the winner of Best Actor.

Well worth seeing.

Happy Birthday Harper Lee

Quote of the Day ------ Goodreads.

Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.
Harper Lee
Happy 89th birthday, Harper Lee! As a child, the American novelist was close friends with another writer-to-be, Truman Capote

Happy Birthday Harper Lee!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Whiplash, movie


Really hated the foul language, however, this time we decided to just forego our hatred, as we enjoyed the music.

J.K was fantastic, foul mouth and all, he really deserved the oscar for his performance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Devil's Knot, a film by Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan has taken a very difficult story and crafted a thoughtful film. The subject matter is at times very difficult to watch, but very mesmerizing.

Based on a true story about the disappearance and deaths of 3 young boys in a small town in Arkansas, we follow the horrific tale, we are given a view of the ineptitude of the local law enforcement.  The Judge, the prosecution, the jury all seemed to be bent on the guilt of the 3 teenage boys who are accused of the crime, without looking into any evidence brought forth by a private investigator who provided his services "pro bono".  

The three defendants (all under the age of 19) are accused of "devil worship".  In 2011, all three were released from prison after almost 20 years in prison.  Their story was recently discussed on NPR, at about the time this film was released.