The Filthy Critic on Blackhawk Down

| 55 Comments

black hawk down poster"It's a pretty fucking sad story, really, but not in the hands of Bruckheimer and Scott. In their hands, it's a relentless porno about guns and bombs.".

I would have used different words, but he is right on the money,

"Somewhere between good intentions and the screening room, however, $90 million got in the way. And when those grassfuckers in Hollywood put that much dough into something, you can bet your ass they aren't going to challenge the audience."

"It looks great, real, bloody, violent and chaotic. In fact, Blackhawk Down does an amazing job of showing that war is all chaos and new decisions that must be made every minute. It's never cartoonish. In fact, Scott loves to make it as gritty and bloody as possible. He makes sure we understand that the American fighters are in a lot of pain; screaming, squirting blood and slowly passing away. By contrast, the Somalians drop like flies. Every single one of them dies an instant and painless death."

55 Comments

Typical bullshit review. The film was as close to the book and real event as possible. When critics such as yourself see a movie based on facts and portrayed as close to reality as possible, you give it a shitty review because your so used to the fictitious, cooky cutter crap that hollywood usually puts out, you expect to see things that didn't happen. Also, if the film went into the somalian's perspective it would have been 5 hours long. The somalians were not the focus of the story, therefore why go into depth about thier experience? Maybe a somalian should do the research and make a film about the event. Stop looking for more than there should be and learn something.

Dave, I can see you sitting in your chair right now waving your flag around. The movie didn't have to be 5 hours long to tell the truth. You just can't make a movie where you make a serious attempt to create hatred for a group of people. Even if they wished to leave out all info on the background of the story, Filthy is correct when he speaks about Somalian deaths being utterly surface. I for one leaned little in this film, what did you learn Dave? A percentage of this movie is fabricated, do you know what is real, and what is Hollywood? I'm sure many flag wavers like yourself wish to keep films one sided like this one and Pearl Harbour so you can continue to teach generation after generation to be closed minded to historical fact, and open minded to 200 million dollar propaganda films. Blackhawk down did a great job compared to most Hollywood war films supposedly based on "Real" events. In my mind there should be a Historical Council which determins the Historical Validity of a film and places it on posters and at the beginning of the film just like the PG rating. This is the only way to ensure our children grow up with a healthy education of truth and adjendas of directors with millions of dollars to throw at whatever their cause may be. What ever happened to letting people figure things out for themselves? I don't need Hollywood telling me how to feel, just give me the facts, I'll judge for myself. Why is America so afraid of the truth? Do they not give their youth enough credit that they can make decisions for themselves? It looks like the answer is a very solid NO to me. Being Canadian if I went out and got 200 Million and made a film about Canada dropping the A-Bomb on Japan and make two hours about how we stole the encryption from a sub like U-571 did.(England did for those who still believe americans did.) I take my little gem of a film and downplay America's roll in WW-II and boos my country up to a status she doesn't deserve, how would you feel then Dave? When people in droves go out and learn my one sided view of history, not real history. And guess what Dave? I get to say my movie is based on real events, because it is. This review is for U-571(Portreys Americans doing something the British did, and when the Brits broke the code americans wouldn't listen saying the Brits knew nothing which led to pearl harbor), Pearl Harbor(No real reasons for why the Japanese did what they did), We were soldiers(Which contained the final rush on the Viet-cong that never even occured.), Thin Red Line (Don't get me started), and Blackhawk Down. All of these events have real people involved in some way, real lives that don't deserve to be pissed on so directors can fill their pockets. Shame on Hollywood, and all that love the films listed above. Those people didn't die so directors could get rich off lies about their lives. The End. :)

You are one of the biggest idiots I have ever met.Sit back and tell people your opinions while men and women of the U.S. Military make it possible for you to do this...This country is where it is today and not some shit hole like Somalia or any middle east country because of going to war and fighting...not being some smartassed punk like you!

You are the idiot. I have nothing against any man who lays his life on the line moron, my opinions are against people who piss on the the ones who lay their lives on the line by making up lies and claiming these lies are based on historical fact. Get a fucking life retard, go watch Tomcats for the 13th time and think it's a brilliant film. I bet you rushed out and bought the special edition of perl harbor and cried all the way through. Try Tora Tora Tora out, might open your glazed over eyes a bit to reality. There is not true good, and true evil in war, there are good people and bad people fighting and leading both sides. One side is certainly worse. All I have ever said is that the truth can never hurt, but lies do terrible damage when young kids who don't know any better watch and believe those events really took place. I guess the truth hurts sometimes, and the truth obviously has offended you, but it is the truth. If it was another country who made all the big movies and they altered your American History you would be the first to stand up and scream so don't pretend I'm the fool. World History is altered on a regular basis by Hollywood, and that's no better, so grab a brain.

Hollywood Does it again!!

Once again I must write in complete awe of the hypocracy Hollywood is capable of.

Todays rant is on "Windtalkers"! Oooooo sounds like an Indian term doesn't it. Hollywood didn't even have the respect to make the title of the film historical. The Navajo as most people know were called Code-talkers, but I guess that name wasn't a money maker, so fuck the Navajo. Afterall it's not like the Navajo are as important as having Nic Cage on the posters, I mean they only put their lives on the line, and recieved no recognition for their efforts and bravery. Nic Cage is a fucking actor, and he comes before people who died to help us defeat the Japanese. For god's sake they re-wrote History so Nic's charactor could be the central charactor in a story about the Navajo. Once again white man gives the Navajo a good old ass rapeing. All over money, like the truth would have been a flop at the box office, bull shit, it would have been a classic.

I know I'm not the only one who is getting increasingly pissed off about this stuff. Come on people, we have every right to be pissed off seeing as the Hollywood community is by no means in need of cash. Why lie? Why warp the minds of the young? There are people who go to these films and think that's the way it went. I'm Canadian and I know American Marines would never be ordered to kill another Marine. How dare Hollywood suggest these events ever took place. These are your Marines!!!! Those Navajo landed on the beach with guns too, they were Marines too. They were appart of the team until they returned home and were treated like shit and sent home without any recognition. Fuck you Hollywood, you have pissed on one too many graves for me to have any respect for you. It's all about the bottom line, even when it comes to people who actually to deserve to be rich like you. I wish we could send the lot of these lying pricks into afganistan instead of the good folks we have fighting over there now. Then we'll make a movie about them and hire a big actor who's Navajo to make them secondary in their own story. The End...

Hollywood has never been known for having scruples. It pretended to have them when 9/11 happened and they rushed to edit anything with the WTC. I can only dread to see what they will do to recreate that horrible day, which they will deem "historically accurate". The bottom line is Americans have to read and find out what really happened in cases such as Blackhawk Down,We were Soldiers, and Windtalkers. Americans cannot depend on movies to give a truly accurate representation of what happened because movies are designed to put asses in the seats and keep the money flowing, not be historical documents.
It is reassuring to find other people who know that Whoreywood sleeps with whomever it must to sell tickets and merchandise. It disgraced the Navajo nation in Windtalkers by focusing the movie on Nicholas Cage. It ruined what would have benn a decent movie in We were Soldiers by putting in what it thought would tell a better story, and please Mel Gibson. And it spit in the face of my brothers who fell on the streets of Mog by not focusing on the heroic deeds of MSG Gordon and SFC Shugart more.
We should listen to our parents, grandparents, and brothers who were there, and read their journals and letters. We should not rely on some greedy scheister who only cares about promoting what they think is better for us to see or know.
Once we do that, then we will have a greater appreciation for what really happened, and not for some actor who pretended to be a soldier,sailor,airman, or marine for a couple of months who doesn't know combat boots from a pair of Stacey Adams.

Todd,

I have read your comments on 'Black Hawk Down'. You wave your Canadian citizenship like a flag but at the same time poke fun at America and Hollywood. Black Hawk Down was a movie...just like The Great Escape or A Bridge too far. There was no winning or losing in the real situation of Somalia. In the real situation of Somalia, US forces were attempting to secure a unstable area of Africa (which is a low priority area for the US). UN peacekeepers and their operations were constantly at seige with Warlords of the area. US forces were eventually pulled out due to the America's intolerance of US casualties. However, I am a Canadian living the United States. When I see interpretations of actual battle I understand that this is not a documentation but a movie with entertainment value. The creators of the film tried to capture what it is like to be in battle along with the brotherhood that is bestowed on soldiers in combat. I hope that when you saw the Great Escape you didn't complain that Steve McQueen's character did not exist and that it was mostly Canadians and British in reality. Like the Great Escape...Black Hawk Down are movies. You shouldn't use them to bash the US, which is a great country if you take the time to understand it.

I'm back!!!
First off I'm pleased to see we are still continuing the debate. I see I've got atleast one man thinking along my vein of thought. Daniel is obviously a man who is ofended by multi-millionare men taking real people and turning their lives into fairy tales. I am a proud member of this club aswell. It shocks me to see how few Americans, or "Canadian-Americans" even give a shit. Lets asume tomorrow another great war breaks out. Now Mark goes off to war as a Canadian-American. Later some rich American stands before a panel of other rich Americans and says;"well Mark was one hell of a soldier, brave, deadly, honorable. Lets make a movie about his life. Oh shit, Marks origins are from Canada, Americans don't want to watch a Movie about a Canadian!" "Lets make him from California instead."

A more accurate example would be;"Well it's pretty obvious a Canadian soldier would require an American bodyguard." "Lets give Mark a false charactor to protect his Canadian ass."
Mark obviously didn't read on where I mention that Black-hawk Down sizes up pretty well for Hollywood War films. My beef is small with that film. My problem is considerably larger on Hollywood's overall approach to History. I have no problem with any Story taking place in a war. Provided they director is up front with the fact that they have little regard for fact in the film. A disclaimer would be a nice gesture. I think if Mark thought about the bigger picture like the fact that most kids/people would rather see a movie and never research it. Which in turn breeds ignorance to historical fact. Most people in America and Canada will go to U-571 and say "Wow look what those brave American's did." and there is no reason why they couldn't have found an American story, or made the men in U-571 english like they were. If Harrison Ford can be a russian sub captain, american actors could adapt an English Accent, or god forbid get English actors. Then you'd have a film that kids could watch in their socials class and learn something too. How is anyone supposed to figure out what's real, and what's fake anymore?

If American teachers weren't straight foreward about which parts of their curiculum was factual, and which was fabricated how long until parents would be as angry as I am? Kids would come home to their parents saying John A Macdonald was the first President of America. You just can't fuck with History. If they make U-571, have the balls to come out and inform the public you didn't have the gumption to even attempt to keep to the facts.

I don't wave my Canadian flag like I see happening in this disscussion. If Canada made a film about it's role in Juno, and in this film we decided to completely skew facts by saying we had the toughest beach to land on. Much harder than Omaha was. Then make a scene have Canadians pulling off an impossible vicory because they were the best trained military. I would rage just as badly if not worse. And you know what else, America would freak too saying "Canada was pissing on the graves of American soldiers of Omaha." And Mark would say "Hey come on, it's only a MOVIE. Just because thousands of kids watch it an believe it doesn't mean we should be insulted." When you base a film on fact, there is a knee jerk reaction to believe it is somehow factual. We trust these films. "Based on a true Story!" "Based on real events!" I also fear the day I go to a theatre and see a preview for "911" "Based on the real life Events we all remember!!!" What will happen when Hollywood gets their hands on that gem? How angry would Mark and the rest of America be if they messed that one up. I'm pretty sure Mark would be upset if 911 came out and they didn't take historical fact seriously. And why shouldn't he be? Those were real people, with real lives that deserve to be taken seriously when portreyed on the big screen. So why is it flag waivng of me to expect the same of Hollywood when it considers World History?

Everyone knew Titanic was a Story, that's why I don't have an arguement against it. If James Cameron tryed to push it on us as Fact I'd be all over it like stink on shit. Movies like Windtalkers, U-571, and We were Soldiers all claim to be historical films of some kind. All of them lie in a MAJOR way.

I appologize for not being able to comment on The great escape, I will see it soon and rant if necessary on it's flaws. Also I do not live in America, nor do I disslike it. I visit it offten and never claimed it wasn't a bad country. I will say few American's for whatever reason really care if Hollywood cleans up it act or not. Man I'm starting to sound like a war vet. And I'm only 25. I'll check back soon.
Todd.

Hey Todd,

Did you happen to read the book Blackhawk down? Or did you just watch the movie?

The movie is based on the book. So any faults you may perceive should probably be directed at the book, NOT at the movie.

You blame holywood, yet if it follows the book, then how is holywood to blame?

By the way, here is an article written by one of the chopper pilots actually involved in the mission. As you can see from the artice, he thought the movie was true to life. I don't know about anyone else, but I would trust his opinion on how true to life it is over good ole bitching Todds!

http://www.patriotsherald.com/content/blackhawk.php

As a former U.S. Army lieutenant I have to say I have been around a lot of ''immigrants'' living in the U.S. and I have had enough of listening to the ''bad mouthing'' of some of you people.
If you don't like the way things are done around here and all you can do is bad mouth the flag, this country and our military please buy a one way ticket and go back to where you came from.

Proud to be an American
veteran

Anyone who took the time to actualy read what I have said would be laughing at the responses above.

Michael, hurray for you. I hope when you die Hollywood makes a movie about your life and fucks it up.

Chris, READ WHAT I HAVE SAID!!!!!!! READ!!! READ!! before responding. Anyone that read what I have said will see that I am not commenting on Black HAwk Down when I speak of Hollywood. I liked the movie and thought it was accurate. My only beef was the way they handled the whole Somalian side, Eg making them drop like flies with no emotion what so ever.

Michael I don't live in your country. READ!! Furthermore I think you have a wonderful country. I feel your Soldiers lives deserve to be portreyed in a fair fashion when Hollywood makes a movie about them. Perhaps you don't care if Hollywood takes care when making a movie about the friends you may have lost during your service, but I do. I also care about the rest of the world's troops, and feel Hollywood owes them the same respect. You can try to make me look like the bad guy all you want, but Hollywood changes history on a regular basis and force feeds it to children. Just because the majority of the time it takes care with American History, Americans don't find it insulting.

Michael, one more thing. You didn't just serve to protect American's who will blindly love their country no matter what it's faults may be. You also served to protect people's freedom to speak their mind about the things they may not like about their Country. How do you thing change comes about? Sending everyone who has a problem with your country away? Or listening when hundreds, thousands, or perhaps even millions of your citizens don't agree with the American Vetran. If American History had your attitude there would still be slavery, and anyone who didn't like it could just fuck off to a country that didn't (except for the blacks of course.) I love my country too, but I disslike a lot of things my country believes in. I feel we should have the death penalty in Canada, but we don't. Does that mean I am not a true proud Canadian? No.

The bottom line once again is Hollywood pisses on, stomps on, shits on, and alters real peoples live, real events, real History on a regular basis, and it isn't right no matter how many Vetrans feel it is. Black Hawk Down is a fine movie. I maybe belong in another discussion group. But there isn't one called "Hollywood and History" So I'll rant here.
I urge anyone who is going to rant at me to read what I stand for before passing judgement. I am open to criticism, but get frustrated when I have to repeat myself ten times.
Keep em Comin.
Todd

I'm watching Blackhawk Down for the third time. Full Disclosure: I've read and seen Shakespeare's Henry IV part 1 about twice that.

Storytelling standards haven't changed that much in 500 years. It's been hammered into the ground, but Shakespeare wasn't accurate; he engaged in much more blatant propaganda than Ridley Scott or Jerry Bruckheimer, the injustice and blasphemy of which have softened over the centuries. If I were a follower of Hotspur or Owen Glendower, I'd be outraged, and I would've done more than merely vent on Ye Olde Webbe had there been one.

It'd be really really nice if screenwriters paid more debt to actual events, but in fact it's better now than it's ever been--with the exception of 'The Battle of Algiers' (Pontecorvo, 1965) which should be required viewing. That movie, by the way, is a revelation. I'm inclined to let filmmakers be filmmakers and not historians, and if they get something right, great. History lessons would be nice, but that's what we have schools for. I'm just happy Jerry Bruckheimer wasn't allowed to make it any worse, on the order of swill like Con-Air or Top Gun, in which case, we wouldn't get anything valuable at all.

What lessons are there in BHD? 'Only the dead have seen the end of war' is a disingenuous moral. But there ARE valuable lessons: nothing is black and white; the value placed on human life is coming to be the defining difference between cultures in the absence of the ideological differences of the Cold War; and, finally, in the spirit of Maya Lin, war is what it is--not good, not bad, just is. This idea is worthy of the greatest memorial in the past half-century, it's certainly enough for a movie. On a more basic level, how many young people MAYBE now know where Mogadishu is? Or how dicy a superpower's 'moral obligations' can be? Kids may not come away with an opinion about the Western effort, whether it was a boondoggle mess left by Bush to show up Clinton, whether Clinton botched what should have been a simple task left by Bush, or whether we should ever do anything like a humanitarian effort again. Those are other stories. I wish there'd be films story about those things, but it ain't in this brief.

It IS the value of human life that comes out the strongest. The film's weakness is that it fails to show any kind of dignity among the Somalians, but perhaps that was the point. It was a confrontation between 'run out and shoot at something' vs 'no one gets left behind.' The former value gets a fitting treatment: they get shot. The latter value also gets its proper treatment: leaving no one behind means more Rangers & Deltas will get shot full of holes. It's a hard motto to live up to, especially when the some of the world doesn't scruple targeted suicide bombings.

Govindajaya
NYC

Govinda,

You offer an articulate and well thought out argument. I agree with your points. Todd, however, should spend more time reading. Todd you need to improve your capability to argue beyond the Jerry Springer type rants. You are a 25-year-old idiot that obviously did not take advantage of Canada's socialized education system.

You begin to discuss your opinions on a subject that you are not aware of (seeing the Great Escape) nor have you researched. That is a sign of arrogant stupidity.

Todd, you need to spend more time structuring your argument and less time talking shit. Stop stating truisms (known truths). Yes, 'Hollywood' does bend and distort the truth. But in the same regard, I feel insulted when 'Hollywood' tries to portray cities like Chicago or New York City by filming in Toronto. It is insulting to my intelligence and everyone else that has ever been in those cities. However I understand that a lot of films would not be made due to rising production costs in America. Therefore I accept the situation for the way it is. I make allowance in mind for that knowing that this is just a film, which is entertainment and art.
Todd you will not win...

Ohhhh where to begin.

Mark mark mark. I will not win, I can see that. How can one win, when placed against someone who clearly has no clue what I have said.

Let us begin with a great example of this. "You begin to discuss your opinions on a subject that you are not aware of (seeing the Great Escape) nor have you researched. That is a sign of arrogant stupidity." this is a direct quote from you.

Now I challenge you to find one place where I have discussed this film in any way other than to say I haven't seen the film, will be seeing the film, will be doing research on it in some form I'm sure. Then I'll form an opinion on it. How in God's name does this make me arrogant?
I would not even begin to discuss a film that I know nothing about. I have not argued you on your opinion of this film in any way. Where is your stupidity? Look in the mirror, cause you're out of line son.

I will take one of Mark's points though. I do tend to mix it up a bit too much sometimes. I get a bit passionate about this stuff. Although I doubt this is much of a revalation, I'm sure anyone that reads my stuff is bound to see that. I won't appologize for it, and my opinions do come with some solid knowledge on the subject, or I won't argue. Not to meantion this page hasn't seen this much action in months so I must be getting people thinking.

That said;
Govinda:

I agree with Mark also on your arguement. There is a lot of good points, but I still feel as strong as ever that Hollywood has a responsibility when it takes real people and events to portrey them as close to fact as we can. Or make an out and out story without trying to pull the wool over anyones eyes. If we are making a story in a real event, don't try to push it on us like it's real. Don't delibrately alter fact, then brag in the trailer "Based on a true story." Almost any film ever created can put that slogan on it. Few movies have no charactors or events that weren't inspired by real ones, therefor "Based on real events." I really don't care what Hollywood does, if the public is informed of wheather the film is factual or not. I would venture to bet that well over 60% of western culture believes We Were Soldiers was all real. Maybe 2% think Titanic was, why?

I'd like to know if the book written by Moore also had that fabricated ending in it. What a crock of shit. I mean if the guy who was there writes his own ending to the battle??? What is that about? "Oh and then I ordered my men to charge and we slaughtered the VC's and we all lived happily ever after." I mean I can see how the real event would have made not such a great ending, but then perhaps we could truely sympathise. I went to that movie hearing it was true to the events. I know I wasn't alone. I agree Hollywood should be able to tell a story, but respect the audience.

Here is my point.
Titanic = Story in a real event.
We were Soldiers = Real events, real peaple, with lies thrown in.

Explaination being Titanic never claimed to be something it wasn't. Hollywood telling a story.
We were Soldiers is a film that makes every effort to make us think all this really happened. Real people, real events, and lies. When the line is clear in the sand, I'm fine with the movie. But when I'm listening to my local talk radio station and hear some guy call in and pat those American Sub boys on the back for getting the encryption from the German Sub, I have to feel sorry the the real men who did it, because Hollywood felt they weren't important enough to recognize.

If Hollywood made a movie with your name and family used after your all dead, and made them racist evil people, then said "oh it's just a story." wouldn't that be a little sad if they took your family and had no reguard for what kind of a person you were? Just make a new story up, don't fuck with History.

As far as Hollywood's right to tell a story goes, it stops being a story when people believe it is fact. Then it's a lie.

Right on brutha! However, my family ARE racist evil people, so I might not actually mind that. Something I'll take up with a psychiatrist and leave off the boards.

Before I go on, I've gotta reiterate my recommendation to go get 'Battle of Algiers.' The first documentary-passing-as-a-film. It's right in your wheelhouse Todd, in terms of passing for fact. So close to reality, however, that the French banned it.

It's ironic in one respect to BHD. Gaines, the MacGregor character, went on to greater things by raping a grade-schooler, and is now doing 30 in the cooler. They changed his name in the film for that reason. Wags could say it was an extension of our actions in Somalia, but we WERE trying to do something High and Good there.

Titanic, We Were Soldiers, Behind Enemy Lines, A Beautiful Mind, all movies I felt ~dirty~ after watching because of the maudlin sentimentality, us-vs.-them-ism and inaccuracies brought in to service the producers' and directors' presumption that we're all pretty goddamned stupid. But to focus on inaccuracies in BHD or to lump them into the categories of those other slop flicks is splitting hairs. BHD was about as accurate as it gets. Plus I likes my pornographic violence.

The film business in 1994, when I was edging into it for god knows what reason, made around $6 billion dollars, and it was a good year. The profit margin on that was miniscule. On a ROA basis, better to put money in Treasuries. In revenues, plumbing equipment beats it. The consequence is that they'd better assume we're idiots or we won't get it, and they'd be in the situation of France--stuck making good films but no money, and no membership at the Riviera Country Club for homey in Development.

I've always preferred fiction to nonfiction because skilled writers can narrow down the focus to themes and slough off detail that doesn't serve the purpose. The Sopranos are paramount in this regard. I'd never assume that I'm being told the granular truth about the Mafia, but hope that I'm being led to some larger truths and hilarious ironies. A Beautiful Mind made me vomit for distance in this regard. There was less of a plot, fewer intelligent themes, irony comopletely absent, and godawful sentimentalizing almost to the point of Spielberg.

For this I put BHD in a high category--as taut as Ronin in technique (but with a brain--and not as taut or smart as 'Battle of Algiers'), minimal Bruckheimer shitpuddles, and very educational about the real-world situations in which nations such as the US and Canada find themselves.

The back of my hand to idiots who call in to or give even a second of their time to the slag on talk radio. So much of N. America is simply a lost cause. Hopefully at least they watch the History Channel when they do their annual Oscar-time awards for greatest historical accuracy in film. And at least we're better off than the Chinese and Russians (and even the Japanese) who learn very late in life that their textbooks could've passed for toilet paper for all their historical accuracy.


I'll try to keep this one short.. I know, I know I'm one long winded bastard.

Govinda:

You're on the ball as usual. I'm more relieved than you know to see someone else who finds this stuff to be personaly insulting. We need more guys like you on this page, and in the world.

Just to clarify, I do not put BHD in the same zone as the "Hollywood slop". The only reason I ever brought the movie up was because this happens to be a page about that film. I'm just using this page as a platform to launch a bigger complaint. I still feel BHD had some problems, but indeed placed next to the "slop" they are miniscule. I did learn little watching it, but if I was completly ignorant to the topic prior to viewing it, I would have taken something from it.

BHD can hold it's head up high in many ways, but the minor problems with the film in my mind will be the differance between a neat movie, and a classic. That is what bothers me about this movie. It's like insomnia for those who've seen it. Awesome film right up till the final scene. That one scene ruined the whole move, and the public lost a classic.

I have made a note of 'Battle of Algiers' and look forward to seeing it.

I also will agree with you that we are ahead of most countries and cultures in out methods of education. I feel that is one reason why some of these movies are a real step backward for us. Why not tell the truth?

Put Tom Cruise in a factual movie and little girls will still run and see it, but guess what? Less ignorance, intollerance, and overall biased opinions on important historical events.

There's todays update. I wish whoever owned this page would make it easier to find so people could join the debate. I guess it's old news now though.

I forgot, one more thing.

I wanted to touch on Mark's comments on films being made in Canadian cities, then portreying them as American cities. This bothers Mark, and I wanted to put my views in.

This in my mind lends itself nicely to our current arguement because I feel there should be no reason that films shouldn't be able to do this unless the Story also comes from the Canadian City. I come from Vancouver and we have quite a few films being done up here. They change our signs and put up American flags. This falls under the "Story Telling" we have been discussing. There is no differance between a set at WB Studios portreying itself as a NY City street, and Vancouver being Chicago.

It does get on my nerves a bit that most of the time they have no reason to switch the city other than that Vancouver is in Canada. Eg most films done in Van are later changed to be stories taking place in Washington State. Why? Who really cares? Will less Americans go see it if the Story is in Vancouver? I would hope not.

It isn't a large thorn in my side though, but film-makers refusing to act, or make films in Canada is a differant story. I won't get started on that though.

Anyway there you have it, bye for now.

I think I'm stomping on the vitriol-bubble by being too steady-headed on this page. Well, if the debate had more talk radio listeners, I'd be making the religious among us cross themselves and the old gasp in shock.

You know why they shoot in VC, Toronto and Montreal, right? We shot a 7-up commercial in Vancouver for three reasons: (1) the low loony, (2) highly qualified film pros in abundance, (3) Canadian cities have a wonderful way of looking like they could be anywhere in the world. That's a compliment. You'd never imagine, were you in Phoenix or anyplace but the Strip in Las Vegas, that you were anywhere but a stucco-walled-strip-mall hell that HAS to be in the US Southwest. Somewhere along the line, Canadian architects had some pride (pre-Stanley Ho and his monstrosity near Stanley Park that is). Whereas after about 1946 American architects never had any.

Fight on brutha!

You pea brain canadians why don't you do a little research instead of trying to show everybody how vast your vocabulary is.

It doesn't take much to find the web pages of soldiers who were there and watched the movie also and they had the highest praise and comments of how the movie was depicted.

Of course the samali side was not depicted they way you wanted but it was depicted by the worldview of the American soldier because the story was about a few brave men who where overwhelmed by a whole city of outlaws.

I50 soldiers who where trying to help keep order for the Red Cross so they could feed Simalian Christians.

Ultimately a whole city attacked them and in 24 hours 14 soldiers where dead and 2500 fanatical muslims armed to the ''t'' lay dead as well. And the movie depicted it just the way it happened.

Most of these muslims were of the same demon possessed fanaticals that attacked the World Trade Center.

It is ashame how educated boneheads miss the whole reality of what actually happened over there.


American Army Vet

I would never say Modid and his followers were wonderful people. However Evil people don't just fall over and have painless deaths. There was no blood curdling screams comming from Somalians. They dropped like flies and after they dropped many of them mysteriously dissapear from the ground they dropped on. The should have littered the ground by the time some of those scenes were over.

I would think American guns do the same damage that the enemy's guns would. Yet somehow the Americans are able to kill Somalians without any limbs flying off, no bullet in the head, no one laying on the ground moaning in pain. In my mind these kinds of things are removed delibrately to secure any and all emotion for the Americans. Granted they deserved it, but if you tell the truth and respect your audience they'll figure it out for themselves. We don't need to be spoon fed "How it went." well maybe Michael does. Just tell the fucking truth and don't put any biased views in, people will figure it out. This movie told the truth, but snuck in it's biased view, thus it isn't a classic. It's a good film. The film makers, and Michael, are obviously afraid of what would happen if Hollywood put a crying Somalian in their film. I don't side with Somalia personally, and I agree with Michael that thos men were brave, and had to deal with one hell of a shit fest. I'm glad I'm not them, and I hope I never face what they've faced.

That said; I feel "The Vet" should maybe think about the bigger picture a little more. Almost every major confrontation America and her alies have been involved with has been a case of a handfull of lunatics brainwashing a mass of ill educated scared people. To blame the common soldier in any of these examples to me is an empty gesture. I feel sorry for the Somalians who died too, I mean what a fucking waist of a life.

Christians are often as finatical as many of these other groups. An example of this is that minister who goes to the funerals of young gay boys and hurrasses the family during his service. The rev who claimed 911 would have never happened if it weren't for gays. The hypocritical murder of abortionist Doctors. Claiming god has a "Time" for you, then fighting Cancer with every breath. Ministers being granted the right to touch little boys now. There's our western clean finatical religion.

Yet the Evil Somalians don't deserve their view to be on "OUR" screens. Why? In a sence we do the same "Brainwashing" right here at home. God forbid we tell all sides of the story, like why the hell these people would throw their lives away like this. We need only tell of "Our" side. The movie tells the truth, but only half of it. Just like pearl harbor, we only see things from our vantage. I feel to truly get to the root of a conflict we must examine all sides.

I could easily condem your country for dropping a 1000 lb bomb on Canadian soldiers. If I only looked at "My" side. I could really condem you for the fact that only Canadian flags were at half mast over the incident at the border. What kind of a brother would we have been to you if we kept all our flags up over 911? We morned your great loss, and one of your boys drops a bomb on us? Then you don't even feel bad? See how easy it is to paint a one sided view? See how easily I can totally remove your side of that confrontation and make you look "Evil"? Well that's only haly truths now isn't it? There is more to that story than what I wrote, but I'm playing Hollywood today, and I bet it won't be lon before an American steps up to defend his actions. Ant that's all I'm doing.

Let me once again plug a "REAL" movie. In my mind it is the greatest war film ever created. Few would argue that it set a bar that no film has since or before achieved. The story is simply told, and you are respectfully granted the right to make up your own mind, and not have it made up for you before you even enter the theater.

Tora Tora Tora to me is a shining example of what so many try to argue against. People have placed many comments on this page saying you just can't tell both sides story. Tora is a smack in all of their faces. No one said thses movies would be easy, but maybe a war movie a month is a little much.

I realize Black Hawk Down is based on a book, and thus from a few American's Vantage. However the movie has little substance reguarding the whys and hows of that whole mess. If I must criticize the book for this, so be it. It's not that I think they did something wrong in the book or film, but more I wish to point out what I felt cheated the viewer of a truly great film like Tora. People criticized the acting, but I say the acting was easily par with Ben "the cardboard actor" Afleck and the rest of that abominal cast. Some say the effects weren't great, I litterally was shaking my head in disbelief at some of these scenes. Either they took real footage, or they nearly killed more than a few extras.

The film takes a truly un-biased stance on the event. It might be the only film that can say it didn't delibrately or in any way fuck with history. The question is, does the movie in any way suffer because of this?

Obviously opinions will shift on this topic, but I say it only made the movie better. Really being able to sit back and trust the story being shown to you was a really refreshing change. The story is a fascinating one, so why the fuck change it? These people respected History in a way that it seems fewer and fewer people do anymore. Hollywood has convinced us that it's OK to make it up if the real story isn't exciting enough, but Tora doesn't follow this line of thought. Is it boring? Depends on wheather you're interested in the truth behind Dec. 7 or not. It has no unrealistic love story, but would you really miss it? The final scene to me was better because it had a much more organized feel to it. They seemed to be pretty unorganized during the attack in Pearl Harbour. Suprisingly the visuals are very close to being as impressive as Pearl Harbour. There is no "Bomb Cam" but that's not nearly as impressive as some of the stuff done in Tora. I truly can't figure half the effects out seeing as there was no computer technology.

In the case of movies like Beautiful Mind, we see another example of Hollywood and her Half Truths. Hollywood removes the less desireable traits and creates a new man who has all of his strengths, and few of his weaknesses. Is that a movie about a real man's life? No. That man never existed. They even went as far as keeping his marriage together which had ended in real life. How sweet. Not reality though. Story? Lie? You be the judge.

I also recently was re-united with a film from my youth. Many will no doubt recall David Lynch's rendition of The Elephant Man. The small amount of digging I've done on this film shows that David Lynch took pretty good care of Mr. Merrick's life, and so he should. With the exception of how he died, I can find no major holes in the film, and it remains in my mind one of the hardest, most gut wrenching films to watch in History, in a good way. Lynch has a way of getting inside you and pulling on strings you don't want pulled. Please do not attack me on this film if it doesn't keep to facts, I have done little looking into it. I will say it appears that Lynch took quite a bit more interest in displaying the reality of Merrick's life than most directors do these days.

The sadest part to me is how many people get insulted by what I say, but aren't insulted by the fact that Hollywood chooses to make an attempt to brainwash your Country on a regular basis.

Don't get mad at me, I'm only one of a handful of people who even seem to see that only a few rich men ever get their opinions shown to the masses, and they are free to manipulate those opinions without any consiquences what so ever. Not even any protest from the little guy. We have made history into a Saturday Morning cartoon so we can entertain, and fill more seats.

And I know someone will want to write and say, Film-making is a business. So I'll address that before I go. Film-making is a business, but no one can tell me We Were Soldiers would have made less if that last scene was factual. No one can tell me that Blackhawk Down would have grossed less if it took more time to tell the whole story. No one can tell me that being unforgivably unfare to the Navajo Indians in Windtalkers was a sound business decision. And after a Movie like Tora came out you'd think Pearl Harbour might have atleast got one thing right. I doubt one person on that film had even seen Tora, or the outcome surely would have been different.

I'll be gone now. I probably wont write anymore unless I'm addressed personally. Or perhaps to rip in to the occasional shity movie.

If not, get mad when Hollywood tries to pull a fast one, you might be smart enough to catch it, but what about those who aren't? Don't spend your hard earned money on Films that tell you how to feel about an issue. You're smart enough to make your own mind up. And if most of this stuff on this page comes as a shock, you're just one of Hollywood's little suckers. Change doesn't come about through movies like Pearl Harbour raking in the dough. My last piece of advice is to sit down and really think about wheather you care how Hollywood's big wigs handle your life? Would you want people making millions off your story when they don't even have the decency to stick to fact? Would you want millions of people to pile into theaters to watch a tainted or one sided view of how your life went? What if you were one of those Navajo? How would you feel if after all this time someone finally recognizes your bravery, and the lies make up major portions of your story.

Hollywood might be a business, but does that mean we shouldn't hold it accountable for poor and immoral business practices? According to my tally on this webpage the answer is no.
I'll stay out of your hair......for now.

I THINK THE MOVIE WAS TERRIFIC AND NOW I'M READING THE BOOK SO FAR IT'S SO COOL.

I can tell you were never in the military, but then again, thank GOD you were not.
23 years and still serving.

Jesus fuck, you people are idiots. People can have an opinion on a movie for fuck sakes. It doesn't mean they don't like your country. Fact=Hollywood makes shit up all the time. End of story. If you can't see that that eat shit.

Todd returns.
Warning: This is a long one.

Well, I??m ready to add two more cents. This one will offend you, but hopefully make you think a bit.

Well, I can say George brings some sanity to this discussion.

It seems to me Hollywood has convinced Americans to be as loyal to it, as it is to the American President. Has Hollywood and America become one? I guess.

Back Hollywood's ass even if it is raping history up the ass? People, if there's one thing you should take from this discussion it is, HAVE A CRITICAL MIND!!!

Don't be mindless fucking sheep that accept Hollywood pulling its little dick out and pissing on real people's lives. You have a mind, use it, don't go and see it and especially don??t defend such lies and bullshit. Americans pride themselves on being individuals, with free speech and thought, yet what do you do? Accept any piece of shit Hollywood puts out as long as Nic Cage is starring in it. WAKE UP for FUCK SAKES!

As a quick response to the nameless fool who wrote "I can tell you were never in the military, but then again, thank GOD you were not." First of all there is no GOD. Thank him all you want, but when you die in some far off land serving your country to protect its oil prices you're not going to heaven, you're going to a six foot plot just like everyone else. Religious Propaganda.

I don't want to get too far off topic though. No I don't "SERVE" and thank "GOD" I don't. If I did spend my life "Serving" your sacred Hollywood would turn my life into some fake American's life like they did in U-571. You can't even recognize other country??s accomplishments.

Yes, you can have an opinion of a movie, that doesn't mean I have to respect that opinion, and that is what discussion forum is all about.

Most people seem to just accept whatever CNN, Hollywood, and Bush tell them, but to quote Bill Maher, "I am suspicious of anything a lot of people accept, because a lot of people are fucking stupid." For those of you who don't know who Bill Maher is, and judging from the responses here most of you don't, he was recently fired from his TV show for exercising your so-called "FREE SPEECH". His show was called, Politically Incorrect, and I'm sure none of you would recognize the trend in America towards force-feeding Americans one way of thinking. This is one example of this. Take a look at movies by the Brilliant Michael Moore like Bowling for Columbine. He fights every day trying to get the truth to the American public, most of you are probably saying "Who's Michael Moore?"

It is impossible to have a critical mind if you only know one side of a given story. What if your precious judicial system only had a prosecution, that is the state of your American Media Machine.

Anyway, I doubt any of you will even read this, let alone agree, I think I have a better chance of waking up with my head sown to the carpet.

As I've said before I don't care if Hollywood makes up movies and stories. It's the lies that piss me off.

I am working on a History major right now and recently was working on a Canadian History paper. My mother thought she would be helpful by giving me some books that have been passed through the generations of my family. I read a few, and most were helpful. Then I came across an old children's storybook called: "Great Canadian Stories". I opened it up and the first thing I read was, "Would you like to hear a story about the brave young Madeline who saved her village from the evil Natives?" I flipped to the cover and not to my surprise this was an old book.

Out of sheer amazement and curiosity I read on where the book tried to tell me Natives were crazy for thinking the Anglo-White man gave them the diseases they were dying from. I could go on and on about this insanely biased piece of propaganda, but you get the idea.

I can understand those of you who were or are in the American military, I know you're socialized not to have an opinion in contrast to your government's. Everyone else is being read this story, and you might in the end come to the same conclusion you have now, but for fuck sakes educate yourself, and don't just accept what is force-fed to you by the media.

One of my professors put it to me rather humorously. In America, you have "Patriots". What is a Patriot? Really. A patriot is, by definition, a trader. It would be the same as a group of citizens in your country rising up against Bush because they are tired of him allowing corporations to rule the people. Perhaps it would come in the form of a revolution against the exploitation of third world countries. The majority of you would wine about the cost of filling your SUVs and think the rebels are the enemy.

Let's pretend for a second that this happened and they won. Now your children are exposed to the same one-sided thinking that you are every day. ??We saved this country from Imperial Commerce and exploitation of people who can't defend themselves. We made America pure, and the world leader it should be. We will consider accords like the Kyoto BEFORE the oil companies. We will try to aid rather than exploit, I mean after all, we are the richest country in the world. We recognize we are young as far as nations go, and we don't know it ALL! We might be able to learn from others around the world, instead of assuming we are always correct, and installing "Americanism" wherever we go. We recognize some countries and cultures really don't want to spend their lives watching survivor, and drinkin Coke.??

I realize I lost the last few Americans I had reading this, but it had to be said. You are a young country. You've done some good which you pound your chests over, and you've done some bad, which you've slyly slipped silently under the carpet. Do some digging on your country??s involvement with Bin Laden. President Bush had his first oil company funded by the Bin Laden family. He also allowed, during the period when all planes were grounded in America, all of Bin Laden??s family to leave the country. Look into the "Banana Republics" if you think your horrendous treatment slaves ended after the civil war. Shit just look into the life of, Pablo Neruda, a famous South American poet. I??m not saying anyone who loves America is wrong. It??s responsible for some truly wonderful things. Some truly amazing people were flawed. Should they look at themselves and their actions? Yes.

If you truly wish to love your country, know your country. There is only one way that change will ever come about. Bill Maher was fired because he refused to accept that the terrorists were cowards. That doesn't mean he likes them, or supports them. He simply refuses to accept what the American Media Machine crams down his throat. He thinks for himself. He said: "If anyone is the coward, it is us. We are the ones launching missiles from hundreds of miles away." And he lost his job for that. Where is your free speech? Gone. Do any Americans care? Few.

As far as Hollywood goes. You think the previously mentioned book is something of the past? Wrong. Hollywood's stories are Identical. Zero difference. If you want examples read my other entries. Especially windtalkers which pissed all over the Natives in a movie about the Natives involvment in WWII. People need to wake up and see the bigger picture. The bigger effect all of this is going to have on your children and their children. It is propaganda. The socialization of the masses to accept shit that isn't true, as the truth.

It's tough for the white American population to see all of this because we are the ones who look good under Hollywood's spotlight of lies. What about the Navajo? They fought as much as anyone who has written in against my rants. They served along side your comrades, and they, like it or not, are a important part of your history. It is one thing to spit in the face of the Navajo people after a long string of shitting on them, but it's a whole other thing for the American public to spend their hard earned money watching and defending it.

I don't give two shits what anyone on here says, especially those who have served. As far as I'm concerned you should be ashamed of yourselves supporting Hollywood over the real people who died in combat. I think you all know that Hollywood is a powerful force influencing the youth of your nation. And when cartoons like "Spirit" have more historical validity than some of these movies that proudly boast about being "Based on real events" have, America has a serious problem. The icing on the cake is, those of you that support such pathetic propaganda.

Bring on the onslaught of tripe written by people who didn't even bother to read my entry.

If you don't learn from your past, how can you expect to be wise in the future?

Todd.

I'm not sure I saw the same movie as the rest of you.

I didn't see anyone die with dignity, Somalis or Americans. I'm not sure anyone ever dies with dignity in combat.

The viewpoint of the movie is that same as the book; that of the individual GIs involved. The book's author interviewed scores of Americans and very few Somalis. Ergo, the American viewpoint must be preponderant in both works.

There is at least one incident I saw in the movie that I do not recall from the book. The incident involves an American GI being stalked by a Somali militiaman and his pre-adolescent son. The American escapes when the son accidentally empties an automatic weapon into his father. A Hollywood moment without question, but one that serves to put a human face on the Somali side.

Who gives a shit about the Somalians. I don't. We tried to help and they bit us. Too bad so many Americans had to die because of those little animals.
Typical 3rd world shit.
GBA

just like an american to missunderstand other cultures and have no tolerance for others. when people arrived on your continent they called natives savages and animals but this couldn't have been further from the truth. only through learning and understanding their culture did our perspectives change. we realized they weren't the animals, but the white man instead was the ruthless animal.

too bad so many natives died as a result of your pathetic american race. you don't know what's important in life and you think life is about dollars and cents. you've lost touch with the world around you in your arrogance. you've exploited third world countries as if it's your right to do so. you fail to understand Iraq just as you failed to understand russia and cuba. capitalism is not the perfect system you think it is. free speach is dead in america. the rich live off the backs of the working class.

but keep telling yourselves the bull shit you feed yourselves every day. keep telling yourself you are the "good" and all other countries are "bad".

look up the word ethnocentrism in the dictionary and there should be an american flag waving away on that page.

It's just like an American to misunderstand other cultures and have no tolerance for others. When white people arrived on your continent they called natives savages and animals but this couldn't have been further from the truth. Only through learning and understanding their culture did our perspectives change. Now people with an IQ over six realized they weren't the animals, instead, the white man was the ruthless race of animals.

Too bad so many natives died as a result of your pathetic American race. You don't know what's important in life, and you think life is about dollars and cents. You believe the world revolves around you...lol. You are hated by many nations because of retarded individuals like the previous American. You've lost touch with the world around you in your arrogance. You've exploited third world countries as if it's your right to do so. You fail to understand Iraq just as you failed to understand Russia and Cuba. Capitalism is not the perfect system you think it is. Free speech is dead in America. The rich live off the backs of the working class.

Keep telling yourselves the bullshit you feed yourselves every day. Keep telling yourself you are the "good" side, and all other countries that oppose your foreign policy are "bad".

Look up the word ethnocentrism in the dictionary and there should be an American flag waving away on the page.

Congrats America!!! You're managing to convince the world that it isn't just the leaders you elect that are mindless idiots.

I for one am learning fast just how narrow minded you people are...... Morons....
Wake up yanks and think outside the box!!

You??re becoming a race of pathetic sheep (No different than Iraq/Afghanistan) mindlessly following your retarded leader and whatever CNN feeds you about the world around you. In case you haven??t noticed, there is little difference between American hatred of Iraq, and Iraq??s hatred of America. It??s all propaganda fed to the masses.

Anyone who thinks things are as cut and dry as most of these Americans do is a waist of my time, and an insult to my intelligence. This forum has gone way downhill as a result of these fools. What a joke. Did any of you graduate from Grade six? Or is that how pathetic the American education system is?

TODD WRITES: "They (The Somalis) dropped like flies and after they dropped many of them mysteriously dissapear from the ground they dropped on. The should have littered the ground by the time some of those scenes were over."

Todd, I was in Somalia. The reason why the ground wasn't littered with dead people is because the Somali's were very conscientious about retrieving their bodies. They would run through a hail of bullets just to retrieve a body (just like us Ranger's, in fact).

In the first comment it said that "Every single one of them (Somalis) dies an instant and painless death." Well I dont think that this is true. Do you remember the part when one of the rangers accidently slips when he was coming out of a class room which was full of kids, and the boy who was trying to shoot him shot his father. You could see the pain there. I thought the movie showed alot of mental pain with the somalis rather than physcial. (the old man carrying a little kids body). The only reason that the movie doesnt show more is because they are not the focus of the film. I was dedicated to the soldiers who fought and died in the battle.
I do have one question though-
can anyone tell me whether the movie was historically correct to the actual battle?? And if so in what aspects??

Danellea:

Yes. BHD was done quite well, compared to other war films out there. I was pleased with the accuracy in the film, though I tend to side with the reletively obvious dehuminization of "the enemy" arguement.

I am not in 100% aggreement with the 1st statement on this page, but I feel if we were really there, even from the point of view of the Americans, we would see more examples of the human loss on the other side than the movie shows, though, blingo seems to be someone who knows best about what it was Really like. I can only assume.

I would like Blingo to reply in a bit more depth if he reads this. I am interested in his opinion. He seems less biased than some of the other Vets that have posted, and I am interested in knowing if the movie accurately portreys the American's eyes. Meaning what he REALLY sees. Maybe from their perspective they caught only glimpses of the dying Somalians, but surely heard their screams along with the American ones.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, the movie is pretty damn close to the events and timeline, but perhaps a bit too eager to show us the value of an American life, over the life of a Somalian. Sure they're brainwashed by their leaders, but they did die fighting for something they believed in too.

Americans should consider their own troops on their way over to Iraq when making a comparison. How much is brainwashing, and how much is not. Is it about OIL and GAS? 30,000 people die in Iraq a year because of sanctions and surgical strikes on things like water treatment fascilities. Babies, women, children.

You don't have to look far into your history to find atrocities to man. In Latin America alone you've taken out one dictatorship for no other reason than because they don't cow-tow to your will, only to install another dictatorship who does. What about the people of that country???

Why then should the world trust your country with weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION??

Power Corrupts,
Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

Do I want Saddam Hussein in power? No. He's a lunatic, but Will sanctions work? Fuck no. You have to be pretty fucking stupid to think a maniac like that gives a rats ass if his people starve.

Whether you wish to admit it or not, they are people,
Just like you and you, and your children.
And your Country IS largely responsible for their deaths.

A lot more than the number that died on 911. A hell of a lot more.

If you want to lead this world, start thinking in broader terms than your own people and country. The world will never follow you, if you wont adopt a more humble view of the world around you.

That's just my opinion...

Danellea:

Yes. BHD was done quite well, compared to other war films out there. I was pleased with the accuracy in the film, though I tend to side with the reletively obvious dehuminization of "the enemy" arguement.

I am not in 100% aggreement with the 1st statement on this page, but I feel if we were really there, even from the point of view of the Americans, we would see more examples of the human loss on the other side than the movie shows, though, blingo seems to be someone who knows best about what it was Really like. I can only assume.

I would like Blingo to reply in a bit more depth if he reads this. I am interested in his opinion. He seems less biased than some of the other Vets that have posted, and I am interested in knowing if the movie accurately portreys the American's eyes. Meaning what he REALLY sees. Maybe from their perspective they caught only glimpses of the dying Somalians, but surely heard their screams along with the American ones.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, the movie is pretty damn close to the events and timeline, but perhaps a bit too eager to show us the value of an American life, over the life of a Somalian. Sure they're brainwashed by their leaders, but they did die fighting for something they believed in too.

Americans should consider their own troops on their way over to Iraq when making a comparison. How much is brainwashing, and how much is not. Is it about OIL and GAS? 30,000 people die in Iraq a year because of sanctions and surgical strikes on things like water treatment fascilities. Babies, women, children.

You don't have to look far into your history to find atrocities to man. In Latin America alone you've taken out one dictatorship for no other reason than because they don't cow-tow to your will, only to install another dictatorship who does. What about the people of that country???

Why then should the world trust your country with weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION??

Power Corrupts,
Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

Do I want Saddam Hussein in power? No. He's a lunatic, but Will sanctions work? Fuck no. You have to be pretty fucking stupid to think a maniac like that gives a rats ass if his people starve.

Whether you wish to admit it or not, they are people,
Just like you and you, and your children.
And your Country IS largely responsible for their deaths.

A lot more than the number that died on 911. A hell of a lot more.

If you want to lead this world, start thinking in broader terms than your own people and country. The world will never follow you, if you wont adopt a more humble view of the world around you.

That's just my opinion...

Hey Todd maybe first we should figure out who you are more jealous of, rich people from Hollywood or true Americans. Then I can write a book about how all of the U.S. was washed into the ocean from your crying, bitchy little ass.Oh let me guess,the Canadian government doesn't have any problems.Neither you nor the Canadian government has a backbone.Why dont you hike your gay ass back to Canada.

Scott,

You're a mindless idiot.
I am in Canada.
The Canadian Government is not perfect.
What is a true American? A chest pounding baboon like yourself?
I disagree.

America needs to get a grip. You're living in one of the great hypocracies of our day. "America" sets up a government to ENSURE power never ends up in one mans hands. A seperation of Power so to speak. The same "America" takes all the power into its own hands, completely disregarding the rest of the world.

Scott, you represent the majority of Americans, but you aren't a real American. You're the same ignorant fools who thought slavery was "the american way" along with slaughtering natives for your "Manifest Destiny" cause.

Those mass baby funerals in Iraq were ok, but this bull shit about me having to pay $60 to fill my SUV has to be stopped.

You're a fucking sicko Scott, and the worst part is, you're proud of it.

Get a life.

Todd I have been reading all your comments on the movie Blackhawk Down, and I must say your full of crap. If you knew anything about military operations then open your trap, other than that shut your lardass up. Because all you are is a critic, if you were in that situation in Africa maybe I would listen to you. But the truth is you have no real experience with any of this that your talking about. So unless you want some real material to talk about and not some fabricated bs that you come up with. Why don't you join the military and get into a war and see what really goes on, you selfish sack of crap.
Proud to be a veteran, Steve

Hey,

I know what goes on in war. I watch American movies. Oooo and CNN.

I think half these shell-shocked morons think John Wayne had it right. The fact is, you can't stand the thought that you might have been sent into combat for the same bullshit reasons that are going on right now in Iraq. "The comradery of war." "Heros" bla bla bla.

There's comradery in terrorist organizations too. And they also think they have heros. Most of your wars were bullshit, and the ones that ment something, you showed up late in the game. Then wrote your history books in such a way as to claim you were single handedly responsible for the victory.

I don't know about down south, but where I come from that's known as little dick syndrome. A disease which seems to be rampant in the states.

What is it about America that makes you people think you have some greater rank in society because you killed some civilians with AK-47s.

I just picture a nice thick southern accent. "Proud ta be a veteran." which is synonymous with "Proud to be a gun toting red-necked ignoramus." This seems to be the status quo below the 49th.

wow i have never seen people fighting over something like a movie. i think everyone realizes that not all war movies are based on actual occurances. and why would you blame hollywood for trying to please people? ITS THEIR JOBS. if anything, we are to blame. we're the ones that go out and watch these things. if you dont like these movies don't watch them. its that simple. how frikin true can these movies get?? they are BASED on a true story. Stop bitching about nicholas cage. i mean ok fine he hogged a lot of the movie, but wat do u expect? if they put just the indians on the posters not as many people would watch it would they? none of you can honestly tell me that you would watch the movie if it didnt have a major star in it. GROW UP.

wow i have never seen people fighting over something like a movie. i think everyone realizes that not all war movies are based on actual occurances. and why would you blame hollywood for trying to please people? ITS THEIR JOBS. if anything, we are to blame. we're the ones that go out and watch these things. if you dont like these movies don't watch them. its that simple. how frikin true can these movies get?? they are BASED on a true story. Stop bitching about nicholas cage. i mean ok fine he hogged a lot of the movie, but wat do u expect? if they put just the indians on the posters not as many people would watch it would they? none of you can honestly tell me that you would watch the movie if it didnt have a major star in it. GROW UP.

Todd is very typical of Canadians. Huge, and I mean huge, chip on their shoulder. I wouldn't take his anti-American comments too seriously. As a real Canadian with some security in myself, I'm fine with America and with Canada. Hey, we at least won the Olympic hockey gold, ha ha.

Geez Todd, lighten up. America is a kick ass place to live and visit, and so is our place. Relax. And whether you care to admit it or not, many of those who were actually in Somalia fighting said that the movie was quite accurate. I hate to break this to you, but I believe them more than you.

Uhhh... Okay, dude. I've read all of Todd's rants, and yes even the ones from well over 6 months ago. In all their beauty, many people (as so often done) just lead on bits and pieces of it and come to their own shit conclusions.

Todd, I myself am extremely anti-American (if that's even a proper way to put it.) and I write rants, but nothing of your sort. And I also agree on that whole, fuck God thing. =).

And as for you, "hotel", I'm sorry to say that I'm ashamed of you. Whether it be our involvement with Iraq or another matter, you've really missed our stance as Canadians. In fact, fuck the "Canadian" identity. We just consider ourselves lucky not to have a pea brained ass for a "President". You're obviously missing ALL the facts that Todd has laid out. He's obviously repeatedly stated ALL of them, and why you refuse to admit America's hypocritism is EMBARRASING!

And as for the rest of you, specifically Mr. "I'm a veteran", just like Todd said, go and bury yourself six feet under for the hell of it. You'll just be a name remembered for another 25 years and for what? That which your nation has socialized you to fight for? The American "Dream"?...

FreedomFighter:

WOW! Someone with an IQ over six joined the discussion. I had long given up hope for any sort of logic on this page. Good to hear from someone who actually read all of my stuff before making a judgment on what I have been saying.

Hotel:

You are not a REAL canadian. You are in the minority. Most Canadians do not support the war in Iraq. We are now seeing the results of the American Adgenda panning out. You should move to America, your ignorance will be welcome there. In Canada, we use that matter enclosed in the skull commonly refered to as a brain.

As a final note I feel the American Dictionary should rewrite its definition for Freedom of Speech to:
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: A fictional term used to convince the masses that they reserve the right to speak their opinions without penalization.

If one looks at the American actions against Canada, clearly one cannot say Free Speech exists.

Freedom of Speech should be replaced with the new American Belief of, "Either you're with us, or you're against us." No country can disagree with the yanks anymore, they feel they know it all, and fuck anyone who disagrees, even the UN.

... Er, this message board seems awfully deserted. Where did all you guys find out about it?

And yes, again Todd, well placed arguments. I love your harsh and direct words. They're just so beautiful!

Todd,
I have been following the debate on this page with interest. I have read all the messages several times and want to offer a few comments.

Movies as history
I think it's important to remember the distinctions between documentaries, dramatizations, historical fiction and mythology, in order to keep a movie's accuracy in perspective. Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers are dramatizations, intended to reflect the true story as accurately as possible, though not necessarily every detail nor every perspective. Time is compressed. People are omitted. Incidents are deleted. People are combined into a single fictional character to simplify storytelling or perform generic actions that were done in an essentially identical way by multiple participants. Are these lies? If so, it is not possible to make a movie that does not lie, because all the tools that make storytelling possible in the first place are invalid. Storytellers have to make choices. Ridley Scott, in Black Hawk Down, chose to largely omit the perspective of the Somalians, in order to focus on how a small group of soldiers reacted under extreme adversity. Yes, it was a paean to their courage. But I think Scott also succeeded in subtly reminding the intelligent, observant audience members of war's costs. See my Black Hawk Down notes below for more discussion on this movie.
U-571, on the other hand, is historical fiction, a "what if..." scenario that could have happened if slightly different choices had been made. Again, I discuss this movie in more depth below. Windtalkers falls in this category, too, although it uses different techniques.
What say you about movies like Braveheart and Gladiator? These went beyond the limits of mere historical fiction into what I would call myth-building. They use very broadly accurate historical settings and proceed to change virtually all the details. Braveheart has more accuracy on specific historical points, but both movies deliberately and explicity set out to create their own "histories". But both movies are very open about this, and it is easy to determine what was changed. If done poorly, this strategy can result in a wretched movie, but when done right it can produce cinematic masterpieces that get at the kind of truths that make people (me, anyway) love movies in the first place.
And as far as documentaries, you need to be careful there, too. You speak highly of Michael Moore, but I wouldn't call his films documentaries. They are video essays. His fudging is well documented: staging scenes, distorting facts, choosing feeble ideological opponents to interview, citing false statistics.
On to specific movie comments...

Black Hawk Down
I concur on the general accuracy of this movie. I was troubled by several errors (Eversman did not actually go to the crash site, for example). However, in most of the details the movie was accurate, based on my readings of the book, and certainly it was accurate in the big picture.
I must disagree, however, about any suggestion that Ridley Scott was afraid of putting a crying Somalian in the film, or that the movie portrayed the Somalians as being without dignity. The overall tone of the movie is unusually detached, almost journalistic and largely devoid of sentimentality. But there are moments of grief, of pathos, of pain, that are to me anyway all the more powerful because they are in such stark contrast to the tone of the rest of the movie.
There is of course the moment when a young Somali boy accidentally kills his father (or brother, I don't recall) and we see him crying.
But there is another moment that seems to get overlooked. Near the end of the film, an old Somali man walks across the screen carrying a dead child in his arms. The man's face is etched with both deep sadness and quiet dignity. It is the face of a man from a country where people are accustomed to carrying away dead children after sloppy battles with oppressive dictators, brutal warlords and, yes, foreign soldiers. This moment occurs as we begin to relax, thinking the American survivors are going to escape. At this well-chosen time, it resonates more effectively than a thousand exploding torsos or severed limbs ever could. It reminds us that, no matter where our sympathies lie, we cannot dismiss the consequences of war or pretend that the suffering stops when the shooting stops. The action is so fast, so chaotic, we see only glimpses of what it must have been like on the receiving end of American firepower--much like the perspective must have been for those soldiers, who didn't have time to do anything but fight for their lives. And then there is that disturbing moment.
I noted it and was moved by it the first time I watched the film. Like much of the audience, I was still numb from the relentless violence and didn't immediately grasp the full meaning. But the image stuck in my mind, it haunts me still, and upon a repeat viewing at home I nearly broke down and cried at that point.
I sympathize with the American soldiers, who fought bravely in difficult circumstances. We were justified in trying to help the Somalis; we were naive to think we could succeed on a large scale. The targets of the raid were murderous thugs; the Somali soldiers defending him were thugs, too; the country might have been a marginally better place without them. But the potential benefit wasn't worth even one life and certainly not hundreds. What a colossal waste. Maybe we didn't need a movie to tell us that, but it never hurts to be reminded.

U-571
Your wrath is wildly misguided regarding this film. To clarify: Americans did recover Enigma documents and technology from a German U-Boat in 1944. The British did so twice, earlier in the war. There was of course no cloak and dagger nighttime approach or running gunfight. But Americans risked their lives to recover items from a sinking sub. Some of the salvage operation was filmed, and that film is in fact on the DVD in the special features.
So it is accurate to say that the film is inspired by real events. Not only that, but the back cover of the DVD and the director (on the commentary track) make it very clear that it's a work of historical fiction. The director, and the documentary footage on the DVD, give due credit to the British for their earlier efforts. There was no dishonesty or deceit. Anyone who thought this film was a dramatization simply wasn't paying attention. This was clearly a "what if..." story.
Incidentally, since you claim that we Americans don't like to give credit to other countries, let me point something out to you. It was actually a couple Polish mathematicians who did the vital early work in deciphering the German codes. Their efforts (which included smuggling a copy of an Enigma machine into British hands) laid the groundwork for later code-breaking.
Your claim that American refusal to listen to the British code-breakers led to Pearl Harbor is just silly. We had already broken the Japanese codes long before Pearl and were intercepting suspicious messages for some time beforehand. But confusion and poor communication doomed any hope of clear advance warning.


We Were Soldiers
The final rush on the Viet Cong that never even occurred...well, it actually did occur. It is recounted in Chapter 16 on pages 194-195 in my hardback copy. American troopers assaulted not just once but three times to mop up the stragglers and conclude that portion of the battle. Just as in the movie, the troopers (led, in fact, by Moore), came up out of their holes and advanced at a brisk walk, firing on the enemy, killing 20 or more. The part that did not happen was the helicopter attack after the advance. I suspect (and director Wallace suggests as much in the DVD commentary) that the scene was intended, as you would phrase it, to put a human face on the enemy. It was an opportunity to show the devastation and psychological effect of American artillery and air power that up to that point was mostly hinted at. The director was careful to show the faces of the Americans watching the slaughter, turning away or averting their eyes, because they had learned to respect the tenacity and bravery of the enemy and were shocked by the brutality.
A couple of notes for historical accuracy. Most of the enemy soldiers were actually North Vietnamese regulars, not Viet Cong. And the battle actually continued for several days after the events of the movie: Moore's troopers were lifted out, other troopers were lifted in and those others were ambushed and surrounded later as they marched toward their home base. The movie only covers the first half of the book.

Windtalkers
I haven't seen this movie and am not much interested. John Woo was a terrible choice to direct this--terrible at least for those of us who hoped to see a more substantive treatment of this topic rather than a standard action flick. But again your anger seems out of proportion to the alleged crime. Okay, they didn't make the movie you wanted to see, but I'm guessing you didn't help finance the movie either. They made the movie they wanted to make, and so it goes. Just because it didn't focus on what you would have, doesn't mean it isn't a valid story. A better writer/director combination might well have made a terrific movie about a white officer who learns to respect the Navajo code-talkers. But I bet there is some young person out there who saw the movie, realized that there is a much more interesting story there and will make his or her own movie about it someday.
As far as historical accuracy, I'm not aware of any huge discrepancies. Marines probably were not ordered to kill other Marines--however, there is not 100 percent agreement on this. A few sources say that such orders were given, or at least implied. In other words, the orders might not have been explicit, but the soldiers may have been expected to read between the lines.
The movie portrays the Navajo soldiers as heroes. It brings some attention to this long-neglected story. Everybody, including the military and Navajo representatives, signed off on it because telling this flawed story was better than not telling it at all. There are other movies to be made of this, and I have no doubt they will be made.

Pearl Harbor/Tora Tora Tora
Pearl Harbor was a steaming pile, but not because it was such a horrible piece of history. It actually got quite a lot of stuff right. It was just, quite simply, a wretched movie that tried to be a love story and an action extravaganza, and pretty much screwed up both.
And by the way, I'd wager my left testicle that almost everybody involved with Pearl Harbor has seen Tora, Tora, Tora. These people may not always make great movies, but they do have more than a passing knowledge of cinema history. Most of them fell in love with movies early in life and still have a passion for it. They didn't fall out of the sky one day and decide to make movies. Despite their knowledge, passion and history, some of them still make lots of bad movies. Let's face it: in any profession, the knowledgeable, passionate, competent person who consistently produces brilliant work is extremely rare.
By the way, since you speculated about it: one stunt pilot actually was killed during the filming of Tora, Tora, Tora. A little trivia for you.

American History
Man, I do not even want to get too deep into your or some of these other people's warped view of American history or freedom of speech. I will point out only a few things. If there were some place better than America to live, I would move there. Our constitution forbids the government to restrict speech, it doesn't force anyone to finance, believe or even listen to others. Bill Maher was free to say what he did, and the people who were financing his show with their own money were free to stop doing so. When you are talking on someone else's dime, you have to accept the fact that the dime may at some point be withdrawn. And as far as those who have described America as everything from the cause of all the world's problems to an evil empire...you might want to take a refresher course on world history. We didn't invent war, poverty, slavery, imperialism, racism or sexism, but we were the first or among the first to effectively combat these, either with political movements, government intervention, popular outrage or conflict. I freely concede the mistakes. But I damn well insist you acknowledge the many successes.

Veterans
Finally, a word about the veterans you frequently insult as rednecks, ignoramuses, gun-toting idiots, sickos, etc. When you describe soldiers as being socialized not to have an opinion different from the government, I can't help but wonder how many you've actually met. I have known quite a few, and they are as a group some of the most vocal and opinionated people on the planet. They are perfectly capable of disagreeing with the government and frequently do. But they are disciplined, and they know when it's appropriate to talk and when it's appropriate to shut up.
When you say that "proud to be a veteran" is synonymous with "proud to be a gun-toting redneck ignoramus", to whom were you referring? The World War II Marines who booed John Wayne because they'd had it up to here with the macho act? The young men who committed suicide in 1942 because they were distraught at being declared physically unfit to volunteer for the service? The soldiers taking night classes who a teacher friend of mine described as the most eager students she ever had? The ones who refuse to call themselves heroes, reserving that term for those who were killed?

Canada
This America/Canada argument is foolish. I live in America and love it. I have visited Canada and found it to be a beautiful and friendly place. I disagree with policies of both governments, but both countries are free and prosperous. Other than Australia, there's no place in the world I would even consider living if for some reason I couldn't live here.
By the way, I would love to see a movie about the Canadian soldiers who landed on D-Day and fought at Caen. If memory serves me, all or at least most Canadian soldiers in WWII were volunteers and thus would generally be considered elite. Their units were considered some of the best in the war, on a par with the best German, British and, yes, American units. Their rivalry with German S.S. troops was fierce and unforgiving. In fact, these two groups hated each other so much that it is said they never took prisoners when they met in battle. Take that, all you people who think Canadians are a bunch of goobers. Talk about brutal. This would make a great, if bloody, war flick.

Conclusion
Many of the issues you raise are easily answered by doing a little better research. You ask, how are you supposed to know what's real and what's not? Well, you talk to people, you post messages, you read original source material, you read reviews, you seek out opinions of those with different perspectives, you never stop thinking and analyzing, and in the end you make the best decision you can. It has always been this way, tough to figure things out, but we have access to more information and more resources than any people who have ever lived on this Earth before. Take advantage of it. And please, please, read the books upon which movies are based. So many of your questions and complaints would have been resolved by consulting this material.
You might want to take a look at this site, www.strategypage.com/moviereviews , which has nice summaries of some of the movies discussed on this page, including many specific details on historical accuracy.
Your passion is admirable, Todd. But a little more preparation (and, honestly, a little less profanity) would go a long way toward generating saner, more intelligent responses.
I have not attempted to address every specific concern or question of yours. If you wish to address comments to me, I'll be happy to respond. But be patient, as I have a large number of things going on right now and might not be able to do so right away.
Cheers.

::Claps::
To both of you, I'm sure your old history teachers would be proud. Very proud. In my time of reading this message board and its responses, Todd's eloquent ness has always stood out. I'm glad to see another different opinion arise recently.

Let me start my quick thought by stating how intimidated I am. Perhaps for the wrong reasons, yes; but the fact of that matter is you're smart... and I'm not! I'll just state my quick opinion about all this in preparation for Aaron??s response.

I'm stunned, and I'm shocked. You're right, I did not know half as much about these movies as I had thought I did. But I do read and learn off people like yourselves; I take into consideration not facts based on your opinions, but opinions based on your facts, because I don't trust anyone with facts now-a-days, and I??d rather much have well-stated arguments to respond to.

Todd, you had said, "WHO WATCHES THE SPECIAL FEATURES, OR WHO DOES RESEARCH WHEN THEY GET HOME?", and shockingly enough I have, and many more. I find a slight generalization in your comment, but its fine considering its 80% true...

About the movies? Yes, thank you, the reviews were splendid. However, I found it to be unrelated in this argument we have here. Todd has beautifully strung all my thoughts and arguments together in his "Mini essay", if you will, and again... The CBC comment is really precious, and I continually cling onto that statement Todd made. I strongly believe in its truthfulness. Ironically, I have run into a heavy pro-Jewish/Israeli/Whatever-the-hell-you-want-to call-it statements, but that's outside of the point. Those partial-government run organizations benefit the Canadian population in a twisted way, because we are offered a great neutral side of the whole issue. In Iraq, we never supported the Baath's side (Duh) and neither the American side, which I find the British population particularly innerved with. That same CBC is just so... important to what I call, Canadian opinion, which Americans call rotten because as they claim, we're under their "blanket".

After totally moving away from this topic, I'll return again about movies. Movies such as Gladiator and Braveheart, have, despite any fact, been created for money and perhaps for the director's interest. In doing my research on the movie "Gladiator", Ridley Scott has repeatedly said in his interviews that he doesn't "care" if he digressed from the truth of the great Gladiators. Yes, a direct quote. Now you tell me, Aaron, would this director really "care" to see a proper message sent? And if rich and experienced directors like him don't, how can you expect inexperienced, virgin (yes, the profane analogy), and financially unstable directors to change the precedent and create a new wave of ??anti-biased?? film? I'm not going to touch on Michael Moore's style, but I can just say that his performance at the Oscars put him in some deep shit, regardless of how he handled it. I wonder how his colleagues are behaving with that.

Todd, you stated some wonderful ideas about Canadian contributions, and Aaron totally recognizes them... But what initially shocked me, in my learning of these famous victories was the level of "credit" received by Canadians in each instance. On sites such as Juno and Vimy, there are monumental structures and endless fields of grey tombstones dedicated to our soldiers. I don't think anyone, specifically the film industry, should bother with war-contributions to the world because it's only part of the identity. I am incredibly proud of these contributions as well as a proud Canadian, and I am sure you are as well; but are those events and themes really something we need to broadcast to spread our identity to the world? Is that not reminiscent of the "American capitalism" we all despise?

So, I end my literally pointless opinion with just a simple question. Why the hell is -anyone- broadcasting their opinion in movies, to begin with? It's a good question and I would like to hear your responses.

Thank you for your time.

Mm. Well, it's been a month and no response...
It's been fun. I guess this thread is inactive. Good posts, everyone.

If you want to see an absolutely brilliant bit of work by some webcreators, go to Google.com, type in, weapons of mass destruction, to the search field but hit the "I'm feeling Lucky" button next to the search button. THIS PUTS UP A FAKE ERROR THAT GOES PERFECT WITH MY LAST ENTRY!!

If it doesn't work, try http://www.coxar.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

Check it out.
Todd.

Todd and FreedomFighter,

Sorry for the long wait. As I said in my first post, I've been quite busy working on my house and helping Grandma prepare to move to a nursing home.
First, to address two questions posed by FreedomFighter.
I'm discussing movies here because the dual threads of debate were movies and history, two things I care about.
Ridley Scott in Gladiator wasn't trying to make a documentary. He was doing what I referred to as myth-building. He took a broadly accurate backdrop--a decaying, violence-obsessed Rome--and superimposed a mostly fictional story he found compelling. He made what I consider a brilliant movie that works on two levels: a tale of individual courage, dignity and loyalty; and a tale of Rome as pinnacle of civilization versus Rome as brutal conqueror. Young filmmakers are fully capable of understanding what Scott was doing. They will choose their own approaches and be judged accordingly.

U-571
When you say the movie made a "conscious attempt to tell a story where British accomplishments are swapped with American ones", you are simply wrong. British and American sailors captured Enigma materials from German submarines. But NOBODY ever intercepted a disabled but manned German submarine in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night, coaxed their way onboard, defeated the Germans in a running gun battle, then traveled home in the U-Boat while evading attack. All of these details are invented. The premise is pure speculation. The movie doesn't steal British accomplishments, because the events don't match (even remotely) any historical incident.
The filmmakers could have told a story about any Allied nation with naval assets to carry out such a mission. The filmmakers were American, so they made the sailors American. The filmmakers could have dramatized the 1944 U-Boat capture by Americans. They could have dramatized one of the British captures. They wanted to do fiction.
Your objection seems to be to the very idea of historical fiction. By your logic, we Americans could cry foul if the British made a similar movie.

We Were Soldiers
Are you saying that Moore, who fought in the battle, lied about the assault in his book and not a single historian or battle participant has called him on it? You have not read the book. You don't know how the assault was described in print. You assert that the assault never happened, but an assertion is not evidence, no matter how often or vehemently you repeat it.
The bottom line here is quite simple. Moore's published account is not in dispute and has been universally lauded for its accuracy. Moore describes an assault that occurs at the same time and place as in the movie. The only, and I mean ONLY matter open to debate, is whether the movie's dramatization of the assault is accurate.
Here is a summary of the relevant passages in the book (pages 194-195, Chapter 16, hardback): After extensive air and artillery strikes, Moore orders and participates in an assault, with bayonets fixed, to expand the American perimeter. Troopers advance and kill 27 enemy.
The movie time-compresses the assault and emphasizes it more than the book. The movie also makes it more dramatic. (What? Cinematic magic makes combat seem dramatic!?) But it shows American soldiers hustling out of their foxholes, attacking, expanding the perimeter, mopping up the enemy and securing the area for the units that arrived to relieve them.
My suggestion to all: read the book and watch the movie, then decide for yourself. You CANNOT make a reasoned judgment if you aren't familiar with both sources.
Note: The helicopter attack did not happen as portrayed. That scene was a time-compressed summary of strikes that preceded the assault. It was moved to the end to show via reaction shots how the troopers respected their opponents and were horrified by the slaughter. This is consistent with an important theme of the book--the bond that forms between soldiers, even between adversaries in a battle. This is a time-honored technique of storytellers--a way of distilling an important truth about an event that cannot necessarily be conveyed in isolated, fragmented images elsewhere.

Windtalkers
Again, for the record, I haven't seen Windtalkers. My comments refer to issues discernible from research and reviews.
What "discrepancy" is the movie is based upon? Navajo people invented a code. Navajo soldiers called code talkers fought in the U.S. military. Code talkers generally were assigned white bodyguards. Code talkers were led by white officers. Code talkers, their bodyguards and white officers fought bravely, some died and all were heroes. Windtalkers tells one story of dozens that could be constructed from these facts. It is consistent with these facts. It does not disparage the Navajo. It portrays them as heroes. I imagine that even people who don't like the movie will feel admiration for them.
You appear to object to the fact that code talkers were assigned white bodyguards. Well, they WERE. Code talkers had valuable skills and were protected. Also, at least one code talker was shot by a Marine who mistook him for an infiltrating Japanese soldier.
The film wasn't a diatribe against horrors committed in a previous century. Is that what you wanted? Maybe they could have edited the white people out. Or maybe the white commanding officer could have declared (offscreen, so you wouldn't suffer the indignity of seeing him) that due to historical oppression of the Navajo, code talkers would not be assigned bodyguards. Who needs a bodyguard, since we all know that secret Indian magic will stop bullets?
The only discrepancy has to do with your expectations. The filmmakers didn't make the movie you wanted to see.

Evil America
The notion that America perfected any of the world's evils is laughable. Let's take one example, slavery. Modern discussion of slavery tends to focus on America, as if we are history's primary culprits. Nonsense. Slavery was pervasive in Periclean Athens and in Rome, and most of these slaves were white. Roman emperors arranged massacres of slaves for fun, displaying brutality that would have made an American slaveholder faint. Egypt was a slave state more rigid and autocratic than any Nazi fantasy world. Arabs invented the black slave trade. Africans collaborated, delivering captives from their incessant tribal warfare into slavery. This system of supply and demand existed long before whites came to Africa, and it persisted long after North Americans and Europeans abolished slavery. The basic sub-Saharan economy was tied into catching and distributing slaves for 2,000 years. There are reports of slavery in parts of Africa today. Canada had slavery, and it was no less brutal than in America. Canada abolished slavery at roughly the same time as the industrial, capitalist American north. It was the industrial, capitalist American north that crushed the slaveholding south.
If you can't evaluate America in the context of world history, you can't evaluate it honestly.

Research
When I said do better research, I did not mean to imply you are ignorant. I referred to specific issues where you appeared to have neglected your research. I thought you understood what I was getting at.
1. You had not read Black Hawk Down or We Were Soldiers Once...And Young, the original source material for two of the movies people are discussing. This was an obvious and significant gap in your knowledge.
2. You asked why Somalian bodies disappeared from the ground and American weapons appeared to do less damage. The answers are in the book.
3. You asked if Moore's book had "that fabricated ending in it." You hadn't read the part in the MIDDLE of the book where he described the final assault of the FIRST STAGE of the battle.
4. You did not mention and appeared to be unaware that American sailors captured Enigma materials from a U-Boat in 1944. This information is vital to any informed discussion about alleged dishonesty in U-571.
In other words, you asked questions easily answered by rudimentary research. I have no issues with the breadth of your education, just curiosity why you neglected to read primary sources beforehand.

Ignorant isolationist Americans
I chuckled when you said Americans won't see movies about people from other countries. You mean like Amelie, Amadeus, Braveheart, Das Boot, Gladiator, Seven Samurai, Chocolat, Dangerous Liaisons, The Elephant Man, A Fish Called Wanda, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Enemy at the Gates, Shakespeare in Love, About a Boy, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Notting Hill, Ran, Sirens, The Last Emperor, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ronin, Howard's End, Doctor Zhivago, The English Patient, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, La Femme Nikita, etc. This list is off the top of my head. Not to mention the countless movies with individual characters from other countries. The United States is a nation of immigrants, the most diverse country on the planet, and we probably watch an unsurpassed variety of films from other places. Plus, we have a myriad of people from other countries and cultures making films incorporating and celebrating their heritage.

Lying Hollywood bastards
I quote you: "As far as Hollywood's right to tell a story goes, it stops being a story when people believe it is fact. Then it's a lie."
So if some dimwit in the back row doesn't get it, the filmmakers become liars? Because some stupid people--the same ones who write letters to soap opera characters and believe pro wrestling is real--can't be bothered to use their tiny brains, the filmmakers are dishonest? As far as I'm concerned, these viewers should apologize for being so fucking dumb. Yeah, I used an expletive.
Viewers' laziness doesn't make a film dishonest. If you want to criticize filmmakers for not preceding the movie with a disclaimer in 20-foot red letters, or for failing to emit telepathic messages to idiots in the audience, fine. But the criticism is not persuasive.

Quick thoughts
--People before profit is a nonsense mantra for people who hate that capitalism works and their ideologies don't.
--Profit before people is nonsense, too. Profit is made by creating stuff people want to buy at a price they're willing to pay.
--History books are published for profit, too. Publishing houses are not charities.
--America has publicly-owned media outlets. We just don't take them seriously. One of the best things about America is that control of most media is dispersed among thousands of free people and companies. Concentration of power in the hands of government is a great evil. Concentration of information in the hands of government is as great an evil.
--I didn't make any blatant assumptions. You didn't point any out.
--I didn't defend a single American mistake. You didn't identify a single instance.
--We did not install a CEO in "Saddam's old position". He is not a dictator, and he is not even in charge of the country.
--Iraqi sovereignty? Huh? The sovereignty of a mad, murderous, tyrant with a Nazi fetish whose hobbies are gassing his own people and digging mass graves? I guess if Hitler had only murdered German Jews, that would have been okay, as a matter of "national sovereignty"? I was ambivalent about the invasion, because it could have backfired. But whatever other concerns I had, the morality of crushing that thug was not one of them. You say you wish we would help the Iraqi people? Well, guess what--in order to help them, we had to dump him. With him in power, there was absolutely nothing anyone could do.
--I don't like President Bush, so don't go there.
--Bill Clinton was every bit as bad, so don't go there, either.
--To equate America's invasion of Iraq with the U.S.S.R.'s invasion of Afghanistan is obscene.
--There is no such thing as the American Media Machine. There is diversity, and there are people who agree with you on many points.
--I wouldn't call Vietnam War coverage an example of great journalism. These journalists were so well-informed that they reported the Tet Offensive as a stunning blow to the American war effort. In fact, it was a major military victory for us.
--The U.S. needs to be in the U.N. But the U.N. has no moral credibility. This is an organization that refused to invite the Dalai Lama to a conference on how religious leaders can help reduce conflict, for fear of offending the Chinese dictatorship. It precipitated the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and turned its back while China squashed Tibet, Russia squashed Hungary, Russia squashed Czechoslovakia, Russia squashed Afghanistan, Nigeria slaughtered the Biafrans, Tutsis and Hutus massacred each other in Burundi and Rwanda, Idi Amin ate his own people and the Guatemalans killed off their own native Indians. The U.N. thought the Khmer Rouge was a new makeup cream and said thanks, not interested. It invites Iranian leaders to sing praises of democracy, presumably some kind of democracy not found in Iran. It worships at the bloodstained feet of that blathering tyrant Fidel Castro. And then there's this, in the words of the inimitable P.J. O'Rourke in The CEO of the Sofa: "The allies in a war against Nazism founded the UN, which, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1975, passed a resolution declaring 'Zionism is a form of racism' under the auspices of a secretary general, Kurt Waldheim, who was a Nazi."
We should stay in the U.N., if for no other reason than to remind ourselves just how screwed up the rest of the world is.

Conclusion
Socialism? How quaint! Do you mean the warm, fuzzy kind in which countries slowly strangle themselves by making everyone equally poor? Or the icky, nasty kind in which pissant dictatorships skip the slow strangulation in favor of rounding everyone up and shooting them? Socialism and freedom cannot coexist. The historical record is quite clear on that. I see no point in further debating the merits of collectivism: No amount of ideological wrangling is going to change any minds in this forum. I offer to you the last word on this, as I'm sure you have a clever apology for socialism's 100 percent failure rate.

Cheers,

Aaron

^_^
*Claps*
Wonderful closing statement..
I'll leave Todd the floor.

Poor Dumbass Todd. You like to talk about many issues you don't have a clue about. You talk to me about slavery in the U.S. I guess its ok for Canada to have slaves just as long as they don't have as many as the U.S. did. Well no shit sherlock there was a big difference in the population. I believe slavery was wrong but to say that Cuntada was better because they didn't have as many shows how retarted you really are. You talk to me about American history referring to banging on my chest, being a true American, and racial issues. You really need to get your head out of your ass and look around. Slavery was around hundreds of years before America was even thought of.Many Americans died fighting in a war to help abolish slavery. Hey there have been a lot of WAR movies made about the Civil War. Or maybe we could talk about how white people were slaves in Texas. Do you ever hear anyone complaining about that. Yes what happened to all the tribes of natives was wrong and yet they complain the least. Don't worry because you have done enough crying to make up for their silence. I have Apache blood in me as well as Choctaw. I have ancestors of many different cultures. While were on that since you are so blind to stuff like that lets discuss that you are probably French-Canadian. You probably come from the same herritage of French that sent thousands and thousands of jues to concentration camps in Germany because they were too damn scared to fight. But then its ok for America to go to war because its to save some jackass like you. What would you know about a true American other than what your stupid Canadian books that are just as dull minded as anyone else's tell you or what freedom fagot tells you while you are sucking his dick. Lets talk about the movie Tora Tora Tora. Did it ever occur to you that yes many Americans watched that movie and even enjoyed it even though some details were off. Did it occur to to you that well over 20 Japanese planes were shot down at Pearl Harbor which was not in the movie. Maybe you've seen The Battle of Midway. That was a great movie but it probably bothers you that America won that battle. To say that Iraq had as much right to bomb the U.S. shows how little knowledge you have. For starters Desert Storm ended with many sanctions from the U.N. (which Cuntada had a part in) that included cooperating with weapons inspectors, keeping no-fly zones empty, and fefraining from having scud missles in which they fired during Iraqi Freedom. Iraq broke over 50 U.N. sanctions. Is this battle over Oil or Gas? Maybe it has something to do with all the oil and weapons that France, Russia, Germany and other countries you support are exchanging with Iraq. You see you and freedom fagot are the worst kind of idiots and sicko's because you are too fucked in the head to realize it. Americans bang on their chest because we actually have something to be proud. I guess you wouldn't understand because you have been a scared chicken shit your whole life. Maybe you and freedom fagot need to go back to watching star trek and drinking milk shakes.

What an amazing discussion you gents have been carrying on for quite a long time. I can see valid points on both of your sides. And, I can see some rather offensive ones there as well. As an American soldier, I can tell you first hand that war and the necessity to go to war is one that we as soldiers don't look forward to.

I'd like to clear up one rather offensive issue over the Civil War though. We "Americans" did not go to war over Slavery. Ol Abe didn't actually issue the Emancipation Proclamation until after the Battle of Antietam.

As for America staying out of WWII until after we were attacked, that is true to a point. We did not have troops on the ground. We did however have huge aid packages going to England and Russia. Our country was very different during that time, perhaps not so "controlling" as it is now days.

And, as for the "beating on the chest", when you are the only hegemonic state in the world, with a GNP larger than the next five countries, a military that could wipe the floor with any other nation on Earth, you tend to beat your chest. Whether that's right or wrong is up for debate. However, what is reality is reality.

Finally, for all you Canadians out there... When you bash this country of ours, remember that we, meaning the US and Canada have a relationship that no one can deny. Your Generals sit inside Cheyenne Mountain as well as some of our forces work within your borders. Our economies work hand in hand with each other..just go to Windsor, Ontario and see the commercial flow. And, by the way, after 9/11, an ex-girlfriend of mine who happens to be French-Canadian living in Windsor asked for an american flag so that she could fly it on Canadian soil in honor of those who died on that unforgettable day.

So bicker away at each other, but other than being entertaining, you prove little when all people have to do is look at reality and know that we are linked closer than you'll like to admit.

Rog,

Great points, and well taken.

My problem is not with Americans like yourself. I don't mind if you don't agree with me, you clearly read some of what I have to say, and disagree with some or all. My beef is with the pig-headed Americans who refuse to hear anything negative about the way their nation is headed.

I get angry when I'm having to beat my head against the wall with these people. I was as hit by 911 as any other Canadian. I watched stunned as the footage rolled. I don't wish anything I'll on your nation.

What upsets me is, the knee-jerk reaction to put labels like the "Axis of Evil" and such, instead of taking a look at your forein policy and such. You hit the nail on the head, you're the richest nation in the world by a long shot. Is it your goal to starve the rest of all their wealth too? Because to an outsider, your occupation and domination is beginning to convince me of just that.

Yes, you are correct about when the war became a war about slavery. However, do you think the south would have EVER given up slavery without a war? I say no.
Therefor, the civil war became that war. And, indeed hundreds of African Americans had to flee America to come to Canada where they could be free.

Rog: I thank you for your response. You're the first person to write on here and hit the nail on the head. "Both sides have valid points."

What can I say, I'm glad to see so many more intelligent responses after a while. Rog, very well said. Don't worry, you're not the only one to think most Canadians don't recognize the American/Canadian relationship. I think most of the anger is aimed at the governments.. Bush.. etc, and is often misplaced and turned into national hatred.

Scott.. Uhh.. Quote.
"Maybe you and freedom fagot need to go back to watching star trek and drinking milk shakes."
1) Star trek rules, and you suck.
2) What the fuck? Milk Shakes???
3) Your answers are just as mal-informed you claim Todd responses to be. I don't even liek to call them answers.
4) Go and bury yourself six feet under with that flag wrapped around you along with 6 soldiers that died with you because your administration has no clue what their doing in this "occupation" of Iraq"
5) Save the remarks for someone who's good at it (ie. Aaron, Todd.)

Todd, as usual, you've taken the words right out of my mouth. I'd just like to add onto our occupation point... Yeah, it seems like people in their own administration don't like Bush's occupation anymore than you do. Hooray, some bafoons are finally beginning to see through their thick glasses.

Well said, fellas, let's just try to compare direct UN charter applications before we go and start calling it "pre-emptive". Weapons of mass destruction illegal - everyone storms into Iraq. Who is to say that just because America's richer, doesn't mean they can't use their weapons in any more cruel and tyrannic way?

Hi,

I haven't been reading even a fraction of everything written here. But I read the last posting (now deleted) and it's just getting too abusive and not interesting. I'll close the comments for this posting. Please find somewhere else to exchange your views. If you email me a link I'll be happy to link on it.

- ask

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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on March 19, 2002 12:09 AM.

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