The Vietnam War: a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) – Review

The_Vietnam_War_(TV_series)_title_cardThe greatest movie I have ever seen is The Deer Hunter, released in 1978 and starring Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro, among a galaxy of other Hollywood notables. It was gripping, gritty, expertly produced, shudderingly authentic. I never ever want to watch it again.

Like many people, I am absolutely fascinated by media about the Vietnam War – fascinated, and sometimes disgusted or horrified. I am interested in war movies, in general. They represent a huge number of films made since the industry began, to distract the population, to raise morale, or as naked propaganda.

There are classic comedies of resistance: Whisky Galore!, Closely Observed Trains. Thrillers: The Guns of Navarone, Ice Cold in Alex, The Hunt for Red October. Breakthroughs so radical they must have seemed like science fiction: The Dambusters, The First of the Few. But the Vietnam War seems to have cast its own particular spell over people. Continue reading “The Vietnam War: a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) – Review”

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An Incomplete List of Unfinished Series

adult-book-boring-267684I used to struggle with guilt about books and television I didn’t like. Once I had made it past the first chapter, or past the first three episodes, I would feel like I really had to continue. I made THREE attempts to finish JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was defeated each time by the endless descriptions of military movements. Pace Alan Bennett, it was as if a hand had come out from the page, and beaten me into a coma.

Friends, readers, fellow subscribers, break free from your chains! Stop drearily attempting to finish that show you hate just because George-from-work keeps talking about it. Today, I plan to share a few of the things I have unapologetically stopped watching. No guilt. No shame. No wasted time. Lots of spoilers in here, though. Continue reading “An Incomplete List of Unfinished Series”

Borgia (Review)

borgiaLately, I have been watching Borgia on Netflix. I enjoy political backstabbing more than anything in fiction, and it is my firm opinion that all the best crosses are doubled and redoubled. Borgia, a series focusing on the lives of the most famously corrupt papal family, seemed like something I would enjoy.

The series begins as Pope Innocent VII is dying. Cardinals squabble over lands and money, each hoping to be the next pope. Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is just one of those cardinals, but perhaps the most cold and ruthless of them all. He and his illegitimate children will stop at nothing to gain the power they believe they deserve.  Continue reading “Borgia (Review)”