Saving Private Ryan: A Minority Opinion....

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Eric Rogers

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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Oh yeah, I almost forgot... I think that camera pan on the eyes of the
old man at the start of the movie... and then the pan on Tom Hanks
eyes... making us think they are the same people ... I thought that
was pretty cheap... I mean we have to trust the film maker and assume
he is not out to trick us... That is on par to having a story where
just at the crucial moment the person wakes up and turns out to have
been dreaming.. Cheap cheap cheap....

There were a few good scenes... I like the part where Ryan is laughing
about his brothers and then stops... You could see it coming but he
did a good job with that in his acting ... I keep getting this guy
mixed up with that Titanic guy... The guy who played Ryan is really a
good actor... the Titanic guy is mediocre at best...

That knife thing was particularly disturbing... It didn't add anything
to the flow of the movie but it was chilling...

Anyway this movie was just a shoot-em-up brought to a higher level of
violence...


Eric Rogers

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
list of war movies.

First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...

Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene... How come we keep seeing all
these guys all over the beach trying to get to the shore... Then the
break away to the German machine gunner view with a single boatload of
soldiers hitting the beach and a bunch of sand... Back to the hundreds
of soldiers on the beach... Back to the german firing at 20 soldiers
coming out of a boat... etc... I thought I was in an Ed Wood
movie...

Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
view...The enormity of the situation was lost... Of course this was
supposedly the directors whole purpose... It is kind of like doing a
film on the dangers of swimming in a swimming pool without lifeguards
and using the Titanic as a backdrop...

Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
is all important... Flawed story....unless this was intended to show
the stupidity of the common soldier...

Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
believe it..)

I was very disappointed... Maybe if I hadn't heard all the pre-movie
hype and great reviews I would have liked it better as my expectations
wouldn't have been as high..

Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
Dirty Dozen better than this one...

My favorite Spielburg movies: Jaws ( two great movies for the price
of one) , Sugarland Express ( great movie ), and that TV movie with
Dennis Weaver and that truck...

This is my first post to this newsgroup... I was going to post
something in that movie review newsgroup but it looks like all they
have in there is a bunch of Siskell and Ebert wanna be's....

Regards...


Carlen Dixon

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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Well, you know what opinions are like..........some just stink a lot worse
than others.

PITTPLAY

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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I have a great suggestion for you. Why don't you make your own damn war movie!
Its really not that hard. I just know you will get it totaly right!

Thom Borland

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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On Fri, 31 Jul 1998 17:15:47 GMT, pot...@spud.nett (Eric Rogers)
wrote:

>
>Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
>to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
>list of war movies.

If it's not the best war movie, and there's a great chance it's not,
I doubt you could come up with 10 war movies better. Let's off the top
of my head, one's I've seen that rate with it...
Apocolypse Now
Full Metal Jacket
Patton
A Bridge Too Far
The Longest Day
Bridge on the River Kwai (it's a war movie)
The Dirty Dozen
Platoon
That's off the top so there's probably more great war flicks. I don't
know if any of these are better than Ryan though. Not enough time has
gone by.

>
>Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene... How come we keep seeing all
>these guys all over the beach trying to get to the shore... Then the
>break away to the German machine gunner view with a single boatload of
>soldiers hitting the beach and a bunch of sand... Back to the hundreds
>of soldiers on the beach... Back to the german firing at 20 soldiers
>coming out of a boat... etc... I thought I was in an Ed Wood
>movie...

LOL. Yeah, Spielberg even made use of a broken electric giant squid
in the scene but cut that part at the last minute. Come on, it wasn't
that bad. In fact, I thought the opening beach sequence was great.

>
>Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
>so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
>view...The enormity of the situation was lost... Of course this was
>supposedly the directors whole purpose... It is kind of like doing a
>film on the dangers of swimming in a swimming pool without lifeguards
>and using the Titanic as a backdrop...

It's a great backdrop and the small plot is centered around it.


>
>Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
>around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
>Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
>importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
>is all important... Flawed story....unless this was intended to show
>the stupidity of the common soldier...

Hmm... Well, we needed the machine gun nest scene so we would have a
reason to kill that evil helmetless Nazi (Betty Grable, nice gams!) at
the end.
I don't agree. The captain was just playing it on the fly. He felt
strong about knocking out the nest. Hell, at this point he has reason
to believe they'll never find Ryan. But when he finally gets his hands
on the Ryan, he can smell a ticket home for all of them. Good story in
my opinion.

>
>Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
>lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
>believe it..)

True, there was some incredible bullet dodging. But they didn't
dodge them for long. They were almost completely wiped out by the end.


>
>I was very disappointed... Maybe if I hadn't heard all the pre-movie
>hype and great reviews I would have liked it better as my expectations
>wouldn't have been as high..

I've been wondering -- If I saw it now, would I have gotten the same
charge of emotion out of it as I did the first time? Hell no. This
movie is being hyped, word of mouth, unlike any movie I can remember
since Star Wars. But I still would have put it in my Top 10 all-time
movies as I walked out.


SimMike

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Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
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Eric Rogers wrote in message <35c2fe75...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>...

>Oh yeah, I almost forgot... I think that camera pan on the eyes of the
>old man at the start of the movie... and then the pan on Tom Hanks
>eyes... making us think they are the same people ... I thought that
>was pretty cheap... I mean we have to trust the film maker and assume
>he is not out to trick us... That is on par to having a story where
>just at the crucial moment the person wakes up and turns out to have
>been dreaming.. Cheap cheap cheap....

Leading the audience to believe Captain Miller was reliving the D-Day
invasion, and in fact lived through the war, was a device that worked. It
made his eventual death unexpected and devastating. I was stunned when I saw
him take a bullet in the chest. There was a collective gasp in the theater.
I don't think it was an unfair device. Bottom line is that it worked. You
could call it manipulation, but every great movie manipulates the viewer.
BTW, Spielberg never cut directly from the old man's eyes to Tom Hanks.
There were a few shots in between. Lazy viewers might have assumed it was
Tom Hanks character in the cemetery. Myself, I wondered why Spieberg didn't
use a close-up dissolve between the old man and Hanks. Now I know why.
Because it wasn't Hanks character. Also remember that one of Private Ryans
brother's died on the Omaha beach. Most likely, the old man was visiting his
brother's grave, in addition to Captain Miller's grave.


I've dabbled in filmmaking myself. The one constant in movie making is that
you have to make millions of decision. Not every decision is going to be
rock solid perfect for all the viewers. I'm sure Mr. Spielberg agonized over
the many narrative choices that confronted him. I think he did a miraculous
job in his decision making process. Very few choices were off-key. And
countless choices were dead-solid-perfect. My hat's off to Mr. Spielberg. He
has finally fulfilled his brilliant potential. Saving Private Ryan is the
Citizen Kane of modern times. Fortunately, unlike Orson Welles, Steven
Spieberg gave us many characters we could like and respect. Citizen Kane
didn't have any really likable characters, certainly nobody like Tom Hank's
portrayal of Captain Miller.


Mike

Tony

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Eric Rogers <pot...@spud.nett> wrote in article
<35c1f5e4...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>...


>
> Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
> to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
> list of war movies.

I disagree. Considering the number of war movies made, a top ten billing
is a compliment.

> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...

I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.


> Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene...

Hmm. Looked good to me.

> > Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
> so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
> view...The enormity of the situation was lost...

In order to show the point of view of the common soldier and to make an
interesting movie, you need a significant frame of reference. Most
soldiers spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to
happen, but showing that would be pretty boring.

> Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
> around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...

CPT Miller mentions that when a soldier of his dies, it is necessary
because that death saves the lives of many others. Maybe 10 or maybe 20.
CPT Miller is having trouble justifying to himself the sacrifice of his
squad to save a single man. Hence, he attacks the MG in order to prevent
the position from ambushing any other Allied Forces. (Though a daylight
frontal assault, with a Thompson, a BAR, and a few M1's is not the smartest
decision, tactically speaking.)

> Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
> importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
> is all important...

He didn't argue to much when PVT Ryan refused to leave. Again, he wanted a
military mission of importance.


>
> Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
> lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
> believe it..)

An offensive force needs 3 to 1 odds to attack, sometimes more if the
defense has had time to prepare or in constricted terrain, like a european
city. It seemed plausible to me. A single sniper can pin an entire
platoon.

> I was very disappointed... Maybe if I hadn't heard all the pre-movie
> hype and great reviews I would have liked it better as my expectations
> wouldn't have been as high..

Never listen to hype. See the movie first and then read the hype. It is
much more fun that way.


> Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
> Dirty Dozen better than this one...

Maybe, but SPR was one hell of a movie. And number one on the combat
footage list.


Togetherin

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Dead on perfect? Did anyone tell you you write well, pard?

Vince Foster was a fine,decent man. I knew him. By his own note, the
republican hatemachine killed him. Then they chained his body to the back of
their pickup trucks & used it to slander his childhood friend. Infinite flames
await all republicans.

Tom Wootton

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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I have to disagree with Eric on all points except #3. If Miller had been
on a routine (that's a loaded term) combat patrol, it would have made good
sense to take the machine gun out, for the reasons that Miller stated.
His mission, however, was to find Ryan and bring him back, not make the
battlefield safer for other patrols. I'm a 20 year veteran of the USN in
submarines, and if a submarine is sent on an intelligence-gathering
mission or on a strategic deterrence patrol, the sub's orders are to avoid
combat except in self-defense to accomplish the mission.

Tom Wootton


Tom Wootton

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Eric Rogers wrote:

> That knife thing was particularly disturbing... It didn't add anything

> to the flow of the movie but it was chilling...
>

No, it added a tremendous deal. Spielberg was intent, I believe, in
exploding a number of conventional myths about movie violence. The
standard formula would have been for Mellish to have kneed the SS man in
the groin, or some such, and regain the initiative. Spielberg showed his
audience that violence does not count on movie formulas.

> Anyway this movie was just a shoot-em-up brought to a higher level of
> violence...

I disagree entirely. In a standard shoot-em-up, violence is frequently
employed in a rather pornographic fashion so as to show how the hero gets
out of nasty situations by employing superior firepower (Spielberg,
himself, is a bit guilty of this in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC when Indiana
Jones dispatches the swordsman). The violence in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was
not merely innovative, however, it was revolutionary. Not only was it
intensely personal, it was ennervating. Violence rendered the chief
characters too often helpless. It was not empowering, as so many other
shoot-em-ups would have us believe.

Tom Wootton


Tom Wootton

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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SimMike wrote:

Fortunately, unlike Orson Welles, Steven Spieberg gave us many characters we
could like and respect. Citizen Kane didn't have any really likable characters,

....

> Mike


Oh, I dunno, I rather liked the Joseph Cotton character.

Tom Wootton


Tom Wootton

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Carlen Dixon wrote:

> Well, you know what opinions are like..........some just stink a lot worse
> than others.

Eww, Carlen, that was cold!! I don't disagree with it though. Thank heavens
for those who can argue concisely! (I can't)
<g>


Tom Wootton


Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On 1 Aug 1998 04:15:00 GMT, toget...@aol.com (Togetherin) wrote:

>Vince Foster was a fine,decent man. I knew him. By his own note, the
>republican hatemachine killed him. Then they chained his body to the back of
>their pickup trucks & used it to slander his childhood friend. Infinite flames
>await all republicans.

This movie was more realistic than I thought... Our first
psychological casualy of the movie wars... We need Patton to come in
and kick your schizophrenic babbling self back to the front row
seats...

Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On Fri, 31 Jul 1998 19:58:25 -0700, "SimMike" <sim...@ibm.net> wrote:

>
>Eric Rogers wrote in message <35c2fe75...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>...
>
>>Oh yeah, I almost forgot... I think that camera pan on the eyes of the
>>old man at the start of the movie... and then the pan on Tom Hanks
>>eyes... making us think they are the same people ... I thought that
>>was pretty cheap... I mean we have to trust the film maker and assume
>>he is not out to trick us... That is on par to having a story where
>>just at the crucial moment the person wakes up and turns out to have
>>been dreaming.. Cheap cheap cheap....
>
>Leading the audience to believe Captain Miller was reliving the D-Day
>invasion, and in fact lived through the war, was a device that worked. It
>made his eventual death unexpected and devastating. I was stunned when I saw
>him take a bullet in the chest. There was a collective gasp in the theater.
>I don't think it was an unfair device. Bottom line is that it worked. You
>could call it manipulation, but every great movie manipulates the viewer.
>BTW, Spielberg never cut directly from the old man's eyes to Tom Hanks.
>There were a few shots in between. Lazy viewers might have assumed it was
>Tom Hanks character in the cemetery. Myself, I wondered why Spieberg didn't
>use a close-up dissolve between the old man and Hanks. Now I know why.
>Because it wasn't Hanks character. Also remember that one of Private Ryans
>brother's died on the Omaha beach. Most likely, the old man was visiting his
>brother's grave, in addition to Captain Miller's grave.

"Lazy viewers" probably didn't even catch the eye thing and thus the
need for dissolving shots. Certainly movies manipulate the viewer.
That's why they turn the lights out. However, this was a cheap
technique nontheless. It's sort of like saying it's OK to break laws
if you are the President as long as the economy is good. As if justice
is on an economic barometer. I disagree that the ends justify the
means as you suggest....

>I've dabbled in filmmaking myself. The one constant in movie making is that
>you have to make millions of decision. Not every decision is going to be
>rock solid perfect for all the viewers. I'm sure Mr. Spielberg agonized over
>the many narrative choices that confronted him. I think he did a miraculous
>job in his decision making process. Very few choices were off-key. And
>countless choices were dead-solid-perfect. My hat's off to Mr. Spielberg. He
>has finally fulfilled his brilliant potential. Saving Private Ryan is the

>Citizen Kane of modern times. Fortunately, unlike Orson Welles, Steven


>Spieberg gave us many characters we could like and respect. Citizen Kane

>didn't have any really likable characters, certainly nobody like Tom Hank's
>portrayal of Captain Miller.

This is really absurd. Give it a few more years on the shelf before
you start going Ga Ga...


Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On Sat, 01 Aug 1998 00:19:58 -0700, Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu>
wrote:

True enough. And thus the war documentary which will achieve the
effect you seem to be seeking in a much more effective fashion. But
the actual WWII documentary footage was heavily censored and thus
Spielberg comes to our rescue by supplying the realistic violence
scenes. If you want to pass this film off as a mere attempt at
showing what a colorized uncensored documentary film of a WWII
infantry man would look like then Spielberg did a wonderful job. But
truly great movies also include a storyline and character development.
Of course some argue that this is not necessary for a movie to be
great. And of course they are wrong...

By the way, despite all the hype designed to boost ticket sales, this
movie will never come close to giving the viewer the chance to feel
what being in a real war is like. Maybe if they have bullets whizzing
through the theaters and a few random explosions maimings and deaths
each showing then the desired effect could be achieved.. The movie
goers who think they are gaining insights into the horrors of war
remind me of a bunch of kids lining up to ride a roller coaster at
Astroworld...This movie is just a glossy carnival side-show type
attraction...

Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On Fri, 31 Jul 1998 18:18:13 -0400, "Carlen Dixon"
<cdi...@haz-uky.campus.mci.net> wrote:

>Well, you know what opinions are like..........some just stink a lot worse
>than others.

Well if this is what your opinions are like, I am certainly glad you
decided to keep yours to yourself...

Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On 31 Jul 1998 22:28:11 GMT, pitt...@aol.com (PITTPLAY) wrote:

>I have a great suggestion for you. Why don't you make your own damn war movie!
> Its really not that hard. I just know you will get it totaly right!

Fine... You finance it and I will make it... Great idea...

Eric Rogers

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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On Sat, 01 Aug 1998 00:23:25 -0700, Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu>
wrote:

>
>
>Carlen Dixon wrote:
>
>> Well, you know what opinions are like..........some just stink a lot worse
>> than others.
>

>Eww, Carlen, that was cold!! I don't disagree with it though. Thank heavens
>for those who can argue concisely! (I can't)
><g>
>
>
>Tom Wootton

They didn't argue.... they just decided that they wouldn't stink us
out with their opinion...

Alex V Isgut

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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>His mission, however, was to find Ryan and bring him back, not make the
>battlefield safer for other patrols.

So maybe he was wrong. For me the real climax of the film was at the bunker.
The conflict between soldier and citizen, commander and friend, father and
general all came together there. And the point was made in the movie that
this was an unusual and unpopular decision -- the men did protest, and it
did ultimately lead to a serious challenge of Miller's command, and
ultimately (with the release of Steamboat Willy) Miller's death.

So, as to the question of "Did Miller do the right thing?" That's open to
debate...

But should it have been included in the movie and was it realistic? The
answer to that is yes. A FUBAR squad situation near the end of a long war is
going to have a markedly different psychology than a nuclear submarine on
patrol...

a

Daniel Rush

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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You're opinion Eric and you're entitled too it. BTW how old are you
anyway?


Togetherin

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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>
>This movie was more realistic than I thought... Our first
>psychological casualy of the movie wars... We need Patton to come in
>and kick your schizophrenic babbling self back to the front row
>seats...

Sorry about that. I haven't figured out how to remove it.
Steven and I actually worked together for Ann Richards under Vince Foster. He
managed the Dallas office for his childhood chum, Bill Clinton. So there is a
connection. The nazis and the republicans are the same. When the reischstagg
burned down in the late twenties, the nazis had all sorts of "proof" that
Jewish people did it, that communists did it, that social democrats did it.
The smears and hatred got worse and worse as time went on, as it took more to
outrage than it did the last time. When will our America awaken? Must
republicans be sucked away into nazi hell?

Every republican mole in the White House has needed a pass to go down to the
laundry with a UV light these last 6 months. I imagine they have enough
Presidential semen to float a battleship by now.

The thing that scares me about republicans is their willingness to burglarize,
to spy, to lie for advancement in their party. What good is it if it is run by
the people who killed Kennedy, or forged letters to him from Marilyn Monroe? I
mean, if an organization advances criminals, isn't it a criminal organization?

Togetherin

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Tom Wootton served in the USNavy? Tell us, Tommy, which side were you really
working for?

Togetherin

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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>
>Fortunately, unlike Orson Welles, Steven Spieberg gave us many characters we
>could like and respect. Citizen Kane didn't have any really likable
>characters,

Steven Spielberg used the words and mannerisms of real people in his movies.
His own words and actions are seen regularly. For instance in IJ2 Doom, when
Jones chases a group of thugges over the hill and is shortly chased by many
more of them, that actually happened to Spielberg. (It was republican racist
thugs throwing bricks at us to get us to stop handing out voter registration
cards in 1972.) The same scene is found in StarWars by his friend Lucas. The
character of Indiana Jones was modeled on the 26 year old Bill Clinton, who
graciously wore his hat and the old leather jacket for Spielberg. When I asked
him about it, Steve looked up at me with lights in his eyes and told me "I
"need to get THE LOOK right." (Clinton had used the whip and hat in Russia
fighting the communists single-handed.) Other people also modeled for
characters, although where he got the models for the soldiers on the mission is
a complete mystery to me. I guess he's got about 85 other writers on it, too.

Anyway, I guess my point is thanks for calling me and my friends "likeable."

Norm

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Aug 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/1/98
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Sugarland Express give me a break!

Togetherin

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Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
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I have never seen the Sugarland Express. What was it about?

Eric Rogers

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Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
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On Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:39:30 -0400, "Norm" <stor...@gatenospam.net>
wrote:

> Sugarland Express give me a break!
>

No! No break for you Norm... The Sugarland Express, IMHO, was one of
Spielburgs best films.. A few interesting facts...

1) The movie won the 1974 Cannes Film Festival Award for Best
Screenplay... Steven Spielburg not only directed this film but
participated in the writing and therefore shared a part of this
award...

2) One of the actors in the film was GREGORY WALCOTT - Mr. Walcott had
the added distinction of appearing in the Edward D. Wood, Jr. cult
classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space" - as a favor to producer (and fellow
Baptist) Ed Reynolds. This one appearance (Plan 9) has haunted him
ever since.

3) Since the movie was based upon a true event, Steven Spielburg
expected to get a lot of public reaction to this film...The public
yawned and he never got it... So in his next film he made sure he got
the reaction he was aiming for... His next film was of course
"Jaws"...

Tom Wootton

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Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
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Togetherin wrote:

> >
> > Anyway, I guess my point is thanks for calling me and my friends "likeable."
>

My pleasure. Does this mean I'm no longer going to Hell???

Tom Wootton


RuffianNYC

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Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
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>Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
>to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
>list of war movies.
>
>First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
>camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
>
>Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene... How come we keep seeing all
>these guys all over the beach trying to get to the shore... Then the
>break away to the German machine gunner view with a single boatload of
>soldiers hitting the beach and a bunch of sand... Back to the hundreds
>of soldiers on the beach... Back to the german firing at 20 soldiers
>coming out of a boat... etc... I thought I was in an Ed Wood
>movie...
>
>Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
>so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
>view...The enormity of the situation was lost... Of course this was
>supposedly the directors whole purpose... It is kind of like doing a
>film on the dangers of swimming in a swimming pool without lifeguards
>and using the Titanic as a backdrop...
>
>Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
>around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
>Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
>importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
>is all important... Flawed story....unless this was intended to show
>the stupidity of the common soldier...
>
>Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
>lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
>believe it..)
>
>I was very disappointed... Maybe if I hadn't heard all the pre-movie
>hype and great reviews I would have liked it better as my expectations
>wouldn't have been as high..
>
>Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
>Dirty Dozen better than this one...
>
>My favorite Spielburg movies: Jaws ( two great movies for the price
>of one) , Sugarland Express ( great movie ), and that TV movie with
>Dennis Weaver and that truck...
>
>This is my first post to this newsgroup... I was going to post
>something in that movie review newsgroup but it looks like all they
>have in there is a bunch of Siskell and Ebert wanna be's....
>
>Regards...

I agree. And it is ridiculous for anyone to say it is one of the top ten films
of all time. Comments like that make me sick. If you walk out of the theater
thinking that, you have become a victim of the hype. I agree it is a great
movie. But definitely not one of the 10 best ever, maybe not one of the top ten
war films ever. The battle scenes are probably the greatest ever, but the rest
of the movie pales in comparison to movies like Full Metal Jacket and
Apocalypse Now, and can't even hold a candle to All Quiet on the Western Front.

Tom Wootton

unread,
Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
to
Eric's points are well taken, but I wonder if some the omissions on
battlefield veracity could be attributed to the natual limitations of the
medium. I wonder, for instance, how the battlefield at Omaha beach smelled?
Combination of seawater, vomit, diesel fumes, blood, cordite? I've never
heard a shot fired in anger, so I'm only guessing.

Tom Wootton


Tom Wootton

unread,
Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
to

Togetherin wrote:

> Tom Wootton served in the USNavy? Tell us, Tommy, which side were you really
> working for?
>

The right side, I hope.

Tom Wootton
À bas la gauche! Écrasons la tyrannie!

P.S. And yes, I was responsible for the assassination of JFK, forging letters to
Marilyn Monroe, and supressing evidence of the alien crash at Roswell, New Mexico.
Darnit! The jig is up!


DOCSCORPIO

unread,
Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
to
Actually, Spielberg put a great big clue in the first scene which told you
that this was Ryan, and which, by implication, told you that Ryan was
visiting Miller's grave, rather than vice versa. The older Ryan is wearing
a 101st Airborne Division commemorative badge pinned to his shirt pocket.
When you see Miller he's clearly a member of a Ranger Battalion and you're
informed within the first 45 minutes of the movie that Ryan was in the 101st
Airborne.
SimMike wrote in message <35c28...@news3.ibm.net>...

>Leading the audience to believe Captain Miller was reliving the D-Day
>invasion, and in fact lived through the war, was a device that worked. It
>made his eventual death unexpected and devastating. I was stunned when I
saw
>him take a bullet in the chest. There was a collective gasp in the theater.
>I don't think it was an unfair device. Bottom line is that it worked. You

[snip]
>
>Mike
>
>
>
>

Eric Rogers

unread,
Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to
On 1 Aug 1998 01:23:58 GMT, "Tony" <Iam@work> wrote:

>
>
>Eric Rogers <pot...@spud.nett> wrote in article
><35c1f5e4...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>...
>>

>> Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
>> to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
>> list of war movies.
>

>I disagree. Considering the number of war movies made, a top ten billing
>is a compliment.

You disagree that it would barely make my top ten list of war
movies??? No, really!!... Just barely... and not really that big a
compliment because there were a LOT of BAD war movies made...

>> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
>> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
>

>I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.

Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...

>> Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene...
>

>Hmm. Looked good to me.

Well it should... You snipped out the problem I had with the first 30
minute beach scene!!!!! The problem had to do with the film
editing... My post was as follows:

"Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene... How come we keep seeing all
these guys all over the beach trying to get to the shore... Then the
break away to the German machine gunner view with a single boatload of
soldiers hitting the beach and a bunch of sand... Back to the hundreds
of soldiers on the beach... Back to the german firing at 20 soldiers
coming out of a boat... etc... I thought I was in an Ed Wood
movie..."

My problem had to do with the question: Where did all those dead men
on the beach disappear to every time they cut to the machine gunners
view??... And in the machine gunners view the boats were dumping the
men out on the sand.. In the beach view they had to make their way
about 20 yards through the water...I could have lived with this
scenerio once, but they kept doing it over and over...

>> > Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
>> so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
>> view...The enormity of the situation was lost...
>

>In order to show the point of view of the common soldier and to make an
>interesting movie, you need a significant frame of reference. Most
>soldiers spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to
>happen, but showing that would be pretty boring.

You missed my point... the film only shows events on a 30 yard wide
section of the beach... No God's eye-view of the fact that this same
scenerio is playing out in a much larger area ( as was done in The
Longest Day).. This is O.K. and I am sure they saved a lot of money
by limiting the scope... But the same level of maiming as a 30 yard
wide section of beach could have been achieved without using the
Normandy landing as a backdrop...

>> Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
>> around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
>

>CPT Miller mentions that when a soldier of his dies, it is necessary
>because that death saves the lives of many others. Maybe 10 or maybe 20.
>CPT Miller is having trouble justifying to himself the sacrifice of his
>squad to save a single man. Hence, he attacks the MG in order to prevent
>the position from ambushing any other Allied Forces. (Though a daylight
>frontal assault, with a Thompson, a BAR, and a few M1's is not the smartest
>decision, tactically speaking.)
>

Yeah, here he is worried about saving 10 or 20.. A real military
target like the bridge could save maybe 1000 or 2000 ???

>> Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
>> importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
>> is all important...
>

>He didn't argue to much when PVT Ryan refused to leave. Again, he wanted a
>military mission of importance.
Oh, I see, the character is consistent because he didn't argue too
much about it... Got it...


>>
>> Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
>> lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
>> believe it..)
>

>An offensive force needs 3 to 1 odds to attack, sometimes more if the
>defense has had time to prepare or in constricted terrain, like a european
>city. It seemed plausible to me. A single sniper can pin an entire
>platoon.

Agreed again as far as a sniper pinning groups of soldiers... But if
you noticed no German was being pinned!!!!... And the U.S. Soldiers
were dodging more bullets than Clint Eastwood against a band of
Mexican Banditos in a bad spaghetti western...

>
>> I was very disappointed... Maybe if I hadn't heard all the pre-movie
>> hype and great reviews I would have liked it better as my expectations
>> wouldn't have been as high..
>

>Never listen to hype. See the movie first and then read the hype. It is
>much more fun that way.

Fine, but by its nature, hype ( well-done hype ) permeates through
news, TV, word of mouth etc... It is not always easy to censor the
hype... But I definately agree that this movie would not have let me
down as bad if my expectations had not been so high...


>
>
>> Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
>> Dirty Dozen better than this one...
>

>Maybe, but SPR was one hell of a movie. And number one on the combat
>footage list.
>

For combat footage it is definately on the top of the top... If you
are into that sort of thing...

DrummGuy13

unread,
Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to

SPOILERS (aren't there always?)


>Agreed again as far as a sniper pinning groups of soldiers... But if
>you noticed no German was being pinned!!!!... And the U.S. Soldiers
>were dodging more bullets than Clint Eastwood against a band of
>Mexican Banditos in a bad spaghetti western...

The scene with the American sniping off the Germans was totally different than
the German who killed the American. The Americans weren't in a firefight at
the time. They were not paying attention, and one got shot. They all hid.

With the germans, they were in the middle of a battle and bullets were flying
everywhere. They probably couldn't tell where the bullets were coming from, or
they probably didn't have a safe place to hide. They were also covering the
tank, which by the way, did shoot the sniper.

----> Trent

Tom Wootton

unread,
Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to

Eric Rogers wrote:

>
>
> >> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
> >> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
> >
> >I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.
>
> Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...
>

Hmmm. I'm not sure I would have regarded five days and nights in bivouac under
the tender care of Captain Dye a mere publicity stunt. From what I have read,
Dye relishes the opportunity to treat mainstream Hollywood livingroom liberals
(and Hanks, though I respect him greatly, is one of these) to a taste of the
rigors of military life.

Tom Wootton


Winston Shu

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Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to
Eric Rogers wrote in message <35c7606...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>...
>On Mon, 03 Aug 1998 17:17:33 -0700, Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu>
>wrote:
<snip>

>>Hmmm. I'm not sure I would have regarded five days and nights in bivouac
under
>>the tender care of Captain Dye a mere publicity stunt. From what I have
read,
>>Dye relishes the opportunity to treat mainstream Hollywood livingroom
liberals
>>(and Hanks, though I respect him greatly, is one of these) to a taste of
the
>>rigors of military life.
>>
>>Tom Wootton
>
>I have utmost respect for Captain Dye as from what I understand he has
>a PHENOMENAL military record ... He is a fantastic gentleman and I
>have NOTHING negative to say about him... However consider the
>following:
>
>1) He was a paid consultant on this film...


Well.. what's wrong with that? You and I both know he's not about to do it
for free (obviously) since we both understand capitalism, blah blah blah...

>2) He was part of the hype thingy... i.e. personal appearances on talk
>shows with the gang...

So?

>3) In one of his hype sessions, he stated that these actors were the
>"real thing" and that he would be proud to serve as a commander OR AS
>A FOLLOWER of these guys... ( that one did it for me)


Well, a big part of how someone reacts to this one should be whether or not
s/he believes that Cpt. Dye would say something like this unless he firmly
believed it - i.e. is he a man of integrity or not. I see no reason (nor has
anyone presented any reason) that I would see him otherwise, so I see no
reason to believe that Cpt. Dye doesn't mean it, which means that I don't
see a problem with this (admittedly corny) statement.

>I feel Captain Dye is performing more in a "capitalistic" role than a
>"military" role in his connections with this film... That is great
>because capitalism has done as much as anything in making the USA a
>great place.. But it is still part of the hype..


Well, I don't agree with you here. How can you say that his military
contribution to the movie is any less than his hype role?

>Again, this is just an observation and opinion...

--
Winston Shu
To reply by email, replace 'spam.bite.me.com' with 'email.msn.com'


Cyrano

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Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to
In article <35c9e6cb...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>, pot...@spud.nett
(Eric Rogers) wrote:


> >> Well after listening to all the hype about Saving Private Ryan I had
> >> to go see it. I was disappointed. It would barely make my top ten
> >> list of war movies.

Yeah, after a movie, I always go check my "list". Gotta keep comparing
movies to other movies. The only way to understand or appreciate them.
Wouldn't want to spend too much time examining a particular movie on its
*own* merits. That way I'd have to think everytime I saw a new one. And
to spare myself that dangerous fault of thinking well of a movie based on
its maker's concept, it's far better to bear in mind that the movie he
never wanted to make--and naturally did NOT make--would invariably be
better than this one that he DID make. We're talking here the stuff of
champion criticism. (Nasty sarcasm, sorry!)

[Snip of the rest of the top ten stuff]

> >> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
> >> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
> >
> >I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.
>
> Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...

Well, that dismisses what anyone associated with the movie said Capt. Dye
was hired to accomplish. Yep, it was stupid because it happened for stupid
reasons supplied by you. Can't argue *that* position long. :) You might
want to read up on the rationale behind the mini-bootcamp. I mean,
Spielberg's rationale. You may still think the idea's flawed but it will
give you a sounder basis for saying so.

> >> Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene...
> >
> >Hmm. Looked good to me.

Me, too.

> Well it should... You snipped out the problem I had with the first 30
> minute beach scene!!!!! The problem had to do with the film
> editing... My post was as follows:

[Snips it again. Who needs to quote you in full? I read it, fer pete's sake!]

> "Problem 1: First 30 minute beach scene... How come we keep seeing all
> these guys all over the beach trying to get to the shore...

The view is sometimes subjective, sometimes not. In the subjective view,
you see less, obviously. This IS a movie and cameras can only see so much.
Spielberg is not attempting to give you a view of the whole battle. Just
enough to experience it, after a fashion. The subjective camera is too
disorienting--lacking human peripheral vision, so the other view helps make
some sense out of the chaos. If you don't see enough to satisfy you,
that's a problem for you. I saw plenty and found it wholly credible--minus
the smell of cordite, the crack of bullets breaking the sound barrier over
head, and the comforting thought that in my air conditioned theater seat I
could take time to get picky.


>
> My problem had to do with the question: Where did all those dead men
> on the beach disappear to every time they cut to the machine gunners
> view??

You're watching THAT movie and doing a bodycount!? Caught that problem on
the first viewing, did you? You're sure that continuity problem was
overlooked by Spielberg, are you? No critics managed to catch it, either.


> >> > Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
> >> so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
> >> view...The enormity of the situation was lost...

Where do you get stuff like that? Is *that* what this movie was about?
According to, say, Spielberg? Again, you invent a purpose for the
movie--or mention the limits of what you got out of it--and say, "The
enormity of the situation was lost". Now stop, think: Could this movie
have used the lives lost to save Ryan, an individual, as a metaphor for the
thousands who died to save millions? Does Ryan have a debt to the squad?
Do you, O survivor, have a debt to those who never got to live beyond that
beach? Could THAT be a bit more of a theme consistent with the film than
"the common soldier's point of view"?

> You missed my point... the film only shows events on a 30 yard wide
> section of the beach... No God's eye-view of the fact that this same
> scenerio is playing out in a much larger area ( as was done in The
> Longest Day).. This is O.K. and I am sure they saved a lot of money
> by limiting the scope... But the same level of maiming as a 30 yard
> wide section of beach could have been achieved without using the
> Normandy landing as a backdrop...

Uh, different movies, ListMaker, have different purposes. And, of course,
Spielberg "saved a lot of money by limiting the scope". The Longest Day is
representing the full invasion. SPR is representing enough of ONE of the
landing sites to convey the experience, the vicious randomness of the
slaughter, and the sacrifice. Lucky he got to save money,too. :) Tastes
obviously differ, but I think he got everything HE wanted to do, done. And
I cherish and admire it.

> >> Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
> >> around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
> >
> >CPT Miller mentions that when a soldier of his dies, it is necessary
> >because that death saves the lives of many others. Maybe 10 or maybe 20.
> >CPT Miller is having trouble justifying to himself the sacrifice of his
> >squad to save a single man. Hence, he attacks the MG in order to prevent
> >the position from ambushing any other Allied Forces. (Though a daylight
> >frontal assault, with a Thompson, a BAR, and a few M1's is not the smartest
> >decision, tactically speaking.)

I never heard his marching orders. No words like, "You are to avoid all
contact with the enemy and Find Waldo." Miller thought taking out the gun
was a good idea. But forget that for just a moment.
The rest of what you say above is, IMO, the THEME of the movie. (Forget
the tactics for a moment--hell, the squad agrees with you!)
What is the value of life? Is it right that the many lay down their lives
for the one? Or the reverse? THAT is precisely what the issue is before
and immediately after the small firefight! Is it worth it? Does anyone
deserve sacrifices like that? And isn't being a teacher, a citizen
soldier, likely to make deciding life and death matters hard? Doesn't
Miller point out how many have died under his command? Aren't HIS choices
difficult? Apparently, had you been in the movie, in his shoes, things
would have gone differently. Okay, you win.

> >> Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
> >> importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
> >> is all important...

Initially, Miller doesn't know the objective of Ryan's fragmented platoon
or company. Then, when Ryan won't leave, he decides to do TWO things:
help otherwise dead men defeat a superior force AND save Private Ryan. He
accomplishes both, at the cost of his own life and those of most of his
squad. He seems to respect Ryan's position. He admires a man who has lost
his natural brothers and who declines to abandon his combat brothers to
save his own ass. He recognizes that in soldiering as in life, he has
mission and purpose, not just mission. (I'm not going to explain what I
mean there, I'm just going to toss out boldly two undefined terms and let
them suffer loneliness.)

> >>
> >> Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
> >> lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
> >> believe it..)

Aw, fer chrissakes! Ever hear of the Alamo? Thermopyle? (Bet I spelled
that one wrong and I'm WAY too lazy to look it up. :) If you insist on
comparing movies, compare battles. The few can tie up the many
interminably. One sniper can pin down a company! So you don't believe it.
Happens all the time without your belief. That's why medals are awarded.

> >Never listen to hype. See the movie first and then read the hype. It is
> >much more fun that way.

Amen.

> >> Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
> >> Dirty Dozen better than this one...

And eskimos like whale blubber. No accounting for tastes. :)

> >Maybe, but SPR was one hell of a movie. And number one on the combat
> >footage list.

Good list. Good call. I apologize for the tone of some of this reply, but
the basis (or IMO, lack of basis) for much of your criticism just brings
out the worst in me. No, actually, I'm MUCH worse than this! :)

--
There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and
those who can't.

Tom Wootton

unread,
Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to

Tony wrote:

> These were actor's playing soldier.

Yes, they were actors learning their parts. One incident I recall reading
about had Dye drilling his five charges on their feelings about the experience
of combat. He declared that soldiers going through combat together form
emotional and spiritual bonds closer than husband and wife. He then described
a stituation whereby one close comrade is suddenly killed by an enemy bullet.
He looked straight at the actors and asked, "What do you feel?"
The actors responded with guesses. Remorse, anger, indignation.
Dye shouted. "Bullshit! You feel joy and relief! Your buddy got killed,
You didn't! And you're happy that it wasn't you! Shortly your relief turns
into shame, and that shame stays with you the rest of your life."

A lesson like that comes only from experience, and it would be invaluable, I
think, to the training of an actor preparing for a war film.

Tom Wootton

Tom Wootton

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Aug 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/3/98
to
Oh Dear! Captain Dye a capitalist??? Calling Adam Smith, emergency!!

:)
Tom Wootton

P.S.
I appreciate Eric's comment about America and Free market captalism. As a quaint
right-wing Republican myself (Togetherin is zeroing in on me now, even more surely
that Jackson did on the Germans in RYAN) I agree with with you.

TW


Eric Rogers

unread,
Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
On Mon, 03 Aug 1998 17:17:33 -0700, Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu>
wrote:

>
>
>Eric Rogers wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> >> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
>> >> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
>> >
>> >I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.
>>
>> Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...
>>
>

>Hmmm. I'm not sure I would have regarded five days and nights in bivouac under
>the tender care of Captain Dye a mere publicity stunt. From what I have read,
>Dye relishes the opportunity to treat mainstream Hollywood livingroom liberals
>(and Hanks, though I respect him greatly, is one of these) to a taste of the
>rigors of military life.
>
>Tom Wootton

I have utmost respect for Captain Dye as from what I understand he has
a PHENOMENAL military record ... He is a fantastic gentleman and I
have NOTHING negative to say about him... However consider the
following:

1) He was a paid consultant on this film...

2) He was part of the hype thingy... i.e. personal appearances on talk
shows with the gang...

3) In one of his hype sessions, he stated that these actors were the
"real thing" and that he would be proud to serve as a commander OR AS
A FOLLOWER of these guys... ( that one did it for me)

I feel Captain Dye is performing more in a "capitalistic" role than a


"military" role in his connections with this film... That is great
because capitalism has done as much as anything in making the USA a
great place.. But it is still part of the hype..

Again, this is just an observation and opinion...


Red Dog

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
Cyr...@enteract.com (Cyrano) wrote:

>You're watching THAT movie and doing a bodycount!? Caught that problem on
>the first viewing, did you? You're sure that continuity problem was
>overlooked by Spielberg, are you? No critics managed to catch it, either.

I didn't notice the body count problems on the invasion, I wasn't
bored enough to count at that time, but later in the movie, I noticed
another one. After the squad is sent on the mission and the first
soldier bites the dust, we see the squad walking through a meadow -
eight of them. Should have only been seven at that point.

Tom

Red Dog

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
Cyr...@enteract.com (Cyrano) wrote:

>You're watching THAT movie and doing a bodycount!? Caught that problem on
>the first viewing, did you? You're sure that continuity problem was
>overlooked by Spielberg, are you? No critics managed to catch it, either.

I didn't notice the body count problems on the invasion, I wasn't

Tony

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
> >
> >Eric Rogers wrote:
Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...
> >>
> >
> >Hmmm. I'm not sure I would have regarded five days and nights in

bivouac under
> >the tender care of Captain Dye a mere publicity stunt. From what I have
read,
> >Dye relishes the opportunity to treat mainstream Hollywood livingroom
liberals
> >(and Hanks, though I respect him greatly, is one of these) to a taste of
the
> >rigors of military life.
> >
> >Tom Wootton
>
Somehow, I don't thing Captain Dye put on the smokey the bear hat and
started banging the crap out of the bridge of Tom Hank's nose. They were
all about to go home until Tom Hank's talked them out of it; I believe they
all voted that they didn't want to do it anymore because it sucked too
much. These were actor's playing soldier.


Tony

unread,
Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
CPT Miller needed a true military mission. He was having problems with the
idea of using a squad to save one guy. And I know this is a stretch, but
we don't really know the full operation order. (or whatever they called it
back then.) Some say avoid contact and others give engagement criteria,
even on intelligence gathering missions. (Scouts out!) The execution of
the attack and even the decision to attack a similar size force was not
sound tactically (IMO), however, CPT Miller did it to justify the sacrifice
of his squad. I think it fits the story.

Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu> wrote in article
<35C2C032...@mail.wsu.edu>...
> I have to disagree with Eric on all points except #3. If Miller had been
> on a routine (that's a loaded term) combat patrol, it would have made
good
> sense to take the machine gun out, for the reasons that Miller stated.


> His mission, however, was to find Ryan and bring him back, not make the

> battlefield safer for other patrols. I'm a 20 year veteran of the USN in
> submarines, and if a submarine is sent on an intelligence-gathering
> mission or on a strategic deterrence patrol, the sub's orders are to
avoid
> combat except in self-defense to accomplish the mission.
>
> Tom Wootton


Eric Rogers

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
On Mon, 03 Aug 1998 20:19:55 -0500, Cyr...@enteract.com (Cyrano)
wrote:

>Yeah, after a movie, I always go check my "list". Gotta keep comparing
>movies to other movies. The only way to understand or appreciate them.
>Wouldn't want to spend too much time examining a particular movie on its
>*own* merits. That way I'd have to think everytime I saw a new one. And
>to spare myself that dangerous fault of thinking well of a movie based on
>its maker's concept, it's far better to bear in mind that the movie he
>never wanted to make--and naturally did NOT make--would invariably be
>better than this one that he DID make. We're talking here the stuff of
>champion criticism. (Nasty sarcasm, sorry!)

I didn't originate the list issue... However, there are a lot of
people in this newsgroup who have gone completely gaa-gaa over this
movie and have stated in other threads that this is probably the best
movie of all time... Thus, my statement that not only would it not
make my top ten movie list, but it would barely make my top ten
"war-movie" list... Sorry that this concept was difficult for you to
deal with...


>
>[Snip of the rest of the top ten stuff]
>
>> >> First the hype... What is this deal about the actors going to boot
>> >> camp for a week to become soldiers... Give me a break...
>> >
>> >I agree, it takes longer than a week to see how much the army can suck.
>>
>> Yeah, this was a pure publicity stunt thing...
>
>Well, that dismisses what anyone associated with the movie said Capt. Dye
>was hired to accomplish. Yep, it was stupid because it happened for stupid
>reasons supplied by you. Can't argue *that* position long. :) You might
>want to read up on the rationale behind the mini-bootcamp. I mean,
>Spielberg's rationale. You may still think the idea's flawed but it will
>give you a sounder basis for saying so.
>

No thanks, I have already seen enough of the hype without seeking out
more... However, feel free to enlighten me if you think it will help
your point...

It was very obvious to me and I can't help it if no one else caught
it.. I assume Spielburg was trying to show how the guys coming out of
the boats were getting slaughtered as the boats opened and thus the
machine gunners point of view...But he put these scenes in way too
late, after he had shown all the guys getting massacred on the beach..
If he had put the scenes in very early it would not have been a
problem... This was simply very bad editing... I am not nitpicking on
this one like the brothers picture on the wall thing...

>> >> > Problem 2: Why use a setting such as the invasion of Normandy in which
>> >> so many were killed as a backdrop to show the common soldiers point of
>> >> view...The enormity of the situation was lost...
>
>Where do you get stuff like that? Is *that* what this movie was about?
>According to, say, Spielberg? Again, you invent a purpose for the
>movie--or mention the limits of what you got out of it--and say, "The
>enormity of the situation was lost". Now stop, think: Could this movie
>have used the lives lost to save Ryan, an individual, as a metaphor for the
>thousands who died to save millions? Does Ryan have a debt to the squad?
>Do you, O survivor, have a debt to those who never got to live beyond that
>beach? Could THAT be a bit more of a theme consistent with the film than
>"the common soldier's point of view"?

OK... You have to sell a movie... Your only selling point is the
realistic violence scenes... Now what is a major battle in world war
II that John Q.Public can think of where there was a lot of death and
mayhem... Invasion of Normandy!!... Didn't take a brain surgeon to
come up with this one... But if you use it as a selling point and then
you are too cheap to stage at least one or two shots of the enormous
battle, well hell, that's just cheap...

>> You missed my point... the film only shows events on a 30 yard wide
>> section of the beach... No God's eye-view of the fact that this same
>> scenerio is playing out in a much larger area ( as was done in The
>> Longest Day).. This is O.K. and I am sure they saved a lot of money
>> by limiting the scope... But the same level of maiming as a 30 yard
>> wide section of beach could have been achieved without using the
>> Normandy landing as a backdrop...
>
>Uh, different movies, ListMaker, have different purposes. And, of course,
>Spielberg "saved a lot of money by limiting the scope". The Longest Day is
>representing the full invasion. SPR is representing enough of ONE of the
>landing sites to convey the experience, the vicious randomness of the
>slaughter, and the sacrifice. Lucky he got to save money,too. :) Tastes
>obviously differ, but I think he got everything HE wanted to do, done. And
>I cherish and admire it.

I am not a mindreader as to what Spielberg was thinking when he did
this picture... It is obvious he thought a lot about the realistic
violence... It is not obvious ( to me ) that he thought much about
character development or story line... I am glad (for you ) that you
are happy with it... You are not very demanding...IMHO

>> >> Problem 3: Tom Hanks attacking the machine gun nest instead of going
>> >> around and fulfilling his main mission... Because "he really cares"...
>> >
>> >CPT Miller mentions that when a soldier of his dies, it is necessary
>> >because that death saves the lives of many others. Maybe 10 or maybe 20.
>> >CPT Miller is having trouble justifying to himself the sacrifice of his
>> >squad to save a single man. Hence, he attacks the MG in order to prevent
>> >the position from ambushing any other Allied Forces. (Though a daylight
>> >frontal assault, with a Thompson, a BAR, and a few M1's is not the smartest
>> >decision, tactically speaking.)
>
>I never heard his marching orders. No words like, "You are to avoid all
>contact with the enemy and Find Waldo." Miller thought taking out the gun
>was a good idea. But forget that for just a moment.

You bring it up and then tell me to forget it...

>The rest of what you say above is, IMO, the THEME of the movie. (Forget
>the tactics for a moment--hell, the squad agrees with you!)
>What is the value of life? Is it right that the many lay down their lives
>for the one? Or the reverse? THAT is precisely what the issue is before
>and immediately after the small firefight! Is it worth it? Does anyone
>deserve sacrifices like that? And isn't being a teacher, a citizen
>soldier, likely to make deciding life and death matters hard? Doesn't
>Miller point out how many have died under his command? Aren't HIS choices
>difficult? Apparently, had you been in the movie, in his shoes, things
>would have gone differently. Okay, you win.

Yeah, there is a lot of confusion, death and destruction in war...
Consider that the reason the armed forces doesn't take a lot of old
people is not because the old people are not as physically fit... It
is because the older one gets, the more likely they are to stop and
think before acting on an order.. When the order is given to charge
the nest the 18 year old may jump up and go but the 50 year old man is
going to think "Say what?????" And while the 50 year old is thinking
about it everyone else is dying...Get my point?? Sorry but I don't
need this movie to relate to the concept that war is hell.. If you do
then I can see why this movie is good for you...

>> >> Then he gets to the town with the bridge which is of real military
>> >> importance and he wants to pull out Ryan because now his main mission
>> >> is all important...
>
>Initially, Miller doesn't know the objective of Ryan's fragmented platoon
>or company. Then, when Ryan won't leave, he decides to do TWO things:
>help otherwise dead men defeat a superior force AND save Private Ryan. He
>accomplishes both, at the cost of his own life and those of most of his
>squad. He seems to respect Ryan's position. He admires a man who has lost
>his natural brothers and who declines to abandon his combat brothers to
>save his own ass. He recognizes that in soldiering as in life, he has
>mission and purpose, not just mission. (I'm not going to explain what I
>mean there, I'm just going to toss out boldly two undefined terms and let
>them suffer loneliness.)

Really, he admires Private Ryan?? Is that why he asked him to always
stay within 2 feet of him... And I thought his mission was to get home
to his wife...


>
>> >>
>> >> Problem 4: The few U.S. soldiers taking on all those Germans and
>> >> lasting so long... Unbelievable ( not as in Wow but as in I did not
>> >> believe it..)
>
>Aw, fer chrissakes! Ever hear of the Alamo? Thermopyle? (Bet I spelled
>that one wrong and I'm WAY too lazy to look it up. :) If you insist on
>comparing movies, compare battles. The few can tie up the many
>interminably. One sniper can pin down a company! So you don't believe it.
>Happens all the time without your belief. That's why medals are awarded.

YES!!! A sniper can pin down a company!!!!! How many times do I have
to say it.... I wasn't talking about that... I was talking about the
hokey bullet dodging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

>> >Never listen to hype. See the movie first and then read the hype. It is
>> >much more fun that way.
>
>Amen.
>
>> >> Longest Day and Patton were much better war movies.. I even liked the
>> >> Dirty Dozen better than this one...
>
>And eskimos like whale blubber. No accounting for tastes. :)

This statement implies a comparison was made by yourself... What
happened to your concept of every movie standing on its own merits in
a nice little vacuum....


>
>> >Maybe, but SPR was one hell of a movie. And number one on the combat
>> >footage list.
>
>Good list. Good call. I apologize for the tone of some of this reply, but
>the basis (or IMO, lack of basis) for much of your criticism just brings
>out the worst in me. No, actually, I'm MUCH worse than this! :)

Good because your arguments were certainly not as strong as they
should have been...

Tom Wootton

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
I find it difficult to get over the impression that Eric is offended by
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN chiefly because (1) Dreamworks subjected it to an
intensive publicity campaign and (2) many people seem to appreciate the
movie anyway.

Eric's exceptions to the concept and veracity of the film are OK to make,
if he wants to approach it like this, but why does he seem always to
dwell on publicity and public reaction? Why do these threads seem to
dominate his arguments? Does an effective ad campaign or the great
popularity of a film invalidate it?

Eric's implications are troubling. He doesn't like the
movie, and that's fine...but why imply an attitude of knowing supremacy?


Tom Wootton


Cyrano

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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In article <35c71988...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>, pot...@spud.nett
(Eric Rogers) wrote:


>Thus, my statement that not only would it not
> make my top ten movie list, but it would barely make my top ten
> "war-movie" list... Sorry that this concept was difficult for you to
> deal with...

Well, I see you're not going to roll over and play dead, or just say, "I'm
wrong." :) Luckily, this reply gets to snip lots of old stuff. No, the
"concept" of lists isn't hard for me to deal with. I just think the
practice of comparing works of art is a waste of time and a tad lazy
intellectually. Mostly, though, it's unfair to the artist and his art.
Whether you have mentally made a top ten movie list or a top ten "war
movie" list, I think it's a silly activity. But, hey, I have loads of
silly things I do--they just don't happen to fit in this thread. If your
only point is that you like other movies better, war and otherwise, no
problemo here. I probably don't care for some of the things you prefer. I
don't object to that difference in taste and that's not what my reply even
slightly implied.

> It was very obvious to me and I can't help it if no one else caught

> it.. [Snip] This was simply very bad editing... I am not nitpicking on


> this one like the brothers picture on the wall thing...

Okay, it wasn't obvious to me. I'll have to be more attentive when I see
it next time, as I will--see it, that is. Somehow I don't think it will,
if true, make a whole heckuva lot of difference. Man, I do find that bit
about the brothers' picture amazing! I read that thread yesterday and had
the same reaction: what an astonishing piece of observation! I saw the
picture, but simply thought, "How sad," as the military approached the
mother. FWIW, I thought the question raised about the "discrepancy"
between Ryan's story and the picture to be pretty darned sharp! If you'd
like to suggest I'm not all that keen an observer, you're in good company.
My wife says that all the time! :)

> OK... You have to sell a movie... Your only selling point is the
> realistic violence scenes... Now what is a major battle in world war
> II that John Q.Public can think of where there was a lot of death and
> mayhem... Invasion of Normandy!!... Didn't take a brain surgeon to
> come up with this one... But if you use it as a selling point and then
> you are too cheap to stage at least one or two shots of the enormous
> battle, well hell, that's just cheap...

Your concern with marketing of the film seems to have diminished the
experience for you by apparently giving you expectations that I don't think
Spielberg meant to give. Or something like that. Whatever. Again, that's
personal, I suppose. The problem isn't mine. I simply don't interpret the
trailers and the marketing as deceptive. I went in without expectations
other than the anticipation that the realism would be disturbing. It was.
I've been in intense firefights. They are disturbing and this illusion of
several firefights was as real as film is likely to get.

> I am not a mindreader as to what Spielberg was thinking when he did
> this picture... It is obvious he thought a lot about the realistic
> violence... It is not obvious ( to me ) that he thought much about
> character development or story line... I am glad (for you ) that you
> are happy with it... You are not very demanding...IMHO

No, I don't pride myself on being "very demanding". I do have demands,
however. I just don't go to the movies with a clipboard full of them. Nor
am I a mindreader. Just an observer. I tend to charitably conclude that
what a man says is what he means--ie, what he's "thinking". Whether what
he says is in usenet or on celluloid. The character development issue
brought up by others and now you, implies another movie rather than the one
you saw. It took three hours to view what Spielberg had to communicate.
It would have taken four if he chose to retain what he did and add what you
and others want. Or--and this could be your wish--he could have made
*your* movie rather than his by exchanging what he showed you with
character-revealing dialogue. Sadly, from the standpoint of your demands,
he didn't. From the standpoint of my "demands", I thought his characters
were "deep" enough to accomplish what I think he wanted to say. Guess that
makes me a bit of a featherhead, huh? Oh, well. OTOH, since you preferred
the Dirty Dozen--a film rich in psychological depth.... :) No, *I'm* not
comparing the movies. I'm saying I thought it was a lightweight and
thoroughly enjoyable film. It doesn't need another movie next to it to
lead me to that conclusion about it.

> >I never heard his marching orders. No words like, "You are to avoid all
> >contact with the enemy and Find Waldo." Miller thought taking out the gun
> >was a good idea. But forget that for just a moment.
>
> You bring it up and then tell me to forget it...

No, read above: "forget that for just a moment". I brought it up to reply
to YOU, fer pete's sake! But call it a poor word choice on my part. I
meant to suggest you set aside your point for a moment and consider
something I suspected you had not considered--namely, an alternate theme
for the film beyond the "common soldier's experience".

[Snip]


>And while the 50 year old is thinking
> about it everyone else is dying...Get my point?? Sorry but I don't
> need this movie to relate to the concept that war is hell.. If you do
> then I can see why this movie is good for you...

No, sir, I personally don't need a film to do that. I didn't see the movie
out of need. But having seen it, I think I *did* need it. It was good
for me in that it made me think about things I had thought about only
vaguely. I think that your experience of the film was somewhat limited,
from what you say. That's too bad, if so. (Plainly, I have no idea what
you experienced.) I shared old Ryan's impulse to kneel in thanks to the
men who died. Spielberg gave that to me. Guess it passed you by.

> Really, he admires Private Ryan?? Is that why he asked him to always
> stay within 2 feet of him... And I thought his mission was to get home
> to his wife...

Good grief! Unrelated facts. But let's assume he doesn't "admire" Ryan.
I suppose it was me who did that admiring and I gave my attitude to Miller
whom I also admire. But he told Ryan to stay beside him to protect him,
I'd guess. As much as he could. Silly of him to say that, of course, but
that's how I interpret his words. If you want to argue that Miller should
have taken Ryan out of the final situation, okay. I don't want to argue
though I don't think Miller acted improperly.

> >And eskimos like whale blubber. No accounting for tastes. :)
>
> This statement implies a comparison was made by yourself... What
> happened to your concept of every movie standing on its own merits in
> a nice little vacuum....

I'm not comparing movies anywhere in this thread--unless Whale Blubber is
the title of a movie I missed. :) I find no fault with preferring one
movie over another. Or certainly for having reasons for doing so. My
point is simple: One should not judge a movie unfavorably because it is:
a) not some other movie, or b) because it is not the movie that its creator
didn't intend it to be--in this case, YOUR movie! Or the movie that you
feel the hype had led you to expect it would be. Everyone has an
unalienable right to like one movie over another! BTW, lots of critics
disagree with my "nice little vacuum" notions. That's why I don't have
much use for those critics. Siskel does that kind of thing; Ebert tends
not to. So I only watch one of their thumbs, generally. :)

> Good because your arguments were certainly not as strong as they
> should have been...

::sighs:: Sorry to disappoint your expectations. :)

Cyrano

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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In article <Pine.OSF.3.95.980804...@cheetah.it.wsu.edu>,
Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu> wrote:

> I find it difficult to get over the impression that Eric is offended by
> SAVING PRIVATE RYAN chiefly because (1) Dreamworks subjected it to an
> intensive publicity campaign and (2) many people seem to appreciate the
> movie anyway.
>
> Eric's exceptions to the concept and veracity of the film are OK to make,
> if he wants to approach it like this, but why does he seem always to
> dwell on publicity and public reaction? Why do these threads seem to
> dominate his arguments? Does an effective ad campaign or the great
> popularity of a film invalidate it?

I don't have a clue, really. I suspect that the publicity led him to have
expectations--a dangerous thing to go into movies and marriages with, no?
:) FWIW, I tried to reply to his latest. I find no fault with not being
happy with a movie, not even one I like. :) (Enough smiley's) I'm just
taking a whack at his basis for judging it.


> Eric's implications are troubling. He doesn't like the
> movie, and that's fine...but why imply an attitude of knowing supremacy?

I don't think he's trying to be all-knowing, at all. He doesn't sound
vain. He simply feels strongly about the movie and is apparently
disappointed by it. I feel strongly about it, too: I LOVED it! I doubt
he blames me for my tastes any more than I blame him for his.

Eric Rogers

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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On Tue, 04 Aug 1998 14:10:18 -0500, Cyr...@enteract.com (Cyrano)
wrote:

>In article <Pine.OSF.3.95.980804...@cheetah.it.wsu.edu>,
>Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu> wrote:
>
>> I find it difficult to get over the impression that Eric is offended by
>> SAVING PRIVATE RYAN chiefly because (1) Dreamworks subjected it to an
>> intensive publicity campaign and (2) many people seem to appreciate the
>> movie anyway.
>>
>> Eric's exceptions to the concept and veracity of the film are OK to make,
>> if he wants to approach it like this, but why does he seem always to
>> dwell on publicity and public reaction? Why do these threads seem to
>> dominate his arguments? Does an effective ad campaign or the great
>> popularity of a film invalidate it?
>
>I don't have a clue, really. I suspect that the publicity led him to have
>expectations--a dangerous thing to go into movies and marriages with, no?
>:) FWIW, I tried to reply to his latest. I find no fault with not being
>happy with a movie, not even one I like. :) (Enough smiley's) I'm just
>taking a whack at his basis for judging it.
>

Tom Woottons post hasn't shown up on my newsserver yet so I will reply
to both posts at once...

As I recall, I only mentioned the hype briefly in my original post...
The hype for this movie probably wouldn't have bothered me as much had
the movie not been based upon a real event.. If someone hypes Starship
Troopers, the actors are not going to try and sell the audience that
they are really astronauts fighting gigantic bugs... I think the
actors in this movie did just that in some of the talk shows...When
Barbara Walters states there is no difference between this group of
actors and the soldiers who lost their lives on the beaches of
Normandy, it makes me want to gag...Remember the Acadamy Award thing
for Titanic... One minute the director is yelling he is on top of the
world all the way to the bank and the next minute he is holding a
silent vigal for the Titanic victims.. I suppose we will have
something like that for this movie too... The circumstances always
appear to me to be a little strange when Hollywood get involved... As
far as the popularity of the movie goes, this is irrlevant... Perhaps,
I wouldn't have pointed out the flaws I saw with the movie if someone
else did...

>> Eric's implications are troubling. He doesn't like the
>> movie, and that's fine...but why imply an attitude of knowing supremacy?
>
>I don't think he's trying to be all-knowing, at all. He doesn't sound
>vain. He simply feels strongly about the movie and is apparently
>disappointed by it. I feel strongly about it, too: I LOVED it! I doubt
>he blames me for my tastes any more than I blame him for his.

I stated some of the faults I saw in the movie as best I could.. I
believe people misunderstood or misinterpreted some of these so I
clarified them furthar in other posts... But I was simply trying to
point out a few of the things in this movie that I had a problem
with.. For example, some have stated the opinion that if this movie
had taken the time to develop its characters then it would have been a
different movie and taken longer... My opinion was that all great
movies must have this character development...If that means a little
less time for bullets to the head, so be it... But to interprate my
opinions as an "attitude of knowing supremacy" is quite misleading...
To me it sounds kind of silly to say "Well I think I am right that a
great movie requires character development, but if you don't think it
does then you can be right too and we can hold hands and sing Tra La
La"... I state what I think and you can state what you think... I
really don't think my opinions will make anyone not want to see the
film or hurt it at the boxoffice...


Cyrano

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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In article <35c771bf...@nntp.a001.sprintmail.com>, pot...@spud.nett
(Eric Rogers) wrote:


> Tom Woottons post hasn't shown up on my newsserver yet so I will reply
> to both posts at once...

My quotation of his post quoted all of it, I think.

> actors in this movie did just that in some of the talk shows...When
> Barbara Walters states there is no difference between this group of
> actors and the soldiers who lost their lives on the beaches of
> Normandy, it makes me want to gag...

Amen! I missed THAT nonsense. What an idiot she is for saying that!

I share your cynicism about Hollywood. If anyone accused the movie
industry (as a whole) of honesty, I'd be right there to defend it. Nope.
Hollywood is NOT guilty of sincerity. I think Spielberg, however, has
tried to make an honest movie about sacrifice. Perhaps the highest honor
the Academy has paid him is its disfavor over the years. It would not
surprise me if they ignored him again this time. It would make me furious,
but not surprised.

I also agree completely with you that hype is to be viewed with great
skepticism. Like the dust jackets of books: I ignore them.

The film is doing well at the box office, apparently. Somewhere in the
forties of millions, right? I really thought that the violence would be
too real, meaning not-Hollywood, for it to succeed. I like fiction to be
character based, too. How much characterization is needed to make me
satisfied varies. I don't expect it of melodrama, though I'm happy if I
get ANY there. Spielberg manages, IMO, to get some into SPR. Not a lot,
admittedly, but enough for me. I certainly don't disagree with you that
more would be better. I do disagree--if you say it--that what he put in
should be cut to make room for it. I'd have sat there for another hour if
he'd decided to take the time to develop character through dialogue or
additional incidents. I won't disagree--if you say it--that the movie
would be better if he had.

One final thought with regard to the bullets that miss. (A leftover from
your earlier post.) In many movies--Die Hard leaps to mind--I get
completely disgusted at the improbabilities. But it is unarguably true
that somehow, despite the amount of lead in the air, some charmed souls go
unscathed. I really thought that Spielberg had his probabilities on
straight. The Germans in that town should have kicked butt and killed
darned near everyone. That they did. The aphorism goes that in real life,
anything can happen; but in fiction, only what's probable.

For the record, I haven't had a single doubt of the sincerity of your
views. Or about your motives in expressing them. Nor do I think you're
dopey for disagreeing with me. As you said to Tom in an earlier thread,
there are doubtless lots of movies about which we would agree. Perhaps if
we go back to see SPR again, we'll find truth about it, as usual, in the
middle. :)

Tom Wootton

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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Cyrano wrote:

> I don't think he's trying to be all-knowing, at all. He doesn't sound
> vain. He simply feels strongly about the movie and is apparently
> disappointed by it. I feel strongly about it, too: I LOVED it! I doubt
> he blames me for my tastes any more than I blame him for his.
>

> --
> There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and
> those who can't.

Cyrano,

I accept your admonishment, and my post may have gone overboard charging Eric
with a sense of "supremacy". Still, it was an impression difficult not to
overlook when the popularity of a piece seems to be consistently a criteria of
criticism. Hell, I've done the same thing myself. There is no other way, for
instance, I can interpret the mystifying and continuous popularity of our
draft-dodger-in-chief occupying the Oval Office. I may have been guilty of
projection and I offer my regrets to Eric.

Tom Wootton


Tom Wootton

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to

Cyrano wrote:

> The film is doing well at the box office, apparently. Somewhere in the
> forties of millions, right?

$73 million as of Tuesday 3 August.

Tom Wootton


SimMike

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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>> The film is doing well at the box office, apparently. Somewhere in the
>> forties of millions, right?
>
>$73 million as of Tuesday 3 August.
>
>Tom Wootton


If you are referring to SPR, this is fantastic news. The word of mouth must
be pulling people in, because the ad campaign seems kind of small. Wonderful
news. The more people see this movie, the better.

Mike

Marvello

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to

>criticism. Hell, I've done the same thing myself. There is no other way,
for
>instance, I can interpret the mystifying and continuous popularity of our
>draft-dodger-in-chief occupying the Oval Office. I may have been guilty of
>projection and I offer my regrets to Eric.

I can, without making any partisan comment. People care more about their
personal financial wellbeing than anything else, most of the time. That's
what elects, that's what rejects. Not necessarily just cutting taxes, but
the stock market, social security, health insurance, etc. Clinton has been
in office during a phenomenal time for the US economy, whatever you think
are the reasons for it. He will live or die by the Dow. A smaller topical
element is that people don't give a flying f. about consensual sex these
days.


This is pretty obvious yet you seem to be an intelligent man. I suggest you
need to be more of a "cynical realist". :)

Tom Wootton

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Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
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Marvello wrote:

> This is pretty obvious yet you seem to be an intelligent man. I suggest you
> need to be more of a "cynical realist". :)

And here I thought I had been developing into a pretty respectable
misanthrope, and then Marvello throws cold water all over me. <g>

Tom Wootton


Tony

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Aug 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/5/98
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Everyone thinks it was a good movie. If I think it was a good movie, then
I'll be just like everyone else. Doh! Better hate this one... Let's
see....

Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu> wrote in article

<Pine.OSF.3.95.980804...@cheetah.it.wsu.edu>...

Tony

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Aug 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/5/98
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I read something similar or perhaps the same article and saw some
pre-premier sound bites and mini-interviews. The mini-boot camp stories
were being hyped big time by the media and the studio. The stories stick
out because my first impression was, "What a bunch of wimps". Except for
Tom Hanks (two Academy Awards are no mystery) they all wanted to go home.
Want could they have learned if they felt they could go home at anytime?
Did they really fear Captain Dye, did they ever think "this bastard's going
to beat the crap out of me"? Do you honestly think they understood the
statement below? I'm not sure I do and I've had the training, but never
had to do it for real. Though, I've heard the same things said numerous
times. The whole thing seems as ludicrous as the other thread which gave
an absurd (and unconfirmed) Barbara Walter's quote. Though I do concede
that it was probably more (and more realistic) research than any other
actor has done since the post-WWII era when a few actors were actual combat
vets.

Tom Wootton <tw...@mail.wsu.edu> wrote He then described


> a stituation whereby one close comrade is suddenly killed by an enemy
bullet.
> He looked straight at the actors and asked, "What do you feel?"
> The actors responded with guesses. Remorse, anger, indignation.
> Dye shouted. "Bullshit! You feel joy and relief!

Alex V Isgut

unread,
Aug 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/6/98
to
>But it is unarguably true
>that somehow, despite the amount of lead in the air, some charmed souls go
>unscathed.

Since I'm surrounded by military wonks, I feel like I can make my humble
contribution.

I read a book about snipers. Apparently the army was having a big problem in
Vietnam because soldiers were given fully-automatic weapons and just told to
spray the target. Something like one out of every 300 bullets hit their
targets. And in a fire fight, I know I personally would have trouble keeping
my hands steady, much less taking careful aim.

>That they did. The aphorism goes that in real life,
>anything can happen; but in fiction, only what's probable.


Except that scene in Pulp Fiction. "God came down and stopped those
bullets."

a

Tom Wootton

unread,
Aug 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/6/98
to


On Thu, 6 Aug 1998, Alex V Isgut wrote:


> I read a book about snipers. Apparently the army was having a big problem in
> Vietnam because soldiers were given fully-automatic weapons and just told to
> spray the target. Something like one out of every 300 bullets hit their
> targets. And in a fire fight, I know I personally would have trouble keeping
> my hands steady, much less taking careful aim.

Alex,

As it turns out, that is nothing new in American military history.
Historians estimate that during the retreat of the British from Concord to
Boston in April 1775, American marksmanship was so wretched that only
about one of every 200 rounds fired from American muskets found its mark.
And these were .58 cal. Brown Bess smoothbores...hardly capable of fully
automatic fire.

Tom Wootton

P.S. I'm losing my grip again. This newsgroup is like a monkey on my
back.


Cyrano

unread,
Aug 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/6/98
to
In article <35cb3...@news.cyberzone.net>, "Alex V Isgut"
<avi...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Since I'm surrounded by military wonks, I feel like I can make my humble
> contribution.

You sure can, fer chrissakes. Military wonks don't know all that much.
The terrain made snipers usually unnecessary in Vietnam. (Tanks, too.)
Most shooting was EXTREME close range--a matter of a few feet. Reasons in
addition to terror for missing: Most folks shoot high. The military
*tries* to teach folks to fire in bursts of two a