News The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (1988)

Published on April 16th, 2014 | by Chris

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One Year Later

So, its been almost a full year since I made a conscious decision to stop watching war movies.   A few recent events have caused me to re-examine the decision, and I figured I'd start writing this post, and see where it leads.  I really just sat down and started writing, with no idea of what I was going to say....

Why did I stop watching war movies?  I'm still not sure.  I think I had reached a point where I was trying to watch war movies, but I kept hitting a wall where I'd just shut it off, going "I can't watch this right now."  I'm not really sure what brought that on.  Maybe the fact that I started having trouble finding new ones to watch that weren't either complete shit B-movies, or weren't in Russian and required some cultural frame of reference that I didn't have.

Even this past year, I have watched a few.  I didn't write any reviews, though.  Phantom was the last one, and I had to force myself to write that one.  What's changed?  Again, I'm really not sure.

I've tried to watch some of the old standbys.  The one's that used to "get me."  Saving Private Ryan (Memorial Day is coming up and I may have to trot it out) would always get me, but I just couldn't get through the first hour.  Apocalypse Now...  tried.  Got distracted.

So what have I watched in the past year that I haven't reviewed?  Really just a handful.  Lone Survivor was damned good.  But I failed to write a review over it, because I just couldn't put enough thought into it.  I watched a pretty good Japanese flick about Admiral Yamato.  Didn't write it up.  "Emperor" with Tommy Lee Jones was alright, even for a Japanophile like myself I still had trouble putting the words together to review it.  Some other Japanese-produced movie about a General who holed himself up on one of those damn islands... (and of course I can't remember the name of it.)

Then I just happened to notice that traffic to the site has nearly doubled in that time.  No posts, and the site is growing.  How does that work?  I have no clue.  I got approached to review a couple of new releases coming out.  Yeah, OK, I'm game.  New subscribers to an e-mail list I basically forgot about (and I will revive shortly)....

I have been working on other projects, to tell the truth.  It's not like I gave up war movies to watch marathons of Friends and Cheers on Netflix or anything.  I've actually given up a lot of television and movie watching.  I'm down to just a few hours a week.  No war movies was a part of that.

So what the hell am I going on about?  Basically I need to figure out where to take the site from here.  I need to sit my ass down and write some decent reviews.  Get out there and do it, soldier.  I really should re-watch those few I did last year, and attack the backlog I, um, "collected" from Netflix and haven't watched, Russian with subtitles be damned.

Part of it, too, was I got sick of all the politics involved.  It became tough trying to reconcile my feelings about recent military events, and all the political baggage being tossed about, with damn near any movie about Afghanistan or Iraq.  Lone Survivor even put me off when I started hearing all the stupid political shit being tossed around with it.   I have since un-followed and blocked all the political junk that shows up on my personal Facebook feed.  Just because I don't have the time to deal with it anymore, let alone get in useless arguments with people who don't agree with me and never will.

I started this site because I found myself watching war movies, and quite a few of them.  I enjoyed them, not because of the violence, but because of the history, of the fact that those people were doing things I was never called to do, that I never volunteered to do.  Real or not, it didn't matter.  Because I felt maybe I could give something back, and pay a little bit of homage to the real life folks out there putting their asses on the line while I stayed home eating popcorn and watching people fire pop-guns and pretend to get shot.  Looking back (and writing that) I'm still not 100% sure why I did it.

And yeah, the violence was starting to get to me.  I'm not sure what exactly it was, if it was even one particular thing at all.  Just suddenly a "man, I don't need to see another kid get blown up/crushed/impaled/shot/crash/drown/die horribly again" thing started happening.  Started leaving a funny taste in my mouth.

I actually at one point considered starting over at the beginning of the list, and re-watching and re-reviewing ALL the war movies on the site, and posting video reviews to YouTube....  That's still a possibility, but I don't have the time for all that production right now.

Chime in with your comments.  I'd really like to know what you think.  What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of the site are?  What do I need more of? (Besides new stuff of course!) less of? What would you like to see here?  How can this site be better for you?

Thanks for reading this long and pointless rant.  You may see more, you may not.

I have been posting war movie news sporadically to the Facebook page (facebook.com/warmovieblog) so there's that....

I bet there's a psychology textbook out there somewhere that could be written about why I stopped, though.  Just saying.


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



3 Responses to One Year Later

  1. kevin says:

    Welcome back! I hope its for at least a while. There are so few of us (war movie reviewers), I hated losing you. I completely understand why you took a break. I’ll be surprised if I don’t reach that point some day. Burn out happens. You don’t have to go to a psychiatrist to figure that out.

    I like your site the way it is. I don’t have any suggestions on how to improve it. It would be nice if you would quit being so wrong in your reviews – lol.

    What movie is the picture from?

  2. Peter Flint says:

    I only recently found your website and enjoying the reviews. Only read a few so far. No harm in taking a break everyone needs a change now and then.

  3. glyssandrine says:

    I really like your site and have posted comments to individual reviews.

    “war” movies don’t have to be about the violence. I love the historical context of World War Two and the people who lived it. (Come See the Paradise, Above And Beyond, Conspiracy, Swing Shift, Bomb Girls, Mrs. Minniver, Copenhagen, When Lions Roared spring to mind). I am particularly interested in how that conflict has been portrayed in fiction film and television and in different countries. It doesn’t belong to a single or small group of nations. It affected all of humanity, down to the most isolated tribes in the most remote jungles of Borneo (Farewell To The King).

    My parents and grandparents lived through those turbulent years even though my grandfathers were too old and my father too young to serve (dad, who passed away this past June, did his boot camp in the summer of 1945 and was discharged to go help bring in the crops in Saskatchewan, Canada). They were indeed the “greatest generation”, not because they bled for their country, but because they weathered the hard lean years of the depression and, in many cases, two world wars. They had a fortitude we could all learn from.

    I understand your feelings and am glad you saw fit to post an explanation for your followers. Best wishes for whatever you undertake. I have enjoyed reading what you have to write and will check in every once in a while in case you start up again.

    If you do start a You Tube review channel, please let us know. There are absolutely none on the subject of World War Two movies. I would start one up myself, but don’t have time for all the technical aspects (editing, image processing, etc.) required to insure the best quality possible.

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