Category Archives: History

The Old Guard Movie Review

Comic books/graphic novels are not just juvenile forms of literature. They have a way of introducing audiences to new concepts and new characters that might not exist in traditional literature.

The Old Guard premiered last night on Netflix. Based on the comic book by Greg Rucka, the movie tells the story of a group of immortal warriors. Led by Andromeda/Andy (Charlize Theron), they have remained in the shadows for thousands of years. Their cover is nearly blown by the newest member of the group, Nile (Kiki Layne). While they are dealing with the newbie, Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is eager to learn how these warriors have maintained their immortality.

Before I saw the movie, I had not heard of The Old Guard. My review is solely based on the movie.

As a female viewer, this is my ideal narrative. Andy is not the traditional female character, especially for this genre. She is clearly in charge, but is also empathetic. She is additionally, also not straddled with the standard romantic/damsel in distress narrative that are forced upon female characters.

That being said, the movie was merely ok. It was somewhere in between underwhelming and not a bad way to spend two hours of my movie watching time.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The Old Guard is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Netflix

Flashback Friday-The Men Who Built America (2012)

American history is built on ingenuity, independence and the willingness to believe in the impossible.

In 2012, the miniseries The Men Who Built America aired on the History Channel. It told the story of five American titans of business who through their individual contributions, changed the way the people of this country lived.

I have mixed feelings about this particular miniseries. It’s educational for sure, but not as good as other miniseries that have aired on this channel. I would have also appreciated to see a greater diversity of stories other than five Caucasian males.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, History, Television, TV Review

Conservative On Twitter Compares Wearing a Mask to The Holocaust — Poking At Snakes

Wearing a mask, whether voluntarily or because of a mandate, is not the same as being murdered by the Nazis. Wearing a mask can save lives during this pandemic that is not a deep state Soros plot to steal your soul if you have one.

Conservative On Twitter Compares Wearing a Mask to The Holocaust — Poking At Snakes

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Filed under History, National News

Throwback Thursday-Red Tails (2012)

There are two ways to tell a story. The first is in a dry academic style that informs, but does not teach in a way that is memorable. The second is in a vibrant manner in which the audience learns something long the way.

Back in 2012, Red Tails hit theaters. Starring Terrence Howard and David Oyelowo, the film told the story about the Tuskegee Airmen that fought in World War II.

I have to agree with the critics about this movie. Though the film does an admirable job of introducing or re-introducing audiences to the true story of unsung American heroes, it is not as good as it could be.

Do I recommend it? I’m leaning toward no.

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Filed under History, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

#AnneFrank-Parallel Stories Review

To some, the Holocaust is ancient history. In 2020, we have more pressing problems to occupy our time with. But the Holocaust was only 80 years ago, and the issues from that era are as prevalent now as they were then.

#AnneFrank-Parallel Stories is one of the newest releases on Netflix. With a voice-over by Helen Mirren, this documentary tells the story of Anne Frank while telling the stories of other women who are among the few to have survived. While Mirren reads from Anne’s diary, the audience follows a young woman as she travels across Europe, asking questions that frankly, need to be asked.

I’ve seen many Holocaust films over the years. What makes it different is that it hard-hitting, emotional, and squarely aimed at the younger viewers. If I have walked away from this movie with one message, it is that we have a chance to ensure that the Holocaust in any variation never happens again. That requires asking difficult questions and learning from the mistakes of our predecessors.

I recommend it.

#AnneFrank-Parallel Lives is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Filed under Books, History, Movie Review, Movies, Netflix

The Belgian Antisemitic Rally & Death’s Head Revisited: Drop Them into Auschwitz for the Night

In a certain sense, humans are stupid creatures. We are well aware of the failures that exist in our collective history. But instead of learning from those mistakes, we make them again and again.

Earlier in this week, a pro-Palestinian rally in Belgium turned antisemitic. Which should be a surprise no one.

Back in November of 1961, The Twilight Zone aired an episode called Death’s-Head Revisited. The premise of the episode is as follows: a former SS officer smugly decides to visit Dachau, where he was responsible for the deaths of innocents. To say that he receives his comeuppance is an understatement.

To those who would deny the Holocaust or advocate for the murder of Jews today, I would recommend that they be dropped into Auschwitz (or any concentration camp) for the night. Let the ghosts of those murdered teach them a lesson they will never forget.

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Filed under History, International News, Television, World News

RIP Carl Reiner

Anyone can tell a joke. Anyone can attempt to be funny. But it takes a truly gifted comedian connect with the audience.

The late Carl Reiner was one of those gifted comedians. He passed away yesterday at the age of 98. Born to a Jewish family in New York City in 1922, Reiner was also a writer who worked on early 1950’s classics such as Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. His collaboration with Mel Brooks on the 2000 Year Old Man was and still is comedy gold. Creating, producing, writing, and starring in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966), he introduced the audience to characters are still beloved decades after they left the air.

In the entertainment industry, he was a jack of all trades. Writer, director, actor, comedian, etc. He will be fondly remembered as both a human being and an entertainer whose work made millions laugh.

In the words of our mutual ancestors, may his memory be a blessing. Z”l

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Filed under History, New York City, Television, Writing

Gloria, A Life Play Review

Great women do not become great overnight. It takes years or even decades to be worthy of the title of greatness.

On Friday, Great Performances aired Gloria, A Life. Starring Christine Lahti, the play tells the life story of legendary second wave feminist Gloria Steinem. Via a small cast made up entirely of female performers, the audience is introduced to the real woman behind the icon.

I’m thrilled that this show was filmed for television. I didn’t see the play while it was open, though looking back, I wish I had. I loved it. It was educating, enthralling, and entertaining. If nothing else, the play is a reminder that the issue of women’s right is just a prevalent today as it was fifty years ago.

I absolutely recommend it.

Gloria, A Life can be streamed on the Great Performances website.

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Feminism, History, Television

Wearing a Mask Should Not Be Political

Human history is full of people who ignore logic (especially scientific and medical logic) for their own comfort.

Back in the 17th century, the groundbreaking astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy by the Church. His crime was that his theories were contrary to the belief that the sun moved around the Earth. Today, we know that his discoveries are respected scientific facts. But to the authorities of his time, his statement was a punishable crime.

Flash forward to 2020. Covid-19 has ravaged our nation and our world. For months, doctors and scientists have been telling us to stay home and wear protection when we have to go outside. Logic would dictate that listening to the experts is simply common sense. This is an airborne disease that has the ability to kill indiscriminately. But when politics get involved, both common sense and logic go out the window.

As the number of cases starts to decrease in the Northeast, other states in the South and the West have seen a sharp increase. One might think that given the overwhelming evidence, the residents and political leaders of these states would follow the guidance from the experts. But some still have their head in the sand.

I hate wearing masks and gloves when I go out as much as the next person. In this summer heat, the gloves cause my hands to sweat. It can be difficult to breathe under the masks. But I wear them not for my protection, but for someone else. The last thing I would want on my conscious is that someone is in the hospital, on a ventilator because I was too selfish to wear a mask.

The fact is that protecting ourselves from Covid-19 should not be a political act. But it has become one. If nothing else, that speaks volumes about where this nation stands, both politically and socially.

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Filed under History, National News, Politics, Television

Thoughts On Statue Removal & Ending Racism

The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one to begin with. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

The United States has had a problem called racism for 400 years. Politically and culturally, we have done some work to write the wrongs of the past. But that work is only a drop in the bucket compared to what has yet to be done.

It is nearly a month since George Floyd was murdered. Since then, Americans have protested his unnecessary death and the structural racism that is part of this country’s DNA.

Across the nation, there have been calls to remove statues and rename buildings that memorialize those who were responsible for the enslavement and subjugation of Americans of color. In my neck of the woods (aka New York City), the Teddy Roosevelt statue that greets visitors to the American Museum of Natural History will soon be non-existent.

Some say that this is going too far. There are other ways to redeem our past other than tearing down these monuments to history. If we take down statues of men like Robert E. Lee, we must take down statues of our Founding Fathers, who also owned slaves.

Warning: This video contains adult language.

As Ticked Off Vic says, there is a difference between Robert E. Lee and our Founding Fathers. While these were men of their time, there is a marked difference between their actions. The fact is statues and images speak volumes in ways that words cannot touch. If we are to move forward as a country, we must face up to our past and take some of these statues down. If we don’t, we will never be able to move forward as a nation.

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Filed under History, National News, New York City