Tag Archives: World War II

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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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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#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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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Review

As much as we wish we could control where life takes us, we know that we can’t.

In the 2018 Netflix movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (based on the book of the same name), Juliet Ashton (Lily James) is an author in post World War II England. Intrigued by a letter she receives from Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman) a farmer on the island of Guernsey, Juliet visits the island with the intention of writing a book.

She discovers that Dawsey is part of a book club entitled The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Included in this club is Amelia Maugery (Penelope Wilton) and Elizabeth McKenna (Jessica Brown Findlay). Intrigued as to why and how Elizabeth disappeared, Juliet starts to investigate what happened during the German occupation of the island during the war. Along the way, Juliet discovers a new family and a new love that forces her to re-consider where she wants to go in life.

Award worthy, this film is not. That being said, it’s the type of movie one watches after a long week to relax. Though it helps that several of the main cast are Downton Abbey alum, it is does not do enough to overcome the film’s flaws.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Thoughts On the 75th Anniversary of VE Day

From a distance war seems glamorous and heroic. Up close is a very different story.

Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

When I think of VE Day and World War II, I think of those who gave their lives for the freedoms we don’t think twice about. I also think about those who because of a twist of fate, were casualties of this war.

Both of my late grandfathers (Z”L) fought in World War II. They were part of a generation of men and women who understood the sacrifice that is war and the courage it takes to stand up for one’s country.

May the memories of all those who fought and died during those horrific years forever be remembered for the heroes they truly are.

RIP.

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Hollywood Review

Hollywood is full of dreamers. It is also full of racists, homophones, misogynists and bullshitters.

The new Netflix series, Hollywood, is set, in well, Hollywood. Then, as is now, seeing one’s name in lights is the dream of many. But that does not always mean that those dreams will become reality.

Jack Costello (David Corenswet) is tall glass of water from the Midwest with optimism and no acting experience. Needing to support his pregnant wife, Jack takes a job working for Ernie (Dylan McDermott). Ernie runs a gas station that “services” their client’s needs. Jack’s first client is Avis Amberg (Patti LuPone), a former actress and the wife of a studio head who is looking for “company”.

Raymond Ainsley (Darren Criss) and Camille Washington (Laura Harrier) are both looking for their big breaks. Raymond is a director and Camille is a contract player. Though their relationship is perfect from inside, both are aware of the racial pressures the moment they walk out the door.

Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope) has two strikes against him: he is black and gay. He is also a screenwriter with a completed biopic of Peg Entwistle. Hired by Ernie on Jack’s recommendation, one of his customers is Roy Fitzgerald (Jake Picking) aka the future Rock Hudson. Their relationship quickly expands beyond the professional realm.

Roy, newly christened Rock has been taken under the wing of powerful agent Henry Willson (an unrecognizable Jim Parsons). Before Henry can introduce his client to the power players, he requires a down payment via his own version of the casting couch.

Claire Wood (Samara Weaving) is another young actress who under contract. Though she has extremely close connections to those who can make her career, she wants to do it on her own terms.

I loved this series. I loved that it showed what could be in terms of representation without hitting the audience over the head. I also loved it it righted the wrongs of the past. Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec) and Hattie McDaniel (Queen Latifah) are finally given their due, if only on film.

Created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, this series is what fans expect from this particular film making duo. But while it stays with the frame of their particular style of film making, it stands out because of the subtle and not so subtle message of equality and loving yourself.

I absolutely recommend it.

P.S. If anyone deserves any nominations or awards from this cast, it is Jim Parsons. He is creepy and disgusting in the most fantastic way possible.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Netflix

Thoughts On the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Buchenwald

As the world focuses on the coronavirus and the destruction it leaves in its wake, there are other pieces of news that deserve the spotlight.

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald.

The clip above is from the 2001 television miniseries Band of Brothers. Though some may say that the Holocaust is in the past and we no longer need to talk about it, I disagree. The lessons from this time in history are as relevant as they ever were.

If there is one thing the coronavirus has done, it has revealed the fractures and the major societal issues that continue to plague us. My hope is that when this is all said and done, we will live in a better world and finally learn from the past.

May the memories of those who perished within Buchenwald be a blessing.

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The Windemere Children/World on Fire Review

For some, World War II and the Holocaust may seem like it was ancient history. Those in the know would say that that period was not so long ago and continues to have an affect on us, 80 years later.

Last night, PBS aired two different programs: The Windemere Children and World on Fire.

The Windmere Children, a television movie, takes place just after World War II. Britain has taken in 1000 child survivors of the Holocaust. 300 of these children are taken to an estate in England to recover. They are traumatized, both physically and emotionally. They are also most likely the only survivors from their families. It is up to the adults around them to help them become children again. Played by Romola Garai, Iain Glenn, and Thomas Kretschmann, the therapists and teachers are doing everything they can to help their charges begin to heal.

World on Fire is a miniseries that tells the story of ordinary people whose lives are turned upside down by the war. Starring Helen Hunt, Jonah Hauer-King, and Sean Bean, this miniseries follows a group of individuals from various countries as they face the dangerous realities of war. Hauer-King’s character is a young man from Britain in love with two women. Hunt plays an American journalist trying to do her job in Europe as the shadow of war grows ever closer. Bean’s character is a working-class father doing the best he can to take care of his children.

I loved both. The Windemere Children is both heartbreaking and uplifting. World on Fire stands out because it tells the stories of ordinary people who must do extraordinary things to survive.

I recommend both.

World on Fire airs on PBS Sunday nights at 9.

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Throwback Thursday-Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

Love stories come in all shapes and sizes. Though we tend to think of a love story with the typical happy ending, that doesn’t always mean that the couple walks into the sunset together.

The 1957 movie, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison takes place during World War II. Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr) and Corporal Allison (Robert Mitchum) are stranded on an island in the South Pacific. When the Japanese overtake the island, Sister Angela and Corporal Allison take refuge in a cave. Within the small confines of their temporary shelter, they must rely on each other and his military expertise to survive.

What I like about this movie is that it is unconventional for the period. Most films made during this time had the traditional romantic narrative with the traditional Hollywood happy ending. But this film, even with the leads that have electric chemistry, does not end in the traditional manner. Which why I like it.

I recommend it.

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Grantchester Character Review: Geordie Keating

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series GrantchesterRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Grantchester to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In the world of TV detectives, there is a certain perception of the character. He or she is hard bitten by life, excels at their jobs, but personal issues sometimes get in the way. Detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green) has seen it all. A veteran of World War II, he has seen the darker side of humanity from his time during the war and his job as a police detective. Married to Cathy (Kacey Ainsworth), they have four children and a very busy life.

The ying to Sidney Chamber’s (James Norton) yang, Geordie understands the criminal mind and is sometimes willing to break the rules to bring them to justice. This naturally creates tension with Sidney who is more intuitive in his methodologies than his partner. But, they balance each out in a way that bring out the best in both men.

On the home front, Geordie has another set of challenges. He had a mistress for a while, which obviously did not make for a happy marriage. After he broke it off and finally returned to the arms of his wife, Geordie had to face up to the fact that his eldest daughter, Esme (Skye Lucia Degruttola) was growing into a young woman. Ask any father and they will tell you that it’s not easy to admit that your little girl is growing up.

To sum it up: The character of the hard boiled police detective is one that has been seen many over the years. It is therefore, the job of the writer(s) to ensure that their version of the character is not only flesh and blood, but stands out from the pack.

Geordie Keating stands out because even though he is a hard boiled TV detective, he is so much more than that. He is thoroughly human, with flaws and mistakes. But he also knows when to make amends and tell those who he loves exactly how he feels.

That is why Geordie Keating is a memorable character.

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