Posts tagged World War II

Jeep Display and Camp Jeep at the 2013 Denver Auto Show

Jeep Display and Camp Jeep at the 2013 Denver Auto Show

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Jeep has 2 spots at the 2013 Denver International Auto Show, the display where we look at Jeep’s most famous car the all new 2013 Jeep Wrangler. If conquering mountains is your idea of cool, then you have to love a vehicle with the verve of a bulldog and the boulder-climbing ability of a billy goat. Its ancestors helped win World War II doesn’t hurt its street credit, either. Then we get a peek at Camp Jeep where attendees get the opportunity to experience the extreme off-road capabilities of Jeep vehicles right on the Show floor! From rolling over rocks, climbing hills, and splashing through water, Camp Jeep takes the Denver Auto Show to a whole new level.

The Master

“The Master” an Exercise in a Waste of Time

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“Exercise in a Waste of Time”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

 

The Master has received good reviews and bad reviews, and this is definitely one of them.

It was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, known for directing the 1997 Boogie Nights and the 2007 There Will Be Blood, both of which I thought were very good and enjoyable to watch.

On the other hand, between those two excellent films, Anderson directed the 1999 Magnolia and the 2002 Punch-Drunk Love, which I didn’t enjoy.

So, perhaps the story on Anderson is that he makes either good or bad films, which, if true, means that I am looking forward to his next film.

In this film, Anderson was supposedly inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, but, if so, the story has been fictionalized, and there are no references to either the man or the religion.

The story takes place mostly in 1950, but there are flashbacks to World War II and some background on one of the characters, Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, and Quell’s service in the U.S. Navy and the South Pacific.

Freddie has emotional disturbances from his wartime experiences, and when he gets out of the Navy, he has trouble keeping a job because of his obsession with sex and his alcoholism, which he feeds by making his own hootch from whatever ingredients he finds at hand.

Then Freddie meets Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who claims to be a doctor, writer, and theoretical philosopher.

Dodd, who is called The Master by his followers, tells Freddie, “I do many, many things.”

Freddie inspires Dodd, who claims that his teachings can allow people to access their past lives, and that his process exercises can even cure such diseases as leukemia.

Dodd’s wife, Peggy, played by Amy Adams, seems to have just as much influence in The Cause, as it is called, and Laura Dern even shows up as one of The Master’s converts.

The story moves from on board a boat to New York City, to Philadelphia, to Phoenix, Arizona, and finally to England, but it could have been edited better.

Both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and even Amy Adams deserve much better.

The Master is quirky, thought provoking, interesting, but also boring, much too long, doesn’t pay off, and in the end is a colossal waste of everyone’s time.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

The Master - Movie

The Master – Movie Trailer

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A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Shutter Island - Movie

“Shutter Island” Disappointment City

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Disappointment City

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Shutter Island - Movie PosterSHUTTER ISLAND is the fourth collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and to say that it is a disappointment would be an understatement.

The film contains too many elements from previous films that appear to be obvious rip-offs, it wants to be surprising and shocking but instead is just confusing, and the ending is so bad that it makes you want to get up and leave, except that the audience is already doing that.

In addition, there are too many scenes that are nothing more than just exposition designed to fill in the holes for the audience.

DiCaprio plays U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels, the time is 1954, and the place is Ashecliffe Hospital on Shutter Island, an institution for the criminally insane on one of the islands in Boston Harbor.

Daniels is there with his brand-new partner, Chuck Aule, played by Mark Ruffalo, and they are investigating the disappearance of a female patient, Rachel Solando, who is there because she killed her three children, but believes that they are still alive.

As he starts his investigation, Daniels remarks that the inmates appear as if they are all on edge, and he is told, “Right now, Marshall, we all are.”

He is also corrected that the people there are patients, not inmates, by Dr. Cawley, played by Ben Kingsley.

The island is 11 miles from the nearest land, the dock is the only way off or on the island, Rachel has no shoes, and it is as if she evaporated from a locked cell with bars on the window.

And then there is a storm coming up that will turn into a hurricane.

If all this weren’t enough for Daniels to deal with, he starts to have flashbacks to his experience in World War II when he helped liberate a concentration camp, and he also begins to have dreams and visions of his dead wife, Dolores.

Daniels has an ulterior motive for requesting this case, because he suspects that the man who killed his wife is also a patient in the asylum.

Watching this movie can lead you to these conclusions: Scorsese does surrealism, Scorsese does melodramatics, Scorsese doesn’t do shock or suspense, Scorsese doesn’t do surprise endings, Scorsese does do overindulgence–no, make that self-overindulgence–and finally Scorsese doesn’t do Hitchcock.

SHUTTER ISLAND is Disappointment City.

Shutter Island - Movie Poster

Shutter Island – Movie Trailer

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Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for a fourth time for this adaptation of Shutter Island, a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River). The film opens in 1954 as World War II veteran and current federal marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), ferry to Shutter Island, a water-bound mental hospital housing the criminally insane. They have been asked to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), a patient admitted to the asylum after she murdered her three children. As Teddy quizzes Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institution, he begins to suspect that the authorities in charge might not be giving him the whole truth, and that a terrible fate may befall all the patients in the spooky Ward C — a unit devoted to the most heinous of the hospital’s inmates. Complicating matters further, Teddy has a secret of his own — the arsonist who murdered his wife is incarcerated on Shutter Island. Driven to confront his wife’s killer, and stranded on the island because of a hurricane, Teddy must unravel the secrets of the eerie place before succumbing to his own madness. Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley round out the supporting cast.

Revolutionary Road - Movie

“Revolutionary Road” Death of the American Dream

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Death of the American Dream

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Revolutionary Road - Movie PosterREVOLUTIONARY ROAD has admirable qualities, but it is also a disappointment in many more ways than one.

Admirable, of course, is that it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, it was directed by Winslet’s husband, Sam Mendes, and it is based on the acclaimed 1961 novel by Richard Yates.

One of the disappointments is built into the story, which takes place in 1955 and is about what was known as “the American Dream.”

According to BREWER’S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE & FABLE, the American Dream is “a phrase epitomizing the democratic ideals and aspirations on which America had been founded, the American way of life at its best,” and back then that included a happy marriage, two children, a house in the suburbs, and a fulfilling job that is rewarding.

When the film opens, we see Frank and April meet at a party in New York City. Frank is a veteran of World War II, and April is studying to be an actress.

We skip ahead to when they are already married and April is appearing in a community-theater production with disappointing, humiliating results. Frank says to April, “Well, I guess it wasn’t exactly a triumph or anything, was it?”

On the way home, they get into an argument, Frank stops the car, he calls her “sick,” and she calls him “disgusting.”

Then we see a flashback to when they bought their house in Connecticut on Revolutionary Road.

Frank commutes to his boring job in New York City, and on his 30th birthday he does something that we hope is out of character.

April believes that Frank is the most interesting person she has ever met, and she tells him her idea that will change their lives forever. She wants to sell their house and everything else they have, move the family to Paris, and she will work to support the family while Frank will have all the time he needs to figure out what he wants to do.

Frank agrees, because their whole existence is that they are different from everyone else and that they are “special.”

However, they aren’t really special; they just think they are and have deluded themselves into believing that, especially when something happens at work that makes Frank get cold feet about Paris.

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD is the death of the American Dream with many false endings.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

The Reader - Movie

“The Reader” Dealing with Guilt

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Dealing with Guilt

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

The Reader - Movie PosterTHE READER is a searing examination of guilt and not as straightforward as you might think it is from reading about it.

Starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, the film questions how one’s life can be tragically affected by keeping a secret or by not revealing all of the truth.

In other words, how does one deal with guilt and shame?

The film begins in 1995 Berlin, but then it uses flashbacks to jump back and forth between 1995 and 1958, when the story begins.

We meet 15-year-old Michael Berg, who becomes sick and throws up in the entryway to an apartment building. A young woman in her thirties named Hanna Schmitz lives there, and she stops to help him.

Michael ends up with scarlet fever, and when he is able to leave his room, his parents tell him that he must go back and thank Hanna, which he does, as well as taking her some flowers.

However, before they know it, they wind up in bed together, which prompts Hanna to say, “So, that’s why you came back.”

Michael becomes a regular visitor, and when Hanna learns what he is studying in school, she asks him to read to her, eventually making their routine that first he reads to her and then they make love.

It takes three such visits before Michael even learns Hanna’s name, and she usually refers to him as “Kid.”

This goes on for quite some time, but one day when Michael arrives at Hanna’s apartment, she is gone and has moved out without having told him.

Then we jump to 1966, and Michael is in Heidelberg Law School. The class attends the trial of six female guards of a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, and Michael is shocked to see that Hanna is one of the former guards on trial.

Watching the trial and hearing the testimony, Michael comes to a realization about Hanna that he had never suspected during all the time that they had been together that wonderful summer eight years before.

And as the trial progresses, Michael watches Hanna withhold information that could have helped her defense, and then he struggles with himself over whether he should provide that important information that could help her.

THE READER is much more than just a story about lost love and dealing with guilt.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

The Reader - Movie Poster

The Reader – Movie Trailer

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Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in The Hours director Stephen Daldry’s haunting period drama concerning the relationship between a 15-year-old German boy and a mysterious woman twice his age, and the way that it grows doubly complex when the man reencounters the woman years later and discovers a shocking truth about her past. Based on author Bernhard Schlink’s best-selling novel of the same name, the film opens on the character of Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) in middle age — cold, remote, and emotionally withdrawn. It then moves back in time to 1950s Berlin, where ailing teenager Michael (now played by David Kross) has fallen ill with fever, and is discovered in the street by Hanna, a woman in her thirties. After Michael recovers, the two immediately lapse into a torrid affair and Michael falls prey to the confusion of his own burgeoning sexuality. Their liaisons are often marked by Hanna’s request that Michael read to her (hence the title). Later, when Michael returns to Hanna’s flat and finds it deserted, her absence becomes an emotional blow for which he is completely unprepared, and indeed, scarred for life. The film then moves forward in time by eight years. Michael — now a law student — walks into a courtroom and comes across Hanna, one of a series of Nazi prison guards being tried for murderous war crimes during World War II. As he watches her on the witness stand, memories of their past experiences together bring him to the point of realization concerning a startling, long-buried truth about Hanna — and Michael knows that if he divulges this information, it could modify the prison sentence handed out and dramatically alter her fate.

Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum

Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum

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Jann Scott’s Colorado Road Trip series visits the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum to learn about the way they restore and display some of America’s historic military aircraft, like the Superfortress B-29’s used in World War II and many others on display in the Hanger at the Museum and out in the yard.

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