February 1, 2010

Movie Monday

Okay, believe it or not, I actually had a *real* post planned for today. But I watched a movie last night that I want to talk to you all about -


I had never intended to watch this movie, mainly because George Clooney annoys the heck out of me. But, I was up late last night (wired from a mix of stress and caffeine) and couldn't sleep. So I flipped on the On Demand and I saw it had the kid from "Chuck" in it, and he's good, and it was a choice between this or P.S. I Love You - and I'm just not where I can do that right now. So Leatherheads it was.

At first, it started off about like I expected: a Clooney vehicle that just happens to have other people in it.

And Renee Zellweger being a 21st-Century feminist in a 1920's body. While she has the perfect face and talent for period work, I found her character completely unappealing. Why is it that women (at least the ones depicted in the movies) think they need to be crass and obnoxious in order to appear "strong?" Hint: It doesn't come off as "strong," it comes off as crass and obnoxious. But I digress...

There's no way to fully explain my feelings on the movie without being spoilerish, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to be spoiled, you better stop now.

The basic story is this:

First, it needs to be said that this is a *fictional* account of the beginnings of the NFL. That is very important, because the story revolves around a WWI hero (kid from Chuck) - the receiver of the Medal of Honor who captured an entire German platoon almost single-handedly - coming to play professional football in order to give it credibility and crowds. And the plan goes along swimmingly for a while.

...except...

we learn in one of the opening scenes, guess what? It's all a hoax. His heroism was faked and the Medal of Honor was awarded to a liar. The kid was actually trying to surrender and because of a crazy mix-up, the German platoon he was surrendering to winds up surrendering to him.

It was at this point I began swallowing my tongue.

Now, I know what you're thinking - it's fiction, just a movie, right? And yes, that's true....

...except...

Ever heard of Sergeant York?

Who was Sergeant York? A Christian kid in WWI who received the Medal of Honor for capturing a German Platoon almost single-handedly. Or, as his Medal of Honor citation reads:

After his platoon suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.

And throughout the movie, they make several obvious comparisons between the two stories.
Coincidence? Of course not.

In fact, at the end of the movie, Clooney and his team (playing against the war hero) create a sneak play that wins them the game, calling it the "Sergeant York" - which involves Clooney at the end yelling the German equivalent of "I surrender" on the field.

Afterwards, in conversation, they come dangerously close to saying the York story was a fake. They backpedal on it almost immediately, but after 2 hours of destroying a straw man oddly similar to York, it's almost impossible that such comments would go by unnoticed.

The whole last 30 minutes of the movie, I was sick. They couldn't just have a "football movie." No, they had to include as one of the main elements a storyline that destroys a fictional character deliberately similar to a real-life figure.

And they mention several times in the movie that there isn't such a thing as a real "war hero," because men don't really act that way. The press and the public create war heroes, because "we need them." Gag me.

Hollywood never misses an opportunity to call our soldiers cowards, insane, rapists, babykillers. Modern Hollywood anyway. Even in a movie that's supposed to be about football.

If you haven't, Learn about the real hero of WWI, Alvin C. York. He was a real, true-life hero whose story deserves to be told.

And I encourage you, instead of "Leatherheads," locate and watch "Sergeant York" instead. It comes on TCM every now and again, nearly every patriotic holiday.



3 comments:

  1. Love your about me! It seems as though theres not many of us conservative repubs around here on the net:) Off to explore your blog!

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  2. Oh wow...I need to read more into that. I watched Leatherheads a while back and thought it was interesting but now I really want to see Sergeant York!

    Oh, and I gave you an award :) Its a "Mrs. G.I. Joe original." Come by my blog to get it!

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  3. You should totally add this post on my Theater Thursday this week. I had no idea about this other movie!

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