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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thread!

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thread!

Old 06-22-11, 11:35 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I realize it's very recent history, but would films like Invictus and Oliver Stone's W. count? They're about events which happened during the last couple of decades, but they're certainly historical events.
Old 06-22-11, 11:37 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by indy2003
I realize it's very recent history, but would films like Invictus and Oliver Stone's W. count? They're about events which happened during the last couple of decades, but they're certainly historical events.
Yup. W. is a biopic, so that gets it in without getting into how recent it is.
Old 06-22-11, 11:41 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Cool beans. Thanks!
Old 06-22-11, 12:26 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I just rewatched Saving Private Ryan, which I haven't watched in many years, possibly since seeing it in the theater.

The questions raised are great questions, the war scenes are (of course) good, but some scenes are too cheesy for me as the exposition goes way over the top. I think some things would have been best left unsaid.

So, it's still a good film, IMO, but there could be some editing to help move things along, and tighten up the dialogue.

I forgot just how many good actors there are in that film and I had forgotten so many of the finer details.
Old 06-24-11, 06:03 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Another unpleasant night, another commentary; this time, Silverado. What makes its commentary unique is that its three participants are Western historians and none of them were involved with the production of the film. If you can stomach the shameless, indulgent self-promotions that run roughshod over the discussion, there are some interesting observations about the Western genre and the relationship of historical verisimilitude and storytelling. I think some will be surprised to hear their perspectives on the topic.

I do suggest you watch Open Range first, though. They discuss several Westerns (particularly The Alamo and The Missing, as two of the commentators worked on either of those), but their comments about Open Range include what I have to assume are spoilers (I haven't seen it).

I've watched 75% Westerns so far, though I didn't set out to do so. In the last several days I finally got around to High Noon, Stagecoach, The General and the 1903 Great Train Robbery. I got a lot of checks on ICheckMovies.com out of those! I've still got about a third of Victory at Sea remaining and I intend to finish that by the end of this challenge. Otherwise, I think I'm going to just stick with Westerns. I'll get to War movies next year. (Maybe.)
Old 06-24-11, 09:08 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I'm debating watching THE DEPARTED as part of the challenge, now that Whitey Bulger has been captured. Nicholson's character is based on Bulger, but the plot comes from the INFERNAL AFFAIRS series, so I figure it could fit in as a Wild Card. Can I get a ruling?
Old 06-24-11, 10:41 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Doc Moonlight
I'm debating watching THE DEPARTED as part of the challenge, now that Whitey Bulger has been captured. Nicholson's character is based on Bulger, but the plot comes from the INFERNAL AFFAIRS series, so I figure it could fit in as a Wild Card. Can I get a ruling?
Funny; I actually thought about that myself when I saw the news. Nicholson's character is not actually presented as Bulger and the film is clearly set in the present (PATRIOT Act joke, etc.) so it's a contemporary film, too. Just this year, though, in light of the arrest if you want to count it as a wild card I think that's fine. Next year, though, it's back on the Ineligible List!
Old 06-24-11, 11:27 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I've started both Adventures of Robin Hood and LA Confidential but finished neither. A little disappointed at the lack of progress.
Old 06-24-11, 01:24 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

When I included X-Men: First class in the list as a Wildcard I felt kind of guilty since I thought that even as a Wildcard the film was out of place in the Historical Challenge. On my list I go so far as to justify myself and mention the films 60's setting and plot which revolves around the Cuban Missile Crisis.
But now looking over the lists I see that at least 3 other people included it on their lists. Maybe I was not that far off the mark in thinking that this film is "historical", albeit in a very roundabout way.
Old 06-24-11, 02:00 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I just realized I have another show that would count for the historical challenge. I own Season 1 of Dogfights. My question is, what about the bonues feature on disc 1, Dogfights: Greatest Air Battles. I ask because I am not sure, but I think it may have been the show that the History Channel aired first before the show became a regular series.
Old 06-24-11, 05:00 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Went to SAMs to get some ibuprofen and found "Deadwood" for ~$19/season after tax. I've heard good things so I picked up S1 and started watching last night. 2 eps. down and so far, it's not bad - but it's definitely not one I'll ever watch with my wife... she'd leave the room before the first 5 minutes were up, mainly due to the language.

The Opening credits music really reminds me of that from "Firefly" - When it first came on I thought somehow I had the wrong DVD in the player.

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Old 06-24-11, 05:17 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Went to SAMs to get some ibuprofen and found "Deadwood" for ~$19/season after tax. I've heard good things so I picked up S1 and started watching last night. 2 eps. down and so far, it's not bad - but it's definitely not one I'll ever watch with my wife... she'd leave the room before the first 5 minutes were up, mainly due to the language.
Great show, but they could have called it F***wood.
Old 06-24-11, 06:09 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by pagefrance
When I included X-Men: First class in the list as a Wildcard I felt kind of guilty since I thought that even as a Wildcard the film was out of place in the Historical Challenge. On my list I go so far as to justify myself and mention the films 60's setting and plot which revolves around the Cuban Missile Crisis.
But now looking over the lists I see that at least 3 other people included it on their lists. Maybe I was not that far off the mark in thinking that this film is "historical", albeit in a very roundabout way.
I watched it, but so far haven't added it to my list. I'm allowing it as a wildcard this year because it was a new release that I knew several of us were going to see anyway, but going forward it's really more appropriate for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge.

Originally Posted by shadokitty
I just realized I have another show that would count for the historical challenge. I own Season 1 of Dogfights. My question is, what about the bonues feature on disc 1, Dogfights: Greatest Air Battles. I ask because I am not sure, but I think it may have been the show that the History Channel aired first before the show became a regular series.
According to The History Channel shop webpage, Dogfights: Greatest Air Battles was the pilot episode of the series (no pun intended), so you're good.

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Went to SAMs to get some ibuprofen and found "Deadwood" for ~$19/season after tax. I've heard good things so I picked up S1 and started watching last night. 2 eps. down and so far, it's not bad - but it's definitely not one I'll ever watch with my wife... she'd leave the room before the first 5 minutes were up, mainly due to the language.
When I watched Silverado with its commentary track late last night, Deadwood was a frequent topic of conversation among the Western historian commentators. They all really seemed to like it and hold it in high esteem. One of them addressed the issue of language by pointing to a book whose title escapes me that was published in the mid-1700s. His philosophy was that if it appeared in that book, it's fair game for inclusion in any story set after that book, and according to him it's so comprehensive that Deadwood was very much in the clear.
Old 06-24-11, 08:45 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Trevor
Great show, but they could have called it F***wood.
Ain't that the truth... I'd read it was pretty frequent but was totally unprepared for the actual amount. At times it feels like it's 1 out of every 4 words spoken.
Originally Posted by MinLShaw
When I watched Silverado with its commentary track late last night, Deadwood was a frequent topic of conversation among the Western historian commentators. They all really seemed to like it and hold it in high esteem. One of them addressed the issue of language by pointing to a book whose title escapes me that was published in the mid-1700s. His philosophy was that if it appeared in that book, it's fair game for inclusion in any story set after that book, and according to him it's so comprehensive that Deadwood was very much in the clear.
I watched about half the first episode with the commentary track once I'd finished episode 2 *because* of the language. I was curious to see if/how the creator of the series would address it. He did and mentioned that very book. Like you, I don't remember the name. A comment he made was along the lines of "the language of the era is a surprise to most people because Hollywood cleaned it up for the movies and that's how most people perceive the west of those years". I was surprised to learn from the commentary that the series is somewhat based on actual events. He mentioned that Calamity Jane was one of the most foul-mouthed people in the West so she is in the series too.

I looked up a few things and found this comment:

"They did use bad language in Deadwood's early days, when the camp was primarily filled with rowdy men and rough characters. It was so bad, in fact, that the newspaper headlines reported, in 1879, that residents were organizing to suppress the profanity. However, in those days, such words as crap, shit, damn, and bitch were considered to be very foul language. Today, these words are used in every day common language and we hear them all the time, usually taking little offense. Therefore, the show uses the "worst" words (of today) in order to get the point across.

The original intention of the series was to use period slang and swear words; however, according to David Milch, the series' creator, the results sounded downright comical. Utilizing current profanity, the words have a much greater impact on modern audiences, sending the message of how lawless and "barbaric" the camp was during its early days."

Another comment from that site I found interesting is: "Calamity Jane was every bit as foul-mouthed and drunk as she is portrayed in the series."

The information about Deadwood, and actual people in the town, on that site was an interesting read.
Old 06-24-11, 08:57 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I watched the Charles Darwin biopic Creation last night on Netflix Streaming. Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly (Mrs. Bettany) are terrific in the roles of Darwin and his wife, but the film concentrated far more on their domestic life (their dead child, his chronic illness) and softpedals his discovery of evolution that revolutionized biology, apart from oblique references, such as the scene where his children tearfully witness a fox devouring a bunny that is not quite as fast as others.
Old 06-25-11, 01:33 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Deadwood has been on my to-watch list forever but I don't think it's going to happen this challenge. Same with Rome.

I forgot I also have Oliver! partially watched--if I ever finish all these fragments I'll make some quick progress.
Old 06-25-11, 02:18 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Late last night I streamed Heavenly Creatures, the 1994 dramatization of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hume, teen girls whose intense relationship led them to murder Pauline's mother. It reminded me a lot of Sister, My Sister, only happier.

I followed that with Winchester '73, a 1950 Western starring Jimmy Stewart as Lin McAdam, who is hunting for Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally). Lin arrives in Dodge City, where they're hosting a shooting contest to win an 1873 Winchester, a highly-valued new model, certain the allure of the prize will draw out his prey--which it does. From there it's a series of adventures for both guys until the inevitable showdown.

The first act is terrific, really establishing the period as this is the immediate aftermath of Custer's last stand. The slaughter there, enabled by repeating rifles, forever changed armed combat and life in the Old West, and we really get a sense of that. Lin isn't a particularly memorable character, but Stewart was a star for a reason and his charisma makes it work. Unfortunately, the middle act meanders a little and the final act just feels obligatory.

Today, incidentally, is the anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn. I'm comfortable enough to admit I was entirely unaware of this at the time I made my selection early this morning.
Old 06-25-11, 11:46 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I bought Rio Conchos this week and finally got to see it last night. It's one of my personal all- time favorites. If anyone was waiting for a review of the picture quality, I was very happy with it. The transfer was very good. Pretty cheap price too, bought it for $9. if anyone was on the fence about getting this, it would be a nice addition to anyones Western collection.
Old 06-25-11, 11:52 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Today, incidentally, is the anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn. I'm comfortable enough to admit I was entirely unaware of this at the time I made my selection early this morning.
Yes! The Battle of the Little Bighorn has always fascinated me. I've probably watched numerous movies about the battle and read a few books on the subject. Whenever June 25th comes up I always take a little time to remember the battle. Even if it's just a few minutes or two with my busy schedule. But yes i do remember and I do honor the Calvary and Indians who had fought there. Sometimes they have something on the History Channel about this subject have been too busy to check this year, but the battle is always on my mind on this date.
Old 06-26-11, 12:18 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Watching the Blu-Ray of Hair that came in the mail today from an online contest that I won. It's one of my favorite films, and one of the best movie musicals, period. I first saw this in the theater when I was in high school, and then it was a period piece, but now it seems as relevant as when the play premiered. When I saw the revival on Broadway 2 years ago, I noticed that instead of using the original 1967 orchestrations, they were borrowed from the movie.

Last edited by Gobear; 06-26-11 at 12:29 AM.
Old 06-26-11, 11:27 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Late last night I streamed Heavenly Creatures, the 1994 dramatization of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hume, teen girls whose intense relationship led them to murder Pauline's mother. It reminded me a lot of Sister, My Sister, only happier.

I followed that with Winchester '73, a 1950 Western starring Jimmy Stewart as Lin McAdam, who is hunting for Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally). Lin arrives in Dodge City, where they're hosting a shooting contest to win an 1873 Winchester, a highly-valued new model, certain the allure of the prize will draw out his prey--which it does. From there it's a series of adventures for both guys until the inevitable showdown.

The first act is terrific, really establishing the period as this is the immediate aftermath of Custer's last stand. The slaughter there, enabled by repeating rifles, forever changed armed combat and life in the Old West, and we really get a sense of that. Lin isn't a particularly memorable character, but Stewart was a star for a reason and his charisma makes it work. Unfortunately, the middle act meanders a little and the final act just feels obligatory.

Today, incidentally, is the anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn. I'm comfortable enough to admit I was entirely unaware of this at the time I made my selection early this morning.
Just as significantly, the news of Custer's defeat cast a pall over the country's celebration of its centennial on July 4, 1876, which is referenced in that scene also. I think the shooting contest is part of the town's (Dodge City?) centennial celebration.

(The country's centennial also plays a key part in JONAH HEX, in which Pres. Ulysses S. Grant, enacted by Aidan Quinn, is a major supporting character.)
Old 06-27-11, 12:00 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Finished Robin Hood and Oliver!

Robin Hood was fun--pretty literal translations of the story as I remember them, and I can see how Flynn became a swashbuckling matinee idol.

Oliver! still
Spoiler:
shakes me up toward the end


Started OUATITW. What a great score.
Old 06-27-11, 12:39 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Any objections to using a wildcard on Super 8 since it takes place in 1979?
Old 06-27-11, 01:05 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by JOE29
Yes! The Battle of the Little Bighorn has always fascinated me.
Any particular reason that it's such an important subject for you? How did you first learn of it, for instance? I'm always intrigued to learn how different topics become the pet subjects of people.

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Just as significantly, the news of Custer's defeat cast a pall over the country's celebration of its centennial on July 4, 1876, which is referenced in that scene also. I think the shooting contest is part of the town's (Dodge City?) centennial celebration.
Yeah, there's an awful lot of context and subtext to that aspect of the film. Like I said, it's a shame it devolves into a rather paint-by-numbers Western in the latter third or so, because its opening is particularly rich.

Originally Posted by davidh777
Finished Robin Hood and Oliver!

Robin Hood was fun--pretty literal translations of the story as I remember them, and I can see how Flynn became a swashbuckling matinee idol.
I first saw The Adventures of Robin Hood on Blu-ray a few months ago and adored it. The cast, action, dialog, costumes, music...terrific all around. Flynn was particularly charismatic in the role.

Originally Posted by jmsmath
Any objections to using a wildcard on Super 8 since it takes place in 1979?
Yeah, go ahead. But, like X-Men: First Class, I'm only allowing it this year as a current release participants were going to see anyway. Next year it should count for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge.

Which reminds me, those of you who have counted X-Men: First Class need to make sure you denote that it's a wild card selection on your lists. At last glance, there were a few lists that included it without that distinction. We don't have any prizes so it's not a particularly important issue, but we do want to at least appear to conform to standard challenge rules.
Old 06-27-11, 01:25 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
I first saw The Adventures of Robin Hood on Blu-ray a few months ago and adored it. The cast, action, dialog, costumes, music...terrific all around. Flynn was particularly charismatic in the role.
Looks great on Blu. Good demo for people who think "old" 4:3 material won't benefit from it.

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