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Archive for March, 2010

I am a fairly cynical person these days. Not sure if it has always been that way or this is a new thing. Nah, on second thought it’s a new thing. Can you blame me? How can someone these days not be cynical, especially when it comes to popular culture? Music is beyond terrible, where artists have been┬áreplaced by robots — at least that is what it sounds like anyway. And don’t give me this “well you just have to look around for the good music” excuse. It wasn’t long ago that good music WAS popular music, so I don’t think that is a valid argument. Film, though, is different. You hope the film industry strives to stay balanced between the “quick buck” and the art. But lately it hasn’t, and the industry is increasingly becoming more concerned with making money (more so than ever) than it is in being an outlet for art. I was watching Apocalypse Now the other day, and finally realized just how deep and complicated that movie is. You seriously need to take a class to be able to dissect every scene — it is that good. Moreover, Francis Ford Coppola kind of went crazy committing his vision to celluloid. Could you say the same for James Cameron and Avatar? You know the film that was nominated for Best Picture, despite having a story line that was universally panned by critics. That’s not fair J, it was a technical achievement and the highest grossing movie!! Yeah, so was the Ford Pinto.

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It was a beautiful weekend here in San Jose, CA – 73 degrees and not a cloud in the sky on Saturday (J shed a little tear in New Haven reading that). So I enjoyed the night like any movie geek does: flipping through 20 movie channels and watching parts of at least 15 different movies. I have a few recommendations for your Netflix (or Blockbuster…what? too soon?) queue that I rediscovered from my marathon night.

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The Pacific: Part Two

Dr. Sledge: “It wasn’t that they’d had their flesh torn. It was that they had their souls torn out. I don’t want to look in your eyes someday and see no spark, no love, no life. That would be heartbreaking.”

The second hour of The Pacific contained 20 minutes of the most intense combat ever featured on television and unbelievable violence and heroism that rivaled anything shown in Band of Brothers. I’ll get to “Manila” John Basilone in a second but this was an amazing episode – where Band of Brothers slowly built up to the horrific action, The Pacific throws the Marines and the audience into the middle of the fray almost immediately. The above quote by Eugene Sledge’s father was distracting and way too on the nose for my taste but something about the look in Basilone’s eye at the end of the episode sheds a new light on the idea.

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PB & J would like to wish Phindo and Carla congratulations for tying the knot this past weekend on Saturday, March 20th in Bar Harbor, Maine. We love you both and wish you the best. To celebrate, here is a little taste of the second most romantic scene in the history of Lost (the most romantic scene cannot be embedded but can be viewed here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoAJkS2Cfpo&feature=related):

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In honor of the NCAA basketball tournament starting today, my body has decided to acquire tonsillitis so I have to stay home and watch all the games (seriously, not making this up and I’m not hungover from St. Patrick’s Day festivities) and I have posted a few great basketball movie scenes. What are your favorites?

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It is pretty clear during the first battle in The Pacific that this is a very different show than Band of Brothers. Like many people, I love Band of Brothers – I own the dvd and try to re-watch the series every year or so as well as re-read the Stephen Ambrose book every few years. But the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) was an incredibly different experience for the Americans who fought there. The title of each show is the first clue; Band of Brothers was truly about men who became closer than brothers and a good portion of the series was spent establishing the camaraderie that helped Easy Company become such an elite unit. The Pacific is going to focus on the psychological toll that the PTO took on three men: John Basilone of New Jersey, Eugene Sledge of Alabama, and Robert Leckie of Philadelphia who is the focus of the second half of this episode.

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Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific starts this Sunday on HBO. Since I basically added HBO to my cable bill for this miniseries specifically, I thought I would add a weekly blog posting each Sunday night or Monday morning. If you’re like J and are too cheap to even buy cable, let alone HBO, these posts are definitely meant to be read once you have watched the episode. I would never, ever recommend watching tv or movies online illegally but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

And for those of you who have not watched Band of Brothers, the predecessor to The Pacific, you have three days or so to catch up on the greatest miniseries ever created. You should probably watch it again anyway just to relive Guarnere’s craziness, Lutz’s different impersonations, Lipton’s quiet yet effective leadership, Malarky’s loss of innocence, Spear’s German domination, and Winters’s all around heroism. It’s bringing a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Here is the trailer for The Pacific:

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