Rented "The Great Raid" last night and all I can say is (if I may paraphrase Tony) IT'S GRRRRREAT!! Do yourself a favor and get this flik. In case you don't know what it's about, it's the story of the 6th Ranger Battalion's rescue of American and Filipino Bataan Death March survivors from the Japanese Cabanatuan Death Camp.
Why in the name of Thor's testicles can't WhollyWeird make more movies like this instead of the drivel and remakes of remakes that they've been churning out the past few years?? (The Omen, coming out on, get this, 6-6-06. Nigga, please...) Hells Bells, they're re-making movies that were made in MY lifetime. Like many, many others I am convinced that the "idea well" has gone dry.
The history of World War II is chock-full of amazing stories of brave men overcoming impossible odds like in "The Great Raid", but I guess movies about how America Rules and The Rest of the World Drools ain't politically correct... (and not very profitable, "Raid" took in just over $10 million domestic and just shy of $600k foreign total... I guess The Rest of The World doesn't like to be reminded just how limp it's collective dick is...)
In the special features part there is an "Interactive Timeline" of WWII, and while going through it I noticed there were several things similar to some of the stories that have been in the news the past decade or so... (some minor re-wording and update the cast and dates and you have today's headlines:
Dec 12 1937 - Japanese Navy bombers sink the USS Panay, a 450-ton gunboat on China's Yangtze River near Nanking. Survivors swimming for shore are machine-gunned. Two American Sailors are killed and seventeen others seriously wounded.
Dec 13 1937 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt expresses the proper amount of public indignation, but to avoid a major conflict in the far East, he merely accuses the Japanese of "Reckless Flying."
(Of course, no one was machine-gunned, but remember the WTC bombing and Clinton's under-whelming reaction??)
Jan 5 1942 - Twenty-five thousand American and 45,000 Filipino troops complete a fighting withdrawal into Bataan, a harsh peninsula southwest of Manila, where they are quickly trapped.
April 9 1942 - Racked by tropical diseases, starving, armed with ancient weapons and out of ammunition, the warriors who called themselves "The Battling Bastards of Bataan" are forced to surrender.
April 11-17 1942 - Some 75,000 Americans and Filipinos captured on Bataan begin a Death March of fifty-five miles to Camp O'Donnell, a one-time training facility. An estimated 10,000 die of brutality, hunger, disease, or are murdered by Japanese guards along the way.
May 6 1942 - Seven thousand Americans and 5,000 Filipinos surrender to invading Japanese forces on Corregidor.
May 7 1942 - At Manila railroad station, 115 Corregidor POWs are packed into small boxcars and the doors sealed shut. Trains chug Northward for five hours to a large compound known as Cabanatuan. Countless Americans and Filipinos suffocate enroute.
June 7 1942 - Thousands of POWs from Bataan move by foot and railroad boxcars from Camp O'Donnell, where 30,172 POWs had died or been murdered, 40 miles Northeast to the Cabanatuan Death Camp.
Jan 28 1944 - For the first time, Japanese atrocities are disclosed to the U.S. homefront. The headline in the New York Times screams: "5200 AMERICANS, MANY MORE FILIPINOS DIE OF STARVATION, TORTURE AFTER BATAAN."
(It should be pointed out that these men surrendered in the belief that they would be treated as POWs as per The Geneva Accords, but the only code the Japanese followed was Bushidio or The Way of The Warrior. According to Bushido, an enemy who surrenders is without honor, beneath contempt, and sub-human and not to be afforded any quarter much less mercy.)
Jan 29 1944 - On the floor of Congress, Senator Bennett Champ Clark thunders that Emperor Hirohito should be hanged as a war criminal.
(Just substitute the Troops at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo for the Jap Army, and the poor muslim "Freedom Fighters" for the American and Filipino POWs. Sen. Clark could be played by any number of the idiots in congress and the news media who try to make Abu Ghraib and Gitmo sound worse than the Rape of Nanking or The Holocaust and are howling for heads on pikes. The next time some long-haired hippy-type pinko fag tries to tell you that, you have my permission to blast 'em dead center in the forehead with a clue by four.)
Oct 6 1944 - Tokyo is tipped off by the Soviets (America's allies) that MacArthur will strike at the Philipine island of Letye during the last ten days of the month.
(This one just requires an expanded cast list. Add Frogistan und der Deutchland and other alleged "allies" to the list of fuckers that have sold us out in one way or another to our ememies.)
Dec 26 1944 - General MacArthur issues an upbeat communique: "The Leyte campaign can now by regarded as closed except for minor mopping-up operations." Those "Minor Operations" would prove to be bloody affairs.
(To prove I hold BOTH sides of BOTH houses of congress and The White House in equal contempt, just rewind a couple of years to the USS Lincoln's flight deck and "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED". Hey El Presidente, how's our "minor operations" going?? No where near as bad as WWII, but don't bullshit us... I'll admit I was born in the dark, but it wasn't last night.)
(And now, let's look into the Magic 8-Ball for NEWS FROM THE FUTURE!!!)
July 16 1945 - U.S. scientists ignite history's first atomic blast in the New Mexico desert.
July 26 1945 - At a conference in Potsdam, Germany, the Big Three - President Harry Truman, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Josef Stalin - issue an ultimatum to Japan: Surrender unconditionally or face total destruction.
Aug 3 1945 - High-flying B-29 Superfortresses drop 750,000 leaflets on Hiroshima, warning the citizens to depart because the city will be wiped out if Japan fails to surrender. American propaganda, the civilians felt.
("Well howdy yourself, White House Operator... This is Dubya, can you connect me to that crazy towel-head sumbitch in Tehran?? Thanks.")
Aug 6 1945 - At 0815 Yoshitake Mimura, a professor at Hiroshima Bunri University, tells 500 Japanese Army officers that Japanese scientists are developing a revolutionary new weapon called an atomic bomb. A few minutes later, there is the sound of a B-29 Superfortress high in the sky. A brilliant, pinkish light bursts over Hiroshima and the city is virtually destroyed.
(Sounds like a REAL bad case of day late, dollar short and being in the WAY wrong place at the WORST time...)
Aug 7 1945 - Superfortresses scatter 16 million leaflets over Japanese cities, warning that a second bomb would be used if the Emperor did not surrender.
Aug 9 1945 - At 0901 a giant ball of fire, belching forth enormous white smoke rings, rises from the industrial city of Nagasaki. Most of the city is incinerated.
(Reapply as needed, or as Hackman said in "Crimson Tide", "Drop that fucker, TWICE!")
(And now a peek into the mind of the enemy...)
March 10 1974 - Japanese Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, believing that the war is still raging in the Pacific, emerges from his hiding place in a Philippine jungle and is taken into custody by a policeman. Why had he waited three decades to take this action? "I never received an order to surrender." Onoda explains.
(Islamic Terrorists have not received orders to surrender in going on 1500 years and I don't see any signs of that changing anytime soon.)
Like I said, go get this movie and take a trip down memory lane to a time when WhollyWeird made good movies about the sacrifices of good Americans in the name of a good cause.
And read up on your history, cause as the saying goes, if you don't remember it, you're doomed to repeat it...