Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Discussion Topic

I'm not quite able to properly think about the topic I had in mind (the product of a congested head) so I'll solicit your opinions and then comment on them tomorrow. What I'm curious about is why World War II gets a free pass when it comes to crazy stuff like soldiers fighting dinosaurs and Nazi vampires while that sort of thing is considered out of place or crass for pretty much any other war?

8 comments:

Chris said...

Maybe it's easier because that was the last "good" war USA fought and won.

The others really haven't turned out well, so they are probably harder to add fantastic elements to?

'course you did have Transformers interupt Iraq or Afganistan-- or something, I really wasn't paying attention-- on the big screen last year, so there are a few things like that still going on. (ex: Iron Man this weekend.)

smacky said...

I think there have been a few movies with fantastic themes set in the Vietnam battlefields (one zombie one, possibly with an African American cast??? Oh, and does Jacob's Ladder count??), but overall, yeah, there's still a lot of politics and pent-up emotion about recent battles (as Chris said, they didn't exactly end well). Take a look around DC: WWII has us planting an American flag in the giant Iwo Jima memorial, while the Vietnam memorial is a black wall. (It's powerful, but it doesn't scream "USA!" and illicit pride like a giant statue, right?)

And hey, don't forget about the Larry the Cable Guy movie from maybe last year? I think they were soldiers who went to Mexico and thought they were in Iraq? Please do NOT look up the name for me!

Siskoid said...

WWII is without a doubt the best known war. Regular folks remember a lot more about it than any other war. Everyone's heard of Hitler, but not everyone can name the principal players in WWI, Korea or Vietnam. Varied battlefields and opponents, a celebrated victory, and extremely potent tragedies.

The cumulative effect is to romanticize it. And once it's a romantic ideal, magic and dinosaurs can more easily be inserted into it.

And maybe wars are remembered according to the media they appeared in. WWII was epic. Korea was a comedy with touches of drama. Vietnam was sheer hell and something you don't talk about. The Gulf War was a joke without a punch line.

It'll take at the very least a decade before we find out what Afghanistan and Iraq will become (but I'm guessing more Viet Nam than Gulf).

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