Saturday, 4 December 2010

Wars Real & Imagined

The Second Civil War is a star studded satire directed by Joe Dante back in 1997 for the HBO channel. A populist Idaho Governor sparks a immigration crisis when he refuses to shelter some Pakistani orphans and with a weak, muddled President being cajoled by a insipid, sensationalist news channel things soon escalate into a armed confrontation between the National Guard and the regular Army. With Beau Bridges, James Earl Jones, James Coburn and a bevy of other famous faces this should have been great but a dearth of gags and a lack of bite meant this satire falls into mediocrity fast. A shame because Texas' recent threats to secede shows it was at least somewhat prescient.

Adolf Hitler - My Part In His Downfall is a film adaptation of Milligan's classic WW2 autobiography. Jim Dale stars as a young Milligan playing as a pre-war Jazz trumpeter through his reluctant enlistment, basic training and closes as he heads off to battle the dastardly Nazis. With a large cast of familiar faces including Spike himself (playing his own father) this is a mildly enjoyable farce as Dale and co lark about on manoeuvres with a few moments of poignancy as they slowly realise what's in store. Given the talents involved this really should have been much funnier but by stripping out the filth and bad language from Milligan's book it's left as something not terribly far from Dad's Army.

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