Tuesday, May 26, 2009

War Movie Marathon

The long weekend has definitely had an adverse affect on my work productivity. I have already set a new personal record for stammering and saying I can't remember this morning. I didn't do anything to hasten my memory loss this weekend, but three days of low brain function is apparently detrimental to intelligence.

While I try to get on track this morning I'm also thinking about the topic of war movies. I have developed a tradition over the past several years of watching a war movie on Memorial Day. It has become as much a part of mine and Arica's tradition as the annual barbecue. Yesterday we cooked a nice dinner and sat down to watch Saving Private Ryan. This is my favorite war movie of all time. I have seen seemingly hundreds of war movies from classic to modern, but I like this Spielberg directed masterpiece best. I like the new movies which strive for as much realism as possible. I think we have watched Saving Private Ryan the past several Memorial Day's so maybe I should change it up.

I have several others on DVD to choose from. Some of my favorites are We Were Soldiers, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket. You don't even need a DVD player to enjoy war movies on this holiday weekend though. AMC plays a War Movie Marathon every Memorial Day. Yesterday the marathon was full of great classics like Tora! Tora! Tora! and Patton. I recorded the latter to watch one late night while I'm up with Braden.

I know these are just movies. They do not necessarily depict war as it occurs in real life. I know they are meant for entertainment purposes. These movies, however, cause me to ponder questions about the reality of war. They cause me to actually consider what it must have been like to charge the beaches at Normandy. They at least put into your mind that eighteen year old kids had to stare down Panzer Tanks. They had to fight in close combat for their lives. These thoughts help me always remember our veterans and what they must have endured even though I could never truly imagine what they experienced. One of my favorite war shows of all time is Band of Brothers. I usually get it out every summer to enjoy again when all my TV shows are over. The way this miniseries uses interviews with the actual soldiers portrayed in the show adds another element to the experience. It is very powerful to have actual faces that go with the events depicted on screen.

I have always loved war movies. I think my Dad has seen every war movie ever made. At least he has seen all the ones made before 1990. We shared a few of those when I was a kid. I remember watching The Dirty Dozen with him several times. I am sure there were many others that I don't remember. If there weren't it's certainly because I refused to watch preferring to play Nintendo instead.

Braden took his first turn at watching Saving Private Ryan yesterday. This will probably be his last turn for a while though. By next year he will be old enough to be scarred by the language and violence. I might need to start looking now for some GI Joe DVDs to serve as our Memorial Day cinema in the near future.

Hopefully when Braden is older he will enjoy watching war movies with his Dad. I would love to share all the movies above and many others. I would love to sit down for an entire movie marathon with Braden, several buckets of popcorn, a 12 pack of Mt. Dew, and AMC some day. This is just another one of my interests that I hope to share with my son. Surely he will love these movies just like me.

10 comments:

Swoozie said...

War movie week-end! Sounds like something my dad would enjoy partaking in. He is the father of 4 daughters and no sons (poor fella!) We did watch Saving Private Ryan together and that was a great movie. Your vision with Braden in the future is just adorable!

surprised mom said...

Even though I don't like war movies all that much, I've seen some of the classics, including Patton. This year, though, the family watched the Ken Burns' film, "The War." It was by turns fascinating and nauseating. What these boys went through and then had to live through the rest of their lives was heartbreaking.

I can see you and Braden with your buckets of popcorn, gallons of Mt. Dew and a slew of war movies to enjoy. It's a wonderful picture you paint.

Young Dad said...

War movies are great, but I don't think my two year old is ready for all the shooting and blood shed. Maybe when he's 21 then my wife would allow him to watch something other than Wow-wow Wubzy lol! So for this weekend, it wasn't Saving Private Ryan, but Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.

Regardless of what movie though, it definitely is a bonding moment I love.

PJ Mullen said...

Band of Brothers is an absolute instant classic. Whenever an episode is on I stop and watch it like I would ordinarily do for Tommy Boy or Princess Bride. I really need to invest in the DVDs of the series. I didn't get a chance to take in the AMC marathon this year, wife worked second shift. But I did break out The Dirty Dozen after little man went to bed.

Frogs in my formula said...

You remind me so much of my husband. He has a line-up of movies he wants to watch with our son, starting with all the Star Treks...

Out-Numbered said...

I used to work at a place with an 85 year old man named walter that fought with the 10th mountain division in WW2. Amazing dude. So many stories it would absolutely blow your mind. I loved talking with him and miss him a little bit every time memorial day rolls around. Nice post.

NukeDad said...

Great point about 18 year olds being the true heroes that they were in WWII. That scene in SPR when it's Adam Goldberg and the German soldier in the knife fight? Gives me chills just thinking about it.

WeaselMomma said...

Those are all great movies. I ant to share Private Ryan with Boy Weasel, but I don't think he is ready (12 1/2). Band of Brothers may be our next step with him.

Daddy Files said...

Saving Private Ryan is a great movie and it never fails to force me to think about the sacrifices so many people have made for my freedom.

Unfortunately it also makes me think about what kids -- just 18 and 19 years old -- are going through in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Gives me chills.

Dto3 said...

Several buckets of popcorn you say? I'll sit down and share war movies with you. I'll watch anything as long as there's popcorn! I just laughed at your comment over in Mulletville about a sign in your state about "Your Dream Hometown." Having just driven through Beebe this past weekend, I know it is my dream to live there!