Based on the films I see advertised I already know the plots and endings because I read the scripts in comic books by the time I was nine years old – “Batman”, “Superman”, “Ironman”, “Stupidman”, “The Invasion of the Toilet Snakes”, etc. The movie reviews I’ve seen indicate the comic books were better than the films and at this point I’ve advanced a few years beyond the attention span of a six-year-old.
However, on occasion I’ll read a movie review that grabs my attention such as “Debbie Does Dallas.” Seriously, I enjoy historically accurate
films. However, I don’t go see movies to be lectured by a left-wing Hollywood director, producer or actors attempting to convince me that Osama bin Laden was a victim and we shouldn’t hurt the feelings of Islamic psychopaths with harsh language much less harm them. We need to understand them say these rich leftists who hate capitalism and tell us that Western civilization is inherently villainous. Tell me why I should listen to a storyline produced by a group of idle, rich degenerates, the likes this world hasn’t seen since Louis XVI’s court in Versailles?
So, it’s rare that I’m interested in any of the claptrap that Hollywood produces. But, I did read a review recently about the film “Midway” that got my attention and I convinced Linda to see it with me.
The film played at the South 14th Street B&B theater on Amelia Island but apparently didn’t appeal to the bubblegum-chewing, brain-dead crowd that prefer to sit through mind-numbing animated pablum shown there that doesn’t require any more thought than “Hey, Billy Bob, we’re ‘bout out of popcorn” and was yanked after a week or less. We found it at the AMC theater complex in Yulee last Saturday. It’s also playing at the AMC Kings Bay theaters in St. Marys, near the Kings Bay Naval Station, which is to be expected.
I was impressed. So was Linda, whose father fought in Europe during World War II as a tail gunner on a B-17. The two-hour 18-minute film was accurate, informative, entertaining and emotional. I’ve read numerous books about World War II and know that the June 4-7, 1942 naval battle of Midway was instrumental in breaking the back of the Japanese navy in the Pacific, just six months after Pearl Harbor. The victory was costly in terms of loss of American naval and aviator lives, ships and planes, but not nearly as costly as it was for the Japanese. It depicted the American fighting man as human – displaying fears inherent in all of us, not portraying them as John Wayne-type superheroes. Mercifully it didn’t provide any sappy love story subplots, instead it stuck to the business at hand — sinking Japanese warships.
It accurately highlighted the military code breakers, who were key to the Midway victory, and were as heroic as the aviators and navy crewmen. The majority of the code breakers were recruited from military bands. I’ve read that music and math are related so I guess there’s truth to that.
Much of the the film’s drama involves the destructive clanging metal-on-metal inferno of war and that alone makes “Midway” a picture worth seeing. From the pilot’s point-of-view, the footage is breathtaking as it looks like a roller-coaster from hell, with sheets of enemy gunfire shooting up from the carriers, destroyers and cruisers. To call these pilots brave would be an understatement — it’s almost impossible to believe anyone had the courage to do this. The film’s battle scenes will have you gripping your armrest. The message of “Midway” is that this is what it took to save civilization from a savage, fanatical and bloodthirsty Japanese government.
The film also provides an honest and candid look at the Japanese and their attitude toward other nationalities. They considered others inferior, cowardly and less than human. James Bradley’s two books — “Flags of Our Fathers” (2000) and Flyboys” (2003) – provide a look into the Japanese mindset and their fanaticism. Bradley’s father, John “Doc” Bradley, was a World War II Navy corpsman who was one of the six iconic Iwo Jima flag raisers. I downed a few beers with the younger Bradley at the National Press Club Bar, The Reliable Source, in Washington, D.C., a few years ago and was impressed.
The film “Midway” delivers a rare look at the fanaticism, barbarity and cruelty of the Japanese toward the people whose countries they overran and their treatment of prisoners of war. They tortured and murdered prisoners with impunity and gleefully slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and other southeast Asian men, women and children. The film didn’t display it, but Japanese soldiers held contests to see who could behead the most Chinese civilians and those executions were publicized in Japanese newspapers like sporting events. There is little difference between the German concentration camp atrocities and the pure evil the Japanese exercised, except the Germans tried to hide their depravity. The film describes in chilling detail how the Japanese massacred 250,000 Chinese civilians in retaliation for helping Jimmy Doolittle, his pilots, and their crews flee following Doolittle’s daring April 1942 raid on Tokyo.
The photography and special effects were exceptional. The scenes showing the Japanese military debating strategies and ducking American bullets and bombs on their ships were done in Japanese with English subtitles, providing authenticity.
Costing more than $100 million to make, it is one of the most expensive independent films ever produced. Hollywood wouldn’t touch it so the director turned to China — which still resents the Japanese for the brutal treatment of its citizens in WWII — for financing.
The film ends with actual photographs and information about each of the real-life characters, Japanese and American. It manages to educate, inform and entertain its audience about a historic battle that changed the course of World War II in the Pacific. Locals interested in an accurate and entertaining dose of history should go see this film if it is still playing anywhere around here.
After the movie we went to VFW Post 4351 under the Shave Bridge for a cocktail. It seemed the appropriate thing to do. It’ll be a long time before I eat in a sushi restaurant again, if ever.
Going Both Ways: Katie Hill, the Democrat Congresswoman from California, who resigned following revelations that she had affairs with a female staffer and a male staffer, puts a whole new blush on the term “swing district.”
Things I Wish I’d Said: “America does not need to see the tax returns of a billionaire who became a public servant. America needs to see the tax returns of public servants who became millionaires while being public servants.” — Jaeson Lubell via Eric Bolling.
Who You Gonna Believe, Us Or Your Lying Eyes? Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination are irrationally demented in most of their platforms, but the one that appears to cause them the most extreme hysteria is President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They claim that the cuts went only to the rich and Wall Street, passing over the middle class, despite proof to the contrary. They say, if elected, they’ll rescind them and soak the rich folks. These pompous, self-righteous leftists are not exactly endearing themselves to a public that can see for itself that, not only did the middle-class benefit from the cuts, but they also generated billions in additional tax revenue. The lefties, however, ignore these facts as they loath anyone who has been successful on terms other than theirs. Frederick Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp provides a stunning example of just how successful the tax cuts have been. In a November 21 Wall Street Journal opinion-editorial Mr. Smith said the cuts enabled his company to place a major order for 24 Boeing wide-body freighters, fund major facilities, modernize and expand, put additional funds in the company pension plan, and increase wages by more than $200 million. He added that the airplane orders created thousands of incremental new jobs for Boeing, General Electric (the engine supplier on freighters) and a multitude of smaller suppliers. “In fact,” he says, “each order of a 777F injects about $540 million into the U.S. economy, supports 1,850 jobs, and generates roughly $45 million in federal, state and local taxes.” Disputing the fact that corporations don’t pay taxes, Mr. Smith says over the past five years FedEx has paid more than $10 billion in U.S. taxes and he expects it will pay billions more while continuing to add jobs. The Democrats want to counter these success stories with exorbitant taxes, environmental extremism, open borders, sanctuary cities, powerful unions, and arbitrary over-regulation. No thanks.
Things I Don’t Understand: Nine years ago, Democrats voted to financially penalize Americans for not having health insurance but now all of their presidential candidates say they want to give it to illegal aliens for free.
Fake News Department: Bloomberg News officially announced this week that it is now officially the publicity arm of the Democrat Party when it declared that it would not cover any negative aspects of their majority owner Michael Bloomberg or any other Democrat candidate for president
In a shocking email to his staff, Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Mickelthwait, revealed the news agency won’t “investigate” Bloomberg, or any of his Democratic rivals. But it WILL continue to investigate President Trump.
“We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation),” said Mickelthwait, “and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries. We cannot treat Mike’s democratic competitors differently to him.”
Yet they will treat President Trump differently as he alone will be exposed to the full investigative scrutiny of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists.
British commentator and broadcaster Piers Morgan said he had to read the memo several times to ensure he hadn’t misunderstood it. He hadn’t he admitted.
Bloomberg News said it is also suspending its opinion section’s editorial board, because most of them are joining Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign.
Morgan says – and as a former journalist I agree — it’s an absolute disgrace that Michael Bloomberg’s very first act as presidential candidate is to order a blanket ban on ANY investigative reporting on him or any Democrat candidate. “It’s even more of a disgrace that he’s ordered his journalists to ONLY carry on digging for dirt on President Trump,” he adds.
This is the kind of extreme media bias that Trump has persistently raged about since becoming president. Bloomberg’s credibility is shot. How can anybody believe anything Bloomberg News prints in the future?
Cool Your Jets: There will not be a jet plane training school at the Fernandina Beach “It Looks Like An Airplane Airport” says Nathan Coyle, ACE Airport Director, City of Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, in response to rumors heard by concerned citizens that wannabe jet pilots would soon be zooming over their homes. It’s not going to happen says Mr. Coyle.
Sentence First! Verdict Afterward! In the six years I’ve been writing this column, I’ve noticed a trend among readers who comment here – the vast majority of their remarks are polite, well-researched, clever and insightful, no matter if they agree or disagree with what’s written. Only twice in six years have I ever deleted comments and that was due to vile profanity. However, once in a while an observation jumps out at me that I think deserves repeating as was the case with the one posted by local resident Robert Steele recently when he commented on the November 15 posting about Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff’s misguided impeachment hearings. I enjoy “Alice In Wonderland” analogies and Robert produced one of the best I’ve ever read. In case you missed it, here it is:
“Dave, Lewis Carrol would be proud to witness Mad Hatter Adam Schiff smashing teacups every time he bangs his gavel, and Red Queen Maxine Waters braying about Trump: “Off with his head!” and “Sentence first! Verdict afterward!” The Mad Hatter keeps insisting he doesn’t know the Whistleblowing White Knight’s identity, which is of course as ridiculous as anything else going on during this impeachment tea party. The Whistleblowing White Knight is like the smile of the Cheshire Cat: he’s there, and then he isn’t; he’s important, and then he isn’t; he’ll testify, and then he won’t. The hearings drone on and on, and it’s not just the Dormouse who can’t stay awake. Meanwhile, the White Rabbit keeps nervously checking his watch, and with good reason: there’s an election season afoot, and everyone on that side of the looking glass should be scampering down the campaign trail. Alas, the Hatter and his cohort are so busy with the tea party that instead of slaying the frumious Bandersnatch, they just might help get him re-elected.”
Robert frequently voices his observations and opinions on local and national issues which can be found at https://www.steelebeams.com/
Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Say: “Hey, not all of Mozart’s paintings were perfect.” — Kansas City Chiefs’ Head Coach Andy Reid, after his team beat the Detroit Lions less than impressively a few weeks ago.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: La Favola (formerly Ciao) the Italian restaurant the corner of South 2nd Street and Centre has closed its doors, the fourth eatery on the island to do so the past few weeks. The others are Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, Tony’s Brick Oven Pizza, and Diana’s Bakery. A commercial developer and real estate broker told me that he thinks Amelia Island may be suffering from a glut of eateries and this is all part of a thinning the herd process. While enjoying its weekly 4-8 p.m. Tuesday special of $1 ribs and Bud Lites I noticed promotional fliers posted at Captain Jack’s Smokehouse saying, “If you want to surprise your family this Christmas with “Mr. or Miss Right” then you need to head to Captain Jacks’ at 960030 Gateway Blvd. Thursday, December 19, to join in the fun of a “Speed Dating” event 7 p.m. to close. I’ve never attended a speed dating event but I’m sure if I did and came home with “Miss Right” Linda would be very surprised. Call ‘em at 904/310-3611.