Wars and Windmills

30 July 2007

The Anglo Mage and a Satisfied Pig

My pop culture cup runneth over and my emotions have been sapped. This week I saw a fine epic come to a satisfying close and saw a film that wrenched at my core.

Indulge me as I attempt closure by opining about both.

My friend and fellow blogger Emily Gillilllilllland beat me to the review of Rescue Dawn and wrote it far more eloquently than I could. Still, the film struck a chord and I feel the need to toss two cents into the ring. Before anything else can be said, the name Steve Zahn will never again be associated with paltry rolls or a mere comic actor with one character played time and time again. Just looking at him in this movie draws and quarters your emotions in a way that would have made the Inquisition proud. It was his eyes, as Emily points out. The pain depicted in those eyes, portrayed a loss to soul and psyche that words or delineation wouldn’t have done justice; it was all Zahn. That isn’t something an average actor could have mustered. His performance is why awards ceremonies were made.

Christian Bale, not one to be out-acted, masterfully portrays Dieter Dengler with a spot on confident and proud immigrant American. There is a scene when Deiter recalls his first childhood sighting of a bomber plane during WWII in Germany. While telling the tale Bale grins and instantly channels Jim, the boy that he played 20 years ago in Empire of the Sun, a great moment. His performance is also Oscar worthy. As is the performance of the eerie whispers of Jeremy Davies playing Gene hoping for peace talks to bring him freedom. Let us just hope that Oscar’s memory is as long as the ceremony itself. Even if these actors weren’t in the movie, that it is directed and written by Werner Herzog would have been reason enough to see it. He can strip a movie genera to its essence and I was more than pleased to see him turning his Teutonic eye to Vietnam War films.

It didn't help my emotional stamina finishing the Harry Potter series just a few days before watching Herzong's film.

A heartfelt thank you to J.K. Rowling. I was going to write more, but to avoid spoiling anything I will say only that I am happily a pig satisfied. I couldn't have asked for a better denouement.


  1. Just watched the trailer. Wow.

    I saw Zahn on Conan or something and he said he got down to like 120 lbs for the role.

    Looks great.

  2. Well said, Zufelt. I hope Zahn keeps this up, too.....I was seriously thrown down by his role. And Bale, too. I'm actually looking forward to the next Batman in a year, even if Heath Ledger thinks he can hold a candle to Jack Nicholson's Joker performance. His unnaturally large grin is the only thing I think gives him a chance.

    And Harry Potter 7....Darren, I'm so glad you liked it. I was happy about it, too. I hope this doesn't spoil anything for anybody but I just really really have to say that I KNEW IT and I'm really really satisfied about all things Severus Snape and Slytherin related.

  3. well said Em. I am looking forward to the Dark Knight as well. Have you seen the teaser?

    And I have to say that I knew it too; though the happenings in the beginning through me off a bit. It was one great moments, like finding out that Vader was Luke's father. Totally satisfying.

  4. Good post Z, I'll roll both things into the que with greater anticipation.

  5. I am glad to know about the movie...and I second all comments made about the coup de grâce of that wonderful series. I was immensely satisfied with all resolutions made, and thought she tied all the loose threads into a perfect tapestry.

  6. Z-

    I didn't read your post. I want a clean slate for my watching of Red Dawn. Ash and I were so excited to see this, and then it didn't run in IF. I am sure this post was amazingly accurate, and I am sure that I would thank you for it, had I read it.

    When are you coming up for fishing? I was on the Teton last weekend: 6 fish on the same fly (elkhair caddis) within 20 minutes. It's calling.

  7. I am jonesing for that trip. I think it will be next weekend. I will call.

    Red Dawn huh? A great movie in its own right. I kid. I know what you meant. I recommend a clean slate, I hate spoilers of any sort. I felt a bit guilty writing as much as I did. I tried to keep it vague. Let me know when you do see it.

  8. Red Dawn...ha. That Swayze/Sheen combo runs my life.

  9. Fact: Swayze and Jennifer Grey hated each other so much in Red Dawn, they originally refused to work together in Dirty Dancing. But then they turned their angry vengeances into lusty ballroom dancing and the world is better for it.

    Fact: I love Grey and Sheen the best when they are making out in police stations.

  10. Fact: My name is Jean, but a lot of guys call me Shawna.

    No more subverting of Darren's threads, I promise.

  11. I'm glad to hear of the liking for Rescue Dawn. Valerie and I really want to see it. And I'm glad to hear Zahn is spot on with the role. I was worried but luckily the worry was wasted.

    And I was satisfied myself with Harry bo Barry. In a little bit of a funk for a while but satisfied.

  12. a funk due to the end?

    it is most definitely a bitter-sweet close. It is great to have closure on the story, but it is a bitter time not to have the next Harry Potter to look forward to. i felt the same way after (no surprise) The Return of the King.

  13. Mark this here duders. When JK Rowling's billions start to dip even a bit, she'll be back in the writer's cap, penning up the happenings of her characters post-Hogwarts.

    Mark this here. I don't care what she says.

  14. i take that bet.

  15. Well, this bet will have to happen post-Compendium which she says she plans to write. And I'm sure that it will be a smash hit as well. It might be the best selling encyclopedia in history.

  16. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Darren- My favorite thing about working in downtown SLC is going to the Broadway to see a movie after work. Its a seedy place with trashy seats and a homeless cello player who works for tips outside. It boosts my self ego and makes me feel I am in a higher socio-economic class. Anways, I saw this movie last night and absolutely loved it. However, its a little scary how fast and frequent Christian Bale can lose weight for a role. Maybe he's a closet anorexic? There were some great previews for up coming movies...hopefully I can convince you and Lu to come up to SLC. ---Habs

  17. Habs:

    I am more than pleased that you enjoyed the film. The Broadway has been the harbinger of many a fine bit of film goodness. I love that place. Even the peddling of musical wares adds to the ambiance, as you said. Lindsey and I are game any time. Bring it.