TV, Movies, and Games
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Is 'Over There' any good?
spooky6
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Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 03:53 PM UTC
Hi. The local DVD store's got 'Over There' in a boxed set. Is it worth buying?
jazza
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Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 03:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi. The local DVD store's got 'Over There' in a boxed set. Is it worth buying?



Prior to watching this series, i got alot of mixed reviews about it especially from our US counterparts who served in the Iraq war. The point of accuracy was raised many times.

After watching it however, i actually enjoyed it quite a bit and was kinda disappointed that it was such a short series and was hoping for more.

I would recommend it.
spooky6
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Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 04:02 PM UTC
Thanks for the fast response, Jeremy. Cheers.
spooky6
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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 10:37 AM UTC
Bought the set, and watched the pilot & three episodes last night. Pretty good stuff. As far as realism goes, I can't tell since I've not been to Iraq, but I don't think any war movie is 100% real, and it's tough to realistically depict an ongoing war. Thought the characters were a bit too sad and intense to be real. no humour at all. 'Jarhead' seemed much more realistic in that way as a depiction of military life.
18Bravo
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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

it was such a short series...


That says volumes about it right there.
spooky6
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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 01:12 PM UTC
Does it not run anymore in the US?
jazza
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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 01:43 PM UTC
You can tell whats currently running on TVs in the US from TV.com


Quoted Text

That says volumes about it right there.



yeah i guess it does which is a shame to be honest. I tend to watch movies and not scrutinise it too much. It is after all Hollywood so you have to expect the usual Hollywood twist to keep viewers watching. I dont expect much hence never really getting disappointed a whole lot.

I guess i am a big fan of war movies....probably explains why i love building armor kits so much.
Whiskey
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 01:16 AM UTC
There were some guys that I knew that liked it just cause they were into anything that went bang bang boom. I know that myself and others in my unit couldnt stand it because it was so inaccurate. I recall an episode where the plt sgt and several other were left at a checkpoint for several dayswithout support. That was total BS. The stories and the things that the actors were doing, from the smallest to the largest details, bothered us. Oh and the girl that went AWOL, that pissed us off cause she went awol for one thing and then had a sexual encounter that shouldnt have been portrayed. We felt it gave the Army a bad image.
Hollowpoint
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 06:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

There were some guys that I knew that liked it just cause they were into anything that went bang bang boom. I know that myself and others in my unit couldnt stand it because it was so inaccurate. I recall an episode where the plt sgt and several other were left at a checkpoint for several dayswithout support. That was total BS. The stories and the things that the actors were doing, from the smallest to the largest details, bothered us. Oh and the girl that went AWOL, that pissed us off cause she went awol for one thing and then had a sexual encounter that shouldnt have been portrayed. We felt it gave the Army a bad image.



Gee, a bit sensitive, aren't we?

Pardon me while I climb onto my soapbox ...

Listen, if the characters aren't flawed, there really is no dramatic interest. The chick going AWOL and fooling around? -- it happens. The drug user? -- it happens. The guy who's wife is an alky and fools around on him? -- it happens (even during FTXs, much less deployments). The Bible-thumper who is a crack sniper? -- it happens. The Iraqi-American soldier? -- it happens. The loud, gung-ho sergeant battling with a series of screw-up officers? -- it happens. Would all these folks be in the same squad in real life? -- probably not, but real life makes a pretty boring TV show (unless you're the Osbornes).

Sure, they play fast and loose with the "details" and the "facts," but they have to to keep things moving.

Example: Most people (me included) think the HBO series "Oz" was a pretty good drama. Was it realistic? NO. I was a prison guard for several years (after being a soldier for many years) and can assure you that 95% of what happened on Oz was pure, total BS. But guess what? It's a TV show -- not a freaking documentary.

Same thing with Over There -- they could have set it in Vietnam, Korea, WWII ... the War of 1812 -- it's just war drama set in a modern conflict.

Now, I like realism in movies as much as the next guy, but you will never, ever find a 100% accurate depiction of war or combat in a movie. Apocalypse Now is total horse-s**t from a military standpoint, but it's still a great flick. I didn't always think that way, but after watching it a few times, I finally got it.

It's fun to nit-pick shows for the wrong details, especially if they are really bad -- like the "Battle of the Bulge" trash. But other times the story outweighs the mistakes. The movie "Patton" comes to mind. As for giving the Army a "bad image," well, don't expect Hollywood to blow any sunshine. I think some of you guys need to stick to re-runs of COMBAT! and John Wayne movies.

Note to Zach: This is not meant to be a personal attack on you and I hope you don't take it that way. I respect and praise your service to the nation. I just disagree with your assessment. While "Over There" is not a great show, I just personally believe it gets worse than it deserves. And guess what? -- in "real" life, I work in public relations for the U.S. Army.

getting off the soapbox now ...
GunTruck
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 06:21 AM UTC
Yikes! I've never seen the show...

If you feel that strongly about how the US Army comes across - drop Iron Eagle into the DVD Player. The Air Force takes it on the chin in Hollywood quite a bit...

Gunnie
Whiskey
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 06:33 AM UTC
Sorry guys, I didnt mean for it to come across as if it was a personal dispute.

Bob, your totally right, its Hollywood and it makes for a great tv show. You described "Oz", and Im sure there are plenty of fireman who think "Rescue Me" is a joke but I think its a good show. There are some interesting things that happen on the show "Over There", I admit that, but to myself and others it looked like they stuck a couple actors in full battle rattle on a set and said hey, go play gi joe.

Anyway I felt in no way shape or fashion personally acttacked Bob, your still cool in my book amigo.
spooky6
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 11:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

a sexual encounter that shouldnt have been portrayed. We felt it gave the Army a bad image.



Sex gives the Army a bad image?????? I'm ex-Army and the only sexual complaint I have about my time in was that I didn't get enough time in! :-) As for image, the movie isn't a recruitment drive, it's entertainment. The producers are not obliged to make anyone look good. As it is, I thought the characters were a bit too intense and 'onside' for comfort.

As for realism, don't you think it's really tough to portray an ongoing war accurately, when vets have such fresh memories? It's easier with older wars where people don't remember things so well.
Hollowpoint
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 12:14 PM UTC

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As for realism, don't you think it's really tough to portray an ongoing war accurately, when vets have such fresh memories? It's easier with older wars where people don't remember things so well.



David -- I think you hit it dead on. If it wasn't such a current conflict, most of the criticism would be limited to "he's got his ammo pouches attached wrong," no one ever had their hair that long" or "that weapon wasn't used until three years later."

Anyone remember the movie "M*A*S*H" with Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould? Anyone really think it was about the Korean War? Heck no, it was about Vietnam. The producers sweated over protests -- from the recent vets and the anti-war crowd ... so they bumped it back a war. (Don't even get me started about what the TV show MASH became all about.)

But you know what? Those TV producers love having us debate the show. The more we yak, the more people tune in to see what the buzz is about. :-)

Until next time, the balcony is closed.

Hollowpoint
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 12:19 PM UTC

Quoted Text

it looked like they stuck a couple actors in full battle rattle on a set and said hey, go play gi joe.



Roger that. But isn't that what making TV shows and movies is all about?
Whiskey
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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2006 - 09:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

a sexual encounter that shouldnt have been portrayed. We felt it gave the Army a bad image.



Sex gives the Army a bad image?????? I'm ex-Army and the only sexual complaint I have about my time in was that I didn't get enough time in! :-) As for image, the movie isn't a recruitment drive, it's entertainment. The producers are not obliged to make anyone look good. As it is, I thought the characters were a bit too intense and 'onside' for comfort.

As for realism, don't you think it's really tough to portray an ongoing war accurately, when vets have such fresh memories? It's easier with older wars where people don't remember things so well.



It was a lesbian scene.
nzgunnie
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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 01:33 AM UTC
All the better, how can any red blooded male have a problem with that
spooky6
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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 10:37 AM UTC

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It was a lesbian scene.



You mean there arn't any gays in the Army? :-) Zach, I watched that episode a couple of nights ago, so I knew it was lesbian, but how does that give the Army a bad image? Heck, run that scene on TV (or better still the next one, where Mrs B gets it on with Dim in the laundry tent) and you'll get more recruits than any of the 'Be All You Can Be' commercials put together!


Quoted Text

All the better, how can any red blooded male have a problem with that



There you go! :-) Most guys don't even consider lesbians (or in this case bisexuals) gay. Just entertaining.

But I understand your point of view, Zach. It's hard not to be defensive when there are mixed feelings about the war you've just fought in. One of my friends directs movies, and his last flick (which won a gold at Cannes) is about the war here in SL. There are several scenes which were controversial in their portrayal of grunts (including rape and drug use), and the public outcry (both from the military and civilians) was so high that he had to pull the film off local cinema screens here in Colombo. I'm a vet, and while I agreed with his right to free expression, I couldn't help but feel that there were many more positive things about soldiers that he chose not to portray. But at the end of the day, it's his view, and it's just one.

Besides, in 'Over There' they've got the weapons and kit accurate enough, so it's a good reference for fig modelling, just like 'Band of Brothers'. Which of course is light years away in terms of quality.
blaster76
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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 01:11 PM UTC
I personally enjoyed the show. To me they got the most important thing right. The comraderie and the I've got your back no matter what. Even the pig headed LT who caught it was mourned by his troops. As the show came out on FX don't write it off as being gone yet. The frst showing of the Nip Tuck series didn't last that long, but now it runs every year. F/X series tend to have short runs, and start up at weird times. They are replaying it again, so it may return.
Spades
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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 08:40 PM UTC
I liked the show when it was out, did I notice some inaccuracies..sure...did not stop me from watching it though. The frustrations and camaraderie are pretty well done. Just hope they would run it again. But..who knows eh? Heck, people still turn in to watch Green Berets w/John Wayne,,,talk about BS. But, its entertaining nonetheless.
sniper
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Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 02:10 AM UTC
Only watched two episodes, maybe not even all the way through. I don't have much time for TV anymore and when I do watch its usually a news documentary like Frontline or a History Channel show.

From what I could tell it seemed like a slightly above average drama. Just the subject matter didn't appeal to me as I would rather be seeing the real thing for myself and it's odd to have a fictionalized account of something playing itself out on the nightly news.

As far as 'dissing' the military - who cares. I'm really getting tired of this 'hero' business. It's great to serve but not everyone that does is a role model or even a person you would want as a neighbor. People are people and they take their flaws with them. It's true in all walks of life and I'm sure for every 'bad' thing a character in the show did there was at least one or two 'good' things that balanced it out.

When did people get so sensitive anyway? If a politician, no matter what side they are on, says anything even remotely critical of the 'troops' they are in big trouble. I think this sensitivity has a chilling effect.

Steve
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Posted: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 02:23 AM UTC
it has only just started to be aired over here and i have caught the first couple of episodes and i like it,
Historically accurate or not.

redleg