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The Worst War Movies Ever
November 25, 2011 4:30 AM   Subscribe

Danger Room, the tech magazine Wired's section for covering military and security matters, have compiled The Worst War Movies Ever, From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back for your Friday list viewing pleasure.
posted by Harald74 (46 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The scene from "Meet the Feebles" is astonishing.
posted by vincele at 4:51 AM on November 25, 2011


The scene from "Meet the Feebles" is astonishing.
posted by daniel_charms at 4:56 AM on November 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Not that you expect too much from a big-name Hollywood film, but I remember being disappointed in Windtalkers because what could and should have been an interesting story about the contribution of Navajo code talkers in WWII got completely buried by the perceived need to have Nicholas Cage's celeb power; if I recall correctly has him doing that lone-charge-of-the-enemy scene with the gun that somehow never runs out of bullets. Not actually seen any on this list, which I suppose makes me lucky.
posted by Abiezer at 4:57 AM on November 25, 2011


I love the way he anticipates an attack on The Empire Strikes Back, first by deploying the line Just hear me out before you post snide comments, all right? and then ultimately capitulating by saying Aside from that, The Empire Strikes Back is the greatest film ever made.

A genius of military strategy, this guy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:58 AM on November 25, 2011


U-571 has to be up there as it achieves the almost impossible in being a boring film set on board a submarine.

It has the Americans capturing an Enigma machine instead of the British - who captured a machine before America even entered the war, a submarine being strafed by what appears to be a post war Italian training aircraft coming out of nowhere in the middle of the Atlantic and, if I remember correctly, one submerged submarine hitting another with a torpedo which was pretty much impossible back then and only happened once right at the end of the war. It's also got a German destroyer out in the mid Atlantic in 1942, apparently on a suicide mission, and has its depth charges exploding right next to the sub without destroying it which is always annoying in films. It also shows German submariners mowing down stricken sailors, which hardly ever happened either.

According to IMDB it's also got twist off beer bottles, addidas training shoes and, well, when a real German U boat commander was asked about it on the History channel he said "They got one thing right in the movie. There were U-Boats in the North Atlantic during the Second World War." What's worse, it's also got Matthew McConaughey. Naturally, it was a pretty big hit and won an Oscar.
posted by joannemullen at 5:01 AM on November 25, 2011 [22 favorites]


Ackerman's always a great read. As a counterpoint, here's a list of good war movies from Tom Ricks' blog a few weeks back, with lots of interesting discussion in the comments.
posted by Rangeboy at 5:03 AM on November 25, 2011


The scene from "Meet the Feebles" is astonishing.

With a recommendation like that, I'm gonna have to see the whole movie as soon as possible.
posted by vincele at 5:03 AM on November 25, 2011


(Above comment was directed to daniel charms, oops.)
posted by vincele at 5:04 AM on November 25, 2011


What's worse, it's also got Matthew McConaughey.

This is the greatest horror of that film.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 5:19 AM on November 25, 2011


joannemullen: I would strongly advise you never to see Inglourious Basterds.
posted by biffa at 5:24 AM on November 25, 2011


Having sat through "Death Proof" there's no chance of me ever seeing another film by Tarantino, biffa.
posted by joannemullen at 5:36 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As long as Matthew McConaughey was leaning against something and taking his shirt off, those Oscars pretty much won themselves.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:02 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's probably a good thing that Dead Presidents is mostly forgotten. The Hughes brothers might still be dealing with the fallout to their careers.

Now, I haven't seen this movie, but I had thought that it launched the Hughes brothers' careers.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:22 AM on November 25, 2011


Who can forget this immortal line by Matty Mc in U571?: Naw, man. That's what I like about these Nazis; I get older, they stay the same age.
posted by Renoroc at 6:24 AM on November 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


Who can forget this immortal line by Matty Mc in U571?: Naw, man. That's what I like about these Nazis; I get older, they stay the same age.
posted by Renoroc


"Do you know what the Nazis are planning?"
"No"
"It'd be a lot cooler if you did..."
posted by stifford at 6:49 AM on November 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Naw, man. That's what I like about these Nazis; I get older, they stay the same age.

That perfectly describes the History Channel's audience and business model.
posted by condour75 at 7:05 AM on November 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


Now, I haven't seen this movie, but I had thought that it launched the Hughes brothers' careers.

It's pretty important that you go see Menace II Society at your earliest convenience.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:48 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


All of the "Star Wars" movies are crappy as war movies. That goes without saying, but the author could have picked one of the 'prequel trilogy' without being trollbait. And isn't ANY 'war movie' starring a Big Name Action Hero (Norris, Stallone, Schwarzenegger - heck, "Predator" is about a poorly-thought-out commando mission) automatically a BAD war movie?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:05 AM on November 25, 2011


All of the "Star Wars" movies are crappy as war movies. That goes without saying, but the author could have picked one of the 'prequel trilogy' without being trollbait.

Eh. If he attacked the prequel trilogy, it would have just been low hanging fruit, and I do agree with him on at least critiquing the military assaults in Star Wars. Although it's also a fairy tail, a romance, and a training movie, I would say that the Empire Strikes Back is still a war movie. It's not set just during the back drop for a civil war; it is about a small group of fighters that are both trying to achieve objectives and evade capture, especially in a military model. I might not agree with everything he says (or even the nature of the article), but he didn't exactly step on sacred ground here.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:12 AM on November 25, 2011


The Imperial AT walker is just an entirely ridiculous concept. High center of gravity? 2 legs? What could go wrong? But it looks cool, which is, I guess, what counts in the movie.
posted by thelonius at 8:16 AM on November 25, 2011


Qualities of the films aside, the reasons given for them being bad war movies are pretty crap. Iron Man is a bad war movie because it was mildly embarrasing for the USAF? Firstly we have to buy that iron Man being a war move, when clearly it is not. Then we are supposed to buy in to the idea that mild embarrassment for the US military, and the possibility that some of the criticism of the mililtary might port over from the comic to the film, is a criteria to judge a war movie. Clearly this is also not the case, many good or great war movies have been very critical of the military. The next film is criticised becasue Vietnam veterans might not like it, what kind of criteria is that for film criticism? I'll tell you - utterly fucking useless.
posted by biffa at 8:40 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


U-571 is a thrilling movie, I don't care about the historical mistakes.
posted by techmen at 9:03 AM on November 25, 2011


The Imperial AT walker is just an entirely ridiculous concept. High center of gravity? 2 legs? What could go wrong? But it looks cool, which is, I guess, what counts in the movie.

Whoa there, AT-ATs have four legs; AT-STs have two
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ah, I need to refresh my memory of classic films. 4 legs good, 2 legs bad.
posted by thelonius at 12:01 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let us not bemoan the merely mediocre war movies that overreach, like "The Big Red One" or "Troy."

There can be something important about really bad war movies. I will give my favorite example, a WWII movie made at the peak of the VietNam war in 1969, a movie that deliberately invokes all the war movie cliches and mutilates them so badly that it becomes brilliant: Sydney Pollack's "Castle Keep."
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2011


Talking shit about 'Meet the Feebles', the fuck is wrong with this guy?

I thought that sub-plot was a rather sensitive depiction of a man dealing with PTSD.

I was also pretty fond of 'Dead Presidents' but that's just a movie, 'Meet the Feebles' is a classic that will never die.
posted by BigSky at 12:59 PM on November 25, 2011


This thread and that clip introduced me to Meet the Feebles. It is now at the top of my must watch list.

Actually, I'll all the movies on this list on my watch list, because they all sound AWESOME.
posted by formless at 1:33 PM on November 25, 2011


I had assumed Menace II Society was John Singleton, for some reason, and never heard the name 'Hughes Brothers' until Dead Presidents came out.
Now I know better.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:50 PM on November 25, 2011


John Singleton was 'Higher Learning,' which is a different kind of bad movie.
posted by box at 2:02 PM on November 25, 2011


Lots of "Danger Room" talk this week, are they trying to rehab their image after their Manning/Lamo failures?
posted by rhizome at 4:09 PM on November 25, 2011


Singleton did the infinitely inferior Boyz in the Hood
posted by to sir with millipedes at 6:39 PM on November 25, 2011


The Hughes brothers were also responsible for mangling FROM HELL into the atrocious mess that finally made it to the screen - a movie that made just about every mistake of gender politics and history that Alan Moore derided in his "Gull Catchers" essay at the end of the comic. That's pretty good going, to produce a movie that isn't just bad but is actually bad in a way that the work you are adapting spent some time and energy warning you about.
posted by lucien_reeve at 12:05 AM on November 26, 2011


Boyz in the Hood

This is actually Boyz n the Hood.
posted by biffa at 2:55 AM on November 26, 2011


Like Sunday n the Park with George.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:15 AM on November 26, 2011


So, does the "n" in Boyz N The Hood mean "in" or "and"? Or something else? Is it supposed to be pronounced like boysenberry?
posted by The World Famous at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2011


So, does the "n" in Boyz N The Hood mean "in" or "and"?

I hadn't even thought it might be read as "and". So, would that make it a kid-friendly sequel to Arms n the Man.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:05 AM on November 26, 2011


Let us not bemoan the merely mediocre war movies that overreach, like "The Big Red One" or "Troy."

That may have been true for years, but the "director's cut" of the "Big Red One" restores much of the missing story line. The movie almost makes sense now.
posted by Gungho at 9:47 AM on November 27, 2011


So, does the "n" in Boyz N The Hood mean "in" or "and"?

It means both.
posted by rhizome at 12:05 PM on November 27, 2011


It means both.

Interesting. I suppose "the Hood" refers both to the neighborhood and to the hoods on each of their respective sweatshirts.
posted by The World Famous at 10:23 AM on November 28, 2011


Nope, that one pretty much always means, "neighborhood."
posted by rhizome at 3:43 PM on November 28, 2011


Robin Neighborhood? I guess that sort of makes sense. There were robberies "N" the neighborhood.
posted by The World Famous at 4:14 PM on November 28, 2011


Context still matters.
posted by rhizome at 4:19 PM on November 28, 2011


It's been a while since I watched Boyz N The Hood. But I do seem to recall at least one character who could fairly be described as a hood, and more than one boy.
posted by The World Famous at 5:09 PM on November 28, 2011


Wheels within wheels, man.
posted by rhizome at 5:13 PM on November 28, 2011


Dood
posted by The World Famous at 5:26 PM on November 28, 2011


I make dough, but don't call me Doughboy.
posted by box at 5:59 PM on November 28, 2011


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