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Fury Movie Discussion.

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Speaking of Dunkirk

Meanwhile at Paddy's Bar up in Heaven. Paddy serves Brian his lunchtime G'n'T and pours himself a pint of Black.

Paddy:- "So Mr. Jorrocks, sir. What do you'se think of this heres movie about Dunkirk?"

Brian:- "Well, Sgt. I thought that that Attenborough chappy was pretty good. Although some of my chums at The Army and Navy Club say that he is a bit of a Bolshy. And that he plans on becoming a director, and making a movie about Arnhem with some chinless wonder called Fox playing me."

Paddy:- "Ah, Mr. Jorrocks, sir. In the name of the Baby Jesus it'll never happen." 

Richard Attenborough Dunkirk.jpg

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Brian :-  "Oh, look my glass is empty. Top her up Sgt, and have another one for yourself."

Paddy :- "Ah, bless yer very soul Mr Jorrocks, sir. Do you'se remember that cafe on the beach that we stopped off at on the ways to the mole? I grabbed you their last bottle of Gordons, and helped meself to last of their John Martin's Guinness."

hunt-robert-still-taken-from-the-dunkirk-film-depicting-wounded-soldiers-near-dunkirk.jpg

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Haven't written something in a long time...

 

Even though I will propably get a lot of Flak for it, here's my 2 cents about Fury:

Basically I think they got the look and feel, as well as the psychology quite well depicted. The tactical situations are outright crap.

On the upside is of course the production design, which is detailed to the max - it depicts a US Army which is fed up with war and worn out from unexpected losses. Thus the rag-tag appearance.

Then there is the psychology, which from my stand point is pretty well depicted. What some here call clichés is really just what happens with people in war. Every human being has a good and a bad side. And in every war the bad side is brought out and has to be lived to the maximum, because that is the demand war places on the individual. This is something very disturbing for most people, because generally people think of themselves as good. They are shocked by the amount of violence they are actually capable of, because we all learn to harness these violent urges in society until we forget about them. And it is hard to stay human to some level while you have to act out your bad side all the time just to stay alive.

Now look at 'War Daddy' (Brad Pitt) and his crew.  His character is based on Sgt. 'War Daddy' Poole, one of the most sucsessful Tank Commanders in WWII. He and his crew served from 6/1944 until 9/1944 when they got shot up by an Panther. In this time they officially destroyed 12 tanks, 258 AFVs and killed over 1000 German soldiers. Now what do you think it does with your soul, your psyche to kill a thousand men in 81 days? You become torn. It doesn't really matter if it is justified killing or not, you have slaughtered massive amounts of your kind. I think this is what this film depicts brilliantly.

'War Daddy' knows his job, he is able to kill without hesitation. That is what he and his crew need to do to survive. And he knows the new guy will lower theyr chances, if he f***s up. So he teaches him how to kill, it's a must. A live doesn't matter much in mechanized war. Especially one of a German Soldier, why should it after killing a thousand of them?!? So he uses one as training object. By the way it happened in real-life, too. When the Jagdtiger-Companies arrived at the front in 1945, they had their sucsesses. Destroyed about 50 Shermans in a couple of days. Afterwards the GIs were very angry that the Germans still made such a needless stand, when they had clearly lost already, and about 200-300 POWs got shot im a couple of incidents.

Its the nature of war, I don't blame any GI for that (I am German FYI).

For me, 'Fury' shows the nature of war* and what it does to the soul perfectly.

 

*(full spectrum, mechanized warfare, insurgencies are a different thing)

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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 12:08 AM, Col Deadmarsh said:

I'm watching this now for the first time and I'm already put off by one of the scenes. They've just finished killing off the AT guns by the tree line and then want to execute the German soldier...oh wait...I meant Nazi...cause every German is an evil Nazi in these films. So not only do we have this ridiculousness, but I'm supposed to identify with American soldiers who want to illegally kill this unarmed prisoner. WTF?

Have you ever heard the expression, 'After that, we didn't take prisoners for a while'?
Everyone did it at one point or another. Don't get all high-and-mighty.

On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 12:08 AM, Col Deadmarsh said:

It's sick how the men who run the Hollywood studios try to get the public to believe these lies against the German people. Do you think that if this movie took place in the Pacific, they'd have our heroes executing a Japanese POW?  Doubtful.    

Lies against the German people? Oh, DO go on!

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 2:30 PM, SLIM said:

Have you ever heard the expression, 'After that, we didn't take prisoners for a while'?
Everyone did it at one point or another. Don't get all high-and-mighty.

The problem for me with the AT gun scene is not necessarily that prisoners were shot and killed by individual soldiers.  I'm sure that happened.  I'm sure American soldiers did it on occasion in the heat of the moment.  Perhaps even fully controlled German prisoners may have been executed by American soldiers in instances where they weren't certain of being able to move them off to POW camps.  Certainly in the Pacific so many Japanese soldiers were hiding grenades and other things that it was probably difficult to trust any Japanese soldier who was attempting to surrender since it was a rarity and when it did happen there was a high probability of being tricked.  SS soldiers who surrendered or were captured would frequently act like arrogant jerks from what I have read and so I'm sure if someone was giving you attitude that it would be a lot easier to pull the trigger.  The problem for me with that scene is this - prisoners have intelligence value.  Units send patrols out to capture prisoners as their main objective so commanders know the value of prisoners.  Brad Pitt is not the only officer present during this attack or the aftermath.  Where was the infantry company commander?  Was the infantry a battalion sized group?  I don't remember.  If so where was the infantry battalion commander?  Where were all the other company commanders and platoon commanders?  That's the problem for me.  The scene appears to portray Brad Pitt executing a German soldier with the full cooperation of every single American soldier who happens to be standing around after the attack.  That changes the execution portrayal from one of 'well that's just war and people do things that are unsavory' to one of 'well that's war and American soldiers institutionally executed enemy soldiers attempting to surrender."  If Brad Pitt's character simply shot the guy and everyone else sort of looked around and thought - what just happened?  Well that's one thing.  That's not how the scene went as I remember it.  The entire American task force was basically standing around watching with approval as Brad Pitt executes a German soldier.  If the German soldier was in the SS then perhaps it would be a little more believable / understandable but because it is just a random dude who isn't a fanatic it makes no sense (at least I don't remember him as being in the SS - if he was then my opinion might change although I still probably wouldn't like it).  Commanders understand the intelligence value that prisoners have and for Brad Pitt to go through that whole scene without a single officer from the other units present at least making an effort to talk him out of his execution during his long diatribe with the prisoner seems more like an attack on the US Army as an institution than the portrayal of a soldier who had been desensitized by war.  After the scene with the women and the scene with the AT gun I basically couldn't watch it any more and had to turn it off.  They had some stuff with shooting Germans attempting to surrender in Band of Brothers and there was some of that in Saving Private Ryan too and they manage to pull that off okay.  This movie takes it to an extreme though. 

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1 hour ago, ASL Veteran said:

seems more like an attack on the US Army as an institution than the portrayal of a soldier who had been desensitized by war.  After the scene with the women and the scene with the AT gun I basically couldn't watch it any more and had to turn it off.   

+1.  This.  Well .................. I started to go on a rant about Hollywood etc. caught myself and deleted it................. but yes +1.       

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6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

That changes the execution portrayal from one of 'well that's just war and people do things that are unsavory' to one of 'well that's war and American soldiers institutionally executed enemy soldiers attempting to surrender."

I disagree. The purpose of the scene was to force the new guy to kill someone. The prisoner was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
No one else at the scene seemed to be preparing to kill the guy.
They kicked him a few times, and yelled at him, but the specter of execution wasn't raised until, "Hey new guy, get over here, I need to teach you something!"

6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

They had some stuff with shooting Germans attempting to surrender in Band of Brothers and there was some of that in Saving Private Ryan too and they manage to pull that off okay.  This movie takes it to an extreme though. 

The true horrifying nature of the scene in Saving Private Ryan isn't gained at first viewing, or maybe never if you're not a Czech speaker.
The man with his hands raised yelled something, roughly translated:
"We are not Germans, we are Czech! We haven't killed anyone, we just want to surrender! Please don't shoot us!"
Then they get shot by a Ranger who jokingly mocks the man raising a hand and saying "Look, I washed for supper!"

EDIT: Meanwhile, the German ("Steamboat Willie") they captured later at the radar site is under the specter of execution from the very first moment the audience lays eyes on him, and if Captain Miller had condoned his death, I don't think anyone in the audience would have questioned his decision.
However, the man is spared, yet comes back later to kill Captain Miller, and is then executed after surrendering again, by Cpl. Upham (the guy who got him released in the first place).
The message obviously being that some people are beyond redemption, and some enemies are better off dead, because the guy you let go may come back again.

SPR is a far more complex film than most people see at first glance.

Edited by SLIM

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6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

Commanders understand the intelligence value that prisoners have and for Brad Pitt to go through that whole scene without a single officer from the other units present at least making an effort to talk him out of his execution during his long diatribe with the prisoner seems more like an attack on the US Army as an institution than the portrayal of a soldier who had been desensitized by war.

I don't see it that way, but personal perception is by it's nature, personal.

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39 minutes ago, SLIM said:

I disagree. The purpose of the scene was to force the new guy to kill someone. The prisoner was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
No one else at the scene seemed to be preparing to kill the guy.
They kicked him a few times, and yelled at him, but the specter of execution wasn't raised until, "Hey new guy, get over here, I need to teach you something!"

The true horrifying nature of the scene in Saving Private Ryan isn't gained at first viewing, or maybe never if you're not a Czech speaker.
The man with his hands raised yelled something, roughly translated:
"We are not Germans, we are Czech! We haven't killed anyone, we just want to surrender! Please don't shoot us!"
Then they get shot by a Ranger who jokingly mocks the man raising a hand and saying "Look, I washed for supper!"

EDIT: Meanwhile, the German ("Steamboat Willie") they captured later at the radar site is under the specter of execution from the very first moment the audience lays eyes on him, and if Captain Miller had condoned his death, I don't think anyone in the audience would have questioned his decision.
However, the man is spared, yet comes back later to kill Captain Miller, and is then executed after surrendering again, by Cpl. Upham (the guy who got him released in the first place).
The message obviously being that some people are beyond redemption, and some enemies are better off dead, because the guy you let go may come back again.

SPR is a far more complex film than most people see at first glance.

Yes, but in SPR the difference is in the scale.  Captain Miller only has about a squad of men with him when these things take place.  The Czech guys are what I would describe as 'heat of the moment' type of things.  The radar site is the closest approximation to the AT gun in Fury but the scene in Fury has an entire battalion standing around.  It is much easier to do something with just a squad of men around that you know and have fought with for years rather than an entire battalion of guys you don't even know.  Presumably there might be one officer in a battalion who might think that maybe the guy has something of value to tell the S2 rather than simply putting a bullet in him.  Brad Pitt doesn't know any of those infantrymen who he is in the task force with so how would he know if there were any Colonels or Captains who might not appreciate what he was doing?  He would be taking a risk - perhaps a small one but a risk nevertheless that someone might make a big deal out of it.  The group dynamic in SPR is done much better than the dynamic in Fury.  Fury comes across as ham fisted and disrespectful.

Yes, I also know that the scene was the vehicle to develop the new guy, but there are other ways of doing it. 

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9 minutes ago, ASL Veteran said:

The radar site is the closest approximation to the AT gun in Fury but the scene in Fury has an entire battalion standing around.

There is not an entire battalion in that scene. It's a platoon of tanks, a platoon of infantry, and the few survivors of the previous attack. Brad Pitt seems to be the only officer present.

EDIT: He's not an officer, I forgot.

 

9 minutes ago, ASL Veteran said:

The group dynamic in SPR is done much better than the dynamic in Fury.  Fury comes across as ham fisted and disrespectful.
Yes, I also know that the scene was the vehicle to develop the new guy, but there are other ways of doing it. 

Now there, we agree. SPR is a finely honed scalpel, while Fury is a baseball bat.
I just don't see the "disrespectful" part. They set out to make the theme of the movie as "War is all hell" and they did.
Bluntly, and forcefully, but they got their point across.

I guess being a lifelong history student lets me simply disregard the excessive "poetic license". That stuff just falls out of my brain.

Edited by SLIM

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40 minutes ago, SLIM said:

I don't see it that way, but personal perception is by it's nature, personal.

The problem is in the scale and who is present.  What if Major Winters from Band of Brothers was in command of the infantry and Brad Pitt was doing his thing?  How do you think Major Winters would react?  I think he would react poorly.  That's the thing - Brad Pitt doesn't know any of those infantry guys and yet he feels comfortable enough in those unfamiliar surroundings to force the new guy to execute a prisoner in front of everyone.  

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3 minutes ago, ASL Veteran said:

What if Major Winters from Band of Brothers was in command of the infantry and Brad Pitt was doing his thing?  How do you think Major Winters would react?  I think he would react poorly.

He would, but he wasn't there, and upon further review, neither were any other officers, even the infantry were led by a noncom.

Edited by SLIM

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3 minutes ago, SLIM said:

There is not an entire battalion in that scene. It's a platoon of tanks, a platoon of infantry, and the few survivors of the previous attack. Brad Pitt seems to be the only officer present.

 

Now there, we agree. SPR is a finely honed scalpel, while Fury is a baseball bat.
I just don't see the "disrespectful" part. They set out to make the theme of the movie as "War is all hell" and they did.
Bluntly, and forcefully, but they got their point across.

I guess being a lifelong history student lets me simply disregard the excessive "poetic license". That stuff just falls out of my brain.

I don't remember exactly how many guys were there, but I seem to recall Brad Pitt being in charge of a battlegroup or task force of some sort which is typically going to be about a battalion in size.  So I'm accounting to what I would expect would be the size of the task force since there would be those standing in the immediate vicinity and then there would be others nearby out of the camera's view.  If it was just two platoons in the entire task force then I think it would be a bit more palatable, but once again I think it was poorly done.

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1 minute ago, ASL Veteran said:

I don't remember exactly how many guys were there, but I seem to recall Brad Pitt being in charge of a battlegroup or task force of some sort which is typically going to be about a battalion in size.  So I'm accounting to what I would expect would be the size of the task force since there would be those standing in the immediate vicinity and then there would be others nearby out of the camera's view.  If it was just two platoons in the entire task force then I think it would be a bit more palatable, but once again I think it was poorly done.

Yeah, I'm watching the scene again right now.
There's four tanks, with infantry riding them.
Overall, it looks like an understrength platoon, and they rescue about a squad's worth of dudes from the previous attack.
That's all.
Given the fact Brad Pitt is a staff sergeant and is in overall command leads me to believe he's the highest ranking person present.
In the incident in question, there are only seventeen guys present, and you can see in the background other Germans being captured, and not killed.

Poorly done? All I can do is shrug, and re-iterate my earlier statement that personal perception is different for everyone.

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Fair enough.  The size of the force makes the incident come off a little better, however Brad Pitt seems to feel that he can do what he did in the presence of soldiers he doesn't know without any fear of punishment and that implies that it is both common and consequence free throughout the entire US Army as a whole.  If the infantry weren't in the scene then that would mitigate the institutional aspect of it for me.  They could have done the same thing with just the tank crew and maybe an infantryman or two present and it would have gotten the point across.  Adding the infantry platoon isn't necessary in the scene in my opinion and it is that aspect that made me stop watching the movie not the execution itself.  Well, that and the thing with the women which I had trouble watching.  You stack both of those together and I was like 'okay, I'm done - nothing of value to see here.' 

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Besides it only being a platoon(-) that Pitt's Sherman platoon is  rescuing, the captured German was wearing a US greatcoat, which pissed some of the GIs off for obvious reasons. And when earlier discussing the rescue plan with the Infantry company commander, both he and Pitt were bemoaning the fact that the Germans just won't quit when they know they've lost.  I'd have been a little unhappy, too.

Edited by mjkerner

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Fury struck me as a western version of those lurid WWII fantasy movies that are coming out of Russia these days. You could have stuck them in a T-34-85 and had them driving screen right-to-left instead of screen left-to-right and it would have been a typical Russian action film. Actually, the Sherman was a lend-lease diesel so they wouldn't have had to change tanks, just uniforms. None of the crew seemed particularly 'American', they were just cartoonishly broad generic types.

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The problem with the execution of the German scene is not that it happened, we know from GI memoirs and verbal testimony that it happened.  It was the forcing the new guy to kill him, and the prolonged nature of the scene that put it beyond the pale.  That plus everyone in that tank acted more like scum of the Earth then worn out soldiers.

 

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