David Knights' Weblog

January 17, 2020

Wow

Filed under: General — dknights @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

This lady dodged a bullet, well sort of.

January 11, 2020

Movie review: 1917 (2019)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , ,

Short version: Go see it.  Right away.

OK, longer version.  This is an amazing piece of film-making. The story is straightforward.  Two British soldiers in WWI are tasked with crossing ground recently occupied by the withdrawing German army to reach a unit that is about to attack into a trap.  They carry orders cancelling the attack.  To add to the drama, one of the two soldiers has a brother in the unit they are trying to reach in time to cancel the attack.

Through some digital trickery the film is shot as a single continuous tracking shot.  This has the effect of making the viewer feel as if they are on the journey with these two soldiers.  The tension builds throughout the film, with several twists which add to the story.  The uniforms, equipment and sets are amazing.  I can’t praise this film highly enough.  Nothing I can tell you will do it justice.  I will say that I think it is one of the best portrayals of a soldier’s experience that I have ever seen in a movie.  The film is greatly aided by several well known actors in small supporting roles.

5 stars.  Go see this film.

January 9, 2020

I laughed

Filed under: General — dknights @ 11:42 am
Tags:

Ok, yes, I laughed.

January 6, 2020

Something odd

Filed under: General — dknights @ 5:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

I am currently reading The Gulag Archipelago Vol.1 by Solzhenitsyn.  I’d always wanted to read it and it is a compelling read.  But, I’ve been struck by something.  He was an officer in an artillery battery, who had been cited for bravery on at least one occasion, involved in fighting in the Baltic countries and East Prussia when he was arrested in early 1945.  I know from reading histories of combat on the eastern front in WWII that by 1945 the Russian army was desperate for soldiers.  There are many accounts of units being made up of old men, and woman in all the support roles right behind the front.  Wing Commander Robert Roland Stanford Tuck, in his autobiography, mentions that when he escaped captivity in 1945 and moved east thru the Soviet lines how horrific the Soviet losses were and the poor quality of the soldiers in the units were. Yet, even given this situation, the Soviets were still combing thru their combat units trying to weed out dissenters and “political criminals.” (Keep in mind, Solzhenitsyn’s crime was being obliquely critical of the Soviet government in letters to a fellow officer.  It wasn’t like he was organizing a counterrevolution)  This just struck me as bizarre.  Go read the book.  It is compelling.

January 3, 2020

Movie review: Unknown Soldier (2017)

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Previously I viewed Winter War, a Finnish film that told the story of the Winter war between Finland and the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1940.  I followed that film up with another film from Terry’s Movie Vault; Unknown Soldier.  This movie follows a Finnish machine gun company thru the Continuation War, which is what the Finns call the War Between Finland and the Soviet Union from 1941-1944.  The book is based on a novel of the same name that is considered THE novel of this period in Finnish history.  This is the 3rd film based on the novel to be made in Finland.  When it was made in 2017, it was the most expensive film ever made in Finland.

The money spent shows.  The film has wonderful sets, and the cinematography of the beautiful Finnish countryside is dramatic and wonderful.  The uniforms and props are very detailed and appear to be period correct.  The fact that the film had a big budget (at least big for a Finnish film) shows in the film.  Its look is indistinguishable from any Hollywood release.

Unknown Soldier

While I don’t want to give away the entire plot, the film basically follow this

machine gun company from the start of the Continuation War in 1941 thru their recapture of the land lost in the 1939-40 war and then into the Soviet Union proper and their capture of a Soviet city.  Then the unit digs in, WWI style and spends 2 years holding their ground and beating off Soviet probes.  Finally the Soviets, having gotten the Germans in hand, devote resources to the Finnish front and go on to recapture the territory lost in 1941.  With the Soviet assault, we get to see a T-34/85 and a couple of T-34/76s used in the film and they appeared to be authentic.

The film is well acted with the members of the machine gun company consisting of archetypes; the grizzled veteran, the idealistic young officer, the comedian, and so on.  The characters will be instantly recognizable to any viewer who has seen US war films.  The film is in Finnish and has only subtitles.  There isn’t a dubbed version.  While subtitles don’t both me, they do both some viewers and it can become tiresome reading them over the films entire 3 hour length.  Finally, there are some moments in the movie where you can tell that there is something that is referred to is culturally significant and would be easily understood by a Finnish moviegoer, but is lost on one who doesn’t have the Finnish cultural background.

It is a long movie, but worth watching, especially for the cinematography, scenery and Finnish army equipment details.  4 out of 5 stars.

January 1, 2020

Happy 2020

Filed under: General — dknights @ 11:27 pm
Tags:

2019 was a decent year for the blog.  It had the most visitors since 2015.  Over 5100 people visited and there were over 680 posts (about 2 a day.)

For 2020 my goals are:

  1. More modeling content including more photos and reports on actual modeling.  (That means I’ll have to model more, but I am willing to make that sacrifice for you, dear reader.)
  2. At least one post every day.  I need to take more advantage of the scheduling function for posts.
  3. More book reviews.
  4. Some new surprises.
  5. I’ll continue to post on real world military developments, military and space technology while keeping American politics to a minimum.

I hope to keep these promises to you.  Please comment freely and let me know what you want and what you like.

December 20, 2019

Good news

Filed under: General — dknights @ 1:03 pm
Tags: , ,

This is really good news.  Ebola had the ability to become an epidemic.

December 11, 2019

Good

Filed under: General — dknights @ 1:43 am
Tags: , , ,

News here. As it should be. Fair winds and following seas.

December 10, 2019

Simply amazing

Filed under: General — dknights @ 7:18 pm
Tags: , ,

Story here. Be sure to watch the video that accompanies the news story. I’ve driven down that road before. Simply amazing.

December 6, 2019

First US licensed female pilot

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:57 am
Tags: , , , ,

Harriet Quimby, 1911.  Also the first female pilot to fly across the English Channel.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: