Saturday, December 15, 2012

Zero Dark Thirty

As I've noted before, I am not really sure why I continue to get passes to many press previews of movies, but every once in a while, I do have the time and interest to go see one ahead of time and I saw Zero Dark Thirty and came away entertained, but as usual disappointed as to how Hollywood distorts historical events in order to make a film... ahhh... entertaining.

My basic issue with Zero Dark Thirty, and almost every single Hollywood movie allegedly representing a historical event, is that I am a pedantic Virgo, who tends to over notice little "wrong" things about celluloid history... little things such as a military ribbon out of place, an uncovered salute from a sailor, a wrong line.

To start, the very start of the movie is made up and never happened. But even before the start of the movie I have an issue.

"How can you have an issue before the movie starts, Lenster? ", you ask.

The title is wrong.

No one in the military says "Zero Dark Thirty."  The statement used to depict a very early hour in the day is "O Dark Thirty" -- "O" as in the letter; not "Zero" -- and I understand that this may confuse some folks who never served, but if I'm going to be pedantic, then I might as well start with an erroneous title.

Back to the start of the movie.

There were only three people terrorists who were water boarded by the CIA in their effort to gather intelligence from the bad guys (and thousands of US military people as part of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) school - at least when I was in, being water boarded was part of the school curriculum); the dude being water boarded in the movie was not one of them, so why make that up?

That's two strikes already, and we're not even finished the first few minutes of the film, but Hollywood has already seeded suspicion about nearly everything that follows and that bugs the pedantic me.

The vast left wing nut house is going bananas over this film because it thinks that it is too flattering to the CIA, to the US Government, to whatever... they also rightly complain about perceived historical inaccuracies (although I didn't recall any such complaints on equally intellectually dishonest efforts such as Oliver Stone's "W" or Michael Moore's pick any documentary).

As a work of historical fiction, the film was splendid in its entertainment factor... and Hollywood will tell you that it is a "film and not a documentary." The problem is that a lot more people will see this film, and take it for a full, true story, than will ever read the actual facts about the OBL hunt.

Art Purchase Awards

Heading out to hand out some art purchase awards from the Prince George's County Arts and Cultural Heritage Division... congrats to Robert W Kincheloe, Ric Garcia and Celestine Ranney-Howes!