All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

See, this is why I continue being a best picture completist – it gets me to watch some good movies I was planning to skip. This year when they announced the ten nominees I had already seen six of them and was planning to see another three. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is the only one I’d had no desire to see. In fact I’d been hoping it wouldn’t get nominated, and felt a little resentment that according to my self-imposed rules I was gonna have to watch it.

I have no familiarity with the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Ramarque, the 1930 film version by Lewis Milestone, or the 1979 tv version, so my skepticism was not about being a purist. I just had heard an impassioned argument that it’s a movie with cool battle scenes that turn a powerful anti-war story into some SAVING PRIVATE RYAN shit about heroism and sacrifice. And that didn’t sound like something I wanted to see.

But I did see it, and I’m glad, because I honestly can’t even contemplate how anybody would think even one moment of this movie was about heroic sacrifice. I thought it was a brilliant cinematic illustration of the sheer pointlessness of war. This is not just war is hell. This is war is savage, inhuman, purposeless, madness. A sickness that men with their pride and egos and inadequacies inflict on themselves, on others, on the earth, and once they get the ball rolling it’s easier to keep pushing it then try to stop it.

It begins, like the title says, with quiet. There are occasional hints of THE THIN RED LINE here in images of nature minding its own business in the middle of a combat zone. A mother fox is in her den, feeding her cubs. On a nearby field the fog clears to reveal the leftovers of a battle – motionless bodies splayed everywhere, covered in morning frost. The tableau starts to be peppered here and there with spots of black powder and smoke as (stray?) bullets and shells fly in from the distance, even though from the looks of it there hasn’t been a living soul on this field for hours.

When we jump back to the battle itself there’s nothing remotely glorious about it. Everyone is screaming in terror, some soldiers are shivering, people get shot dead out of nowhere. We follow one soldier running, panting, whimpering, seeming to survive out of sheer random luck as strangers and friends alike die in front of him, behind him, beside him, on top of him. He’s not just in over his head. He’s at the bottom of an insurmountable abyss. He pulls out a shovel, screams and hacks at a guy with it like he’s an ax maniac. Cut to title. Cut to a mountain of grey corpses being pulled out, dumped into the mud, undressed.

This is when I knew this was something better than I’d expected. The first thing after the title is a montage that treats dead soldiers as a massive undertaking in garbage disposal and recycling. The corpses are lined up like cars in a junkyard. Coffins are stacked and covered in lyme. Boots are removed and collected in enormous mounds. Huge wads of bloodied uniforms are wrapped in sheets and loaded into trains, then transferred to trucks, then warehouses. They are laundered in huge pools, brought to factories where they are repaired and restitched, then folded, packed up and driven over to suit up the next batch of recruits.

And then we meet some of them. Paul (Felix Kammerer) rides into town on his bike to meet up with his buddies. When these boys talk about going to war it’s exactly like the kids at the beginning of HALLOWEEN H20 talking about going on the school trip. They tease Paul about not being able to go, offer to forge his parents’ signature for him. When he forges it himself they laugh like it’s some fun mischief.

These kids are so pitch perfect. Baby-faced, know-it-all war bros smirking and laughing like the dudes in PORKY’S. They have no idea what they have no idea about. Through the orientation speech and the drive to the front they can’t contain their excitement. They just keep smiling and pumping each other up like they’re off to Spring Break. And when they line up to get their uniforms, Paul’s still has some other guy’s name on it. Heinrich Gerber. “Probably too small for the fellow. Happens all the time,” says the guy at the desk, but we know otherwise ‘cause we saw Heinrich die unglamorously in the opening scene, and have his uniform pulled off him and refurbished.

Before they even arrive at the front a surgeon in a bloodstained coat waves their truck down and makes everybody get out and walk because they need the truck for “40 men dying in the mud.” On their way there a bomb barely misses them and Paul is too slow getting his gas mask on so the sergeant or whatever punishes him by making him wear it the rest of the day. He gains a new hero when they get to the trench and a tough, experienced soldier with a mustache and a cigarette sees the mask, recognizes what happened and says, “Throw a dog a bone it will always snap it up. Give a man power…”

That’s Katczinsky, nickname Kat. He reminded me of Tom Hardy the whole time, but he’s played by Albrecht Schuch (BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ). He’s the mentor, the big brother, the cool older guy who makes them feel like they’ve made it when he’s their buddy.

When they get there it’s pouring rain and they have to use their helmets to try to scoop the muddy water out of the trench. Those big smiles went away fast. They come back briefly when Kat teaches them to warm their frozen hands by putting them in their pants. But for now on their faces will be looking something like this most of the time:

This story is not just about the horrors of combat, or the doldrums of the lulls in between. It’s also stuff like you just got dug out of a collapsed tunnel but you’re not injured so you get sent on the chore of collecting dogtags from the dead bodies, meanwhile figuring out which ones are your buddies from back home and if you start to cry somebody says, “Come on, move along, we don’t have all day,” so you move along to the next corpse.

Somewhere far away, in an office, we see men in ties, smoking cigarettes, piles of tags on their desks, scraping dried mud off to read the names and write them down. The endless processing of the dead, way too many to keep on top of.

From what I understand the subplot about bureaucrats trying to end the war is a new addition to the story. The great Daniel Bruhl (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, RUSH, voice of Lightning McQueen in German dub of CARS) plays a diplomat named Erzberger who understands that no good can come of continuing the war and convinces German High Command to begin armistice talks with the Allied powers. I wasn’t sure this movie needed a good guy government official trying to do the right thing, but I think it’s effective because it shows how agonizingly slow it is to negotiate. We’ll be buried in mud and human flesh over there in Hell on Earth and occasionally cut back to these guys with their amazing meals and fancy tea sets. Erzberger seems pretty upset when the vibrations of the train cause him to piss on his boot one time. Boy, this war really is hard on everybody, isn’t it?

During the 72 hours the Germans have to debate between agreeing to the terms or “dying with honour on the battlefield,” Paul’s harrowing experiences include watching his fellow soldiers be flattened under tank treads and set on fire by flamethrowers, and getting trapped in a pit with an enemy soldier who he stabs repeatedly in the chest and tries to choke with mud. But the man lays there twitching and gurgling blood for long enough that Paul starts to feel guilty. He cries, scrubs the blood off his hands with dirt, starts apologizing, calling him “comrade,” cleaning his face, cutting open his coat to get to the wounds he gave him, as if there’s some chance to undo them. When the man dies Paul finds notes and photos of his wife and kids in his coat pocket. A guy with a name and a life and a family Paul knew nothing of. He lays on top of the body, caked in so much mud he looks like a Fulci zombie.

I’d say that movie 1917 had an influence on the battle scenes more than SAVING PRIVATE RYAN did. But I think cinematographer James Friend (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist) gives it a modern digital look that feels like a fresh perspective of the subject, not just the same as every other war movie. There’s often an eerie beauty to these war zones lit by flares at night. There’s a great shot of morning sun beams shining through trees, two planes silently dogfighting in the distance, the camera and the characters paying them no mind, like they’re passing dragonflies.

If anything is glamourized it’s the camaraderie of the war bros hanging around and bonding when they get to be away from the trench. There’s a scene where Paul and Kat sneak off and steal a huge goose from a farm, and they cook it and eat it and it seems like the greatest thing they ever ate. The joy is contagious, but we’re also very aware that to the family they stole it from they’re invaders, looters, war criminals.

When they talk about going home they’re not sure it will be any better. One guy dreads having to go dig peat again, and not know for sure if he’ll have a meal. For Kat, being away from war means facing his grief over the young son he lost. He worries they’ll “walk around like travellers in a landscape from the past” and everybody will want to know if they were in close combat. Later Paul complains that he’ll “never be able to clean off the stench” of his experiences, and lists all his friends who died, but Kat says “At least they’re at peace. We’re alive.”

There’s another layer of decision makers keeping them stuck in this besides the negotiators. Macho asshole General Friedrichs (Devid Striesow, DOWNFALL) looks like the bad guy from SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and sees himself as a soldier for life. If he lives long enough he’ll be a Nazi for sure. He guilts another officer about having other things to do in peace time, complains that his father got to be a war hero but he was born during half a century without war. “What is a soldier without war?” he asks as soldiers are being blown to bits nearby and he’s lounging like this:

The darkest irony of the movie is how much happens between when word spreads about the armistice and when it officially begins. Everyone is celebrating the war being over but more people die. SPOILER – Paul and Kat decide to celebrate by taking food from that same farm again, so Kat – Paul’s best friend, and hero, and representation of the soldier he wishes he could be, but could never live up to – gets shot to death by a little kid while he’s taking a piss. Because they stole some duck eggs. Didn’t even get to cook them, just ate them raw. And Paul can’t get anyone to drive him to the medic because everybody’s celebrating the war being over.

Friedrich considers the end of hostilities “a shitty mess,” so he orders another offensive to capture the plains before the war ends at 11:00. You know – for that very important objective of proving they’re “soldiers and heroes,” not “cowards who chickened out when it really came down to it.” Some soldiers say they’re not going, so they get bashed with rifle butts. Paul’s face is pretty different during this rousing speech than the one at the beginning.

So there’s no heroism here. Just an explicitly pointless battle fought by all these soldiers who thought they’d made it out, plus one poor awkward redhead kid freshly shipped to the front lines, against innocent soldiers who also thought it was over. The end of the movie is our protagonist spending the last ten minutes of the war basically doing a mass shooting on some nice French soldiers we just saw toasting that “the nightmare is over” with a dead comrade’s do-not-open-until-armistice wine. Paul bashes a man’s face in with his helmet, nearly gets smothered in a mud puddle, ultimately (SPOILER) gets run through by a bayonet less than a minute before the official end of the war. It’s one of the few war movies where the protagonist is killed and I thought yeah, you earned that, pal.

This is a German film produced and distributed by Netflix. Doesn’t it seem like their international productions are classier than most of their American ones? Maybe that’s just the ones I find out about. Director Edward Berger has mostly worked in television, but this is very cinematic, seems designed for the big screen even though most people would never be able to see it there. Thank you, Academy, for roping me into watching it.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2023 at 7:15 am and is filed under Reviews, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

27 Responses to “All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)”

  1. I have yet to see this version, but I wholeheartedly recommend the Lewis Milestone/Lew Ayres version. From your description in sounds like a lot was changed (from story details, to character’s ultimate fates), so you won’t be having to sit through exactly the same story again.

    The big thing about the 1930 version is it’s very much a ‘they don’t make ’em like that anymore’ movie. In that, I’m unsure how 60-100 people weren’t killed during the production, because it sure as shit looks like they came dangerously close on multiple occasions.

  2. Definitely don’t care much for this one, because as I mentioned several times before, I am absolutely not into war movies, no matter how great they are. That said, OF COURSE the first German movie to make a big splash at the Oscars since DAS BOOT is a war movie! At least this time it came as a surprise because

    a.) It’s about the war without Nazis
    b.) You know that foreign movies rarely get that many nominations. That’s why they have that “Best foreign movie” category! The Academy got a bit more open minded in that regard, but it’s still an award show for mostly American movies.
    c.) The reaction to it on Germany was positive, but not THAT positive. It got good reviews, but mostly was greeted with a mix of “Eh, another remake” and “Eh, another German movie”. (Germans really hate German movies.)

    So yeah, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Most likely win the Foreign Oscar and maybe a few technical categories.

  3. Whole-heartedly agree with this review. Can’t think of too many other war films that make the day-to-day drudgery and battle look so awful and miserable. Which is how it should be. I too have been baffled by some critics who’ve complained that it makes battle look cool and exciting. What movie did they watch? You can take issues with changes to the book, though I think showing the slow diplomatic slog of how difficult it was to end hostilities helps make the point of the absurdity of the conflict. I don’t think any film has ever really delved into the origins of WWI, probably because it was such an inane, idiotic war that any accurate depiction of how it started would seem unbelievable. But for what this movie looks to accomplish, I think it succeeds admirably.

  4. Yeah, haven’t seen either adaptation but this sounds very different from the book at least.

  5. Damn, my kingdom for an edit button. Anyhow, just to add that I remember that biplane scene from the book, and it’s interesting how that at least is kind of faithful; IIRC in the book, the boys are watching the dogfight and are placing bets on it; here the movie finds a different way to diminish a life or death struggle through cinematic language. That’s clever.
    But the rest seems like it adds a lot of melodrama, especially that ending, which is much, much more prosaic and way bleaker in the book (it’s where the title comes from, as well.)

  6. I had not read the book, or seen any version of it before, but when this film came out I read the book and watched all three filmed adaptations. The book instantly became one of the best novels I have ever read and the 30’s adaptation is one of the best war movies I have ever seen. I have to agree with the naysayers about this latest adaptation. It misses the point of the book and becomes a pretty generic modern film that has the same message as all modern was films, war is hell. The original book and movie are more about how war dehumanizes people and how that process starts already in boot camp, which is completely omitted from this latest version. Also the depiction of civilian life enhances this theme and it is also is gone from this version.

    The 1970’s version is fine, but my biggest problem with it was miscasting of Ernest Borgnine. Otherwise he’s great as Kat, but he’s simply too fat for the part. The soldiers were starving, but his stomach certainly doesn’t look like it.


    I hated the ending of this new version. Originally Paul just dies on one some random insignificant day without any reason. In this version he dies on the most significant day of the entire war just minutes before it ends. The ending in the 1930’s version is really powerful and brought tears to my eyes.

    I highly recommend the original book and film.

  7. ENDING SPOILERS – But the significance of the day is that it makes it the most meaningless possible death!

  8. It’s more of an ironic gutpunch vs. the book’s more matter-of-fact, realistic (and way more depressing) take.
    After a bunch of particularly horrific stuff happens, the protagonist has basically lost all will to live and all hope to ever return to a normal life even if he makes it out of the war. For the last couple of paragraphs the story pulls out to just state that Paul died (IIRC it does mention that it was on a fairly quiet day, but not how he died). And the situation report from the front lines to German command for that day is just a single line: All quiet on the western front.

    This was written years before that quote (incorrectly attributed to Stalin) about tragedy and statistics. The book is up there with HHHH as one of the most devastating reads I’ve endured, and I absolutely endorse Timo’s recommendation of it (though, well, just be aware of what you’re getting into.)
    The movie does sound good, but… it kind of seems like they didn’t think the source was ‘sexy’ enough and added some more glamorous misery to make its points more clear, in a way that goes against the book’s more naturalistic take. I’ll reserve opinion until I watch it.

  9. Started watching this yesterday, finished it today. (My life does not permit me to do anything for 2 1/2 hours uninterrupted at the moment.) I liked most of it; I found the contrast between the aristocratic fucks negotiating the surrender and the desperate cannon fodder dying until the last possible moment to be quite effective. I thought the music was too heavy-handed and thought the movie might have been even more powerful if there had been no score at all, just gunshots, explosions, screams, squelching mud, etc., etc. Really dump you into real life, which has no soundtrack. I agree that the ending was bad — not just that he dies at a dramatically significant moment, but that he dies after a big epic hand-to-hand combat scene. It was all too much. He should have just taken one in the head out of nowhere, fade to black, done. But I’m glad I watched it.

  10. The book and previous two versions that are apparently more like the book may be better. But this is a different thing. (If it were the same, the complaint would be that there was no point to make it.) I’m glad they did not want to do the ending you describe. Shooting, stabbing, choking and mud wrestling people who they all know are not their enemies in a war that they all know is already over and accomplished nothing is the meaning of the movie and the reason to make it. To me it’s as necessary to this movie as the fight scene in THEY LIVE or the propaganda in STARSHIP TROOPERS.

  11. Shooting, stabbing, choking and mud wrestling people who they all know are not their enemies in a war that they all know is already over and accomplished nothing is the meaning of the movie and the reason to make it.

    I see what you’re saying, but to me that final battle sequence just reminded me of the old critical dictum — I forget who said it, maybe Truffaut? — that there’s no such thing as an antiwar movie, because war just looks too awesome on film. The message was made clear throughout, and even the futility of that final battle was hammered home quite well, but at the same time, they couldn’t resist making it visually exciting and, yeah, kinda awesome. Running! Shooting! Explosions! We’re following our boy Paul down into the trench! He’s going at it with that French guy and we’re yelling Yeah, Paul! Get his ass! But then he starts to lose — just like every final fight in every action movie ever — and we’re rooting for him to get up out of the mud and win! win! win!

    And then, after Paul dies, we get the scene of his corpse being sorrowfully regarded by the kid collecting the name tags, and a lingering close-up of his dead face, to remind us that Paul was Important (even though the whole point of the movie till then was that he wasn’t).

    Again, I liked it overall, but its messaging was pretty muddled, especially at the end.

  12. As I said in the start of my review, that’s a criticism others have had, so maybe I’m alone in this, but I just can’t fathom it. No, I was not rooting for him to get up or get his ass and I definitely don’t think that’s the intent of the scene! I’m not trying to be some saintly person, I just think the movie does a good job of presenting war as completely meaningless, absolutely pointless, and thoroughly unglamorous from the first frame to the last. It starts by telling you they’re just meat walking blindly into a grinder, then shows you them doing it with a smile. But the moment they arrive they’re miserable. Every battle scene is about whimpering, panting, wet, pathetic scared boys scurrying around either getting helplessly slaughtered or just barely surviving through dumb luck. I think you’d have to do some careful frame-by-frame study to find a part where a soldier looked cool.

    That last sequence first establishes that the battle is for nothing but a crazy chickenhawk’s ego, then introduces for the first time in the movie the perspective of French soldiers being just like the Germans, and celebrating what they think is peace. They’re portrayed as the victims in the scene and Paul is a deranged aggressor invading their sanctum. He’s running around screaming and bashing people like a psychotic caveman, just like the guy from the opening, who looks exactly like him, and I believe provided him his hand-me-down uniform.

    I know that “there’s no such thing as an anti-war movie” theory, and that these scenes came across as “kinda awesome” to you sort of proves it correct. But it doesn’t compute to me at all, I can’t understand describing this movie in those terms. It goes about as far as a movie can to make that a challenge.

  13. I really like the somewhat anachronistic score in this one. It positions it more as a teen movie gone to hell than I was anticipating. I prefer the original movie (you should see it, Vern), but this one really hammers home the idea of turning optimistic kids into machines of the state. The most vivid image, I think, is that torso caught in a tree.

  14. It goes about as far as a movie can to make that a challenge.

    I totally agree! I would compare it to FULL METAL JACKET, where we get to see the whole dehumanizing, psychologically brutalizing process that turns human beings into soldiers. But where you and I diverge is that I feel like even with all of that, the language of cinema itself ultimately undercuts the movie’s antiwar message. Because you can make combat horrifying and meaningless, but it’ll still be viscerally exciting on some lizard-brain level, and when the camera is moving as fast and skillfully as it is here, that’s even more the case. (Maybe this is a movie where shaky-cam would have helped, by making the battles seem impossible to follow, or even get your bearings in…) Still, I liked it, and will probably be thinking about it for a long time, much the way I’m still thinking about (and re-watching) APOCALYPSE NOW some three decades after I saw it for the first time.

  15. The battle might be visually interesting but I don’t think anybody who watches the rest of the movie up to that point is rooting for Paul in that final battle. I think you’d have to be watching that scene on youtube out of context to have those kind of thoughts.

    I also don’t agree with the notion that because the morale of the movie is that war is pointless and miserable that you should have to be miserable watching it. I didn’t intend to watch this movie because I figured that *would* be the case, that it would be hard to sit through, but I was pleasantly surprised that it managed to effectively convey its message and give you lots to think about while also being an engaging watch.

  16. Samuel Fuller’s THE BIG RED ONE begins [SPOILER ALERT] with Lee Marvin’s infantryman killing a German soldier in the time between the WWI armistice being declared and the troops finding out about it. In fact the film is bookended by such scenes. I don’t think Fuller was interested in making a film that was perceived as either pro or anti war; the BIG RED ONE really just says this is what my war was like.

    The “no such thing as an anti-war film” theory does indeed come from Francois Truffaut, specifically an interview he gave with Gene Siskel in 1973 and then much referenced in reviews by Roger Ebert. Truffaut said that he didn’t think he’d ever seen an anti-war film and that all films about war end up being pro-war. Siskel called him on it saying, effectively, but wait, what about PATHS OF GLORY? Truffaut responds that he thinks if you watch the movie you’ll see that Kubrick loves the violence. Siskel acknowledges in his article that yes, PATHS OF GLORY is really more about the hypocrisy of the French Generals than it is about the horror of war.

    As to Kubrick loving the violence, I’d already been reminded of that this week. So yeah, “this seems like as good a place as any to post my tribute to Trugoy the Dove, a.k.a. Plug Two, a.k.a. Dave…How else does one pay homage to one of the best to ever do it”. If people wanna know where Mase, Pos’ and Dave went, they’re still here, still the best:

    DJ Shadow - Rocket Fuel ft. De La Soul (Official Music Video)

    Download/Stream: https://DJShadow.lnk.to/OPAIDDJ Shadow releases his latest video “Rocket Fuel feat. De La Soul” - a chaotic re-imagining of man’s first step...

  17. Truffaut was maybe more right before movies got as graphic as today, but I don’t think his saying holds true. A movie being visually interesting or even exciting doesn’t make it come off pro-war…that
    s like saying watching a movie like Irreversible is pro-rape because it’s not boring. It’s more about how the movie presents things…I do think someone like Coppolla, while making an anti-war movie, made it to work fully as an anti-war movie, but it clearly still is.

    I guess I’d look at it like this…in terms of movies, even though John McClane gets his ass beat a lot, people WOULD want to be him after watching Die Hard. They would want to be John Wick, being a badass. Does anyone really want to live in this movie, crying in the cold mud, watching your friends get shredded, having no bullets and having to hack up people with a shovel?

  18. Something like Glory is not an anti-war movie even though it shows horrible consequences. Even though literally everyone dies in the end, it’s definitely not a statement against the uselessness of battle.

  19. A story about heroism and sacrifice? Now that does sound great! I had absolutely no interest in seeing this, expecting it to be nothing but a modern bolshewoke molestation of Remarque’s craft, but perhaps it is worth a try.

    Every anti-wokommunist film is a blessing. Satisfyingly, the best and most entertaining anti-wokommunist film of recent years is our all-Black, wonderful “Shaft”!! Predictably, the bolshewokesters lynched the film in reviews and ignored its existence, but it does have the Seal of Superb Quality (i.e.: 34% score from the filth called ‘the critics’; 94% score from The Audience)!!

  20. More than the Truffaut quote I think of Anthony Swofford saying the same thing in his book Jarhead and describing Marines whooping and hollering in delight for any war movie they watched. According to IMDb the movie has them watching APOCALYPSE NOW and THE DEER HUNTER, but I forget if anything else was named in the book.

  21. I never really doubted that Truffaut quote, but I came to realize the full truth of it a couple weeks ago when I met a young soldier who said he joined the Army because of FULL METAL JACKET. That is just insane to me. That’s like FRIDAY THE 13TH making you want to go camping.

  22. @Mr Majestyk: Brilliant! I wondered if anyone could possibly be suckered into seeing war as a game or an opportunity for “glory” *today* with all the possibilities for enlightenment (as opposed to being awoke or, if you must, woke. Obviously plenty of people who consider themselves woke aren’t enlightened in the least, just inclined to pat themselves on the back for parroting what others say without any care for nuance, mature argument, or ambiguity simply finding comfort in the crowd. Thus making themselves not dissimilar to the dark ages assmonkeys who insist that liberalism – defined by them as *any* kind of empathy or humanity apparently – is a “mental illness” while figuratively felching the wealthy and bibbling on about Communism like zombies of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy/babbling about COVID-19 vaccination conspiracies like gibbering loons/burbling about Biden taking their “freedom” away like, well, the truly delusional. Boy, this may be the longest parenthetical history. Perhaps I should pass it off as a clumsy homage to David Foster Wallace… Nahhh, I’m just ranting in annoyance!) available but, no, that would be putting faith in people not supported by the available evidence. I won’t make *that* mistake *again*! *cue Laurel and Hardy theme*
    I love the idea of people watching Friday the 13th and wanting immediately to go camping, seeing Jaws and feeling compelled to go swimming in the ocean…in Australia, viewing The Poseidon Adventure and signing up for a cruise straight afterward, taking in The Omen and trying for a baby right away, taking a peek at Razorback and adopting a mutant warthog, or catching a Donnie Drumpf “speech” and joining the G.O.P.

    @timo: Great observations about the novel and the earlier screen adaptations.

    @Vern: I was sorry to hear about Bruce Willis’s worsening condition, I hope you aren’t too devastated about it. Keep your head high.

    Also, for no particular reason, Rest in Peace, Raquel Welch. I have been watching clips of her interviews – particularly with Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show – and she was surprisingly funny, warm, and witty as well as unsurprisingly gorgeous. Funny to think of Mae West hating her on Myra Breckenridge; THAT was a battle you could not win, Ms West, even at your peak. It feels like everything’s going away and all we are left with is extremism, blandness, unpleasantness, and various evils and idiocies. Um, enjoy the party!

  23. Coming straight from another “debate” about FALLING DOWN I can safely say that our friend Nation of Lunatics is right, it is possible to really love a movie without grasping at all what the writer/director is on about.

  24. I’m just kind of in awe of the word ‘bolshewokesters’
    It’s… like it’s trying so hard you can see it get a hernia in real time. Surely it’s a parody post?

  25. It’s the “fetch” of RWNJ slang.

  26. The Lewis Milestone adaption is one of the most impressive movies I have ever seen (3 decades ago, and re-watched it 2 or 3 times, always feeling sad afterwards), so I wonder if this re-make is worth seeing? Hm. A comparison would be great. But I doubt a re-make can add anything the OG didn’t already accomplish.

  27. TCM will be airing the 1930 version at 1:30am (3/13/23) for those curious.
    It’s real good.

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