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. (read the rest of this shit…)