Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Company of Heroes
Sometimes scriptwriters or directors are so unfamiliar with the subject their are attempting to bring to their audience that it sticks out like a sore thumb, and when it is noticed the film looses all credibility. When is Hollywood going to learn that subtle accuracies in a movie add to the luster, and lack of same makes the viewer say "Hold on, what was that?" This film lost all credibility in the first ten minutes ... the first time a soldier kept calling a sergeant "Sir". Man, it just doesn't fly.
This is possibly one of the worst researched films I have ever seen. Within 10 minutes I had noticed a glaring number of historical discrepancies. The sniper is carrying a Russian SKS (on which the scope is wobbling horribly) instead of the 1903 Springfield or the sniper variant of the M1 Garand,the Sergeant is referred to as "sir" instead of Sergeant (only officers are "sir") several of the American soldiers are carrying British Enfield rifles instead of the M1 Garand which was standard issue to Army troops after 1943, the German machine gunners are using a Browning water-cooled machine gun instead of the MG42, and for heaven's sake, they didn't even have the Lieutenant's bars pinned on correctly. This movie is awful. Don't watch.
The often cited NAZI incapability of producing a nuclear weapon merely reflects the 1941-1943 "SchwerWasser" period, but that did not mean that they didn't look for possibilities to create one after that through other means. In the light of then existing German knowledge of nuclear physics, one could speculate that they could have been sweating neck-to-neck with the US efforts in that sense. They most certainly had the incentive for that and until April 30 1945 they never ceased pursuing to penetrate the US efforts.In the genre of 'speculative history' or 'alternative history' this movie is fine and definitely worth watching. Just my $0.02
A company of privates and corporals taking on an OSS mission? Seriously? Sooooo, they never even thought to discuss it with anyone higher up the chain of command than a Sergeant? Oh that's right they had no time - but they had time to sit in a train all the way to Stuttgart where the Germans were waiting? Wait, why were the Germans waiting in Stuttgart? They couldn't stop them on any of the many other stops along the way? The plot holes are enormous.I also love how Americans used British Enfield rifles, German Panzer, Panther and Tiger tanks were never in the movie only on the cover art. I don't know WHAT kind of cobbled together armored vehicles they used to try to pass off as German Tanks. Hilarious but sad
Every complaint I have seen about this film can be summarized as: "They got X wrong." First off, I would like to point out that the Nazi nuclear program did indeed have a facility in Haigerloch and that history shows they were uncomfortably close to finishing a bomb. But, we're not here about that. So, yes, there are many inaccuracies in this movie, but if you simply stop being picky about realism, the movie is quite good overall.
Requires suspension of disbelief at too many major points. German nuclear research is advanced to the point of prototype bombs, which the Nazis never achieved. Bomb is literally festooned with swastikas. Must be at least 10 of them! Who's going to see them? American soldiers smoke uncovered at night in a combat zone instead of exercising light discipline. Excellent way to get killed. Submachine guns, a short-range weapon, accurately mow down scores of Germans at incredible distances. Germans speaking among themselves shift between German and English. Stick to German for realism or don’t. Don't shift between the two. During the largest German offensive on the Western Front, an infantry team untrained in espionage penetrates 100 miles into Germany wearing German uniforms. They hook up with a Soviet POW. What's a Russian doing on the Western Front? In Stuttgart, German-uniformed Americans converse in English while dozens of Germans pass, yet arouse no suspicion. Their German Resistance contact is the beautiful daughter of Germany's top nuclear scientist. For the romantic-erotic factor, she strips for a bath in an open-door room, seemingly unaware she's in full view of love interest Private Burrows. American heavy bombers designed for high-altitude attacks come in at 200 feet, where they could be knocked from the sky by concussion from their own heavy ordnance. Private Burrows' security debriefing comes from a mere Lieutenant, as if this crucial assignment wouldn't merit a higher-ranking officer. And that Lieutenant? He served with Burrows' slain father during WWI -- yet in 1944, he's still a First Louie. Pretty poor officer to miss out on the fast-promotion track of two world wars. I'm not a stickler for extremely detailed historical accuracy, but this movie crosses the line in so many large ways. Watch it for the action. Don't expect to transported back to WWII. This ain't no "Saving Private Ryan."
This movie is what it is. As all productions coming out of Hollywood, this movie is purely for entertainment purposes. Do not look for "historical value" or accurate detail as this is not a documentary, nor was it promised as one. I approached it like all "movies" I watch, with an open mind as to what story the director is trying to tell me. This was a good story, with a decent plot and flowing timeline. Nothing more. If you want historical accuracy, subscribe to "American Heroes Channel" or "History". If you want to be entertained on a rainy afternoon in May, curl up with a good book.........or this movie.
Fiction. Not true at all. Germany wasn't even close to developing a nuclear weapon. Unrealistic battle scenes. Just weak all the way around.