Archive for Golden Globes

A Genius Sends An Idiot Abroad

Posted in People, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2011 by Jordan

Ricky Gervais has received a lot of mainstream attention since he hosted the Golden Globe Awards a couple of weeks ago.  At the Golden Globes, he poked fun at Tom Cruise’s questionable sexuality, took a jab at Robert Downie Jr.’s past run ins with the law, and called Steve Carrel “ungrateful” for quitting The Office.  I personally found the jokes hilarious but the stuffy stars of Hollywood did not seem to share my sense of humor.

 

For some reason people seemed surprised at Gervais’ style of humor.  Somehow they forgot that this was the guy who created The Office and Extra’s and solidified himself as a writer and comedian through standup comedy.

 

Rick Gervais has been huge for a couple of years now whether you’ve heard of him or not.  Consequently, he has as much money as Forest Gump after hurricane season.   Gervais has called his newest project, “The most expensive practical joke I’ve ever done.”   It’s better known as An Idiot Abroad and follows the uninformed and unintentionally funny Carl Pilkington to the Seven Wonders of the World.  This is without question, the funniest cultural/travel documentary that has ever existed.  In addition, its Friday midnight timeslot works into my schedules perfectly.  There is after all, no rest for the wicked here at The Whole Ball of Wax.

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THE PACIFIC

Posted in Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by Jordan

Last night the ten part mini-series THE PACIFIC concluded on HBO and I must say it is without question one of the best portrayals of the Second World War I have ever seen.  The $200 million mini series was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and was in many ways the sequel to the 2001 mini-series Band of Brothers also produced by Hanks and Spielberg.

THE PACIFIC tracks the intertwined real-life journeys of three U.S. Marines across the Pacific Theater during World War II.  The miniseries follows these men and their fellow Marines from their first battle with the Japanese on Guadalcanal, through the rain forests of Cape Gloucester and the strongholds of Peleliu, across the bloody sands of Iwo Jima and through the horror of Okinawa, and finally to their triumphant but uneasy return home after V-J Day[1].

As a huge fan of Band of Brothers I was anticipating much of the same type of story when THE PACIFIC debuted in mid March.  After Part 2 I quickly realized that THE PACIFIC was quite different from Band of Brothers and I thoroughly questioned whether THE PACIFIC had delivered as well as its predecessor.  It was after probably the third or fourth episode that it dawned on me what the fundamental difference was between THE PACIFIC and Band of Brothers.  The first time I watched Band of Brothers I was overcome with feelings of pride, patriotism and even a desire to enlist in the armed forces.  Band of Brothers’ European setting has a feel of glory, adventure and heroism about it, which left me wishing I were in my twenties in the early 1940s so that I could do my part in the war effort.  THE PACIFIC on the other hand paints a very different picture from that of Band of Brothers.  Like Band of Brothers, THE PACIFIC does not shy away from the graphic nature of the Second World War.  However, those who fought in the Pacific theater battled a much different enemy in a much different environment.  The battles in the Pacific were fought on pieces of land most people had never heard of opposed to romantic and world-class cities like Paris and Rome.  There was a good quote in Part 10 of THE PACIFIC from an American cab driver to one of THE PACIFIC’s main characters Robert Leckie.  The cab driver, that was a veteran of the Normandy invasion waved Leckie’s cab fare upon his return home saying, “I may have jumped into Normandy but I had the assets of London and Paris, all you got was jungle rote and malaria.”  To me that was the primary difference between THE PACIFIC and Band of Brothers; Band of Brothers left me wishing I were part of the war where THE PACIFIC left me thankful I was not.

The portrayal of war in THE PACIFIC was so real, graphic and violent it left me mesmerized and forgetting to blink for what felt like entire episodes.  I cannot image myself sitting in water filled holes for weeks at a time and sharing my living space with decaying bodies. THE PACIFIC unquestionably shows the efforts and sacrifices of the ‘Greatest Generation’ in the purest of ways.  My generation will never know and never understand the contributions and sacrifices of those who participated in the Second World War.  However, watching THE PACIFIC is a good start to understanding how the Second Great War broke the minds and souls of so many young men.


[1] HBO CANADA. THE PACIFIChttp://www.hbocanada.com/thepacific/about.php.  May 17, 2010.

 

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