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Modern Armour Movies/Documentaries


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Ahh I was wondering about that movie... a good friend, who was a 1st Sergeant and has a whole chapter about him in that book, retired and got a job with my department, I was his training officer... which was weird considering what he had done vs. me. ;)

Great guy, looking forward to that movie. ;)

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I have nothing to add, I haven't watched it yet:

Lebanon

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483831/

And it is the most miscast Tank crew ever.

The Gunner giving orders?!

I've watched it once. Then got rid.

But yeah I second Gibsonm's comment, you can fit 5 people in that turret.

And they seem to live off a sack of "Breadcrumbs" which somehow end up pasting the interior of the turret.

As I said....crew.

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Especially when he already knows its hard to start! :)

But then again, realism isn't everything. I really enjoyed the tank scene in 'Buffalo Soldiers' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252299/), for instance.

Also enjoyed 'The Beast' or sometimes called 'The Beast of War' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094716/)

To bring the thread back to topic...

Edited by rump
typo
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Neither The Beast nor, I presume, Lebanon was intended to be a tank documentary or anything. Heck, The Beasts was originally written as a stage drama, and only later turned into a movie script. Its point was not so much to depict tank combat, but to have different personalities clash (as the term "drama" suggests).

;)

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Yes “Lebanon” is basically an anti war picture.

Bunch of conscripts stuck in a tank and almost none of them want to be there. “Professional” Infantry soldier portrayed as some sort of control freak. Tank ploughing through fields of flowering Sunflowers, Fairly graphic scenes of civilians height caught up in the firefights, etc.

The tank is just a “container” so the characters have to interact (could just as easily be a bomber crew, submarine crew, bunch of people on a plane, 12 men locked in a jury room, etc.).

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Neither The Beast nor, I presume, Lebanon was intended to be a tank documentary or anything. Heck, The Beasts was originally written as a stage drama, and only later turned into a movie script. Its point was not so much to depict tank combat, but to have different personalities clash (as the term "drama" suggests).

;)

True, I bit like 'Das Boot', I guess. Or maybe even like 'Twelve Angry Men'.

Tank combat is indeed hard to find in cinema. Maybe the upcoming 'Thunder Run' will set a trend? (http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/10/27/thunder-run-gerard-butler-matthew-mcconaughey-sam-worthington/)

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Cool, they really gonna turn "Thunder Run" into a movie!

Wait...

CRAP, they gonna make it all CG! Oh this will suck badly...baaaadly...gonna keep watching that video of the real run and wait for the episode of "Greatest Tank Battles" about it.

Oh yeah, tank documentaries...how about..."Greatest Tank Battles"? Youtube is your friend. Waiting for the Carius part to show up there. It has many downsides...but heck, finally some visual tank combat.

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CGI movies aren't in themselves the problem- scenes that are impossible to shoot, whether dragon armies, tank battles or a city being smashed can be done with CGI, the problem is the technique. In the past, they may have only been able to build a couple of miniature models or life-sized mock ups and as such, focus on them with clever editing and camera angles in order to make it appear as if the scope were quite large. Art through adversity: the psychological effect may have actually been better as the film audience is focused in such a way that is more intimate with the action as a consequence.

The problem now is that filmmakers have it 'easy' and perhaps try to do too much- so for example, a large goblin army vs. a dragon army might have a roving camera that pans frenetically all over the scene trying to cram in as much action as possible- too many cuts within the scene from location to location, you see a lot, but they way tension is resolved comes off much more flat than if the camera used longer, continuous tracking shots from fewer perspectives. The former gives the audience a kind of god's eye view of things, but consequently, the audience is a bit removed because of that. Just the dramatic placement of camera- for example behind the dragon's head looking down at his victim, or perhaps a reverse angle from the ground view from the victim's perspective looking up convey far different emotional scenes than a flat angle capturing everything from the side- it's the same scene, but different angles. So, a CGI based film is tempting to put in as many characters and explosions and RPG rockets flying all over the place, but the effect is less personal or dramatic than if it were focused on fewer things. It's more a matter of technique rather than the effects per se.

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Yeah well...the thing is, with CGI it mostly adds to the action. Helicopter crashes, explosions...stop motion and models look like cheap tricks, CGI made the experience alot more believable. But anything that should be real still looks artificial in a way. Now we will get a movie that should play almost all the time inside and outside AFVs with soldiers an integral part of them because...all action is vehicle action. IMO that's why it's been so hard to deliver a good tanking movie in the past: tank battles are impersonal, rough, vast and confusing. Just my worries...and as a reminder, here's the real deal:

Oh I forgot: Lebanon. Don't. Just don't.

It may work on an abstract POV, in German we have the word "Kammerspiel" to describe an intimate play of sorts. However...the director emphasized in nearly every interview that he's gonna show the truth, the way it is and how he experienced it. Hell yeah. Sure. Guys randomly showing up in your tank, no connection to higher command or even to your freakin platoon, no sign of leadership. Instead-random scope images, random chitchat, random action. I couldn't stand through it. And this is rare for me when it comes to movies.

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You'll never see a big production feature film made by tankers for tankers. These films represent a gamble made by a film studio's investors to make money- they are made for general audiences. They aren't designed to acclimate laypersons into every facet of military life, chain of command, and the technical operations of these vehicles into 2 hours any more than a film about a rock group is going to sit there and give a 2 hour lesson into music theory while still attempting to tell a story and entertain.

CGI is a tool, and like anything can be abused or relied upon too much in place of a compelling story. It's definitely an advantage to achieve some story conceits in order to film scenes that might have been otherwise been technically impossible to film. But film makers still need to know how to put together a film while using the technology. Otherwise you could have computer artists put together a film without much direction or character to it.

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I would not outright reject the idea that conscripts in tanks might experience war as a disjunct series of anecdotes, that orders appear chaotic, and that they have no real understanding of what's happening, how, where, and when. Some of my own military exercises and experiences were pretty much like that. So in that respect, I'll give the director the benefit of doubt.

Still, I suppose that for "Lebanon" being in a tank is a mere backdrop for the actual drama, and not so much at the center of attention. Movies and drama should be about people anyway, not about equipment. For that, we have computer simulations. ;)

Keep in mind that pretty much everyone here has already fought hundreds of (virtual) battles, and reviewed AARs, thought about the top level plan, received "complete FRAGOs" (yes, I am aware of the irony here ... I mean it in contrast to the infinitely more fragmented order of the "platoon leader runs towards his men, shouting 'mount up and follow me!'" type). That alone will give you a head start in putting a combat action into context over anyone (especially conscripts) who may have received proper technical training about how to operate a rifle and a tank, but very little tactical training and practice before thrown into the "thunderstorm of steel" (to paraphrase Ernst Jünger).

Just my two cents.

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