December 18, 2011


After recently playing Homefront I was jonesing for another viewing of Red Dawn.  My wife had never seen the movie.  actually there are a lot of movies she's never seen because her parents were a little strict when it came to media when she was growing up.  When these movies come up she thinks I'm making fun of her, but I'm not.

I just have a good excuse to re-watch what I consider a classic from my youth.  There are a lot of movies I enjoyed a long time ago that I may or may not see again. Usually I prefer to see "new" movies and put on "old" movies just to have something in the background while I do other things.  Getting to share an old favorite with my wife is actually a bit of a treat.

I fire up the Xbox and navigate through the menu to find the Netflix app.  I like what they've done to the Netflix app stylistically, but they need to cut out the auto-play of titles.  When I'm browsing, especially browsing through episodic offerings, it tends to start playing the wrong episode, probably because I exit out during the credits.  Anyway....Red Dawn isn't available through Netflix, but it does let me know there is a 2010 remake.  I have to hop on to my laptop to save that newer version to my queue and double-check that Red Dawn is not just DVD only.

That seems like it would be a movie in my DVD collection, so I look and see if I have a copy there.  My DVD collection is pretty large, somewhere between 500 and 600 titles and at first I don't find it.  The DVDs are arranged alphabetically and Red Dawn had been misplaced.  Somehow the R's are all messed up.  Oh well, at least I have the DVD.

That's me in my younger and thinner days
We watch the film and it is as awesome as I remember it.  I'm not sure when the last time I saw it, but seeing it now after years of military training it was like a different movie.  At first I was just identifying the fake military equipment, pointing out the ZSU 23-4, the BTRs, and the BRDMs.  I found it humorous that the ZSUs were firing and taking out that pesky American helicopter during the first night of the invasion.  Of course the ZSU is fake as hell.  I'm thinking that they just made a couple mock-ups and threw them on the chassis of an old self-propelled howitzer.  The ZSU was just too damn big.  I should know....not because of my training, but because in 1995 I got to see one up close while on an exercise in France.

The scene where the pilot sets up a "sand table" and starts going through the upcoming battle plans were classic.  That stuff happens, but with the Army.  I doubt an Air Force officer would be using the same props and verbiage as the Army, unless he had been serving as an Air Liason Officer within a Tactical Air Control Party (my old military job). I just now realized he was probably an ALO.  Ok, Red Dawn just got kicked up a notch on the cool factor for me.

I had some issues with tactics used in the movie, but they were basically just kids.  Some of the stuff they did seemed right out of a video game....a video game that had friendly fire turned off.  There was one scene where you see a guy jump down to cover in order to fire on the advancing enemy.  Sounds great until you see that he did it right in the line of fire from a machine gun nest.  There were other things, but you should watch, or re-watch, this movie for yourself.

During the movie, and for some time after, I had the urgent desire to shout out WOLVERINES!

Good times......good times.

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