XIPHOS’ LIST OF “FUN” WAR MOVIES

ammobarfy-1

My laptop committed seppuku 10 days ago and took a nearly completed RWX with it into the after life so I decided to rescue this post from limbo where it’s been parked. I don’t have the time or ability at the moment to do another RWX or try to resuscitate the dead one.

This list of war movies are ones that I consider to be “fun” war movies…at least most of them, he-he-he.

This list is going to be done in an inverse order, 10 down to 1, because I want the best fun war movie to be a surprise. Here’s my list enjoy.

10. Saving Private Ryan (1998). This comic take on World War 2 is a hoot. Obviously the makers of this film wanted to make everybody laugh because of how bad it is. It must have been done as a goof to sho… Oh, wait, I’ve just been informed that in fact SPR is allegedly a serious war movie. I think that’s a lie so I call shenanigans on that.

9. Dr. Strangelove (1964) Do I really need to go into why this is a funny? No, I don’t think I do.

8. Catch 22 (1970): This is the movie version of Joseph Heller’s wonderful book about Army Bomber pilots in WW2 and all that they do to survive, mentally, and the beating they take flying sorties over Europe. The catch 22 of the title refers to the lead character trying to obtain relief by having a mental breakdown put on his service record. The Catch 22 as explained to lead character Captain Yossarian as this: “an airman would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he’d have to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to but if he didn’t, he was sane and had to.”

Trapped by that dense, impenetrable logic of the Army, Yossarian and his comrades just try to make it through their job with funny/tragic results and surprising insights. Highly enjoyable film.

7. M*A*S*H (1970): This is a funny look at Combat surgeons on the front lines of the Korean Conflict. In reality it’s an allegory to the Vietnam war. M*A*S*H has great writing, acting, and directing. This is one thoroughly enjoyable movie.

6. The Dirty Dozen (1967): Is probably the quintessential “men on a mission” movie and is alternately tough and funny, sometimes in the same scene. Do yourself a favor, if you’ve never watched the Dirty Dozen go out right now and get it. Thank me later.

5. The Great Escape (1963) First off this is just a great movie. Its harrowing and uplifting and suspenseful. It’s chock full of great performances by excellent actors and it has a heart a mile wide plus it has a sly and droll sense of humor. Great movie.

4. The Caine Mutiny (1954): A dark comedy that skirts along the edge of total nihilism full up to the brim with great actors and one gut punch of an ending. This is a movie that while funny it also kicks you right in the head and makes you think.

3. Three Kings (1999) This is a weird hybrid sort of war/survival/caper movie. I think Three Kings is just about George Clooney’s best role that did not involve an Elmore Leonard book. Three Kings is funny and well made and is a very good look at the first Gulf War.

2. Kelly’s Heroes (1970) The gold standard for military heist flicks. This movie is so good it hurts. Kelly’s Heroes has an all star cast, great writing, acting, direction and surprisingly hard core battle scenes.

1. Number one with a bullet, the all time best “fun” war movie is, without a shadow of a doubt, the classic 1980 time travel flick, The Final Countdown. It tells the tale of the USS Nimitz that somehow got sent back in time to 6 December 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Sure this movie is cheesy and goofy but hot damn it’s a fun movie to watch. I can’t get enough of F-14 Tomcats fighting Mitsubishi A6M Zero aircraft. Alternative history is a fun way to pass some time.

That’s it, that’s my list. Looking back over it I realize that a metric ton of great movies came out in 1970. To bad we can’t get that kind of quality output today.

Mahalo,

Xiphos.

PS If you leave any questions or comments for me it will probably take me a few days to respond but I will, eventually.

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About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.

54 responses to “XIPHOS’ LIST OF “FUN” WAR MOVIES”

  1. Jarv says :

    They’ve lied to you Xi. Saving Private Ryan is clearly meant to be satire.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      It’s clearly meant to be shit which it is.

      BTW Love Actually sucks giants ape balls.

      • Continentalop says :

        You too Xi? I liked Love Actually…

      • Jarv says :

        Woo-Hoo!

        That’s 3 of us. We shall turn you all away from the lame side.

      • MORBIUS says :

        I’m down with Love Actually.

        That levels the field at 3!

      • Jarv says :

        Actually, It’s Blitz that doesn’t/

        Still 3 all- I don’t think either Droid or Frank have a strong feeling either way about it.

      • Jarv says :

        Don’t bother unless you want acid reflux, diabetes and all your teeth to rot and fall out of your head due to the sugar content.

        Look- there’s an easy way to work out whether or not you’ll enjoy Turd, really and that’s:

        “Do you like the idea of Hugh Grant as a dancing Prime Minister who falls in love with Tea Lady Martine McCutcheon, despite the fact that the film is composed of fuck knows how many brief scenes so there isn’t time to properly characterise them beyond the fact that he dances and she’s some sort of nauseating middle class Eliza Doolittle?”

        If you do, then you’ll like it. It’s very, very revoltingly English middle class. I hate all Curtis’ output since Blackadder ended, and it fits right into his milieu.

      • Droid says :

        Yeah, I’ve seen it and am neither here nor there on it. It is what it is, and is utterly inoffensive to me. Unlike Notting Hill, which I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns.

      • koutchboom says :

        Haven’t seen Love Actually….is that on the short list of NEED TO SEE RIGHT NOW movies or can it wait?

      • Droid says :

        It can wait.

  2. Droid says :

    I’ve seen quite a few of these. I guess I’ll have to follow orders and check out The Dirty Dozen. Never seen The Final Countdown but I’m aware of it. It’s a time travel movie so I’m ashamed that I haven’t seen it.

    • Jarv says :

      Dirty Dozen is absolutely mint, Droid.

    • koutchboom says :

      Yeah Droid, you see the Dirty Dozen and I’ll get around to seeing Goodfellas.

      • koutchboom says :

        Seriously, I get so much shit never having seen Goodfellas or all the Godfathers, or at least that I remember. Also Scarface. Like people who’ve ONLY seen those movies can’t believe it, I’m like…you’ve only seen 5 movies, you don’t even like movies?

        I guess they are good or something.

      • Droid says :

        It’s more that they’re considered “classics”.

        They’re fucking good too.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I get that. But at the same time, having someone who doesn’t watch movies get on to me about it is always fucking annoying. Its like all of the sudden they think they know more then you because they’ve seen these 5 movies and nothing else matters.

      • Chipps says :

        shouldn’t that tell you something? like, if you are only going to watch ten movies, make one of them goodfellas? or something like that.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Droid,

      The Final Countdown is pure schmaltz but it is entertaining smaltz with decent actors like Martin Sheen, Kirk Douglas and Charles Durning. Most importantly though you have Tomcats vs. Zero’s and that’s just cool.

  3. Tom_Bando says :

    Most of those are certified golden there Xiphos-esp. Dirty Dozen, Great Escape and Kelly’s Heroes. Negative Waves man, Negative Waves—

  4. Bartleby says :

    Damn…I was supposed to have posted this on Cinematropolis. Sorry Xi. If it makes you feel any better, it was sitting there with seven of my own I never actually published. There are, to date, 34 unpublished reviews sitting in my wordpress site. Argh.

    Saving Private Ryan– I remember so little of it that it’s hard for me to have as much venom towards it. I saw it with my dad back in 98, and the war scenes worked for us, but honestly that’s all I remember about it. I fear returning to it would render it similar to what you are describing here.

    The Final Countdown–good on you Xi, for including this one. It’s a great little movie and one that I honestly preferred to the somewhat similar Philadelphia Experiment. This one is thoroughly enjoyable.

    You should do a full-length review of Final Countdown sometime. I suspect there are several who haven’t seen it, and it would no doubt be a good read with your perspective.

    Take care, Xi. See ya about…

    • xiphos0311 says :

      No worries Jonah It got lost in the Shuffle.

      Yeah The Final Countdown is a decent little flick and it holds up reasonably well. I watched about 5 or so years ago and it was still entertaining and the the effects, while dated, sort of worked for me on the nostalgia level. I was in a fervid anti-CGI/Pro-Practical effects mood at the time I was watching it.

  5. just pillow talk says :

    ahh…The Final Countdown. I remember that used to be on tv quite a bit.

    The Dirty Dozen is a flick I will always catch part of when it’s on the ‘ol television. It’s got fucking Jim Brown in it.

    And I just recently purchased Kelly’s Heroes. That movie is fucking great, and I particularly enjoy the hell out of Sutherland’s performance.

  6. xiphos0311 says :

    Pillow,

    Yeah TFC use to be in heavy rotation on like TBS or one of those stations in the 90’s. I remember having on in the backround a lot when I was going to college and that was mid-to latter 90’s

    I’m the same way with the Dirty Dozen I’ll watch it no matter where in the story it is. Freakin Telly Savalas was excellent in it.

    Kelly’s Heroes nothing better then WW2 hippie Tankers. Plus it has Don Rickles(always appreciated), Harry Dean Stanton, Gavin Macleod, Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas and a host of others. Great flick.

  7. Tom_Bando says :

    I’m a fan of Three Kings, still think that was the best flick from ’99. The exploding cow, the milk truck and Spike jonze starting in about the relative qualifications of white vs. black quarterbacks-and he’s cut off instantly by Marky Marky: STOP TALKING-RIGHT NOW. RIGHT-NOW.

    Gotta like it. Plus it has Cliff Curtis. Every movie should have a Maori playing an Iraqi in it.

  8. xiphos0311 says :

    Tom,

    Three Kings is a very underated movie in my opinion. Its top notch just on what you see but for people that were in the Army at the time and had played in the sandbox the goofiness rang true.

    I knew officers and enlisted men like Cloony’s characters and man did he nail it perfectly. The anger and sense of betrayal for guys that spent a majority of thier adult lives in shitty places around the world doing the hard work only to get showed the door becasue “peace” had broken after the Commies were benched in Russia.

    The best part though a majority of the movie was filmed in Arizona mostly in and around what at that time was a wide spot in the road called Casa Grande which is about half way between Phoenix and Tucson. The other part was in western Arizona around Yuma.

    • Tom_Bando says :

      I heard about the Yuma bit. Not surprised.

      Yeah I really enjoyed it, it still holds up rather well too. Clooney’s a pretty good actor and you can see why in stuff like this.

      Plus it has that exploding cow. I like that.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        any time you saw pure sand that was around Yuma. Any time you saw rocks, foliage, sand, ridgelines and hills that was around Casa Grande.

  9. jarv says :

    The thing about 3 kings is that it’s a bit preachy. The oil torture for example

    I still like it though

  10. xiphos0311 says :

    In my opinion The Big Red One is a modern classic.

  11. xiphos0311 says :

    Also, The Final Countdown, is pretty goofy but at least the actors didn’t mail it in. Sure it was a paycheck movie but at least they gave a shit while doing it and the direction was compoternt and they did a nice job building some tension.

  12. xiphos0311 says :

    You read? Huh…

  13. Chipps says :

    good list. is this a ‘best of donald sutherland’ or something? I didn’t mind spr, but i take your point about tubs not really looking very rangerish.

    dr strangelove is one of my favourite flicks. i don’t really have a favourite, but after the indy and starwars movies (modern ones excepted) it would prob be down to millers crossing or strangelove. it is my favourite of the black and white era (including kane) and really woke me up to the art that was lost in the move to colour.

    didn’t really like three kings at all. catch 22 was a bit of a let down, though, some sences funny as hell……shit late for work, back later

  14. MORBIUS says :

    Nice list Xi,

    Like Chipps said, I too don’t have favorites per se, too hard to place some over others. Dr. Strangelove is in my top 50 all time, M*A*S*H, Dirty Dozen, Catch-22, Kelly’s Heroes, The Great Escape, all very good additions to your list. Haven’t seen The Final Countdown in years, will catch it on TV when it’s being shown. Wassail…

    • Toadkillerdog says :

      I posted my list of offbeat War movies in the old Hoplon thread -Stalag 17 baby

      • MORBIUS says :

        Hey Toad, how ya been?

        What’s the Hoplon Thread?

        Near the top of this thread you can voice your opinion of Love Actually.
        Right now it’s tied at 3 all.

        Jarv, Xi, and Droid = Con
        Conti, Barfy, and me = Pro

  15. Chipps says :

    marky mark hit the magazine into weapon from the bottom in that clip. man that pisses me off

  16. Chipps says :

    donald pleasence actually was a pow during the war. he kept making suggestions and was told to shut up – until they realised what he had done.

    i always love seeing ol mr potatoe head when he still had a lean cranium

  17. ThereWolf says :

    I cannot argue with a single film on this list. These would make a good box set.

    Great to see The Caine Mutiny, Catch 22 & M*A*S*H on here. Well, all of them. I can watch all of these anytime.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      i agree Wolf there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. If I ever come across any of these movies no matter how far along in the story they are I will watch them.

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