Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

My thoughts on Captain America: Civil War

My thoughts on Captain America: Civil War

I finally saw Captain America: Civil War last night. What an enjoyable movie! It is a mashup of filmatic styles and tropes ranging from noir to 70’s spy thriller to good old comic book splash page goodness. Shaky cam, long tracking shots, cgi and practical effects are used with virtuosity in a way which surprisingly does not clash or become a distraction.

Of course none of this would work without fine writing, a journeyman cast, and the directors’ broad vision of how the emotional dynamic works for each of these characters.

Props to Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, William Hurt as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and Tom Holland as your friendly neighborhood kid from Queens. They stand out among the capable and surprisingly nuanced performances by the ensemble cast.

The film avoids one of the overused arcs of films these days particularly of the cape versus cape variety. Rather than building up to a ponderous, cgi-laden Class 3 extinction event, the big fight occurs in the middle of the third act. This leaves room for a smaller scale coda which focuses back on the essential conflicts personified by the characters of Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America: rule of law and personal conscience, friendship and honor, and regret and hope.

Bittersweet, funny and trenchant, not by turns but all at once, this is a rare and laudable piece of film-making. And also great, great fun. It is the film we would have made if we could when we were thirteen years old, but with the wisdom and insight which is only bought through lifetimes of failure, transitory successes, and bitter mistakes which cannot be undone.

Civil War covers thematically much of the same territory as the ponderous and lamentable Batman v Superman. But where BvS is clumsy, depressing, and makes the protagonists look like sociopathic jerks, Civil War manages to leven its gravitas with humor and witty repartee.

If you used to love Marvel comics or still do, you will love love this film. If you are so-so on comic book films but enjoy action thrillers like the Bourne films, I think this film will still work for you.

Bottom line, a two and a half hour film seemed to me to be half an hour and left me wanting more.

Five of five stars.

Captain America: Civil War – Official Trailer | HD

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

11 September, 2016 Posted by | Captain America, Civil War, Marvel, scanlyze | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States Re: Burkini ban

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States
Re: Burkini ban

Dear Sir and to whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my concern with the so-called ‘burkini ban’ imposed by several French municipalities and recently upheld by your court system.

These laws violate human rights, are illogical, and stupid.

How can burkinis be a public health issue but not wetsuits?

Where is the security issue in wearing a burkini? Is France in danger of being overrun by women in burkinis?

We have seen in the (UK) Guardian how a woman with her daughter at the beach was accosted by four armed officers, compelled to take off her top, which was not a burka nor a burkini, and fined while her daughter cried and onlookers shouted “Go Home” at her.

cf French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban

How can you possibly allow such a law to exist or to be implemented?

What will be done to punish the officers who so abused this innocent woman?

I am a friend of France but I cannot in good conscience buy French products, watch French movies, eat French food or drink French wine while this ridiculousness, and the crude bigotry and intolerance which underlie it, go on.

Why is France standing against personal liberty?

Why is France standing for the subjugation, intimidation, and state-sponsored racist harassment of harmless unarmed women by armed men?

Please take this opportunity to keep me informed of how these policies will be reversed and outlawed, how the women so harassed will be compensated, and of those responsible to making such laws as well as anyone who has enforced them, how they are punished and sanctioned.

Thank you for your attention and for your prompt reply.

Henry Edward Hardy
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

24 August, 2016 Posted by | Ambassador, ban, beach, burkini, France, Gérard Araud, liberty, politics, racist, scanlyze, stupid | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Islamic State hacks Niantic; Pokeclypse ensues

Islamic State hacks Niantic; Pokeclypse ensues.

Tens of thousands of people have died following an ongoing series of cyber-attacks on the makers of Pokemon Go, Niantic.

Mass casualties have been reported at bridges, dams, and waterfalls, with ongoing rescue operations in progress throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands are reported missing, with many lost in underground cavern systems such as Carlsbad Caverns, Mammoth Cave, and Lechuguilla Cave.

Humans have been seen jumping with the lemmings in western Canada, trying to navigate Niagara Falls with their iphones, and drowning in the English Channel.

Massive rescue efforts are still underway, notably to free the thousands still trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits.

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Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

5 August, 2016 Posted by | satire, scanlyze | , , , , | Leave a comment

The US Strategy of Limited War is Stupid

Why is the US pursuing a policy of limited war and covert operations around the world in Libya, Syria, Chad, Mali, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Sudan, Philippines and so on?

THIS IS A LOSING STRATEGY.

Ye gods we know that from Viet Nam.

We know that from the USSR in Afghanistan.

We know that from Central America.

And you can read it in the chapter that was added to Capt B H Liddell Hart’s classic book, Strategy: The Indirect Approach for the second edition which came out in, I think, 1947. Wars under in the nuclear age will be fought by proxy, with deniable guerilla groups acting semi-autonomously, but puppeted by the great powers through covert action. This is to avoid massive retaliation. Liddell Hart clearly points out that these guerilla movements will have a huge advantage in both efficiency and freedom of use compared to conventional forces.

But the United States, with its massive fleet, its 10 aircraft carriers, its air superiority doctrine, its armored divisions, is prepared to refight World War II. The lack of sufficient good old fashioned light infantry like the 10th Infantry leads to the overuse of special forces for tasks which should belong to the regular army. At the same time, the regular forces, except air power to a limited degree, are pretty useless against guerilla groups or hybrid guerilla groups like IS. So the special forces get to fight them too, undercover, without normal rules of engagement and fire support. This has led to a huge expansion of the very expensive and specialized special forces.

The US spends more on its military than the next ten military powers combined and yet IS, with maybe the equivalent of three divisions of light infantry, mostly low paid conscript ‘volunteers,’ can flummox the US in the Middle East, destabilize Europe, and fuel Brexit and Trumpism. That’s partly because it is always hard to fight religiously-fueled warriors with a martyrdom cult.

But the US knows how to fight a guerilla war. 50 US advisers trained Ho Chi Minh’s forces in guerilla warfare during WWII, for crying out loud.

This idiotic strategy is being driven by the politics of deniable operations that don’t have political consequences unless they have a Eugene Hasenfus-type incident, and that eternal war is hugely profitable.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

31 July, 2016 Posted by | guerilla, Iraq, Liddel Hart, military, politics, scanlyze, strategy, stupid, USA, war | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I support Bernie Sanders for President

Bernie Sanders is a good man, brave, kind, compassionate, courageous, insightful, thoughtful, and honest. He is a friend to all living things. Bernie Sanders is the kind of candidate who comes along only once in a lifetime. We shall not see his like again. Vote your hopes and not your fears. Vote SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT!

If you want to understand why there are so many die-hard Bernie supporters such as myself, I offer this. It isn’t because we hate Hillary Clinton. It isn’t because we are all democratic socialists. It isn’t because we all hate all of the rich.

We support this good man because he is kind, he is compassionate, he is a real person who has always had the same message, who doesn’t bend and blow with the breezes of popularity or the outcomes of focus groups.

We support Bernie Sanders because he is the last, best hope of leading us by the angels of our better nature, to making the aspirational America with ‘freedom and justice for all’ real, to restoring the character and standing of America to where the people of the world will thank us for our brother and sisterhood, and not hide their children in fear and curse us whenever they hear a plane overhead.

Bernie’s America is our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.

Join us!

Deeply Moving Message from Bernie Sanders

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

6 June, 2016 Posted by | America, America the Beautiful, Bernie Sanders, civil rights, election, freedom, Hillary Clinton, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment