18. May 2005 · Comments Off on In Your Dreams @ the Movies! · Categories: General, History, Media Matters Not

The beginning of the summer movie season has already begun, with every other movie doing their level best to avoid being trampled into a microscopically thin layer of celluloid paste under the hooves of the mighty Star Wars behemoth. There seems to be no middle ground in discussions of “Hitchhikers’ Guide”; everyone either loved it or hated it. So far, the cruelest, and most succinct take on Sir Ridley Scotts’ Crusade clunker has been “The Kingdom of Heave”— richly deserved for irredeemable presentism as regards religious attitudes, historical personages, and heroically sucking up to CAIR. Hollywood loves those crazy-brave idealists who speak truth to power and stick it to the man… but best not even think of sticking it cinematically to anyone who might slap a fatwa on their ass or send a car bomb into Morton’s’.

One historically-minded enthusiast lamented that he had always wanted to see a movie about Baldwin, the Leper-King of Jerusalem— it would have every kind of drama imaginable—- but after “Kingdom of Heave” anyone with the power to green-light such an epic would just shrug and say, “Been done.” Oh, the movies we wish we could see, the TV series we would want to have on the air, but with a couple of honorable exceptions— to which we are fanatically devoted— it’s the same old, same old, and not very daring with it, either. Last week at Rantburg, one of the regulars was pointing out that as long as Hollywood was going back and re-doing old movies and series, what about reviving the 1960ies series “Rat Patrol” and updating it to present-day Iraq or Afghanistan? What a concept— four Special Forces soldiers dashing around the desert, fighting insurgents and blowing up stuff! It would work, and work very well, especially with boys of all ages in the red states, and the Army would fall all over themselves giving assistance to the producer. Alas, there is about as much a chance of that happening, as there is of my own dream movie epic, albeit for different reasons.

Because, you see, hardly anyone has ever heard of this particular party of men, women and children. They blazed a trail in the wilderness, walked nearly three thousand miles, across plain and desert, and finally hauled wagons up a sheer mountain cliff. They set out into country unknown to most, and very possibly all, all for a gamble that life at the other end of the trail would be better. They are a footnote in the history books, going under several different names, because no one was ever entirely sure afterwards who their leader was. They had no diarist, no tireless letter-writer or professional memoirist among them, no extensive first-hand contemporary accounts; they were ordinary people … but on an epic journey.

(To be continued)

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