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the island of conclusions

Extreme Ways (or, I'm so glad they kept the song)

the island of conclusions

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Extreme Ways (or, I'm so glad they kept the song)

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Blu
Monday afternoon, when we were still exhausted from travel, the boys and I saw The Bourne Legacy, which we enjoyed very much, though I may have to go back and see it without small squirmy persons who I have to take to the bathroom during crucial character bits.



For better or worse, we had stoked our anticipation for the movie over the summer by seeing all the other Bourne movies. I was glad, in that it let me appreciate how cleverly this movie was slotted into The Bourne Ultimatum (*makes notes for next remix*). I was less glad in that, while I didn’t mind Damon being swapped out for Renner in the slightest, I did miss Paul Greengrass’s direction. There was nothing in The Bourne Legacy to equal the amazing Waterloo Station cat-and-mouse game in Ultimatum. Also, the whole drug plot was kind of bzuh?.

Still, it was pretty fun to see JR step into the franchise. He’s so different than Matt Damon, though I did really like Damon as Bourne. But Damon has a kind of bovine quality. Emotions always seem like they’re emerging through many layers of soft tissue before they reach his face. His Bourne was kind of stoic and tragic. Renner is a much smaller and feistier mammal. I enjoyed just how pissed off he was when he found out what had been happening. His Cross had that characteristic Renner quizzicalness, like he was constantly wondering how things could possibly be so fucked up.

I kept thinking of his character in The Unusuals--Jason Walsh. I thought it was just the confluence of the Jason thing, but then I realized that it was because that was the last time I’d seen JR play a straightforward leading man part (The Hurt Locker doesn’t count*). I’m glad that his career has taken off in this way, but I’m gonna miss the kind of character work he did in The Town if he stops taking interesting parts like that.

*just have to mention that we saw the preview for the Kathryn Bigelow movie about the hunt for Bin Laden, and was excited to see it stars Joel Edgerton as a Navy SEAL.



Son #2 and I watched Grimm 2x01 and enjoyed it, though there was so much new story arc dumpage I think I might have to go back and take notes. Monroe, as usual, was the best part, with his running commentary on Nick’s maternal reunion.

I finally finished Generation Kill, both series and audiobook (with the addition of reading Wright’s 2008 afterward in the print book).



I enjoyed it all, and was glad to have the book fill in some of the more visceral details. But it left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. I think the book’s greatest strength—its immediate relation to the events of 2003—is now something of a drawback. In 2012, I badly wanted something a bit more thoughtful and introspective about this war/war in general. Also, Wright’s endless fanboying over the awesomeness of Recon Marines (and their fanboying over themselves) started to grate. Not that they aren’t awesome, which they are, just, again, missing the introspection.

Here’s your fandom question for the day: I think my favorite character in both book at show was Espera. I have yet to see him appear in a fic. You don’t need to explain why one wouldn’t slash him with anybody. But, is it that in his irascible complexity he’s too real to fic?



I finished both seasons of The Killing and have only about 15 minutes to go in Blackout. I may have exhausted all TV dramas about corrupt mayors in extremely rainy cities. If you have any suggestions, though, please let me know!

hope everyone has a great weekend!
  • (no subject) - frackin_sweet
    • Ha! I have typed Recon Maries many times myself! And I completely agree about the fronting being an essential survival skill--they can't go around worrying about whether they're awesome or not in the midst of what they have to do.

      You know, I couldn't help comparing Generation Kill to Karl Marlantes' What it Is Like to Go to War, which I read pretty recently, and which is at least as good a book about soldiers (better, imo, anyway), much rawer, in fact, than GK, and yet also very introspective. It's written with tremendous respect for what it means to be soldier/warrior, but Marlantes is harder on himself than Wright or any of the men in GK are.

      BUT, it was written 30+ years after the author's experiences as a solider, so I do think the time difference, to know what the long term consequences are and to process things, makes a huge difference.

      (and maybe the fact that it was written by a Marine, so w/o what sometimes feels like Wright's need to take the guys' statements at surface value b/c he doesn't want to press too hard. I would also like to hear what the men in the book think now)

      I really liked Doc too--a gun toting medic is very compelling. And I loved his reasoning for why he re-enlisted.
    • ugh, just walked out for coffee and saw this: monthly Army suicides reach all-time high in July. So sad. The USA today version of the story says that soldiers are being urged to pay attention to each others' feelings.
  • Speaking of corrupt mayors, you're watching Boss, right? I am SO EXCITED for its return tonight!!! :D
    • I have not watched Boss! Sounds like I maybe should! *searches for the first season*

      Have you seen any of Prisoners of War, the Israeli series that's streaming on Hulu? It's the thing that Homeland was adapted from, and pretty compelling (and quite different so far from Homeland).
  • In 2012, I badly wanted something a bit more thoughtful and introspective about this war/war in general.

    If I recall, there's much more of this in Fick's book, particularly in the early sections, detailing his time in OCS. Fick also talks about why he felt he had to leave the Corps, even though he still admired what the Marines and Recon stood for, and the men who made them their lives/careers.

    Regarding Espera: I've seen him in very small roles in quite a few fics, but he's always a minor supporting character. I don't recall ever seeing him in the spotlight, certainly not slashed with anyone. You might have something there with the "too real" description, not only because of his amusing rants, and his rather violent upbringing/past, but also because he talks about his wife and daughter during the mini, i.e., he has a more stable, real, visible family life than almost any other Marine in his platoon. Also another thing that's more prominent in Fick's book are the really quite astute political discussions that Espera fostered regularly. Fick says that he looked forward to stopping by and talking with the men while they were on watch or relaxing and mentions Espera in particular. For what that's worth.
    • Hmm. I started Fick's book, but got bogged down soon after the OCS parts. I know you and others really respect it, though, so maybe I should try again.

      His perspective would certainly make a difference. Wright's embedded reporter perspective is wonderful for the immediacy and intimacy he has with the men's reaction to what they're doing. But you have to think he was constrained with what he could say to and about them, given that they were in the midst of putting their lives on the line.

      I think you're right about Espera. I enjoyed his perspective, throughout, though, and really liked the lstory he tells Wright in the afterward, about thinking he'd seen one of the people he'd killed on the street in LA. I mean, I didn't like that that happened to him, but I'm really interested in what the aftermath was like for these guys.
      • I started Fick's book, but got bogged down soon after the OCS parts.

        That was the least interesting part of the book for me, although I understood why he wanted to tell that story. I was looking forward to the part detailing his Iraq tour, of course, but I actually found his account of his first cruise, what 9-11 was like for him and his subsequent experiences in Afghanistan much more compelling.

        Wright's embedded reporter perspective is wonderful for the immediacy and intimacy he has with the men's reaction to what they're doing.

        Agreed.

        But you have to think he was constrained with what he could say to and about them, given that they were in the midst of putting their lives on the line.

        I think "perspective" is the key word here. Wright wasn't a combatant; he was an observer. One thing that impressed me about Fick's book (and all that background about his training, that I, like you, had to wade through) was how really well prepared he was for his command. Of course part of that is due to the fact that he's really just a remarkable man. Even though his storytelling style is very matter-of-fact and never self-aggrandizing, he still comes across as extremely heroic. Or at least I thought so. I've never actually wanted to vote for someone for President of the U.S. before, much less someone who wasn't even running. Yet. :D
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