Shitty Movie Sundays: Independence Day: Resurgence, or, Who Are the People on the Boat?

This fucking movie, I swear to God. More than once while I was watching Independence Day: Resurgence did I utter that profaneness. It’s just such a silly movie. It’s also breathtaking in scale, as evidenced by a moment when the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which also happens to normally be in Dubai, is dropped on London. This is a movie whose aspirations for an international audience are plain to see. There’s the requisite inclusion of token Chinese characters, and even a scene where a Chinese city is sucked up into the sky. That’s how one can know the Chinese have arrived as a world power. We are now destroying their cities in apocalyptic movies. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Independence Day: Resurgence, or, Who Are the People on the Boat?”

The Empty Balcony: Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is perhaps the simplest movie I’ve ever viewed, and also the most complicated. The United States intervention in Somalia is a footnote in America’s foreign policy history, but it is quite weighted, to the point that a student of recent American politics ignores it at their own peril. The initial American operation in Somalia, Operation Provide Relief, part of UNOSOM I (United Nations Operation in Somalia I), began in August 1992 as a response to the massive amount of killing and humanitarian suffering throughout the country. It was followed by UNITAF (Unified Task Force), also known as Operation Restore Hope, which lasted from December 1992 to May 1993. During that time, the United States suffered 43 killed and 143 wounded, but was able to increase the security of much of the country. After the mission ended, however, the peace did not last, as the warlords reasserted their control and chaos took hold once again. This led to UNOSOM II, Operation Gothic Serpent, and ultimately to the Battle of Mogadishu. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Black Hawk Down”