Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Dogs of War

The handsome creature above is called a Belgian Malinois. These are very smart, very trainable dogs that have taken the place of German Shepherds in many police and military forces. While the identities and specific details of the American military force that raided Osama Bin Laden's compound are classified, it is very likely that one of these dogs was part of the team that brought down the greatest real-life villain of the 21st century. Here's a little more about this breed:

"Right this way. Our copy of MegaForce on DVD just
arrived from Amazon."
The dog that joined Seal Team Six might also have been a German Shepherd as they are still very much in use in the U.S. Military. Kathryn Bigelow owns German Shepherds, so the dog in her film version of the story, Zero Dark Thirty, was, of course, of the Rin Tin Tin variety. The genesis of Zero Dark Thirty was actually a screenplay about the failure of the greatest manhunt of this century, but then Bin Laden was found. This warranted a hasty re-write. The film has received some criticism from both the current U.S. Government and many of the Hollywood elite for possibly overplaying the role of torture in obtaining vital information about Bin Laden's whereabouts. That is the question: how far is too far for justice? "By any mean necessary" sounds awesome in action movies and speeches, but that is a very scary proposition in practice. Me? I just don't know enough to say one way or the other. Perhaps we will get another film soon that explores this moral dilemma.
"Wait. What is this? I thought we were going to watch
However, it won't be Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, a very slick alternative account of the raid. This version is much more "MTV" in its approach, including having the characters talking directly to the camera in short interview segments a la The Real World. Director John Stockwell incorporated a good deal of real footage, including the 9/11 attacks and so many voice-overs and televised speeches of Barack Obama that he probably should have given the President top billing. This is a far more frenetic film that Zero Dark Thirty, and, as such, is not quite as compelling, but it is still worth a look for the curious. Bear in mind that this was a top-secret operation, so all of the colorful characters of Seal Team Six - whether Chris Pratt's in Zero Dark Thirty or Anson Mount's in Seal Team Six - are completely fictional. 
Ace Hunter of MegaForce, by contrast, is completely real. 

Damn, I love this movie!

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