Films in Focus

Films in Focus: 13 Minutes

Produced in 2015, “13 Minutes” (German: Elser – Er hätte die Welt verändert) is a German drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel that tells the true story of Georg Elser’s failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in November 1939. The title of the film is drawn from the fact that Elser’s bomb detonated in a venue that the Fuhrer had left just 13 minutes before.

It was screened out of competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. It was one of eight films shortlisted by Germany to be their submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it lost out to Labyrinth of Lies.

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Films in Focus: Top Gun 2 – Promise of a Premise

Yesterday, actor Tom Cruise leaked word that he and director, Jerry Bruckheimer, were working on the sequel to Top Gun, the 1986 box office smash hit that helped propel Cruise to stardom and give US Navy recruiting a kick in the pants. Little is known about the plot for Top Gun 2 or where it will be set. However, since its now 30 years later, we can likely presume that Cruise’s character, Pete Mitchell, is a flying instructor at the Naval Flying School, and that a younger, fresher face will almost certainly sit in the cockpit this time around, defending the world from whatever is thrown our way. With territorial disputes around the world, and tension rising in a number of geo-political hot spots, it wouldn’t be difficult to presume the enemy could be Iranian, North Korean, Russian or Chinese, flying the latest stealth aircraft or perhaps piloting them remotely with the aid of UCAVs. And, with the Grumman F-14 Tomcat long since retired from the Navy’s active duty roster, and the new Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier completing its testing and sea trials, its more than likely that whomever is taking on the central role this time around is doing so from the cockpit of a Joint Strike Fighter embarked upon our pride of the fleet. Whew! That’s a lot of speculating going on, but one not without its merits.

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Where Eagle(moss) Dares

Eaglemoss 1:43 scale US Studebaker US6 (M16A) 6×6 2-1/2 Ton Truck – CIAB (Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade), Northampton, England, April 1944 returns to stock this July

We were pleasantly surprised to learn today that a cache of Eaglemoss 1:43 scale military vehicles was uncovered by one of our distributors. While several vehicles were already in stock and available for general sale, quite a few long out-of-stock vehicles were purportedly unearthed, and should be back in stock some time this summer. Vehicles of note that are returning to stock include:

EM010 – German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. L Medium Tank – 16.Infanterie Division (Motorized), Voronezh, Russia, 1942

EM014 – US Army Dodge WC 63 6×6 1-1/2 Ton Truck – 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Arracourt, France, 1944

EM031 – US Studebaker US6 (M16A) 6×6 2-1/2 Ton Truck – CIAB (Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade), Northampton, England, April 1944

EM044 – German Sd. Kfz. 15 Horch Command Car – 4.Panzer Division, Radzymin, Poland, 1944

EM045 – US Army GMC CCKW 353 6×6 2-1/2 Ton Workshop Truck – Vehicle 3, 3886 Transport Company, Advance Section Communications Zone, Cherbourg, France, 1944

EM055 – German Sd. Kfz. 251/8 Krankenpanzerwagen Armored Ambulance – schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Sidi Bou Zid, Tunisia, 1943

Big and beefy, look for this hard-to-find US Army GMC CCKW 353 6×6 2-1/2 Ton Workshop Truck to roll in this summer

Also, soon-to-be-available are EM080 and EM081, a Sd.Ah.116 Tank Transporter and a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. G Medium Tank from the 14.Panzer Division respectively, which we believe were intended as gifts for subscribing to the partworks series. Neither vehicle comes with an acrylic case, but they do serve as nice supplements to the series, and an attractive set when paired together.

Although no case is included for either model, EM080 and EM081 make a handsome set, particularly when displayed together


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Films in Focus: T-34

Every so often, I’m left scratching my head trying to figure out the hows and whys of a conundrum rather than the simple because. Earlier today, we stumbled upon what looks like an intriguing teaser trailer for a film entitled T-34, which is a Russian film that is apparently being ported over to the English-speaking world. Although the visuals look first-rate, we’re not quite clear about the story line other than to say it is based upon a “legendary story” that apparently pits a lone Russian T-34 tank against a swarm of German infantry and panzers, battling it out for control of a small town on the Eastern Front in the dead of winter. Have a look at the accompanying trailer and perhaps you can help us decide whether its a film that deserves everyone’s attention..

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Films in Focus: Star Trek Discovery

Over night, the first trailer dropped for the upcoming series Star Trek Discovery, which will air this fall on CBS All-Access. Frankly, the teaser looks quite good, and explains the timeline as it relates to the Star Trek universe. According to the trailer, Discovery takes place ten years before the Original Series, Star Trek, which aired on CBS some fifty years ago, and before any mention of Captain Kirk or Commander Spock. Enjoy!

According to CBS, “As an added bonus, Star Trek: Discovery has expanded its original series order from 13 to 15 episodes—which means even more sci-fi goodness in Season 1.

CBS All Access has also announced that Star Trek: Discovery is getting its very own after-show, called Talking Trek.”

Eaglemoss, the makers of the highly successful Star Trek starships series, is purportedly hard at work replicating several of the ships seen in the upcoming series and will integrate them in their range once they are approved by Paramount.

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Films in Focus: Churchill

Due to open just days prior to the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Europe, Churchill traces the exploits of Britain’s Prime Minster Winston Churchill’s during the 96 hours leading up to the climactic battle. The film stars Brian Cox as Churchill, who ably demonstrates his penchant for drama, irrepressible need for knowing every minute detail of the invasion, and iron will to see it through despite the potential risk for failure. Looks like a must-see this summer.

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Films in Focus: The Battle of Britain Gets A Reboot

German Heinkel He-111s medium bombers appear above the British coast in search of their targets

Word from Hollywood is that acclaimed director, Ridley Scott, has signed on to directing a new take on the pivotal Battle of Britain. Written by Matthew Orton, a British screenwriter, the film portrays the RAF’s desperate defense of the British Isles against the might of the Luftwaffe, thrown at the island bastion as a potential prelude to a sea and airborne invasion by the German Wehrmacht. The original feature length film of the same name aired way back in 1969 and used real aircraft from both sides of the battle to depict the air-to-air conflict, largely fought between June and September of 1940. Its not clear if the new film will make use of any aircraft still in flyable condition or more likely rely upon computer generated imagery (CGI) and mock ups for the aerial battles.

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Films in Focus: SS-GB

With Amazon’s alternative reality series, The Man in the High Castle, now in its third season, BBC One is getting set to air its own look at a “what-if” scenario arising from WWII. According to Wikipedia, SS-GB is a 2017 British drama series produced for the BBC and based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Len Deighton. It is set in a 1941 alternative timeline in which the United Kingdom is occupied by Nazi Germany, having won the Battle of Britain.

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Films in Focus: Five Came Back

While aviators, sailors and soldiers marched off to World War II trained in the art of fighting and operating modern weapons of war, others had a far more important role to undertake, armed only with a camera and their know-how to tell a story for others to see. Steven Spielberg’s latest war film, Five Came Back, pays tribute to a quintet of filmmakers that were charged with spreading the news about the war, and why it was important to serve despite the potential costs.

Five filmmakers are profiled in the five-part documentary – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – with each story recounted by five of today’s most successful filmmakers – Stephen Spielberg, Guilermo Del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Kasdan, and Paul Greengrass – and narrated by Oscar-award winning actress, Meryl Streep, Five Came Back is due to run on Netflix on March 31st.

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Films in Focus: Want the Real Thing? Well, You May Have to Settle for Diecast

Its common knowledge among military historians, that many allied tanks produced during WWII were no match for their German counterparts, even though many tank crews were told they were issued the finest vehicles available from the “Arsenal of Democracy.” The truth proved to be anything but that, as they soon learned firsthand when facing off against the cream of the panzerwaffe. As a result, many of the earliest Allied tanks never survived the war, most having been destroyed in battle, stripped for parts or simply abandoned to the ravages of time.

Fox News Auto recently posted an interesting article discussing this sad epitaph, then going on to discuss how Hollywood’s film makers skirted this issue when producing some of the most recent films, among them the epic “Fury”. For more information, click on this link:

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