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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: In the latest “based on a true story” entry, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) plays the real historical (and neurotic) WW II hero, genius and mathematician Alan Turing, as he and a few others break the Nazis’ Enigma code and shorten the war.
The British government rewards his sacrifice and invaluable service by arresting him for being gay. (I hear the working title was “Worst Thank You EVER.”)
Written by Graham Moore from the book by Andrew Hodges. Directed by Morten Tyldum.
- Even without his cool trench coat and Martin Freeman, Cumberboy is a fine actor and really does a convincing job. His character is a unique mix of Sherlock and Sheldon from BIG BANG THEORY, but with more tragedy than comedy. Sometimes you feel sorry for him and other times you wanna punch him.
- A really bizarre-looking code-breaking computer that’s as big as a wall. No idea how it worked but I bet it would impress chicks.
- Fascinatin’ background on the whole code-breaking thing, what it meant, how important it was, how it worked and how friggin’ hard it was to crack (the Krauts changed the code every day at midnight, so you only had 24 hours to figure it out each time).
- Kera Knightly plays Joan Clarke, the only woman shown to work with the code breakers. She was up against a lot of social crap (the usual, “girls can’t do math, they should cook” stuff) but does a good job being a smart chick who just happens to look like a skinny Hollywood babe. But she’s more believable than having Sophia Vegara or other hot chick in the role. (I never looked at her boobies, and fer me, that’s sayin’ somethin’!)
- The initial interview of Turing and the English C.O. is pretty funny, and there’s some good lines/banter between him and his teachers and co-workers. Very Sheldon-like.
- Nice job with sets and costumes to recreate the 1940s and other time periods. (Then again, I never visited England in the 40s so WTF do I know?)
- Some very emotional scenes. You really get an idea of how difficult some of the decisions must have been for both the brass and the code breakers. The stuff they had to deal with after breaking the code was even worse than trying to break it! Effectively done.
- No gay romance, thank goodness. Yer pal Bru couldn’t care who loves who, but I sure don’t wanna see no dudes snoggin’, as they say in the UK. (Hell, I don’t even want to see certain actresses kiss either!) This is tastefully done.
- I’m sure there were plenty of liberties taken with the true story, but at least they managed to create a good deal of suspense at certain points. Kept me interested.
- If you like happy endings, look elsewhere. You can read about the real dude on Wikipedia, and the whole thing sucks no matter how you look at it. Even after he died he was dissed: it took the freakin’ gov’t 55 years just to say “Sorry, mate!” and nearly 60 to give him the award he shoulda got after the war. Nice job, Limeys!
- School bullies suck, especially when the entire class gangs up on one kid. Ugh.
- The C.O. starts out a bit dickish but gets worse. A lot of people didn’t believe in what Turing was doing and disliking him didn’t make it any better; his people skills didn’t help either.
- No Martin Freeman. Sherlock needs his Homes.
- Despite being a war movie, there aren’t many explosions or battle scenes. Most of it takes place indoors where the brainiacs work.
- Being gay in Britain. I knew some of our Southern states were bad, but a whole country? Being a sausage-seeker in England back then was like being a major criminal, and their choices for dealing with it sound like something out of the Dark Ages and science fiction combined. I ain’t no hot dog hound, but that stuff is scary even ta me. Government and sex don’t go together (unless you’re a Congressman with a Twitter account. HA!)
- Unrequited love, in any form.
A handful of battle scenes ain’t enough for me to recommend the big screen. And I have no desire to see Cucumberbatch’s otter-face or Knightly’s big jaw and skinny gams eight-feet high. But the story is definitely worth knowing, and this has a lot more tension than a stupid documentary. Unlike PBS crap, this won’t put you to sleep if you get into it. And it’ll tide you Cumberbitches and Sherlocrazies over till the next season of the detective show.
P.S.: You know what’s REALLY gay? Anything Pascale draws. HA!! But people like his stuff for some reason. Want a sexy dude or dudette? He caters to all tastes. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, mathematicians, scientists, the military, straight or gay people, the United Kingdom, the Queen or fans of Sherlock. However, we’re confident that Archie Bunker is pretty well-represented.