Movies to Help Donald Trump Understand Nuclear War
U.S. president Ronald Reagan sat down to watch a movie on Oct. 10, 1983 and he didn’t much for care for what he saw. “I ran the tape of the movie ABC is running on the air on Nov. 20,” Reagan wrote in his diary that day. “It’s called... Read more
‘Dunkirk’ Helped Me Understand the Terror and Confusion of War
Christopher Nolan’s war film Dunkirk took lots of things I knew about World War II and made me feel them. It’s the difference between writing down “the destroyer sank with loss of half the crew” — and being a person deep inside that ship’s bowels, having just escaped the... Read more
‘Dunkirk’ Is a Booming, Bloodless Bore
This article contains spoilers for Dunkirk. When I walked out of the theater after watching Dunkirk, I realized I couldn’t recall any of the characters’ names. Well, that’s not entirely fair. I did remember the name of the boy on the boat, but only because his name appeared in... Read more
Commandos Clash With Damn Dirty Apes
This article contains spoilers for War for the Planet of the Apes. The plot of War for the Planet of the Apes centers around a commando raid gone wrong. At the end of preceding Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar rids his tribe of its radical elements and strikes... Read more
‘Exosquad’ Is the Best War Animation You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
This story originally appeared on June 21, 2016. A product of Universal Cartoon Studios, Exosquad stood apart from Western cartoons because its plot was a sophisticated combination of interplanetary space battles with conventional and guerrilla warfare on the ground. Not to mention an encounter with alien technology, and most importantly,... Read more
A Culinary Guide to the Kurdish Front Line
This story originally appeared on July 5, 2016. “You must stay for lunch.” “Well we should really get going, we still have hours of driving.” “It doesn’t matter, you need to eat, so you will stay with us.” When you finish interviewing anybody in Iraqi Kurdistan — but in particular soldiers — there’s always that... Read more
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and the Burdens of Modern Policing
If the Avengers are a super-powered Special Operations group then Spider-Man is a beat cop. While the Avengers stop Ultron from wiping out all human life on the planet and prepare for the world-shattering invasion of Thanos, Spider-Man helps old ladies with directions and stops bike thieves. That is as... Read more
Play the Pentagon-Funded Video Game That Predates Pong
This story originally appeared on July 24, 2014. Before Call of Duty, before Mario and even before Pong there was Spacewar! The brainchild of six graduate students at MIT in the early ‘60s, Spacewar! was the first true video game. A few guys had done cool tricks with oscilloscopes in... Read more
‘Rising Storm 2: Vietnam’ Balances U.S. Firepower With Militant Tricks
Tripwire Interactive’s Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, a computer game released on Steam in May 2017, fits somewhere in the middle of the realism scale for a first-person war shooter. On one end are the “arcade” shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. On the other end are the open-world... Read more
Why ‘Fallout’ Is the Best Nuclear War Story Ever Told
This article was originally published on June 26, 2015. I wandered the wastelands, desperately searching for a water chip to fix a broken machine and save my people. I spent countless hours searching the California wastes for a Garden of Eden Creation Kit so I could feed a starving... Read more
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