Tag Archives: Nazi

“Iron Man” Nazi Statue News Plagiarized?

Yesterday, science and science fiction sites alike exploded with the news that German scientists had found out some interesting information about a carved Tibetan statue originally discovered by Nazis in the 1930s.  The Nazis were definitely not known for their interest in Buddhist-type religions, yet the swastika-like symbol on the statue’s chest is probably what drove the Nazis to bring it back with them to Germany.  But this is not the main reason scientists find the statue that they name “Iron Man” to be so interesting.

Remember, I mentioned that science fiction sites also had this news posted?  Normally, science fiction involves matters of space, like aliens.  Well, it turns out the “Iron Man” sculpture happens to be from space.  The German scientists studied the material the figure was carved from, and it’s made of a substance called ataxite, a rare form of iron with high levels of nickel (thank you, Wikipedia).  After more investigations, the scientific team surmised that the statue was carved from a Chinga meteorite fragment, a field of which had been discovered around the Mongolia and Siberia borders in 1913 (near modern-day Tibet).

Currently, “the Iron Man statue is the only known illustration of a human figure to be carved into a meteorite,” said lead researcher Elmar Buchner [Gizmodo].

As quick-catching as this news is, I found it interesting, but nothing to get worked up over.  I realize that carving into a very, very hard form of meteorite metal was a feat in and of itself, but many people have accomplished incredible feats throughout the centuries; this is just one more to appreciate and add to the book.

I think the reporting of the story is what made it seem so hyped to me as an ethically-trained journalist who believes you tell the truth as accurately as possible.  All the news stories made the story seem a little sensationalist, using titles with words in them such as extraterrestrial and alien origins.  If you take those words at their literal definitions, they 100% fit the description of the statue being made from something not organic to this Earth.  However, since extraterrestrial and alien have very science fiction-y connotations of other beings existing in the universe, these stories’ titles initially made it seem like the statue was originally carved by these beings before arriving (or being “sent”) to Earth.  That’s good marketing, but definitely misleading reporting.

“Yeeeeess, I carved that statue you found, you insignificant Earthlings.”

Also, I found it curious that after the plagiarism scandal by Time editor-at-large and journalist Fareed Zakaria, that much of the news stories I found yesterday regarding the “Iron Man” statue were bordering on their own plagiarism issues.  For example, the Gizmodo article about the “Iron Man” starts, “No, it isn’t the plot for the next Indiana Jones movie” [Gizmodo].  And take this opening line from The Mary Sue: “It’s like Indiana Jones, Marvel and 2001: A Space Odyssey all in one story” [The Mary Sue].  Or what about this line from the Huffington Post: “It sounds like a mash-up of Indiana Jones’ plots” [Huffington Post].

Fareed Zakaria
Fareed congratulates you “Iron Man” reporters on plagiarizing each other’s ideas.

And this isn’t stealing each other’s ideas… how?  If Zakaria can take another author’s ideas and simply reword them and be called out on plagiarism, all of these articles’ authors seem to be doing the exact same thing in regards to the Indiana Jones reference.  I realize that it’s getting harder and harder to be original on the Internet when you’re racing to get news out, but it seems a little too ironic that all of these authors would be thinking about Indiana Jones as they wrote their articles (or maybe they’re just more geeky than I realize).

Speaking of ironic and all this iron meteorite talk, I’m going to end on a quote for you to consider from our beloved Caboose: “I think it would be ironic if we were all made of iron.”

Caboose
I like me.

Naziploitation Film Reviews: Iron Sky

In the year 2018, a promotional space shuttle flies out to the moon to – well, to do some promoting, what else? However when they arrive they notice that a huge base has been constructed by the Nazi party (who fled there after the war).  One astronaut meets a sticky end (loses his brains through the back of his spacesuit), but the remaining astronaut is captured. The Nazis believe this man is the leader of the mission but in fact he is a black model named James Washington, which confuses the Nazis and makes them wonder if they are under attack from united forces. To keep him on their side they turn James Arian, which sucks for him, as now his skin is bleached white. He is obviously not best pleased but it’s either this or death so he plays along. Finding out that Washington’s phone battery can charge their death ship the Gotterdammerung, officers Renate Richter (earth expert) and Klaus Adler (wannabe ruler), with white Washington in tow, go to Earth to see if America is planning an act of aggression and to nick some phone batteries.

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Radical Review: Time Bomb

It turns out the Mayans were right, the world does end in 2012. How they predicted that Hitler’s top-secret doomsday device would be discovered and then accidentally triggered is beyond me though. Fortunately for the human race the “New World Order”, a CIA/FBI/Interpol type of organization, has put together a crack team of special agents to go back in time to prevent the world-wide disaster from happening. This is the setup of Radical Comics graphic novel Time Bomb. Time Bomb is actually the name of the time travel device, which operates by harnessing a small nuclear explosion, not the name of the Nazi created missile that spreads an unstoppable virus throughout the world’s atmosphere.

Radical Comics is a publisher that, according to their Wikipedia page, produces only products that they think would be directly translatable to the big screen. Essentially, by this definition, Radical comics are jazzed up screenplays. With that in mind Time Bomb is, in movie terms, Armageddon meets Inglorious Basterds meets Timeline. While it’s true that I could see this story being made into a movie, it would likely be a B-movie starring the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and whoever is the modern equivalent of Lorenzo Lamas.

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Vintage Reviews: MARATHON MAN – Is it safe?

You may have noticed an increase in the amount of reviews we’ve been doing lately. Be it our ‘Grizzly Reviews’ of the most current stuff at the theater, ‘Random-Ass Reviews’ which are focused around totally random viewings of movies, new or something less recent on Netflix. We also have the increasingly popular ‘Craptastic Reviews’ where we take a look at B-Movies in hope of finding a rare, entertaining gem. That quest continues still. But now we are throwing something new in the pot: the ‘Vintage Review’.

These will focus on movies from 1979 or earlier, some to be considered classics, some considerably less prestigious than classic. These will focus not only on the movie itself, but factors such as cultural relevance, how well the movie has stood the test of time, and how it was received originally. For the first movie in our new series of ‘Vintage Reviews’, I’ve chosen Marathon Man.

Marathon Man is a story about Babe (Dustin Hoffman), a grad student living in NYC. He is a History Major whose father committed suicide years earlier as a result of accusations made against him during the rampant McCarthyism of the 1950s. Babe has an older brother, Doc (Roy Scheider), who Babe thinks sells oil, but who is in fact a covert operative for the CIA. Doc is brought to town to meet with wanted Nazi War Criminal Szell. Played by film legend Laurence Olivier, Szell is in New York to claim millions of dollars worth of diamonds he has hidden in a safe deposit box.

Szell is convinced that he is going to be robbed of said diamonds as soon as he claims them from the bank. In fact he is convinced that not only will he be robbed, but that Doc will be the one to rob him. Believing his fortune in danger, Szell has Babe kidnapped and then proceeds to torture him in the famous “Dentist Scene”.

Now that is obviously a broad stroke, and describes only part of the movie as I don’t wish to ruin anything for those who haven’t seen it.

Upon it’s release in 1976, the movie was both a financial and critical success. Olivier’s performance was particularly praised and he would be nominated at the Oscars for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’.

His character, ‘Dr. Szell’ (based on Dr. Josef Mengele, head SS Doctor of Auschwitz) was ranked as villain #34 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains” list. The film itself was ranked #50 on the “100 Years…100 Thrills” list.

Personally I felt the film holds up very well, and not all films from that period do. A lot of the thrillers from the late 70’s have become a bit dull in retrospect, but this one holds up nicely. The pacing has a good flow to it, which is no surprise with John Schlesinger (one of the most respected directors of the era) at the helm. It’s also always helpful when the writer of the novel adapts it himself for screen as William Goldman did here. It helps keep the themes of the story in check.

Though we are now a bit removed from hunting Nazi War criminals, as most are dead, the characters are still relevant and identifiable. We are again reminded, as in most films from this time, how New York really seemed to be the center of the world then. Now with the Internet and other technological advancements of the past 30 years, thing don’t seem so centralized anymore, but it gives a real presence here.

The cast is obviously phenomenal, Oliver being one of the most respected actors in the history of film, and Dustin Hoffman is always excellent. Plus you add Roy Scheider, who most of you will know as Sheriff Brody from Jaws, and you’ve got a real powerhouse trio up front.

A special treat for me was seeing a young William Devane, who I will always remember as ‘Secretary of Defense James Heller’ on 24.

Again, I highly recommend this movie, that is why I have tried not to spoil more than is necessary, but I can tell you there is much more to it, so it’s for sure worth a watch.

I give Marathon Man a 4 out of 5 Bears…