Book Review: Mayflower (2006)

A story of courage, community, and war
by Nathaniel Philbrick
2006, Penguin Group, 413 pages

MayflowerMost of us know about the Pilgrims from our history and civics classes.  Or at least we have the Thanksgiving imagery—oven-roasted turkeys, linen tablecloths, silverware, Indians, stern-looking white men with buckles on their hats, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

Well, that’s about it, then.

No, just kidding.  In reality, the second English permanent settlement, consisting of Puritan Separationists, was lucky to have survived the first winter of 1620.

And the main benefit derived from the Indians was the Indians’ forbearance from annihilating the Pilgrims. Continue reading

Movie Review: Dances with Wolves (1990)

Epic Western dances with magic __10/10

Dances with WolvesTen Bears: Let us smoke a while.
John Dunbar: [voiceover] With Ten Bears, it was always more than a while. There was purpose in everything he did, and I knew he wanted me to stay. But I was sure of myself. I would be an excuse, and that’s all the Army would need to find this place. I pushed him as far as I could to move the camp. But in the end, he only smiled and talked of simple pleasures. He reminded me that at his age, a good fire was better than anything. Ten Bears was an extraordinary man.

One for the books

Sometimes we forget how great some movies are. Dances with Wolves feels as if it were flickering on the big screens of America yesterday, not 25 years ago. It’s been sitting on my DVD rack for a long time, and I figured would make a fitting viewing for a Labor Day evening. Captivating is a word that’s been overused, as is magic, but the scale, natural beauty, and plot of this film transcend the extraordinary. It also received seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Kevin Costner). That’s big potatoes in anybody’s book. Continue reading

Movie Review: Hombre (1967)

The best small Western of all time? ___ 9/10
Review by Brian Wright

HombreJohn Russell: Lady, up there in those mountains, there’s a whole people who’ve lost everything. They don’t have a place left to spread their blankets. They’ve been insulted, diseased, made drunk and foolish. And you call the men who did that Christians and you trust ‘em; I know ‘em as white men and I don’t….
Jessie: Russell, if nobody ever lifted a finger until people were deserving the whole world would go to hell. We’d better deal with each other out of need and forget merit. Because none of us have too much of that, not me, not you, not anybody.[1] Continue reading