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Rick G.

BATTLESHIP the Movie

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Holy crap. Bel and I went to see BATTLESHIP last night here in Dubai. There is a certain element of hokiness to it, and I knew that going in, and as such I didn't think I would like it that well, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Firstly- I think we earthlings need to stop sending those "Here we are" search signals out in to space, like the scientists were doing in the movie, but I think we are doing for real as well. You just never know, this could happen for real, and the aliens whose attention we attract may not necessarily be friendly! YIKES! (I know our normal radio and TV signals are drifting ever further outward into space as is, but why create a specific "here we are" signal beacon that just begs for trouble? Who knows....)

Don't read my post here any further if you intend to go see the movie because I am about to write what is known as a "spoiler," a surprise which let's the cat out of the bag so to speak. ha.

The evil aliens have "landed" in the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii, initially hiding under water for the most part, prior to coming out of hiding. Initial attempts to battle the aliens are falling short, including use of the aircraft carrier U.S.S, Ronald Reagan and its accompanying task force, which happen to be on war manuvers when they stumble on to the alien ships. Our ships and planes are soon getting their as_es handed to them by the technologically superior alien force! The aliens have somehow managed to jam and render useless all of our "modern" electronic weaponry and computer systems aboard the ships and planes. What to do? Our guys need help fast! lol....

Enter the Battleship, the U.S.S. MISSOURI, which is and has been a museum-memorial over the past 10 years or so at Pearl Harbor. As luck would have it, there is a U.S.S. MISSOURI crew reunion taking place at Pearl Harbor, with many ex-crew members of the ship from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam on board visiting the ship. When word reaches back to Pearl that our carrier Reagan task force at sea is battling a vastly superior alien invasion force, the old Navy vets visiting aboard the mighty Mo convince Naval headquarters back at Pearl to let them take the Mo back out to sea to battle the aliens! In short order (very hoki at this point, I mean really. The ship is now a museum piece, in reality, not much fuel aboard and no weapon ordnance aboard, or at least you wouldn't think so. lol...) the Mo is made seaworthy once again, her boilers brought back on line, and she soon finds her way to sea, crewed by a bunch of veteran retirees! YESSSS! ha.... Too TOO much,,,,

Their plan is to try to use the Mighty Mo's huge 16" guns against the alien ships since the huge gun turrets are 70+ years old, and old school "analog" in nature, and there-by impervious to the aliens electronic jamming methods! Uh-Oh..... look out aliens! lol.... Well the Mighty Mo to the rescue as it arrives on scene, and the poor aliens do not seem to have an answer for the MISSOURI's "amazing" agility (some pretty hoki manuvering on the Mo's part to avoid some of the alien weaponry) Ahhhh Hollywood.... lol... The old Naval vets aboard the MISSOURI take both our own other Naval ships AND the aliens to school as the big 16 inchers open up on the alien craft and proceed to take 'em down! YESSSSSS! It was all very exciting and pure entertainment. lol..... I must admit, it was great fun seeing those evil alien ships getting spanked by those big 16" guns..... ha. Old Navy Vets and old school technology ended up saving the earth! ha....

Here is an info link about the movie:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440129/

According to the above info, it looks like it doesn't open in the U.S. until May 18th? That's weird. Usually we don't get new movie openings here at the theaters in Dubai until after the movies have opened in the U.S.

Well if you go to see it, I hope you enjoy it. Sorry if I ruined it for ya by revealing the MISSOURI's part. There's still plenty of good action that I didn't reveal. ha...

Rick G.

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I'm guessing that it may be worth going to see just for the visuals, I usually have to suspend my sense of historical accuracy for a couple hours to go to a movie anyway. It's not really precedent setting right, wasn't it Independence Day that had a half drunk cropduster pilot launching in an F/A-18 strike against the wily alien foe?

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Precisely Clay. Yes the visuals are pretty good in the movie. And yes, you have to go in to something like this with a sense of pure entertainment and escapism in mind, all in fun. Yeah I remember the drunk crop duster pilot flying the F/A-18 in "Independence Day."

"HELLO Boys! I'm-mmm Back-kkkk!" lol.... What else did he say right before he bought the farm? Something like, "In the words of my generation- UP YOURS-SSSS!"

Rick G.

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Steve,

Thanks for the interesting article. I thought singer Rihanna did just fine as a first time actor. She didn't need to be a Meryl Streep for her role in this movie, but she did fine. This movie isn't one of those that you would want to go see again and again. Once was enough. I would say it was no better or no worse than say, "Independence Day" or "Lost In Space" or the latest "Planet of the Apes" movie. All the critics and everybody has their opinions. Youz payz your money and takes your chances, lol. No one forces you at gun point to enter the theaters.

The movie theaters here in Dubai are super nice. They are all big multi-plexes, and are always attached to the huge malls here as part of a mall. There are no stand alone theaters here. High tech sound systems, stadium seating, plush seats. A standard ticket price here is probably about the same as in the U.S., equal to between $7.00 to $8.00 in U.S. currency. The curious thing about the theaters here is all the seats are reserved. For best choice of seats, it's first come first served, you pick your seats with the cashier at the time you buy your tickets. They have viewing screen terminals right there at the ticket counter, and you can see what seats are still available for a given showing.

For more money the theaters also offer "deluxe" seating, (which we have never tried and probably never will) which offers recliner seats, and seatside waiter service for food and drinks. Sheesh... ha. Not many ex-pats like us seem to go for that option. The spolied Emirati nationals seem to love it though.... Oi...

One thing you have to put up with at the movies here though is the Arabic language closed captioning at the bottom of the movie screen. The sound track remains in English, but they always put the Arabic in closed caption form at the bottom. The screens are so large though that this is not a problem for us. We are easily able to ignore it.

There has been talk here however of eliminating the closed captioning from the movie screens. Most Emiratis that bother to attend a movie already speak fluent English anyway, so I guess thay figure that some day the closed captioning in Arabic may become a mute point.

The theaters also have ticket kiosks out in the malls, where-by customers can choose their movie, time, and seats, through the use of a credit card, and that way buy their movie tickets from elsewhere in the mall. Clever! You can also buy movie tickets here from your home by going on-line, and using your credit card. Bel and I prefer to do it the old fashined way- we don't like to use our credit card for stuff like that, we feel it's risky. We'll just go to the theater directly, in person, and get there early enough to still get decent seats, and pay by using this strange invention called cash. lol... The weekends are a real madhouse in the malls here, large crowds. If we feel we want to visit any of the malls, or to see a movie, we try to go during the work week when it's less crowded.

There is always a big influx of Saudi Arabians in town and in the malls here in Dubai on weekends or on muslim holidays. You can especially tell the women Saudis because most of them, ESPECIALLY if they are married, will be wearing the full face veils, with only the slit for their eyes showing. Not as many of the local Emirati women from the U.A.E. here still wear the full face veils any more, other than maybe the older women, or married women whose husbands want them to cover up in public. Most of the Saudi Arabian men, and not so much but still some of the Emirati men are very jealous to have another man look at their wives in public. So I try not to stare at these women who have the full face veils on when their husbands are with them, which is most of the time. ha.... It is not usually "proper" for a married Saudi woman or even some still feel even a married Emirati woman to be seen in public without her husband at her side. Here in the U.A.E. though, this perceived tradition or whatever you want to call it is falling by the wayside. Saudi Arabia however remains much more strict or regimented in what is and s not considered proper for their women. Bel and I have no desire to ever visit Saudi Arabia. We feel very safe and comfortable here in the U.A.E., as "westernized" as it is. But to be in Saudi Arabia would be a whole other ball game.

Rick G.

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A little bit off topic but still in the line of battle ships. Does anyone know where the mighty Mo's sister ship the Wisconsin is anchored. Or was she scraped?

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A little bit off topic but still in the line of battle ships. Does anyone know where the mighty Mo's sister ship the Wisconsin is anchored. Or was she scraped?

She is open as a museum in Norfolk.

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Interestingly, most of the battleships of WWII didn't slug it out with each other very much. I don't believe any of the Iowa class ships were involved in major surface actions using their big guns against other big ships, though the older South Dakota and Washington had an interesting evening off Guadalcanal once, and some of the old-timers raised up from Pearl got to do some shootin' at Japanese battleships in Surigao Straight, again at night.

They did get used a lot as floating AA batteries and did lots of shore bombardment. About the only warships that were able to operate on their own were destroyers. They were the real workhorses. Pretty sure I'm glad I wasn't on one, though.

I watched the trailer on IMDB, so I'm sure the movie has some incredible special effects, but battleships couldn't even go it alone against enemy destroyers. Probably just me, but I have to struggle to watch something I know couldn't happen.

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Interestingly, most of the battleships of WWII didn't slug it out with each other very much. I don't believe any of the Iowa class ships were involved in major surface actions using their big guns against other big ships, though the older South Dakota and Washington had an interesting evening off Guadalcanal once, and some of the old-timers raised up from Pearl got to do some shootin' at Japanese battleships in Surigao Straight, again at night.

They did get used a lot as floating AA batteries and did lots of shore bombardment. About the only warships that were able to operate on their own were destroyers. They were the real workhorses. Pretty sure I'm glad I wasn't on one, though.

I watched the trailer on IMDB, so I'm sure the movie has some incredible special effects, but battleships couldn't even go it alone against enemy destroyers. Probably just me, but I have to struggle to watch something I know couldn't happen.

That was the 3rd battle of Savo Island right? It is a shame that the USS NC was out of the action after getting torpedoed at that point.....IIRC from what I have read South Dakota was about half useless in that fight. But yes, BB's mostly conducted shore bombardments and fought off attacking aircraft. USS NC sort of cemented the role of the BB as an antiaircraft platform in its "baptism of fire" in August, 1942.

And I agree, I would not have wanted to be on a destroyer, or a carrier for that matter. IMO the BB's were about the safest place to be, plus they could make ice cream!

I had seen the trailer and the movie didn't appeal much to me....I am a big battleship fan (USS NC is moored a little over an hour from me and I go visit every chance I get) but now that I know a little more about it, I'm not sure I want to pay to see it in the theater but might be worth watching on DVD. The plot reminds me---which movie back in the late 80's/early 90's was it that starred Steven Segal where he and the "heroine" along with a WWII vet and maybe a couple other guys were able to successfully load and fire the 16" guns and kill the terrorists who were trying to steal the missles on board?

Speaking of BB's still around--I think the only fast battleships that were scrapped were Washington (BB 56) South Dakota (BB 57) and Indiana (BB 58). North Carolina (BB 55) Massachusetts (BB 59) Alabama (BB 60) and then all the Iowa Class ships are museum ships.

Al

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The Steven Seagal movie was called "Under Siege" and they were aboard the Missouri. Paul

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I haven't seen battleship yet but it'll have to go a very very long ways to top "The Avengers"...best super hero movie ever...

They even managed to pull off some decent comedy along the way.

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I believe you're right about the South Dakota, Al. I think they got their radar knocked out early on that night, and took some hits that the Washington didn't.

The South Dakota gained some fame as a deadly AA platform during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. I think they claimed 26 Japanese planes shot down, though I'm not sure that's right.

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I believe you're right about the South Dakota, Al. I think they got their radar knocked out early on that night, and took some hits that the Washington didn't.

The South Dakota gained some fame as a deadly AA platform during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. I think they claimed 26 Japanese planes shot down, though I'm not sure that's right.

I'm basing most of my comments off an article on the USS Washington's website--I believe it's by David Lippman, called "A Fork in the Road." Anyway IIRC as the battle started someone on the South Dakota tied all the electrical circuit breakers together and promptly blew everything--the ship was literally dead in the water for a while and then the Japanese illuminated it with searchlights and it took a pounding.

I may have to see the movie just to see them fire the 16"guns. MAN they were something. They could throw a 2500 lb shell close to 20 miles and hit what they were aiming at, even in the '40s! FWIW there are a couple videos on youtube of the 16" guns on the Wisconsin being fired---very cool, except I didn't see a full, 9-gun salvo. Now that would be something to see!!

Al

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Al...I think a USS flat top in WWII would be a pretty safe place to be. They were very well protected by cruisers and destoryers as we needed our floating air ports to win the war. Not all of them survived unscathed, but Japan lost nearly all of thiers before the end.

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Al...I think a USS flat top in WWII would be a pretty safe place to be. They were very well protected by cruisers and destoryers as we needed our floating air ports to win the war. Not all of them survived unscathed, but Japan lost nearly all of thiers before the end.

There were so many fast carriers in the Pacific by the end of the war that statistically they were probably a relatively safe place to be by then. But still, they had wooden flight decks, hundreds of thousands of gallons of av gas and fuel oil, acres of painted surfaces, who knows how much hydraulic oil and grease, and gobs of torpedoes, bombs, and ammo for their 5 inchers and 40 mm Bofors. Lots of guys burned to a crisp whenever a kamikaze got through, which they did with some frequency. I'm glad I wasn't there at all.

A really good read is "A History of the United States Navy in World War II" by Samuel Eliot Morrision. I found the entire set in my local library years ago, and read one volume at a time.

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Here is some interesting reading regarding the "Iowa class" batteships, which consisted of the Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, and the Wisconsin.

Many do not know that construction had been started, but then later halted on two additional Iowa class battleships.

BB 65 was to be called the Illinois, but only made it to being approx. 25% completion before cancellation and eventual scrapping.

BB 66 was to be called the Kentucky, and it made it to approx. 75% completion before cancellation, and eventual scrapping.

Additionally, these two ships were actually intended to be yet another newer class of battleships, know as the "Montana class," and were to be named the Montana and the Ohio. But before the construction even started, it was decided to keep the hull sizes the same as the Iowa class ships, and so they started construction as Iowa class ships Illinois and Kentucky.

This link talks about how the bow of the 75% completed Kentucky actually got used at sea, as it was grafted on to the Missouri after the Missouri had become damaged by accidentally ramming another of our own ships!

Very interesting stuff. It's all here in this link:

http://en.wikipedia....lass_battleship

I once read somewhere (can't remember where) that a ship's bell had been crafted for the U.S.S. Illinois, even though the ship itself never fully came in to existence or use. That bell supposedly still exists to this day, at the University of Illinois- The Fighting Illini. I thought that I read where they use the bell at their home football games, and ring the bell when the teams scores a touchdown.

Can anyone verify this for sure? I will try to research this and report here if I find anything on this- fact or fiction.

Rick G.

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OK I'm back, didn't take me long to find it.

Indeed, the University of Illinois has the ship's bell, and does use the bell at their football games. I guess I wasn't imagining or dreaming that I read that some where ages ago. lol....

Here is a link that talks about it, scroll down to where the article talks about scrapping the uncompleted ship:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Illinois_(BB-65)

I can't find anything about the ships' Bell from the U.S.S. Kentucky, even though it made it to 75% completion vs the illinois at only 25% complete. Maybe someone has the Kentucky's Bell stashed in their basement or attic??? :ph34r: Maybe it will turn up some day on one of those TV shows- American Pickers, Storage Wars, or Pawn Stars. :P

Rick G.

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I spend way too much time reading and watching ww2 documentaries so it is tough for me as well to not pick apart the historical and technical inacuracies in some of these movies! Still fun to watch though!

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Back yet again. This was bugging me so I kept diggin'. Here is what I've found. There was a WW1 battle ship named U.S.S. Kentucky, it's # was BB 6. The new WWII battleship Kentucky was going to be BB 66. The bell from the old WW1 Kentucky had been saved and was to be used aboard the new Kentucky. After the new BB 66 Kentucky was scrapped, the bell was still saved, and now it is displayed at the military museum in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Attached is a pic of it.

Rick G.

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