Masters of the Air (Hanks/Spielberg series on Apple+)

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Fuckit, we have threads for Pacific & Band of Brothers - this one deserves a thread too

Based on the book by Donald Miller
focused on the legendary Eighth Air Force 100th Bomb group “the Bloody Hundred” who were sent into some absolutely fucked shitfights and (some) lived to tell the tale

Austin Butler & Barry Keoghan star
Cary Joji Fukunaga directkng first 4 eps

first 3 episodes have gone up

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 06:21 (two weeks ago) link

it takes a minute for the show to warm up, ie first episode was a bit so-so
a lot of exposition and forced Winters/Nix moments imposed on Buck & Bucky which were kinda corny - cgi air battles do look a bit weird at first but they do a really great job with the action editing to make it scary as fuck & some of the combat scenes look so fucking good you kinda settle into it

places i least want to be: locked in b52 formation being strafed by like, a thousand enemy fighters ugh terrifying

episode 3 is the Regensburg mission & it is fucking intense as hell, best ep so far imo

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 06:27 (two weeks ago) link

Bucky (Callum Turner) character is v annoying imo. idk if they intended him to be so deeply & pathologicslly unserious but i would fucking strangle him after 10 minutes based on the show
just an absolute tool

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 06:30 (two weeks ago) link

Fukunaga ? I’m on board

calstars, Friday, 2 February 2024 13:25 (two weeks ago) link

yeah it looks gorgeous as expected

one of the things i love is the way the combat sequences show just how dependent the crews are on each other, and how differently they react in intense situations

like, the panicked & understandable reaction of wanting bail out: but if you do that, what are you doing to the mission, what does that do to the remaining crews still under attack, is there a way to stay in the air and still be of service & not endanger the other crews, mission etc

it’s like Apollo space missions with the added terror of combat in a lot of ways. even the struggles with the crew often being an afterthought to the importance of the machinery itself mirrors what the early apollo crews went through w engineering— the bomber guys were never trained on how to bail out. if they bailed out irl it was probably their first time doing it. no one gave anythought to how to preserve/extend THEIR lives or safety. mission was primary. plane was primary. they wore sheepskins & weird electric suits bc those fortresses were literal tin cans, no insulation at all, as cold as 40 below!
suck it up boys.

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 18:19 (two weeks ago) link

After Band of Brothers and even The Pacific strange choice to go with basically zero character development in this.

papal hotwife (milo z), Friday, 2 February 2024 18:30 (two weeks ago) link

i wouldnt say there’s zero
it just comes in slower bursts because you really only get a true sense of them when they’re in combat … they’re not trudging through fields together for days or bivouaking shoulder to shoulder for weeks and months at a time

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 18:51 (two weeks ago) link

correction: i said b52 upthread i meant b17 of course

mea culpa

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 2 February 2024 19:47 (two weeks ago) link

ep4 - a good episode! but tbh i think i’m mentally busting it down a notch bc no combat lol

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 9 February 2024 06:46 (one week ago) link

mechanic fixing the plane while they’re taxiing was badass

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 9 February 2024 06:46 (one week ago) link

fuck episode 5 is brutal

talk about hell in the air

so much shit you don’t think about, like what the base must be like after they have lost so many crews, like living in some kind of a ghost town after the early camaraderie & crowdedness.

and the post-mission interrogation. so fucking grim & harrowing.

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 06:13 (five days ago) link

and again, air combat sequences are incredibly well put together, so fucking intense & scary & crazy

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 06:14 (five days ago) link

We were trying to work out why this was not doing it for us in the same way that Band of Brothers did, and partly we think it's because the guys in BoB were infantry, they were just guys, doing their best, mostly enlisted, and they lived in crappy conditions all the time. Whereas these guys are elite, confident (arrogant, even), and they are only in danger when they are in the air, really. So it's a very different programme, and it has taken this long to really get into it. Totally agree that the most recent episode was super grim. It was a little on the nose for one of the Americans to support the indiscriminate bombing of citizens (just one line, "this is a war," or something similar) and then to pass by a bombed house in London, but overall I'm coming to really like it. Now that I've adjusted my expectations.

trishyb, Friday, 16 February 2024 11:36 (five days ago) link

Feel like I should just watch the last episode and miss the rest.

Generally think I'd rather rewatch BoB for the third time! I still haven't seen the Pacific.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 16 February 2024 12:08 (five days ago) link

please dont skip! — it’s worth watching the whole thing imo

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 15:50 (five days ago) link

I’ve held off so far after trying to decide if my dad would like to watch. My grandfather was a B-17 copilot in 25th Air Force the while the show covers a group in the 8th Air Force, so the missions and locales differ but I’d imagine a lot of the air combat is similar. My grandfather didn’t often talk about specifics, outside of his love of aviation before and after the war, but on the rare occasions when he did speak about the actual combat missions he was pretty shook.

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Friday, 16 February 2024 16:04 (five days ago) link

My grandad was a sweetie, who would also say "my only regret is that I didn't kill more nazis". Otherwise he would talk about the places he was stationed (night watch on the pyramids!) but not the "work" itself.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 16 February 2024 16:10 (five days ago) link

Also, xpost, ok yes, will not skip!

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 16 February 2024 16:11 (five days ago) link

xpost oh wow mh, that’s amazing.

dunno, maybe it would be good for your dad to see it idk?could help give him deeper appreciation of what yr grandad experienced. those pilots were so tough and smart and brave!

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 16:24 (five days ago) link

and shitting their pants for hours at a time

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Friday, 16 February 2024 16:58 (five days ago) link

I always thought i would want to be the ball gunner but then i was goalie in hockey and soccer so *makes spiral crazy finger against my head and cuckoo bird noises*

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 16 February 2024 17:06 (five days ago) link


i think i’d be a waist-gunner? idk. at least ~slightly~ less claustrophobic in that spot w the open side door. those guns are beefy, i like how they sound lol

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 17:45 (five days ago) link

lets be real my irl position on a b-17 i would be curled up in a ball crying

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 17:46 (five days ago) link


Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 16 February 2024 18:38 (five days ago) link

My one comfort would be that there's no way anyone would let me near all that expensive equipment. I'd be in the mess hall, dishing up breakfasts.

It's one of the things that this show highlights really well without being all do-you-see about it: the cost of everything. Those planes, those flight suits, those bombs, those fancy jackets, the people in them, the jeeps, the food, the huge maps, the little models, it all costs so much money. War is such a colossal waste of resources.

trishyb, Friday, 16 February 2024 19:05 (five days ago) link

yeah and the fact that the Allies are getting their asses handed to them in this particular air war & they’re just throwing planes & bodies at the problem purely to be able to show numbers to the higher command

it’s fucked

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 19:15 (five days ago) link

the fact that there was anyone in the group left to even talk about it is stunning

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 19:16 (five days ago) link

Still watching, the action is decent enough, but it’s not very good as a series. Still no character development, no narrative arc (what if Band of Brothers but just random battles rather than following them from training to victory), just guys you don’t really know shooting at planes, some of whom die but you barely know their names (if that).

papal hotwife (milo z), Friday, 16 February 2024 19:31 (five days ago) link

yeah i don’t disagree - the narrative structure is somewhat lacking overall. the time-stamping is all over the place, episode to episode, where 1 ep is a single day then another spans months.

but i think the stories within each episode are really moving.

it’s a bit more like The Pacific than BoB in that regard i would say. there is a through line but it’s not as robust as peels off into various forks

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 16 February 2024 19:41 (five days ago) link

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