Did you know that before World War II, there was a World War I? I know, crazy right?

Oh stop it, of course I knew there was a WWI. You can’t get to a II with a I. Now someone that doesn’t understand the Roman Numeral system will accuse me of making fun of people with stuttering issues with that II.

Fuck you, that was too funny!

ANYWAY so last night, in my Cold & Flu medicated stupor, I watched ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’, a documentary film produced by Peter Jackson, that I assure you contains not a single Hobbit.

Here, Jackson combines archival interviews with British soldiers, and actual film taken from battlefields and bases during the actual war.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But Joe, footage from that time is black and white, has no sound, and looks all jittery like everyone had a nervous system disorder, and NOW I think it’s totally fucked up that you’re making fun of people with nervous system disorders, bro!” (Fuck you again, I’m never letting this bit die!!)

And therein lies the unbelievable magic of what Jackson has done here. All the framerates have been doubled, all the imagery stabliized, and all the footage colorized and enhanced with a 3D depth.

Trust me when I tell you, you have never seen footage from 100 years ago, look like this.

But the sound! Jackson takes each scene and creates sound that matches the visual. A group of soldiers are seen talking and laughing? Then that’s what you hear. Men are unloading trucks and someone drops a crate? That’s what you hear.

What Jackson has done here is truly a ‘marvel’ in every sense of the word.

And unfortunately, with this new world if visual realism comes scenes of men who found themselves on the wrong end of mortar fire. Men who were one minute talking to a fellow soldier, and the next on the ground with half of their skull missing.

To paraphrase one of the gentlemen in the film “All of the romanticism of war was gone from us in short order.”

In a nutshell, if you’re into history, I can’t recommend this highly enough.

You have never seen World War I like this.

Playing locally at Brandywine Town Center and Christiana.

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