Strange Sunday Diversions

Stress at work ramped up a bit the last week or so, resulting in my neglecting my sourdough, my reading and my blog. I’m two sessions behind in my notes for the recently completed Mythgard Academy class on Out of the Silent Planet. I was the only member of my local library book club who did not finish the book, yet I was supposed to be leading the discussion. My husband risked his life on Friday, exposing his compromised immune system to God only knows what viruses to buy me flowers and a card for Valentine’s Day, yet all I brought home was myself and my stress.

Because I got home later than normal on Friday evening, and properly baked potatoes take a minimum of ninety minutes, we opted for take out from our local Applebee’s for dinner. We also squeezed in a game of Pandemic, which we won again. We decided the next time we play, we’ll increase the number of epidemics to increase the difficulty level.

Saturday I woke early to perform an update that was long over due. As usual, I overprepped and the update applied without issues. I spent the rest of the morning running errands and shopping. I even squeezed in a visit to my dad before heading back home and prepping the Valentine’s Day dinner of a porterhouse steak (bought fresh from a butcher in KCKS during a snow storm last week), roasted brussel sprouts and baked potatoes.

Sunday I again woke early, this time to test server patching, a nearly weekly occurrence I’ve participated in for years. While waiting for the ‘now start testing’ alert email, I trolled through movie recommendations from my viewing habits in Prime Video and Tubi and for once I found a half-dozen halfway decent movies to add to my watchlist. Once I finished patch testing, I embarked on a historical saga from a half a millennium ago, whose trailer promised truly epic battle scenes and a very different point of view.

Conquest 1453

Prime Video Title: Battle of Empires

English Title: Conquest 1453

Released: 2012

Watched: February 16, 2020

Rating: 3.5-4 stars

Brief Synopsis: The film is based on fictionalized events surrounding the Fall of Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the Ottoman Turks during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II.

For historical inaccuracies, please visit:

I knew going into this film I would be seeing the fall (or conquest) of Constantinople from a very different point of view than I’m used to. But I was in the mood for big battles involving archers, swords, cavalry, siege warfare and unbelievably massive cannons (which were actually mostly historically accurate — whoops way too many adverbs but seriously the cannon!).

Two points in the film surprised me considering the source. Roughly an hour into the film, two supporting characters, Hasan, the Sultan’s close friend and cavalry leader, and Era, the adopted daughter of the canon master Orban, have a surprising conversation in the context of 1453. Here is a transcript but you can watch the scene starting at the one hour five minute mark if you prefer:

Era: Today is the big day. Are you excited about it?  
Hasan: Yes, I am. I don't want you to be in the siege, Era.  
E: You know I will be.  We talked about this.  
H: I don't want you to get hurt.  
E: I don't want you to get hurt either.  So you don't go to war, either.  
H: But war is not for women, Era.  
E: Not for women, you say?  Have you forgotten what I went through?  They slaughtered my mother and sisters in the war.  None of them were soldiers.  They were killed, not on the front line, but at home. Men die with honour in a war.  But women lose their fathers, their children, their husbands, their honour.  Women lose everything they have.  I will go to this war, and there's no one that can stop me.  

The very last scene, when the Sultan frees the residents of Constantinople to return to their ‘normal’ lives, was a bit much. Definitely some propaganda going on there, confirmed in the historical inaccuracies link above and the media reaction in Greece. Despite all this, I enjoyed the movie and can see why it did very well in Turkish theaters.

The Berlin Job

Prime Video Title: Berlin Job

British Title: St. George’s Day

Released: 2012

Watched: February 16, 2020

Rating: 2-2.5 stars

Once Terry woke up, I thought we’d try watching this British gangster film. He slept though most of it and I wish I had as well. Plodding pace and sparing wit (unusual from the Brits) left me wishing I’d picked something else to watch first.

The final selection of the day I found via Tubi, a free movie streaming channel (ads included so not technically free) I occasionally find hidden gems in. And ironically, this movie also harkens from 2012, at least an alternate version of it.

I'll Follow You Down

I’ll Follow You Down

Released: 2013

Watched: February 16, 2020

Rating: 3.5-4 stars

IMDB synopsis: After the disappearance of a young scientist on a business trip, his son and wife struggle to cope, only to make a bizarre discovery years later – one that may bring him home.

I’m glad I found this cerebral Canadian alternate timeline rabbit hole to fall down in yesterday. Impressive cast and story. I definitely recommend a walk down this memory lane wormhole.

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