War Movies, Eagles, and Rats (New Substandard)

Photo credit: Hunter Martin / Philadelphia Eagles / Getty Images

In this new mind-numbingly long episode of the Substandard (subscribe, leave a review, tell your friends), we discuss the impending Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl. JVL dons an authentic jersey—trust me, it's a snug fit. He and Sonny go on at length about the big game. I can't get a word in, edgewise. Drama ensues—guaranteed to give you a jolt! But the main subject is the post-9/11 war movie genre. Is it everything we imagined it to be? Plus Sonny reviews 12 Strong. I'm constantly amazed by his ability to deliver reviews with such coherence, considering he's not reading from a script. (Whether or not he's right is an entirely different matter.)

But wait, there's more! I provide (one hopes) a penultimate bathroom renovation update with a dark twist. This leads to me and Sonny trading rodent anecdotes. Let's just say Sonny Bunch dealt with his problem like Curtis LeMay. It wasn't pretty.

As for war movies, we're pretty much all over the map. JVL caught me off-guard with his "favorite war movie" question. I said Empire of the Sun, but I also think Midway still holds up. And of course Der Untergang. I know that clip of Hitler losing his shit has been parodied a million times. But take this scene marking the Führer's last birthday—loyalty, treachery, insanity, and evil all rolled into one. Albert Speer really played his cards right—he comes across as a tortured soul carrying the grave concerns of the German people. Okay, not really. But he was a pro at kissing the Führer's ass. (I recently asked one of my favorite historians, Victor Davis Hanson, to render a final verdict on Speer. "Of course he was guilty!" VDH told me without hesitation.) Plus I really like Thomas Kretschmann, who plays Himmler's right-hand man Fegelein. Wo ist Fegelein?!

We also found a Spirit of the Week that pleased JVL, who is nursing a cold. I didn't know Johnnie Walker made an 18-year-old Scotch, but thanks to our friends at Diageo, now I do—and so do you! Caramel notes, maybe butterscotch, smooth as satin. (As you know, I'm an expert at these things!)