Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s regular workday consists of sitting hunched over a computer screen all day. So on my day off, here I am….hunched over a computer screen. (I will say, in my defense, that it’s just too cold to be oot and aboot, and I don’t much feel like mopping floors right now.)

Anyhoo, last evening I watched “Midway”. No, not the abomination from 2019,*** but the old “block-buster” original from 1976. I hadn’t seen it since some time in my early teens, and something prodded me recently (perhaps watching the 2019 abomination) to go back and see if it was as stinky as I remember it.

Well, it is. But the smell is a bit different this time.

Back in my misspent yoot, I was a nerd about many things (shut up!), one of them being WWII naval operations in the Pacific. I recall being indignant with “Midway” back then because it was so sloppy about the “actual footage” used: torpedo and dive bombers misidentified, clips of planes not in operation in 1942, well-known footage from other battles, etc., etc.

That annoyed me again last evening, but what really got me was the obviousness of the fact that this film was nothing more than an effort to recreate the success of “Tora! Tora! Tora!”, only to do so on the cheap, going so far as to swipe large chunks of footage from the latter film (which, in Ol’ Robbo’s humble opinion, has a serious claim to the title of Best WWII Movie of All Time). As if nobody would notice. Honestly, there were more original flying scenes in the average episode of “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” than this. (Of course, the opening credits also run over clips from the classic “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”, but that seemed to me more like a homage, and makes sense in a chronological way.)

The film was also, oddly, too short. The only real subplot was the one involving Charlton Heston, his son, and teh Japanese girlfriend. Either more such subplots should have been added, or that one should have been chucked, as it throws the movie off balance. Perhaps some more character development of some of the combatants would have been appropriate. As for the actual combat, the tactical situation is pretty well set up, and I suppose the attack on Midway Island itself is reasonably well done, but the carrier battle scenes suffer (again) from the lack of original footage.

So, meh. I don’t think I need to see it again.

Oh, one other thing surprised me: Some of the names in the supporting cast. Dabney Coleman? Erik “Ponch” Estrada? Tom Selleck? Larry Freakin’ Csonka? I admit I larffed.

*** “Abomination” is the only word. I won’t go into it all here, but I will say one thing more generally applicable: When Ol’ Robbo becomes Emperor of the World, no object created for the screen in CGI will be permitted to be shown doing anything such object cannot do in real life. Violation of this rule will cause us to ban CGI altogether. Period.

Off-Topic UPDATE: By the bye, when Ol’ Robbo mentioned the other day that he intended to give MLB another chance this season, why the heck didn’t anybody tell me there’s a strike going on? Sheesh!