Archive Logo.jpg

November 23, 2005

As if it matters...

Movie reviews.

1. Jarhead. “Welcome to The Suck”. Worth the price of a matinee admission. Swofford's book wasn't awful, but it was the angst-ridden memoir in a vein one would expect from a guy who is now an Ivy-League prof. Fick's One Bullet Away is better.

Others have not cared for the movie much. It tries to be Full Metal Jacket with echoes of Three Kings, and doesn't quite make it. There are scenes in there which will disturb normals, like when the Marines are watching Apocalypse Now, or the brutal "video from home" scene, but, well, they ring true for me, even if they may be made up - I've seen similar scenes played out in real life. I think Swofford gave vent to some of his fantasies in there - the football game in front of reporters might have taken place - without the reporters. The live-fire training accident is bogus. The people in charge of that range wouldn't have survived an event marred by that level of incompetence. The bullshit flag went up for me immediately when I saw the machine gun didn't have a safety bar to prevent the barrel from depressing too far... and I also knew immediately what was going to happen.

Jamie Foxx's character is a copy of several NCOs I've known, and all the characters in the movie I've known, to include the gruesome redneck pinheaded twit. Of course I've known guys like that who were also black, hispanic, asian, city boys, and not from the south, too. The Highway of Death and oil field scenes are worth the price of admission, as is the sense of unreality of being in the zone.

Like I said, worth the price of a matinee admission, and full of carp (like an astonishing lack of discipline in places - for Marines, especially) that are well covered by Don Sensing or Nathaniel Fick.

However, the movie did leave me with this in my head, from Swoffords voice-over at the start and end of the movie:

A story… A man fires a rifle for many years and he goes to war… But no matter what else he might do with his hands, touch his wife, change his baby's diapers ... his hands only remember the rifle.

Indeed, my hands remember the rifle. *That* bit of prose will stick with me.

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I made the mistake of re-reading the book before seeing the movie. The movie is 2 hours and 37 minutes long - and they butchered out a lot of supporting subplot and complete subplots (SPEW!) in order to get it down to that length.

The script meetings must have been agony, deciding what had to go. I didn't realize until I sat through the whole thing, with my "Huh?" moments where the narrative deviates from the book, or drops threads or picks them up in mid-stream, just how complex a book Rowling wrote - and a lot of what is cut out is important for downstream. But, it's a movie, that needs to stand-alone on it's own.

It's good, I enjoyed it. Just don't re-read the book before you go see it! But that movie was the source of my input for yesterday's "You know you live in 2005" post of Bill's. I told Beth as we were leaving - I can't wait for the DVD, I wanna see the deleted scenes!