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Movie Review: Jarhead

Monday, May 01, 2006
I watched Jarhead last night. I enjoyed it thorougly, though it did seem to borrow liberally from other films on the genre. One of the most interesting things about the movie (and something critics noticed) was the lack of any actual war in the film. Part of the whole point of the film is watching the characters go crazy as they train and train and yet don't (in the end) do much of anything.

The movie follows the exploits of Anthony Swofford (who wrote the book) through Marine boot camp, training, and his deployment in the first Gulf War (aka Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.) We watch as he suffers not from combat, but from the lack of it and the desire of him and his team to actually do anything (or kill people.) Jamie Foxx plays the staff seargent in charge of his squad of snipers and he plays the part very well. All the performances are believeable and so are the situations, as terrible as some are.

I enjoy war movies, especially those that take pains to point out how terrible, crazy, and pointless war can be and also employ a variety of perspectives. Some of my favorites (in ascending time period) are Paths of Glory, Bridge on the River Kwai, Stalag 17, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, We Were Soldiers, Three Kings, and Black Hawk Down. I can safely add Jarhead to the list of movies in this category that are definitely thought-provoking.

Final word on Jarhead: It's definitely worth a rental if you're into the genre.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what no Tora Tora Tora or Das Boot?

3:12 PM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger AmeroKafka said...

I thought I'd just drop by and say something to the effect of: "Burton- You're the man. I'm so glad that we've become good pals again and it was great to have you swing by my work and invite me out last week. I'm sorry that prior commitments impeded me from joining you, but the sentiment was not lost. I know that you're getting ready work on the next phase of your life and that might involve distance, but with the few months leading up to that, I hope we can hang out and keep in touch. You're a mensch of the highest caliber and one of my lifelong friends. Salut!" -ZH

2:10 AM, May 02, 2006  

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