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Jarhead is a film filled with striking images captured wonderfully by director of photography Roger Deakins. For example, Swofford and his platoon come across oil wells burning out of control, oil raining down on them. At night, they continue to burn providing the only light, and coupled with downpour of oil, looks like some kind of nightmarish vision of hell.
Critics complained that nothing happened in the movie but wasn't that the point? The first Gulf War was typified by highly trained soldiers ready to kill who, for the most part, did nothing because it was predominantly a conflict fought in the air by extensive bombing that ended the war as quickly as it did. Jarhead encapsulates this notion well in a scene where Swoff and Troy are ordered to sniper two high ranking Iraqi officers and at the penultimate moment when they are given the go-ahead to kill they are ordered to stand down so that an air strike can come in and literally steal their thunder. This scene pretty much sums up the experience for a lot of soldiers over there.
Sure, there are the unavoidable comparisons to the boot camp sequences in Full Metal Jacket to the ones in Jarhead but so what?Read more ›
I watched Jarhead for the first time yesterday. My stint in the Corps lasted from 1986 to 1994 and I spent plenty of time living in open squad bays, two-man "hooches," GP tents with all kinds of Marines from 0311 grunts and 9th Recon Marines to pencil pushing office pogues in a variety of countries and secluded, tense conditions. Of all the personalities I was exposed to and all the practical jokes, mind games and stress releaving activities, I can honestly say that I never ran across such sustained extremes of group behavior with such complete disregard for the UCMJ and the safety of fellow Marines.
The opening scenes of Jarhead are less than convincing as the main character is harrassed by a drill instructor who somehow manages to get away with sporting a moustache. Small detail but an inaccurate one, from any of the USMC drill instructors I ever saw. The actor appears to try desperately to follow in the foot steps of R. Lee Ermey of The Boys in Company C, Full Metal Jacket, Mail Call and the real U.S. Marine Corps. The behavior is not far off the mark (as any bruised-up Third Battalion Parris Island recuit can tell you) but the acting is not quite convincing.Read more ›
The movie isn't as intense as the most acclaimed war movies, but it isn't less insightful. We are given a palpable reality. The scenes show the urgency of missing women, the boredom and agony of anticipation, and the wild comraderie in all its details. The best scenes are when the narrative focuses on Swoff separate from his brigade and he shares his inner angst. The dream sequence tells more than any scene and has a surreal stream-of-consciousness effect. We also get a first-person feel to when they have to play football in the grueling 112 degree heat. Other revelations are done well, too. For instance, their frenzy is present when watching "Apocolyse Now". There's an interview scene where Swoff and others show their reluctance to follow the military's command to keep silence about the downside of being a recruit. (They're just brimming to tell it like it is.) Later, Swoff gets into big trouble during a holiday party where he shares contraband liquor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite war movies. Even if it's not 100% realistic (per a close friend who was deployed in Iraq), it's still very good. Definitely worth seeing. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by K.
Great movie, great humor. A must watch for anyone thinking of joining the Military (pro tip go to the Navy or Airforce). Read morePublished 17 days ago by Jonathan
fun ride! Im not one to be big on military movies but it was pretty fun. I couldn't resist getting it in this favorite but unfortunate dead format.Published 1 month ago by Norford
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Why is this collecter's edition version of the DVD so hard to get?||
I got mine from Best Buy. I ordered it online but decided to do store pickup in my state just to see which store had it. Out of the 14 Best Buys I pulled up, only one store (Laurel, MD) actually had it and they only had two copies. Luckily it was only a 25 minute drive from my house to pick it... Read More
Mar 21, 2006 by Reggie L. Mattocks | See all 5 posts
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