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Anders

Jarhead

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Couldn't find a thread on this one, but Jarhead is the newest from Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition). You can watch the trailer here. It looks pretty good to me, and has a pretty good cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper. I wonder how much of the same territory of Three Kings (a film I feel didn't get the attention it deserved)? This could be a big film this fall.

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"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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I saw the trailer before The Great Raid. The usage of music was kind of whacky, but the imagery was striking. I think this is going to be a red-state-blue-state, military-service-sucks movie, but it does look like it will be very interesting.

Also, Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper are awesome actors (Cooper lives one town over from me; my Dad rides the train to work every day and he sits next to people who apparently know Cooper pretty well).


-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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This is based on a book, which as I recall, is a highly-regarded memoir of one Marine's service in Desert Storm. I'll be surprised if this film does much business - whether it's viewed as pro- or anti-war - given how the American public seems increasingly disenchanted and weary of our current military foray in the Middle East.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

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Peter will tut-tut me if I mention my reaction to Jarhead, so I won


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Clarify this for me. Poland, who is read widely (for reasons unknowable to me) can state his opinion, but you (who are not going to write a review of the film anywhere, right?) cannot? Did you sign something he didn't?

This film didn't look very good to me from the trailer. Perhaps you can comment on your opinion of the trailer. Unless, of course, your opinion of the trailer has been thoroughly affected by your viewing of the film, in which case that opinion is probably off-limits.

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My hopes are still up. I've been looking forward to seeing this since I first read about it, and my hopes have not yet been diswayed.

Russ, I must not be watching the same trailer as you, because I think it looks very intriguing.


I have a blog? here at A&F that I sometimes post in.

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Clarify this for me.  Poland, who is read widely (for reasons unknowable to me)

Hmm, I was really looking forward to this movie....  Methinks I'll have to wait for a few more reviews before I decide not to see it.

I feel the same way as Russ and solishu. Who really cares about what Poland thinks? I know I don't. I find he's often way off base with the films that I really like. I think Mendes is a fine filmmaker (even if we can disagree on the morality of AB), and I still have high hopes for this film.

Then again, if you read Poland regularly and you find he's a good barometer for your tastes, whatever. Otherwise, lets see what some other people have to say.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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I often disagree with Poland... he likes a lot of films that I don't.

But fairly often I find that if he's calling a movie out for not being all that it's cracked up to be, his observations about its weaknesses are usually correct. There have been several times that he's been the ONLY one to stand up and say some things about a film that I have been wishing a prominent critic would say.

And right now I'm just too dang sleepy to remember what those were....


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but when I first saw American Beauty, I developed this theory that the entire film was, in essence, the "floating bag" scene writ large, that Mendes had transcended the banal script by creating a work of and about pure aesthetic. But then I saw Road to Perdition and realized that, no, this is just what Mendes does. He makes really pretty pictures.

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I can't comment in regards to Jarhead, not having seen it, but I think Poland is right on about Road to Perdition. I saw it last summer for the first time, and was struck by how unemotional it was. Visually gorgeous, but the characters never seem human or real at all.


-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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Darren H wrote:

: But then I saw Road to Perdition and realized that, no, this is just what Mendes does.

: He makes really pretty pictures.

Which is kind of interesting, since he was a stage director before he made these three movies, right? I wonder what his stage plays were like, without all this cinematography ...


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Solishu, Finnegan, Anders: Don


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian, does the film offer any useful insights into the Gulf War, specifically?

I didn't think any lessons from this film were unique to the Gulf War, but truth is, I didn't think much about this movie at all. It didn't demand much from me, other than that I take the pummelling it dishes out and, I guess, agree with whatever it is the movie is trying to convey.

I linked to Poland's review because, hours after seeing the movie, chewing on it, and wondering why it didn't amount to much for me, Poland's comments tapped into things I hadn't fully processed but, once I read them, couldn't argue with.

I'm not as passionately disappointed in the film as Poland -- it's watchable, Foxx is excellent -- but I found his review helpful in my own thinking about the lack of any narrative thrust in the movie. As I've continued to turn it over, though, it occurs to me that everything I see as a drawback might be seen by the film's proponents as the very point the film is trying to make. But I'd need to read a stronger case in the movie's favor before commenting further.

Andrew Sarris' review in yesterday's New York Observer wasn't at all persuasive.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Solishu, Finnegan, Anders: Don

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Andrew Sarris' review in yesterday's New York Observer wasn't at all persuasive.

Sarris's review had very little to say about the movie at all.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Solishu, Finnegan, Anders: Don
Edited by finnegan

I have a blog? here at A&F that I sometimes post in.

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Finnegan, I think you took my comments as a personal attack


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian, I'd be curious to hear what you think about this film in relation to Three Kings, a film for which my admiration continues to grow.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Christian, I'd be curious to hear what you think about this film in relation to Three Kings, a film for which my admiration continues to grow.

Three Kings is a better film than Jarhead. I


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Jeffrey Wells levels with his readers:


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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FWIW, the Hollywood Reporter says: "In adapting Swofford's book, writer William Broyles Jr. and director Sam Mendes confront but never entirely resolve a problem inherent in sticking to this viewpoint. The filmmakers clearly wanted to avoid the politics surrounding the first Gulf War even as they pay tribute to the Marines, the jarheads, who went to Saudi Arabia to fight. But the result is a movie rife with ambivalence. Moments here and there might remind you of 'Catch-22' or 'Apocalypse Now' or 'Full Metal Jacket,' but 'Jarhead' refuses to engage in its own point of view toward events it depicts. So the film feels empty and tentative, uncertain of what if anything these events add up to. . . . And here lies the crux of the matter. No longer willing to make an out-and-out anti-war film, as filmmakers did in the wake of Vietnam -- indeed the soldiers look at these films as incitements to combat -- Mendes' film admires its Marine heroes even as it notes their frustration and anger. This neutral viewpoint causes the movie to observe intense events in a dispassionate remove without really tackling the greater issues that the war raises, that of the brutality of modern warfare and the politics behind it."


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I saw the trailer before The Great Raid. The usage of music was kind of whacky, but the imagery was striking.

Exactly how I felt. My brother, who doesn't know rap well, heard the Kanye West song and it sold the trailer for him, but for me, it seemed totally out of context. huh.gif


That's just how eye roll.

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