Battle-scarred and disillusioned by the war, Corporal Chris Merrimette is put in charge of a unit whose next mission is to resupply a remote outpost on the edge of Taliban-controlled ... See full summary »
Don Michael Paul
The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, a Camus-reading kid from Sacramento, enlists in the Marines in the late 1980s. He malingers during boot camp, but makes it through as a sniper, paired with the usually-reliable Troy. The Gulf War breaks out, and his unit goes to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. After 175 days of boredom, adrenaline, heat, worry about his girlfriend finding someone else, losing it and nearly killing a mate, demotion, latrine cleaning, faulty gas masks, and desert football, Desert Storm begins. In less than five days, it's over, but not before Swoff sees burned bodies, flaming oil derricks, an oil-drenched horse, and maybe a chance at killing. Where does all the testosterone go? Written by
Jake Gyllenhaal's audition scene was the one where he points a rifle straight into the face of one of his comrades and has a mini-breakdown. When filming this actual scene, Gyllenhaal actually knocked out one of his own teeth when he turns the gun on himself, not to mention hugely upsetting his co-star Brian Geraghty who felt that Gyllenhaal had effectively brutalized him. This led to the later scene in the film where Swofford apologizes to Geraghty's character, a scene that wasn't in the original screenplay. The scene helped smooth over the tense relations between the two actors. See more »
When the oil starts raining in the desert, SSgt. Sykes' uniform is completely clean, when everyone else is dirty. See more »
Anthony 'Swoff' Swofford:
A story: A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.
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At the end of the credits, Sykes can be heard calling out the following military cadence, with his platoon responding: 'All my life it was my dream/ To be a bad motherfucking U.S. Marine.' See more »
Extremely powerful and moving War pic. A 'Platoon' for Gen X.
I saw this movie at a screening at UC Berkeley. Afterward the author of the novel it is based on held a Q&A.
This movie is a bit long, but so are most War films. It does, however, keep your attention the entire times.
This film is not just a War film, it is able to seamlessly mix comedy and drama, with such issues as Mental health and even a bit of ennui.
The characters are fully developed, each and everyone has an interesting story that is covered, briefly but perfectly. You get a broad spectrum of the kinds of men that go to war, what they left behind, and how it effects them when they return.
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and Sam Mendes' direction is pitch perfect.
Jakc Gyllenhaal gives an astounding performance, as does Jamie Foxx, but it is Peter Sarsgaard that steals the show, with a heartbreakingly subtle ghost of a performance.
This is definitely a must-see.
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