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[P]
The DVD Shelf: We Were Soldiers (2002) vs. Platoon (1986)

By Psycho Dave in Culture
Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)
Movies

Just as a lot can be learned about someone's personality from the music they listen to (ask yourself: could you really be friends with someone who bought a Clay Aiken CD?) a lot about a person's worldview can be derived from what movies they watch. You can bet that the opening night audience of The Passion of the Christ was markedly different than that of Fahrenheit 9/11, or that the main demographic for The Chronicles of Narnia wasn't buying tickets for Brokeback Mountain en masse.

Those four movies are extreme and obvious examples; they are more known for the media rage surrounding them than for the merit of the films themselves. While it can be argued that art should be evaluated independently of the political furor they raise, I think that understanding the times a movie appeared in can be integral to our understanding of cinema and how it reflects history. This is probably most important with the Vietnam War, one of our most cinematically explored conflicts.


The first Vietnam film was The Green Berets starring John Wayne. Released in 1968, when the Tet Offensive soured the American public on the war, the movie's anti-communist, pro-Saigon didacticism struck the public as hollow. Hollywood didn't deal with the war again until ten years later, when The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now were released with their frightening and hallucinatory imagery of Vietnam. Often inaccurate to the actual events of the war, these movies used Vietnam as a metaphor for madness.

In the early-to-mid eighties cartoony, hawkish revenge fantasies like First Blood and Missing in Action reflected a shifting mentality towards the war. It was when Platoon was released in 1986, that a new run of Vietnam films including Full Metal Jacket, Born on the Fourth of July, Hamburger Hill, BAT 21, and Casualties of War began to probe the ambiguities and horrors of the conflict. They were decidedly leftist in flavor compared to the Reagan-era populism of Rambo.

Perhaps the US victory in the first Persian Gulf War (which many pundits said "wiped away the stain of our failure in Vietnam") satisfied our need for catharsis. The early nineties saw the audiences' appetite for Vietnam films start to dry up. Besides the sentimental Forrest Gump and Dead Presidents gangsta mentality, the cinematic well had dried up by the time Saving Private Ryan came along and changed the guerre de jour to World War II.

Besides changing the historical subject, Saving Private Ryan also fundamentally changed the paradigm for war movies. Vietnam war movies had upped the ante with their graphically violent and harrowing depictions of warfare. Ryan responded by making the battles even more violent while stripping away the moral ambiguities that the Vietnam films wallowed in. World War II was presented as a conflict where heroism was uncomplicated and the sides were clearly drawn. Soldiers were depicted as sometimes flawed, but fundamentally decent people. While the enemy is primarily there to be mown down en masse with machine guns, a few token scenes are thrown out there to give them some humanizing touches. They are frequently grueling, but never leave you with a sour taste. Though the productions pre-date the nationalist upsurge immediately following 9/11, this "Leave No Man Behind" ethos dovetailed perfectly with the country's mentality.

While Saving Private Ryan started a run of World War II films like The Thin Red Line, Pearl Harbor, and Windtalkers, its template has also been applied to other conflicts. Black Hawk Down applied it to the Somalia conflict. We Were Soldiers revisits Vietnam to apply this new vision of the war, and in the process makes the most positive statement about the war since The Green Berets. Surprisingly, it works. Sort of...

We Were Soldiers is based on a book by Joe Galloway and Lt. Colonel Hal Moore, who is played in the movie by Mel Gibson. Foreshadowing Gibson's transformation into a darling for the religious right, he plays Moore as a man who takes time out of his military career to pray with his children and dispense fatherly advice to his troops. Backed up by the gruff Sgt. Plumely (played by Sam Elliot, who turns in the movie's best performance) Moore starts the movie developing the first air cavalry, which utilized helicopters to transport soldiers quickly to battlefields. While the first part of the film is supposed to show the development of this new kind of warfare, mostly it details the tight bonds the unit develops during training.

Unfortunately, all this exposition doesn't serve to make any of the supporting cast memorable. The most prominently featured is the sensitive Lieutenant Jack, who wants to serve "to help orphans, not make them" and whose wife just had their first baby (so it's probably no surprise here if I let slip that he's toast later on.) Chris Klein walks around most of the movie looking lost, which is probably the only mode he's capable of. None of the other characters fare much better. Each are given little character scenes through the first half that make them seem like a bunch of unmemorable Boy Scouts, which makes it so you don't give a shit when We Were Soldiers hits the battlefield and they start to get chewed into Karo syrup squib blood by blank ammunition.

We Were Soldiers dwells on the home lives of the soldiers as well, which seems to be surprisingly absent from most films of this genre. Too bad the soldier's wives are not much more memorable than the soldiers themselves. They are headed by Colonel Moore's wife Julie (played by a likeable, and amazingly still hot Madeline Stowe) that suggests an unusual hierarchy that the wives form around the rank of their husband. Instead of mining the situation for some Valley of the Dolls kind of drama, We Were Soldiers presents the soldiers wives as similarly vapid and "good". The most *uck* worthy scene involves a "whites only" laundromat and some cheesy speeches about racial equality. We Were Soldiers preaches a lot about civil rights, but in the end the black wife's husband is one of the first to get killed.

Despite this lack of character development, We Were Soldiers still scores in a few small, emotional moments. The soldiers' middle of the night deployment is quietly (if superficially) moving. The scene where the soldier's wives begin receiving the telegrams informing them their husbands are dead is placed unusually in the middle of the battle (presumably, they probably didn't receive the telegrams until a week later) but surprisingly doesn't grind the film to a halt.

We Were Soldiers is also uncharacteristically generous in its depictions of the North Vietnamese. Rather than letting the VC just be a bunch of small men in pajamas with AK's who set booby traps, the opening narration gives praise and honor to the soldiers of the NLF. We spend some time in the underground tunnels with the inscrutable Asian colonel (played by Don Duong) while he formulates his strategy. They end up being little more than weak attempts at subtitled Sun Tzu-isms like "Break their weak flank and then strangle them!" that Mel Gibson will roughly parrot in the next scene to demonstrate that the Ia Drang valley is a "matched battle of wills." To hammer the point home that "the Vietnamese were soldiers too," the films has one of them looks lovingly at a picture of his girl back in the rice paddy. This is a little bit before he charges Mel Gibson with a bayonet, and gets his brains blasted out of his helmet by a single M-16 bullet, which Mad Mel shoots from the hip (hey, it could be done...) They are, however, nice enough to mail the picture back to the girl.

The first three days of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley makes up the second half of the film. The battle scenes are generally well staged, but in the end are much flatter than similar movies of this genre. The movie tries, but in the end struggles to give a sense of the geography of the battle. While it doesn't resort to over-used techniques like the Saving Private Ryan patented under cranked "shaky cam", the battle scenes only break out of being just competent twice, when We Were Soldiers provides a few moments of particularly effective gore. Let's just say that I REALLY hope I don't have a run in with a white phosphorus grenade, and if I've got severe napalm burns, please don't pick me up by the legs...

The battle concludes with a hokey bayonet charge into the Viet Cong fortress (backed up by miniguns, of course.) While they did repulse the Vietnamese attack, those same VC soldiers came back on the last day of battle and killed 155 Americans in the single bloodiest day of the Vietnam War. Both the real life Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and Joe Galloway give the authenticity of this adaptation a thumbs up. That unfortunately makes it harder to criticize hokey scenes like the one where a wounded soldier's last words are: "I'm glad I could give my life for my country." I mean, what kind of shit can you say when someone (supposedly) actually did that? I wish there was because, true or not, that scene makes me want to hit my head against a wall every time I see it.

We Were Soldiers may be the ultimate Rorschach Test of ones feelings about Vietnam. Many Vietnam veterans consider it the most accurate portrayal of "how the war really was." Certainly, it's easy to go overboard sniping at We Were Soldiers since it flies in the face of most of the popular imagery of the war. However, the army of 1965 was hardly the angry, demoralized force it would later become. Despite the politics that surround the discussion of this film, We Were Soldiers doesn't really commit itself either way. Of course there's the "sneaky civilian advisor" chain-smoking and delivering pessimistic bon mots like "They're lost." And I think every Vietnam film is required by the MPAA to include a scene with soldiers holding guns on each other. Still, the ultimate goal of We Were Soldiers is to show the sacrifices all soldiers and their families face, and that's a message I think few people would object to.

It's easy to see why veterans like We Were Soldiers. It's one of the few Vietnam movies that has something nice to say about soldiers. It's also easy to see why many of them hate Platoon. The dope smoking, peasant girl raping, civilian murdering grunts of that film are a world apart from the All-American boys portrayed in We Were Soldiers. Though the movie is empathetic to the stresses the soldiers are under, the lines of good and evil are much more blurred.

Platoon is the movie that put Oliver Stone on the map, for better or for worse depending on your point of view. His star has fallen a great deal in the public consciousness since then. It can easily be blamed on the fact that he hasn't turned in a good movie in a decade. Or perhaps the overt leftist politics of his films are passť in today's climate. Whatever the case, I've always found him an easier pill to swallow than Michael Moore, if only because his movies are more entertaining.

Based loosely on Stone's experience in Vietnam, Platoon follows the tour of one Private Chris Taylor (played by pre-drugs and hookers Charlie Sheen) as he goes on patrols, digs foxholes, and tries to survive in the jungle. Giving up his college deferment, Taylor joins the infantry mostly because he doesn't think it's right that "just the poor kids go to war." While I assume that in real life a bunch of draftees would probably kick his ass for such bullshit, rich boy posturing, these take it in stride.

The Platoon in question is a big dysfunctional family. In contrast to the family men and civil rights speeches of We Were Soldiers, the soldiers of Platoon are filled with racial tension and drug use. It is split into two factions, the hippy soldiers who smoke tons of weed and listen to Motown (their leader is the kindly Sgt. Elias, played as a Christ figure by future Jesus Willem Dafoe) and the rednecks who drink beer and listen to "The Okie from Muskogee", led by the fierce Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger.) When a new guy gets killed on his first patrol, there are no patriotic soliloquies. Instead, the body gets called a "lump of shit."

The dramatic conflict in Platoon is set up to have Private Taylor choose between the two "fathers" of Sgt. Elias (who symbolizes disillusioned idealism) and Sgt. Barnes (symbolizing the cold rage of the foot soldier.) Through dope smoking, he bonds initially with the "good" father of Elias. But when several soldiers fall prey to booby traps or slit throats, he gets drawn into the cold-blooded mentality of Barnes. This results in a Vietnamese village getting burned down, old women getting shot in the head, and a cripple having his skull crushed with the butt of a shotgun. Being that this is an Oliver Stone film, the contest between Elias's idealism vs. Barnes "reality" (no really, he straight up says later "I am reality." Subtle...) is really not a contest at all. Though the movie throws some logical explanations towards the Barnes side of the debate, it clearly detests his actions.

The battle scenes in Platoon are much less expansive than those of We Were Soldiers. What they lack in scale, they make up for in claustrophobia. The Vietcong of Platoon are a much more nightmarish enemy that appears in the jungle out of nowhere. While the combat scenes of Platoon are effective within the film, they don't distinguish themselves within a field that includes the helicopter raid in Apocalypse Now and the excruciating sniper sequence of Full Metal Jacket. In all, they are more suspenseful than exhilarating. This is probably because the real dramatic thrust of the movie is more about the soldiers vs. themselves more than it is against the VC. Following (or perhaps starting) Stone's obsession with patricide, the dramatic conclusion of the film comes when Private Taylor finally frags the evil Sgt. Barnes. The movie is more obsessed with soldiers killing each other than it is with the enemy.

In the lead role, Charlie Sheen is clearly channeling his father's performance in Apocalypse Now, but his sappy narraration is more of distraction than a highlight. Sheen is convincing enough as the "fucking new guy" but less so as a hardened grunt. Willem Dafoe shows off surprising charisma as Sgt. Elias, though his death scene with him raising his hands to the sky to the tune of "Adiago" is one place where Stone should have dialed down the bombast. Tom Berenger lends some empathy to the scarred Sgt. Barnes, who could have been played as just a straight psychotic. The supporting cast is also memorable, not to mention a who's who of actors at the time (though he doesn't have a big role, see if you can spot a young Johnny Depp as a translator who later gets wounded.) My favorites are the Black Power quoting Junior (Reggie Johnson) and the clueless yet crazy Bunny (played by a young Kevin Dillon.) Whether likable or detestable, the supporting characters seem more like characters than the caricatures of We Were Soldiers.

Overall, Platoon is the better of the two movies. This could be because my politics fall more to the left of the spectrum, or because it's a movie I grew up watching when I was a kid. Still, as unsubtle as the message of Platoon may be, it still hits home more often than not. Still while it doesn't blink from the atrocities committed during the war, its viewpoint isn't balanced. Not everyone who went to Vietnam came back a drug-addicted murderer. Their portrayal in We Were Soldiers isn't balanced either, but after years of the "dark Vietnam movie", it's also somewhat refreshing. Which one you like more depends on whether you believe war makes men into heroes or monsters.

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The DVD Shelf: We Were Soldiers (2002) vs. Platoon (1986) | 103 comments (78 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1FP (2.20 / 5) (#4)
by r3u8rb on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 07:27:27 AM EST

i love the smell of spam in the morning

---
Join me on irc.slashnet.org #Kuro5hin.org - the official Kuro5hin IRC channel.
Interesting convergences. (2.75 / 4) (#5)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 07:50:55 AM EST

The guy pictured on the cover of the book (picture taken by Peter Arnett) is Rick Rescorla, the security director for Morgan Stanley's offices in the South Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. He was killed on 9/11 after he went back into the building to make sure all the Morgan Stanley people could get out.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

That's almost like the beginning of Magnolia. (none / 0) (#7)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 08:14:34 AM EST

Strange and sad. Thanks for sharing.

[ Parent ]
Other good war films (none / 1) (#18)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:07:15 PM EST

A Bridge too Far
Patton
Zulu, but fast forward past the drunken priest.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Paths of Glory (none / 0) (#19)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:17:56 PM EST

I think is one of the greatest war flicks. I need to go buy a copy of that disc.

[ Parent ]
"the longest day" (none / 0) (#24)
by army of phred on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:32:33 PM EST

not a new flick but one of my favorites.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
The Battle of Britain (3.00 / 3) (#25)
by The Diary Section on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:19:46 PM EST

Tally-ho chaps.

Actually I like it because of its commitment to (received) historical authenticity and the stunning couldn't-be-done-again aerial photography. If you have a distrust of "historical" film filling your head with garbage about real events, this is one you can feel reasonably comfortable with.

Also for a book on Vietnam, whether you think its accurate or fanciful, Dispatches by Michael Herr (he was a war journalist who went to the front line rather than manning a desk in Hanoi) casts a long shadow over things like MASH (the film), Apocalypse Now and Platoon. It continues to be the case that scenes are lifted wholesale from it by Hollywood without them ever actually directly making the film of the book, which is something of an oversight IMHO. No more boom-boom for that mama-san.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

possibly not a war movie (none / 0) (#28)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 07:17:49 PM EST

'gunnar palace'

[ Parent ]
Catch-22 $ (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by HackerCracker on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 08:12:24 PM EST



[ Parent ]
i loved the deer hunter (2.25 / 4) (#29)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 07:46:46 PM EST

mainly for its unappreciated, but hardly subvert anti-gun message

you take these rednecks from rural pennsylvania, drop them in hell, and watch how they change when they get back

de niro, when he gets back, decides not to shoot a deer in his sights: he appreciates that it is alive, and that by killing it, he is not any closer to nature or any such mythic hunting bullshit. by going to war, he appreciates that taking life for questionable and dubious goals is not sport, nor even fun

and de niro snaps and screams at the john cazale character, his gun loving idiot friend, who practically makes love to his precious gun, for being the craven unmasculine tool with a small dick that he is

and that whole russian roulette stuff in the film: it was complete bullshit, nothing like that ever happened in the vietnam war anywhere

and yet, that whole plot device, as an anti-gun story, is pure genius: walken seduced by the power of the gun, only to be killed by it

you got to be kidding me that whoever wrote this film wasn't trying to make an anti-gun message. and yet everyone seems to miss that point of the whole movie, they all talk about it being about vietnam, even though very little time is spent in vietnam and it had elements of activity in vietnam as major plot devices that were complete fabircations (the russian roulette). the anti-gun message stands out as the biggest theme in that movie for me

the deer hunter is the best pro-gun control movie ever made

and what i like is that it tells the truth about guns: that the mst macho baddest mother fucker on this planet rejects guns

and that's absolutely true: guns are a crutch for the unmasculine, not an enhancer of masculinity

guns, like hot rod cars and large yachts, are for guys with small dicks


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I think you missed it (none / 1) (#52)
by t1ber on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 09:25:21 AM EST

Or you drank the kool-aid.  The gun by itself holds no power.

It is purely in the eyes of the user.

Should we ban all knives because countless millions have been stabbed over the years or should we teach our children that it's dangerous, it should be respected, and to be good neighbors to their fellow men?

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

yeah (2.00 / 2) (#59)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 01:04:51 PM EST

give everyone plutonium and rocket launchers while you're at it too, right?

because the tech has no inherent value, only the user, right?

and we can totally ignore WHAT THE FUCKING TECH WAS MADE TO DO, RIGHT?

fucking ignorant prick

"it's not the gun it's the person holding the gun" is a bankrupt argument

give a bunch of hammers to a class full of kindergarteners and tell me again the technology available has no significance

pfffffffffft


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, you're not taking responsibility (none / 0) (#65)
by t1ber on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:12:08 PM EST

give everyone plutonium and rocket launchers while you're at it too, right?

Sure, make them licensed.  I don't trust the average person with a 18 wheeled truck weighing several tons, I trust that there should be a similar exam to get your federal firearms license.

Wait, there is.

because the tech has no inherent value, only the user, right?

Absolutely.  You're probably a mac faggot.

and we can totally ignore WHAT THE FUCKING TECH WAS MADE TO DO, RIGHT?

Pretty much.  I can kill someone with a spoon and study rockets with a rocket launcher.  Now you're just being narrowminded.  The best tech has many uses.  Take the screwdriver for example.  It could commit murder, but it also might be used to build stuff.  But don't think for a second that anyone would put up with "licensed use" of a  screwdriver.  If craftsmen told you tomorrow you only could use their screws with their screwdrivers and don't you dare think of pulling staples out of shingles, what do you think would happen?

fucking ignorant prick

Only your mother knows that.

"it's not the gun it's the person holding the gun" is a bankrupt argument

It holds up to "It's not the tool it's the person holding the tool" but you're making guns out to be magical monsters.  Or screwdrivers, etc.

give a bunch of hammers to a class full of kindergarteners and tell me again the technology available has no significance

My father gave me a gun, it was one of my first toys and then he taught me to shoot it.  I know farm kids driving at 12 who can wholly respect the farm equipment too.  The point is, you need to be a responsible adult.  Giving kids a room full of hammers is simply irresponsible.  However, I expect if you give them a room full of power toys you might make some damn fine carpenters.

pfffffffffft

Is that the sound of your argument deflating?

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

i am taking responsibility (none / 1) (#66)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:47:37 PM EST

i'm getting rid of guns

wacky concept for you, i know


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes, but to what end? (none / 0) (#72)
by t1ber on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:37:35 AM EST

What does it fix?

You expect people to not kill one another now?  I suppose the Next Big Thing will be running one another down in their cars.  Will you take away cars then?  Grand Theft Auto?

For someone who supposedly grew up on a farm, that's incredibly narrowminded.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

granddad taught me to shoot in the swamp (1.00 / 3) (#74)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 03:03:10 PM EST

and now i've found enlightenment: guns are for small dicked idiots

having a gun INCREASES your chance of victimhood, not decrease

your whole problem with tech neutrality is this: cars, knives, baseball bats, etc.: THESE HAVE PURPOSES, PRIMARY PURPOSES, OTHER THAN MAYHEM

what is a gun's PURPOSE? you can start a fire with it. you can open a lock with it. BUT IT IS MEANT TO KILL. THAT IS WHAT IT IS DESIGNED FOR

a baseball bat is meant to hit balls

a car is meant to transport

a knife is meant to make chicken filets

understand?

the tech isn't neutral because the tech is biased towards WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO DO

do you understand that fucking concept?

or do you continue to insist on your bankrupt braindead position that what the tech was DESIGNED TO DO has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on its judgment, and it is all just the user?

of course, you already answered that: plutonium, rocket launchers... hey, just need a license!

right! good fucking answer!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Uh (none / 1) (#75)
by wuckers on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:11:29 PM EST

BUT IT IS MEANT TO KILL. THAT IS WHAT IT IS DESIGNED FOR

Hey, that's too broad to be accurate. Most of the guns I see at competitive shooting matches, for example, are designed for accurately punching holes in paper (it's also a skill and lots of fun, for those who who don't abandon reason for fear). A knife - using your example - can be designed for a specific culinary use, but it can be put to incidental use to kill as well (or it can be designed to kill, too).

But I'm sure you realize that, so why use such fatuous reasoning?

[ Parent ]
well yeah (none / 1) (#79)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:04:15 PM EST

like i said, i can use guns to start a fire or open a lock

but that's not it's PRIMARY purpose now is it?

likewise, you don't see many people killed by biathalon rifles on a yearly basis do we?

so if you want a special consideration for biathalon rifles, sure, you have it from me

so, now that we've taken care of that 0.0001% of gun use in the world, can we get back to the real fucking topic?

or do you really believe this esoteric indication of yours actually informs us as to the fucking primary purpose of guns and their primary use in this world?

fucking moron


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

stats? (none / 0) (#82)
by t1ber on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:07:06 PM EST

likewise, you don't see many people killed by biathalon rifles on a yearly basis do we?

Whoa there killer, before you get your panties in a bunch you'd better take a reality check and look at some numbers.  According to the National Safety Council, it looks to me like in 2002 (the year this chart uses), firearms resulted in 11,829 deaths whereas all other assaults resulted in 5,809 deaths.  That's 49%!  If guns are to blame, why does literally every other murder happen with something that isn't a gun?  Could it be because people are just assholes in general?

Might want to take away people's cars, trains and airplanes first.  Those bad, evil things resulted in fully 48,366 in 2002, which is 4x as many deaths as were caused by firearms assault.

Your problem is you still want to dictate how people use technology.  Here's what I want you to do, CTS.  Uninstall Windows.  Install DOS.  Why?  Because I told you that's how you're going to use your computer.

Now, you're absolutely going to do that, because that's what I intended your computer to be used for, right?

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

Still missing the point (none / 1) (#83)
by m50d on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:39:08 PM EST

According to the National Safety Council, it looks to me like in 2002 (the year this chart uses), firearms resulted in 11,829 deaths whereas all other assaults resulted in 5,809 deaths. That's 49%! If guns are to blame, why does literally every other murder happen with something that isn't a gun?

Or maybe, just maybe, making it hard to acquire guns is actually being slightly effective?

Could it be because people are just assholes in general?

Some people are assholes. Giving them guns is not a good idea - all it does is make them more effective killers.

Might want to take away people's cars, trains and airplanes first. Those bad, evil things resulted in fully 48,366 in 2002, which is 4x as many deaths as were caused by firearms assault.

They do good in allowing people to get places That is their purpose. I use them frequently. I have never wanted or needed to use a gun - their purpose is killing.

Your problem is you still want to dictate how people use technology. Here's what I want you to do, CTS. Uninstall Windows. Install DOS. Why? Because I told you that's how you're going to use your computer.

You're confusing what someone tells you to do with something with what it's designed to do. If I tell you to bash a nail in with a screwdriver, does that make it a hammer? It's not about what I or you intend the technology to be used for, it's about what the technology was designed for.

[ Parent ]

Hoplophobia (none / 0) (#86)
by wuckers on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:59:07 PM EST

their purpose is killing - m50d

No, not necessarily. Nuclear technology was largely developed for killing - do you share a similar fear of peaceful, safe, modern nuclear energy? At least that would be intellectually consistent.

Seriously, I don't know a single gun-nut who doesn't want to see guns taken out of the hands of criminals and would-be criminals. I don't know anyone who isn't concerned about gun violence. However, what no self-respecting gun enthusiast would want to see, are any more shot-in-the-dark (sorry) "solutions" developed from ignorance by those with an irrational fear of firearms - e.g. the now sunsetted AWB - did the 10 round limit on magazines really make any difference in crime? Of course not! The entire intellectual foundation of that ban was far, far removed from reality, and only ended up hurting responsible gun owners.

[ Parent ]
i don't think it's intelligent (none / 0) (#89)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:40:31 AM EST

to jump off buildings

therefore i'm "gravitophobic"

my intelligence, my reason, concludes that owning a gun is fucking stupid

therefore i'm "hoplophobic"

got it

look at me over here, i'm quaking in fear

LOL


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

That's just silly and ignorant (none / 0) (#84)
by wuckers on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:41:26 PM EST

like i said, i can use guns to start a fire or open a lock but that's not it's PRIMARY purpose now is it? - CTS

First, I've never started a fire with a gun. I don't know anyone who has. I don't know anyone who would even think of grabbing a gun before a match when lighting the ol' campfire. Second, no, you can't really shoot open a lock of any quality with a handgun (I assume we're generally talking about handguns here). Nothing short of a slug from 12 guage really works reliably (Google Old Painless and his box o' truth.). No offense, but in my eyes that kind of obtuse ignorance removes you from the ranks of those who really do have a solid grasp of the gun-problem - both pro and con.

so, now that we've taken care of that 0.0001% of gun use in the world, - CTS

Let's focus on the U.S. instead of the world for a moment. I'm 100% positive that a solid majority of extant guns are for intended for recreation. I'm sure a solid majority of those guns were designed for accuracy and reliability rather than killing. Have you seen the aftermarket for, say, 10/22's? You can spend hundreds - thousands - of dollars rebuilding a stock $120 10/22 carbine for the purpose of accurately punching holes in the 10 ring. Many, many, many people build up their guns with this goal in mind - NOT FOR KILLING. The same can be said for hunting weapons.

And what of defensive usage? How is gramps' shotgun by the bed an evil "killing" gun? How is a Glock 26 under the waistbelt that never sees the light of day in public an evil killing gun? You need to link the millions of guns used for defensive purposes to your "guns are bad and kill" thesis, or yet another brick of your argument crumbles away.

Having said that, I fully agree there is a problem with junk handguns on the black market. These are largely held by criminals with malign intent. Anything that can be done to get rid of this scourge should be done - if it doesn't also target law-abiding citizens' constitutionally protected right to bear arms.

Okay, I should know better than to get into an argument about guns with one who has a religious faith in their position. Personally I think no one really knows with any sort of accuracy what the effects of gun ownership have on crime, defensive use, yadda, yadda, yadda. I just hope you actually study the problem before continuing to rant and making ignorant remarks like those above. You may now have the last word.

[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#90)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:43:05 AM EST

Okay, I should know better than to get into an argument about guns with one who has a religious faith in their position.

i'm with you there brother

the emotional attachment of the legion of small dicked fearful weak willed unmasculine clowns, to their big precious gun that will save them from all the evil monsters in the world is truly something to behold


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I agree with wuckers (none / 0) (#76)
by t1ber on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:39:24 PM EST

Wuckers comment which is in the thread.

You're completely missing the point because all you've known is that guns kill, just like you miss the point and you think all baseball bats are designed to do is hit baseballs, or all zyclon-b is there to do is kill rodents, right?  As far as victimhood is concerned, I'm pretty sure I'd carry a gun rather then sit back and let someone prisonsex me.  Roughly 1 out of 12 people in PA has a CCW license, and there's not blood in the streets.  The average person just cares about riding the subway safely.

I really suggest reading some of the arguments on http://www.a-human-right.com/ (which is remarkably apologetic).  Guns work when they're being shot and when they're not being shot.  Which is also the problem with baseball bats.  To the officer, those guys are just "going to the game".  To the guy about to get his head smashed in for his watch, he's probably going to be wishing they had just shot him instead of beating him to death.  He's also probably going to wish he had a gun.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

wtf? (none / 1) (#80)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:12:59 PM EST

As far as victimhood is concerned, I'm pretty sure I'd carry a gun rather then sit back and let someone prisonsex me.

well yeah, me too

but lucky for me, the inside of my head isn't filled with victimization fantasies

we're really glad you live your life like a clint eastwood or charles bronson flick

it must make for fabulous dick hardening fantasies, i guess

but out here in reality, which doesn't resemble bad hollywood plots where big hot steamy guys want to prisonsex you around every corner, our victimization is CREATED by assholes with guns, not solved by them

so you go on with your fantasies about getting butt raped by big burly men you fend off with your trusty gun, whatever makes you horny, i'm not going to pass judgment on your sexuality

but out here in contemporary civil society, we'd rather not pay for the fallout effects of your love affair with your big hard throbbing man gun

(snicker)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hi, humor? I see you two haven't met. (none / 0) (#81)
by t1ber on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:54:56 PM EST

It's an entirely "it could happen" scenereo.

In fact, it did happen.  I was doing my normal run through the city here and I had someone follow me on their bike.  And they followed me onto the jogging trail.  And they followed me off the jogging trail when I decided it might be better to run across the lawn.

Guess what?

I was lucky to have my knife on me.  The kid pulls up to me when I finally got winded after three miles or so and pulls out a baton.  Pretty much know what's going to happen and realize I'm pretty well fucked for exhausting myself.  I happened to grab (on a whim) my folding blade and stuff it in my pants.  We exchanged words and he decided it was best to go find another target, because he might beat the shit out of me but I'm going to make sure he's got a few leaks or worse take some fingers home to make into a war necklace before I let him kill me.

The worst part?  I don't jog with my wallet.

Now I carry a gun.  Why?  Because I realize next time I might not notice that guy behind me.  In your perfect little faggy world where everyone gets along, you don't need guns.  But I'm Joe Average, and I want to take a run.  That's not how the world works.  The world fucking sucks.  People are cruel.  People like you -- idealistic idiots wearing rosey glasses -- can't admit that there's people looking to kill you for some paper in your back yard.  I've met them.  You clearly haven't.  I haven't killed anyone but I've been carrying a gun for years now.  I've never had to take it out again and I sincerely hope I don't ever have to.

But the one day someone decides to hit me first before I notice them, I've decided I'd best be ready because I was damned lucky that day.

Seriously, go read A Human Right.  I am hardly unique.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

It works both ways (none / 1) (#85)
by m50d on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:44:44 PM EST

I have a friend who would be dead by now if guns were as easy to obtain in my country as the US. (As it is he spent a while in hospital with knife wounds). All you're doing by having guns allowed is escalating it. And the criminal is more likely to be prepared - you say you're lucky you took the blade. There is no way the other guy would have forgotten his baton.

[ Parent ]
Hit you first? (none / 0) (#96)
by thejeff on Tue May 09, 2006 at 09:09:25 AM EST

If he hits you first before you notice him, how is the gun going to help?

[ Parent ]
A primer in American weapon philosophy: (3.00 / 4) (#87)
by der on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 04:00:59 PM EST

American viewpoint number one:  "Oh my god these people have WEAPONS!  Weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION no less!  Clearly we must slaughter them all, in the name of safety and security"

American viewpoint number two:  "Everyone has a right to have weapons, the weapons themselves are not a problem, the power of a weapon is in it's user".

The criteria for application of these viewpoints is, as far as I can tell, primarily the level of "brownness" of the subject.  White Christian Males, choose viewpoint #2.  Anyone else, especially if foreign or un-white (and definitely if both) choose viewpoint #1.

One nation, under hipocrisy.


[ Parent ]

For my money (2.33 / 3) (#31)
by destroy all monsters on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 08:15:36 PM EST

the only movie that's gotten anywhere close to what I experienced in the military was Full Metal Jacket. We Were Soldiers has some merit but it just never seems to give the flavor of people and the surrealism of military life like Kubrick's work.

Platoon to my mind is an adolescent's cartoon version of the army. While there are class and education differences and often opposing camps in any unit, there are always more than two camps and undercurrents of politics that Stone conveniently glossed over. It is fairly likely that a sargeant would state something like "I am reality" no matter how hokey it might sound. If anything, if it didn't come off as realistic to you I'd fault Berenger for that.

So, why these two movies?  

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice

Full Metal Jacket was really good (none / 1) (#33)
by curien on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:32:55 AM EST

But Basic Training is such a tiny part of military service, and I can't relate that much with being in a warzone.

Now Good Morning Vietnam... there's a movie that seems to get the more mundane things right. Maybe I particularly relate to the character because I'm an Airman who has to put up with Army bullshit just like he did.

--
I'm directly under the Earth's sun ... ... now!
[ Parent ]

I wasn't (none / 1) (#34)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 01:08:56 AM EST

in a warzone either, though we were in the field quite often. What I meant was the personalities and relationships made by the various characters in the film. That's what really came to life for me - I knew folks like Cowboy and many of the others (including the guy that was talking about his buddy the dead "gooker"). There was always an undercurrent of insanity and chaos just below the surface in my experience. Frankly I don't think almost anyone adapted all that well to being in another country - but the NCOs sure made it far worse than it needed to be.

You're dead on about the mundanities that Good Morning Vietnam showed so well and I thank you for reminding me of that film. My tendency to despise Robin Williams tends to gloss over what fine work he's actually done. So much bureaucracy and stupidity...rules that seem to only serve the purpose for being rules etc.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

that's a great description. (none / 0) (#98)
by Rahaan on Fri May 19, 2006 at 10:56:42 AM EST

There was always an undercurrent of insanity and chaos just below the surface in my experience.
that's a great quote.  I'm almost as far as can be from a soldier, so I've no experience whatsoever, but I've always had a pretty avid and disturbing interest in warfare, and that's how army life seems to be to me.

My grandfather was in WW2, and is pretty much the antithesis of the crazed, drugged up, lost soldiers of a movie like Platoon -- he's a stand-up guy, honest, reliable, and almost completely selfless.  He came back from the war, married my grandmother, and worked his ass off for years running a trucking business for the family.  Happily married for ~50-something years and lives a quiet, peaceful life.

He's a real quiet guy, but when you talk to him about the war, you can see the insanity in what he doesn't speak.  I remember asking him tons of questions as a kid and hearing him talk about how he was a machine-gunner for a time, using something like a .50 cal gun that had to be hand-fed by someone else who carried the ammunition.  And they had some kind of ID cards, or something, which he said you had to lie on and change your job in case the Germans captured you.

This guy's given me legos and chocolate Easter bunnies as presents; at the time that story was completely literal, but looking back at it now, it's obvious he's responsible for some pretty brutal sharp conclusions to a number of young men's lives -- it's not likely he spent all those years in Europe without killing anybody, yaknow?  Now that I'm a little more acutely aware of what, exactly, a .50 cal machine gun can do to someone, the reason for not wanting to be known as the operator of one if captured is just a little more terrifying.

Another great example is a story about some kind of bazooka anti-tank kind of weapon, held on the shoulder.  Someone would load it from behind, pat you to let you know it's ready, and then they'd duck down before it fired.  He was using one, switched off and loaded it, patted the guy and ducked down.  Apparently the early versions were known for misfiring somehow, so when he looked up again the guy's head was gone.

an undercurrent of insanity and chaos..


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

such a tiny part (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:36:27 AM EST

But such an important part. Turning civilians into larval soldiers. Drill Sergeant has got to be one of the toughest jobs in the Army (or Marines).

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Aliens had a good representation of a typical (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:37:22 AM EST

platoon. Sure, the characters were all archtypes, but I knew every one of them from my service in the Army.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 1) (#48)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:51:14 AM EST

I felt the same way. I think Cameron has an excellent grip on how military folks act,talk,much of their tendencies and typical reactions. I think that he let Michael Biehn get a bit over the top in the Abyss but overall I think he's got it.

Game over man! Game over!

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Two things: (2.33 / 3) (#32)
by gr3y on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:07:58 PM EST

  1. Elias dying to _Adagio for Strings_ is one of the greatest marriages of music to film of the twentieth century.
  2. Sheen is much more convincing as the fucking new guy than a battle-hardened grunt.

Overall, +1 FP, but I recommend a mention of Colonel Hal Moore being the first on, and last off, the battlefield. That turns even the coldest GI heart...

I am a disruptive technology.

Yeah (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 01:41:06 AM EST

How often do you find a commander like that? Inspirational.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
They're more common than you think. (none / 0) (#43)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:33:30 AM EST

It's rare for one like that to get beyond colonel, but they do exist.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I didn't say that they didn't exist (none / 0) (#60)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 03:56:05 PM EST

Just that they were rare. I think out of all the COs, platoon leaders, battalion officers etc. I served under two or three might have fit that description - if that.

Question - you're a cabledog? I was in commo too back in the day.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Check my username (none / 0) (#70)
by wiredog on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:45:44 AM EST

Wiredog. 31K. Worked with radios and WD-1A.

The brigade commander we had in Korea in 86 was a great officer. Unafraid to be out in front with the troops. Worked at least as hard as we did. Had zero tolerance for stupidity, especially of the beaurocratic sort. Cared not for the mickey mouse "look good, who cares how well you can fight" stuff that was all over the Stateside army.

We called him "Mad Mike", and not because of his temper (which was only unleashed on officers anyway.)

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Impressive (none / 0) (#77)
by destroy all monsters on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:34:17 PM EST

I wish I'd had more commanders like that. Completely fucking agree with you on the mickey mouse types who are more interested in what your boots look like than skill or effort.

I was a 31M when that still existed. We called you all cabledogs in my units afaicr.

Most of the officers I knew when I was in 1st AD were idiots or all about politics.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

re: Saving Private Ryan (2.66 / 3) (#36)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 01:54:47 AM EST

World War II was presented as a conflict where heroism was uncomplicated and the sides were clearly drawn. Soldiers were depicted as sometimes flawed, but fundamentally decent people. While the enemy is primarily there to be mown down en masse with machine guns, a few token scenes are thrown out there to give them some humanizing touches. They are frequently grueling, but never leave you with a sour taste.
I'm not sure we saw the same film.

Just two scenes do a lot of damage to this thesis. First, you have Corporal Upham outside the door unable to move while one of the men from his company is slowly being stabbed. Later, he shoots the man to make an example of him. Simple heroism? No sour taste?

Earlier in the film, they guys make a german soldier dig his own grave.

Just because the entire movie doesn't dwell on moral ambiguities, that doesn't mean that it gives them short shrift. Even when Ryan is older and asks whether it was all worth it, how can that not be a comment on the war, and the enormous debt he carries. Heroism is as much of a burden as a gift.

-Soc
I drank what?


you're confused (none / 1) (#55)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:43:08 AM EST

Upham shoots the guy who they made dig his own grave. Remember? After some heated discussion, our boys let the captured soldier go because he says he hates Hitler, and promises to desert, and seems like a nice guy anyway. Then, despite all the pity he was afforded, he rejoins his German buddies and fires the bullet that fells Tom Hanks. Then he surrenders again, at which point he's all nicey-nice to Upham. But Upham knows this creep has reneged and shoots him. It's justice, and I for one let loose a mighty cheer when Upham finally pulled the trigger.

[ Parent ]
I like (2.66 / 3) (#37)
by bankind on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 02:35:53 AM EST

how "when we were soldiers" used parts of the US as southern VN. Nice to have that level of realism in some good ole stars and bars humping propaganda. Lars Von Trier should've been the director.

I suggest for fans of the genre the 317th Platoon.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman

Every Vietnam film... (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Psycho Dave on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 03:57:47 AM EST

...should be shot in the Phillipines. That's where the most convincing scenery has been shot.

Or hell, why not do it in Vietnam itself. Make it a joint production or something; a big kumbaya "healing moment."

I mean, I've heard the Vietnamese don't really hate America that much (despite the fact we killed about 10% of their population.) America has had a harder time dealing with it.

Of course, the Vietnamese have every right to be smug. Over the course of the last century, the kicked out of their country the French, the Japanese, the French (again), the United States and China. And I guess the Tran sisters had been doing that shit centuries ago. I don't know, but it's impressive.

[ Parent ]

RP lacks the verticle lift (none / 0) (#54)
by bankind on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:23:07 AM EST

the mountains are what make the geography so unique.

Here is a good description of modern VN.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

hey man, go to leyte or mindanao (none / 0) (#58)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 01:01:54 PM EST

the mountains there will kick any of your vietnamese hills ass any day

come on motherfucker! filipinophile versus vietnamesophile... i got you beat motherfucker!

;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

kubrick shot full metal jacket in the UK (none / 0) (#41)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:30:03 AM EST

i kid you not. he imported and planted palm trees

kubrick, what a magnificent weirdo


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

and he shot heroin (none / 1) (#50)
by my gold bling shines on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 08:58:14 AM EST

into the eye of his cock in amsterdam.


Stop your blubbering prima donna - BottleRocket
[ Parent ]
Yeah and all the palms died in weeks... (none / 1) (#53)
by bankind on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:12:47 AM EST

and Victor Charles wasn't launching assualts from beneath the kudzu vines.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

LOL look look: (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:57:58 PM EST

imdb fmj trivia

Some scenes of the ruined city of Hue were shot at a dockyard on the Isle of Dogs, London that was scheduled for demolition. The ruins of Hue in the sniper and final nighttime scenes were shot at the Beckton Gasworks in London's East End which was also slated for demolition. In some shots, there is a rock in the background that looks very much like the monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Stanley Kubrick says it wasn't intentional, but was noticed while watching the rushes

but on digging up that tid bit i found these better ones!:

Former US Marines Drill Instructor R. Lee Ermey was hired as a consultant on how to drill USMC style. He performed a demonstration on videotape in which he yelled obscene insults and abuse for fifteen minutes without stopping, repeating himself, or even flinching - despite being continuously pelted with tennis balls and oranges. Director Stanley Kubrick was so impressed that he cast R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The videotape demonstration was not the only factor which got R. Lee Ermey the role as the drill instructor. Ermey went to Kubrick and asked for the part, as the actors on the set were, in his opinion, not up to snuff. When Kubrick declined, Ermey barked an order for Kubrick to stand up when he was spoken to, and the director instinctively obeyed. That sealed the matter, and Ermey won the part as Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann.

WTF???

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

my favorite vietnam movie (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:20:03 AM EST

if anyone else here has seen it, i'll be really impressed:

r-point

korean movie (south korea sent soldiers to vietnam)

full metal jacket meets the ring

except unlike the little vietnamese girl who does in the guys one by one as a sniper in full metal jacket, this one's a ghost

the best part were the ghosts of killed soldiers coming in as radio transmissions, beckoning the living, driving them nuts

awesome


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I have to see this (none / 1) (#47)
by livus on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:46:27 AM EST

Silmido impressed the hell out of me.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Saw r-point (none / 0) (#102)
by genman on Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:15:48 PM EST

I saw it at the Seattle Int. Film Festival. It was more of a horror movie than a war movie. I don't know if it had anything in particular to do with the Vietnam War or any political message.

[ Parent ]
A good Viet Nam War book (none / 1) (#46)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:41:05 AM EST

is The Fall of Saigon by David Butler. Out of print, unfortunately, but gives a good overview of the NVA attack in 75, the collapse of the Saigon government, and the US evacuation.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

We Were Soldiers... (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by skyknight on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 08:15:15 AM EST

stands among the worst movies that I have ever seen. I saw it in the theatre with two other people. The only thing that kept me from walking out of the theatre is that I had gotten a ride with one of them.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Correct me if I'm wrong (2.00 / 2) (#62)
by partialpeople on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 06:55:12 PM EST

But First Blood wasn't your typical Reagan-era revenge fantasy.  The Rambo in that movie was an anguished fugitive, cutting a swath of destruction in America, against Americans.

Rambo: First Blood II, on the other hand, was when Rambo became a GI Joe superhero, kicking Commie South Asian ass.

True. (none / 1) (#95)
by Kurisuteru on Mon May 08, 2006 at 01:00:55 AM EST

First Blood is more leftist than the sequels, and raises questions instead of just showing you the workings of a blockhead kill-machine. It's actually a really good movie.

[ Parent ]
You'd be surprised at what they changed. (none / 0) (#100)
by grendelkhan on Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:52:47 PM EST

I remember reading Stiffed, by Susan Faludi, and seeing the evolution of the original "Rambo" story as its values were shifted from depicting a battle of wits between Rambo and the sheriff, to depicting Rambo's salvation at the hands of Colonel Trautman, with the sheriff reduced to a bumbling fool.
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]
I must abstain (1.50 / 2) (#63)
by Aldous L Huxley on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:13:47 PM EST

I hate Vietnam with a passion few men will know. Some of my friends were killed there simply because they didn't have the grades to make it into college. I think that the entire conflict was a joke and that the American people backed a stupid cause quite similar to Iraq.

Shout patriotic sayings and wave flags to get anyone to do anything.
Turn on, tune in, drop out.---Dr. Timothy Leary

Wow, that must have been awkward (none / 1) (#69)
by karb on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:21:45 AM EST

Some of my friends were killed there simply because they didn't have the grades to make it into college.

"Attention Soldiers : All those who had lower than a 2.5 High School GPA, please report to the parade grounds for Summary Execution."
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

I bet you've rubbed a hollow-point bullet (1.00 / 2) (#64)
by toulouse on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 07:51:12 PM EST

along your glans. -1


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


still sore over dien bien phu asshole? nt (none / 0) (#67)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:53:40 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
dien bien phu asshole? (none / 1) (#71)
by toulouse on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:25:03 AM EST

No. I don't know him.

--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
I think... (none / 0) (#99)
by grendelkhan on Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:38:44 PM EST

... because your username is Frenchy, he's trying to nudge you about the French retreat from Vietnam. I can't see why that would be, though, since the French walked away; the Americans were leaping onto the last chopper out of Saigon...

I doubt that their involvement in Indochina casts the same shadow over the modern French concept of one's state as, say, Algeria does.
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

He's toast later on. (none / 1) (#68)
by katie on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:23:27 AM EST

"The most prominently featured is the sensitive Lieutenant Jack, who wants to serve "to help orphans, not make them" and whose wife just had their first baby (so it's probably no surprise here if I let slip that he's toast later on.)"

You do know these were (by and large) real people?

Jack Geoghegan's actions in the movie were an amalgam of actions undertaken by the junior officers (to cut down on the number of characters the audience had to remember).

His attack on the machine gun nest was in fact undertaken by Joe Marm who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage. The producers of the film are rather apologetic for editing him into someone else, but the award was made after the film's production.

In reality, Geoghegan survived the battle, but died the next day defending the landing zone from a counter-attack. The event was moved into the timeframe of the movie; and he was in fact attempting to rescue the mortally wounded Godboldt, as he did in the movie.

A little more respect is possibly due.


We Were Soldiers (none / 1) (#73)
by JennyB on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 12:30:39 PM EST

Speaking about "We Were Soldiers", the real potential of the movie actually lies in the two subplots. Showing the war from the wives' perspective was a good idea from the beginning and some moments, such as the delivery of letters, are quite moving. Unfortunately this wasn't developed further as Madeleine Stowe's character spends most of her time looking worried or crying. The other story is tighter. It is rare that a war film shows the enemy's point of view.
----------------------------------------------
Software and Cathedrals are much the same First we build them then we pray

The great greek tales. (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by SnowBlind on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:36:23 PM EST

Full Metal Jacket, Born on The 4th of July, and JFK are a trilogy of movies that remake the greek classics in American culture. Full Metal Jacket is the Illiad. How do warriors act in war? 4th of July is the Odessy. What happens to men returning from war? JFK. Agamemmenon, the King who led the War, who killed the King and why? Unfortunately, I dont think the thread will continue, but perhaps some day he will make some more movies that carry this theme.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
Full Metal Jacket... (3.00 / 4) (#91)
by little jackal on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:40:34 PM EST

A minor nit-pick... Full Metal Jacket wasn't an Oliver Stone movie. It was made by Kubrick.

I haven't seen the last two movies, but since you mention it in this context, I now have to see them.

the shared gravitational mass would create a supercluster of obese bodies with all the remaining fit bodies orbiting around it. -Parent ]
Whoops (none / 0) (#103)
by SnowBlind on Fri Sep 08, 2006 at 06:09:17 PM EST

Sorry, Platoon. Try and figure out who Achilles and Patrocolus (sp) are.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
For fans of We Were Soldiers (none / 1) (#88)
by the77x42 on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:00:46 PM EST

I read this book a couple months ago.

I hate Americans and war probably more than most, but damn this was a good, non-fiction read. It essentially recounts numerous tales of individual soldiers in an elite covert group operating north of the South Vietnam border.

Very, very little is given in the way of justification in the war and the stories take place in a vacuum, but damn if I don't feel a little bit of appreciation for these guys' heroism after reading it.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

demographics (none / 0) (#92)
by samu on Mon May 01, 2006 at 04:06:14 PM EST

You can bet that the opening night audience of ...  The Chronicles of Narnia wasn't buying tickets for Brokeback Mountain en masse.

Huh. Mrs. Samu and I were early in queue to see both movies.
--
o gracious love // you were so kind to me // you only broke my heart // let my arms and legs stay strong.

dead presidents (none / 0) (#93)
by suntzu on Wed May 03, 2006 at 02:00:24 AM EST

is a really good movie. i was a little surprised by how it unfolded when i first saw it, since the trailers kind of billed it as a heist movie, but i liked it a lot nonetheless.

as for the "gangsta mentality", i'm not quite sure what you mean... other than the guy who plans the robbery, no one's particularly gangsta.

Code words (none / 0) (#94)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sun May 07, 2006 at 03:52:26 AM EST

When he says "gangsta" he means "poor black people".

LK

[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#97)
by R3X on Fri May 12, 2006 at 01:42:24 AM EST

We were soldiers, I think i have seen every war movie out there, with the exception of jar head. I think the best one in my eyes is, enemy at the gate. awesome movie!
Kick & Push
Where is the love for The Boys In Company C (none / 0) (#101)
by mrorange on Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 02:33:27 AM EST

that one is the best Vietnam movie, period


The DVD Shelf: We Were Soldiers (2002) vs. Platoon (1986) | 103 comments (78 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
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