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JARHEAD (R) (2005)

Universal

Official Site

Director: Sam Mendes

Producers: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Sam Mendes

Written by: William Broyles Jr.; from the book by Anthony Swofford

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Chris Cooper

Rating:


Jarhead: A marine (refers to the standard haircut)

The Suck: Jarheadese for the Corps

Fuck the Suck.

Kissing ass. Field-fucking/Grab-ass. Suicide watch. Unfaithful wives and girlfriends. Whores, more whores, and maybe VD. Crazy motherfuckers. Burning shitters. Liquor. Drunkenness. Vomit. Boredom. Violence. Regret. Terror. Blood. Anguish. Tears. Thousands of hours of training. Months of drills in the sand. Digging holes. Enduring bombardments. And after all that shit, 100 hours of war. The Suck treats a man like a warrior for years, then throws him into a war too short for him to score a kill. All the jarheads wanted was the pink mist from the perfect shot. The fucking flyboys blew tens of thousands of Iraqis to hell, and they didn’t get one fucking shot. What kind of fucking war is that?

Fuck the Suck.

For the marines, there is much thought given to life after death, but they really need to be worried about life after the Corps. Does a marine have a life after being discharged? Can he survive in the civilian world? Trained and conditioned to be killers, honest-to-God violent motherfuckers with a penchant for combat and drunkenness, marines tend to have trouble readjusting to a peaceful life. Are their minds broken, or their souls shattered? And just what the hell was with that war?

Anthony Swofford is the Jarhead. This film jumped off of the pages off his book of the same name. Anthony insists that it’s not the truth, but rather his truth, his story, the Gulf War according to Swofford. It’s a good, fucked-up story. When you look at the first Gulf War from Swofford’s perspective, it looks pretty nuts. He walks through a highway of death. He gets fired on by his own air force, with what is literally the SCARIEST FUCKING CANNON in the world. He accepts that he’s fighting for oil interest while believing that he came to save Kuwait. It’s insanity, pure and simple. But the movie doesn’t say anything more.

The tale changes a bit from book to film; the story is more photogenic to entertainment standards, sticking mostly to the war to let people see explosions. The book has much more material to craft a much more complete story. The book answers all the questions I raised in the paragraph above, and the movie just raises them. That’s why I recommend you see the movie if you like to avoid books, but for God’s sake read the book if you are literate. And if you aren’t literate, learn to read so you can read this book. Just keep in mind that the minefield of profanity I laid earlier cannot compare to what a marine says and does. If you can’t stomach the fucking lingo, then don’t fucking go there. However, if you don’t mind that shit, go for it. The book goes so much deeper into all these issues, and adds a LOT more humanity to Swofford, and every jarhead.

And if you think that you saw Three Kings and you know the first Gulf War was fucked up, you didn’t get all of it. You got the fun part. The Suck isn’t about fun. You may have studied the war and know what you think is the truth, but Jarhead is a different truth. This truth is more personal, an eyewitness account instead of a report. I haven’t seen a truth like this in a while.

—Duncan Wright

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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