A Mischief Of Magpies

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and a Mischief of Magpies would be as small as a pea.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Movie About Nothing


Jarhead opens with one of those drill-sergeant-being-loud-and-calling-everyone-a-faggot scenes that Kubrick invented in Full Metal Jacket and has been subsequently done to death. This pissed me off right away. What makes something part of a genre, it has been said, is that it recycles identifiable elements albeit in an innovative or interesting way. Which is why I hate genre movies generally because being unique and re-hashing someone else's work is a contradiction in terms. Which is not to say that you can't get a good sci-fi movie or a good western or a good war movie, but it just takes more to rise above the raft of dross.

Later on, we see marines watching Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter. They complain that the music is "Vietnam" music and they need their own soundtrack. I began to get the impression that some kind of point was being made.

Marines get trained, they fuck about in the desert for ages, then the war is over. End of fucking story. Like Sam Mendes' previous film American Beauty, I can't shake the feeling that this film is quite interesting while you're watching it, waiting for the pay-off but ultimately is about fuck all. I am writing him a letter asking for my six quid back.

If it wasn't for the rampant homoerotic charge that watching Jake Gyllenhaal gives me, I wouldn't recommend it.

2 Comments:

At 5:19 pm, Blogger CoconutCain said...

Funny story...the first time I heard it referred to as "quid" I was watching "The Full Monty," and I misheard it as "squid." I wondered what the hell they needed 800 squid for and if they planned to open their own Sea World or something.

-K. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" Coconut

 
At 11:48 pm, Anonymous Ian said...

What makes something part of a genre, it has been said, is that it recycles identifiable elements albeit in an innovative or interesting way. Which is why I hate genre movies generally because being unique and re-hashing someone else's work is a contradiction in terms.

Cool! A genre meme! I blogged ad nauseam on this a while ago, my main point being there's all sorts of nifty stuff a skilled practitioner can do to subvert genre expectations. I take your point about movie genres, not being able to come up with an exception off the top of my head, although your man Kermode has lots to say about the "[time period] of the Dead" zombie films. I only ever saw the first, and the anti-racism message is pretty clear. Funnily enough, I was planning the post I put up tonight before I read this. Synchronicity, what a wonderful town.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home