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Jarhead - a dissapointment

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Jarhead - a dissapointment

Old 03-09-06, 05:58 PM
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Jarhead - a dissapointment

So I finally received this movie from Netflix and watched it yesterday. What a dissapointment. So much so, that I'm gonna have to rewatch American Beauty to see if it still holds up for me, especially since my tastes have grown in the last few years from mostly watching whatever Hollywood spits out to finding and falling in love with filmmakers such as Tarkovsky, Bergman, Kieslowski, Bunuel, etc.. I wasn't too thrilled with Road to Perdition either, but I think this is Sam Mendes weakest effert yet. I especially hated Jamie Fox (loved him in Colleteral) who is quickly becoming overrated and irritable like Holly Berry after winning an Oscar. I cought some of the commentary and Mendes said that he didn't preplan too much ahead because he wanted it to have a real feel to it but in my opinion he needed a lot of help here because this movie realy lacked focus. I've read some reviews where people were saying that this movie is not political. What idiots!!! Are they blind? Even the director himself said that when making a movie like this you have to insert some of your views otherwise what is the point of making a movie like this. I have no problem with movies showing war as hell (my favorite war movie is The Thin Red Line by the way) but I just felt like I was being preached by a 5 year old about the horrors of war.
Old 03-09-06, 07:18 PM
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For me This was actually one of my favorite movies of the year. It pretty much shows what modern warefare is. Many people wil hate it becasue they think that nothing happened or its too political. Well I really dont think its that political, its just one mans observations on what happened. I actually liked this movie so much that I went out and bought the book Jarhead.
Old 03-10-06, 12:01 AM
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i loved the movie. having been to the middle east 3 times, and serving 8 yrs in the marines, the film struck a chord with me. all of the games that are played and boredom that the guys in the movie are put through, was pretty realistic. the first time that i went to kuwait, we spent it eating MRE's, taking naps, and playing spades. it was good to see a military movie that doesn't focus on action, but instead it tries to show life as it was for alot of people that have served.
Old 03-10-06, 12:11 AM
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The only thing I didn't like about the film was that it needed another 10 minutes towards the end to focus on being at home and being "nothing" since it really jumped quickly to that point at the end.

But the build up and lack of action is must have gotten a lot of folks let down on the film in general.
Old 03-10-06, 12:17 AM
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Purplechoe -- I guess I have to ask what your take is on the following films: Three Kings, No Man's Land, Catch 22, MASH, and Dr. Strangelove?

I'm not saying that Jarhead is on level with these cinematically, but thematically it definitely falls in with these. The line "I never even fired my rifle." sums up the whole movie. It is a story of how even when a man finds meaning in his life, there is no meaning to it.

I will agree though, Jamie Foxx has definitely become Halle Berry with a dick.
Old 03-10-06, 01:21 AM
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I don't think the movie was political. I think it's probably pretty accurate. I've never been in the military or anything but I assume that serving your time in the desert could leave a lasting impression that could haunt you for life. I wouldn't call it anti-war, it was what it was.
Old 03-10-06, 02:06 AM
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Just rewatched this. I didn't think it was too political either and I hear its a very accurate representation of Desert Storm (I was never in the suck so I wouldn't know for sure). The movie was good but it felt empty at the end. Part of me thinks that thats the point. I want to say that they should have developed characters more but I think they did a good job developing Swoff and thats all that matters.

After seeing it a second time I wish they decided to develop Troy more. I think that if they did it would have earned Peter Sarsgaard a Supporting Actor Nom. He was great in this one.
Old 03-10-06, 06:29 AM
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They should advertise the DVD release.
Old 03-10-06, 08:27 AM
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liked the movie... could have been better but it was still good... no disappointment here
Old 03-10-06, 08:37 AM
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It was a good movie, not great by any means. I did serve in Desert Storm and though I didn't share the same experiences it definitely got the flavor right. The book is so much better in my opinion.
IMHO I think it is imposable to make a movie about war without coloring it with bias one way or the other.
Old 03-10-06, 09:13 AM
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I enjoyed the flick to a great extent. Even from a technical standpoint, it was a visually engaging film with well-portrayed parts and beautiful cinematography. It is not a bang-em-up action flick, but a character study of why/how this character loses his grip on reality while fighting a war that is surreal in purpose. And the lack of action creates the basis on WHY he begins to lose it.

I don't believe it to be anti-war, either. I do believe it sends the message to be certain what you are fighting for before engaging and suffering through life-altering events.
Old 03-10-06, 10:17 AM
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I also left the theatre feeling empty. I don't need a film to spell it all out for me - but this film didn't seem to have any sort of moral stance at all - it was just kinda anarchistic...

Gyllenhaal was really good, and I REALLY liked Sarsgaard's performance - but the lack of a tangible motivation besides FIRING THEIR WEAPONS AND KILLING kind of left me feeling bland.
Old 03-10-06, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Flynn
- but the lack of a tangible motivation besides FIRING THEIR WEAPONS AND KILLING kind of left me feeling bland.
Believe me, boot camp is a form of brain washing similar to a cult, that is the only motivation many needed.
Old 03-10-06, 01:24 PM
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Yeah, I think the lack of political message or action was one of the "themes" of the movie...These men had trained to be fighters and elite soldiers, but never got to do much, so they felt cheated in a way.
Old 03-10-06, 02:09 PM
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Have not seen it but here is J. Rosenbaums opinion on it

http://www.chicagoreader.com/movies/...05/051104.html
Old 03-10-06, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
Yeah, I think the lack of political message or action was one of the "themes" of the movie...These men had trained to be fighters and elite soldiers, but never got to do much, so they felt cheated in a way.
Did you people see the same movie? Even the director himself said that the movie is political! What part of the the director himself has said the movies is political don't you understand? I have no probelm with that though if done well. It's been done better in other films, and at the end I was asking myslef if this was a story which deserved to be told. I think it was, and in my opinion it is an ok movie with some memerobale scenes that ultimitely is not very interesting as a whole.

I didn't think it was a teribble movie, just that it was a dissapointment. I was looking forward to watching it and felt let down. There were a few scenes that I thought were great, especially that one with the soldiers watching Apocalypse Now, and the scene in which the main character goes berserk on one of the other soldiers. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal did an ok job as the protagonist, even though his character was not very interesting. If anything I thought he was a pretty stupid individual, but that was probably the point just not done very well/sympathetically. I felt like it was trying to be artistic, but it wasn't. It tried to be inteligent, it wasn't. To me it felt more like the filmmaker was just going through the motions and not realy "making love to it" if you catch my drift. But just as there were great scenes, others were almost groan enducing, especially when the sniper wants to take the shot. Interesting concept for a scene, but the execution was poor. Oh, and I have no problem with this war movie not realy having any action. I actually liked that when at the end he say "I didn't even get to fire my rifle." But than again I felt similarly about Lord of War. Such an interesting concept, interesting actor and director, had some expectations but was let down by the end product.

Like I said earlier, my exposure to the world of cinema probably changed the way I see movies. Had I seen Jarhead 5-10 years earlier I probably would have liked it quite a bit. Even though I don't consider myself a film snob, (I very much enjoy Tarantino, Fincher, Spielberg, Bay, etc...) this one just bugged me a bit. I feel that Mendes is watering down his movies more film by film and as much as I was looking forward to watching Jarhead, I probably won't be too excited about his next project.
Old 03-15-06, 04:44 AM
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I just saw this movie this evening, and I have to say, for the first 15-20 minutes I was pretty disapointed. But by the end of the movie I was riveted. I think a lot of people let some of the statements made in this movie fly over their heads. I think this review sums it up very well.

http://efilmcritic.com/review.php?mo...4&reviewer=233

It is not a movie about the horrors of war, but about the desire to be a part of it. It is not a war movie that has any kind of agenda regarding our current war, yet in a round-about way, it still makes a statement. It is not a war movie that tries to out-do the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan, yet I still felt excited and moved by it.

Of course, they have been trained to become killers and defenders to the point where it has become as natural an instinct as eating and sleeping, but the inactivity begins to take its toll on them. They want to fight. They want to feel worth something.

Jarhead is an anti War Film, but not an anti-war film. It doesn’t waste your time telling you what you probably already know (war is hell). The movie’s one major battle sequence depicts not a series of blood and dirt flying into the camera, but a simple errand for one soldier to go and retrieve a battery pack so he can make a call. The movie mainly centers not on what harsh reality these men will venture into, but what they have left behind and what will be gone when they eventually return home.

Director Sam Mendes does a remarkable job of depicting the impatience these men feel, but also the frustration of not even having anything to separate this war from any other. At one point a helicopter flies over the platoon blaring out a Doors song, to which Swoff replies, “That’s a Vietnam song. Can’t we get our own damn music?” Mendes further underscores Swoff’s plight by making the desert look positively beautiful, prompting Sgt. Sykes to admit to Swoff that one of the main reasons he keeps working in the Marines is to see unusual sights, such as oil burning in the night sky.

Some have expressed disappointment at the amount of inactivity in the film. To me, it is something of a triumph for a film such as this to get made at a time when we have become conditioned to expect certain conventions of your average War Film. Jarhead expresses that no matter what you do with the time served in the Marines, no matter how little you see in terms of carnage and horror when stationed in a war-torn country, the experience remains a part of you.

They want the time to matter, they want a story to tell when they return and they want the experience to count for something because of the sacrifices they made in order to be a part of it. They sacrifice a piece of themselves in order to become trained killers and defenders, but what happens if they can’t get that part of themselves back? Being stationed out in the middle of nowhere with little excitement may not make for an exciting letter home to their friends and family, but it’s all they’ve got and could very well be all the better for it.
Old 03-15-06, 06:26 AM
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I thought the oil fields ablaze made for some very sweet shots, but the rest of the movie I was indifferent on. It was a fine way to pass a couple hours, but I'll forget much of it in a week or so.
Old 03-15-06, 10:26 AM
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Thought it was a great movie. I was not expecting a balls out war movie like some people here. This movie was a snapshot of a very specific war experience. Unique enough that if they were to do a movie about the current Iraq war, it would be totally different.
Old 03-27-06, 05:53 PM
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i can't understand the hate for this movie. the performances were utterly riveting and the characters very likeable. it seemed to me a simple movie with not too many political undertones (at least none that weigh the movie down). i think the most shocking political aspects were summed up perfectly with the simple scroll of...the # of days in the desert and the # of troops in the desert. i thought that was very effective and really told me exactly what our government was doing in relation to the Iraquis 1,000,000 troops.
it is a very entertaining movie.
Old 08-01-06, 10:50 PM
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First off, I am a bit offended that purplechloe thinks we like this movie because we haven't seen a Bergman film yet and as such, aren't cultured enough; as proof, (s)he reads off some random director's names from Criterion's website. Doubly funny that you mention Buñuel since Mendes made this as a war movie version of Obscur Objet du Désir.

This is a great non-war war movie, similar to Three Kings in that it doesn't have much to do with fighting. That film, which is great, is much more political than Jarhead. I wouldn't say Jarhead is apolitical, because war is divisive in its nature; but it certainly doesn't seem to aim for any particular viewpoint. I thought it was fantastically well shot, well acted and it was thoroughly engrossing. If anything, the lack of action made me more nervous as I expected some around the corner any minute. When it never came, I felt the sad disappointment of Swof.
Old 08-02-06, 01:06 AM
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Jarhead utterly failed in a sense of in depth exploration of interrelationship of men and war. The film mostly consisted of hilarious but gasping look into military life during Iraq War but never scratched deeper than that. So the ending where protagonist narrated something about the rifle being with the person and etc, it was on a level but totally incoherent with bulk of the film.

I still enjoyed the movie and I think most of audience did too on basis of talk and laughter. Jarhead was very entertaining but I hated how it tried to wrap up as something that isn't.

"You stupid motherfucker! I told you to put your head down." Bahahaha!
Old 08-02-06, 03:38 AM
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I thought the film was decent. I was never bored, but never really entertained. It's not something I would buy, and I've never discussed it with anyone else. Not counting this thread.

Good enough for a rental.
Old 08-02-06, 09:42 PM
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I thought the movie was pretty good. I'm going to buy it.
Old 08-02-06, 10:01 PM
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I actually just watched the movie again last night. I really enjoy the film for what it is. I know going into the movie for the first time I thought that there was going to be more action, but I was suprised at this new perspective of a war. I like how this movie shows us what happens leading up to a modern day war. (Though what goes on durring an occupation may be diffrent.)

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