Wednesday, January 31, 2007

George Lucas was a p*ssy: "Starship Troopers"

This movie is awesome. Just awesome. Sure, it might not be what some people would call "good," but I don't care. For me, it's in that hallowed category that also includes such films as "The Cable Guy," "The Last Boy Scout" and "Flash Gordon." Mediocre to critics, perhaps, but a hell of a lot of fun to watch over and over again.

I love this movie so much that I keep asking people to give it to me for Christmas, my birthday, Purim, Victoria Day, whatever. Yet nobody has done so. That's why I recently said, "Screw it," and bought a used DVD for $6 at at a nearby used music and movie store. That'll show you guys.

Why is this movie so great? Let us count the ways:

90210 vs. Space Bugs
Yep, that's pretty much the concept, and if you can't get behind beautiful teens and twentysomethings getting impaled, beheaded, torn in half and blown up in outrageous ways -- really, you laugh more than wince -- then go watch "Sense and Sensibility."

That Verhoeven Touch
After famously straying into weird sex stuff -- see "Basic Instinct" and "Showgirls" (which I own on VHS, thank you very much) -- Paul Verhoeven came back to sci-fi with "Troopers." Those little quirks from "RoboCop" and "Total Recall," such as the fun TV programming and off-kilter future, are back in full effect. I mean, the TV spots actually seem real. Would you like to know more? (Click.)

Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown
That's right ... both of them in the same movie! I didn't think that had happened before, but IMDB tells me they were in "Extreme Prejudice," which also had Powers Boothe and William Forsythe. Wow, that's a lot of "that guy"s. Anyway, I'm a big fan of Ironside, from Ham Tyler in "V" to Jester in "Top Gun" to Richter in "Total Recall." The same thing with Brown, from Rawhide in "Buckaroo Banzai" to Kurgan in "Highlander" to Hadley in "The Shawshank Redemption." Just great, great guys -- never boring, and not disappointing here as a drill sergeant and a teacher-turned-battalion leader, respectively.

Sure, it's mostly computer stuff, but you have to dig the squeals and the flailing legs anyway. And that scene in on the desert planet, when the bugs come out from the rocks and storm the compound. Guaranteed "Oh, sh*t" every time. (The look on Ironside's face ... priceless.)

Denise Richards, Starship Pilot
Well before she was tapped to play a nuclear scientist in a James Bond movie, the young Ms. Richards was the driver for one of those big crates way up in the sky. Um, yeah. At least the Bond movie was tongue in cheek with that casting. Double negative: She's one of the few hardbodies who doesn't get naked here. Boo! (Of course, "Wild Things" -- where she was used much more correctly -- made up a little for that.)

Dina Meyer, Butt Kicker
Hadn't seen her much before (one of Joey's girlfriends on "Friends") and haven't seen her much since ("Star Trek: Nemesis"), but Meyer is supercute as tough Dizzy Flores. And yes, she does get naked.

Heil, Casper!
Often the most discussed aspect of this movie: Hey, they're futuristic Nazis! I have to admit, it wasn't a big focus for me the first few times I saw "Troopers." But yeah, it's not hard to see the riff on the Third Reich in the "Federation" and its recruitment of young people for military service, which leads to citizenship. And it's not like our hero, Casper Van Dien, looks like anything less than Hitler's wet dream. By the time Doogie Howser shows up at the end wearing a black leather trenchcoat, well, it's hard to ignore Verhoeven's take on fascism, which is biting.

All in all, just great fun. But I'm sure I've left something out. Would you like to know more?


At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right up there with Cliffhanger, Dumb and Dumber and most Lifetime movies. ST will suck you in at any point in the movie that you turn on. Extra bonus if you happen to tune in at the gratuitous nudity scenes. ST2 really sucked though, I guess there is a reason why some films go straight to video.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on you apes. You wanna live forever?

Fantastic bad movie. And don't forget a solid performance by the always loveable Jake Busey.

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't it also feature Rue Mcclanahan wearing an eyepatch as the biology teacher? Nice touch having Blanche keeping an eye out for ya.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Jefferson said...

I only have one rule. Everybody fights. Nobody quits.

I'm just glad Bea Arthur wasn't a Sky Marshal.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prospect of a naked Bea Arthur, that's hawt.


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