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David Poland

By David Poland

Sarris Raves Jarhead

Or something like that.
He seems to be writing mostly about the book and other influences… and not very much about the film… except he liked it… he really, really liked it.

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74 Responses to “Sarris Raves Jarhead”

  1. The Premadator says:

    Ever since Sarris’ passionate and inciteful “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” review in 2001 (he movingly brings up his dead brother in the piece) I’ve been clicking in every Tuesday night at 8pm. The man tells you exactly what he thinks without being cynical or hip. Unfortunately he usually gives away key plot points, so I find myself often skimming the article before a viewing.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m sure plenty of critics are going to love Jarhead. I hope all of them won’t be singled out and criticized. I can’t wait to see it.

  3. bicycle bob says:

    he fought and defended ai? i’m not even reading his reviews.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    In fact, why read at all?

  5. David Poland says:

    Not sure anything I said qualifies as negative criticism, Stella.
    I linked… I left the door open to conversation. What is the bad part?

  6. Josh says:

    Stella’s Boy will defend anything tooth and nail that even hints of a Left wing slant. We know this by now.

  7. Angelus21 says:

    Haven’t heard much on this. Good buzz or bad buzz.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    And Josh will take any opportunity to slam Stella’s Boy…it seems.

  9. Joe Straat says:

    Only hype I’ve heard off this is some guy in the theater during the trailer who told his wife VERY LOUDLY, “SAM MENDES? INTERESTING. HE’LL HAVE SOME SERIOUS MORAL ISSUES IF HE GETS IT WRONG!” He wanted to tell the whole theater he was a man with THOUGHTS!

  10. joefitz84 says:

    Mendes is very slow and very deliberate. He turned a shoot em up action flick into a great depression slow down. Hopefully he speeds it up a tad.

  11. Cadavra says:

    The trailer makes this look like a feature version of Bochco’s FX series, OVER THERE. Are people really going to shell out ten bucks to watch something that’s not appreciably superior or even different than what they’ve hardly been watching on TV?

  12. jeffmcm says:

    I would amend your comment, Joe, to say that Mendes likes to make Very Important Movies. The kind that seem designed for awards consideration.

  13. Stella's Boy says:

    I like American Beauty and Road to Perdition, and I think Jarhead looks really good. Josh, what in the hell are you talking about?

  14. Scooba Steve says:

    Tapley, is the Thomas Newman score for Jarhead up to his high standards? I found myself unable to leave during the end credits of “Road To Perdition” and “Lemony Snicket” because of his amazing work. Such pretty music.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    I agree Thomas Newman is one of the best young (relatively speaking) composers working these days. Jarhead looks like a good opportunity for him to open up his musical vocabulary.

  16. Bruce says:

    Mendes has started out pretty well in his film career. I like his work. He chooses interesting material. From suburbia to the 30’s Chicago to the Marines. Eclectic.

  17. Sanchez says:

    They’re promoting this as a Jamie Foxx movie for some reason or other. He has a bit part if it sticks to the book.

  18. PandaBear says:

    Why is Jake Gyllenhall in every movie nowadays? ANyone think hes any good?

  19. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh holy mother of god. YES PANDABEAR!! PEOPLE LIKE HIM! Now can we not get onto a topic we have discussed many times before. We might as well be talking about Jennifer Lopez.
    I like Sam Mendes as a director. American Beauty was brilliant and I actually liked Road to Perdition a lot. And I think Thomas Newman’s RtP score is one of the top 3 scores of the last 5 years (after Alexandre Desplat’s Birth score and just before Angelo Badalamenti’s Mulholland Drive score)
    With Jarhead though, I’m not particularly waiting for it that much but I’m definitely interested. Any movie that has Jake shirtless and in a Santa hat is already going pretty good, right? Sarsgaard is always at least great and the rest of the cast and behind-the-scenes people give high hope. It’s just that war movies never get me excited until I actually see it.
    And Cadavra, I bet you that $10 that hardly anybody has even heard of that show. What on earth is “Over There”? And it’s on FX so it’s a pretty good bet that I’m at least partially right.

  20. grandcosmo says:

    Anyone who considers themselves a cinephile or film fan needs to read “The American Cinema” by Andrew Sarris or their education is woefully lacking.
    Other than Bazin, to me Sarris is the most important film critic ever.

  21. Nicol D says:

    Mendes, based on two films, seems to be a beautiful stylist whose ‘messages’ are hackneyed and cliche.
    American Beauty contains brilliant scenes with Spacey in an otherwise cliche plot about the ‘darkness and perversion’ of the American suburbs.
    It’s observations are trite and rooted in the same 1950’s mythology that have coloured most Hollywood product in the past 30 years. The scene with the plastic bag in the parking lot is…laughable. Cooper’s character…painfully cliche.
    But…the Spacey stuff is good as is the Benning/Gallagher story.
    Road to Perdition…again, great style but wasn’t Hanks supposed to be a ‘bad guy’? And once Law gets into the picture the truly ‘comic’ book origins of the film become apparent.
    As for Jarhead, given the political subject matter and the involvement of Jake, I don’t think I’ll have to pay to see it to know what the message will be. Very simplistic. Very b & w.
    If it was any more nuanced, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been greenlit.
    This is part of the problem with Hollywood being so open about their political beliefs. I support their right to do it, but the cost of it is that in the eyes of the public…it alleviates the benefit of the doubt.
    I know many of you will disagree with me. Feel free to…
    …but I bet box office receipts show that a lot agree with me. And Hollywood should remember that.
    “Any movie that has Jake shirtless and in a Santa hat is already going pretty good, right?”
    You had the audacity to call me stupid in another post?

  22. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, out of curiosity, what do you imagine the message will be in Jarhead?

  23. Telemachos says:

    A friend/co-worker of mine saw it Tuesday. (He hasn’t read the book.)
    He felt it was a solid film, but also that in more than a few instances, he felt he was seeing scenes he’d seen before (Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, etc) — not entirely unexpected, perhaps.
    Also, he was expecting a “war film” and got more of a “waiting for war” film — but he also pointed out that this was necessarily the movie’s fault, since it was following the book.
    He said it was very beautifully shot and had solid performances across the board, but it didn’t “wow” him.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    I’m curious to see what kind of political content there could be in this movie, given that it’s set in the 1991 Gulf War, which was a pretty simple in-out job and doesn’t look yet like it’s going for a Three Kings kind of storyline.
    That said, we all now Altman’s MASH was really about Vietnam and not Korea.

  25. Terence D says:

    Read the book to find the real message. The real message is war is hell but someone has to do it. And only a few can do it. They might not be the toughest, strongest, smartest, or most with it. But they were born for this. I doubt the film will give it justice.

  26. Mark Ziegler says:

    I find it hard to believe it’ll be as good as Platoon. Will be tough to top.

  27. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Jarhead” is pro-war propaganda from the trailer alone. Universal must be leaning on the critics to shill for it and thus boost the US war effort.
    Over 2,000 of “Our Troops” are KIA. Every New York newspaper splashed that on the front page yesterday — despite a demand from the US gov’t not to do so.
    Given that and current US political events, “Jarhead” ought to be DOA at the box office.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, now this is awesome. I hate to put words in Nicol’s mouth, but I think he was suggesting the movie would flop because it would espouse a liberal position.
    Chucky, why did you put “our troops” in quote marks? Are you dubious about them bring ours, or them being troops?

  29. joefitz84 says:

    Jarhead is going to tank but not because it might espouse a liberal philosophy. It will tank because its just not that good. And Jake G can’t draw a crowd if he plowed Kirsten Dunst on Melrose.

  30. PandaBear says:

    Jarhead a pro war film? Swoffords position is basically “fuck war, fuck people, fuck it all, except the guys next to you”. I thought it was an unfilmable book. No narrative. No real battles. Nothing heroic or dramatic. Just one guys story where he basically fights an inner battle. One part wants to be a marine and the other thinks this is crazy.

  31. Sanchez says:

    If I wanted to see Full Metal Jacket, I’d pop it in the dvd player. Why didn’t they hire R Lee Emery?

  32. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Nicol, wasn’t the plastic bag scene meant to be hilarious. Or am I thinking about a different plastic bag scene?

  33. Cadavra says:

    Camel: You sort of proved my point. OVER THERE premiered to stellar ratings, but has tailed off. People aren’t tuning out because it’s bad–they’re tuning out because it’s so realistic and well-done that it’s forcefully reminding them of this horrible mess we’re in. (I admit some weeks even I struggle to get through the show because of what these characters are going through.) So I say again: if they won’t watch soldiers-in-Iraq for free, why would they pay to see pretty much the same thing in a theatre?

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Perhaps because, supposedly there’s very little actual warfare in Jarhead. It seems to be no Black Hawk Down.

  35. Josh says:

    Over There failed because no one wants to watch a Liberal themed show on the war. Showing how terrible war is. We all know war stinks. It’s not fun. But that show has an agenda. Let’s show how bad the big bad West is. Innocent people are dying. That’s just not going to fly in today’s age. People know these terrorists are the enemy and they’re the ones who started this. If it was a show that supported the troops and supported the paving the way for peace process I guarantee it would be a hit. Now its destined to be a punch line.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Do you have any particularly egregious examples, from the show, about what you say, Josh? I ask because I have never seen Over There. My understanding is that it does indeed support the troops by bringing their situations into America’s living rooms, which the news is certainly hardly doing.
    How would a television show go about paving the way for the peace process? I don’t understand what that means, since obviously everyone wants soldiers out of there, either when the job is done or sooner.

  37. Sanchez says:

    It pales in comparison to the other great FX shows. Not even close actually.

  38. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah Josh. Please provide some examples. My understanding is that Over There completely avoids politics. Go ahead and prove me wrong.

  39. Josh says:

    Have you ever watched it? The whole show is an example. Just look at the song that ends each episode and written by the exec producer. Its straight of the 60’s. Free love, man. Make love not war. If that wasn’t a red flag then nothing is.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    The song used at the end of each episode is your evidence? That is pretty weak man. No, I haven’t watched it, and that is why I want you to prove to me that the show is full of liberal bias. You were the one to state that, and every review or article I have read about the show has said that it goes out of its way to not be political. I hope you can do better than some songs. Otherwise, I have to believe that you’re full of it.

  41. Angelus21 says:

    You haven’t watched even one episode yet your’re defending it? You know what? Thats very weak.

  42. Josh says:

    Again proving my point that Stella’s Boy will defend any liberal position. No matter how wacky or wrong. He hasn’t even seen this show and hes defending it!! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. The whole show is evidence. I think I was pretty clear on that.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t want to defend the show, which I also have not seen. I want to call you out and make you come up with examples to prove your points with. It’s called advancing one’s argument with evidence. So far you have exactly one example, the end song. Any more? The burden of proof is on you.

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    Josh, I am not defending anything. I am asking you to back up your claim. Some people around here are always screaming about liberal bias. I would like you to explain your reasons for believing that Over There has a liberal bias. Simple as that. Can you do it? You can’t just say the entire show is evidence. That proves nothing. If that is the best you can do, I have to believe that you haven’t watched it and are full of shit. If you can’t back up what you say, then don’t say it.

  45. BluStealer says:

    You can’t defend or even argue a show you haven’t seen just because you like to argue. That is what i call weak boys.

  46. Josh says:

    I really find it hysterical that these two can argue something they have never seen. I already made points. You obviously don’t want to acknowledge them. The whole show is evidence. I guess if you haven’t seen it, YOU CAN’T DEFEND IT. Now do you fellas realize why you seem to start trouble everytime you post? I know you guys are buddies but this is getting ridiculous. If Jeff said the sky was red, Stella here would defend it to the day he died. Even if he was blind.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    I said that, having never seen the show, I understood it to be an evenhanded look at ordinary soldiers doing their jobs and examining their hardships, sort of like E.R. for doctors.
    Josh, who may or may not have seen the show, could only counter this by mentioning the end credits theme song. Nothing about storylines, nothing about characters, nothing about lines of dialogue.
    Obviously, you’re not really interested in trying to educate people or win others to your perspective. That being the case, keep quiet until you have something substantive to say.

  48. joefitz84 says:

    What do you expect from these two? You should know better.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Let me help you out. The last liberal-themed war movie was Three Kings. You could say that it was a liberal movie (and therefore bad) because it featured actors who are known to be armchair Hollywood liberals, like George Clooney; because it portrayed soldiers not as heroes but as greedy, disobedient, and morally ambiguous; and because the movie explicitly says, in action and dialogue, things about the failure of U.S. policies in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
    So that’s how you make an argument about a movie or TV show you don’t like, by collecting examples and presenting them.
    Man, that must be some offensive end-credits song!

  50. jeffmcm says:

    By the way, I agree that it’s stupid to argue about a show that, apparently none of us have seen. But Josh, you started it with your inflammatory accusations, which you have been unable to back up.

  51. Josh says:

    I should know better but it just makes me mad when people start crap like this without anything backing them up.
    The Lib Twosome, you guys should watch the whole season (let alone maybe one episode but thats asking too much) and then come back here and post your thoughts on if it has a Liberal agenda or not.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Did you watch the whole season of a show that you hate for unexplainable reasons?

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    Josh, it also makes me mad when someone starts crap without backing it up. How funny that you mention that, since it is exactly what you have done. You have criticized a show for a very specific reason, and when asked to explain yourself, all you do is point fingers and call people names. I am not trying to argue with you. I am truly interested in your reasons. Honestly. I was under the impression that the show avoided politics altogether. One review I read complained about that, saying that it went out of its way to avoid politics. So I am interested in your take on it, because it’s different from other opinions I have come across.

  54. dave l says:

    I’m curious over this. I saw one episode, thought it was pretty uncontroversial. Didn’t see how the whole show is totally liberal like he said.

  55. dave l says:

    I just want to know what made Josh hate it so much, if it was stereotyped or preachy dialogue or something else. Apparently it was one bad song.

  56. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’m kind of in the middle with this debate. I agree that Josh and co should at least give one example involving characters or something, but then the other two guys can’t really do much either cause they haven’t seen it.
    But, then, if Josh hates it so much why did he watch more than one episode?
    So essentially the argument is pointless. Especially considering this board goes through liberal debates constantly and theyre boring and tired and nobody cares except for the 4 people who are always (ALWAYS) involved.

  57. jeffmcm says:

    I apologize to everyone else for boring you.
    I just wanted to call Josh out on his baseless accusation, which feel was accomplished.

  58. EDouglas says:

    I’m not sure but I believe that the opening scene in Jarhead is a very deliberate tribute/homage to Full Metal Jacket (either that or too many Marine drill sergeants have seen that movie ) and then later, the troops cheer on the firebombing scenes of “Apocalypse Now”, which is meant as irony. It’s a good movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the second half.

  59. PandaBear says:

    Anyone that has seen an episode of Over There realizes it is what it is. From the intellectual soldier from Cornell to the black guy from the hood. And their home stories of how they shouldn’t be there. You really need to actually see the show before you comment on it.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree Panda. We were not defending the show. We were trying to get Josh to explain why he feels that the show contains a liberal bias.

  61. Josh says:

    Jeff you really don’t get it. But then again its you so why should I expect anything else? All you seem to do here is argue even when you don’t even see a show. I have stated many posts on why I feel the way I do. If you can’t read or just like arguing then thats fine with me. I’m over it.
    Dave L,
    Since you have a legit question and aren’t just arguing because you don’t have any legit points (ie Jeff) I’ll answer you. I don’t hate the show. That wasn’t my point. It just has a Liberal agenda to it which I don’t think helps the show and actually will doom it. It has some fine things in it and it is semi disappointing that it had a chance to be really good and isn’t. I have seen every episode so it can’t be all that bad but I think it could have been better.

  62. Angelus21 says:

    If you can’t watch something you shouldn’t be commenting and arguing about it. How is that possible? It’s like giving a book report without even reading the book.

  63. Stella's Boy says:

    Josh, I know you didn’t mention me in your last post, but if I offended you or upset you, please accept my apology. I didn’t intend to do either. As someone interested in politics, as well as popular culture, I truly want to know why you feel the show has a liberal bias. I am not trying to prove you wrong or antagonize you. I am not trying to argue with you merely for the sake of arguing. Your comments about the show differed from others I have read. Therefore, I want to know what you see in the show that makes you feel that way. I had good, honest intentions, and if they got obscured, I apologize.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    There’s a huge communications gap here.

  65. Josh says:

    The Lib duo is back at it. Yawn.
    See the show before you run your mouths off. Is that so hard? You can call me whatever you want after you do that. Or is basic cable too expensive for you? Its one hour a week. It’s not even a bad show. You will enjoy it. Consider it your homework assignments.

  66. jeffmcm says:

    So apologies and laments for lack of connection count as “at it again”.

  67. Bruce says:

    You guys defending the show without seeing it should really catch it. It’s not like its the “George Lopez” show. It’s decent tv and certainly beats most of whats in the theatres. Plus a real great guest star showing by Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell. I know he can actually act from NYPD Blue but it is still weird to see.

  68. Stella's Boy says:

    For cryin’ out loud Josh I apologized.

  69. Josh says:

    Thank you guys. Sorry for seeming so pissy. I do urge you to watch it though. I think you would definately like it.

  70. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks Bruce
    I tend to not watch liberal TV shows though, except The Daily Show.

  71. Josh says:

    I like the new Stephen Colbert show.

  72. Bruce says:

    I’ve never really caught The Daily Show. I don’t really like talk shows. Letterman, Leno that sort. Not my cup of tea. Give me a solid comedy or drama. Give me story.

  73. Sanchez says:

    Jay Leno is a GOD!

  74. robeferre37 says:

    Audio began playing when I opened this site, so annoying!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

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So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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