Monthly Archives: April 2007

open letter home

It’s too easy to hate soldiers. You as a civilian can appreciate what it does to your opinion of soldiers when a few assholes decide to make naked detainee pyramids, or to cover up rape and murder. You can’t help but wonder what kind of degenerates our volunteer system has dredged up — how many people have joined the Army or the Marine Corps to obtain a license for their brutality?

And you don’t even live with them. Every time or some fool smashes liquor bottles in the parking lot or steals clothes from the laundry room it eats into my belief in the nobility and dignity of soldiers. You can see why our ancestors made sure they couldn’t be forced to quarter troops; soldiers are sacred overseas, but noisome thugs at home.

But both of these are examples of the Port-o-Potty Problem of Perception.

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attack of the killer B’s

What’s fun here, as is so often the case with these kind of movies, are the action scenes, as a Rainbow Coalition of good guys unload ridiculous numbers of rounds into previously-loved ones, and the odd thumbnails of characterization that provide most of the humor — the thermometer-chewing doctor, the color-coded anaesthetist, the stripper who loses a leg but gains a grenade-launcher. Rodriguez isn’t afraid to go tasteless to get a laugh — a sequence with a small child left alone in a car is brutally, horrifically funny — and he makes no apologies for the story not holding together all that well. Instead, God bless him, he resurrects Michael Biehn and Jeff Fahey to remind us that even B movies turn on the ability of good actors to sell tricky emotional textures.

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