May 5, 2000

Badass Gangsta + Coked-up Porn Star + Sullen ER Doc + guy who directs Beastie Boys videos = fun!

I really like the first half of this film, although the second half kind of dragged on. David O. Russell is really much better at handling comedy than tragedy. His skills lie in dialogue, not action, so the later action sequences seemed contrived in comparison to the natural way that less action oriented scenes flowed. As in Flirting with Disaster, the best parts were dialogue driven, though there were some funny ass visual gags, like when they showed flashbacks to each soldier’s civilian job.

By far, the best part was Spike Jonez as Conrad Vig. If he was in the scene, I was laughing. Living in Texas, I have known so many people that were just like his character…Scary. I am hoping that Spike Jonez is able to make his career as an actor and director last a lot longer than say, Quentin Tarantino, who was off the Hollywood A-list quicker than pregnant mouseketeer.

The only people that I have talked to who didn’t like this film were people who had been in the military…No, scratch that…More specifically, people who had been in the Army, because Nick liked it and he was a Marine. Their complaint was that it wasn’t like that in the movie. Well, no shit. It’s called suspension of disbelief. For instance, I have yet to see a realistic depiciton of high school in a movie, except for maybe Welcome to the Dollhouse, oh wait, that was Jr. High. Anyway, I have no idea what the army was like, so I liked the film.

I was also impressed by the different film effects that Russell used. If an Arab was wounded, their blood was black. Different filters affected the colors of landscapes and how different characters were viewed. The most strking, not to mention foreshadowing, effect was when he portrayed how the Iraqi villagers viewed the three kings. The were each shown in a low angle shot, with a rapidly flowing clouds behind them. Conrad Vig was also shown, but from a normal angle. This foreshadowed his death, while showing the level of heroism that the other three would rise to.

Although my boyfriend tried to convince me otherwise, I am positive that ingesting oil would kill you. He said it would just fuck up your digestive track for a month or so, but not kill you. Whatever. I think it would fuck more than that up.

Iraqi Ass Map. I just can’t stop saying it. Iraqi Ass Map. Damn. Iraqi Ass Map.

Year – 1999
Rating – R
Runtime – 114 minutes
Genre – War
Director(s) – David O. Russell
Writer(s) – John Ridley, David O. Russell
Actor(s) – Mark Wahlberg, George Clooney, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Judy Greer
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "I could buy a nice little house outside Garland with that..." - Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze) [...keep in mind that it's only funny because I have had the misfortune to have been to Garland...]