Sunday, November 20, 2005


Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) has a new film out based on Anthony Swofford's book about his life as a scout sniper in the Marines before and during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Swofford, with Peter Sarsgaard as his sniping partner and Jamie Foxx as the platoon's staff sergeant, and assorted others as the rest of the platoon. The Girl wanted to see this one as a reward for having gone to see Harry Potter (which she enjoyed), so off we went.

Jarhead features lots of great acting and lots (and lots) of testosterone. Most of the action is related to some testosterone-driven rage, jealousy or attempts to bond. I hear it's a great book. My advice? Read the book, rent the movie. Maybe it's a guy thing, and I don't often say that. I like action movies, I like war movies, I watched every episode of Over There this summer. But if this is an insight into the male psyche under stress, I'm even more glad to be a woman than I thought. I just don't get it.

I found the end sequences to be disconnected from the rest, as well. There was no sense of how much time has passed (other than longer hair on the former platoon members), or exactly what happened to everyone, including the guy in the box. There seemed to be a lot missing.

So bottom line, I left the theater pretty much just glad that was behind me, and looking forward instead to Jake Gyllenhaal's next feature to be released, Brokeback Mountain, costarring Heath Ledger, directed by Oscar nominee Ang Lee, and coming to a theater near you on December 9.

Reality Check: The Girl's first words upon exiting the theater were, "That wasn't very good." She enjoyed both Harry Potter and Prime more, and is also looking forward to Brokeback Mountain, or as she calls it, "the cowboy movie." During the previews, she surprised me by expressing a desire to see Peter Jackson's King Kong in the theater rather than waiting for the DVD (or skipping it entirely). Just when I think I can guess what her opinion will be about a movie trailer...

Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:51 PM