Mike and Jay discuss the often misunderstood and underappreciated sci fi action satire Starship Troopers. Would you like to know more?
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Starship Troopers is horrible adaptation of the book, but a solid enough movie.
ooooooooohhhh maaaaaa gaaawwwwwwd
Michael Ironside’s best film since Highlander 2
*Removes revolver barrel from mouth
Hmmm… one more day couldn’t hurt…
Hmmmm maybe I’ll just loosen this noose a tad. Just for a little while?
Is it really misunderstood? I get that people think it’s a work of satire. There really was never any question about this. Whether or not it was actually a GOOD work of satire is a different story. It’s so ridiculous to see this movie come up lately as ‘underappreciated’, like no one noticed the fascist-friendly evocations. People did, honest. It really was not that subtle. It was not missed the first time. The movie failed as a serious vehicle for society commentary. Maybe it meant to go further. Maybe! But it didn’t. Because action adventure trying for obvious lazy satire is obviously lazy.
One key aspect of the film that wasn’t mentioned here is the big attack on Buenos Aires, which triggers the full on war and invasion, was really just a random METEOR. The government announces the meteor was sent by the bugs and this is never questioned. But there is nothing in the film to indicate the bugs have the ability to do this. We do see them shoot spores into space around their own planet, but steer a meteor? At Earth? From light years away?
Boy when i saw this movie back in 1997 i really didnt know if i absolutely loved it or absolutely hated it. It certainly is a polarizing movie.
Though i must say there is a shit ton to nick pick at this movie if you wanna go there like why do all the kids look like American White guys when they are suppose to be from Argentina!
If Starship Troopers has any problems at all, it’s that it came out in 1997, and it should have come out in 2002.
It is a brilliant satire of a society based around war. A society in the midst of a conflict against a group they have no desire to understand and simply just want to eradicate at all costs.Hell, the reason Rico ends up staying in the military is because of the Klendaathuu (read: terrorist) attack on Buenos Aires.
It’s a near-perfect movie. And I’m hard pressed to come up with any criticisms about it at all.
If this movie was released during Bush War on Iraq, it would have been celebrated along with V For Vendetta as one of the best antifascist movie
I see this movie as what the fascist governement of the movie would make in-universe as a mainstream blockbusters…. very meta
I hope they don’t make a remake, it would be more fascist on purpose like the novel’s author wanted at the first place
Yeah it would be like trying to pot a snooker ball from earth to fucking Alpha Centauri. I mean the calculations to do it would be astronomical!
Blame the movie fascist government
Took a while for people to get understand the movie
I guess the US took over the world and colonised Latin America with white guys. Oh how ironic would that be!
The book was fascist on purpose, with Verhoeven making fun of
Dial it back, Noam. I never heard “The Bugs Are a Species of Peace” in the movie.
I heard that EVERY DAY for 15 years.
Who ever replacing Ironside for DCCU’s Darkseid, won’t be as great
OH MAN. What a nice catch. All these years gone and just now realize that.
Propaganda really is powerful stuff lol.
Since the movie pays it no mind at all, neither did I. How brainless of me lol
Loved this movie, thanks for reviewing it. The military is advanced enough for faster than light space travel, yet they choose to use infantry instead of tanks or planes against large, bug monsters! It’s almost like someone made all this stuff up… AHHHHH!
Sorry Limbaugh. I didn’t say they were.
Or just use drones
Verhoeven should pool up some money to re-release this movie in select theaters. After failed US intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria and two despised warmongers running for President; I think Starship Troopers might do very well with modern audiences.
“Islam is a religion of peace.”
Bring in more refugees. Learn their words. Learn their customs. Be multicultural.
“Diversity is our strength.”
You’re reaching because you want to live in important times. You don’t.
Books all suck, there isn’t even any explosions
How many Muslims have you met?
In fairness, Argentinians do tend to be fairly white and European looking.
I took from the movie that every colonized corner of the planet has been converted to boring “diversity quota”-based modern Americana. Every race is allowed and permitted to succeed, as long as they all speak American English, have shallow materialistic desires and support a global totalitarian government.
“they’re society thrives for a need of an enemy?” #notgettingpolitical
The meteor was clearly the promise of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” by the Bush administration.
Yeah it’s the only film adaptation I can think of that’s a satire on its source material. The way I heard it is that Neumeier and Verhoeven originally wrote a screenplay that was supposed to just be a dumb “space marines vs. aliens” action movie. Then people that read it said the plot was a lot like Starship Troopers, so they ought to buy the rights. When they actually read the book, they both hated its politics, or at least what they perceived as its politics, so much that they made the movie much darker and more satirical.
I love the Starship Troopers movie for what it is and what it does, and I completely get it’s point. At the same time I kind of hate that the movie has made it impossible to talk about the book, since everybody feeds in views they got from the movie. The book may have a lot of problems, but there is so much in it that’s so interesting. I’d love to see a straighter adaptation on the big screen. I’m afraid any remakes will either be a dumbed down version of the Verhoven film or a stupid space marine action flick, though.
And read ‘The Forever War’ if you want a true “Anti-Starship Troopers” book. That would make for a trippy as fuck movie.
I was 9 when it came out. I loved it as an action movie with monsters and explosions and all that. I saw it later and loved it even more because I understood what it actually was and it remains one of my favorites to this day.
Casper van Dien is the Ryan Seacrest of cinema.
The tactics they use is beyond idiotic i mean it takes like 20 troopers just to kill a single bug. By that calculation they would lose by attrition alone. Also why dont the humans just obliterate the bugs from space?
From a movie in 1997?
So Trump’s world?
It’s a joke
I was going to ask the same question.
Or John Steakley’s ARMOR, which I suspect influenced the movie ST.
World Peace could be easily achieved, establish a global Libertarian governance, dismantle states that some started mostly by lazy monarchs, which includes Islamic states run by partying princes that hardly religious
And wall off rednecks to middle America which economy based on moonshine, roadkill, and Kid Rock, allowing their freedom to inbred with their cousins, and stop trading with them, giving them the isolation they wanted
And let them slowly die out, as New York and California becomes Utopias
Or nuclear bombs.
Did that on Aliens
Just wait til we get those floating Bioshock islands to escape Donald Sutler, as he starts Fallout
Kinda like “White nationalism is an ideology of peace”? Ugh, Noam Chomsky? The Church of the SubGenius is where it’s at.
I’ll settle for a hoverboard and single-payer healthcare.
With their tiny wangs? Well, that would explain why the book is “science fiction.”
Snooker? Is that Limey for billiards?
Michael Ironside reads “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Speaking of propaganda…….
Nationalism was mostly started by lazy greedy monarchs and racists socialists, Nationalism fell with North Korea, it well fall with United States, with people shallowing rely their identity on where their mom vaginas open up
I like my beer and metal European, my food Mexican, and my animated porn Japanese, with a statelss society we could with a Utopia of craft beers, and indie movies
It sure is 🙂
“They sucked his brains out” Nobody couldve said that line without it sounding hilarious than Michael Ironside!
Join the military and enjoy the VA.
I think even as a 7 year old the irony of this movie was not lost on me. I never heard of this phenomena of people taking it as serious. Like at the end don’t they forcibly probe the terrified brain bug with a cattle prod or some shit? That’s not a typical happy movie ending, so I don’t understand how you can misinterpret the ending of the movie as positive. I actually felt a little bit bad for the brainsucking blob. But I knew I was supposed to. The movie doesn’t have a meta undertone of “this is a good thing”, that’s just the style.
I saw Starship Troopers in the cinema when it came out. Fucking loved it and always have. I dunno if it’s a European sensibility, but I never once had any doubts and misunderstandings about what the film was trying to say. Nor did any of the people I talked to that saw it. It was a bit puzzling to read the American articles that dismissed the film as pushing a fascist agenda even though to us it was so blatantly satirical.
For some reason this movie makes me think of Save Private Ryan, which premiered around the same time. The basic premise is shockingly similar too. But boy they are different.
Its kinda a shame that Casper Van Dien has to appear in Asylum movies now! But i guess he has to pay the bills somehow.
I just don’t get you guys anymore. I hate this movie. I would vote to destroy this movie on BotW. I understand all the satire, but it’s still a bucket of shit.
I was 14yo and had problems, in the sense that it was so over the top, we couldn’t understand. Maybe it was “american humour”, but then you discover the trick: the satyrical point is pretty obvious from the very beginning, but the propaganda and the military action is so well done and strong, it keeps seducing you. By the time the soldiers celebrate “big brain” is scared, it’s obvious they are fucking barbarians.
I was 22 at the time. But I dunno if that is the main difference. I think we kind of thought that Americans just didn’t want to accept the obvious message about fascism and militarism, having just gone through the first Gulf war. That the dismissal of the film was kind of a knee jerk reaction to an observation and critique that was a little too close to home. But obviously, that was just the interpretation of me and some of the people I spoke to. None of us ever having been to, or lived in the US. So Pop-Psychology/Pop-Sociology at best.
Wait for the remake, which is fascist on purpose
for you weebs out there, there’s a ‘starship troopers’ ova from the 80s with power armor. it’s been a while since i’ve seen it, and i don’t remember how it compares and differs with movie and books, so watch at your own risk.
Now, if I can recommend a movie to you Verhoeven fans…that’s Accion Mutante (1993). Black comedy, satire, gore, sci-fi and crippled guys. It’s the only thing I know in the same style.
The Mormon connection “For whatever reason” Mike mentioned:
The reason is real Mormon history is of a group of colonists that settled outside the boundary of the United States at the time.
The area was already occupied by Indians and multiple conflicts lead to a few wars and massacres with the Indians as the colonists took over.
Mormons generally played the victims but in most all confrontations the Indians lost more of their people and the colonizing USA took over the land, eventually brokering peace with the Indians and pushing them to reservations in the desert.
Besides the Gorn comparison Starship Troopers could be seen as a comparison to the expansionist mentality of the early USA and the impacts on the Native People.
You mean unknowingly?
This one was fascist on purpose. Just so over the top most people didn’t even get it.
A current remake would be something like Act of Valor or some similar propagandist shit – so over the top militaristic and “patriotic” that it would goosestep straight into a Nuremberg rally.
Did I say Nuremberg? I meant Trump.
This movie should be watched back to back with Top Gun. Seduction and all.
For all those reasons Mormon space colonists are a sci-fi staple at this point. The idea shows up in The Expanse and in several Kim Stanley Robinson books. It’s also one of the underlying themes of Battlestar Galactica.
Not to mention that their religion promises everyone a personal planet.
No I remember when it came out – I was in my early 20s – and a lot of my left-leaning friends hated it because they thought it was blatant fascist propaganda. I never understood that interpretation. I mean even if you didn’t know that Verhoeven grew up in Nazi-occupied Holland, and was certainly no fascist, it’s so over the top that the satirical intent seems pretty obvious.
Never put that together but that’s an interesting aspect of it.
Pournelle said Heinlein was a good guy and that he was just writing for a simple minded juvenile audience, which is perfectly plausible considering how often he recycled the same garbage in his stories. Heinlein knew how to pander which is why he is hailed as the greatest science fiction writer ever simply because he praised communism. He understood the over educated critics had been indoctrinated with communism in the course of higher education and he deliberately played to that.
Verhoeven doesn’t like it, and basically call it Trump Propaganda
They better not remake Basic Instinct
It could have used the actual “Force, if you will! – the franchise is force, naked and raw, the Power of the Rods and the Ax” quote from the book, during the classroom scene.
Just to hammer it in.
Or it might lead people to look at it as a guidebook: the veterans should run things, not civilian politicians.
As I recall, in the book the mobile infantry had power suits that allowed them to jump from space and increased their effectiveness significantly.
Great film, very underrated
It’s clear in the book that the bugs controlled the meteors.
I know Heinlein partisans hate the movie, but I think you can ignore the satire and enjoy it as an okay adaptation (in the same way I used to ignore the camp of the 1960s Batman TV series and just treat it as an early version of the DCCU).
Wait, what? Heinlein hated communism. His politics are notoriously hard to pin down but that was one thing he was crystal clear about.
Mike also overstates the totalitarian nature of the movie’s version of Earth. Not everything is geared towards war. Many people are content to make money and live their lives and not get involved in war or politics. That’s made clear by Rico’s wealthy father’s insistence that he not join the military but go to Harvard instead. (In the book, as I recall, Rico’s father survives the attack on Buenos Aires and eventually joins the Mobile Infantry.)
It is an authoritarian society where the military veterans have seized power after civilian society breaks down. It’s a point of view that I, as a veteran of the U.S. Army, can sympathize with. And Rasczak’s famous speech about violence comes right from the book (IIRC) and of course is absolutely true.
The main reason a lot of Heinlein fans hate the movie is that in the book the Marines are super high-tech soldiers, with awesome weaponry and power armor, that’s described in great detail, whereas in the movie they just get sent in as a human wave with shitty body armor and glorified assault rifles. In the book the first attack fails badly, but it’s because somebody fucks up the math and brings the ships in too close together. But it works for the satirical intent of the movie that they’re just meat for the grinder and the government doesn’t really care how many of them die.
I’ve never heard the tech criticism of the movie. You’re absolutely right about the tech in the book and that it could easily have been incorporated into the movie (indeed, seems made for the big screen).
I’ve always thought that the criticisms were directed at the simplistic portrayals of MI training (which were not co-ed, as I recall) and the satiric take on what Heinlein treated rather seriously.
Yeah it’s the only film adaptation I can think of that’s a satire on its source material.
Dr. Strangelove, for another.
Total Recall was the year before Highlander 2
Apparently book Rico was Fillipino
Yet he thinks a militarized world government is any different form communism
Has everybody forgot that Hitler called himself a socialist
Horseshoe politics people
Pffft the military industrial complex constructs a war with bugs that rather be left alone, just like getting oil and Iraq
All planning for a militarized state of fascists with communist control of resources like Trump… I mean Hitler
Verhoeven warns cronyism with his sci fi movies
The cast mostly ruined the movie, given their past lack of quality prior to being in this movie. That made it difficult for many people tell just how satirical the movie was, or if it simply came off as unintentional satire because the actors couldn’t do their jobs correctly.
Add to that, 1990’s America was a very serious place in terms of what was being discussed at that time. Politics revolved around a case of sexual misdeeds, and not enough people could take a step back to admire the absurdity of it all, so the country was hypersensitive, much like we are today.
Wrong. Despite all his shortcomings, Seacrest has been successful.
if you think this movie has flaws, wait till you see the sequel!
COME ON YOU APES YOU WANNA LIVE FOREVER???
I have heard the tech criticism before, as far back as when the movie came out, even. It’s not a terrible reason to be down on the movie, if you were expecting awesome powered armor fights, but in general I’m not a fan of “it’s different so it’s bad.” The movie is a very different beast from the book, and they’re both excellent in different ways.
I like this movie. It’s entertaining.
I’ve also never claimed to be an expert on high art as far as cinema goes. I like Wendy’s Baconator, too.
No, I think both would be on purpose – but the re-imagining that he’s talking about would be fascist for the wrong reasons.
You assjacks clearly didn’t read the book!
Seriously though, I may be the only person who can say that the book is one of my favorite books of all time (I’ve definitely read it more times than any other book), but I still really like the movie. I don’t feel like the movie satirizes the book, it more satirizes a view that people who didn’t actually read the book think the book promotes. I love those elements of this and Robocop, and it almost feels like Starship Troopers (the movie) could be set farther in the same future.
I also see it as a kind of parody of American action movies. The soldiers in the movie are basically being trained to be action heroes. Rico’s actions in taking out the giant tanker bug are so ridiculous and action movie-like, but they work, and he is commended for it. And then there are the parts where someone is being attacked, and instead of being efficient soldiers and immediately shooting the attacking bug(s), the characters take a moment to yell “Noooo!” before lifting their weapons and firing. It’s like they are trained to fight in a dramatic rather than effective way.
And I’m surprised Trump never came up in the discussion. I used to tell people that this movie was a vision of what a Trump presidency would look like if people just went along with everything.
I’m surprised that Mike and Jay didn’t throw in a comment about Ender’s Game – a movie with similar themes but less impact because it tries to add some heart at the end.
That’s one of my favorite things about it: How nonsensical all the military strategy is. The mindset is “just go in there and kill everything” for the individual soldier, and the higher-ups don’t much care what happens to them as long as everything works out for them in the end. What were the soldiers even supposed to do on that first attack? They just ran around on the ground shooting stuff. Did they have a specific area they were supposed to gain control of? Or were they just expected to kill everything? It seems like the people in charge basically just wanted to see how effective the bugs were at combat, just throwing some people at them as a test.
I also love how they have a live-fire exercise in the middle of a crowded training area. There’s not even a wall separating them from everyone else. Not to mention the fact that using live ammo in that situation is a stupid idea to begin with. The surprise isn’t that somebody got killed, it’s that only one person got killed.
Did Mike have a giant erection the entire interview? Is that why Jay edited him to have more headroom than a Muppet’s movie in all his shots?
By the brilliant Alex de la Iglesia. Excellent film.
I heard that the cast were hired partly for their lack of prior quality work. I think Verhoven was going for the vapid, superficial and 2D style of acting as seen in many propaganda films produced in times of war. He was casting with his satire hat on.
No extended discussion on Soundcloud? I *would* like to know more!
I’ve seen it happen in my peer group as well. It’s pretty scary for me to think that many people missed the obvious satire in the film, but that does seem to have been the case.
I think it’s easier to point out the intended satire to people encountering it for the first time, especially now that we have more director interviews and videos like this one.
But the info-graphic in the meteor segment clearly shows it’s ridiculous – the bug world is on the other side of the galaxy.
I heard the gang will occasionally hide Rich’s diabetes foot randomly in the background of one of the sets. Can anyone confirm this?
Guys, I love you, but seriously, how could you do a 30 minute breakdown of this satire film and not talk about the most basic target of its satire: THE BOOK?
If you think Verhoven’s movie is NOT a satire of the book, you clearly didn’t understand the book. You can’t seriously think Heinlein was trying to make a mopey anti-war, anti-authority polemic for basic bitch liberals. Without it’s admittedly fantastic visuals, perfectly executed cinematic irony and multiple targets of satire, including, as you correctly point out, the Hollywood system and the false heroism of “action films,” the movie amounts to little more than straight send up as it relates to the book. Verhoeven twists Heinlein’s work into a ridiculous strawman purely for the purpose of demolishing the legitimacy of any of the ideas contained within. I can’t tell, are you arguing that that strawman is actually how the book was? Or that the book itself was a satire?
I don’t mean to be an ass, but I think this is not really up for debate. I’ll refer you to Verhoeven’s own words:
“When we were working on the [Robert] Heinlein book, we felt like we had
something that was pretty militaristic, pretty right-wing, and you could
even say had a tendency to be fascist. We felt we should counter that
with irony and other means to make it interesting to ourselves.” -A.V. Club interview, 2007
I take it based on your comment that you more or less align with Verhoeven’s worldview. That’s fine. But to read that back onto Heinlein is complete hogwash.
I love this film. I clearly remeber the fights we had back then between those of us who correctly recognized the satire and those who didnt…
Interesting side note, the film is forbidden in its uncut form in Germany because the “violence and adoration of the military” runs counter to German societal believes (back then). James Ryan is is not censored and allowed to be seen by 16 year olds. I think that says a lot about Germany. 🙂
In retrospect it is also scary how prophetic this film was.
Could you post the unedited version of this, without cuts every damn 30 seconds.
Yeah, but the irony is: German TV still shows STARSHIP TROOPERS regularly – they only cut the over-the-top violent scenes, but not the militaristic (satirical) propaganda parts. So, it’s sersiouly ridiculous!
I do think that assesment about the book is actually partly accurate though. I love both film and book and come from an radical leftwing position (for German standarts, for American standarts I am probably considered clinically insane^^).
From my position Heinlein knew really well what he was writing but Heinlein was also very adept in writing satire. While I wouldnt say the book is a complete satire it certainly has satirical elements and should be read with that in mind, I think Heinlein very much was conciously writing a dystopia.
It reminds me of people who read A Boy and His Dog and think the story is deeply mysoginist clearly not understanding what they are reading.
Man!, the day RLM take some vacations they will have lost half their audience by the time they come back.
Censorship in Germany is ridiculous period, well any censorship really is. I actually discussed this in a paper I wrote for University, the paper was about Battle Royale, which is also only avaiable in a censored fashion in Germany, but it is very interesting how quick we are to declare satire and critical films to be “dangerous for the youth” but are less inclined to do so with films that actually are celebrating violence or deeply authoritarian ideology.
TRUMP!!!, called it first!
What if I understood what the movie was going for and still thought it was a muddled mess that shouldn’t be forgiven for wooden performances just because it was intended?
Censorship in Germany is beyond ridiculous – it’s retarded! And one of the best examples is indeed STARSHIP TROOPERS. Well, I haven’t watched German television in many years – German television has gone from silly and more or less harmless to absolutely and utterly terrible in it’s dumbing-down the masses propaganda BS “entertainment”.
Yup, I stopped in 2002 to watch German TV, or any TV for that matter.
The whole problem, with all the moral authorities which decide what rating a film gets or if it is even allowed to be shown within a country, is that they all come from a morality standpoint which makes the process both intransparent and immensely unscientific.
Chris have you looked into that? Those who decide the ratings in Germany are (usually) a group consiting of a priest, a teacher and someone from the film industry. Note how there is no psychologist, sociologist or political scientist required.
(I am becoming a teacher and believe me, you do not want most teachers to be responsible for any of this, not to mention the other two consistent parts of these moral authorities^^)
Why would that be a problem? You recognize that it is a satire but the film does not click with you and so you do not find it enjoyable to watch, I think thats pretty normal. Can’t argue taste 🙂
A movie that contains the line ‘Hey… you kill bugs good’ and treats it as it’s an extremely important character moment is a masterpiece of sarcasm and some people just don’t get sarcasm.
I know. I was just reacting to the either/or nature of their discussion.
A bit like how Australian soldiers were treated in the first and second world war.
I think there’s a lot of money to be made from an American Sniper type film that is fascist and stupid on purpose.
Answering to a question on why did he make a fascist movie, Verhoeven replied: ‘If I tell the world that a right-wing, fascist way of doing things
doesn’t work, no one will listen to me. So I’m going to make a perfect
fascist world: everyone is beautiful, everything is shiny, everything
has big guns and fancy ships, but it’s only good for killing fucking
By the way RLM should have mentioned his very early movie, the Soldier of Orange, which in some aspects is very similar to Starship troopers, but as an anti-fascist film.
Americans either don’t understand or have a very limited understanding of satire and irony.
I think the fact that the actors are awful and obviously not particularly intelligent just adds to the parody tbh.
Although him growing up in Nazi-occupied Netherlands isn’t the strongest argument. There are plenty of people of his generation in the Netherlands that hold some pretty nasty right wing ideas. And it seems to be getting worse with the younger generations. It trickles down and only gets exposed when the climate changes in such a way that these people feel comfortable an emboldened enough to change the discourse. Which is happening to an alarming degree now.
Starsky and Hutch (2004) was a good example of this which everyone has forgotten about. (Understandably as the movie wasn’t outstanding)
Also, the original Batman series was a dead-pan satire of the comics.
Hm I think they just meant those who do not realize it is a satire and just hate on it anyway. Never got the impression of the fine folk at RLM that they seriously have an either/or attitude towards liking or disliking films.
Both Starship Troopers and Arena from Star Trek are based on older sci-fi stories.
The Arena story ends quite differently from how Star Trek ends. In that story, the human and alien fleets are about to meet in a cataclysmic battle. One human and one alien are whisked away for one on one combat. In the end the human wins, is sent back to his ship, and the alien fleet explodes after the humans fire one volley.
Neumeier wrote the Starship Troopers script and obviously had no ability to understand Heinlein’s point. People hate the movie for two reasons. One it butchers the intent and spirit of the book. Two it doesn’t have power armor.
Anyways, the attempt to satirize a supposedly fascist society falls flat. Look at the facts of the story. Rico can quit the military anytime he wants and there is never a draft. The military owns up to the disaster on Klendathu and changes leadership. A limited franchise is not a sign of fascism. All societies limit the franchise is some manner. Rico’s father, a non-citizen, have a successful business. The trial and swift execution aren’t proof of fascism or injustice. Since we don’t know the details of the case, the individual may have been caught in the act of murder. Is justice served if he gets to sit around 10 years? I can go on.
Had it been a somewhat different story that wasn’t called Starship Troopers I would have given it a pass.
You have no idea what you are talking about. Heinlein wrote the book because:
“According to Heinlein, his desire to write Starship Troopers was sparked by the publication of a newspaper advertisement placed by the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy on April 5, 1958 calling for a unilateral suspension of nuclear weapon testing by the United States.”
He meant what he wrote. It isn’t satire and it isn’t fascist.
But, you expect the movie to follow the spirit of the book if not the details. The Lord of the Rings movies generally follow the spirit of the book. Starship Troopers tries and fails to satirize the book.
Ah, yes – a group of basically incompetent people decide for the “greater good” – it is actually outrageous but at the same time telling a lot about our societies (USA, Germany, all the western societies) that such a group (and others, like politicians) decide what GROWN UP people are allowed to watch and what not!
Heinlein wasn’t a fascist or a communist. And you obviously can’t understand the fairly straightforward arguments in Starship Troopers.
I just watched Taxi Driver for the first time today. The movie itself was perfect as a character study on a weak guy with an incredibly large, but also fragile ego and total misconception about who he is as a person. I’m sure everyone knows or has encountered a guy like that, especially around that age. It’s also a pretty great portrait of 1970s shit-hole New York and the cities complete lack of morality and how that could have driven someone insane, which if my minimal research is correct was an almost spot on depiction of what the place was really like at the time. I feel like I have a stronger understanding of why so many vigilante comic book characters were written to have come out of New York now.
Technically the movie is brilliant, masterfully shot, edited and scored and the story is structured quite well, but I’m unsure about it’s thematic intentions. I’m not sure if it’s a brutal statement about the nihilistic monsters that immature men can turn into when they are rejected by women or whether it’s on the central characters side. Mostly just because of the ending. I don’t understand why he gets away with killing the pimps and johns in the whorehouse, but I’m willing to let that go. In my opinion the character is a menace to society and it’s only a matter of time before he kills again. He was willing to kill the presidential candidate just because he was liked by the woman who rejected him, so clearly he isn’t picky about who he kills. He sees basically everyone as scum and is just looking for something to lash out at. I’m not sure if the woman in the cab at the end was grateful about Bickles actions or terrified. I’m leaning towards the reading that she was making it appear that she was the former when really she was the latter. That’s the only interpretation that makes sense to me. My one major problem with the movie is that if I’m supposed to be left with the feeling of fear that this dude is out there living a normal life as a free man, then why didn’t the film explain why he got away with those murders? I get New York being such a shit-hole that the police sweep an African American mugger getting killed under the rug, but I don’t get how he would have gotten away with that final killing spree at all.
deification of the military , might is right , we are number one , they are inhuman scum , we can and we will ……… all in the film , and all become reality
This movie was basically made irrelevant by Avatar. Other than better sex scenes.
Poor Clancy Brown. Unsung and unheralded even in a hack fraud re:View on the interwebs of a movie involving one of his greatest roles.
I think the fact that there is no such clarity in the film is telling. It would have been pretty easy to include a shot of a meteor being diverted by a bug plasma shot if Verhoeven had intended to stay faithful to the source material.
White nationalism… the new bogeyman
“rednecks”… you have zero idea what you are talking about. That who fights your wars, ******.
More than you.
I know the bugs are peaceful farmers that just want to be left alone.
But one wonders what they do with all their armies of bugs if they’re really just arachnid isolationists? Whose brains are the brain bugs otherwise sucking out? What kind of economy supports all those bugs on those rather barren planets?
I think you’ve bought into the bug propaganda.
Also, they’re completely right that it was released at the wrong time for anyone to appreciate. Everything about media was so dumb in the late 90s that I think it ruined people’s ability to have faith in the artist. Even though it was obviously satirical at the time, I assumed the people who made it were still stupid and their political opinions were just the usual rich, Hollywood nonsense. Watching it 20 years later helps decontextualize it, so it’s messages are more timeless and not just contemporary whinging.
Punch a Naz— I mean, bug! Punch a bug! Because violence is a completely acceptable response to speech— err, I mean to spiders! Yeah, spiders!
I’m a huge Trek nerd (original series) and the comparison to Arena never occurred to me. I just saw this as the dumbest movie ever. I guess I’ll have to re:Watch.
A little known detail about Arena is that originally the Metron was going to let Kirk in on a secret: that they were actually going to destroy the ship of the winner of the contest, deeming them to be the more dangerous. But they changed their minds after Kirk spares the Gorn. I like this ending and I don’t know why they changed it, especially since they left in the line where the Metron tells Kirk that he will not be destroyed.
It’s militaristic, but not fascist. I’d say the closest modern analog to the society described in the book would be 1930s Japan, except without an emperor.
Interesting. I didn’t realize Dr. Strangelove was an adaptation.
I just figured Mike liked the movie because in the future everyone uses co-ed showers.
Stranger in a Strange Land
But the point is that he didn’t write what he believed. He wrote what his audience wanted to believe.
but he still got the brain bug.
Meh, on the flip side the US is backwards in its censorship of nudity/sex on TV, while having no issues with gratuitous violence, guess that tells us a lot about Americans as well. Not American or German myself, just think censorship as a whole is stupid.
You mean like how the Democratic Party think the Russians are behind everything? Or the way Trump is scapegoating immigrants?
He’s right there! I was surprised that he wasn’t mentioned.
I think you’re just misinterpreting what I meant. I’m not saying the movie isn’t supposed to be a satire of the book, as it clearly is, nor am I saying the book was trying to do the same thing the movie does.
What I’m saying is the ideas presented in the book are misrepresented in the movie. Whenever the movie takes a quote or line from the book, it’s presented in a different context and twisted to show how it could imply the views being mocked by the movie if taken out of context. Instead of reading the book with an open mind and *then* presenting an argument against it if they wish to do so, most people denigrating the book seem to have their mind set on opposing it before they read it. They don’t read it on valid terms, and actively try to selectively read it in a way that fits their predetermined opinion of something they’ve heard about but never actually read. Straight up confirmation bias. Heinlein, by his own admission, didn’t even read the book. He made a movie that fit ideas he had, and that’s fine. Again, I like the movie too. I don’t agree with every single thing presented in the book, but I certainly don’t think it’s promoting a world like the one in the movie.
Couple of points before this gets out of hand-
1.) I don’t like this movie because people assume its representative of the book and the philosophy therein. It’s more about the experience of military training and combat while building this idea of a world where franchise is earned through service—and not just military service. It can be earned by sweeping a floor for the allotted time, or building houses or being a desk clerk. Active military are forbidden from any participation in the society until they’re retired or put their time in.
2.) So, using the same comparison to the Arena episode: Federation establishes outpost in Gorn territory. Gorn destroy outpost then leave apparently to go about their business — is equal to — Mormon extremists (i do love parts of the movie, that line is one of them) set up illegal colony in bug territory. Bugs apparently massacre population then hurl an asteroid at the earth killing several million people. And the humans are the aggressors in this? Just would like to say that seems a bit of a stretch analogy wise.
3.) I don’t think even the movie-verse idea of it being a fascist society works. A fascist society typically doesn’t rely solely on volunteers or allow freedom of speech. This one apparently does both (remember reporter guy pointing out that some experts were calling for a live and let live approach to the bugs? Try finding a German state reporter advocating that vis-a-vis the Allies). You could call America in world war 2 a “fascist” society by the criteria you are using. This is a heavily propagandized society but fascist doesn’t quite track with what’s presented onscreen. That’s kind of why the message of the movie doesn’t gel the way you’re saying it does. People are right to be confused by this movie- the Triumph of the Will aesthetics and staging simply do not fit the facts presented.
4.) Big one- the editing of the lesson in the classroom was flat out dishonest. Rasczak began the topic talking about violence, saying it is “the supreme authority from which all other authority derives” and that it has solved more issues than any other factor in human history. The first point is debatable but the second really isn’t, and it doesn’t come across as an endorsement. If anything it comes across simply as a lamentable fact. There you cut to Rico being asked if he believes it, cutting out the question that preceded that clip about the difference between a citizen and civilian and Rico’s textbook answer. That little bit of editing you did completely changed the context of the Q & A. Unless this is a bit of meta-reviewing where you’re constructing a propaganda film endorsing starship troopers, then by all means carry on.
Yup, though sadly we (the German culture) have been regressing on the issue of sexuality as well during the last decade.
A funny anectode on censorship in Germany is Dragon Ball. The French version had most of the violence cut out, the American all of the sexual humor (which is about half of it). When the series was first broadcasted in Germany during the early 1990s they decided to take the easy way and just make a combination of the two previous western releases. So they released it without the violence and without the humor. Great Job^^
I haven’t seen Taxi Driver in a loooong time, but I always thought the idea behind the ending was a comment on societies views of violence.
See, Bickle targeted the pimps after he failed to assassinate the politician. If he had successfully killed the candidate, then he would have been viewed as nothing more that a violent nut-job and treated accordingly.
Just random bad luck (spotted by the secret service agent he had spoken to earlier) drove him to kill the pimps, the violent act he became known for. Since the targets of his violence were acceptable to the public (and the papers no doubt pushed the rescuing young Jodie Foster angle), he was made into a hero.
So is a man of violence a murderer or a hero? All depends on the circumstances and the zeitgeist of the moment.
Or my interpretation is totally, 180 degrees wrong? Hey, it’s art, so I guess I’m right as long as I feel it? LOL
Jay’s forehead is so shiny that I can see the camera’s reflection in it.
I agree with some of your points. I found the film to be boring when I first saw it but now that I’m older I may find a greater appreciation for the schlock and smooth effects, sets, and costumes. I do think sometimes Verhoven’s work can be rather hollow with little to no subtext. I guess that was sort of the point given Mike and Jay’s analysis, but that still doesn’t solve all the pacing issues or the standard performances. I’ll give it a second look sometime.
Communism has its perks.
Aside from a few moments of wittiness the effects and action work best for me as well. They are top-notch for their time and hold up fairly well. Even the CG (still only four years after Jurassic Park) looks better than a lot of recent schlock.
One thing I found out makes a lot of sense: Ed Neumeier’s original script was not called Starship Troopers. He might have borrowed a few aspects of the story from the bugs to a few character names, but otherwise it was a different story under a different name,
Apparently the studio or someone higher up the food chain said they should just use the starship troopers name because of the book’s cache of name recognition and fanbase.
The movie is confusing enough with its own mixed messages, but slapping the Starship Troopers name onto it made it worse AND made it inevitable that it would disappoint fans of the book.
Yes! Neumeier penned the script before it was ever connected to the book. Apparently Verhoeven found this essentially libertarian book too “right-wing” for his delicate constitution and never actually read it—after signing off on the idea of calling it Starship Troopers.
They just flipped some names and made Robocop 2232, only without Robocop’s more focused wit.
In four to eight years when there is no longer a Trump presidency, I will post a catalog of right-wing and left-wing blowhards going back two decades predicting the imminent rise of their fascist opponents and doom for all.
At this point you have abused the term out of all real meaning.
The book was written for kids with a 50s era mindset. Paul Verhoeven was simply borrowing the name, setting, characters, and main enemy to tell his own story. James Cameron also borrowed heavily from Starship Troopers for Aliens, he just neglected to credit the author.
A meteorite would have taken millions of years to travel from the bug planet to Earth. I’m pretty sure Verhoeven was aware of that. So the options are that the bugs started their attack millions of years ago or the impact on Earth was merely coincidental. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter and the incident is just used to further propaganda to justify a war since killing a group of extremist wouldn’t be enough to get the populace behind it.
I think you missed the point of the classroom scene. The lessen was that citizens could vote, voting was force, force was violence, violence solves everything.
Are you arguing a point of science and logic in a movie where soldiers exit giant clumsy spacecraft (on foot!) just like the GIs in Normandy, spraying random small-arms fire at giant arachnids that also have bigger arachnids that shoot blue laser beams out of their asses?
I’m not. According to the movie the bugs shoot meteors with their ass-plasma. The scene where the Roger Young dodges the asteroid and confirms it came from bug space was not in one of the propaganda reels, but part of the story. According to the rules of the movie universe and the story presented therein, the bugs come across as the aggressor.
Also the government in the story called the Mormons idiots for colonizing there. In their own propaganda. They weren’t using it as fuel for war before the asteroid hit. Your theory, according to all the facts and logic of the movie, makes no sense. Typically pro-war drumbeats don’t sabotage themselves thus, nor do things like let government reporters question the whole affair, display accurate live feeds and data on horrible casualties or immediately take full blame for the fiascoes to follow.
The question Rasczak asked specifically of Rico “What is the difference, if any, between a citizen and a civilian?” In the episode Mike paraphrases the question as “Do you believe violence solves everything?” Then it is immediately cut to Rico saying “I don’t know” omitting both the actual question and Rico’s textbook reply. These are two very different questions and answers, even if they are part of a single lecture. Also Rasczak was never saying “violence solved everything”, just calling Dizzy an idiot for saying it “never solves anything”. Which is the right thing to do since there are a number of issues solved by violence: ending the holocaust, American independence, the preservation of western democracy, the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and so on.
You can argue if violence really is the core power from which polities derive all others —debatable but I would say yes, a government’s basic organizational principle is for force be it civil or military– basically everything Vegetius summed up 1500 years ago Si vis pacem, para bellum. Governments derive their authority to handle things according to laws based on their ability to force people to abide by them if they refuse.
The operative word there being force, synonym to violence
I wanna live in a world where Paul Verhoeven directs porn.
But the humans invaded the bug worlds in ST. Have we invaded any nazi places in the last 7 decades?
Yeah I heard about that too. It originally was supposed to be a Nazi propaganda film with young whimsical Germans going off to serve with the controlling idea “and no one knew it was wrong.” He tried to write that in (with the scene where that one psychic guy is in an SS uniform) but it rubbed people the wrong way.
The aliens are also utterly dehumanized (for lack of a better word) in the book.
^^^That sounds like a perfect adaption of the novel Starship Troopers, actually.
How is a book where society is run by the military considered libertarian?
Why does that matter?
The story isn’t about the aliens. It’s about the experience of combat, officer candidate school and this theoretical society.
Also projecting human qualities or emotions onto aliens is a touch racist, at least according to Chancellor Gorkon’s daughter in Star Trek VI 😉
Fair point. I was just saying that the movie is at least somewhat representative of the book.
I see what you mean, in some respects they honored it but it feels kind of superficial. Like they had a list: Government called the Terran Federation? Check. Character named Rasczak? Check.
It’s not run by the military. You may have missed the entire book when it said that active military cannot serve in government or vote, and service itself was not limited to military and is open to all regardless of any other factor than age.
Another follow up on the “written for kids in the 50s mindset”, this is not and never was a children’s book. If you judged it by its dustjacket description of space marines in robot armor, then yes you might mistake it for that.
What’s actually inside is one of the best eye-level views of basic training and the officer candidate school I have ever read. It has been required reading at military academies since its publication.
Also there’s an excellent string of attacks on something I personally hate, changing terms for the sake of blandness or PC. Several times its pointed out that you can call a war something like a police action, patrol or overseas contingency operation, but it doesn’t change the fact that people will die in it.
There’s a lot of anger for things to be truthful when it comes to military action in the text, particularly in naming it.
Yeah, I wouldn’t care about it so much if it didn’t influence people’s perception of the book. And judging from its performance they slandered the text for naught. It didn’t result in massive box office like they hoped.
It won’t change it from being on required reading in OCS for multiple branches of the military but it still influences the culture at large in perception.
What are you idiots talking about? Seriously, fvck the bugs. How would you feel if they killed your dog?
am i the only one who didn’t read this book? also, there’s no way that picture of Rich evans was from 2012, more like 1992
The Johnnie Rico in the movie was very different from the Juan Rico in the novel. Same with Carmen, Dizzy and Carl (Of course, in the book, Carl died. and Dizzy was a man) The Rico in the book began as a spoiled rich brat and ended up as a tough, responsible man who did what he had to do to get the job done. Although I enjoy the movie for what it is, it resembles the book only superficially. Heinlein was a bit of an oddball, especially in his later years, but he never advocated fascism. The fascistic philosophy espoused in the movie is not to be found when I read the book.
One point though, after carefully rereading the part regarding what was Federal Service I DO believe that the service was meant to be military. Now, what you did WHILE in the military is a different matter; you didn’t have to be a cap trooper. IIRC, there was mention of counting hairs on a caterpillar… And Rico mentions that you don’t have to accept a medical discharge–so the military has to figure out something else for you to do to earn your citizenship, like with the cook who had spent some time at Camp Currie before getting discharged and hauled out on a stretcher. When Rico and his group of recruit friends go to Seattle and get in the fight with the Merchant Marines, Rico mentions that the MM have been trying for years to get their duty equated with Federal Service and the Government always tells them no.
The message that Verhoeven put forth, the interpretation that RLM spoon-fed and the philosophy that Heinlein wrote about are 3 very different things.
Also, I assume Rico in the book looked less like Casper Van Dien and more like Josh Chan from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, since he was Filipino.
Its the only way to be sure
Yeah, that seems like what the movie was trying to say, but I don’t completely buy into the argument, because I really don’t think he would have gotten away with his actions without facing some kind of charge, even with the support of the press, public and the girls family. In reality he’d be facing some kind of manslaughter charge or possession of an unlicensed fire-arm. Whatever the cops can stick him with really, even if he could come up with a story that claimed it was self-defence and had the court of public opinion on his side.
You’re just filling in gaps that don’t need to be filled in. The bugs got Buenos Aires, end of story. They don’t show the bugs launching rocks because it doesn’t really add anything. The absence of that doesn’t suddenly make it a grand conspiracy. There are plenty of other unexplored bits of the universe that aren’t covered either.
I like those crane shots where the soldiers are running in a stream, they look like ants. The idea is if you’re a fascist, you’re no more important to the state than an ant is to an anthill.
I don’t think it fails at all—well, check that. The movie is excellent satire, but maybe it’s not a direct satire of the book so much as some of the ideas from it, or other, related ideas. But then I don’t think the movie was trying to satirize the book directly; Verhoeven only read the first couple of chapters and it pissed him off so he never finished it (although he wasn’t the writer; it’s probable that Ed Neumeier did read the whole thing).
“Ending the holocaust” as if the Allies knew about it before they invaded.
High school Rich Evans in a dress shirt from Chess King. Surprisingly cool.
Ironic how the CGI bugs look more realistic than CGI Moff Tarkin.
George McFly is an Irish bug. Biff Tannen told me so.
There is one theory where these heroics are all in Travis’ head. That letter he writes at the end is to no one.
I think I experienced dialectic materialism … in my pants!
**Price is Right sad trombone**
And Verhoeven’s satire is simplistic compared to the nuanced genius of They Live by John Carpenter.
“Gensundheit, mein Fuhrer!” — Steven Bannon and/or Kellyanne Conway, depending whose shilling for Ivanka’s garbage jewelry at the moment.
Because Jay is RLM’s version of Scooter … ?
“Yes.” — Caesar, Ape President.
“WITNESS!!! WITNESS!!!” — Aussie soldiers at Gallipoli.
Hitler would call himself a cantaloupe if it would get him attention. Oh right, you’re hung up on words and labels and think they mean something to opportunist power-mad politicians.
Perhaps Elder Orson should have married a bug and included the bug as a sister-wife? On a related note, who wants to read my Bug POV Starship Troopers Mormon erotic fanfic?
Luckily we treated the Nazis like bugs and carpet-bombed the ever-loving shit out of them.
I was talking mainly about their looks.
Don’t piss on the Democrats like that. Trump prefers the Russians to do that … to him … in the mouth … on camera.
Except the bogeyman is scary. White nationalists are just a comedic punchline for a YouTube video.
But who is responsible for all the wars?
Ronald Reagan doesn’t count.
“Books are more exciting when we set them on fire.” — Steve Bannon, allegedly.
The Jews? Right?
you mean a made-up excuse for losing an election…
Well, quite a few. More than a dozen. Then again I’ve lived in a lot of Muslim heavy places. Yes, they were celebrating in Jersey City as the towers came down.
And yes, they are all bat shit crazy. Yes, if they are honest with you they will all say two things:
(1)There is nothing in the Koran that preaches violence. NOTHING.
(2)All of the terrorism in the world is done by the CIA and Mossad. ALL OF IT. ALL. Even in places like Nigeria and Bali and Indian. ALL OF IT. Not 90%. ALL.
That is fucking nuts. And incompatible.
As I recall, this film was originally called “Bug Hunt”. (An obvious lift from a line in “Aliens”, which itself was a reference to “Starship Troopers” which all the actors were forced to read to get in charactor.)
Then the producers realized belatedly that they owned the film rights to “Starship Troopers”, and rewrote a few lines of dialogue, changed some character/place names, and called it a day. The fact that no one wears power armor is a pretty good clue that the film was almost entirely unrelated to the book right out of the gate.
Been awhile since I read the book, but as I recall, it was more Heinlein’s vision of what an all-volunteer military would look like in the future (the idea of getting rid of the draft being fairly novel at the time), and not really an action story at all. I think it opens with a fight against grey-type aliens (the bug war having been won by that point) and then goes into a flashback for the rest of the story.
I generally agree with your points, but on #2 specifically:
I haven’t seen the film in a good decade, but I thought the implication was that the Federation government actually sent the asteroid to hit Earth, as a justification for a full-scale invasion of the Bug homeworld.
I don’t recall it every being shown that the bugs had any real ability to warp space and shoot rocks around, even with the brain bug and those space-bombardier beetles that shoot the fleet at the end, they never seem technological enough to be a real threat.
The film clearly shows that the asteroid came through some sort of gravitational warp, depicted on the ship’s computer screen before the rock suddenly appears before them. So presumably it was sent through some sort of faster-than-light process, like how the ships travel.
I always took it to be implied that the Federation government secretly shot the rock at Earth themselves, as a black-flag event to justify their invasion.
The bugs were never shown to have any real ability to do anything like that, and the timing in the movie during all the political stuff going on the background is very convenient for the government.
This was such an underrated film. I think it didn’t do well because the United States was just moving into fascism at the time. This was an excellent satire.
The Bugs never attacked Earth! That was the pretext for war. It was false flag or an accident, but more likely a false flag.
“So I’m going to make a perfect fascist world: everyone is beautiful, everything is shiny, everything has big guns and fancy ships, but it’s only good for killing fucking bugs!'”
He seems to not really understand the concept of fascism. Or at least should have focused more on the civilian-side of this universe for more than a two-minute scene with the parents; as it is, it’s just a world with propaganda (which exists in every society, commie/fascist/capitalistic/probably even anarchistic), and a military that attacks potential threats with violence, which again, is hardly unusual for any society. And a world where everyone is a former television star, and gay guys are also psychic. And the Kurgan is still bad ass.
Yeah, I never much cared for it. Total Recall and Robocop were much better done, even if you only judge them on their satirical elements.
And it also is a very bad adaption of its source material.
this movie is the anti-nausicaa
Tarkin looked fine, until he turned around the first time they showed him. If they’d just left it like that, with his face only visible in a reflection, no one would have a problem with it. Of course, having less of him in the film in general would’ve been better.
I liked the bugs design and look, but always thought the big beetle looked a bit sketchy when Rico blew it up, and the melting-bodies when the beetle sprayed that acid at the soldiers didn’t look very good, even in ’97 or whenever this film came out. The nuke effects haven’t aged well either.
But in general the bugs hold up quite well, much better than a lot of the effects shots from ID4 or other films of that period. Using a lot of physical props helps, of course.
Screw that, you know the remake will just be 5,000 cgi Ironman outfits fighting a million cgi bugs, and the whole thing will be made by Michael Bay, just so no one can tell what the hell is going on. And with a random character perving out on underage girls, while two of the bugs make racist remarks about black people, and drink Chinese milk products.
Right, and he wrote Starship Troopers partly because he was pissed off that the hippies thought he was some sort of free love prophet after he wrote Stranger in a Strange Land. Also not sure where you get communism out of SiaSL, it’s kind of a just a ham-fisted Jesus allegory.
Ah, true Heinlein fan spotted:
“You’re obviously too stupid to understand that Starship Troopers isn’t fascist and you don’t get what Heinlein was really trying to say.”
“OK, what is it really about?”
*Heinlein fan vanishes in a puff of smoke”
It’s especially interesting how well the vfx have held up in the movie considering that the vfx in Robocop and Total Recall didn’t even look that great for the time. I mean they work because they’re really imaginative but especially with Total Recall it’s actually kind of hilarious how cheap that movie looks considering how much it cost.
I can say for a fact that everyone in the UK understood it on release. I’m surprised so many in the US struggled to understand what it was saying.
It’s been many years since I last saw the film, but I thought the use of Buenos Aires was a hint that the USA had gone through some kind of horrific expansionist war and annexed all of South America for itself too? His objections to his son joining the military don’t mean so much if you view it that way, and instead he just sounds like a complacent rich member of the winning side – in which case his reaction isn’t in conflict with the notion of an authoritarian society at all. He would expect someone else’s son to die instead of his own.
They were trying to hint that the US had conquered Argentina, and likely everywhere else in the Americas.
There are people in these comments who admit to not getting it at the time. Some of them still don’t get it now.
It all adds to the idea that what armies is experiencing is a cheap simulation.
I hope upcoming Chinese film The Great Wall copies Verhoeven’s satirical style to become the misunderstood masterpiece of the 21st century.
Neil Patrick Huang currently mind controls pandas and terrorizes his sister with them, but by the end of the movie he’s dressed up in his Chairman Mao finest. He inspects a captured dragon, who’s smart and only fights to remove the Great Wall that was built over their sacred burial ground, and thinks it’s appropriate to slaughter them by the billions because of their intelligence.
Maybe we can finally have an honest dialogue about Chinese/Taiwanese relations.
Avatar and Starship Troopers are polar opposites. Avatar is a fascist trying to make an anti-fascist movie and Starship Troopers is an anti-fascist deliberately making a fascist movie.
If the film was an otherwise faithful adaptation of the book, I’d agree.
Hilariously enough I did see this movie as a kid, I was 8 years old and rented it on VHS, which I watched one weekend morning before my parents were awake.
Now I had already seen Terminator 2 and Predator, so it wasn’t like this was the first time I saw an R rated sci fi action movie, but I had never seen one THIS R rated before, it was definitely a shocker, it really was serendipity I watched it alone because my parents would have made me turn it off.
And while for the most part I enjoyed the movie as just another sci fi action movie I definitely noticed the sarcastic vibe, the feeling that this world wasn’t a great one to live in and the ending made me feel just kind of strange rather than exhilarated.
Time has also been kind to the movie because today it seems eerily prescient when it comes to the post 9/11 “War on Terror” era.
The only thing that looks cheap in Total Recall are some of the sets, there’s a lot of amazing latex and make up effects, but the set design is really blah (still love the movie though)
Well to be fair I’m pretty sure the VFX in Robocop were all of a traditional sense. Anywhere they would have used CG they used stop-motion. IMO the bugs in this look fine, but they do have that “washed-out” quality to their color that disconnects them from the image a little bit – which kind of reminds me a little of the CGI alien from Alien 3 – which in that looked awful, but it had a similar bad-contrast type quality to the image. The difference here, however, is that the bugs were actually well-integrated into the image. But like when Neil Patrick Harris is shooting the bug in the cage I can’t help but see the lines around him, and imagine him in front of a blank green screen.
Wasn’t the film painfully obvious that it was a satire of a fascist state, brainwashing brain-dead children into supporting an endless, unwinnable war?
I struggle to see how anyone could think it wasn’t a satire.
1) “He seems to not really understand the concept of facism” – Paul Verhoeven grew up in Nazi occupied Holland. He probably has enough understanding of facism.
2) The brainwashing and propaganda serves to further the aim of the state, which is to not question the state and what it does. People do not see what is being done to them, because they are distracted by an endless war against an enemy who is not allowed to exist in any depth other than “kill all bugs”. Ideas, discussion and science are all diverted into this narrative. Sounds pretty fascist to me.
And satirical commercials come up between position switches?
Well were there any other ways mentioned in the movie to gain citizenship? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it as well – but I thought that aspect of it was kind of a huge motivator to make most people want to join up – “service guarantees citizenship”
I know his personally history with fascism, but the film doesn’t depict what he says it does. Again, if he wanted to send the message he claims in that quote, he would’ve needed to focus on the civilian side of the universe more. Fascism isn’t the superficial elements mentioned in Nazi propaganda about blue-eyed blonds and such, it’s an entire system. By focusing solely on the military, you don’t see anything but the most narrow view of this world and it’s really no different than any military in any system. The Union and the Confederacy were very different entities politically, socially, and economically, but their armies weren’t. They both had the same supply needs, weapon needs, and the same general systems of tactics and strategy, with only superficial differences in uniform and language. You can’t depict the real differences in the two governments by only looking at their soldiers; you’d have to have political characters in a central role, along with some civilians on both sides.
As to your second point, we never see enough of people in this world to know how they actually react to the propaganda. The father, one of the few civilian adults in the film, seems to be pretty against his son joining the military, and not falling into this unthinking brainwashed mentality you describe. No one in the film does, really, aside from the central characters who are all teenagers, and even then, only after they’ve actually watched the bugs kill people first hand. Before that they’re just focused on sex and developing a career.
And there is no endless war, the war doesn’t start until Rico quits boot camp and the asteroid hits. All we see of the bugs and science/ideas being focused on them is a mention of how they’ve evolved as killing machines and a short scene where a different species of bug is being dissected. Most the discussions seem to revolve around politics and the meaning of citizenship in this society. Rico regurgitates his response, initially, but is pushed by Ironsides to actually think about it a bit more. The opposite of what you’re describing, really.
Again, if Verhoeven meant to send the message he says, he should have focused more on a civilian character or a political one, and not solely on the military ones, whose responses make sense for their situation regardless of the nature of their society. Brutally dismember a man’s friends in front of him, and he’ll hate you, whether he’s been raised in a fascistic society or a communistic or capitalistic one.
satiricle porn ads
I certainly won’t argue that realistically Bickle would have done some time.
The closest real world example I can think of off the top of my head is Bernie Goetz. He was charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and several firearms offenses, but was found guilty of only one count of carrying an unlicensed firearm. He served 8 months time.
Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.
Though it does make more sense that they attacked themselves. Especially since they nearly hit one of their own ships to conveniently have witnesses to the event. It also doesn’t fit with the bugs normal tactics. If the bugs could do that they would have sent hundreds, if not thousands of asteroids.
When it came out I was 7 and I never even heard about it until probably a year later so I’m guessing i saw it around that time when I was 8. As a kid I think I did find it rather dull for the most part, the satire went over my head except for when it was blatantly obvious like kids stepping on the cockroaches and the recruitment of the little kid saying “i’m doing my part!”
Then I watched it a few years back, and by that I mean I was probably 18 or something, and this time the satire came through crystal clear. I still didn’t care for or appreciate the actual character relationships but I got everything else.
But ever since I was a kid I understood the movie was smarter than a large majority made it out to be. I mean if you’ve ever seen a propaganda film of any kind you can make the connection and then bridge off into the rest of the movie being much the same. To me it was never *just a big dumb action movie* but as a child that’s what i cared about and wanted. It was the same for all the other movies I grew up on like Terminator, Robocop, Predator, Total Recall, etc. As a kid the satire went way over my head because I was too enthralled and busy admiring the action.
I really liked the movie, I’ve seen it many times, it was the first movie I bought on BluRay. I never read the books and I didn’t know anything about the Starship Troopers Universe before. What I liked about the movie. Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy became my favorite video game.
1. They established early on many things that give you a peak into that universe. Democracy failed, implementing that the government is some kind of dictatorship. Military is a way of life and it’s a war society. Want to be a citizen? Enlist. It’s “easier to get a baby permit if you’re a citizen”. Propaganda runs the show and it works. Everyone is brain washed. Kids are shown shoving around to get their hands on an automatic Beretta.
2. Happy people with dreams turn to bitter killers.
– Carl turns from a geek to a military leaders “You disapprove? Well, too bad! We’re in this war for the species, boys and girls. It’s simple numbers. They have more. And every day I have to make decisions that send hundreds of people like you to their deaths.”
– Rico turns from a love struck boy that doesn’t understand his professor’s teachings, to being him. “Didn’t they tell you, Colonel? That’s what the Mobile Infantry is good for. (Death)”. I liked the brain washed words on the end, how important it is to be a citizen “…Dizzy was my friend. She was a soldier. But most important, she was a citizen of the Federation”.
3. To me it seemed obvious that humans where spreading throughout the galaxy and moved into bug territory. Even more, I believe that it was the humans that started the war. They moved in and where getting rid of the pesky bugs. Later on when a full war developed, there wasn’t ever a though to talk to them. You have to wipe out the bug infestation.
4. As the movie progresses and you realize that the bugs have intelligence as well, and that the brain bugs are trying to understand humans, you realize that they are just fighting back. It kind of changes the movie which I really like. All of the sudden you see “Hey, we’re the a-holes aggressors. Carl just send thousands to die and Rico is the new Rasczak.”
Have you guys noticed during Rasczak death, Rico shoots him in the chest, big blood spot… and then after as the sand consumes him, no blood spot. This bothers me ever time I see it. … but it’s my favorite quote: “Rico, you know what to do!”
Right, but Rico’s textbook reply still eludes to the use of force and violence. That the citizen has the responsibility to use it for the body politic. It’s a lie, just like everything else that is taught in the classroom. Not that violence doesn’t solve problems, but it’s a fallacy to think that other options aren’t available. Violence is the quickest and simplest way to get the desired results. It’s far easier to kill the opposition than to get them to acquiesce to your demands through reason. Even more so if your opposition is so different from you that you are incapable of comprehending what it wants. Part of Mike’s point is they don’t even attempt to try mostly because the populace is brainwashed not to.
There’s a part at the end where Rico appears in front of the brain bug with a bomb. When he notices that the bug recognizes the threat and backs down he doesn’t take that as a sign that the bugs can be reasonable but as a weakness that can be exploited. Similar to the end scene where they discover that it’s afraid and they cheer.
Yeah but the bugs in the book are quite a bit different. They have technology, including spaceships, that seem to be at least on par with what humans have.
It’s not even clear in the movie that the bugs are capable of FTL space travel. We certainly never see them do it, nor do we see any type of tech that would enable it. The bug planets could have been colonized over thousands or millions of years by bugs that hibernated over the distances between solar systems. That would actually explain why there seem to sometimes be different types of bugs on different planets.
He’s right though that some people, myself included TBQH, fall into the trap of assuming that people who don’t like something simply don’t “get” it, whereas it’s perfectly possible to understand what Verhoeven was going for and still not like it.
ford just almost flew his plane into a 737. don’t get cocky harrison!
Except this isn’t a movie about fascism. It’s a movie about militarism. There is a difference, but in order to understand it you have to be intelligent enough to read Heinlein and not just watch goofy movies made loosely from his material.
Heinlein believed in militarism, he believed the vote should only be given to people who have ‘skin in the game’. He believed in a strong society that dealt with its enemies quickly and forcefully.
You can laugh at that, but given that we just saw a reality TV star win over a felon, and the Middle East is in shambles due to our stupid politics, and we haven’t won a war since WWII … I think this whole hippie peacenik make-love-not-war transgender bathroom bullshit is a lot more laughable.
Other than that, though, this was a decent film, just not great. Bad casting, bad acting, a little too smug. Sadly it was the last halfway-decent thing Verhoeven did.
But … at the end they won.
I also wonder how someone gets that people were brainwashed into an unwinnable (and, by implication, unnecessary) war when bug creatures were sending asteroids to destroy the planet. This nonsense reminds of when they tried to make the Cylons some kind of gray-area killer robots bent on the destruction of humanity.
Well it would be nice if Republicans called themselves White Power socialists since after the civil rights movenment
War escalated with nationalistic governments making doomsday weapons, by making up arbitary excuses for greed and power through forced colonization instead civilized trade
Terroism would be thwarted quickly if everybody had small arms, like that gay bar
Also all wars would probably be fought with Xbox controlled drones
Interesting. How did your hibernating bugs get into orbit–and then break orbit?
Gravity, it’s not just a good idea. It’s the law.
Yes, I was making the classic distinction between totalitarian and authoritarian. Totalitarianism doesn’t brook other centers of power. An authoritarian society can include multiple centers of power–like wealthy people who don’t participate in civic life.
Mike was incorrect to describe Starship Troopers‘s Earth as totalitarian.
Domo, you’re alive.
Isn’t that exactly fascism what you describe? Yes, you can vote in your “Utopian militaristic society” but in real life, all power would be in the hand of the military. Because free speach, democracy and opposition would be the end of it. And that is called fascism.
Globally, most mass causality terrorism is caused by bombs.
But like you said, mass shooting only works in “gun free zones”.
Not a lot of those in the middle east, except at places run by do-gooder western liberals…
Enders Game the book is much closer to Starship Troopers than Enders Game the movie.
Enders Game is a lot better at explaining this than Starship Troopers. Again another biug-like species as the antagonists, they start the war by discovering a human base in the asteroid belt and then tearing the humans apart, but because most of the species are drones, this is simply how one bug colony tries to understand what another bug colony is up to.
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You mean failed business man Trump? Who needs tax breaks to keep him off Skid row
Last i checked his net worth was estimated at between 8 and 10 billion by people who are qualified to estimate those things.
Maybe it’s time to log off HuffPo and log onto Forbes.
Because of bankrupt kickbacks, loopholes, and whoring out his logo to more competent people
If he didn’t had a rich family, Trump could have been flipping burgers
Rasczak: “One of the few freedoms you have is to choose your path.” (or something like that)
This movie is very timely. Not for the fascism or militarism, but the propaganda and dehumanization of it’s protagonists. Let’s call it “The War on Empathy.”
I am curious, if it were a fully fascist society, why would the parents be angry that their son would want to become a Citizen? Clearly, not everyone agreed with the propaganda being shoved down the children’s throats.
Sure, kid… it sounds like you got your idea about economics from a Bazooka Joe wrapper.
Avoiding paying taxes because you took a lost of $1 billion dollars does not MAKE YOU MONEY. It just SAVES MONEY.
Same with tax loopholes.
Why do you think leasing his logo makes him money? Could it be because of the real estate, hotels, wineries and golf courses that he managed that got him a reputation for a certain level of class?
Nah… couldn’t be.
Might be time for you to visit wikipedia and figure out exactly which properties he owns and how much they are worth. Then figure out how much they were worth before Donnie made them successful.
When you work 16 hour days for 45 years and you’re smart and you start with money and contacts you are going to make billions in America.
Are you angry because you have to flip burgers? Blame your parents for being losers.
Or shut the fuck up. Life isn’t fair and Trump MADE THE MOST of what he had.
Look where he is.
Not really. Fascism was mostly an adaptation of international socialism to match the national needs as the various dictators saw them. Ultimately, all authoritarian regimes look fairly similar, but they are not all fascist. The differences between Maoist China, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, Pinochet’s Chile, etc. are superficial from the outside. But they were all motivated by different factors and had their own flavor.
Mike and Rich need to do a talk about Star Trek. I don’t even like Star Trek but it is very enjoyable to hear them talk about it.
You trust the intergrity of the CIA? That’s adorable
Ha your so naive to think a crony socialist could be a respectable businessman, so do you suck Trump dick? Or Putin?
The Republican parties become socialists since the 50s, because they’re triggered by brown people, and ask for safe spaces as special snowflakes
Are you in agreement with my fine Muslim friends that ALL terrorism attributed to Muslims is done by the CIA and Mossad?
Try to reply without using a millennial catchphrase.
You’re turning around the nomenclature with zero success.
Who should I trust about Trump’s business? You and Buzzfat? Or Forbes, Money magazine, etc?
We don’t give a damn about anyone’s skin color. We care what they think because it influences what they do.
See Clarence Thomas for a right thinking “brown person”.
BTW, I like to pull the trigger on communists… know any?
Read the critic reviews.
The Revenge of the Kurgan.
I don’t care what people say about this movie. I saw this movie when I was 8 and it was the coolest thing, and it didn’t register to me as a harsh Rated R flick. ’97 wasn’t a bad year, despite the Star Wars Extended’s coming out in all their CGI clutterfuck glory.
Guy that thinks Americans are obsessed with trivial bullshit is mad about transgendered bathrooms… LOL.
They can launch “bug plasma” into space, so presumably can launch other things. Once you get out of the planet and the sun’s gravity well, things just keep going. But there’s no evidence in the movie that they have any kind of advanced technology.
There’s a school of thought that Fascism doesn’t actually fit on the traditional “left-right” political scale, since it borrows from so many different political concepts.
I assumed the government had crashed the meteor into Earth intentionally to give them an excuse to invade the bugs….
It’s Zapp Brannigan from Futurama in movie form: “Killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them….”
You’re applying logic to the humor.
Would you like to see more?
“…when it comes to the post 9/11 “War on Terror” era.”
phew. finaly someone mentioned it; klendatuus landscape even looks almost *exactly* like afghanistan.
on a sidenote; I fucking love this movie, saw it in theater in germany as it came out, knew nothing about it, just saw “Verhoeven”, that was good enough. wasnt censored at the time and most people (especaly the critiques) were too triggerd of its offensive nature to get the *obvious* satire. I wasnt one of them, was right from the start a personal all-time-instant-classic for me.
fucking love it!
“But … at the end they won.”
no, they didnt; they “won the battle, but not the war”. forgot the recruitment-ad at the end?!?
thats the point, “real” fascism isnt a “political” movement; its the end of everything political. it doesnt negotiate, its the DENIAL of a choice. more like a monotheistic viewpoint, its basicly a religion.
fascism is anything BUT politics!
“Except this isn’t a movie about fascism. It’s a movie about militarism.”
sorry, your wrong, frank; maybe the BOOK (which I didnt read) is about militarism, the MOVIE is clearly about a fascist society. and a fascist society is ALWAYS a militarised one. its inherent.
I’d like to see RLM do a re:VIEW of Breaking Bad.
“Clearly, not everyone agreed with the propaganda being shoved down the children’s throats.”
so? germany (where I am from) was a full-blown-fascist-society, which doesnt mean everbody there was buying the propaganda in that times, *especially* the richer part of that society.
that would be a fucking long one; 5 seasons of episodes that are all interconnected. not a *single* one standalone, its like a 50h-movie.
“I also wonder how someone gets that people were brainwashed into an unwinnable (and, by implication, unnecessary) war…”
you really make stuff up where its come along, frank, right? also forgot the great classic orwell, NINETEENEIGHTYFOUR? the “unwinnable” war is the core of such society!
Well, there was the fly episode.
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But we’re talking about Starship Troopers, not 1984. They are different stories.
Do you know what fascism means? At what point in Starship Troopers: The Movie did they make racist statements? When did they forcibly suppress opposition and criticism? Who was the dictator and what was the extent of his power? And how did they embody an “aggressive nationalism” when the entire world was fighting bug creatures on a different planet?
I suggest you learn what fascism is, then open your mouth.
If they have victories, how can it be labeled ‘unwinnable’?
Guy who thinks America trying to enforce transgender bathrooms is less ridiculous than someone thinking that’s stupid … LOL!!!
No, it is not fascism. Like everyone who uses the phrase, you need to first learn what it means. I suggest you also read some Heinlein. Hint: you missed something obvious: people who serve in the military gain the right to VOTE. You do not vote for a dictator. Jackass.
I used to fuck people like you in prison.
So uhm… you realize that the bugs are like… a different race? As in non-human? And they actively fought against this race?
As for aggressive nationalism, they all dressed like Nazis and the movie was constantly interrupted by “human-oriented” propaganda. I mean, how fucking blatant do you need it to be?
Should NPH have stopped and looked at the camera and said “Heil!”?
Sometimes you are able to make a decent argument, despite presenting it with all the grace of a flying hippo, but you couldn’t be more off the mark here, lil’ guy.
By the way, the Gorn blinks in the remastered TOS episode.
Here’s my 3 point review of the movie The Great Wall.
An endless assault on the senses, that is still visually interesting, despite being a relentless fuck-fest of CGI.
A bit like a sequel to Cowboys Vs Aliens, but with chinese warriors instead of Cowboys.
Feels like a movie specifically created for the purpose of being cited in the tv tropes article for ‘White Saviour Complex’.
Can we please have a bathroom law that forces people to flush?
That would’ve ended his trip real fast.
You forget…there’s so much crap that comes out that it sort of falls into that category before you have time to discern what it’s really doing.
Especially if you consider the Michael Ironside connection to Top Gun.
Do not disrespect Dick the Birthday Boy.
Matt Damon is the white Samuel L Jackson.
He might be merciful, but he would never be quick.
How do you think he got the $104,000.
Starship Troopers was published in 1959 before Stranger in a Strange Land. Jesus teachings can be viewed as advocating a communal society with all property held by the church to be distributed to the poor. Not quite Marxist-Leninist communism but along the same lines as Michael Valentine Smith’s teachings in the novel.
They’re a different species, not a different race.
So you don’t know political theory or science. Yet you opine about both.
And how are they dressed like Nazis? They wear uniforms?
In any case, most of my arguments are about the story on which the movie was based, rather than the movie itself, which as I said was a bit smug and on-the-nose. But I think the main reason I didn’t particularly enjoy it is that it has no internal consistency. Like “Battlestar Galactica”, they set up a black-and-white story and then try to wink and introduce a grey area. Killer bugs are killer bugs. Killer robots are killer robots.
And not somehow shit on the back of the toilet?
I remember when this movie came out the trailers did NOT let on that anyone editing the trailer had any idea this was a satirical movie. The trailers said these kids were our last hope against an alien bug race that was bent on destroying us all, that these were desperate times, and showed scenes that made the kids seem like they were being very brave and all that. There wasn’t much (or anything?) from the in-film propaganda reels, so when my friend’s dad dragged my friend and me to the movies at 12 years old, we were really confused (and he was livid, he wanted his money back). We had never wanted to see the movie anyway, but I remember that final scene where the bug was afraid and they cheered made my skin crawl. It was decades later before I tried to watch the movie again, and that was when I went “Wait, is this a parody?? Was the movie always like this?” Totally missed the memo in middle school, as did the rest of my friends and the film critics I liked, such as Roger Ebert who called movie a kid’s movie, I remember.
I don’t think the cast was even aware of what they were doing. I’d seen interviews with a few of them that talked about the great love stories and amazing effects, but not the lampooning of such a society. Maybe it was too subtle for general audiences… and general studios… but it did find its following years later, at least, now that people seem to get it. It’s probably as Mike and Jay said, bad timing. But the trailers definitely misled audiences, even while reminding us that it was by the guy who made Robocop and Total Recall.
Chuck Colson, is that you?
A space-wall will protect us from those bugs!
Neil Patrick Harris was wearing a Nazi-esque uniform. The stylings are reminiscent of an SS uniform. Don’t you know your fashion history? Haven’t you seen any Holocaust drama like Hogan’s Heroes? Philistine. Hugo Boss would be pissed.
I knew there was a hidden Illuminati agenda behind Memorial Day.
With mad skills like that, he should apply to captain an Exxon supertanker. Those things hit and break open like Matthew Broderick on an Irish road trip.
Michael Ironside just isn’t macho enough for me. Give me a stud like Rip Taylor.
We were always talking about 1984. No one was talking about Starship Troopers. All hail Oceania! Down with our eternal enemies Eastasia!
Who knew ILM was located in the Uncanny Valley?
“Zat choke izzit foony! Zee Nazi bugs vere nize peeboles.” — Steve Bannon
Ah, yes – a group of basically incompetent people decide for the “greater good”
See also: the MPAA, the FCC, any organized religion, any Republican (when it comes to gay people), any Democrat (when it comes to people who like steak and fois gras).
The Koran? The Book of Mormon? The Book of the SubGenius?
Be more specific!!!
Trump is just a technophobic ultraconservative afraid of Muslims and stairs.
Starship Troopers 2: Electric Bugaloo?
Nothing beats blanket assessments and anecdotal evidence. Where were you when they were handing out Nobel Prizes in Science?
The Electoral College works in mysterious ways.
Well, Skywalker Ranch isn’t that far from Neverland Ranch and Michael Jackson didn’t exactly look like a real person either… so maybe.
Though actually cgi-Tarkin looked more realistic, now that I think about it….
Isn’t that called Showgirls?
I doubt they remember that movie. After all, it’s in the same HitB as Thor 2. Anyways, Ender’s Game DID what Verhoven tried to do, but failed. The government DID lie to children and train them to commit unwitting genocide by feeding them disinformation, removing basic social norms, and willfully endanger the welfare of their children. It’s clear in that book that the IDF are the main antagonists because of their omnipresence over the protagonist.
Verhoven failed in his dramatic goals BECAUSE he made such a great movie. After all, if he’s trying to get us to feel for the bugs, he failed because seeing random humans getting stabbed/immolated/decapitated/dismembered makes us sympathize with the humans. Also, there’s the inherent bias against bugs humans already have in real life. I’m not going to feel bad about smushing a bunch of cockroaches in the movie because I don’t do that in real life. I just think, “Oh shit, I’ve got cockroaches in my house.” Unless you’re a Jainist, people do not give a flying fuck about the welfare of a bug.
Also, Jay brings up how the Mormon outpost and how that’s how humanity started it. Remember that these people are Mormons. They went there to convert the bugs into bug Mormons. You know, try to talk to them. Have you seen a Mormon carry a gun when they bike to your house? It just looks like a fundamental failure to communicate on both ends.
Trump was never a veteran, so the Left would be pretty happy with any reason to oust him.
The bugs can just go underground and avoid space bombardment if things got that rough.
In the book there is a line that the bugs didn’t have much in the way of space power and the navy swept it away before the action we read. Note, thought, that it did exist,
In the movie the bugs exist across multiple planets and apparently act as a single polity across those planets. So they have both FTL travel and communications.
Also, there is nothing in the movie that indicates any black flag operation. In fact the movie shows a human warship present when the rock emerges from FTL and it is only happenstance that it wasn’t able to to radio a warning which would have presumably thwarted or greatly mitigated the attack. That speaks pretty definitively against an inside job.
There is no reason to assume that, we have no idea how difficult or common it was to use that tactic. Earth was not doing that to them even them. That’s like saying we must have been able to bomb Japan with thousands of nukes because we hit them with two. Or the Soviets concluding we could send thousands of capsules to the moon because they observed us to so once,
You are missing the point. Violence is the BASE source for problem solving. Failing all else, you can physically force others to submit to your will. You can try all sorts of methods above and beyond that, but civilization and all its layers of custom, culture and rules are just a shared fiction that only works as long as we all accept that it does. When some people don’t and drill down through all those layers whats left is violencc
You can ignore the tax deadlines. You can refuse to answer the letters demanding payment. You can not answer your phone or door when the collectors come calling nicely. Eventually somebody is going to come and force your compliance. That person will have a gun.
Its about citizens owning up to the obligation of maintaining a state. That you need to have skin in the game. In this book it was via military service as an example. The larger theme need not have this detail
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So basically it’s The Last Samurai with Matt Damon.
If Jay would stop dicking around and actually watch it..
That was a proper bottle episode though.
Not a big success? “Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” was top ten hit in the UK for Hot Gossip and was certified gold. Check your facts.
Fully agree with your assessment that Heinlein was writing a dystopia. He admired the militaristic society but was too clever not to see all the consequences of such a society.
There was a striking scene where he clearly showed his doubts about Rico and his co-fighters (it is also in the movie). Rico and all his friend firends get a huge skull tattoo. A guy who fought in a second world war could not put such blatant symbolism by accident.
Are you being intentionally dense? “Starship Troopers” by Robert Heinlien. You know, the book this movie is satirizing?
You’re right of course, I was confusing it with something else. I was a huge Heinlein fan when I was younger but haven’t read any of his stuff in years so got the timeline mixed up. Probably time for some re-reads, starting with The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
In any case as I understand it he was pretty pissed off about the hippies embracing Stranger. He gets misunderstood a lot because he seems to have enjoyed exploring different philosophical ideas in his stories without necessarily endorsing them.
Real quick…off topic.
In TOS Errand of Mercy, nobody ever questioned how the Organian doors opened on their own. It wasn’t an accident, they staged it that way. Is that a really subtle dig at cultural bias?
Like the Enterprise people were like, of course doors open by themselves, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Meanwhile its a planet of goat herders, a millennium away from servo motors.
While I do agree that Starship Troopers was satire and *maybe* RoboCop had some satirical elements, Verhoeven says that about all his movies. I don’t think Showgirls had anything satirical to say.
The Heinlen book is not satire.
But if you liked the satire of the film and are literate, I’d say check out very short and very funny “Bill the Galactic Hero” by the late great Harry Harrison.
You’re on the fence as to whether Robocop had satirical elements? Lmao.
The tension between public and private is a key element of fascism.
His family was rich, by the way. That makes it enormously plausible.
Soon after Troopers, Heinlen published Stranger in a Strange Land, which he spent over a decade writing. It’s more or less the antithesis to the fascism (if you will) in Troopers.
It’s true that Heinlen was more pro-military than not. Also it’s true that Troopers (the book) might generously be construed as a post-WW2, Cold-War-era book about citizenship and the need for universal accountability to a (presumed) democratic social contract.
I guess the irony is that the world has changed, making Heinlen’s book closer to life in North Korea than life in the U.S….the movie was properly satirical because the alternative would have been a different film entirely. If you want that film…probably just get high and watch District 9, Aliens I-II, and Blade Runner.
We’re screwed, anyway. The id is a poor statesman. There is a 0% chance the U.S. emerges from the next four years unscathed by a two-branch blizzard of incompetence, weak authoritarianism, greed, graft, and an array of politically and culturally delegitimizing-isms. Banana republic ain’t just a bad clothing brand.
LOL. Thanks, I thought this was a joke at first…but it’s no joke.
I thought that was Mark Whalberg.
I feel like porn ads do a pretty good job satiring themselves.
So, John Wick 2? 1/2 in the Bag?
There is no bag.
Edit: Stabs self in the taint.
Outcome: I’m better!
You know what, me personally I love this movie.
Sounds like assess.
Basically it was boring.
To be honest, I’m far more worried about the culture. The US has gone through bad management before. We’ve gone through corruption and greed (for example, the Teapot Dome Scandal, or how in WWI troops were given rotten meat and maggot-infested meal by government contractors who had buddies in the administration).
I don’t think we have ever gone through such a long period with a fifth column of citizens who openly and proudly hate their country and their fellow countrymen – we are supposed to have more respect for people who insult the country than people who show pride in it (Kaeperbitch vs. Brady, anyone?)
Or people who think progress is just tearing all the old stuff down, who live in a constant state of ‘protest’ against bogeymen. We live in an age of aggressive cognitive dissonance; I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing pampered kids in face masks punching, macing, and burning while screaming about how “anti-fascist” they are.
We’re ignoring real problems for made-up ones. We ignore real enemies because we think our brothers are our enemies. And god forbid anyone pause for a moment and consider that maybe, just maybe, there are other valid viewpoints than their own. As a very wise man said, we’ll be debating transgender bathrooms when the mullahs nuke us.
A friend of mine said it best: is anybody happy right now? Let’s say you’re some big fan of Trump. You can’t be happy about it because if you say anything publicly you could lose your job, or get punched, or at least lose friends … all over hysterical BS myths about a run-of-the-mill out-of-touch rich guy. And if you’re anti-Trump you can’t be happy because you buy into that myth and you really think Nazis or whatever are taking over “your country”.
What a shitty time to be alive. But it’s all because of the people.
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Starship Troopers is one of those movies I didn’t get to watch until I was a late teen, and it’s one of my favorites. I couldn’t agree more that the VFX still look great – I had the issue of Cinefx that highlighted Starship Troopers before I even saw the movie! I used to freak out when movies of this scale would be released, because I’ve always enjoyed action blockbusters. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the well-manicured tone, screenwriting, and completely unnecessary shower scenes for all their brilliance.
Thanks for thrusting this back into our dopey, nostalgic faces, Mike and Jay!
I’m proud to say that even as a lil lad, I was 12 when I saw it in ’98 on VHS, this was one of my favorite movies from an action-horror standpoint and as I became a young teen, all of the satirical elements became extremely evident the more I watched the movie.
This is up there with RoboCop, Blazing Saddles and Brazil as one of my favorite satirical movies. And it’s HILARIOUS how much even the sequels to this movie missed what the original movie was about.
Mike said people didn’t know what to make of this film. My parents were absolutely in that crowd. Dad rented it at Blockbuster and we watched it with microwave popcorn for family movie night. Mom was horrified. Dad was confused. I only remembered the shower boobs.
It’ll be a great wall, and we’ll get the bugs to pay for it.
The PC culture you’re maligning is little more than birth pains. Those pains stem from the fact that after centuries of elite white men running the show, other groups are clamoring for–and beginning to get–their seat at the table. And undergirding that clamor is an increasingly expansive view of substantive human rights. That view is long overdue and should appeal to genuine believers in natural rights. But of course, that would involve self-reflection and accommodation: difficult concessions from older generations that have little experience in those areas.
Viewed in isolation of course “PC culture” looks stupid and whiny. Birth is painful, messy, and often long. Especially with hospital administrators (if you will) working overtime to forestall the process.
Point being: the larger historical ebb and flow is the real story, albeit not the news-worthy one.
As for fifth columns: we’ve had hundreds of years of elite power-gathering and more recently decades of outright economic sabotage and corruption that’s done incalculable amounts of damage to Americans of all races and creeds. Start there, perhaps.
What nonsense. The PC culture is all white people. So it’s not about the oppressed masses finally getting their chance. It’s about people like you selling yourselves as the savior of the non-white. It’s the most rude, embarrassing, base form of racism extant: infantilization, self-hatred, and the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Your understanding of “rights” is also immature. There are few universal human rights. Everything else is a privilege, or fodder for human sheep. Interestingly places like the USSR had long lists of what were “human rights”, but actual human rights were seriously stunted. One would think seeing socialism fail over and over would educate you; talk about not being able to reflect.
PC culture doesn’t just look stupid. It is stupid. And it is eating itself. Freedom – true freedom – is not politically correct.
And “phenotype”? Please. Throwing in a $10 word doesn’t make your “America is only for the rich white man” line any fresher, or any more true.
But why even bother replying? You’re one of those people who apparently think shadowy white people – maybe … THE JOOZ?! – are running the markets and keeping people down.
Keep believing you’re part of some revolution, guy. The world will continue without you.
Thelma and Louise is enjoyable if you can handle Thelma’s constant retardation.
That was like 30 seconds of good titty dancing mixed with 2 hours of a shitty story.
It’s alright. On the rewatch I still find many of the scenes to be kind of bland, especially the battle scene near the end when the musical score keeps droning on and never varies. The special effects still hold up though, especially the space stuff.
The best part of every video on this site is when Mike goes off on a Star Trek tangent.
Could just be me but I think this was more meant to be as an everyday, smalltalk scene than an “I need nudity in this movie” scene. At least they hide the genitals very creativly, people are behaving normal and have a normal conversation.
Supposedly the actors said they wouldn’t do the shower scene unless Verhoeven also got naked, so he did. I’ve always loved that little bit of trivia.
Sometimes when I read some dreary, long-winded, self-pitying reactionary screed like this I just wonder, how does someone get like this? What broke you?
The fuck do you mean “maybe”?
i remember stumbling into this movie in theatres- had to sit in the front row in a packed house. i had no preconceptions of movie and was at first not sure what to make of the “propaganda” sequences but it didnt hinder the pace for me; the rest of the audience was baffled though; i loved the 90210/melrose place spin on the cast- beautiful and superficial with no real understanding of the reality of total war and i loved the “veteran” characters as well esp ironside and the drill sergeant- essentially, live long enough and you might gain some wisdom
starship troopers is a novel by robert heinlen and is one of those “high brow” sci-fi books that many people a few years older than myself really rave over and these people hated the film
the superficial beauty coupled with extreme violence really works well and the 90210/melrose place vibe also works well though i dont really know why
this film is a stalwart and i still will watch it when it is on cable – nice review and keep it up
shower boobs ftw
I only got 10 minutes into the sequel. The opening sequence looked like it was filmed in my backyard using an 80s camcorder and old laser tag equipment stolen from my garage.
Do you guys remember Space Truckers with Dennis Hopper.
Who could forget? That movie is classic.
Rico … Suave!
Constant warfare with alien bugs = Bad
Co-ed military showers = Good
Meh … I’ll take it. Could be worse.
But I want to see Paul Verhoeven’s “Nine Inch Hero”!
Me personally, I think Starship Troopers has a lot to say to Geek AND Nerd culture.
I loved his stop-action animation from Jason and the Argonauts!
Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
“Don’t be a bug-loving space-cuck! Join the Mobile Infantry today!” — Air Marshal Steve “Bunny” Bannon
Members of the alt-right suffer from an acute case of White Savior Complex.
Personal Planets from Pizza Hut
Pretty much anyone who read the book says the movie didn’t handle the material as well.
I would like to know more!
So… they’re just going to review the Great Wall tomorrow.
Many people call Tommy a bug.
I remember being pretty fascinated by this movie as a kid and completely missing the satire of the whole thing during the first watch or two (I was 10 and I saw toys and the Blur song in the trailer), but as I got a little older and started to grasp the actual tone of the whole thing I really started to appreciate it.
I went to a christian summer camp in my early-mid teens and remember having a conversation with an uptight, college-aged, camp counselor about books, and he said that “Starship Troopers” was easily one of his very favorites. Only knowing the film I (wrongly) assumed the book had to be similar, and I started talking how clever the movie’s satirical edge was and was immediately and totally shut down by the counselor. The book, he said, was NOTHING like the movie. The utter distaste he had for it was pretty damned obvious.
When I learned later about the accusations made about the book supporting fascism, it made my interactions with said counselor a bit more clear…
other than the shower scene, it’s really not that good of a movie
it would be crazy if it was
I’ll defer to your self-appointed expertise and megalomania on this one.
The sound of one hand clapping, and whatnot.
That’s what I thought about the remake of Psycho.
**poorly rendered CGI Dewback walks in front of comment**
Maybe so they could order around Rico and tell him when to mow the lawn? Being a Citizen means not having to do chores, Mom! Gawd!
**stalks off in a tizzy, joins the Mobile Infantry, gets killed by bug 8 days out of Basic**
Fascism vs. Militarism … the Taste’s Great vs Less Filling dichotomy of political ideology.
Wild mass guess: a priest, a lawn mower, and a 5 gallon jar of mayonnaise?
So … Republicans? They don’t negotiate, they are anti-choice, and they are hypocritical theocrats.
Bad titty-to-shitty ratio.
We in the US wouldn’t want our elementary school children being traumatized by a boob. Luckily they are safe in America with its sensible gun laws and mental health facilities. Just ask the kids in–
**killed in random crossfire**
I’m like Rick Berman. Wait, he’s not Rick Berman.
House of Buggin’ is pro-bug propaganda.
No wonder “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is so fuckin’ terrible.
Is that some slang term that doesn’t translate well?
It’s because we’re pious stupid nationalists.
The best part of Top Gun is its volleyball homoeroticism.
A large flight of stairs should be sufficient.
It gets worse. Then they don’t even use the laser guns after that. It’s basically what Alien would have been if it was shit.
Well, the book is more overtly authoritarian, really. Heinlein believed we were going to nuke ourselves if we let the rabble keep running things. He may turn out right. Fukuyama’s appearing a lot less sound than he did a few years ago.
Sounds like a hell of a party to me!
It’s plain in its simplicity, yet intricate in it’s complexity.
No, seriously, the bugs never attacked Earth.
If you remember the film, the big threat was that the bugs had a huge asteroid field surrounding their planet that they could use to throw at Earth, like they supposedly did in Buenos Aires.
Well, there’s a little problem with this – it would take millions of years to move an asteroid across interstellar space.
This should have been the song at the high school dance.
when i see Mike sinking into his seat half way thru this i imagine his bed time may be even earlier than my own
**mashes together Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Robocop, and Starship Troopers**
**shoots ensuing cinematic slurry into vein**
Looking around at 2017, he’s not wrong. Look who the knuckle-dragging meth-addled hill folk elected president. Heinlein was right. Rabble, rabble, rabble.
Every bug scene is so dense.
[shouting]: “I HOPE THE GREAT WALL BOMBS AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!!!”
True freedom is being allowed to have a party with a priest, a lawn mower, and a 5-gallon jar of mayonnaise. How else do you celebrate Lent, you heathen bastards?
**still thinking about co-ed showers**
Wait, what was that?
Wasn’t Tia’s boyfriend in Uncle Buck named Bug?
I absolutely loved the book and this comment was spot on.
This was a great review. I watched this when I was 19 and I am one of those people who overall missed most of the points the film made. I liked it at the time, but honestly it was because I thought the effects were fantastic.
This is why I appreciate Re:View, they have been good, so far, at finding movies where ppl have missed a great deal or simply dismissed them before watching. Keep this up.
IMDB message boards are down. So I came here
Yeah in the book the bugs have basically equivalent tech to earth, including FTL travel, but in the movie we never see this.
I always wondered if that was just glossed over in the movie, or the point was that the humans in that universe are so poorly educated that they don’t realize the explanation of where the asteroids came from makes no sense.
No new update, I hope Susan didn’t get cancer and died.
Exactly. You’ll be making so much money it’s TERRIFYING!!!!!!!!!! ! ! !
Ooooh… nooo…. I hate when I look forward to their next thing and then it’s about some average piece of pop crap.
DID YOU JUST ASSUME HER HEALTH STATUS?
They used Song 2 to sell this movie? I’m surprised I missed that; I was a big Blur fan. I remember watching the Stanley Cup that year and finding it bizarre to hear Blur in the Cup commercials.
I find Heinlein interesting as a person, but his books difficult to get through. I think I only made it halfway through Stranger in a Strange Land and haven’t even tried Starship Troopers. Nor have I seen the movie. I’ll shut up now.
Maybe they will do a “Highlander” episode?
That would be cool.
James Cameron neglecting to credit something he lifted from? Why I have never heard of such a thing. Harlan Ellison certainly has, but not me.
I’m just a provocateur. Exposing the hypocrisy of Susans.
everytime they dont post half in the bag it feels like theyre raping cum out of me
Still no “Half in the Bag” for the ‘Monster Trucks’ movie.
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Goose-steppin rubber babies.
They made a sequel no one wanted to see…
Just like how Heinlein was completely ignorant of what fascism looks like.
Cause though he was a career navy man, he was riding a desk in the war, as he was prematurely retired due to his health.
Which clearly left him pining for wars. Which he could win single-handedly with a little help of a flying tank suit.
Don’t know who this “you” you speak of is.
Fascism is a nationalistic system of government, where economic elite controls the government and the means of production – while pushing the “lower” citizens into wars, feeding them on nationalist pride and love towards the Grand Leader through state-sanctioned propaganda and restriction of civil liberties.
USA already was, based on its laws and policies, a scientifically proven oligarchy of economic elites.
Link to “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” published in Perspectives on Politics,
Volume 12, Issue 3 September 2014, pp. 564-581.
It was also always a highly militarized country, always in some war or the other.
Link to a wikipedia Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations
Granted, US has inherited that from the British, along with the language, judicial system etc. – but the fact is that US was always in some sort of war somewhere in the world.
And there is really no point of mentioning US nationalisUSA!USA!USA!USA!
All that was missing was a cult of the leader pushed by state propaganda.
Both of which Trump provided – but only for his followers. So far.
He’s a bit short on the restriction of civil liberties too – so far he’s only after groups of people whose name starts with M.
Muslims, Mexicans, media, Meryl Streep…
Also, there IS a strong underlying democratic framework, fact that his supporters are actually a minority AND utter incompetence of his entire gang (they are still over 500 nominations short of a functioning government – link to Washington Post’s continuously updated article on “Tracking how many key positions Trump has filled so far”) – preventing him from running USA like a true fascist society.
I.e. Like a corporation, only it’s not a corporation but a country.
Plus, fascism is a very inefficient way of running things, particularly big, 100 million+ societies.
So, umm… yeah.
There is a real meaning of fascism Virginia.
And Trump’s actions ARE fascist.
Just because he’s mentally ill, stupid and incompetent doesn’t make them less so.
Yeah, but the US didn’t have thousands of nukes. They only had two.
The movie points out that the bugs have an unlimited supply of asteroids but they only sent one.
You know, I can’t honestly say I remember the book – having read it when I was in my teens, in the 1980’s. Yep, I’m fucking old.
However, I remember the movie, because 1) it was hilarious, and 2) NOBODY UNDERSTOOD IT WAS SATIRE when it came out. Such a great film, WELL ahead of it’s time.
Remember, this was before we got lied into Iraq, by a bunch of Neocon scum, you know, the new Nazis.
Now Im thinking Carpenters The Thing would make for a good episode of re:view.
Please consider doing Trancers or Dollman vs Demonic Toys.
If only there was a way to combine the best parts of Starship Troopers with The Producers.
**does the Shimmy Slide**
NAZI NEIL PATRICK HARRIS touches TRUMP BRAIN BUG.
NAZI NPH: It’s not coming to the Annual DC Press Dinner. It’s afraid!
STARSHIP TROOPERS cheer.
He’s right. Never forget that Fascism was founded by liberal pacifists.
You should have asked the US military brass that about Vietnam in 1968.
The War on Terror was a comedy, right? Or am I thinking of the War on Drugs?
But not realistic enough. For all the capital and time invested into CGI Moff Tarkin, he still looks like a plastic doll whenever he talks. His lips don’t look right. He looks less realistic than, say, handpuppet Yoda in Empire Strikes Back. Realistic =/= Realism. Think about it.
CGI Tarkin doesn’t need every damn skin follicle rendered in 4K clarity, especially if his mouth-parts look like the mouth of a manta ray suffocating on the beach. Everyone is so obsessed about clarity they forget about real-life mouth movement. Come on! Priorities, people!
AMERICAN VOTER: Reading? The fuck is that?
doesnt suits you well when you play stupid, frank.
of course its kinda bland. it satires WW II propaganda, wadda ya expect?
“I don’t think Showgirls had anything satirical to say”
I absolutly beg to differ!
“I don’t think the cast was even aware of what they were doing. I’d seen
interviews with a few of them that talked about the great love stories
and amazing effects”
at least *some* of them were well aware of it; you see often cast-members in the background giggling their asses off, especialy when rico gives his “serious” speech near the end. and I bet that those interviews where part of the game.
haha, right. I admit, that was the one I thought of when I made my comment, but that one was really the exeption from the rule, right? like an artefact.
“We’re ignoring real problems for made-up ones. We ignore real enemies…when the mullahs nuke us.”
and how is it that those mullahs were gettin your “real” enemies, hmmmm??
“The PC culture is all white people”
well, the term was hijacked (as so many others)
“In the essay The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970), Toni Cade Bambara said that “a man cannot be politically correct and a [male] chauvinist, too.” Thereafter, the term was often used as self-critical satire.”
Bambara was an african-american woman.
Something engaging enough for me to watch. I want a story as well, propaganda is entertaining for a few minutes but we need more.
there aint such thing as “race” in humans; thats specificly made up bullshit from (harhar) “racists”; the term ITSELF, related to humans, is nonsens.
“Killer bugs are killer bugs.” Do you know what “Allegory” means, frank?
“people who serve in the military gain the right to VOTE.”
yeah, right. and doesnt mean shit.
“You do not vote for a dictator.”
oh yes, you do. hint:
well…at least now it seems like %)
It’s a good day to die,
When you know the reasons why,
Citizens, we fight for what is right,
A noble sacrifice,
When duty calls, you pay the price,
For the Federation I will give my life!
(Courage, Duty, Honor!)
well, it *is* easier to animate an insect exosceleton than some flubby, always changing human face…
Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, etc.
I think we’re all missing out on the important question here: co-ed shower scenes, are there any of them?
For John Wick 2 will they film inside an all-night wicker store?
**stares intently at Gina Gershon’s jiggling boobies**
Yes … satire … definitely.
I don’t think Nazis are taking over our country. Nazis weren’t as lazy and inept as Trump and his cronies. It’s like the country was taken over by a morbidly obese night manager of Bennigan’s (which is ironic, since Bennigan’s went bankrupt years ago). Trump mistakes money for class … while having not much of either.
Men with small cocks and big armies?
So I need a little clarification: US Republicans and ISIS, which ones are comprised of gun-toting religious fundamentalists with long beards?
Patton: Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
But the military won Vietnam. The politicians and the media gave it away. Read a book.
I know you think you’re being funny, but fascism was created by socialists – specifically, Italian socialists. As I said earlier: read a book.
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