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Jarhead

Release Date: November 4, 2005
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Movie of the Day for Friday, November 26, 2004
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You're sure this isn't the Brokeback Mountain audition?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
34/60 Les Winan A movie about boredom that brings the viewer a little too close to that theme. Jake Gyllenhaal does his best.
41/85 Kim Hollis Not as memorable as it should be.
54/166 David Mumpower The point of the movie is that the soldiers never get to the fireworks factory. The movie simultaneously lives and dies because of this.

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Jarhead is based on the bestselling non-fiction book by former Marine Anthony Swofford about his Desert Storm era experiences in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. When the Marines -who call themselves "jarheads" - were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990, Swofford was one of them. With a hundred pound backpack slung from his shoulders and a sniper's rifle snug in his hands, he literally lived in the sand for six months. The experience was not a pleasant one.

While serving his country, Swofford's girlfriend at home dumped him for a hotel clerk. He was simultaneously bored and frightened and was shot at both by Iraqis and Americans. At times, he considered suicide, and at one point pulled a gun on one of compatriots. When the war ended, he had to hike for miles and miles through a desert seemingly full of incinerated Iraqi soldiers. At one point, he himself was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker.

Along with the gritty details of his war experience, Swofford also recounts stories of boot camp, including physical abuse from his drill instructor. He ruminates on the mythology associated with being a Marine, taking into consideration what that job means to his friends, family and lovers, and also how it associates with being an American, a soldier and a son of a soldier.

A cursory glance at the source material would lead one to believe that this film is likely to be quite controversial on its release. Though based on a true story, any indication that our armed forces are being slighted in any way leads to a steady backlash from the media. It will be fascinating to watch how director Sam Mendes and his young star Jake Gyllenhaal - never ones to shy away from unusual or dark projects - handle the attention. (Kim Hollis/BOP)


Vital statistics for Jarhead
Main Cast Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard
Supporting Cast Chris Cooper, Lucas Black, Evan Jones, Ivan Fenyo, Laz Alonso, Jacob Vargas, Brian Geraght, Dennis Haysbert
Director Sam Mendes
Screenwriter William Broyles
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.jarheadmovie.com/
Rating R
Running Time 123 minutes
Awards Awards page for Jarhead
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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