In this episode of COL Movies, the boys celebrate the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by watching the always questionable Jake Gyllenhall in “Jarhead”. They head to the theater to check out remake of the 1971 Dustin Hoffman film “Straw Dogs”. Does moving the setting from England to Mississippi, including the appropriate accents, make the film any better? Looking into the future, they review the trailer for “Battleship”, based on the Milton Bradley game that most of us will remember. Will critics and audiences sink this battleship before it arrives in 2012? The guys bring up the most recent Netflix/Quickster news and discuss the possibility of a sequel to “Wanted”. It’s the 72nd reel of COL Movies…”Are these warm nuts?”
- Netflix/Quickster Follow up
- Stock Price at all time low
- Lost 9 BILLION in market value since July
- Rumors of Amazon or Google takeover swirl!
- Wanted 2 in the works
- Derek Haas,with writing partner Michael Brandt, adapted the 2008 original, tweeted the following this morning:Michael and I were just hired by Uni to write WANTED 2.
- storyline will, “take off after the events of what just happened. Pick up Wesley a few years later and go back in for another round.”
- James McAvoy maybe… no Jolie and no Loom
The Past: Jarhead
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% Fresh, 68% Audience
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Lucas Black
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire originally vied for the lead role in the film.
- Scenes filmed in the Imperial Valley had the mountains in the background digitally removed. Additional desert scenes were also filmed in Mexico
- Most of Swofford’s “anecdotes” are based on Urban Legends of the Marine Corps. He has made his unit the basis for “Did you hear about that guy who…” for most USMC legends.
- One of the pictures on the “Wall of Shame” (just left of center) is of porn performer Kitty.
- The word “fuck” and its variants are used 278 times in this film (38 times with the prefix “mother”).
- Christian Bale, Emile Hirsch, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Shane West, Josh Hartnett and Joshua Jackson were both considered for the role of Swoff.
- Michael Keaton, Kurt Russell, and Gary Oldman were all considered for the role of Lt. Col. Kazinski.
- The soldiers watch Apocalypse Now, which was edited by Jarhead editor Walter Murch.
- Travis Aaron Wade was considered and read for the role of Troy.
- According to Iván Fenyö, almost 70% of his performance was cut out. Two months before the release of the movie the director phoned Ivan and told him that the studio didn’t wanted most of the lines he had in the movie. According to the actor, some of his parts was about his notices as an East-European about democracy and the Gulf War.
- Jake Gyllenhaal’s nosebleed during the prank branding scene was digitally added in post-production.
- Staff Sgt. Sykes, played by Jamie Foxx, originally had a tattoo of a panther on the back of his shaved head. Foxx sported it during his award sweeps for Ray. The tattoo was eventually digitally removed in post-production by director Sam Mendes, because he felt it made the character too “hard core.”
- John Krasinski (Corporal Harrigan) wrote all of his dialog.
- All of the sex scenes were shot the same day, leading Sam Mendes to comment, “It’s so nice to have sex today after all this war and death.”
- While listed in the credits as Swoff’s sister, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character refers to her as Rini, which is in fact the real name of the actress who played the sister.
- Cinematographer Roger Deakins operated the Steadicam himself in many scenes.
- All Marines are taught to think of each other as brothers, since the production of Jarhead has wrapped, Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard have actually become brothers in the real world, with the marriage of Peter Sarsgaard to Jake Gyllenhaal’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal.
- The sex-video breakup scene is actually a well-known urban legend that has been circulating the American military since the late 1980s.
- A great deal of the dialog is improvised. This was a deliberate choice on the part of Sam Mendes to be a little more organic after the stylization of Road to Perdition.
- Sam Mendes rehearsed the film with his cast for 4 weeks.
- The interviews with the grunts were all improvised. Lucas Black was particularly uncomfortable with this as he preferred to work off a script.
- Jake Gyllenhaal’s toilet masturbation scene was the last one filmed for the movie.
- Jake Gyllenhaal’s audition scene was the one where he points a rifle straight into the face of one of his comrades and has a mini-breakdown. When filming this actual scene, Gyllenhaal actually knocked out one of his own teeth when he turns the gun on himself, not to mention hugely upsetting his co-star Brian Geraghty who felt that Gyllenhaal had effectively brutalized him. This led to the later scene in the film where Swofford apologizes to Geraghty’s character, a scene that wasn’t in the original screenplay. The scene helped smooth over the tense relations between the two actors.
- Shot almost entirely in sequence.
- The burning oil wells were all computer generated. The oil that appears on the soldiers’ faces was a concoction made from molasses.
- After hearing how effectively “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West played over the trailer, Sam Mendes was very keen to include the track in the film as well.
- Producers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick optioned Anthony Swofford’s book even before it hit the streets.
- Screenwriter ‘William Broyles Jr’ identified in particular with Anthony Swofford’s book as a former soldier who also had a son in the armed forces.
- Jake Gyllenhaal was convinced he had blown his audition, especially after several months had passed and he hadn’t heard back from Sam Mendes. An impassioned message left on Mendes’s voicemail swung the decision in his favor.
- The actors all went on a four day boot camp at George Air Force Base.
- Filming lasted five months – which is the same length of time that the soldiers in the film spent in the desert.
- The desert locations were scouted in the summer months. When filming actually began, it was in the winter after rain, so vegetation had sprung up on what was supposed to be barren land. All of this had to be removed, often digitally.
- Sam Mendes’s first film without cinematographer Conrad L. Hall who had died in 2002.
- At the time of filming, Peter Sarsgaard was not yet Jake Gyllenhaal’s brother-in-law. Sarsgaard first started dating Jake’s sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, in 2002. The couple got engaged in 2006, the same year they had a daughter and were finally married in 2009.
- Shot on 35mm film, Walter Murch then cut it on Final Cut Pro.
- The first major studio production to tackle the first Gulf War.
- Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper first worked together on October Sky, although they only share one scene in this film.
- The original screenplay contained a more pointed political stance which Sam Mendes stripped out.
- Although it’s never mentioned how Troy died in the film, in the book it was revealed that he was killed in a car accident.
- What was the message?
- Standout performances?
- Today’s version of Platoon?
What We’ve Learned:
- Your hands remember the rifle
- Don’t get lost on the way to college.. you end up in the Marines
- It’s not an order, it’s an opportunity
- If the marine corps wanted you to have a wife, they will issue you one.
- When you are a marine, there is no such thing as speech that is free
- Every war is different, every war is the same.
Jeff: Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem to keep my attention very often. Maybe it’s his acting style. Okay movie but just . . . meh.
Ray: I get it, war is horrible.. it changes you.. it stays with you..and I feel this movie conveys that very well, but ultimately this feels too much like a “me too!” story. I empathise and honor all the service men and women that have sacrificed parts of themselves and their lives to war, but I don’t know that I need a movie that shows me that for every major conflict in our nations history.
Steve: I like it…but I’m also a fan of similar genre movies. Kinda feels like Donnie Darko in the Marines at times. I think it’s worth watching!
The Present: Straw Dogs
Rotten Tomatoes: 36% Rotten, 42% Audience
Director: Rod Lurie
Starring: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård
- The film, a remake of the controversially violent 1971 movie, is considered fairly faithful to Sam Peckinpah’s original, though the location has been moved from Cornwall, England to the U.S. Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the hero’s profession has been changed from mathematician to screenwriter.
- Dustin Hoffman, who starred in (and famously disliked) the original film, gave Rod Lurie his blessing.
- The famous quote “I will not allow violence against this house” is not in the version shown in theaters.
- The strange Juxtopositions Rape/Hunting/Football
- The Controversy of the original.
- Comparison to the original
What We Learned:
- Bic needs to wear less clothing.
- Cash – what poor people use for money
- Nothing goes together like God and Football
- “God works in mysterious ways” is the most dangerous phrase ever uttered
Jeff: While I can see it being technically put together well, the script and pacing were just not doing it for me. Bic should have been wearing to much clothing. Skip it.
Ray: From a remake standpoint, this was well adapted from what I have read about the original, however I felt it was searching for it’s “controversy”
Steve: Not that I thought the original was great, but I honestly think the original made more sense than this retelling. Acting wasn’t bad, but Alexander did not seem to fit in the movie at all. Worth skipping…unless you’re going to do a compare and contrast with the original. Some contrived scenes did make me jump.
The Future: Battleship
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Neeson and Taylor Kitsch
A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.
- Jeremy Renner was cast but dropped out to do Paul Thomas Anderson’s religious movie, and was replaced by Taylor Kitsch.
- The movie is based on the Milton Bradley game “Battleship” that has been manufactured since 1931. The original paper and pencil version of the game predates World War I.
- Some of the artillery used in the film is shaped like the pegs used in the game.
- Why the tie in with the old game??
- Did anyone else think this was a trailer for another transformers movie?
Jeff: This looks like a terrible terrible movie. I can’t wait to see it.
Ray: If someone says “You sank my battleship” in this movie.. i will hurt someone.
Steve: Not at all what I thought it would be from the visions I get from thinking about MB’s “Battleship” game. But I have to say that it caught my attention. Do I expect greatness? Not at all.