The Intro: The concept is pretty straightforward. Aside from going to the theater way too much, I also watch way too many movies on TV (or DVD). Since they're not new releases, I don't typically write a review for them, but there are often some things I'd like to say about them. Since I have a tendency to always find the negatives in things (I'm a champion pessimist), I've decided to pick five things from a movie that I've recently viewed that catch my eye or crack me up or inspire me or whatever. They could be anything from a whole performance, a single line (or even a single word), a sight gag, plot line, anything. So...
5 Great Things About...Starship Troopers
5. The communal shower
Of course, this is Hollywood, so the unisex shower of the future isn't littered with table shakers and cottage cheese. Just nice to know that in a few centuries, we'll have chilled out a bit with all the gender issues. Johhny and Diz got down without too many games - hell, Diz threw herself at him. The future is so laid-back, man...
4. Jake Busey
What a year 1997 was for the son of Gary. First, he killed Tom Skeritt and a bunch of other NASA nerds in Contact as the religious nutjob with a bomb. Then, mere months later, he's playing a neon violin and wisecracking with Casper, all under the tutelage of one Michael Ironside. That's two Top Gun greats he got to work with in one summer!! Nepotism has its privileges. (Just kidding, Jake - you're awesome!)
3. "Would you like to know more?"
The keys to the secret of the brilliance of Starship Troopers are all contained within the PSAs/wartime reels interspersed throughout the film. Try to imagine, for one second, the movie without them. I'll give you a hint - it's a Bay-level piece of shit. Overacted by many, badly acted by others, and taking itself way too seriously 98% of the time. Enjoyable, perhaps, but nowhere near the genius that those commercials make it, bringing the satire fully to life. Here's a great, detailed piece all about the subtext of the film, courtesy of The Onion A.V. Club.
2. Clancy Brown
Because Clancy makes everything better.
1. John D. Rico, lead character
Vacant. A blank slate. Dumb. Airheaded. Any or all of these words could be used to describe Johnny Rico, who's either the dumbest or greatest lead character in the history of film. Any time Rico is forced to make a decision or speak a line (in other words, almost the entirety of the movie), he looks back upon what others have done and/or told him. He's a complete and total follower, unable to ask questions and analyze situations on his own, which is what makes him such a unique character. We've been trained to know that the stars of our action movies or heist movies or business ethics dramas (or just about any other genre, for that matter) are made up of the smartest people in the room, out-of-the-box thinkers, clutch performers.
Rico may be a great athlete full of courage and valor, but he's as dumb as a box of rocks and as impressionable as a canister of Play-Doh. Feel free to mold him into any shape that you wish, so long as you speak to him with conviction. The personification of this arises mostly within his dealings with Michael Ironside's Lt. Rasczak, Rico's onetime teacher and future commanding officer. Rico so looks up to Rasczak that not only does he implore the man for orders even before joining the military, but parrots his every line as if, once he heard and memorized them, the space in his brain for other thoughts was gone forever.
P.S. - This didn't make the list, but in doing 'research' for this post, I just discovered this fact and I think my brain just got sucked by a big smart bug. I don't know how many times you've seen the movie, but I've seen it probably 10-20 times, including once in the past 48 hours. I just discovered who plays the biology teacher early in the film. HAD NO IDEA. I'm not gonna spoil it for you, but I'll even throw in a picture and see if that helps. I'm not sure if I'm just impressed at the acting or makeup or ashamed of myself for never having picked up on it. Random and weird...