movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A great movie that neither of us had watched since the inception of our movie-watching lists. So it’s been at least 6 years; possibly 10 … Time to watch it again.

PEOPLE: Directed by Paul Verhoeven, who brought us Total Recall, Basic Instinct, RoboCop, Hollowman, and … Showgirls?!?! Starring (among others) Neil Patrick Harris (aka Doogie Howser), hottie Denise Richards, Clancy Brown (aka Brother Justin from Carnivale), Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer (aka Barbara Gordon/ex-Batgirl/The Oracle in WB’s Birds Of Prey; Detective Allison Kerry from Saw 2, Saw 3, and Saw 4).

QUIRKS: A futuristic movie from a militaristic society. Normally I might object to this, but with actual aliens attacking our actual planet, actually killing our species, a militaristic society might actually make sense. (Except in later Starship Troopers movies, where you see how they declare peace protesters terrorists, and publicly hang them. Starship Troopers 3 has some nice twists in how their society changes. More on that later.)

The video format of showing all informational videos as being displayed on a computer (“Would you like to know more?”) is both properly future-facing (I watch all MY video on a computer!) and hilarious at the same time. The PSAs shown on their video channels are hilarious — little kids smashing bugs, underscored with a message along the lines of “bugs: every little bit counts”. And it was also quite a profound social commentary of how the military uses propaganda to help convince people to enlist. Of course, in THIS society, people who don’t enlist don’t get to vote. Again… If we’re actually threatened as a species, it might be intelligent to let those who are willing to fight for us make the decisions.

It’s a damn slippery slope though. The society depicted in these movies has become what it has needed to be due to actual necessity. Cities are completely demolished by the aliens. This isn’t a false specter of danger like the current terrorism scare in America — which kills less Americans every 100 years than how many die from car accidents every month. This was a real threat. Society had become incredibly efficient because it needed to be. But at the same time, it was fascist, oppressive, and not respectful of people’s individual rights. Yet, there were frickin’ BUGS TRYING TO KILL US. BUGS! Politically, it’s hard to know where one would stand in their world without living it it oneself.

BAD STUFF: I really don’t think there’s anything remotely bad in this movie. The action scenes are amazing, on an epic scale not normally scene. Science fiction does that, y’know.

CONCLUSION: Now that I’ve re-watched it, I’m stepping this up from 4 stars to 5 on Netflix, and rating this an 8 on IMDB. Great film.

RECOMMENDATION: Definitely watch this if you haven’t! Along with Men In Black, this is one of the best Sci-Fi action flicks of the 1990s. And don’t miss Starship Troopers 3 also! While the sequel (movie#2) sucked, the third movie was an extreme improvement over the 2nd. Reviews on these movies will be posted after this one.

Also, one might want to check out the Japanese animation OVA version of Starship Troopers. It is 6 episodes long, and supposedly more faithful to the book. You can find public torrents of it at AnimeSuki. I wont link; you’ll have to google.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Service guarantees citizenship!”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Jordan loved it, as did I. Carolyn, Ian, Kipp, Christian D really liked it. Benj liked it. 6 ratings, and only 1 below 4 stars.

Mood: Have you heard the word?
Music: NoFX – She’s Gone