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Author Topic: For Andrew: portrayal of the Marines in films  (Read 1478 times)
Trevor
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« on: April 14, 2007, 06:18:56 AM »

 Smile Hi Andrew

I've wanted to know this for a while now ~ how do you feel about the way that the Marines are portrayed in films and television? Do you feel that the filmmakers do a good job or not ~ as in the case of Full Metal Jacket.

I have been told that the basic training that people go through to become a Marine is far harsher than what the films would have us believe. My Dad served in the then Rhodesian Army from 1965 to 1980 and he still will not talk about his experiences during that bush war.

Thanks.  Smile
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Andrew
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007, 07:24:47 AM »

Quite often the writer is looking for a stereotype when they use Marine characters.  They are bad**s warriors, they are mindless government robots, they are put through boot camp hell, etc. 

Sometimes the liberties taken with the characters annoy me, like some of the things done in "Doom."  I think one reason that I liked "Aliens" so much is that they got a lot of the social/professional interaction right.  Yes, some of the Marines will mouth off to the Sgt, but he has a quick fix for them.  Plus, they banter with each other.  "Full Metal Jacket" was best for the boot camp scenes.  My experience with boot camp in 1991 matches up in many way, except the drill instructors were not usually as amusing with their insults and there was less physical contact.

Your father probably encountered death up close and personal a couple of times during the bush war.  Something interesting I have noticed is that many will talk about stuff that happened when nobody was hurt or killed, even if it was a situation that could have resulted in that (like a rocket attack, IED that sent everyone scrambling, etc.).  It is a lot more serious when someone is killed.  What you want to remember is the things that made you smile.  Seeing a dozen KBR civilians run across the desert in their underwear during a mortar attack, the Marine who was annoyed about having to crawl through a drainage pipe and quite vocal about it, or the horde of oreo cookies that came in after everyone wrote home asking for oreos (we made a footlocker-sized block of oreos).  That sort of thing is fun to look back on.
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007, 10:31:34 AM »

"Hey, VASquez.   You ever been mistaken for a man?"

"No.   Have you?"

 TeddyR

Goes down as one of the best lines in one of the best movies, for me.
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dean
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 09:51:37 AM »


I saw my younger cousin last night who joined the Army here, and he just came back from East Timor where he spent a good half year or so peace-keeping.  The amount he has changed in the year or so since he joined is incredible just in terms of attitude and the way he handles himself.  Plus he seems alot taller.

He had some great stories, some fantastic photos and funny videos of some of the stuff they got up to, but there were also some little moments in conversation with him which kind of worried me.  Maybe it's the change in attitude from the nerdy young Stargate fan that I remember him as, to the young soldier that he's sort of becoming [which at times seems to be more of a bastard now than before].  They just seem so different.

Makes me wonder how he'd handle the heavy situations, which has me and my brother a little worried for him since he may be going off to Iraq next year and hoping for Afghanistan next.  Gets paid great, and I'm not so much worried for his safety [which as family we're always going to worry about anyways] but I'm more worried that some of the stuff he sees and does will affect him more than even he may realise.

Wow, that's kind of heavy stuff there, but seemed to be on my mind.

But back on topic, my cousin loves any movie to do with anything he is involved with, and it doesn't really bother him about realism at all.  It's probably something to do with being Australian and most movies are American and they both do things differently anyways, since I can see him having a go at the screen mumbling 'that's not how it works' if they portrayed an Australian experience differently.
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Trevor
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2007, 03:23:09 AM »

 BounceGiggle Thanks, Andrew, that image of the KBR civillians crawling in their undies is going to remain with me for a long while and I didn't even see it.  TeddyR

My Mom mentioned that my Dad has spoken to her about some of the things he witnessed ~ the one thing that I remember is my Dad coming home after a tour of duty and after unloading it, asked me to carry his weapon. That made me proud ~ he did tell me that I should go and scare the nosy (and noisy) neighbours with it, which I promptly did. I think it was an Uzi, if I remember correctly. Adults running away from a crazy kid with a machine pistol.  TeddyR

My only regret ~ I was thirteen when that war ended and I never got to serve my country. Pity as I would have willingly offered my life for it, I loved it that much.
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