If there’s one movie that polarizes Marines, it’s Jarhead. Anthony Swofford’s explorative tale on the meandering life of a Scout Sniper during the first Gulf War is sure to spark a lively debate across the barracks any time it’s brought up. Many Marines feel as though Swofford is a “whiny bitch” and that Jarhead is the most boring of the war films about Marines.
For my part, I loved the original Jarhead film and I still do. It serves as one of the only realistic representations of life in the Marine Corps, rather than just the shallow action-packed war-porn that people expect out of movies about “war.” It showed a Marine that was disenchanted and disgruntled, rather than the cliche motivators you normally get any time someone brings up the Marine Corps. It was an exploration of the state of being in a post Vietnam Marine Corps that no one had ever really seen before.
With the release of Jarhead 2: Field of Fire and this week’s Jarhead 3: The Siege, Universal has hilariously completely missed the point of the first film and proceeded to shit out two trash films straight-to-video with an apparent intent to completely destroy any legacy the original had. These movies are so bad, so utterly lacking in the nuance and subtlety of the first film, that you’ll have no choice but to assume that there is some genuine malicious intent against Anthony Swofford, Jake Gyllenhaal, or Sam Mendes.
These sequels are complete trash, but not even in the good way that a Cinemax softcore porn is trash. At least in something like that, there’s copious amounts of titties and simulated sex to distract you from how bad everything else is. Jarhead 2 and 3 are hollow shells of what could have been. They’re the rebound fucks of a longterm relationship come to an end; leaving you to feel empty and ashamed of yourself as you put your clothes back on awkwardly explain that you’re not looking for anything serious.
In other news, June and July are really busy months over at Terminal Lance. I’ll be making appearances in a few different places, so here are the details:
- Sebastian Junger and myself will be in Santa Monica on June 7th (this Tuesday) for a live talk! Get tickets and details here.
- Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Festival on Saturday, June 11th! I’ll be on a panel about representing the contemporary war experience. Details here.
- Book signing at Hastings in San Angelo, TX on June 13th! If you’re in the area come by and say hi and get your book signed! Starts at 1700.
- Oceanside Barnes & Noble book signing on June 18th! If you’re in Camp Pendleton, wade through the boots in Oceanside to come say what’s up! Starts at 1400.
- Marine’s Memorial Club in San Francisco on July 7th! Super excited to be featured as a guest in their author lineup, I’ll be speaking and hanging out for the night!
- San Diego Comic Con on July 21st! I’ll be on a panel about graphic novels as a medium.
I’ll also be in Portland and Corvallis in July for book signings, the details to follow. If you can make it to any of these events, you should! It should be a lot of fun!
Lastly, I really want to throw a shoutout to CBS for putting together such a great piece on Terminal Lance. If you missed it, check it out here.