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Jarhead (Full Frame)

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Product Overview

Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this critically acclaimed, brilliantly unconventional war story from Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes. Jarhead (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines) follows Swoff (Gyllenhaal) from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he sports a sniper rifle through Middle East deserts that provide no cover from the heat or Iraqi soldiers. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves with sardonic humanity and wicked comedy on blazing desert fields in a country they don't understand against an enemy they can't see for a cause they don't fully grasp.

Specifications

Studio Universal Home Video
SKU 202159279
UPC 025192784323
UPC 14 00025192784323
Format DVD
Release Date 9/9/2008
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Actors
Name Jamie Foxx
Link Search Link
Name Jake Gyllenhaal
Link Search Link
Name Stellan Skarsgard
Link Search Link
Name Chris Cooper
Link Search Link
Directors
Name Sam Mendes
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Anthony Swofford - Based On Novel By
Bobby Cohen - Executive Producer
Chris Cooper - Actor
Jake Gyllenhaal - Actor
Jamie Foxx - Actor
Peter Sarsgaard - Actor
Roger Deakins - Cinematographer
Sam Mendes - Director
Sam Mercer - Executive Producer
Thomas Newman - Original Music By
Walter Murch - Editor
William Broyles, Jr. - Screenplay
Reviews
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Jarhead" is a war movie that rises above the war and tells a soldier's story. It tells it with the urgency and pointlessness that all men's stories have, because if something has happened to us, then it is important to us no matter how indifferent the world may be. "Four days, four hours, one minute. That was my war," the Marine sniper Tony Swofford tells us. "I never shot my rifle." The movie is uncanny in its effect. It contains no heroism, little action, no easy laughs. It is about men who are exhausted, bored, lonely, trained to the point of obsession and given no opportunity to use their training. The most dramatic scene in the movie comes when Swofford has an enemy officer in the crosshairs of his gunsight and is forbidden to fire because his shot may give advance warning of an air strike. His spotter, Troy, goes berserk: "Let him take the shot!" Let him, that is, kill one enemy as his payback for the hell of basic training, the limbo of the desert, the sand and heat, the torture of months of waiting, the sight of a highway traffic jam made of burned vehicles and crisp charred corpses. Let him take the shot to erase for a second the cloud of oil droplets he lives in, the absence of the sun, the horizon lined with the plumes of burning oil wells. Let him take the goddamn shot. The movie is based on the best-selling 2003 memoir Jarhead by Anthony Swofford, who served in the first Gulf War. It is unlike most war movies in that it focuses entirely on the personal experience of a young man caught up in the military process. At one point, Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) is being interviewed by a network newswoman who asks him why he serves. He has already given two or three routine answers. She persists, and finally he looks in the camera and says: "I'm 20 years old, and I was dumb enough to sign a contract." His best friend is his spotter, Troy (Peter Sarsgaard). Their small unit of scout-snipers has been led through training by Staff Sgt. Sykes (Jamie Foxx), who knows why he serves: He loves his job. Others in the group include borderline psychos and screw-ups but mostly just average young Americans who have decided the only thing worse than fighting a war is waiting to fight one -- in the desert, when the temperature is 112 and it would be great for the TV cameras if they played a football game while wearing their anti-gas suits. "Jarhead" is a story like Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That, in the way it sees the big picture entirely in terms of the small details. Sykes briefs them about Saddam Hussein's invasion of the Kuwait oil fields, but says their immediate task is to guard the oil of "our friends, the Sauds." This they do by killing time. The narration includes one passage that sounds lifted straight from the book, in which Swofford lists the ways they get through the days: They train, they sleep, they watch TV and videos, they get in pointless fights, they read letters from home and write letters to home, and mostly they masturbate. These
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Variety.com
Review "Are we ever going to get to kill anyone?," a young Marine asks after waiting for months in the Arabian desert for the Persian Gulf war to begin. The negative answer for him and his pumped-up fellow grunts who get sent home without seeing any real action makes "Jarhead" a different kind of antiwar film - a war film without a war. Part absurdist drama, part personal observational commentary and part hormonal explosion, all seen through the filter of previous war pics, Sam Mendes' third feature has numerous arresting moments but never achieves a confident, consistent or sufficiently audacious tone. Quasi-topical release pushes enough buttons to make this a solid B.O. performer for Universal with review-conscious and young auds alike. As a Hollywood take on the United States' initial offensive against the dictator commonly referred to here as Saddam Insane, "Jarhead" doesn't come close to the first one, David O. Russell's "Three Kings." Nor does it self-importantly try to offer even covert commentary on what's going on in Iraq today. Rather, Vietnam vet screenwriter William Broyles Jr. has used Anthony Swofford's bestselling 2003 tome to create a bemused study of what it was like to be a soldier primed for action in a war in which ground troops were rendered almost irrelevant by air power. From the outset, Vietnam and movies assert themselves as the primary touchstones for "Jarhead." You have to look carefully to make sure the opening shot isn't drawn directly from "Full Metal Jacket," what with a barracks-full of dogfaces being berated by a vein-busting drill instructor who looks like R. Lee Ermey's country cousin. But it's 1989, and the man/boys are being prepped for war on the sizzling sands of the Middle East. By forthrightly announcing its cinematic reference points (recruits are later shown whooping it up to the Wagner-backed helicopter attack in "Apocalypse Now" and settling in to watch "The Deer Hunter"), the film instantly disarms those who might otherwise be inclined to take it to task for cribbing, just as it shows how young soldiers actually took inspiration from those classics. But forcibly reminding the audience of its forebears has the simultaneous negative effect of spotlighting the picture's own lack of comparable boldness and invention. Nope, the Gulf War was no Vietnam, and "Jarhead" is no "Platoon." Point of view is provided by the persistent voiceover of 20-year-old Tony "Swoff" Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal), a third-generation military man (his dad served in 'Nam) who leaves behind a hot girlfriend and pointedly totes around a copy of Camus' "The Stranger." Although no intellectual, Swoff is bright and notices things, qualities that invest his thoughts with sidelong insights that keep his comments amusing, even as they lack the sweaty cynicism of those of a Yossarian in "Catch-22." After 20 minutes of basic training, a beautifully rendered fleet of TWA 747s transports the tale to Saudi Arabia, where the men are exhorted to "kick s
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Todd McCarthy
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, Dolby Digital (5.1); Dolby Surround Sound, Commentary, News Interviews, Deleted Scenes, English, Spanish, French Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Pete Hammond, Maxim Jarhead is one of this year's cant-miss movies.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Unique. The jolt of Jarhead is undeniable.
Mike Clark, USA TODAY Solid.
Gene Shalit, The Today Show A masterwork. Jarhead is more than a movie - it's an experience.

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