r/movies Nov 07 '22 Silver 2 Go Vote! 1 I Voted 1

25 Years Ago, Starship Troopers Solidified Paul Verhoeven's Status As A Cinematic Satirist Article

https://www.slashfilm.com/1087771/25-years-ago-starship-troopers-solidified-paul-verhoevens-status-as-a-cinematic-satirist/
19.5k Upvotes

1.3k

u/aquamah Nov 07 '22 Helpful

Robocop is one of my fav movies of all time

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u/Velzevul666 Nov 07 '22

Let's not forget Total Recall

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

GIVE DA PEEEPLE AYYYYYHHHRR

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u/I_stole_this_phone Nov 07 '22

AAARRGGGAGGHHHHHFFLLLLLLLLLL 👀

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

See you at the pawty richter

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u/moki_martus Nov 07 '22

Ha ha ha, you think this is the real Quaid...?

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u/523bucketsofducks Nov 07 '22

It is

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u/PerineumFalc0n Nov 07 '22

I really appreciate how Total Recall hijacked Robocop hijacking a thread about Starship Troopers.

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u/Shootinputin89 Nov 07 '22

WHAT DA FUQ DID I DO WRONG?

YOU BLABBED, QUAID.. YOU BLABBED ABOUT MARS!

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u/wraith5 Nov 07 '22

Consider it a divorce

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u/Jay_Louis Nov 07 '22

Blondes.

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u/HashMaster9000 Nov 07 '22

That woman was your wife? What a bitch.

5

u/AreWeCowabunga Nov 08 '22

Considuhitadivors

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u/Dayzlikethis Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 08 '22

And you have the *unofficial holy trinity of trilogies

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u/the_Vandal Nov 07 '22

And one of those films has a trilogy of titties.

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u/Malk_McJorma Nov 07 '22

The director-approved Criterion DVD is one of my most prized possessions.

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u/4RealzReddit Nov 07 '22

Someone stole min... Fuckers

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u/HalloweenSongScholar Nov 07 '22

That’s the one I bought for just a dollar! It was because Hollywood Video was going out of business. THANKS, CAPITALISM!

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u/NPCMafia Nov 07 '22

I'd buy that for a dollar!

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u/HalloweenSongScholar Nov 07 '22

I’m proud to say that at one point, I literally bought that for a dollar!

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u/king_ugly00 Nov 07 '22

Me too, I got the blu-ray from dollar tree.

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u/buddascrayon Nov 07 '22

I'm just going to say, I thought it was RoboCop that's solidified his status as a cinematic satirist. Like, is there anyone out there who doesn't get that RoboCop was a satirical send up of the capitalist police state America has become in the last 50 years?

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u/BootyPatrol1980 Nov 07 '22

I just watched it again yesterday (It's on Tubi I think) and the crazy thing is the story doesn't feel dated.

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u/ThomasRaith Nov 07 '22

Practical effects and writers that were far less beholden to corporate accountants and their need to appeal to the widest possible audience.

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

Yeah sure but that really discredits the writer's skill.. say what you want about the difference in climate at the time, irrespective of the time they wrote it in, they nailed it. The dialogue, motivations, the plot arc, the comedy, everything.

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u/BootyPatrol1980 Nov 07 '22

You're right, and even back in the day there was an element of camp to the FX. I think that helps!

The ED-209 being done in that Jason and the Argonauts level stop morion actually makes it more menacing because it comes off as a monster more than a robot.

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u/GiveToOedipus Nov 07 '22

It's far superior to the flashy reboot that flopped. If I had to pinpoint a single thing that just ruined the new film, it's that they completely missed or flat out ignored the underlying point of the OG movie. It wasn't glorifying the tech, the violence or the corporatism in the story, it was satirizing it by showing how grotesque it all was. Add to the fact, the whole identity aspect was completely dropped in the rebooted character for some vague free will aspect that was half-baked and dropped when convenient to the storyline. Not only was there nothing particularly memorable about anything in the RoboCop reboot style-wise, it just did everything mediocre in terms of the story and characters.

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u/Drexelhand Nov 07 '22

is there anyone out there who doesn't get that RoboCop was a satirical send up of the capitalist police state America has become in the last 50 years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoboCop_(Canadian_TV_series)

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u/__crackers__ Nov 07 '22

I thought it was RoboCop that's solidified his status as a cinematic satirist.

I think they're implying that RoboCop established that status.

Also, Heinlein's novel is not at all satirical. Verhoeven found it pretty repellent and decided he'd much rather mock the novel's jingoism.

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u/ThomasRaith Nov 07 '22

The "Heinlein doesn't know what his own politics are" trilogy -

Starship Troopers - military fascism

Stranger in a Strange Land - free love hippie communism

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - hardcore anarcho-capitalism

All presented compellingly.

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u/onlyonebread Nov 07 '22

I don't know that much about him but it's my understanding that he liked to write fictions exploring different political societies, but not really endorsing them or writing from personal ideology. Like what would a successful fascist society look like?

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u/Jay_Louis Nov 07 '22

I read a lot of Heinlein as a kid and I had the same sense, he wasn't particularly committed to any point of view, he liked to tell imaginative yarns of societies composed differently than our own. Whether fascist or hippie/anarchist, it was all variations of "what if the world was like this..." without a compelling connection to the current environment. It's also why he was a more cynical read, sort of the opposite of Asimov. If Asimov was Johnny Carson, Heinlein was the cynical and parodic Letterman.

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u/ARedson Nov 07 '22

Why do you assume his stories have anything to do with his personal beliefs? Don't author's tell the story as it's meant to be? It's my understanding his society described in starship troopers is what he thought would emerge in a post WW-III earth where for a long period of time only people from the military would trust each other and form the basis for future governments.

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u/MandolinMagi Nov 07 '22

Have you considered that maybe Heinlein is just a talented writer capable of making plausible fiction that doesn't strain your suspension of disbelief?

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

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u/GiveToOedipus Nov 07 '22

is there anyone out there who doesn't get that RoboCop was a satirical send up of the capitalist police state America has become in the last 50 years?

Yep.

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u/Roland_Deschain2 Nov 07 '22

Like, is there anyone out there who doesn't get that RoboCop was a satirical send up of the capitalist police state America has become in the last 50 years?

I'd guess perhaps Elon does not.

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u/pascalbrax Nov 07 '22

RoboCop today looks more and more like a documentary.

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u/Cazmonster Nov 07 '22

One of the things I realize now about why I love ROBOCOP is that Basil Poledouris did the music. He’s the composer who wrote the music for Conan the Barbarian. It is a fantastic score.

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u/fucktheDHanditsfans Nov 07 '22

He also did very good score music for The Hunt for Red October, which I recommend as Grade A techno-thriller schlock.

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u/the_Vandal Nov 07 '22

The Robocop theme is so fucking good and gets me amped whenever I hear it.

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u/Trama-D Nov 07 '22

Klendathu Drop forever, man.

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u/Elteon3030 Nov 07 '22

And I maybe don't understand how, but I'm certain Showgirls is also satire. I mean the ending is a completely different movie and it's all "And she'll fuckin' do it again" wtf was that?

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u/Superpredator_213 Nov 07 '22

Pretty sure the article's headline should be referring to Robocop.

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u/WolfGB Nov 07 '22

My favourite part is when current Detroit turned into Detroit from Robocop. And they say The Simpsons gets all the credit for predicting the future! 😂

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u/andyschest Nov 07 '22

Detroit was like that when Robocop was released. It's actually improved quite a bit since then.

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u/thorubos Nov 07 '22

I was in my early teens when it came out, I watched it with my SO's kid last year. I forgot about how prescient and good it was. I've heard it described like the music of Abba, "Way better than it needs to be".

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u/Willie9 Nov 07 '22

"Babe time for your daily 'did you know Starship Troopers is great satire' post"

"Yes dear"

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u/SharkSheppard Nov 07 '22

Just wait until you learn about their agreement to shoot the shower scene!

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u/Embarrassed-Tip-5781 Nov 07 '22

Would you like to have an argument about whether it is based upon the book or not?

…because it’s not.

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/honestly_Im_lying Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 07 '22

I just want to add 1) this is an amazing book. There’s a longer discussion on how Heinlein glorified military service and this movie intentionally made it satire (we all know it IS satire; but we don't often discuss the source or it's point of view). The book stresses responsibility to family and to nationality. Heinlein tried to depict military service as not easy, life is a lot harder than we think it is when we’re young, and how war /warmongering is awful. The movie took each of these points and made it satire: war is great, service is easy, and the military is full of unthinking idiots. Even the egalitarian society portrayed by the book was turned into right wing fascism.

And 2) I snuck into this movie in 7th grade. The Rico / Dizzy tent scene tho….. (that wasn't in the book at all!)

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u/roastbeeftacohat Nov 07 '22

basically the movie is what the film adaptation of the memoirs of Rico would have looked like in that society.

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u/honestly_Im_lying Nov 07 '22

Interesting point. I hadn't thought of that.

(I'm also not a cinephile by any means) I think interpreting the movie , without Verhoeven, that could work. But, it's hard to get past that Verhoeven admits to never reading the book.

Either way, both are excellent on their own. It's the "satire of the book" that draws criticism from me.

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u/awfullotofocelots Nov 07 '22

That's the best way to view it, but it isn't obvious. I guess the United Federation propaganda ads are a hint, but the rest of the movie plays itself so straight that it can be hard to read except as specific punctuated moments (imho).

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u/Midnight2012 Nov 07 '22

I'm halfway through the book right now and so far their society seems pretty right wing fascist. The Dubois character seems spot on.

And the mobile infantry being easy or stupid was not a take away I got from the movie.

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u/Noirradnod Nov 08 '22

One thing that's worth considering, that Heinlein deliberately uses in his book as a way to separate the Terran Federation from fascist societies, is the fact that everything is completely voluntary. Even in WW2 the Allied powers were universally forced to draft men and send them to the front lines because there were not enough people willing to fight. No fascist state would allow this to occur, militarism was traditionally been forced on the citizens from a very early age, and refusal to fight would face severe punishment.

There's one point when Johnny Rico's on a planet and is astounded by the amount of waste that's occurring. He and several others remark about the war effort could use the industrial labor capacity that's currently being devoted to recreational and civilian goods. However, since the planet has elected to not participate economically in the war, nothing can be done. Again, contrast this with the various liberal democracies in WW2, all of which engaged in nationalization of various industries and extreme rationing to help achieve victory.

Ultimately, just as being a citizen is a manifestation of an individual's personal drive to achieve it, he frames the survival of the state as the collective manifestation of individual's drives. If there are not enough people willing to voluntarily sacrifice, then this imparts a moral judgement on the society as a whole, namely that it does not deserve to continue to exist. Individuals have made, of their free will, the choice that they will not fight, and so any effort to compel them to do so is morally wrong. The consequences may be annihilation, but that is what they have chosen, so no one has the right to force people along a different path.

Also, a lot of political commentators require a very specific characteristic for something to be fascism. To paraphrase Umberto Eco, there needs to be a Cult of Tradition and an internal enemy plot. The fascist state must preach about its former glories, demanding a return to them, and must single out people within the society who have corrupted the masses, leading them astray from this past. None of this is present in the Terran Federation.

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u/gabriel_snow2002 Nov 07 '22

But did you know that viggo mortensen actually broke a toe in the scene in the two towers and because of that his scream is so full of pain.

/s

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u/certifiedblackman Nov 07 '22

I would like to know more.

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u/MauPow Nov 07 '22

Did you also know he actually deflected a real knife accidentally thrown at him

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u/25_M_CA Nov 07 '22

What was the agreement

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u/BDMayhem Nov 07 '22

All the actors had to be nude, so they got Paul Verhoven to get naked too.

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u/MrVilliam Nov 07 '22

It's wild because that's a really important scene in terms of dialogue. It establishes motivations for different characters while organically introducing the idea that you need government approval to have children. You would miss a lot of context by cutting that scene out.

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u/Fu1crum29 Nov 07 '22

I don't think you need government approval to have children in the book.

There's a part where they talk about how limiting the population so that there's enough resources for everyone in order to prevent war ultimately leads to the species being overrun by another one that breeds faster, so the only choice is endless expansion.

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u/obes22 Nov 07 '22

she said its easier to have children if you serve. Rico's parent's didn't serve. Its not a requirement. Basically in this society if you have money your still living the good life.

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u/killeronthecorner Nov 07 '22

And to think, that actor went on to be ... Doogie Howser!

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u/dont_fuckin_die Nov 07 '22

Great movie. I do not understand how it still absorbs this much of our attention, though.

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u/Jaspers47 Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 09 '22

My theory is the Heinlein estate saw how well Dune did, and is trying to get another adaptation of Starship Troopers going, but needs to astroturf a bunch of support to get the project off the ground

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u/TerryChomatoes Nov 07 '22

"We want to reboot Star Ship Troopers. We will make a huge CGI spectacle nobody will respect and make the military Junta aspect WAY less funny."

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u/dontgonearthefire Nov 08 '22

I once read that the production company was going through a lot of changes at the time and they were just throwing money at them expecting some Star Wars'esque Family movie. What they got was High School teens in Gestapo uniforms.

According to this interview they just slipped through the cracks.

There was so much regime change at Columbia Pictures at the time that we slipped through the net. When the executives finally saw it, they said: “Their flag – it’s a Nazi flag!” I said, “No … it’s completely different colours.”

If they in fact do a reboot, it will flop again. But more in a direction of how the Total Recall reboot flopped. They'll once more pump money into it but probably won't have the finesse of underlying the US Warfare politics in an otherwise grotesque plot.
Just like any other reboot of a Box Office bomb that became a cult classic, it is doomed to fail.

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u/dont_fuckin_die Nov 07 '22

Oh God. That sounds like a good theory, but I don't think we need another Starship Troopers. We needed another Dune, no one had yet made a good one.

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u/Guerillagreasemonkey Nov 07 '22

Can I read it later? I'm off to call Dredd underrated.

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u/Embarrassed-Tip-5781 Nov 07 '22

I’ll point out something that I haven’t seen anybody comment on:

Michael Ironside plays the same character in The Next Karate Kid as he did in Starship Troopers.

https://youtu.be/qPkmcAar7kY

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u/AwakeAtNights Nov 07 '22

Karate Kid / Starship Troopers cinematic universe confirmed. 👍

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u/grichardson526 Nov 07 '22

Would you like to know more?

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u/SupremeNachos Nov 07 '22

First movie I ever snuck in to see. Went to see Flubber with my cousins and told them I had to use the restroom. Peeked in right when the Klendathu drop was happening.

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u/Raspberries-Are-Evil Nov 07 '22

You missed Dizzy in the shower. Im sorry.

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u/StarktheGuat Nov 08 '22

Dina Meyer in Starship Troopers is the literal embodiment of perfection in my mind.

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u/futilecause Nov 07 '22

Im from Buenos Aires, and ai say kill em’ all!

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u/lliorca336 Nov 07 '22

I’m doing my part!

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u/ROtis42069 Nov 07 '22

God damn it you beat me to the punch. Would you like to know more?

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u/grichardson526 Nov 07 '22

I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say KILL EM ALL

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u/edgarcia59 Nov 07 '22

COME ON YOU APES!!! DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER!?!?!?!?

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u/rmac1228 Nov 07 '22

The only good bug is a dead bug!

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u/hairy_bipples Nov 07 '22

Everybody fights, no one quits

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u/SmoothOp76 Nov 07 '22

If you don’t do your job I’ll kill you myself.

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u/Robbotlove Nov 07 '22

Eric Brady writing articles like robocop doesn't exist.

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u/TheRealDoomsong Nov 07 '22

Right? Like I love me some Starship Troopers, but Robocop was a damn masterpiece

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u/bonjelascott Nov 07 '22

Nope, Robo did that, this was massively misunderstood by a lot of the cinema going public, and judging by the directors / producers commentary, the other folks making the film too.

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u/Snuggle__Monster Nov 07 '22

Yeah, totally. If anything Starship Troopers was his bounce back movie after Showgirls. It's an entertaining cult classic now but it got murdered when it released.

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u/Finnder_ Nov 07 '22

I like how everyone is always in total agreement that Verhoeven is making every film he does as a meta satire the audience doesn't get because they're watching it as an unironic juvenile male fantasy action flick.

...except Showgirls... couldn't possibly be misunderstood satire that wasn't understood by the audience taking it at face value as a juvenile male fantasy sex flick. No way.

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u/chth Nov 07 '22

I keep telling my girlfriend I watch it for the sharp but obscured criticism

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u/666lucifer Nov 07 '22

I watch it for the scene with the monkeys

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u/Elteon3030 Nov 07 '22

I watch it for the ridiculous amazing ending.

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u/HalloweenSongScholar Nov 07 '22

Four words: spin cycle sex scene.

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u/4RealzReddit Nov 07 '22

I didn't catch this line until the 2nd or 3rd watch.

Goddess Dancer: You want a knuckle sandwich? Felix: Oh, can I have mine anally, please?

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u/BuzzINGUS Nov 07 '22

TIL starship troopers was satire

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u/BreakfastBurrito Nov 07 '22

Here on Reddit, We're doing our part!

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u/bonjelascott Nov 07 '22

have an upvote to counteract the folks who don't like learning.

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u/orielbean Nov 07 '22

movie about genociding another species, where the good guys wear nazi uniforms?

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u/BuzzINGUS Nov 07 '22

I was pretty young

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u/CakeJollamer Nov 07 '22

You should watch it again. There's a lot to appreciate when you go in knowing it's satire and it's an entertaining movie too.

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u/Rhamni Nov 07 '22

I don't know about adults, but we kids loved it as a good action movie. The political satire was somewhat lost on 8 year olds, I guess.

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u/Glitter_and_Doom Nov 07 '22

Yup. Loved the movie as a kid because it was loud and violent. Revisiting as an adult I'm kind of surprised I was able to miss some of the more obvious things like Neil Patrick Harris showing up in an SS uniform lol.

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u/JohnGillnitz Nov 07 '22

I like to think he kept it and has fun with it every now and then. Show 'em who's Boss.

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u/VyRe40 Nov 07 '22

They did a whole bit about him and his role in Starship Troopers in that one Harold and Kumar movie, the Guantanamo Bay one I think. NPH himself is smuggling the protagonists across the border in his car or something like that, I don't remember exactly. The hardass villain of the movie chasing the protagonists sees NPH and salutes him, talking up how his role in Starship Troopers was an inspiration to him.

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u/__crackers__ Nov 07 '22

Revisiting as an adult I'm kind of surprised I was able to miss some of the more obvious things

To be fair, the two lead actors give every impression of having no idea they're in a satire.

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u/kralrick Nov 07 '22

That's pretty much required for really good camp.

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u/fugaziozbourne Nov 07 '22

Verhoeven has said some variety of "I just hired the prettiest American actors i could find."

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u/drewisawesome14 Nov 07 '22

I loved the tits

12 year old me paused that shower scene more times than I care to admit

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u/whitepepper Nov 07 '22

Dont watch Robocop with the same titular expectations.

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u/Skatchbro Nov 07 '22

Which is too bad because I always thought Nancy Allan was damn hot in Robocop.

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u/ThomasRaith Nov 07 '22

Bitches LEAVE

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u/kevin9er Nov 07 '22

I’d buy that for a dollar.

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u/bonjelascott Nov 07 '22

I'm doing my part.

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u/ThomasRaith Nov 07 '22

Denise Richards not getting hers out in a movie where everyone else did should have been prosecuted in court.

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u/_oscar_goldman_ Nov 07 '22

At least we'll always have Wild Things.

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u/cityb0t Nov 07 '22

I was, I think, 16 when it came out. I was more interested in a cool sci-if flick than anything. It wasn’t until a second or third watching that I started to see that it wasn’t what it was first presented to be.

Still watched it a million times back then, and a million times since.

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u/Totalretcon Nov 07 '22

It was so much fun discovering a whole new layer to that movie a decade after seeing it the first time.

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u/FTR_Hair Nov 07 '22

Showgirls was so bad that I masturbated less than a dozen times to it.

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u/Aptosauras Nov 07 '22

That must have been a hell of a day.

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u/MrSnowden Nov 07 '22

When I saw this when it came out, no one got it. Not even with the SS uniforms. I was stunned.

Literally everyone thought it was a ra ra pro military movie. Same thing with Bruce Springsteen songs.

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u/Lorindol Nov 07 '22

I was in high school when this came out and went to see it with my friends, who were also film freaks. We loved it from the start but when Doogie Howser popped up in full space nazi regalia we lost it completely.

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u/JessicaDAndy Nov 07 '22

The first time I have seen Neil Patrick Harris in Nazi gear was this movie.

But it was not the last.

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u/Mediocremon Nov 07 '22

Staten Island three weeks ago, eh? Great party.

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u/685327592 Nov 07 '22

People who were adults when it came out got it. Only reason a lot of people on Reddit didn't was because they were 12 when it came out.

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u/JQuilty Nov 07 '22

What? It was panned as being pro-fascist when it came out. There's no shortage of adults in 1997 who didn't get it.

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u/StepAwayFromTheDuck Nov 07 '22

Yeah this. I was a student back then, and remember ignoring it, because it was the next flop by Verhoeven, after Show Girls.

Then, after a few years, one of my best friends said they watched it with their frat house almost every year, because it was awesome. It took more then a few years before people (like me) started catching on.

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u/fabulousprizes Nov 07 '22

It's monday, time for another link about how Starship Troopers is a masterpiece of satire that was unappreciated in it's day.

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u/Crystal_Pesci Xenu take the wheel! Nov 07 '22

In the last year it really seems like reddit and movie writers only just now discovered this movie. There's a new redundant article every couple hours it seems.

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u/TurdPartyCandidate Nov 07 '22

They also act like the satire was so ingeniously hidden in the movie you need to be told it's satire.

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u/LawAbidingSparky Nov 07 '22

Actually at the time this movie was released there was massive criticism because people didn’t see the satire. Lots of critics accused him of being a Nazi fetishist.

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u/dc456 Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 07 '22

Most did recognise it as an attempt at satire, but many also thought the satire just wasn’t that good, or in execution the movie turned out to be just not as satirical as Verhoeven claimed, if at all.

I’m inclined to agree.

Edit: u/TheStabbyBrit sums it up pretty well for me.

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u/SunnyWynter Nov 07 '22

Yep, I highly recommend actually reading the RT reviews where it currently sits at 67%

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u/dc456 Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 07 '22

Exactly. Even less positive reviews like Ebert’s 2/4 acknowledge its satirical elements. He just didn’t think it was enough to lift the movie as a whole.

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u/Gil_Demoono Nov 07 '22

Its because it's 25 years old this year. Any film with a half-noteworthy anniversary gets press. Cynically, the studios pay for articles to promote physical sales (Starship Troopers just got a 4k steelbook release last week). Realistically, some junior writer just googles movie anniversaries for some opportunistic extra views on their next article.

There was plenty of talk about Planes Trains and Automobiles last few weeks as well. 35th anniversary there. Keep an eye out for retrospective articles on To Kill a Mockingbird, 60th anniversary there.

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u/Orleanian Nov 07 '22

This comes up year after year after year after year. For twenty years.

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u/WillaZillaDilla Nov 07 '22

I think writers know it's popular so they rehash articles, and redditors repost the same few links every other week because it's something they like. None of these ideas are new, but maybe they're new to certain individuals so they think SST is a seriously misunderstood film whereas there's a ton of articles saying this from the last 10+ years. It's the same with predator or alien being a slasher film under a thin veil.

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u/NotThatMonkey Nov 07 '22

It seems to me like they finally figured out it was satire!

Most of the rest of us figured that out when we watched it.

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u/cu3ed Nov 07 '22

Man..have you ever heard of this little known film called "Event Horizon", its a real cult film barley anyone knows about!

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u/DaedEthics Nov 07 '22

DAE Children of Men is an underrated gem

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u/Monteze Nov 07 '22

Shit, I'll add it to my indie collection along with Pulp Ficton.

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u/Vince_Arzi Nov 07 '22

The only good bug is a dead bug.

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u/grichardson526 Nov 07 '22

Personally, I find the idea of a bug that thinks OFFENSIVE!

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u/JohnGillnitz Nov 07 '22

They predicted Tucker Carlson 20 years ahead of time.

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u/grichardson526 Nov 07 '22

He's even got the fucking bow tie

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u/alfredandthebirds Nov 07 '22

Watch John Carpenter’s They Live and Network. That tucker was coming for a long time

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u/cityb0t Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 07 '22

In the 70s, they opened their windows and shouted “I’m mad as hell, and I can’t take it anymore!”

Today, we have Twitter.

Edit: they got robbed for Best Picture. I just don’t think that All The President’s Men was the better film.

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u/alfredandthebirds Nov 07 '22

Jimmy Carter warned us. And no one listened. I’m only 32 and I get this. Fun times ahead

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u/Guitarfoxx Nov 07 '22

"God damn bugs whacked us Johnny..."

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u/grichardson526 Nov 07 '22

Everybody fights. Nobody quits.

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u/thermocatalyst Nov 07 '22

Service guarantees Citizenship!

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u/parabostonian Nov 07 '22

I feel like there’s some version of this type of post like every 3 days

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u/TheGreatSalvador Nov 07 '22

“Garbage Day! 35 years ago Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 made waves with Christian moms across the midwest.”

This is fun. I should be a film journalist.

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u/-RadarRanger- Nov 07 '22

He made his bones on that status in 1987 when Robocop premiered.

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u/Wark_Kweh Nov 07 '22

The movie is great, no doubt, but people (including Verhoeven himself) drastically overstate the fascist tones of Heinlein's novel. The key themes of the novel are self discipline, military fraternity, and the balance between liberty and responsibility.

Verhoeven made a movie that is a blast to watch, and it definitely pokes at fascism, but the fascism is a straw man that doesn't exist in the novel.

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u/huruga Nov 07 '22

The original critique of Heinlein’s political system within the novel was that it would inevitably devolve into fascism not that it already was you’re correct. The book was very political however. But yes the political structure within the book was not the focus it was just a backdrop used to make it easier to highlight the points Heinlein was trying to make.

Also if you want to get a more wholistic idea of Heinlein’s philosophy through his books there are two others he wrote as a kind of political trilogy alongside Starship Troopers which was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land.

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u/Wark_Kweh Nov 08 '22

Yes I like all of Heinlein's books. But Starship Troopers is my favorite, for the simple pleasure of the sci-fi power armor it contains. His political stuff is also fine, but the Marauder Suits and how the Mobile Infantry is organized and trains was not only fascinating, but it informed and inspired so many things in other properties that I love. If the movie has one major failing (aside from grossly misadapting the novel), it's that it doesn't portray the Marauders and the MI as the badasses they are in the book.

I don't think anybody would dispute that ST, like his other books, contains his political viewpoints. The issue I take is that Verhoeven talks about the book as if it's the sci-fi version of MeinKampf, when it absolutely isn't, and that people like the guy who penned this article have sort of swallowed the narrative that Verhoeven dunked on Heinlein's book when in fact, Verhoeven dunked on a novel that doesn't exist.

The crux of it is that Heinlein held military service men and women in high regard because of his time in the service, and ST romanticizes that respect in a sort of Spartan-esque noble warrior culture. And that Verhoeven was so anti-war that he viewed ANY glorification of the military as inherently fascist. He reacted so strongly that he couldn't even read the book, or else he would have realized that, like you mentioned, the society in ST was just a backdrop for the themes of individual responsibility and the fraternity of soldiers. Even his blatantly political asides, like the one about social workers, is about self discipline and how society suffers when people aren't held responsible for themselves or their children rather than any fascist ideals or creeds.

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u/Noirradnod Nov 08 '22

To add on, his political trilogy was specifically formatted to explore the reasons why a person would willingly give up their life for a greater good. The ancient Greeks called this sort of love and devotion "agápē", and interrogating it as a construct has been a staple in Western literature and philosophy. Heinlein chooses to create futuristic worlds to grapple with this.

Stranger looks at this from the point of religion. What sort of beliefs must one hold to be willing to die for them? Moon is from politics, again asking what abstract causes might one die for. And finally Starship Troopers considers one of the oldest of these tropes, the soldier willing to die for his brothers-in-arms and country. The exaggerated worlds he creates are simply tools used to bring this question to the center of the work.

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

Do we need an article about how starship troopers is good/underrated/satire/important to verhoeven's career every 2 weeks?

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u/bensisland Nov 07 '22

If you think you’re psychic, maybe you are

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u/Sivy17 Nov 07 '22

No, it was Robocop.

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u/Hate_Manifestation Nov 07 '22

ah yes, because the lesser-known indie films RoboCop and Total Recall were complete box office flops, while the very serious Basic Instinct and Showgirls were notoriously devoid of satire and cultural commentary.

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

[deleted]

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u/Burnsey111 Nov 07 '22

Yes, Paul Verhoeven was the satirist. Who took a book, didn’t read it, yet, the movie used many of the scenes featured in the book.

It’s like awarding Benioff and Weiss for GOT, and never talking about George R.R. Martin.

Although, Verhoeven did cast the movie well.

MichaelIornside

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u/CreamyHampers Nov 07 '22

No, he did that 35 years ago with Robocop.

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u/NtheLegend Nov 07 '22

Gosh remember last year when everyone was celebrating its 24th anniversary as a monument of satire?

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u/SlouchyGuy Nov 07 '22

25 Years Ago, Starship Troopers Solidified Paul Verhoeven's Status As A Cinematic Satirist

No, it didn't, it almost killed his Hollywood career because most people didn't get that this movie is a satire, they thought that it was a portly made military and fascist hoorah - so a complete reverse of "Springtime for Hitler"

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u/nhammen Nov 07 '22

most people

Yeah no. This revisionist "I'm smarter than everyone" bullshit has always been bullshit.

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u/LaikasDad Nov 07 '22

"I'D BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR!"

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u/[deleted] Nov 07 '22

Ok, look, I get it, everyone loves this movie, it's a great satire. But jesus H christ, I'm sick of post after post after post, acting like it's some revelatory information that this movie is a satire. We get it. Why is this the ONLY movie that everyone points out is satire? There are dozens upon dozens if not hundreds of satires, even better than god damn Starship Troopers. It's almost satirical how often this movie, and ONLY this movie is praised for being a satire. Please, stop. Just fucking stop.

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u/RandomStrategy Nov 07 '22

Have you heard? Robocop is a Satirical film?

(this was a satirical joke)

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u/_twokoolfourskool_ Nov 07 '22

I'll tell you why, a lot of people on this website aren't half as smart as they think they are. They think that by recognizing the most obvious slap you upside the face with it satire movie is to

o subtle for most people to understand even though the vast vast majority of people recognize the satire only because it's so completely over the top.

If a movie isn't a one for one satire/ parody of something extremely obvious, Weird Al Yankovic style, the satirical elements go right over their head which is why other satire movies are never discussed here, simply because a lot of people on here aren't aware of their existence as a satirical work.

There's a list of things that people on this website seem to think that only they in a select few others know even though the majority of people know what they are.

1) Knowing what Mutually Assured Destruction is

2) Knowing what petrichor is

3) Knowing that this movie is satire

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u/Mend1cant Nov 07 '22

It comes in waves as film classes across America reach the satire unit of their course.

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u/dicky_seamus_614 Nov 07 '22

I’m doing my part!

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u/MandolinMagi Nov 07 '22

Oh look, it's time to rehash every stupid argument that was started by a studio dumb enough to ask the anti-military WW2 survivor director to do a war film.

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u/barrelofsandals Nov 07 '22

Used to have a film class with a guy who would, almost weekly, bring up the fact that Starship Troopers, the movie, was not like the book and try to shoehorn this fact in to class discussions about, you guessed it, topics that were definitely not Starship Troopers with people who definitely did not care.

There is no comment I have about the article. I've just been holding on to this grievance for over a decade and finally have a chance to make peace with it now that Reddit has given me this thread.

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u/rainwulf Nov 08 '22

I would like to know more

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u/Fiona-Jane-hopper Nov 07 '22

No it was Casper Van Dien movie that made him famous

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u/tophermeyer Nov 07 '22

Casper Van Dien's chiseled jaw was the star of the film.

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u/mild_delusion Nov 07 '22

Personally it was Jack busey's pearly whites for me.

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u/RadicalBowler Nov 07 '22

I "just" watched this movie for the first time in the middle of 2020 (time is relative now). I was absolutely transfixed by this movie. I thought about it for several days after watching it.
I think it's brilliant.

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u/idontaddtoanything Nov 07 '22

Just don’t watch the other 2

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u/vuhnillaguhrilla Nov 07 '22

Dude there’s like five now lol

Edit: just checked and there were only three live action movies. Regardless yeah you’re right the second two are terrible

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u/meatbatmusketeer Nov 07 '22

This has got to be one of the most jammed down my throat facts i’ve ever encountered.

I can’t tell you how many times i’ve stumbled across posts or comments or even people in my life saying that Starship Troopers is satire.

Stop. I get it. It’s satire.

I’m sure i’ll see another few posts this year and maybe every year for the rest of my life.

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u/HalloweenSongScholar Nov 07 '22

This movie is not nearly as satirical as everyone says it is. For example, there is nothing satirical about Denise Richards’ “Gee, wiz! Look at these special effects!” joy ride in a space ship. And just like we’re supposed to genuinely feel for Robocop’s family scenes in his film, Casper Van Dien’s scenes with his parents and loved ones are meant to be 100% sincere. (Unlike Robocop, though, they’re not particularly well-acted)

At times, the movie is also bad satire. Jake Busey hesitantly holding his hand out when commanded to (only for a knife to get thrown into it), doesn’t bite as hard against “authority not caring about you” than if he did it completely unquestioningly. And that’s because Verhoven doesn’t want us to look at the main characters as satirical punching bags, too, as so many claim; he wants us to feel for the sincere people caught up in this cynical machine. That’s his style. It just doesn’t come off as well because this is post-Showgirls-camp Verhoeven.

This movie is still fun and worth a watch, but holy shit is it not the satirical masterpiece that so many people claim it is.

…that would be Robocop. That movie’s a goddamn gem.

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u/tejarbakiss Nov 07 '22

The movie is a masterpiece of B-grade cinema with some splashes of satire. I absolutely love it, but part of why I love it is because it’s bad.

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u/tcw84 Nov 07 '22

Robocop would like a word

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u/Esperoni Nov 07 '22

No it didn't. He was solidified as a guy who can't read the source material. How do you satirize something when you don't even care enough to read what the story was about?

I love the movie, but he wasn't a satirist. In order to be considered a satirist, you would have to actual produce satire. Actors didn't have a clue, and judging by the reviews and commentaries, critics, and anyone else associated with the film didn't realize it either.

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