Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Three day weekend comes to a close

I had yesterday off for Confederate Memorial Day, whatever that is about. It’s been a while since I’ve had a day off from work, and I must say I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was weird though, being home from work on a day that I normally would be there, something just felt off. It was like I couldn’t really relax, I couldn’t really get my head to just enjoy it.

I did put in one of those retractable hose things in the garage that Bebe decided she “must have because wrapping the hose up it just too hard for me to do.” So now, instead of this little gray thing the hose gets wrapped around we have this big mechanical thing that sticks out and takes up all this space that the hose goes around. Not to mention it makes maneuvering the left side of the garage significantly more difficult. Oh well, not my problem, I park on the right side of the garage since Bebe “doesn’t want to walk around a car to get into my house.” Sucks for her.

Watched the movie Jarhead last night, one of the two movies I rented this weekend. The other one is “History of Violence” which I still haven’t seen yet, maybe I’ll watch it tonight. I must say I enjoyed Jarhead. While there was nothing “amazingly original” in the movie, I thought it did a splendid job of showing the life of a lowly grunt in the Marines during Desert Storm. It didn’t try to make a statement about war, or fighting, or the military, it just showed some men and what their lives were like. It shows their pain, their agony, their honor, their duty, and most of all their sacrifice. One of the most touching moments for me was when they would show the “wall of shame.” The wall was a bulletin board with pictures of girl friends, wives, and lovers who had left the men while they were stationed in Saudi Arabia. For whatever reason it hit me, and I felt bad, knowing that this was inevitable for many of these men, especially the youngest of the bunch, who’s one guiding light is knowing someone back home is waiting for them. This was compounded by the main character who had a girlfriend left at home which he knew, deep down inside, would leave him, he just didn’t know when.

It was a tough movie, but not hard hitting like Full Metal Jacket. I didn’t think anything was unrealistic, and if anything, felt it showed more of what my friends who have enlisted and are stationed in Iraq right now have and are going through than anything else I have seen in recent memory. There was a tough drill sergeant at the beginning, but the movie didn’t dwell on boot camp, other than to establish it was tough. A touching scene at the end of the movie, as the men are on their bus ride home, when a vet jumps on the bus and says, “You did it boys, and you did it right this time.” The vet was older, maybe from Vietnam, maybe not, they don’t really say, but he was happy that they were getting the reception that he was never privy to, for one reason or another. Obviously this was reflective of what this vet went through, maybe what he saw, maybe the war he was in, and the reaction of the troops on the bus, their uncertainty of the importance of this event, it was a good scene…and it said a lot without actually saying anything.

The main character became a Marine Sniper, which evidently is what the more intelligent Marines are recruited to do. In his head he has glorified what killing is all about, so much so, that it is the one last ambition he has to consider his tenure in the military complete. While serving you get the sense that same emotion has been built up in the other troops he is with. There is no sick reason for this, no twisted masochistic mentality being reflected by these men; instead it is the grave realization that they are trained weapons with one reason for existence, to kill the enemy when it appears. This is their ultimate purpose, and in their heads, this is what they’ve had to come up with to come to grasps with it.

I felt the movie did a good job keeping this idea at the forefront without taking advantage of it. This could have easily turned out to be a movie about killing, taking names, shooting guns, and instead didn’t have much of that at all. There is really very little combat, if you even consider the combat that occurs as real combat. All in al I was very pleased with the film and enjoyed it very much and recommend it.



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