Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"Stop-Loss"

I can't quite put my finger on why this trailer for Kimberly Peirce's Stop-Loss bothers me, but it does. It feels like something I should like - it's heart is in the right place and the political ideas behind it seem to be something I would agree with, but for some reason the trailer just turns me off. And I'm as liberal as they come.



It could be that it seems like a liberal fantasy, and a counterproductive one at that. This is not reality, this is only a liberal pipe dream of how military people should think, defying orders they deem reprehensible and refusing to participate in an unjust war. It's wishful thinking, nothing more.

The reality is that the vast majority, if not all, military personnel will take orders without question, putting all personal feelings aside and performing their duty, whether it is essentially the wrong or right thing to do.

I loved Peirce's last film, Boys Don't Cry...but this seems shamelessly manipulative and heavy handed - stretching reality beyond the realm of believability in such a way that is only going to alienate the conservatives any more, walking right into their constant accusations that "Hollywood liberals" are out of touch with "regular people." Not to mention the fact that I feel like I'm being preached to every time I see the trailer (which has been far too many times recently, and I hate that song).

Plus the faux-folksy drawl of Ryan Phillippe grates on my nerves (although I liked him in Flags of Our Fathers).

I'm just not buying it.

2 comments:

left coast jane said...

how in the world can you assume to judge the entire movie on the basis of a 120-second trailer? The people who make trailers are marketers, salespeople, not the filmmakers. If you had respect for Peirce's previous work (i know i did), why would you not trust that she's not doing a pipe dream? didn't you read that she based this film on the experiences of her brother and his buddies, GIs who were in Iraq? Also don't you remember how Vietnam Vets Against the War played a huge role in changing public opinion about that bogus conflict? But it took several years for that effort to reach the surface of public consciousness, why wouldn't you think the same is happening in this new bogus conflict?

Matthew Lucas said...

Not judging the whole movie, just expressing my misgivings based on what I saw in the trailer, which, as I said, bothers me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.