Combustible Celluloid
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With: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Seth Gilliam, Patrick Muldoon, Michael Ironside, Rue McClanahan, Marshall Bell, Eric Bruskotter, Matt Levin, Blake Lindsley, Anthony Michael Ruivivar, Brenda Strong, Dean Norris, Christopher Curry, Lenore Kasdorf, Tami-Adrian George, Teo, Steven Ford, Ungela Brockman, Curnal Achilles Aulisio, Bruce Gray, Denise Dowse, Robert David Hall, Brad Kane, Amy Smart, Timothy Omundson, Patrick Bishop, Dale Dye
Written by: Edward Neumeier, based on a book by Robert A. Heinlein
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
MPAA Rating: R for graphic sci-fi violence and gore, and for some language and nudity
Running Time: 129
Date: 11/04/1997

Starship Troopers (1997)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Bugging Out

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

At last Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers is available in a proper package, one that helps explain the twisted ideas behind it. The film initially looks like a straightforward shoot-em-up special effects extravaganza, but seeing it a second time on this stunning new disc really turned me around.

It's actually meant as a subtle parody of American gung-ho-ism and was patterned after WWII propaganda films. Further, it eerily mirrors the Nazis and their mob-mentality attitude toward Jewish "invaders." Either way, rooting for the "good guys" puts viewers in an oddly uncomfortable space. It's a fascinating Rorschach Test that has a great deal to say about human behavior.

Beautifully chiseled actors Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards co-star as quasi-Aryan fighters, and Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser, M.D.") actually struts around in a sinister-looking black uniform. The two-disc set comes with commentary tracks, several short documentaries, deleted scenes, and lots more.

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