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Starship Troopers (1997) - Superbit DVD Review

By Widge - posted 09.11.03 @ 4:16 am
Starship Troopers Superbit DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Ed Neumeier, based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards

Released by: Columbia-Tristar
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Own it if you've got the home setup.

Earth in the future. The world has become a fascist state where the road to citizenship lies through the military. Enter Johnny Rico (Van Dien). He joins up and finds himself thrust into the middle of a war against alien forces--but these aren't greys or anything quite so killable, no no. These are giant goddamn praying mantises on a cocktail of crack cocaine and steroids, not to mention huge killer weevil things and stuff that would be playground bullies on Arrakis. Will some incredibly well-built chicks and a Nazi Doogie Howser be enough to save his ass--and the collective ass of mankind--from total destruction?

Okay, I know it's not popular--especially near the Lit Lab--to like this film. But I can't help it. I respect a film that has the balls to say, "We're going to supply you, the viewer, with big bugs and guns. That's it. Deal." And then it throws gobs of big bugs and guns at the screen. The plot suffers, the characters are cardboard and plastic, and Neil Patrick Harris dressed as a member of the gestapo is too funny for words. And who can't love Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown on screen chewing scenery like there was no tomorrow? And sure, the military tactics are the most ludicrous you've ever seen. And bonus--there are giant beetle things that fart plasma into space! I'm sorry, I can't tell if the sheer glee of this film is coming across in this review or not. Guilty pleasure? Perhaps, but I can't help myself. If you go in expecting what the film promised, you won't be disappointed.

Now, because this is a Superbit release, you're trading in your usual cadre of bonus features for souped up audio and video--and this would be a film to own if you like explosions and weapons fire sounding as clear as can be. Every firefight is a new experience and the transfer is amazing.

If you don't own a home cinerama, then of course you're better off with the regular special edition. But--if you do have access to a mini-Cineplex Odeon, then this is a nice one to bother your neighbors with.

Michael Ironside and Casper Van Dien from Starship Troopers

Michael Ironside and Casper Van Dien

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Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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