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Author Topic: HEARTBREAK RIDGE: Audience Reaction 1: Your Overall Feeling  (Read 22760 times)
dane with no name
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« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2004, 09:29:18 AM »

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are you going to tell me that our military is as loved outside of this country as it is here? I felt it's worth mentioning that the difference in how we feel about those Marine portrayals is probably due to the fact that the Americans posting here see this as an insult to our military, and meanwhile, every European posting in this thread is having a hard time understanding why we feel that way.

Those of us who loves the military over here, loves our own fighting forces the highest of course ;). But up unto the second iraqi war i think most people were pretty cool with the U.S. forces. Sure, some didnt like the army, but that was a general feeling pointed towards all nations armies, not just the U.S. The U.S. forces had in general the european support during the liberation of kuwait, the quenching of the balkan conflict, and the fight against the taleban.
The times are over when people shouted babykiller e.t.c. after veterans/soldiers, they now place the blame where it should be, at the politicians. That is mainly due to the massive information we get from the media. (tv,papers, internet.)
 I dont have a hard time seeing why some of you dont like the protrayal. We are all different, have different points of view, and when these viewpoints are ridiculed, we get angry.
 
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I know that most will not see this as an accurate portrayal, but how many know just HOW inaccurate it is? How much of that stereotype seeps through the cracks?

That´s the danger with all movies that take place around historical (or even looks historical) events. Some less intelligent persons may think that this is the actual portrayal of events, and that´s something we´ll just have to live with. What is the alternative? Big labels on the cover saying NOT BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS?  ;)Banning? Should movies like the outlaw josey wales be banned because it portrays the north in a bad way??
We have a saying in denmark that goes something like ; Against stupidity even the gods fight in vain. that´s the same problem here. Some might think heartbreak ridge is based on actual events but those are the same people that may think saving private ryan, outbreak, and windtalkers are actual descriptions of past events...

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I'd like to ask how many people here knew before we started discussing this film that a Marine recon platoon is the most elite branch of the entire military and that in order to become a recon Marine you not only had to have exceptional skills, but your scores on varied academic testing had to be in the very highest levels?

by elite branch of the entire military, i take it that you mean the backbone of the military (the marines), not the entire fighting forces (which includes the deltas, rangers, seals, green berets e.t.c.)
I didnt know it per see, but i found it pretty obvious. i think it´s the custom of every nation to offer soldiers from special branches (recon,divers, communications, etc.) in the backbone of their prime military forces a chance to make a career in their special forces, it sure is the custom over here.
I know recon is considered a special branch of the marines with higher standards for applying, but that´s because you dont use draftees, so you can set higher standards for such special branches.


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Matt
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« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2004, 04:39:15 PM »


I dont have a hard time seeing why some of you dont like the protrayal.

Good, that's all that matters. It's just how I feel (and I don't generally speak for others, but I'm not the only one) about this aspect of the film. I'm surprised I've been taken to task about this. If someone doesn't like the way someone is portrayed in a movie, why should that even be up for debate? If Native Americans complain about how they've been portrayed in films, and said something about it, would they receive this much disbelief at those opinions? I don't see the difference. They've been portrayed inaccurately in films that weren't documentaries... some with quite a bit of humor in them, and they don't like it either.  Don Siegel said in his biography A Siegel Film that it really bothered him seeing stereotypes like the "stupid" Nazis in all the World War II films. It weakens the films to have such a one-dimensional, inaccurate view of a particular race or large segment of people. A portrayal of one or two stupid people in a film (like Harry's superiors in the  Dirty Harry films) is one thing... it's quite another when you portray everyone in a group that way.
 
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That´s the danger with all movies that take place around historical (or even looks historical) events. Some less intelligent persons may think that this is the actual portrayal of events, and that´s something we´ll just have to live with. What is the alternative? Big labels on the cover saying NOT BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS?  ;)Banning?

No, because as I said before, this isn't a documentary and not having the events completely factual doesn't bother me. It's the stereotypes of the Marines that bothered me. That's totally different.

I've been trying to find a quote I found when we were preparing this film discussion, but with the large amount of material I read for this, I'm not able to put my finger on it yet... but when I find it, I will post it here. One of the reasons the Marines pulled their support was because it "stereotyped Marines". As mgk said, the Armed Forces are usually happy to give their support in military films because it helps with recruiting. The Marines felt these portrayals were so bad, they pulled their support and insisted that their involvement be stricken from the credits. If these stereotypes were so harmless, why would they do that?

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by elite branch of the entire military, i take it that you mean the backbone of the military (the marines), not the entire fighting forces (which includes the deltas, rangers, seals, green berets e.t.c.)

The Marines are generally recognized as the most elite branch of the U.S. Military. The Marine recon unit, is the most elite segment of the Marines.

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Comprised of smart, highly adaptable men and women, the Marine Corps serves as the aggressive tip of the U.S. military spear. Ours is a smaller, more dynamic force than any other in the American arsenal, and the only forward-deployed force designed for expeditionary operations by air, land, or sea. It is our size and expertise that allow us to move faster. Working to overcome disadvantage and turn conflict into victory, we accomplish great things, and we do so together.
http://www.marines.com/about_marines/default.asp

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To the Marine Corps, all Marines are "elite," and Marine Corps senior leaders made the decision not to have any specific unit designated as "more elite." However, this plan kind of backfired. More and more of the Special Operations missions were going to the other services, because they had designated "Special Operations," who were all a part of the overall Special Operations Command. This was not a good thing, the brass decided, and Marine Force Recon officially joined the Special Operations Community. ....

There are three Marine Force Recon Companies on active duty, and two in the Reserves. ...

The above are the elite of the elite.

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/weekly/aa032803c.htm

I didnt know it per see, but i found it pretty obvious.

You found it obvious that the soldiers in Heartbreak Ridge were the "elite of the elite" of the U.S. Military? You knew that from watching the film, or because you have a military background? I'd find it hard to believe anyone would get that impression watching this film.
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dane with no name
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2004, 06:27:31 AM »

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I'm surprised I've been taken to task about this. If someone doesn't like the way someone is portrayed in a movie, why should that even be up for debate?


In my mind, thats when the really good debates start, when people got different opinions about movies (or parts of). I have however never challenged your view nor opinion on the recon marines, merely asked whoever said that s/he thought it was an actual protrayal, (just checked my posts, to make sure there werent any disagreements with you. Should something i´ve written given you that impression, please point it out, it was never intended ;))

Our little debate then spread into the discussion about europeans/americans views of the movie, and has ended (so far) in a general debate about the (vrong) impressions a movie could give, and the overall status of the recon units. Sure, this discussion might belong in the non clint section, or over PM,  but heartbreak ridge sparked it, and i´ve  found it quite enjoyable so far.  :D

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No, because as I said before, this isn't a documentary and not having the events completely factual doesn't bother me. It's the stereotypes of the Marines that bothered me. That's totally different.


I didnt think of documentaries when i wrote about heartbreak ridge. i was thinking about movies made for entertainment that takes place during historical events, not neccesarily accurate, but has some link to these past events through storyline, lines, or references. I used the three before mentioned movies (saving private ryan, outbreak, and windtalkers) as examples (because i´ve met people who thought that these movies were EXACT, ACTUAL events  :o  ::) )to stress my point.
 
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One of the reasons the Marines pulled their support was because it "stereotyped Marines". As mgk said, the Armed Forces are usually happy to give their support in military films because it helps with recruiting. The Marines felt these portrayals were so bad, they pulled their support and insisted that their involvement be stricken from the credits. If these stereotypes were so harmless, why would they do that?

I dont have a hard time seeing why the marines pulled their support. In any country without drafting the wrong impression can cause large groups of people to decline a military career. But then we are back at the same old "stupid people" debate once again. (maybe even mixed with an freedom of speech vs. for the good of the country/military/e.t.c. debate, to really heat things up ;))
Or even more interesting, a discussion about the way the military allow hollywood to make warmovies in order to lure/inspire young people to join the army. This may be getting further and further of topic, so feel free to PM me if you consider it so, i like the way "our" little debate is turning  :).
On a completely different note.
I really doubt it had any impact on the overall viewer that the marines asked to have their involvement stricken from the credits. When you see the invasion of grenada with the huge carrier, choppers, and armored vehicles, it seems pretty obvious that the U.S. forces Were really involved in this project.  

Your quotes from the marine web page sounds pretty interesting. it wasnt a thing i was familiar with, but i look forwards to check it out and learn some more about it. So far i´ve considered recon a "scouts section", a special branch of the marines, not a spec ops squad, but that seems like outdated information now.

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You found it obvious that the soldiers in Heartbreak Ridge were the "elite of the elite" of the U.S. Military? You knew that from watching the film, or because you have a military background? I'd find it hard to believe anyone would get that impression watching this film.

I think we got a slight communication problem starting here, my quote reads ;
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I didnt know it per see, but i found it pretty obvious. i think it´s the custom of every nation to offer soldiers from special branches (recon,divers, communications, etc.) in the backbone of their prime military forces a chance to make a career in their special forces, it sure is the custom over here.
and is an reference to IRL military standards, not the ones we see in heartbreak ridge (+ it seems flawed now, since recon apparently has been "upgraded" to spec ops).

My view on the recon marines in heartbreak ridge is as stated earlier :
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Even (before i served my country in 92) i could see with half an eye that the soldiers in heartbreak ridge isnt an actual portrayal of ANY army unit way back when i saw it the first time.
and
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I could point out a lot of strategic and military errors recon bumples through during the entire movie but eastwood didnt make the movie to give an actual portrayal of the marines. He did it to entertain us, tell us a story, and everyone is invited for the ride, be that people who dont know jack about military, or old "leathernecks"
I hope i´ve clarified things good enough.



   
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Matt
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2004, 03:38:45 PM »

I didnt think of documentaries when i wrote about heartbreak ridge. i was thinking about movies made for entertainment that takes place during historical events, not neccesarily accurate, but has some link to these past events through storyline, lines, or references. I used the three before mentioned movies (saving private ryan, outbreak, and windtalkers) as examples (because i´ve met people who thought that these movies were EXACT, ACTUAL events  :o  ::) )to stress my point.

Then it seems we're arguing two different points because by naming those movies you're showing how inaccurate the events in those movies are, although the films are BASED ON actual events. And once again, that's not my point. I don't have a problem with inaccurate events in this film or the ones you mentioned. If you want to argue the point that I'm making, argue it with films that would correlate with Heartbreak Ridge:  Where Eagles Dare (as you originally mentioned, and I gave my opinion on that already) or pick any number of old westerns that stereotyped Native Americans. Now we've got a correlation. These films show inaccurate and insulting portrayals of an army or of a race. The reason I don't see this as at all debatable is that I don't see why anyone should argue with a German who is offended at the portrayal of Germans in most WWII films or Native Americans at their portrayals in many films, or in this case with an American about the way the American military is portrayed in this film. If a film inaccurately and insultingly portrays or stereotypes a race or group of people, how can that be debated when someone is offended? Even if you don't feel the same way as I do about these portrayals, rather than try to find reasons for why I  shouldn't feel that way, or bring up "freedom of speech" and how it's just entertainment...  accept my disliking for this aspect of the film and move on. It's really not up for debate in my mind.

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I really doubt it had any impact on the overall viewer that the marines asked to have their involvement stricken from the credits.

No, I'm sure it didn't have an impact on most viewers... but I'm glad the Marines pulled their support. It makes a statement that they don't agree with the portrayals in the film, and I think they have a right to defend themselves in a case where they've been so inaccurately depicted. Since pulling their support is their way of defending their reputations, then I'm glad they did it. These men deserve respect... not to be portrayed this way.

My view on the recon marines in heartbreak ridge is as stated earlier :
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Even (before i served my country in 92) i could see with half an eye that the soldiers in heartbreak ridge isnt an actual portrayal of ANY army unit way back when i saw it the first time.
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I could point out a lot of strategic and military errors recon bumples through during the entire movie but eastwood didnt make the movie to give an actual portrayal of the marines. He did it to entertain us, tell us a story, and everyone is invited for the ride, be that people who dont know jack about military, or old "leathernecks"

Just as I don't see why I should have to argue how I feel about these portrayals, I don't see any reason to argue how you feel. Enjoy it! And if I'm ever in a situation again where someone tells me how spoiled, disrespectful and lazy Americans are and uses Heartbreak Ridge to prove their point... that's when I'd feel a need to argue a viewpoint.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2004, 04:46:48 PM by Matt » Logged
mgk
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2004, 04:34:33 PM »


Our little debate then spread into the discussion about europeans/americans views of the movie, and has ended (so far) in a general debate about the (vrong) impressions a movie could give, and the overall status of the recon units. Sure, this discussion might belong in the non clint section, or over PM,  but heartbreak ridge sparked it, and i´ve  found it quite enjoyable so far.  :D  

It HAS been enjoyable to read the viewpoints of everyone on the subject of how the Marines were portrayed in Heartbreak Ridge and it HAS been enjoyable to discuss the combination of comedy and drama in this particular movie.   If you would like to continue to discuss the military aspects of this film, we have a thread for that and it can be found here:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?board=15;action=display;threadid=2270

However, maybe we should get back to the original question in this particular thread which is:

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What is your overall feeling about this film? How would you rate it in comparison to the rest of Eastwood's films?

Some of us have compared it to other Eastwood films.  Ally thinks of The Bridges of Madison County when she watches Heartbreak Ridge and I do, too, to some degree.  Matt compares it to The Gauntlet in that he had to watch each of them several times in order to get past the unrealistic portions of the films to get down to the enjoyable things about each film.

If I were to rate this film in comparision to the rest of Eastwood's films, it would probably be a little bit below average.  In my opinion, it is not nearly as good as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, or Bronco Billy.  But, in my opinion, it is better than movies such as The Rookie, Pink Cadillac, City Heat, or Where Eagles Dare.

What about the rest of you?  Did you like this movie?  How would you rate it compared to other Eastwood films?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2004, 04:46:46 PM by mgk » Logged
Jed Cooper
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« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2004, 09:59:21 AM »

When it comes to movies, my main concern is whether or not I am being entertained.  Very basic (and selfish!).  My thoughts on Heartbreak Ridge are two-fold because there's my initial reaction and how I feel about it today, years later.  When I first saw this movie I loved it.  I viewed it as a cool Eastwood action flick with plenty of good quotes and humor.  I was disappointed with Pale Rider, so this was a perfect rebound.  Nowadays, however, it's not one of my favorites but I'm sure I'll return to it sooner or later.  Unfortunately, a lot of Clint's 80s movies haven't aged well (Sudden Impact, for example); they just don't stand the test of time the way his spaghetti westerns and Dirty Harry do.  At least, that's my perception of his 80s output.  Still, there's some enjoyable moments here and I'd recommend it to those who've already seen his best and were curious about what other good movies of Clint's there are out there.    
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« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2004, 10:40:56 AM »

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Then it seems we're arguing two different points because by naming those movies you're showing how inaccurate the events in those movies are, although the films are BASED ON actual events
So it seems.
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The reason I don't see this as at all debatable is that I don't see why anyone should argue with a German who is offended at the portrayal of Germans in most WWII films or Native Americans at their portrayals in many films, or in this case with an American about the way the American military is portrayed in this film. If a film inaccurately and insultingly portrays or stereotypes a race or group of people, how can that be debated when someone is offended?
It cant, i dont know if abovementioned quote is pointed at me, but i never challenged, or debated your opinion. I agreed that the portrayal was incorrect, and expressed my understanding on how some might find the portrayal offensive.
BTW, thanks for the quotes/links to the army web pages. It´s quite an interesting read.

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What about the rest of you?  Did you like this movie?  

It just makes my top ten eastwood favorits list. mainly due to the quite interesting highway character, the quotes, some scenes, and the closest supporting cast (bar stitch jones) had it been more gritty, realistic, and less humourous it could have made it as high as no. 6-7 on my favorit list (but thats as high as it could get)
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« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2004, 01:23:12 PM »

Well, I was disappointed with the movie from the begining because of the protrayal of the Marines.  I wasn't a Marine, but I was a SGT. in the Army, Special Forces, and I can tell you this much.  Those bumbling fools portrayed in this movie wouldn't have got a chance to join the training!  I'm certain the Marines would have the same criteria.  So, in watching the movie, I had to view it as a comedy.  I enjoyed it a lot more after doing that.  
« Last Edit: May 19, 2004, 02:35:10 PM by howie » Logged
AKA23
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« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2004, 02:42:35 PM »

I think it's pretty clear that Matt is not referring to inaccuracies of specific historical events but is referring to what he feels is an inaccurate characterization of the Recon marines. Those are two different things and I could see why somebody would have difficulties with coming to terms with the way that the marines were portrayed in the film. It certainly isn't accurate. However, at the same time, I personally feel that this is an overreaction. I don't think that a dislike of this aspect of the film has as much to do with whether or not you are an American or not but more your level of patriotism and identification with the policies of this country. I am an American and I don't have nearly as much of a problem with the portrayal of these marines as do Matt and MGK, and that's fine. Matt originally stated that he had difficulties with films that portrayed things that were not very realistic and couldn't actually happen. I think that criticism is rather faulty because many of Eastwood's films have portrayed things that are extremely unrealistic. Just for one example, Space Cowboys was incredibly unrealistic. The very idea that NASA would send four senior citizens up into space who hadn't worked in decades and had no training for such a complicated and important mission in that time frame is near impossible. The very idea that all four of these men at such an advanced age would be fit enough to embark upon this mission and would pass all the tests and be cleared to go, especially when one of the men had cancer, is not very realistic. This is just one example where realism didn't necessarily interfere with the enjoyment of a film. There are many other examples.

I readily admit to not being blindly patriotic and that probably does affect the judgment of this film. There are a lot of things that many of us would never see as plausible, like recent events with the Iraqi prisoner abuse, that has happened. Many were shocked that American soldiers could engage in such brutality and sexual humiliation, but it did happen. Perceived realism is not always the best barometer.

I don't think the characterization of marines in this film is representative of the entire military, and I never did. I find it amusing that our own film industry has stereotyped entire groups from almost every nation for years yet become incensed when one or two films portray our own people in a poor light. How many times have we seen Arabs in films portrayed as either idiots or religious fanatics hellbent on destruction? If you view our films, one could very easily come to conclusion that the majority of people of Arab descent are like this. This is clearly inaccurate and very people have voiced any outrage about it. How many times did we see Russians portrayed as crazy, one dimensional characters? How many films do we see Americans as the main perpetrators of violence? How many antagonistic characters are there that are American? For a long time and even today we disproportionately stereotype entire races through portraying them over and over and over again in such a negative light. Perhaps viewing films such as Heartbreak Ridge give us a taste of what they must feel over and over again.          
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Matt
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« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2004, 03:46:52 PM »

Well, AKA, I can't say that I enjoy stereotyped depictions of any race in any film. I've never been a fan of action films where you'd see a lot of this, and I think Where Eagles Dare is about the worst film Clint's ever done (just above Paint Your Wagon ;)). I wouldn't have the audacity to sit here and complain about this, while laughing it up at the German soldiers in that film. And as far as being "blindly patriotic", I certainly hope you're not aiming that comment at me or anyone else in this thread.

As far as my feelings about this film being an overreaction... I'm not sure you really know how I feel. Read my posts... I've said I like the film, but I don't like the depiction of the Marines. I said if I look past it, I can enjoy the film. But when you're asked to explain yourself about 10 different times as I've been with this, it may come across that I'm seething watching the film--that's not the case. I think this has been totally blown out of proportion because something that irritates me has been questioned and actually ridiculed by others here (no Dane, I'm not aiming that at you ;) ). But these portrayals do bother me and since I know firsthand that some people actually believe them (and why should it matter if whoever believes it doesn't know much about our military and has no military training? It gives the uneducated a very inaccurate and negative impression of our military -- and in effect, of our country) it bothers me more now than it would if no one ever commented to me about it.

Perceived realism is not always the best barometer.

Well, in this case, it IS entirely impossible for these men to be recon Marines. This isn't a perception of reality... this is a fact. If you have any doubts, look up the links I've provided in this thread and the other thread on the military aspects of this film. They list the requirements that need to be met to become a recon Marine--these men would never pass.

You're right that I do like films that seem real and that could happen. Of course, you neglected to add that I also said I didn't mind if the film is a comedy that is strictly for laughs.  Not that it has anything to do with this film discussion, but it sounds like you're assuming I really like Space Cowboys. It's not nearly one of my favorite Eastwood films... I'd rate it somewhere in the bottom half, right around the same level as this one.  

I do have a sense of humor, and can find humor in  Heartbreak Ridge. I just would have appreciated the film a lot more if they at least tried to show realistic portrayals of the Marines especially since it isn't a pure comedy.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2004, 10:58:17 PM by Matt » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2004, 03:55:51 PM »

Matt originally stated that he had difficulties with films that portrayed things that were not very realistic and couldn't actually happen. I think that criticism is rather faulty because many of Eastwood's films have portrayed things that are extremely unrealistic. Just for one example, Space Cowboys was incredibly unrealistic. The very idea that NASA would send four senior citizens up into space who hadn't worked in decades and had no training for such a complicated and important mission in that time frame is near impossible. The very idea that all four of these men at such an advanced age would be fit enough to embark upon this mission and would pass all the tests and be cleared to go, especially when one of the men had cancer, is not very realistic. This is just one example where realism didn't necessarily interfere with the enjoyment of a film. There are many other examples.

The reasoning is not faulty, AKA.  For one thing, this is a film discussion on the movie Heartbreak Ridge; therefore, my reasoning was applied to this film only.  When we get around to discussing other Eastwood films, I will bring out things that I agree or disagree with at that time.  I don't need to mention any- and everything I like or dislike about ALL of Eastwood's films in a discussion of only one of his films.

I don't think the characterization of marines in this film is representative of the entire military, and I never did. I find it amusing that our own film industry has stereotyped entire groups from almost every nation for years yet become incensed when one or two films portray our own people in a poor light. How many times have we seen Arabs in films portrayed as either idiots or religious fanatics hellbent on destruction? If you view our films, one could very easily come to conclusion that the majority of people of Arab descent are like this. This is clearly inaccurate and very people have voiced any outrage about it. How many times did we see Russians portrayed as crazy, one dimensional characters? How many films do we see Americans as the main perpetrators of violence? How many antagonistic characters are there that are American? For a long time and even today we disproportionately stereotype entire races through portraying them over and over and over again in such a negative light. Perhaps viewing films such as Heartbreak Ridge give us a taste of what they must feel over and over again.          

Again, I'm not discussing ALL movies that have portrayed certain ethnic groups in a stereotypical way.  This is a film discussion on Heartbreak Ridge....not a discussion on ALL movies that have ever been made.  And, I don't find it amusing at all that these groups have been stereotyped.  If we were discussing movies in which people have been inaccurately portrayed, then I could bring up dozens.

As I suggested in my last post in this thread (p. 3), if you want to continue to discuss the military aspects of this film, please go to this thread.

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?board=15;action=display;threadid=2270

As I also suggested in my last post (p. 3), we need to get back to the original question presented for discussion in this thread.  

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What is your overall feeling about this film? How would you rate it in comparison to the rest of Eastwood's films?

Can we do that now, please?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2004, 04:05:33 PM by mgk » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2004, 05:13:37 PM »

Well, I was disappointed with the movie from the begining because of the protrayal of the Marines.  I wasn't a Marine, but I was a SGT. in the Army, Special Forces, and I can tell you this much.  Those bumbling fools portrayed in this movie wouldn't have got a chance to join the training!  I'm certain the Marines would have the same criteria.  So, in watching the movie, I had to view it as a comedy.  I enjoyed it a lot more after doing that.  

This reaction is very much like mine. If I can get past those portrayals, I can enjoy the comedy and the film much more.
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Matt
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« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2004, 05:15:32 PM »


As I also suggested in my last post (p. 3), we need to get back to the original question presented for discussion in this thread.  Can we do that now, please?

Yes ma'am. ;)

I think enough has been said on that particular point anyway. :)
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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2004, 07:41:39 PM »

In my case, I brought up the grossly inaccurate and at times offensive stereotypes because I was trying to point out that in some cases Americans tend to become very upset over stereotyping of Americans, which as I point out hardly ever happens in films, yet seem not to care or to not show a similar level of outrage when these outrageous stereotypes are being perpetuated repeatedly about other cultures. In my view, that is hypocritical. That was my main point and I wasn't necessarily referring to any particular person on this board who had expressed an opinion, just my general sense about the nature of stereotyping in this film and how it should be placed in context.

As far as my overall perception of the film, I think the most interesting aspects of the film are in the relationships created between the characters. The rekindling of a relationship that had been abandoned years earlier is interesting as is the developing respect of Eastwood towards the marines and of the marines towards him. There is an interesting evolution that happens at many different levels. The film also has some very humorous dialogue and has Eastwood playing a bit of a relic, an outlandish kind of character whose principles and practices as well as his language and stereotypical representations seem out of place in modern day society. We see it and yet many of us would react against it were we to observe it continuously if it was viewed as something done with serious intent, but in Gunny we take it for its humor and are able to distance ourselves yet identify with the character at the same time. That dichotomy speaks to the depth of the Gunny character and serves to dispel the notion that Gunny is a one note, one dimensional man. Not to become too pop psychology here, and I know that I may risk appearing too Dr. Philish here, but it's also quite possible, although it may sometimes go unnoticed in the viewer, that Gunny may appear this way because he at this time in the film may be a deeply insecure man who ridicules others in order to feel as if he is still worthy. This is a man who is uncertain about his role, uncertain about whether or not he still fits in this time, in this society, whether his ideas and his presence is still aproppriate or relevant in modern day society. This is a man who appears to not know where, or even if, he fits and who sees himself being replaced by younger people who are far less competent and able with a system that seems to be more concerned with political correctness than competence, training, and dealing with the real threats of the nation.    
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Matt
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« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2004, 08:04:35 PM »

In my case, I brought up the grossly inaccurate and at times offensive stereotypes because I was trying to point out that in most cases Americans tend to become very upset over stereotyping of Americans, which as I point out hardly ever happens in films, yet seem not to care or to not show a similar level of outrage when these outrageous stereotypes are being perpetuated repeatedly about other cultures. In my view, that is hypocritical. That was my main point and I wasn't necessarily referring to any particular person on this board who had expressed an opinion, just my general sense about the nature of stereotyping in this film and how it should be placed in context.

Do me a favor, AKA, don't tell us what "Americans" do. Now you're stereotyping as badly as anything any of us have complained about.  I've spoken for myself in this debate, mgk has spoken for herself, and everyone else has spoken for their own self. For you to come in here and try to say that "in most cases Americans....."  ::)  

Just speak for yourself.
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« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2004, 08:19:02 PM »

In my case, I brought up the grossly inaccurate and at times offensive stereotypes because I was trying to point out that in most cases Americans tend to become very upset over stereotyping of Americans, which as I point out hardly ever happens in films, yet seem not to care or to not show a similar level of outrage when these outrageous stereotypes are being perpetuated repeatedly about other cultures. In my view, that is hypocritical. That was my main point and I wasn't necessarily referring to any particular person on this board who had expressed an opinion, just my general sense about the nature of stereotyping in this film and how it should be placed in context.

That is the most insulting remark I have ever seen said about anyone on this board.
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AKA23
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« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2004, 08:26:37 PM »

I am NOT speaking about anyone on this board. I cannot claim to know how anybody on this board feels or doesn't feel about anything. That in itself would be hypocritical, and I'm not trying to do that. You guys wanted to move on from this topic. I agree. Any more conversation on this topic will not be productive. I've moved on. You guys should too. I'd like to continue this topic on the overall film. I welcome comment on the portion of my post about the film or on any of the other threads in the film discussion that I've commented on.
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« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2004, 08:33:53 PM »

I am NOT speaking about anyone on this board.

No, you're just speaking about Americans.
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mgk
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« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2004, 08:57:56 PM »

Any more conversation on this topic will not be productive. I've moved on. You guys should too. I'd like to continue this topic on the overall film. I welcome comment on the portion of my post about the film or on any of the other threads in the film discussion that I've commented on.

You're moderating again, AKA.  You need to remember NOT to do that.  :-X
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« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2004, 09:09:37 PM »

... Gunny may appear this way because he at this time in the film may be a deeply insecure man who ridicules others in order to feel as if he is still worthy.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call Gunny "deeply insecure". He has fears and concerns about his future as well as the future of the Marines with the "new Corps", but I don't feel he "ridicules others in order to feel as if he is still worthy". The ridiculing he does in the film is done for a reason... to make men of the group of misfit soldiers he's in charge of shaping up. It has a purpose: to toughen them up, make them fighters... make them rise to the occassion... to make them want to prove they're not "losers" or "ladies". Training men to be soldiers takes more than physical conditioning, it takes mental conditioning. So I think what we're seeing is a training device, not a reaction of Gunny's feelings about himself.
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