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Starship Troopers (DVD, 2002, 2-Disc Set, Special Edition)

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Movie synopsis
Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (TOTAL RECALL, ROBOCOP) mixes big budget bug bashing with twisted satire of old Hollywood movies in this adaptation of Robert Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel. It's the future, Earth is at war, and the kids are all going off to fight giant killer bugs on the remote planet of Klendathu. Casper Van Diem, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, and Patrick Muldoon play some of the blandly attractive young recruits who engage in soap-opera style love triangles as they toughen up and learn to fight (and die) like soldiers. Michael Ironside is their gung-ho, one-armed leader. The real stars though, are the superbly animated bugs. Packed to the rafters with jaw-dropping special effects and insane violence, the film managed to be a box office hit though it undoubtedly left some audiences confused at Verhoeven's slyly deadpan humor. By the time Neil Patrick Harris (TV's Doogie Howser) starts marching around in a Gestapo-style uniform, for example, it will be apparent this isn't STAR WARS. What it is however, is a rousing experience for mature viewers in the properly ironic frame of mind.

Product Details
  • Edition: 2-Disc Special Edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • Features: Letterboxed
  • Sound: Stereo Sound
  • UPC: 043396066724

Additional Details
Genre:Science-Fiction/Fantasy
Format:DVD
Display Format:2-Disc Special Edition

eBay Product ID: EPID3387211

Editorial reviews

"...Fascinating....Featuring astonishing effects and some of the most harrowing battle scenes in movie history..."
Sight and Sound - Andrew O'Hehir (01/01/1998)

"...Director Paul Verhoeven is back in his subversively nimble ROBOCOP groove with the uproariously cheeky STARSHIP TROOPERS" -- 4 out of 4 stars
USA Today - Mike Clark (11/07/1997)

"...A letter grade would do a disservice to a movie that sees relentless entertainment and brilliant pop-culture fraud as two sides of the same media coin....The Most Ironic Hollywood Blockbuster Ever Made. See it for yourself and decide..."
Entertainment Weekly - Ty Burr (05/15/1998)

"...The film's main events are its wild bugfights, with hordes of extraordinarily dynamic special-effects creatures....These bizarre marauders are really something to see..."
New York Times - Janet Maslin (11/07/1997)

"...Entertaining, engaging, exciting....With game, energetic, winsome performances...and effects that live up to the hype..."
Box Office - Christine James (01/01/1998)

"The violent action and exuberant humor eventually obliterate any traces of irony in this vast, elegantly executed enterprise."
Wall Street Journal (08/03/2012)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 57 user reviews

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Created: 07/19/09

Starship Troopers Still Stands Alone as One of The Best

Review For: Starship Troopers (DVD, 2002, 2-Disc Set, Special Edition)

In my Opinion, Starship Troopers could very well be one the best Pro-war films ever made. No one seemed to identify the satirical nature of the film when it was originally released. Some critics seemed disturbed by the fact that the "good guys" resembled Nazis. If one now re-assesses the film for intellectual merits, it would come to pass that all the satire of military power, might actually make a lot of sense now. Why has ST with its profound comments on war and human nature been relegated to the ranks of films like "Rambo" and "Universal Soldier"? One reason is that the satire is extremely subtle and that people are prejudiced against action war films. This is probably justified though since the vast majority of them are pure fluff. However, Starship Troopers ruthlessly satirize the genre while being one of the best in its category, which is a feat to be proud of. There is so much about this film to analyze that it might even take a book to cover it all, so I will stick to only one thing here: the alien bugs, which are the enemy in the film.

The Earth is at war with these bug creatures. Some are bug, small, and all are ugly and vicious. This is graphically demonstrated throughout the film but most notably via a propaganda commercial that the film presents to us as a futuristic version of "Why We Fight". At one point, a cow is lead into a pen holding one of these giant insects, which quickly cleaves the cow in two. We are horrified! These insects truly are barbaric, evil! Look what it did to that cow! They must be destroyed!(Yet how many of us had beef before seeing this movie?) Then the website narrator proudly states that people on Earth are doing their part in the war effort as we watch a woman and her children dump Earth bugs on the ground and stomp on them. These bugs are native to our planet. Like the American-Japanese in WWII, why are they getting picked on? How are the bug-stomping mother and her children any more humane and caring than the repulsive alien insects?

The film is insanely violent. People are literally cut to pieces by the smaller creatures and slowly, painfully melted by a plasma the larger insects spray. However, the alien bugs fair no better. The people and cows getting hacked up relentlessly in this film horrify us but we cheer as machine rifles and grenades blow the giant insects apart. The body count is high on both sides. It is all literally and purposely utter, senseless violence. But then at one point a psychic uses his powers to read one of the alien's emotions. He triumphantly yells, "It's afraid!" and a legion of human warriors jubilantly cheer at this pronouncement. Who's barbaric here? What is humanity? The bugs are clearly not "human", yet they are intelligent, advanced, and most importantly they have feelings. If they can be afraid, can they not also be sad, happy, in love? These are questions the writer has left to us to ask with out leading us by the hand through what could have been a much more preachy film.
Considering the fact that, in his book "Stranger in a Strange Land", Robert A. Heinlein,who wrote the novel upon which Starship Troopers was based,pointed out that there were millions of people already in America before the invaders came and ruthlessly slaughtered these "subhumans" on their own property. It is safe to say that there is a lot more going on in this film than a simple slug-fest.
I'm going to give this 5/5 for perfection in film to the max, even after 11 years.
YOU LIKE? VOTE!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/23/08

Stranger in a Strange Land

_Starship Troopers_ is the greatest pro/anti-war film ever made. This is something that no one seems to recognize considering that, when it was first released, most critics seemed to have been somewhat disturbed by the fact that the `good guys' resembled Nazis and that was about as far as they went before blowing it off as just another shoot-em-up. No one has bothered to re-assess the film since. Why has Starship Troopers with its profound comments on war and human nature been relegated to the ranks of films like _Rambo_ and _Universal Soldier_? One reason is that the satire is extremely subtle and another is that people are prejudiced against action films. This is probably justified though since the vast majority of them are pure fluff. However, _Starship Troopers_ ruthlessly satirizes the genre while being one of the best of in its category, which is a feat that is quite brilliant. There is so much about this film to analyze and it might even take a book to cover it all, so I will stick to only one thing here: the alien bugs, which are the enemy in the film.

The Earth is at war with these creatures. They're inhuman, vicious. This is graphically demonstrated through out the film but most notably via a propaganda website that the movie presents to us as a futuristic version of `Why We Fight'. At one point, a cow is lead into a pen holding one of these giant insects, which quickly cleaves the cow in two. We are horrified! These insects truly are barbaric, evil! Look what it did to that cow! They must be destroyed! (Yet how many of us had steak before seeing this movie?) Then the website narrator proudly states that people on Earth are doing their part in the war effort as we watch a woman and her children dump Earth bugs on the ground and stomp on them. These bugs are native to our planet. Like the American-Japanese in WWII, why are they getting picked on? How are the bug-stomping mother and her children any more humane and caring than the repulsive alien insects?

The film is insanely violent. People are literally cut to pieces by the smaller creatures and slowly, painfully melted by a plasma the larger insects spray. However, the alien bugs fair no better. The people and cows getting hacked up relentlessly in this film horrify us but we cheer as machine rifles and grenades blow the giant insects apart. The body count is high on both sides. It is all literally and purposely utter, senseless violence. But then at one point a psychic uses his powers to read one of the alien's emotions. He triumphantly yells, `It's afraid!' and a legion of human warriors jubilantly cheer at this pronouncement. Who's barbaric here? What is humanity? These bugs are clearly not `human' yet they are intelligent, advanced, and most importantly they have feelings. If they can be afraid, can they not also be sad, happy, in love? These are questions the writer has left to us to ask with out leading us by the hand through what could have been a much more preachy film.

Considering the fact that, in his book _Stranger in a Strange Land_, Robert A. Heinlein--who wrote the novel upon which Starship Troopers was based--pointed out that there were millions of people already in America before the Europeans came and ruthlessly slaughtered these `subhumans' on their new property, it is safe to say that there is a lot more going on in this film than a simple slug-fest.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/29/06

ST is satiric take on Heinlein's future

First, the storyline entertains, and the special effects are riveting.

Heinlein's book postulated a future Earth under a central government which we would consider vaguely fascist -- no racism or genocide, but things like public corporal punishment and rule by a militaristic elite. Heinlein's book approved of this future which was, according to the book, built by the one group of people who had proven they loved their country more than themselves: those who risked their lives in the military.

In this future, the government runs the media. Trials are swift and executions are public. Membership in the elite is open to all, but first one must serve in the military. This rule applies to children of citizens as well as children of non-citizens (non-citizens being the majority). One did not have to be a citizen to be wealthy, as Johnny Rico's parents prove.

I say this is a satiric take on that future because, while the movie seemingly pours approval on this government, military and society which all join as one to fight the new menace, the film also shows us things of which the director knows full well anyone from our era would disapprove. Some examples are minor -- soldiers handing out live ammo to children, just as today's soldier might hand out candy. Others are pretty major -- a training film showing how shooting appendages of the enemy bug just eliminates a small percentage of his effectiveness, and how shooting the brain stem kills him -- the film being done on a live Bug POW. No Geneva conventions in this future.

Some of the satire is a bit heavy handed. It was not necessary to dress the officers in NAZI trenchcoats. But there always remained the virtue that the audience is never led by the hand. It is there. If we see it, we see it. If we don't, well, no character is going to explain to us what our reaction should be.

Then there was Johnny Rico's joy in climbing the ranks. This guy was a genuine hero and, when it counted, totally selfless. But he couldn't help himself from smiling when given a promotion, even if it was just minutes after the death of the person he was replacing. This is one of the things that has always bothered some people -- military careers can only gain rapid advancement in time of war, giving officers a stake in the sickness that is war.

All in all, I loved Starship Troopers on all levels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/20/08

Starship Troopers Still Rocks!

Bravery, Beauty and Vicious Giant Bugs -- What more can you ask for in a sci-fi flick?

Starship Troopers delivers in every way. It indulges special-effects hungry fans like me (The effects were so ahead of their time (1997) that they still look fantastic today), bringing with it an over-the-edge (as opposed to over-the-top) script that is both action-packed and fun. Casper Van Dien does a good job as a pretty-boy/tough guy soldier, and Denise Richards and Dina Meyer are watchable not only because they are both gorgeous, but because they actually do a good job in their roles as love interests for Van Dien (Richards is beautiful and Meyer is oh so Smokin' Hot). Although different, I put it in the same category as "The Fifth Element." Both sci-fi movies blend action, explosions, humor, bravery and beauty, in a wonderful mix that leave you feeling good when they're over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/01/07

A B-rate Film with A+ effects

My long running joke with Starship Troopers is, its a great film, once you turn off the volume. Not the greatest book to film translation by far, Starship Troopers has special effects like no other, but lacks the intelligence to keep todays movie goer watching. Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards make their acting debuts, (Lucky for them they have their looks) as two newly inducted high school grads joining the military. Michael Ironside of Top Gun fame is the former Mobile Infantry officer turned School teacher, later turing back to officer jumps aboard as the seasoned actor along with Sean Patrick Harris, trying to shed his Doogie Houser image in his role as the ESP gifted, Nazi garbed intelect.

Overall, if your looking for a campy good time with second to none effects, this is the film for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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