March 01, 2004
If we had better memories we wouldn't enjoy movies so much

Last night (now being the small hours of the same night) they showed the movie Starship Troopers on Channel 5. This is loosely based on Heinlein's SF novel of the same name.

I really enjoyed myself. Right at the start were the words (I'm approximating) "voting is violence", spoken by a man who clearly knew what he was talking about. (It was the tough bald flying instructor in Top Gun.) How often do you hear that truth nailed down in a movie? And so it went on. The truth about war – its recurring necessity, its recurring ghastliness, its recurring cock-ups, and the fact that it is very concluded by the time Christmas first comes around – was relentlessly presented. By the end of Starship Troopers, our side were only just getting seriously stuck into The Bugs, and The Bugs were most inventively presented and suitably scary. Only the extreme beauty of the lady soldiers was somewhat implausible – although even that might come true in the future, which is where this was set, what with genetic engineering and so forth. And of course I enjoyed that too. There was even Denise Richards, doing what turned into the screen test for her subsequent turn as a Bond Girl, and what's not to enjoy about that?


But now here's the odd thing. I'd seen this movie before, when it first came out on video, yet almost everything in it this time around came as a surprise. I remembered the very rough outline of the plot. But how it all happened, and who exactly made it all happen, and what they said while making it happen – all this came as a constantly intriguing surprise.

So, in order to really enjoy a favourite movie watch it about once every five years, and between showings try to put it out of your mind. If you have a memory like mine, this won't be all that hard.

Which is why this posting is called what it is called.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:19 AM
Category: Movies