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Jarhead [DVD]

Jake Gyllenhaal , Scott MacDonald , Roger Deakins    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
Price: 2.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Jarhead [DVD] + The Hurt Locker [DVD] + Black Hawk Down (2 Disc Set) [2002] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Scott MacDonald, Lo Ming, Kevin Foster, Peter Sarsgaard
  • Directors: Roger Deakins
  • Producers: Thomas Newman, Lucy Fisher
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: UCA
  • DVD Release Date: 30 May 2011
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F2DCRG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,763 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on Anthony Swofford’s excellent memoir about his experiences as a Marine Sniper in Gulf War I, Jarhead is a war movie in which the waiting is a far greater factor upon the characters than the war itself, and the build up to combat is more drama than what combat is depicted. To some viewers hoping for typical movie action, this will seem like a cruel joke. But it’s not. It’s just the story as it was written, and if you liked the book, you will probably like the movie. If you didn’t, then the movie won’t change your mind.

The movie follows the trajectory of Swofford (played with thoughtful intensity by Jake Gyllenhaal) from wayward Marine recruit (he joined because he "got lost on the way to college") to skilled Marine sniper, and on into the desert in preparation for the attack on Iraq. No-nonsense, Marine-for-life Staff Sgt. Sykes (Jamie Foxx), the man who recruited Swofford and his spotter Troy (Peter Sarsgaard) into the sniper team, leads them in training, and in waiting where their lives are dominated by endless tension, pointless exercises in absurdity (like playing football in the scorching heat of the desert in their gas masks so it will look better for the media’s TV cameras), more training, and constant anticipation of the moment to come when they’ll finally get to kill. When the war does come, it moves too fast for Swofford’s sniper team, and the one chance they get at a kill--to do the one thing they’ve trained so hard and waited so long for--eludes them, leaving them to wonder what was the point of all they had endured.

As directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), the movie remains very loyal to the language and vision of the book, but it doesn’t entirely work as the film needs something more than a literal translation to bring out its full potential. Mendes’ stark and, at times, apocalyptic visuals add a lot and strike the right tone: wide shots of inky-black oil raining down on the vast, empty desert from flaming oil wells contrasted with close-ups of crude-soaked faces struggling through the mire vividly bring to life the meaning of the tagline "welcome to the suck." But much of the second half of the movie will probably leave some viewers feeling disappointed in the cinematic experience, while others might appreciate its microcosmic depiction of modern chaos and aimlessness. Jarhead is one of those examples where the book is better than the movie, but not for lack of trying. --Dan Vancini

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realities of War 10 Jan 2008
Format:DVD
I was reluctant to see this movie. As a veteran of Desert Shield/Storm, I spent my first 90 days in-theater in the Weapons Co of A Swofford's Battalion. I later was moved to the 1st Bn of 7th Marines, but having been in the same unit for some of the same time I felt I could offer readers a unique perspective on the film's accuracy.

From a purely aesthetic perspective I thought the film was well done. The acting was very good, and the script was well written, witty, and accurate. The actors were well suited to their roles. My personal preference for a good plot would have been disappointed were it not for my personal interest in the film. In my opinion this film is an outstanding dramatic-documentary, so adjust your expectations accordingly. If you are expecting a driving plot line and all the accompanying dramatic tension, then I think you will be disappointed (as many whose comments I heard exiting the theater certainly were). But if you think of it as a chance to take a glimpse into a point in history, and see it as some of those who lived it did, then I think you will be impressed.

Many people may think that the obscenity of some of the interactions was overdone for effect. But whatever anyone's personal judgment of that behavior, that is the closest portrayal of Marines (or soldiers) being themselves I have yet seen on screen. Marines are vulgar. They do watch porn. They do fight among themselves. They do both hate, and love, the Marine Corps. There is an omni-present anti-war conspiracy theorist. The do say ridiculous things. There are some who are over the line. The reality of the Marine Infantry is that things happen there every day that are well beyond conventional sensibility, and which strain credibility to the average civilian. It's all true.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great War Film 3 Jun 2006
By Art
Format:DVD
This film didn't get great reviews when it was in the cinema and I really don't understand why. It gives a brilliant sense of the desert, the waiting, and finally the fighting. Sam Mendes directs this film so well with the blinding white sands of earlier scenes contrasting the black oil later on. The sniping scene is incredibly tense and the film cleverly blends comic moments with a very real story. All this plus a killer soundtrack of classic songs (none of which seem to feature on the soundtrack album!)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece 10 Jun 2006
By Brogan
Format:DVD
When I heard Jarhead was being filmed by Sam Mendes, one of my favourite directors, I decided to read the book it was based on. The novel, also called Jarhead, was brilliant and I couldn't wait to see how Mendes' film would turn out.

When the film came out, the reviews weren't bad, but they didn't seem to reccomend anything about the film either. Most reviewers seemed to focus on the fact that the film didn't directly imitate the novel and wasn't as good. But then when has the film ever been better than the novel?

Jarhead is tonally very different from the book, as the film seems to look for a more comedic side to war. Perhaps if the film had been made closer to the novel it would have been better. But Jarhead is still a masterpiece. It has no faults whatsoever: the acting (particularly from Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaad) is amazing, the storyline moves along at a quick pace and the cinematogrophy is the best I have ever seen. Those who complained the film was boring are missing the point: the desert scenes are meant to seem boring. In my opinion, Mendes was just trying to convey how boring life was for the soldiers "fighting" in The Gulf War.

As some others have said, this is one film that will get better with age and will be regarded as a classic in years to come.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influential!! 28 Mar 2006
Format:DVD
I would really recommend anybody to watch this film as soon as they can. The acting is great as Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx are both top-class in the acting industry. This film has excitement, humour and it is highly realistic. It is not like other war films which are mostly unrealistic and and all have happy endings etc. The fact that this is like real wars, makes the movie more tense because anything could happen. I would also like to point out that the soundtrack to the movie is great. These are some of the songs that are on the soundtrack: Don't Worry Be Happy, Bang A Gong (Get It On) and Jesus Walks by Kanye West. Not only are the songs fantastic, they are fitted into the film beautifully. Jarhead is also the perfect length (123 mins) which means that you can watch it over and over again and you will not get bored. You should buy this film as soon as you can!.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Semper fi 1 Mar 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:UMD Mini for PSP
The film 'Jarhead' is based on a book of the same name by by Anthony Swofford; both the book and the film are bound to make some people angry. A Marine sniper (STA) during Desert Storm I in the early 1990s, he recounted his experiences there with vivid emotion, weaving in his experiences of boot camp, adolescence, and civilian life after the Corps in the process. This is now a major motion picture chronicling many aspects of his story, with significant differences.
It was apparent in the book, and carries over to the film that Swofford has a chip on his shoulder - something he'll most likely readily admit. He has a 'bad attitude', and in fact revels in it. One wonders if this is a product of his war experiences, his Marine Corps training, or his upbringing. At one point his mother, who never really liked the idea of her son being in the Marines, but who wouldn't stand in her son's way, said 'I lost my baby boy when you went to war.' She described Swofford as being sweet and gentle prior to that, and angry and unhappy afterwards. One wonders how much of a change is there - if one can take the stories at face value, this is the same boy who had a fist-fight with his father over going in the Corps at the age of 17, and who had Marine Corps decals put on his shirts as a child. One of his drill instructors even gave Swofford what he considered a great compliment - 'you'll be a great killer someday.'
I make the caveat that one might not be able to take all of this at face value, because like many men in this kind of situation, Swofford is likely to exaggerate - making some pieces more dramatic and other pieces less so. Swofford recounts many tales of men in his sniper platoon who had adjustment problems after the war; one can but wonder if that is true for Swofford, too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good film
Never seen this film before, but am interested war/history from this era. Have heard mixed things about this film but I found it very good and got across what the guy's on the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by lee shave
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story, well told
I'd seen this before, but I remembered it being a good film so I thought I'd watch it again and I have to say it was better than I remembered it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Brookes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film. Excellent condition and arrival time
Bought as a gift for my son after he had read the book. Brilliant film
Arrived within a few days and in excellent condition
Published 10 months ago by G. C. Strudwick
5.0 out of 5 stars true heroes
Goog bone shaking blast of a war torn film,better than black hawk down, ear plugs to the ready lock and load your remotes and march to your lazy boy seats and watch that movie... Read more
Published 10 months ago by scott Lippitt
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent film...
I bought this as I was told by my friends it was a good film and it is, I could see when they were trying to show the emotional distress of going to war. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr S F P Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film!
good film not much violence but portrays more realism's of war which is what I like and it focuses a lot on the training
Published 11 months ago by Master Jamie T. Shipton
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty boring film....
...but I suppose thats the whole point. I liked the bit when they are flown over in a civilian carrier and being given nuts. Some good camera work and probably accurate. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Barry Wom
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Caution spoiler !

OK, I want to give his movie five stars. Perhaps I should only give it four, for it has a disappointment it shares with the book. Read more
Published 21 months ago by fat man on a bicycle
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent war movie - without much war!
I can take or leave war films, however, I have to say this one is pretty good, especially as it contains a real lack of any actual fighting. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Albatross
5.0 out of 5 stars Jarhead review
I loved this film! Looking forward to watching again. As it obviously is a war film, some scenes are not for the weak stomached. Plenty of action and drama. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by chrys123
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