11 January 2010

Call of Duty and Gaming Links, 11 January 2010

    Since we blogged about CoD: VietNam yesterday, let's continue the discussion and move on to possible movie inspirations. Apocalypse Now is a given. Whatever filmgoers thought of Coppola's murky ending to the movie, it had a lot of visuals and bits of dialogue that stick in your head for life. Some of the characters are iconic. Surely, Robert Duvall's LTC Kilgore has been ripped off riffed on in a million military movies. I like the smell of homage in the morning... It smells like... plagiarism. It's extra points for Apocalypse Now since it gave R. Lee Ermey his first movie role in a bit part as a helicopter pilot. 
    1987's Full Metal Jacket, surely, is going to be a influence. (I saw that while I was in the Army, and it eventually inspired my Joker online persona 11 years later.) And, of course, that movie brought the always STRAC R. Lee Ermey to stardom. Someone at Treyarch has to be busy trying to cook up "war faces" for the player characters right now. (R. Lee Ermey was originally only a consultant for recruit training and the USMC on Full Metal Jacket, but a videotaped demo of 15 minutes of uninterrupted drill instructor swearing won him the part of the Drill Instructor who drives Vincent D'Onofrio's Pvt. Gomer Pyle insane.) 
    R. Lee Ermey also figures prominently in another epic (well, half-epic) VietNam film: The Boys in Company C. That's a movie that was well on the way to becoming a great VietNam flick before went South in its second half. I totally forgave the film its hackneyed retread of WWII flick ethnically mixed platoons and the cliched plot turns for two things: The performances of R. Lee Ermey and Stan Shaw. R. Lee Ermey was literally living the part since he had been a real-life drill instructor using his own know-how from tours in VietNam to train Parris Island Marine recruits. His little off-camera bits during the haircut scenes are priceless, but his earnestness and intensity during the pivotal confrontation scene with Stan Shaw are unforgettable. Stan Shaw, as the ass-kicking Tyrone Washington, forever won my heart in the combat scene where he stood up, smoking RPG launcher on his shoulder, after rocketing a VC sniper to Commie smithereens and shouted: "Yeah, I did it. And I hope I got your mama, too!" Badass doesn't come any bigger or badder than that. The whole movie went to cinema hell with a soccer game plot twist, but, to this day, when I frag somebody real bad, I repeat that line.
    The Boys in Company C segues right into a little known but cool VietNam film: Go Tell the Spartans. Craig Wasson, who played the hippie-dude in The Boys in Company C, plays the green Cpl Courcey in Spartans. The movie takes place during the early years of the war, and it has some truly great performances from Wasson, Burt Lancaster, and even Evan Kim. In the next blog entry, we'll chat about Platoon, which will likely be a major inspiration for CoD: VietNam.

    On to the links:
    More Gaming Links:
    Non-Gaming Links:

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