In a message dated 97-11-17 15:21:08 EST, [log in to unmask] writes:
<< Gory, yes, but "sadistic"? There was not one hint of sadomasochism in this
I finally saw this film last night on the recommendation of a friend who
noted the sadomasochism of the "administrative discipline" and the schadenfreu
de of the battles.  He could also have mentioned the way in which various
warriors seemed to enjoy engaging one another in kungfu training.  The SM, of
course, is in the eye of the beholder, as in Run Run Shaw films from
<<The planet of the Baddies had no plants, no prey, and an infinitude of
carnivorous denizens.  All the thought was put into set design, none into
ecology, with the result that although lovely to look at, it was completely
unbelievable, adding to the comic-book flavor.>>
Some insects are carniverous, so there was no need for plants and plenty of
prey.  What was lacking ecologically was water.
Michael Haas
P.S. The film identified a particular theory of international relations known
as "realism," the author of which is Hans Morgenthau.   This theory guided
the conduct of the Cold War and still is the prevailing perspective on
international relations inside the Pentagon.  Rather than refighting the
Vietnam War or the Gulf War, the film appears to me to play on the theme that
the earth can and must be united in case of danger from outer space.  The
early line about the previous success at peaceful coexistence, a rejected
option in favor of a showdown in which the leaders of the human race insist
on prevailing, was not repeated at the end, but the war was not won, only a
battle.  There is ample room for a Starship Troopers II.  We are left in the
end with a view that war is exhilirating to the victors, horrible for those
slaughtered, but entirely unnecessary if Morgenthauism were to be abandoned.
 Thus, there is some ambiguity as to the "moral of the film."  Everyone in
the audience leaves the film believing that their preferred method for
resolving conflict (violent versus nonviolent) has been justified.  Hardly
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