Starship Troopers - Special Edition
Picture: B Sound: B+ Extras: A Film: A-
Starship Troopers is not exactly a film that everyone gets. Even critics when the film was released felt that the film was
Fascist and had Nazi tendencies, which is exactly what the film is
against! Starship Troopers
message is that Fascism is only good for one thing…killing bugs! What most people see is just a film that
parades around with too much violence and tries to be too gung ho in its
attempt to connect the storyline with the message.
films never do well and Starship Troopers fits that bill. Although a handful of people out there
understood this and now five years later some critics are changing their
attitude towards this film and recognizing its message hidden below the
surface, it is rather late in the game for that.
There are many social and
political commentaries that are made throughout this film and are done with
strong intent and are often humorous.
We have our youth represented in the film as ambitious beings willing to
do anything for their country. The only
way they matter is if they protect their planet. Here we have a reference to the youth of pre-Vietnam. The media keeps reporting the high death
tolls that are racking up, but the cold-faced reporters seem anything but
sympathetic. This is similar to some of
what is going on in today’s news coverage.
We have seen director Paul Verhoeven make similar remarks to Vietnam
before in films like Robocop (1987), in which a man/machine is a cop
with a mission to serve and protect.
Like the troops of Vietnam they were trained to act like machines,
created with feelings, but without a way to control them is a dangerous
Another comparison that
the film shockingly emulates is that of WWII and the type of German Propaganda
that Hitler was using. Some will see
the commercials within Starship Troopers that are like Army recruiting
videos, but they have a haunting similarity to Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of
the Will (1934). Notice also that
even though the film takes place in the future that with all the technology the
soldiers still fight land battles that maximize high death tolls. The soldiers also fight hand to hand combat
most of the time with the bugs, which also result in large amounts of
casualties, but more interesting is that the weapon of choice are weapons that
look like slight upgrades from the machine guns of WWII. Even the helmets are old fashioned.
Considering that the
previous DVD was an early release it looked really good, but this edition looks
much better and colors are more solid.
Blacks are much deeper and detail is sharper. This is a new high-definition transfer, which I am sure we will
see many DVD’s re-released similarly.
There is still some slight softness even with this new transfer. This appears in the space scenes in the
darkness of the background.
The most disappointing
part of this re-release was the exclusion of DTS sound. Rather a new Dolby 5.1 mix was used and
sounds just as limited as the previous DVD.
Sound is good, but still not DTS type of sound. Since this film has incredible sound design
DTS should have been used and this is unacceptable! The limitations are easily heard in the collision scenes that
occur in space when the human ships start to catch fire and wreck into one
another. The soundtrack lacks the
dimension and depth that should be there.
What is really odd is Columbia TriStar chose to re-release this film (on
the same day no less) as Verhoeven’s Hollow Man Deluxe Superbit Edition,
but why not give both films that treatment so that Starship Troopers
could look and sound just as good at Hollow Man. A mistake indeed!
extras are quite plentiful on this edition, some of which were carried over
from the previous edition. The
supplements for this edition were created as more of a retrospective piece,
which is really cool because they note how the film has become more recognized
during the past few years. Verhoeven
always provides unintentionally funny commentaries as he talks near gibberish
at times, but other times quite informative.
He certainly has a passion for making films and this is clearly heard as
he rants on and on.
- Nate Goss