296: On the Front Lines

On the Front Lines

Denied a glorious warrior's death, writer John Milius instead creates heroes of his own, first in movies, and now in Homefront.

Read Full Article

You could even say that another of his movies, "Conan the Barbarian" had this play out as well, from Conan's own philosophy, to that of Thulsa Doon (played by James Earl Jones), He knows how to show competing philosophies through violence.

Milius was NOT responsible for the Jaws speech, despite a maddeningly persistent repetition of the urban legend. Milius was visiting as an aid to Spielberg and Gotlieb, polishing the script at turns, but the bulk of the work on the Indianapolis speech was by Robert Shaw. Spielberg does note credit to Milius on the DVD documentary, but stresses that it was very much only a part of the work that Gotlieb, Blencheley and Shaw produced, while Gotlieb, the primary script supervisor, maintains that it was Shaw who devised and wrote the speech in almost it's entirety.

And the reason that Milius original draft of Apocalypse Now was rejected was because it was so utterly bad. The ending especially, which features Colonel Kurtz in a loincloth shooting at attacking planes with a machine gun while shouting "I can feel the power of my loins!"

As the article states, Milius is a qualified self-promoter, almost a bully-like figure that muscles his way into getting what he wants. The same is true for his grand image that has been built up by the same gun nuts and tinfoil hat theorists that he catered to over the years with films like Red Dawn. Despite given a somewhat smoother image in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, almost every other account of Milius is very negative and all point to the problems of Apocalypse, Now, and the story development behind it to Milius (and Coppola) being too bullheaded to budge with their drafts. But in the end, it was Coppolas film, and all the better for it.

Millus seems to be an interesting presence in the industry, even if I am a bit wary of Homefront. However, I don't find the idea of movie screenwriters or novelists getting into the game industry to be appealing. Some have tried, but it's had mixed success at best. Ninja Theory tried it with Alex Garland and Rhianna Pratchet and the end products were mediocre games with average plots. Pratchet also tried again with Mirror's Edge and failed. AGAIN.

Hmmm, I actually found Red Dawn to be more funny than serious. Soviet Army held at bay by high schoolers, lol...

However, Conan and Flight of the Intruder are both damn fine movies. So ill still keep looking forward to Homefront.

So basically he was a weedy guy who wanked to the idea of militarism.

And good on Coppola for changing the script in Apocalypse Now. He did a better job in making a reinterpretation of Heart of Darkness.

I still love Conan the Barbarian, it's like the quintessential American movie. Based on epic and violent pulp stories by a larger-than-life Texan, screenplay by a Vietnam vet turned crazy leftie conspiracy theorist, directed by a crazy macho right-winger, starring a multi-ethnic cast of athletes, and the whole thing bankrolled by an Italian immigrant who was Hollywood's biggest capitalist. And still my favourite film score of all time.

Don't always agree with Milius' sentiments, but I appreciate the integrity of his vision (even if the premise for Homefront sounds completely ridiculous).

Guy's got an impressive resume (even if his ending to Apocalypse Now was as bad as SpiderJerusalem says). But seriously Milius you couldn't think of a better antagonist for Homefront? Seriously?

HankMan:
Guy's got an impressive resume (even if his ending to Apocalypse Now was as bad as SpiderJerusalem says). But seriously Milius you couldn't think of a better antagonist for Homefront? Seriously?

No, because he's in a bygone era where the US was proclaiming enemies that were like a bug under its feet. And those turned out to be some damn strong bugs.

Anyway, the fantasy of "lone/small army overcoming impossible odds" permeates almost everything, it's part of the human fantasy of being able to overcome everything. But when you're one of, if not the, most powerful country in the world, then it's hard to pick a credible enemy. The North Koreans don't like us (I'm American) too much, but they can't do a damn thing about it. This guy has written the same thing before, and will do it again. It really isn't as powerful a story as he might think.

I still think Homefront could actually be interesting. I can suspend disbelief a fair bit. It would probably have been better if he would have placed it in a fictional country on a fictional planet that is strikingly similar to Earth's, with a country that has the same level of patriotism and ideology, but whose power has been diminished to near zilch.

@WanderingFool There's a whole alternate history going on in that movie that most people seem to gloss over (even though it's presented at the very beginning . A US without allies and many enemies. The Wolverines were also only combating Soviet forces in their region, not single-handedly winning WWIII. The movie was a response to what guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan were doing to the Soviet army.

Wait, they called the operation that caught Saddam 'Red Dawn'? They do know that if they were in Red Dawn, they wouldn't be the Wolwerines, they'd be the Soviets, right? As in, the large foreign military force that tries to conquer a mostly urban populace?

OT: Looks like an interesting figure. An unabashed warrior myth is hard to pull off nowadays, so I don't blame him for his failed attempts. Although I think this kind of thing is exactly what games have had too much of.

Still think Homefront's concept is ridiculous, though.

Why is no game journalist willing to question the absurd plot of Homefront? Back in the 1980s, Red Dawn was reasonable fiction because the fear of Soviet aggression was real, even if the danger of Russian invasion was remote. But now North Koreans are starving, with an entire generation suffering from stunted growth, caused by chronic malnutrition. Basing a video game on wretched people who cannot feed themselves, let alone conquer the only remaining super power, is an insult to intelligence. Not one dissenting voice has been raised among the video game media to say that Homefront is an ill-conceived exercise in bad taste. For products like Homefront, game critics need to stop acting like cheerleaders, and start asking critical questions. To anyone who replies, "Relax, it's just a game," I would say that hiding behind that excuse is no longer valid. Game publishers, developers and journalists insist that games are socially relevent. They say games have become art, and games are mainstream and meaningful. Yet the writing of Homefront is oblivious, fear-mongering drivel.

CaptainStupid:
Why is no game journalist willing to question the absurd plot of Homefront? Back in the 1980s, Red Dawn was reasonable fiction because the fear of Soviet aggression was real, even if the danger of Russian invasion was remote. But now North Koreans are starving, with an entire generation suffering from stunted growth, caused by chronic malnutrition. Basing a video game on wretched people who cannot feed themselves, let alone conquer the only remaining super power, is an insult to intelligence. Not one dissenting voice has been raised among the video game media to say that Homefront is an ill-conceived exercise in bad taste. For products like Homefront, game critics need to stop acting like cheerleaders, and start asking critical questions. To anyone who replies, "Relax, it's just a game," I would say that hiding behind that excuse is no longer valid. Game publishers, developers and journalists insist that games are socially relevent. They say games have become art, and games are mainstream and meaningful. Yet the writing of Homefront is oblivious, fear-mongering drivel.

Because the Chinese were already taken for the Red Dawn remake

CaptainStupid:
Why is no game journalist willing to question the absurd plot of Homefront? Back in the 1980s, Red Dawn was reasonable fiction because the fear of Soviet aggression was real, even if the danger of Russian invasion was remote. But now North Koreans are starving, with an entire generation suffering from stunted growth, caused by chronic malnutrition. Basing a video game on wretched people who cannot feed themselves, let alone conquer the only remaining super power, is an insult to intelligence. Not one dissenting voice has been raised among the video game media to say that Homefront is an ill-conceived exercise in bad taste. For products like Homefront, game critics need to stop acting like cheerleaders, and start asking critical questions. To anyone who replies, "Relax, it's just a game," I would say that hiding behind that excuse is no longer valid. Game publishers, developers and journalists insist that games are socially relevent. They say games have become art, and games are mainstream and meaningful. Yet the writing of Homefront is oblivious, fear-mongering drivel.

Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

One of my favorite articles i have read on the escapist as of yet. good job movie bob

SpiderJerusalem:
Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

"Because it's fiction" is another excuse. Anyone who wants to make a game about sexually molesting children could say, "Because it's fiction." No, it would be lousy, stupid, oblivious fiction. There are no absolutes. "It's just a game" or "Because it's fiction" does not justify everything. A book critic does not refrain from pointing out the flaws of a novel just because it happens to be fiction. If "Because it's fiction" or "It's just a game" are absolutely correct, then there's no need for game reviews. Game critics might as well do something else, since they failed in their responsibility to ask critical questions about Homefront. Restricting critical comments to gameplay mechanics undermines the popular idea that games have become art. If reviewers can be critical of art, which includes fiction, then they should question the insulting fiction of Homefront.

CaptainStupid:

SpiderJerusalem:
Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

"Because it's fiction" is another excuse. Anyone who wants to make a game about sexually molesting children could say, "Because it's fiction." No, it would be lousy, stupid, oblivious fiction. There are no absolutes. "It's just a game" or "Because it's fiction" does not justify everything. A book critic does not refrain from pointing out the flaws of a novel just because it happens to be fiction. If "Because it's fiction" or "It's just a game" are absolutely correct, then there's no need for game reviews. Game critics might as well do something else, since they failed in their responsibility to ask critical questions about Homefront. Restricting critical comments to gameplay mechanics undermines the popular idea that games have become art. If reviewers can be critical of art, which includes fiction, then they should question the insulting fiction of Homefront.

For the first time in my life, I can proudly say, "I'm with Stupid!"

"Because. it's. FICTION." is a cheap cop-out, particularly when it comes to the plot of Homefront. North Korea cannot even feed its own citizens, let alone mount an invasion and subsequent occupation of South Korea. It might be speculative, but it sure as hell isn't plausible.

This is some pretty great news!

CaptainStupid:

SpiderJerusalem:
Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

"Because it's fiction" is another excuse. Anyone who wants to make a game about sexually molesting children could say, "Because it's fiction." No, it would be lousy, stupid, oblivious fiction. There are no absolutes. "It's just a game" or "Because it's fiction" does not justify everything. A book critic does not refrain from pointing out the flaws of a novel just because it happens to be fiction. If "Because it's fiction" or "It's just a game" are absolutely correct, then there's no need for game reviews. Game critics might as well do something else, since they failed in their responsibility to ask critical questions about Homefront. Restricting critical comments to gameplay mechanics undermines the popular idea that games have become art. If reviewers can be critical of art, which includes fiction, then they should question the insulting fiction of Homefront.

Don't forget the fact that Homefront's biggest selling point is its 'realism'. In the promotion they were showing off the CIA agent and that writer who wrote one book about the dangers of EMP warfare who helped the devs in writing the story. So the whole 'fiction' excuse doesn't work if it's not plausible/ believable.

I'm just amazed at how many experts we have here on North Korean capabilities. To say they can't launch an attack is stupid. al-Qaida launched an attack on the United States.

gsf1200:
I'm just amazed at how many experts we have here on North Korean capabilities. To say they can't launch an attack is stupid. al-Qaida launched an attack on the United States.

I could launch an attack on the US if I really wanted, but I couldn't take over most of south east asia and occupy America.

CaptainStupid:

SpiderJerusalem:
Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

"Because it's fiction" is another excuse. Anyone who wants to make a game about sexually molesting children could say, "Because it's fiction." No, it would be lousy, stupid, oblivious fiction. There are no absolutes. "It's just a game" or "Because it's fiction" does not justify everything. A book critic does not refrain from pointing out the flaws of a novel just because it happens to be fiction. If "Because it's fiction" or "It's just a game" are absolutely correct, then there's no need for game reviews. Game critics might as well do something else, since they failed in their responsibility to ask critical questions about Homefront. Restricting critical comments to gameplay mechanics undermines the popular idea that games have become art. If reviewers can be critical of art, which includes fiction, then they should question the insulting fiction of Homefront.

Isn't the game set some 20-30 years in the future, after decades of North Korean imperialism? While "because it's fiction" is definitely an insufficient handwave, "because the times have changed" seems a bit stronger.

An incredible career. I agree, I'd like to see more credibility to storytelling in games.

SpiderJerusalem:

Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

Yes, when you drum up your story as a plausible near future scenario you are completely unbound by the constraints of reality. Homefront 2 is going to feature a global takeover of Molossia by means of gigantic battlemechs and a clone army. It's a gritty realistic shooter which is completely plausible, and no arguments can be made against that.

No sir. Additionally the utter rediculousness of the whole thing will also not serve to critically undermine the weight of the story.

gsf1200:
I'm just amazed at how many experts we have here on North Korean capabilities. To say they can't launch an attack is stupid. al-Qaida launched an attack on the United States.

Yeah, remember the Al Qaida invading with a conventional army from Afghanistan via pegasus pony airlift and defeating the American armed forces, then occupying? Man those years sucked.

Istvan:

SpiderJerusalem:

Because. it's. FICTION.

Really, it's that simple.

FICTION. Make believe. Fake. Not true. What if. A look at realistic human emotion through the means of unreal scenarios - like sci-fi.

Yes, when you drum up your story as a plausible near future scenario you are completely unbound by the constraints of reality. Homefront 2 is going to feature a global takeover of Molossia by means of gigantic battlemechs and a clone army. It's a gritty realistic shooter which is completely plausible, and no arguments can be made against that.

No sir. Additionally the utter rediculousness of the whole thing will also not serve to critically undermine the weight of the story.

Is this still going on? Jeez, you think naysayers would have actually become more well-informed, considering that there are many, many people in this thread already pointing out that the game not only happens some 20-30 years into the future, but also features a long LONG build up in the opening credits to the rise of power, which, while unlikely, is not anymore far fetched than the dystopian future of Starship Troopers or any other military yarn of the 80's.

But then again, if you people are STILL griping over this, I'm not exactly surprised that misinformation is still the issue.

SpiderJerusalem:

Is this still going on? Jeez, you think naysayers would have actually become more well-informed, considering that there are many, many people in this thread already pointing out that the game not only happens some 20-30 years into the future, but also features a long LONG build up in the opening credits to the rise of power, which, while unlikely, is not anymore far fetched than the dystopian future of Starship Troopers or any other military yarn of the 80's.

But then again, if you people are STILL griping over this, I'm not exactly surprised that misinformation is still the issue.

Actually I watched a let's play. EvilTim did one that managed to make it entertaining, four hour campaign with cardboard cutout characters and a terrible story even if you ignore the rediculous nature of it.

How is the entire North Korean invasion halted? They destroy 2 AA-turrets on a bridge

Yeah 20 years from now this will be plausible.

Istvan:

SpiderJerusalem:

Is this still going on? Jeez, you think naysayers would have actually become more well-informed, considering that there are many, many people in this thread already pointing out that the game not only happens some 20-30 years into the future, but also features a long LONG build up in the opening credits to the rise of power, which, while unlikely, is not anymore far fetched than the dystopian future of Starship Troopers or any other military yarn of the 80's.

But then again, if you people are STILL griping over this, I'm not exactly surprised that misinformation is still the issue.

Actually I watched a let's play. EvilTim did one that managed to make it entertaining, four hour campaign with cardboard cutout characters and a terrible story even if you ignore the rediculous nature of it.

How is the entire North Korean invasion halted? They destroy 2 AA-turrets on a bridge

Yeah 20 years from now this will be plausible.

Now see, here's one thing from argumentation 101. When arguing about something, stick to one point that you're trying to make. Is the premise preposterous even for fiction and could never happen OR are you arguing the ending of the campaign is the part which could never ever in a million years happen OR is it the argument that the campaign is awful? Notice also how I've not even spoken a word of the campaign (although I think there might be something in this thread where I state that it was a horrendous disappointment).

Also, the war doesn't end, it's merely the turning point because the creators decided to go with the viewpoint of a normal footsoldier who only hears that "things are turning around", nothing more or less. It is a poorly directed ending, because it is abrupt and inconclusive with no resolution.

But then again, all this has zero bearing to your original statement, which you apparently even can't stand behind.

Although, that's what happens when all knowledge of your argument comes from a Let's Play video.

SpiderJerusalem:

Now see, here's one thing from argumentation 101. When arguing about something, stick to one point that you're trying to make.

Yeah the distracted nature of the post is the result of me pulling an all-nighter, sorry about that.

As for the plot being no sillier than 80s action flicks I'll quote directly from the game's steam page:

* Discover a terrifyingly plausible near-future world - the familiar has become alien in this nightmare vision of Occupied USA

Starship troopers as you mentioned was the filmatization of a book whoose primary task was to push the political views of the author.

SpiderJerusalem:

Also, the war doesn't end, it's merely the turning point because the creators decided to go with the viewpoint of a normal footsoldier who only hears that "things are turning around", nothing more or less. It is a poorly directed ending, because it is abrupt and inconclusive with no resolution.

I thought he was a pilot? - Though to be fair the guy who is completely critical to the entire plan does get used as a meat-shield by the other grunts so I can see where the confusion might come from.

SpiderJerusalem:

But then again, all this has zero bearing to your original statement, which you apparently even can't stand behind.

If you like I can give a detailed overview of the many, many plot-holes that not even thirty years can cover. Will take a little bit to write but but then again I could use the practice for my upcoming SRP project.

SpiderJerusalem:

Although, that's what happens when all knowledge of your argument comes from a Let's Play video.

This seems like an unnecessary drop in tone. Suggesting that the entirety of my knowledge on the subject matter is made up of a let's play could be interpreted as you going for a personal attack. If you want me to cite more sources I can but for the game play all I have is the let's play.

I assume that the let's play is fair enough source material to be utilized as a source for the game's plot?

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here