Thoughts on Range 15

Don't appear to have been any shootings at Range 15 showing theaters tonight. It wasn't for a lack of guns. I haven't been in a room with that many gun-toting men and women since the last time I went to church in Baghdad.

Well, or the DFAC. Probably it was the DFAC.

There was a lot of laughing out loud at the movie. It was very much military humor, deployment humor. Some of it was black humor, but a lot of it captured the heavily sexual banter that young men deployed without real outlets develop over time.

I completely understand now why there were not able to get the movie rated. It doesn't fit the rating scale. There is no category for it. Normally a movie rated high for violence is an R, and a movie rated higher than that is rated X for sex. This movie was neither more violent than an R movie, nor were the sex scenes particularly explicit at all. The reason it couldn't be rated was that they said and did things that are just forbidden. I would have liked to have seen the faces of any of the raters who may have encountered it.

My guess is that it will become a cult favorite among deploying soldiers and Marines. It will probably be forbidden by General Order, and have to be passed around like other contraband. On the last day before rotating out of country, the commander will elect to go to bed early so his guys can have a screening without him taking official notice. They'll laugh, even though they've seen it many times before. Not because the jokes are funny -- many of them are terrible -- but because they understand them.

After the credits, they showed a nice little 'making of' video that ends with Nick Palmisciano of Ranger UP giving a brief speech about his hopes that this movie will create new lanes of understanding between military members and civilians.

Having seen it, I'm pretty sure it won't. :)


Tom said...

I'm at the after party. It was awesome. Still can't believe they did some of that. They're setting up a second showing next month. I'm thinking about inviting some progressive movie making friends. We might make some inroads here ...

Grim said...

It was really something, wasn't it? I took the wife. She was howling with laughter at some of the stuff they did, and then as soon as she could stop repeating, "horrible, horrible, horrible" almost like Heart of Darkness.

"I told you it would be the worst movie you'd ever seen," I said at the end. "I never promised you better than that."

But it was, absolutely, the worst movie you've ever seen -- and it wasn't.

Tom said...

It was something, indeed. Felt strangely at home for a bit, something I pretty much never feel in crowds. Our screen almost sold out.

Well, tomorrow's going to hurt. I think I'll still be chuckling, though.

Grim said...

I gave an extra ticket to some young guy who happened to be in the lobby to flirt with one of the theater employees because they were curious about what the movie even was. Some of the other theater employees snuck into the film. From what I heard of their reaction afterwards, they really did not understand what they'd just seen.

What you suggest about the sense of 'being at home' was really true, though. I didn't know anyone there except my wife, but it still felt comfortable in a way that public places in cities usually do not.

Tom said...

The humor was similar to Southpark and Deadpool. In fact, Deadpool is pretty close. Have you seen it?

I think the audience is out there, but if you're not part of that crowd, then you won't get it.

Another thought about feeling at home, it was also kinda like a crowd of refugees.

Grim said...

Haven't seen either. Don't do TV, and I'm not a comic book guy.

Haven't been much among refugees, either, except that one time in Hurricane Floyd. But that was pretty unpleasant. Have been an expatriate at times. That's got its appeal. I especially enjoyed it in Manila, but even in Hangzhou or Zamboanga it had its charms.

Tom said...

If you enjoyed Range 15, I think you would enjoy the Deadpool movie. It's kinda what Mat Best would make if he did super-anti-hero movies, and was less patriotic. Southpark is more like Mat Best in high school. No need to go there, but similar humor.

By refugees, I guess I mean the way refugee communities form in their new home country.

For ex-pats, yeah, the way ex-pats form their own communities abroad. I did that in Japan, but honestly, most ex-pats just irritated me. Japan might have a different kind of ex-pat community, though.