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A Long Talk With Paul Verhoeven!!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with a fan-friggin-tastic long as all get go interview with the Dutch master... Paul Verhoeven. Hands down this is one of the best interviews that I've read regarding Verhoeven and his current state of mind in quite some time. Dig in and ENJOY!!!!

Hi Harry,

Steve from The Netherlands here, with a rather lenghty interview that Robbert Blokland, a great journalist and a good friend of mine, did last tuesday with everybody's favorite Dutch director Paul Verhoeven.

Seems that Verhoeven has been visting his home country quite often these past months, because he's working on a couple of what he calls 'European projects' (you can read all about them in the interview). Right now, he's back in town for the incredibly fantastic FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL, where he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Wish you could be here big man, because the festival's great (especially the Night of Terror, that takes place this friday). Hell, we could even eat some greasy fries with mayo again! (like we did at Bram Ladage a couple of years ago at the Rotterdam Film Festival).

People interested in visiting the festival can find more information on www.filmevents.nl

Anyway, lucky bastard Robbert was able to talk to Verhoeven for over two hours and I just decided to give you the entire interview, because there's just too much great stuff in there that I don't want to deprive you guys from. I hope my translation is somehow readable. Dutch readers can find the entire interview (in Dutch, of course) on Ruben's excellent Horrorcypher website: HorrorCypher

Have fun!

Steve

******************************

So, do you still visit Holland often?

Well, it depends. The past year, I've been here a lot more than usual, because I'm working on two projects with Gerard Soeteman, who wrote all my Dutch films. After that [period] I resided in the States for about seventeen years, and I just made American movies. But two years ago, I decided that I wanted to make something 'European'. It's pretty difficult to get a movie like that financed in America, because they're not at all interested in European history. If you're able to get some kind of co-funding for a project like that in Europe, it all gets a lot easier in the States.

Why are you so interested in making a European project? Have you lost interest in Hollywood?

I think the desire to do such a thing is pretty normal if you've lived in Europe for about 47 years. The fact that I've made a couple of succesful Hollywood-films, now gives me the opportunity to actually get a European project made. In most countries, people know my name now. I never achieved that just with my Dutch work, that's just the way it goes. Even English-spoken Dutch films never manage to cross the border. European countries don't buy each other's films and they don't want to see each other's films.

And European investors are interested in Paul Verhoeven now?

Well, I want to make American films, partly financed with European money. I mean, if it's American, almost anything is possible, even in Europe. It’s a lot easier to find funding that way. There's a lot of European money in American films anyhow; Europeans continually invest in American films. What concerns me, is that I want to make films with European subject matter. I was never really able to express myself on an international level with my Dutch films. I went to the States because I hated the politics surrounding the Dutch film in general at that time, mainly because the Dutch Film Fund always worked against me. I don't need them anymore now.

So no more Dutch films for you?

I want to make European films; English spoken, with American actors and European subject matter, about European history.

But surely, people have regarded you as a succesful director for over ten years now. Why return to Europe now?

The desire to make a European film, a film I really want to make, only came to me about two or three years ago. I never really thought about it before then. I was too busy trying to establish myself as a director in the States. That alone will take you about ten to fifteen years. While you're doing that, you start feeling more comfortable in America, and you try to regain some of your freedoms as a director. You start thinking about the films you really want to make. They give you more opportunities, you start to understand the way the studio-system works and how to move within certain circles. I like to do things that are different... HOLLOW MAN, BASIC INSTINCT, TOTAL RECALL - of the six films I made in the States, three were totally mainstream. SHOWGIRLS is esoteric, STARSHIP TROOPERS had a clear message, but all the others were totally mainstream.

But they are all Paul Verhoeven-films...

Of course they're your own films, but you're still doing something you'd rather not. At this point, I'm working on films I really want to make. One of them is AZAZEL, based on a novel by the Russian author Boris Akunin, set in the year 1876. It was recently published as FANDORIN in The Netherlands. In Russia, Akunin is a top-writer, sells over four million books a year. My daughter actually told me about it while studying in Moscow. I memorized the name and the moment it was translated in French, I bought it and read it. I fell in love right away, so I emailed the writer and politely asked him if I could buy the rights to his novel. It's actually the first novel in a series of eight or nine books, so I just optioned the first one, with the possibility of filming the other novels as well. Not that I really want to make ten films, but I really, really want to do the first one.

So that's going to be an American film with a European story?

Yeah, and in that way it's different from most other American detective-stories. I think of it as BASIC INSTINCT set in 1876; a Russian detective in St Petersburg. But of course with American actors, otherwise it'll be impossible to sell.

Any names?

No, no stars are attached yet. We just finished the script.

Why did you bring Gerard Soeteman back on board?

Well, the detective actually made me think of a grown-up version of Floris [a series that Verhoeven made in The Netherlands, written by Soeteman and starring a young Rutger Hauer - ed.], so I immediately thought of Gerard. If anybody could write a decent script around such a character, without americanizing things too much, it would be him. It had to be written by a European screenwriter; I want the film to be different from American mainstream. Besides, the novel hasn't been translated into English yet and I haven't been able to find an American writer who can read French or German.

So you have all the rights to the novel now?

Yeah, I bought all the rights. The English translation won't be published before may next year and I didn't want to wait another two years. That's total nonsense, Gerard is a great writer, if not better than most American scribes. You never know how the cookie crumbles, but this is just what I want to do right now. And I hope to get the project financed and greenlit in America.

And you're selling the project as a 'Paul Verhoeven film'?

It's not my name that sells, but my expertise. They estimate things like 'yeah, he'll be able to do it, or 'no, he's not up to it'. I'm no Alfred Hitchcock.

But you do have a reputation?

With the studios and critics, yes. Of course, the public knows who I am, but I don't think Americans are really interested in 'the new Paul Verhoeven'. Only a director like Spielberg can pull that off, or maybe Lubitsch and Hitchcock in the old days.

So, it's back to the studio-system of the thirties then?

No! That studio-system allowed great directors like Hitchcock, Wilder and Lubitsch to make a name for themselves. They were able to finance a film on their name alone. It's totally different now; you can't make a decent American movie if you don't have any stars attached. And AZELLE will be a costly project; not like HOLLOW MAN or STARSHIP TROOPERS, but I think the budget will be around fourty million dollars.

Are you telling me you're NOT a bankeable director in the States?

Look, at this point there's only one director who's able to make movies without big names and that's Steven Spielberg. All the others, whether they're Oliver Stone or Paul Verhoeven, need big names to get a project financed.

But you're certainly part of the top?

Yeah, but unless you've got big names, you won't get any project greenlit, it's as simple as that. Unless, of course, a studio wants to make a special effects-driven movie, like HOLLOW MAN. That film didn't have any big names; the visual effects were the main attraction. I mean, with all due respect, you can't finance a movie on Kevin Bacon and Elisabeth Shue alone. I couldn't have made BASIC INSTINCT without Michael Douglas.

And most of the stars want to work with Paul Verhoeven?

No, they decide to join because they like the script or the part. And only after that, they'll think 'o yeah, that director's pretty much okay'. And only if you're lucky.

What's the other project you're working on?

The other film I'm working on has a distinctive Dutch 'touch'. It's a movie based on the novel BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD, by Mike Bash. It's an epic story about a VOC-ship. I'm developing the story right now with Gerard Soeteman.

Haven't you been working on that project for over twenty years now?

Yeah, but NOW there's a book, and it's an English novel to boot. It's so much easier to get a project on the right track when there's an English novel. I mean, when you say: 'we've got this great ship in Holland, let's make a movie about that', people in America will immediately go: 'so? Haven't you seen MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY?'. There have been several novels about the Batavia, but this one was only recently published and got great reviews. I urged the British company Film Four to buy the rights to the novel for me and so they did....BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD and AZAZELLE are the projects I really want to do right now, but nothing is certain. The films still need to be financed, several stars are needed. The only way you know for certain that you've actually made a movie is when you're present at its premiere. But the script is a beginning. You won't get money or big stars without a script. Good scripts get you stars, stars get you money. That's just the way it works.

It took you fifteen years in America just to figure that out?

No, things weren't like that at all when I made ROBOCOP back in 1987. It's the way it is at this moment. Not to say that there aren't any exceptions, sure there are, but it generally works this way. It's the way studios think. I know I'll have to go through the same ordeal with AZAZELLE ans BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD. You can't even get any money in Europe now, if you don't have any big names attached to your project. Europeans have already lost so much money on shitty films. They won't get fooled again.

Is that why projects like CRUSADES or the Hitler and Jezus-biopics were shelved?

CRUSADES was eventually shelved because Carolco went bankrupt. After that, the project landed in Arnolds lap and he still owns the rights.

Wasn't the GLADIATOR-hype reason enough to pull CRUSADES out of the fridge?

That could have been the case, but it didn't happen. Actually, I don't have anything to do with the project anymore. At the time, I was involved with Carolco, but Arnold has the rights now and he can do with it whatever he wants.

But would you like to do it?

*short silence* well I never hear anything about it. I don't know if Arnold wants to do it, or if he wants to do it with me. I last saw him when we did the audio-commentary for the TOTAL RECALL-dvd, but we never really discussed it. The only thing I know is that Ridley Scott is developing some kind of Crusades-project.

What about ALEXANDER?

Hah! I think there are about twenty to thirty people who want to do ALEXANDER.

Including you?

Sure. But I only want to do an Alexander-movie, based on the novel by Louis Couperus. I think the only great novel about Alexander's life is ISKANDER by Couperus.

Ehhmmm... so are you seriously developing this?

Well, let's just say I'm seriously re-reading the novel. I'm looking for ways to turn it into a film. But it's definitely one of my all-time favorite novels ever. It's truly fantastic. It's not just warriors bashing each other's heads in, but it's actually about people.

So real people are more important to you and your films?

Well, more important... of course, with Alexander, they are. With FANDORIN, the thriller-aspect and the period-aspect are more important. A thriller, of course, has other strenghts than an epic film about Alexander the Great. Couperus really tried to understand Alexander's motivations and what his psychological relation was with Darius' mother. So that's about people, and all the massive battle-scenes service them.

But you never really made films about real people in the States?

Ehhmmm... well, BASIC INSTINCT is about people...

You didn't feel the need to do it?

I never got the opportunity to do it!

And now you do?

I think FANDORIN is somewhere in between, there are all these great characters, but basically it's a detective-story and an adventure-story. It's like Tin-Tin, Sherlock Holmes, Floris and Indiana Jones in one.

But do you feel the need to make films about human characters or not?

No, I mean, not just about human characters. FANDORIN is not just about people, BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD is.

So that's not going to be a PERFECT STORM set in 1700 then?

No, more like a LORD OF THE FLIES, set in 1628. If you want to simplify it like that.

How about Hitler?

I'm not working on that at the moment.

Why? Wasn't that your dream-project?

Yeah... well maybe, I'm just not ready for it yet.

Is it going to be your SCHINDLER'S LIST?

I don't know. I still have to find a right way to do it, I think. If you want to make a biopic on the life of Hitler, you're gonna end up with an eight hour movie at least. And you'll need a good angle, I haven't fount it yet.

You're 63 now... do you think you've already made your masterpiece?

I think it's wrong to think in terms of masterpieces. It's lethal for your creativity to think 'hey, I'm going to make my masterpiece now'. You just have to do what you like. History writes masterpieces, not the moment itself.

Do critics still get to you?

Of course they get to you, you can't escape that. Unless you don't read any reviews, and I know there are directors that completely avoid them, don't want to hear anything about them. I always read the reviews. And of course it's annoying and painful when they trash your movie. But sometimes, and this is even worse, you know they're right. Critics can break you, at least for a while, they can shock you, make you doubt yourself. Especially if 99 percent of the critics write the same kind of review, and they can. I think it's stupid for an artist to avoid any kind of criticism. They're not lethal, you know. They can kick you down, but you'll get over it in time. Maybe they didn’t get it, maybe it just wasn’t all that good, but anyway, it won’t stop you from making another movie.

Take STARSHIP TROOPERS, great example, probably the most political statement I've ever made. Five years ago, most of the critics totally trashed that movie. They called me a nazi, saying I was idolizing Leni Riefenstahl. Now, that image has totally changed. A lot of people see now that the film is about the United States. The whole situation in Afghanistan is almost an exact copy of STARSHIP TROOPERS; the whole gung ho-mentality of bombing everything, blasting the Taliban-forces out of the caves. I put all that in STARSHIP TROOPERS! The corrupted atmosphere of propaganda, once invented by Goebbels, has now taken over the United States as well. It's extremely interesting to see how the media can besiege an entire nation with propaganda.

Do you deliberately intend to shock with extreme violence in your films?

I like showing things as they are. I don't avoid anything.

But you do it because you can...

It's not really a motivation or anything. Well, maybe it IS a motivation when a movie doesn't turn out the way I want it to. I really wanted to make something more out of HOLLOW MAN, really delve into Sebastians character on a psychological level, but the story wouldn't allow it. So if it HAS to be a mainstream-slasher, I like to hit my audience as hard as I can; I mean, I have to take some pleasure in it as well, don't I?

Well, in TURKISH DELIGHT you kind of showed Rutger Hauer vomiting on a mirror...

That was in Jan Wolkers novel! Wolkers doesn't avoid anything either. He’s one of those people that also shows reality as it is.

Do you see yourself as a 'fantastic' filmmaker?

You mean like in fantasy-films? No. But I did make a lot of them, yeah.

So you never made them consiously?

No, quite on the contrary. It just happened to turn out that way. I started out with it in the United States and I was never really able to free myself from those films. I think the scifi-stigma just kind of stuck with me. I tried to break that stigma with films like BASIC INSTINCT and SHOWGIRLS; the first one turned out great, the second one was considerably less succesful. But the material they sent me after I did ROBOCOP was all sciencefiction and action-orientated and it’s nearly impossible to break free from that. You’re typecast, just like actors.

So is it just a coincidence that Paul Verhoeven made four great scifi-films?

Yes, because frankly I’m not a sciencefiction-fan at all! To tell you the truth, I hate sciencefiction! The ROBOCOP-script was actually in my garbage-can when my wife persuaded me to take another look at it. It was only when I recognized certain elements that reminded me of TOM POES IN THE LAND OF THE TIN MEN, one of my favorite comic books, that I started to see some fun in the script and the film.

But if you don’t want to make scifi-films, you can also simply not do them. Why didn’t you say: ‘No, I won’t make TOTAL RECALL’, or ‘No, I won’t make HOLLOW MAN’?

Because all the other projects that were sent to me were even worse! Even if TOTAL RECALL was a scifi-film, it was still a lot better than the other shit they sent me. There are three American films I really stand by: ROBOCOP, BASIC INSTINCT and STARSHIP TROOPERS. The rest was considerably worse.

Showgirls? In retrospect?

Ehhhmmm... That wasn’t really a good movie, no. It had a bad story. But I liked the way we filmed it though.

So you only made it for shock-value?

No... I was just under the impression that the story would be better, that it would actually work, but the story turned out to be too corny, too simplistic and too transparent.

And you only noticed that while shooting it?

No, looking back at it now. But I still enjoy the film, I think the story is well filmed.

But when the movie was released you defended it ferociously...

Sure, and that’s the way I saw it back then! In retrospect, it should have been a Hitchcockian murder mystery, a murder mystery in Vegas. I should have used all that nudity and brutality and the whole sex-as-a-weapon-idea in a better way. The movie’s statement didn’t come across at all when it was released.

Excuse me... statement?

Yeah, it’s better to sell tits than brains. I mean, it’s more decent to sell your body in Vegas, than to sell your brains to, say, the tobacco industry. That industry kills millions of people every year and the critics complain about a couple of tits! But I should have protected myself better. If I’d wrapped the message in a murder mystery, taking place in a sleazy stripclub, it would have worked much better. I should have done that. It would have made a much more interesting movie.

Does that happen often with you; looking back at your movies and thinking ‘I SHOULD have done this, or I SHOULD have done that’?

No, I just have a problem with SHOWGIRLS. And, looking back at my Dutch films, maybe KEETJE TIPPEL.

WAT ZIEN IK? (DIARY OF A HOOKER - 1971)?

No, not that one. That film consisted of all these short stories, and that whole idea was more or less impossible to film anyway. There were all these short three page stories without any dramatic structure, it was hell! But I think we eventually pulled it off, I still stand by that. KEETJE TIPPEL I just don’t like, I could have done a better job on that one. I even know now what I should have done differently; construct the story in another way, expand on the girl’s character a little more, a lot of things. I think KEETJE TIPPEL was overshadowed by the succes of TURKISH DELIGHT. I wasn’t able to break free from that. At least not before I made SOLDIER OF ORANGE. Looking back, KEETJE was a bit of a missed opportunity. I think I was just too young for it at that time. I was completely obsessed with sex, so a lot of the real motives didn’t turn out that well.

HOLLOW MAN?

No, I really don’t think I could have done that any better. There was no way we could have done the story differently anyway. We were doomed to stay in that laboratory; if we’d taken hollow man outside, the H.G. Wells literary heirs would have been waiting for us. We couldn't do that, we weren't allowed to. It was more or less the same story: if he'd taken one step outside, an army of lawyers was ready to nail us.

So why didn't you tell that when everybody more or less complained about the ending?

No, you just don't do that! You can't diss your own movie at its premiere.

Columbia wouldn't let you?

Well, the could have. But it's just not done, you know? You don't trumpet around that you had restrictions or why you had those restrictions. You just don't say that you wanted to make the movie in a different way, that you actually wanted to do a different ending or this or that. It's not fair when you're promoting a movie. People invested like a hundred million dollars in a movie like that. You can't go around saying things like 'sorry about the ending guys, I really wanted to do it differently'.

But two years later it's okay?

Sure, later it's allright. The film is done, it made some money, so it's okay then. But when a movie is just about to be released, you don't trash it yourself, it's not fair. Like Joe Eszterhas did at the SHOWGIRLS-premiere, saying 'I don't like it at all because Elizabeth Berkley stinks in this film', while before that, he continually insisted that the film was going to be great; I think that's just ludicrous. I think it's mudslinging as well; as a captain, you don't abandon your ship when it's going down. That's the reason why I picked up my Razzies that year. I was awarded seven times I think, and I collected each and every one of them; film, directing, acting, script, I don't know. You must carry the consequences that come with the freedom you take in making certain decisions. You shouldn't risk your authenticity by saying things like; 'sure, but that's not really what I wanted to do'. You should say; 'yeah, that's what I meant!', or at least admit that you actually made that decision and you want to defend your movie because of that.

This sunday, you participate in a symposium about fantastic films in The Netherlands. Do you have a theory why fantastic films just can't be made in Holland?

Yeah, because it's simply impossible for a sane person to make a decent movie here.

Are you creative supervisor on SOLDIER OF ORANGE 2?

No, I'm not. If Rob [Houwer, the producer of SOLDIER OF ORANGE -ed.] needs any help, I'll gladly be of assistance. But I'm really not involved.

What do you think about that project?

Well, I haven’t read the script yet. From what I know, Jean van de Velde [the director of SOLDIER OF ORANGE 2 -ed.] is still writing it. I don't know if it's wise to do it; you know, sequels are always kind of tricky. I've always refused to do sequels, I don't care how often they ask me. SOLDIER OF ORANGE 2, ROBOCOP 2, ROBOCOP 3, ROBOCOP 4, TOTAL RECALL 2, SHOWGIRLS 2...

SHOWGIRLS 2?

Believe me, there were plans for a SHOWGIRLS 2! It's called BIMBO'S... Joe and I seriously discussed it at one point. When the movie turned out the way it did, we made a treatment for a sequel, just for fun. Joe came up with the title; BIMBO'S: NOMI GOES HOLLYWOOD. But nobody wanted to do it...

What if they offer you a great sciencefiction script in the States?

I'd do it right away, sure! If I think 'well, it's sciencefiction, that's too bad, but the story is great!', I'll throw all my current European projects overboard without thinking twice. I mean, you've got to be open to the unknown, right? You should never let the plans in your head lead your life.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 12, 2002, 6:22 a.m. CST

    First! (And Dear God, save us!)

    by Kvantum

    Showgirls 2? Lord, please save us from the horrific possibility. (If I want to see lots of nudity and atrocious acting, I'll just go watch porn.)

  • April 12, 2002, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Paul Verhoeven is a genius

    by Clockwork Taxi

    This was wonderful. He is truly one of the best film makers working today. I can't wait to see what he does next, what a guy.

  • April 12, 2002, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Great fucking interview!

    by AndyGinner

    That was a really enjoyable read - I didn't know about his hands being tied regarding the all-interior setting for Hollow Man, so thanks for shedding some light on that. It's also good to know that PV would consider doing some more ultra-violent sci-fi actioners if Hollywood gave him the chance. Come on you money-men, give this guy a decent budget and a bit of creative freedom. After all, this is the genius who gave us Rutger in Flesh and Blood, the original and never-to-be-equalled Robocop, and possibly Arnie's finest (certainly most fun) movie. Verhoeven, we salute you!

  • So Paul verhoven wants to criticise the USA for freeing Afganistan women from the Taliban.What an idiot and a liar. Far from "bombing everthing",the US has been quite wise in it's handling of war in Afganistan and has defeated a major dictatorship. Perhaps Mr Verhoven,who doesn't have the same problem with the attack on the USA,should take a look at other contries around the world where millions die under dictatorships. As for Paul Verhoven's films,showgirls flopped amnd Starship Troopers flopped when fans rejected the movie's eccessive violence,not to mention it's stupid and illogical story. Why exactly do the troopers go down when their air support can wipe out the bugs in seconds?Why don't the troops use more naplam,grnades and bombs?Why do the troop carriers bunch together like sitting ducks when they could be a thousand miles apart?How do the bugs pinpont an asteroid to a planet in a different solar system and how don't Earth's ships see it in time?DUMB film.Pity the poor backers thinking that Paul was giving them Star Wars when he has a record of violent junk movies.

  • April 12, 2002, 7:18 a.m. CST

    I dunno. I think I lost what little respect I still had for this

    by exit272

    He whines that he doesn't like science fiction but makes SF movies anyway because all the other shit he gets offered is worse. WTF? Create your own projects, dude. Then he accuses the war on terror of being this thing marketed by a propaganda machine? Uh, excuse me, there was this thing involving these two buildings...? I dunno, I get the impression Verhoeven is actually kind of indifferent to film and couldn't care less about his own work. Ah well, the only movie of his I like is Soldier of Orange, anyway. I do wonder why he went on to make the crap (Basic Instinct sucked peanuts out of a baboon's asshole) he made in America when he showed he was capable of making a real movie with that one. And I'm still hoping someone sees fit to burn the negative of Starshit Troopers.

  • April 12, 2002, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Verehoven is God, except...

    by CrymeLord

    for most of his films. Robocop was genius. Starship Troopers is the best awful movie I've ever seen. Great, great action surrounded by horrendous dialogue. The rest is just a lump of mediocrity with Showgirls teetering on the edge of horrific.

  • April 12, 2002, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Gotta give Verhoeven his props...

    by JackBurton

    People at large may not always get him or his films, but at least he's one of the last originals still out there working, someone who does things the way he believes they should be done and tries to find interesting projects to throw his unique vision and style behind. And you've also got to respect the fact that when he thinks he screwed up he freely admits it, after he's fulfilled his obligations of course. Because of all of that and more he is one of the only directors whose name always gets my ass into the cinema these days, I just wish he was a little more prolific and funded better by studios. And his best film is still Flesh + Blood in my opinion (now where's the damn DVD special edition of that?)

  • April 12, 2002, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Showgirls

    by JacksonsBane

    Part of me thinks the film is crap, part of me thinks "fuck me this film is cool, look at all those tits and glitz!!".

  • April 12, 2002, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Great interview!

    by moviemaniac-7

    Does anybody have Paul's e-mail adres? I might have the sci-fi script which will make him throw his European film overboard. I wonder if any of the two films mentioned will ever get made. I hope so, 'cause Paul is one of the directors who should be given a big pile of money and TOTAL CREATIVE CONTROL! Then see what kinda kick-ass films he comes up with.

  • April 12, 2002, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Why are there two stories that are the same thing on this site?

    by holidill

  • April 12, 2002, 9:07 a.m. CST

    In defense of Elizabeth Berkley

    by holidill

    When Elizabeth Berkley was named the star of Showgirls,I started watching Saved by the Bell more often. I found myself enamoured of her. She was tall, like me, she had long hair, which I love, and she had a gorgeous body. Also at the time my girlfriend had just dumped me so I was in the dumps. She wasn't a great actor, but she had her moments. Showgirls is a wretched piece of junk, but seeing Elizabeth's sleek sexy body was enough for me, and hell Gina Gershon was in it, though I wish we could have seen more of her as well. But recently she's been doing a good job as a character actor. Granted she seems to be playing the same roles, but I still think she's cool. Though I do have a steady girlfriend now. I haven't seen her in Titus yet, but hopefully she will start on a new path as a good character actress, there are not enough of them in the world.

  • April 12, 2002, 9:09 a.m. CST

    layers and coolness

    by prince kamal

    Paul's great. Robo, Total and StarShip are sooo (without wanting to sound pretentious here) multi layered. Action film/gore fest/social-political statement. Not exactly your average Hollywood no-brain/no-dick. Nice one man.

  • April 12, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers was great.

    by binarybaby

    The rest of his work I couldnt care less about.

  • April 12, 2002, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Moron

    by Explody

    What a dipshit. A man who simultaneously missed the point of the war and of Heinlein's novel. I'm just glad most people don't realize Starship Troopers was a book. European retard.

  • April 12, 2002, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Taking Risks

    by TU

    It is better to take risk and to fail, than to take always the easy road (Jurassic PArk XY, Die Hard XY etc) and produce only average stuff that noone needs. So Showgirls was a failure, but so what????

  • April 12, 2002, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Noell's objections to Starship Troopers...

    by JTylor

    Those all strike me as problems with the novel, aren't they? Granted, the novel had powered suits, etc., but Verhoeven definitely tapped into the way propaganda worked: bugs are even easier to demonize than humans are (and we have a really easy time demonizing them; look at how the Taliban regards the US! Or how we thought of, say, the Germans or the Japanese during WWII, or how Hitler thought of the Jews).

  • April 12, 2002, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Candyass Europeans

    by kingink123

    I love Verhoeven's films, especially Starship Troopers (the lame dialog and cheesy stereotypical characters were written that way on purpose) and who can ever forget ROBOCOP. But his political views are the typical European views, that America is an aggressive bully kicking its way into every little country it can. They fail to recognize that these are tyrant controlled military countries who's people are too ignorant and short sighted and propogandized to ever free themselves. If it wasn't for America taking the slack in the fight for democratic governments, most of the world would be socialist and communist by this point.

  • April 12, 2002, 10:22 a.m. CST

    In defence of Showgirls (hell, why not?)

    by Chilli Kramer

    The movie was meant to be trashy. Look at Kyle McLachlan's pool with the neon palm trees. Look at all the Vegas types that run the Showgirl show, cheesy like Vegas types should be. Verhoeven knew what he was doing, satirising bad movies in this mould, showing Vegas as the tacky hole that it is. He turned up to collect his worst director as part of the joke. The dialogue and indeed the character's actions in the movie is of that 'so bad you have to quote it/tell someone about it' type. Examples: "Doggie Chow. I used to love Doggie Chow." or Crystal: "You've got nice tits. I like nice tits." Nomi "I like having nice tits." Or when Nomi tells a guy she can't have sex because she's having her period. He doesn't believe her, so she says 'check then'. He does, she is, how badly would that never happen. If you watch the movie with the fact in mind that it was made to be hilariously bad on every level, then in fact the movie is riotously funny. I think Verhoeven meant to do this too, as a satire of 'so bad they're good' type films. (Plus the movie has naked women in it, so you're never bored.)

  • April 12, 2002, 10:41 a.m. CST

    CRUSADE

    by godoffireinhell

    Arnold still wants to make CRUSADE! In a very recent interview he said that it will happen eventually but not right now because "good things take time". I think it is odd that he isn

  • April 12, 2002, 10:50 a.m. CST

    um...

    by Uga

    Did that interviewer call "Hollow Man" a great sci-fi film? That guy's credibility is the only thing that's invisible.

  • April 12, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers: novel vs film

    by BiffBolt

    JTylor thinks Noells objections source themselves in Heinlein's novel? Far from. I'm no Heinlein freak (he turned into a drooling moron after MiaHM), but the novel was an intelligent (if one-sided) look at the morality of fighting for a cause, and backed by relatively smart tactics in the few combat scenes. Verhoeven, meanwhile, went overboard with the Nazi-esque angle, and turned the forces into bumbling fools. Basically he shit all over the novel while producing his so-called "political statement". Verhoeven is essentially a talentless hack who somehow managed to produce one good film; Robocop. Don't ask me how.

  • April 12, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Obangubangusan...

    by GlippY

    This interview was AUTHORIZED by mr. Verhoeven himself (well, at least the Dutch version was). A gossip site this may be, this interview is the real deal, trust me. - Steve

  • April 12, 2002, 11:12 a.m. CST

    As to Noelle...

    by odietamo

    To each their own opinion. But if it'll help, here are some possible answers about your Starship Troopers questions: ---"fans rejected the movie's eccessive violence" - I think fans actually rejected something that was difficult for them to understand. ST was in many ways TRUE SciFi. Why? Because it had a TRULY different government, society and viewpoints. The same controversy happened when the novel was released. Any brainless sheep can get Star Trek or *shudder* Farscape. ST had something different and, to Americans, different is scary. -- "not to mention it's stupid and illogical story." This just seems like sniping, actually. It couldn't have been a more simple story, actually. Your failure to understand it doesn't mean it was stupid or illogical. -- "Why exactly do the troopers go down when their air support can wipe out the bugs in seconds?" Because, clearly, it couldn't. The bugs, like the vietnamese and other Asians America has fought, had built tunnel networks, making air attacks less effective. Further, I think you missed some of the message there, clearly stated after Rico is holding "Dizzy" in his arms as she dies. Air forces had the risk of being shot down. Pilots and machinery are inexpensive. Troopers are cheap and expendable. It isn't palatable but it was the rules of the world they were in. -- "Why don't the troops use more naplam,grnades and bombs?" A wide variety of reasons. First and foremost, it would've made for a dull film. Second, see "troopers are cheap" from above. The society depicted in ST seemed to have little concern for sending people out as fodder. Finally, and this applies to the air attacks too, in traditional military thought, you can not TAKE and HOLD land with bombs, planes or anything else. Holding land, making sure EVERY bug is dead, requires infantry. --- "Why do the troop carriers bunch together like sitting ducks when they could be a thousand miles apart?" Have you seen We Were Soldiers? Why did we drop off our men as sitting ducks in a valley next to the honeycombed mountain that served as an enemy command post? Read about WW II and troop distributions at certain times. To put it kindly, better choices could have been made. And this applies to all wars. Short answer: That was the governments military doctrine at the time. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. Also, would you have preferred having them separate and individually overwhelmed? Having them dropped separately in the book because they had the armor. -- "How do the bugs pinpont an asteroid to a planet in a different solar system" First, maybe you nor the heroes of the sroty know. Sometimes that happens. Secondly, as was estabilished, they have highly intelligent psychic "bugs" who may have figured out the trajectory. Here is a better question. Why on Earth would the Empire spend all the resources building the Death Star only to have it remain vulnerable to a torpedoe in a chute? -- "and how don't Earth's ships see it in time?" To quote Armageddon "It's a bigass sky". Was it a little hokey? Sure. It's a movie. Why put the shield generator that protects the 2nd Death Star on planet, and with a small garrison to protect it, ESPECIALLY when terrorists destroyed the last one? -- "DUMB film." To each their own. I enjoyed it. -- "Pity the poor backers thinking that Paul was giving them Star Wars when he has a record of violent junk movies." Have you even READ the novel it was based on? It's violent. War is violent. That's life. Curl back up with your teddy bear and watch Farscape if you want recurring villians and nobody dying. But to each their own opinion. Was it the best movie ever? No. Was it a true telling of the book? Not at all. Do I blame PV for that? No. He obviously had to work with the script given him. And either way, I enjoyed it.

  • April 12, 2002, 11:18 a.m. CST

    More Noelle's Objections Thought...

    by odietamo

    To each their own opinion. But if it'll help, here are some possible answers about your Starship Troopers questions: ---"fans rejected the movie's eccessive violence" - I think fans actually rejected something that was difficult for them to understand. ST was in many ways TRUE SciFi. Why? Because it had a TRULY different government, society and viewpoints. The same controversy happened when the novel was released. Any brainless sheep can get Star Trek or *shudder* Farscape. ST had something different and, to Americans, different is scary. --

  • April 12, 2002, 11:18 a.m. CST

    More Noelle's Objections Thought...2

    by odietamo

    "not to mention it's stupid and illogical story." This just seems like sniping, actually. It couldn't have been a more simple story, actually. Your failure to understand it doesn't mean it was stupid or illogical. -- "Why exactly do the troopers go down when their air support can wipe out the bugs in seconds?" Because, clearly, it couldn't. The bugs, like the vietnamese and other Asians America has fought, had built tunnel networks, making air attacks less effective. Further, I think you missed some of the message there, clearly stated after Rico is holding "Dizzy" in his arms as she dies. Air forces had the risk of being shot down. Pilots and machinery are inexpensive. Troopers are cheap and expendable. It isn't palatable but it was the rules of the world they were in. -- "Why don't the troops use more naplam,grnades and bombs?" A wide variety of reasons. First and foremost, it would've made for a dull film. Second, see "troopers are cheap" from above. The society depicted in ST seemed to have little concern for sending people out as fodder. Finally, and this applies to the air attacks too, in traditional military thought, you can not TAKE and HOLD land with bombs, planes or anything else. Holding land, making sure EVERY bug is dead, requires infantry. ---

  • April 12, 2002, 11:20 a.m. CST

    More Noelle's Objections Thought...3

    by odietamo

    "Why do the troop carriers bunch together like sitting ducks when they could be a thousand miles apart?" Have you seen We Were Soldiers? Why did we drop off our men as sitting ducks in a valley next to the honeycombed mountain that served as an enemy command post? Read about WW II and troop distributions at certain times. To put it kindly, better choices could have been made. And this applies to all wars. Short answer: That was the governments military doctrine at the time. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. Also, would you have preferred having them separate and individually overwhelmed? Having them dropped separately in the book because they had the armor. -- "How do the bugs pinpont an asteroid to a planet in a different solar system" First, maybe you nor the heroes of the sroty know. Sometimes that happens. Secondly, as was estabilished, they have highly intelligent psychic "bugs" who may have figured out the trajectory. Here is a better question. Why on Earth would the Empire spend all the resources building the Death Star only to have it remain vulnerable to a torpedoe in a chute? -- "and how don't Earth's ships see it in time?" To quote Armageddon "It's a bigass sky". Was it a little hokey? Sure. It's a movie. Why put the shield generator that protects the 2nd Death Star on planet, and with a small garrison to protect it, ESPECIALLY when terrorists destroyed the last one?

  • April 12, 2002, 11:21 a.m. CST

    More Noelle's Objections Thought...final

    by odietamo

    Sorry. I'm long winded. --- -- "DUMB film." To each their own. I enjoyed it. -- "Pity the poor backers thinking that Paul was giving them Star Wars when he has a record of violent junk movies." Have you even READ the novel it was based on? It's violent. War is violent. That's life. Curl back up with your teddy bear and watch Farscape if you want recurring villians and nobody dying. But to each their own opinion. Was it the best movie ever? No. Was it a true telling of the book? Not at all. Do I blame PV for that? No. He obviously had to work with the script given him. And either way, I enjoyed it.

  • April 12, 2002, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers: novel vs film

    by odietamo

    "Nazi-esque angle, " If by that you mean a conservative responsible government type, then I would have to disagree. That was the theme of Heinlein's book. And with all due respect, you only see Nazis if you're looking for Nazis. Yes, the uniforms have similarities. Why? Because, like them or not, the Nazis had great looking uniforms. --- "turned the forces into bumbling fools." -- Without the armor from the books, which wasn't allowed in the script, anybody going down to that planet could be considered a fool. But without the armor it becomes a different story. The argument could be made that that is exactly how war would be fought. -- "Basically he shit all over the novel" It's called a script. He is a Director. Yes, there is much he can do with a script. He can't, however, rewrite it. Ed Neumeier was credited with the screenplay. PV was not.

  • April 12, 2002, 12:26 p.m. CST

    PAUL IS THE FUCKING KING!

    by i'mYOURman

    VERHOEVEN OWNS YOU ALL!!!!

  • April 12, 2002, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Hollow/Invisible Man

    by m2298

    Didn't the copyright to Wells' INVISIBLE MAN lapse a long time ago? As seen by the plethora of different editions of the book it certainly seems to be in public domain.

  • April 12, 2002, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Showgirls 2 title...

    by CorranHorn

    Showgirls 2:Electric Boogaloo

  • ...90% of it is Paul and Ah-nuld explaining to the viewers what is happening on the screen even, as though it were actually a "descriptive video track for the visually impaired", even though what's happening on screen is pretty self-evident, and also asking "Is this a dream or is it real?" There's also a plug or two for COLLATERAL DAMAGE. But the remaining 10% was informative about filming on location in Mexico City and stuff, and I did appreciate actually having Arnold Schwarzenegger do a commentary track for a change, instead of just including little bits and pieces from interviews like Artisan did with the commentary tracks for T2: Ultimate Edition.

  • April 12, 2002, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Yeah, there's still something I don't get...

    by lostoptimist

    4 "classic" sci-fi films? That's what the interviewer kept saying. 4 Classic Verhoeven-directed Sci-Fi films. Let's see...we have ROBOCOP, then there's TOTAL RECALL and then there's STARSHIP TROOPERS. Where's the third? "Hollowman" because of the sad ass attempy at making an Invisible Man? "Basic Instinct" for the lousy forensics work? "Showgirls" for, uh, it's sleek futuristic looking costumes the girls wear? I won't even got into whether the movies are classic or not but, jeesh, talk about propaganda.

  • April 12, 2002, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Verhoeven is a genius like I am Louis XIV

    by RickP66

    Verhoeven is a self-important Eurotrash hack who couldn't direct his way out of a paper bag. He arrogates that the Starship Troopers movie was disliked because people misunderstood it, but the fact is, it was and is disliked because it SUCKED. It's not enough to make a satire, Paul, you have to make a GOOD satire. The acting was excrable, the casting was worse, and the plot was so utterly comic-book that it was too stupid for satire. I have to laugh at this culturally illiterate hack trying to equate the war in Afghanistan with the Nazis or with his crappy movie...he thinks saying these ridiculous things makes him sound intellectual, when it really only exposes him for the abject, talentless moron he is.

  • April 12, 2002, 2:59 p.m. CST

    How do you say...

    by tucson

    ..."sucks big green donkey dicks" in Dutch? I sat through "Turkish Delight" (damn, nearly wrote "Turkey Delight") twice, trying to figure out if the story was lousy or the direction was lousy, or both. (I only did this because a Dutch friend had told me that TD was the best movie in the world, his favorite.) I think "Robocop" is anomalous of this director's work; it's a good, cohesive story, not particularly long on gratuitous crap of any kind. The rest is...um, yes...Eurotrash.

  • April 12, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST

    "Four Great Sci-Fi Films" I'm not too sure about that.

    by erichg

    Hollow Man is a long way from being considered great . . . Unintentionally, it is good for a few laughs. For example: While Kevin Bacon drowns a hapless victim, he stays beneath the water line for as long as the dying man. When you become invisible, a person develops gills? Or, Bacon gets torched. Don't worry, when invisible your skin turns into asbestos. Also, what the hell is that de-fibrillator doing in the freezer? Okay, I'm willing to give into the theory of "suspension of disbelief." However, a film must firstly earn my respect and trust. No matter the subject, a film should at least follow some variation on the idea of internal logic. Look at Aliens. During the course of that film the characters act in a consistent, believable manner; the story is told with originality; the action is suspensful, not just visual - all this, despite the fact that Aliens is a Sci-Fi movie. The ending is hard to accept. My guess: good old Ripley probably gets sucked out into space while dispatching the alien queen. Still, by that moment in the picture, the audience doesn't care about trivial lapses. Why? Aliens warrants "suspension of disbelief." Hollow Man simply demands it without making an effort. Not to mention, Elizabeth Shue's hysterically vapid performance. She makes the characters in Showgirls seem intelligent. Always stumbling around with a goofy smirk on her face - Shue ranks up there with Denise Richards for the title of "worst on screen scientist." Now, we have Starship Troopers. I love this thought: "if you don't like this film, you obviously didn't get it." That is bullshit, bwanna. Trust me, I picked up upon the concepts of fascism, militarism and finding a place in society through service to the state. Blah, blah. blah - I could go on. The problem with Starship Troopers is not the themes it touches upon, but the presentation of the material. The cast is horrible - 90210 in space. The actors are interchangeable and lack the ability to craft interesting characters. In the earlier stages of Starship Troopers, the film's walking cardboard cut-outs are wide-eyed, gung ho kids. Through battlefield experiences, they should become hardened soldiers. This doesn't happen. Mostly because Casper Van Dien, Patrick Muldoon and Denise Richards (again!?)collectively display the emotional range of a toaster. They are members of a growing Hollywood collection of young stars known as, "The bland and the beautiful." The movie suffers from drawn-out action scenes that hold no suspense, sense of adventure or surprises. In a sense, these endless stretches of film consist of troopers firing machine guns at huge bugs, running around, yelling at each other and getting torn in half. After three minutes of the first human/bug encounter, the audience gets the idea. The remaining film is basically very repetitive. Beyond that, what happens to military startegy in the future? Here's the human's plan: get a bunch of soldiers, hand them a few guns and drop them upon a bug-infested planet. Meanwhile, the bugs seem to understand the concepts of infantry, artillary and air support. In the future, humans can travel across the stars, but they can't design a tank? Even worse, the troopers have weapons that work against the bugs (gernades, compact missle launchers etc.) they just don't use them. Why? It's inconvenient to the plot . . . Paul Verhoeven's track record is questionable at best. He is one of teh few mainstream directors who goes foe the kill when depicting a scene. Verhoeven has a keen eye, but lacks the ability to tell a balanced story. In terms of his fantasy flicks: Starship Bloopers and Shallow Man are pretty bad. Robocop is solid (although it owes a lot to The Terminator). Finally, Total Recall is highly creative (it stumbles from time to time when the action shifts to Mars, but this development hardly ruins the film).

  • April 12, 2002, 3:17 p.m. CST

    What a great interview! Who did that interview? Harry? If so,

    by Ralph Cifaretto

    I wish more interviewers would challenge their subject like that. It's good for the interviewees also, as one can clearly see above.

  • April 12, 2002, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Tucson, here's your translation

    by MovieMaximus

    How do you say... "sucks big green donkey dicks" in Dutch. "zuigt grote, groene, ezel's pikken"

  • April 12, 2002, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Verhoeven, risks, fascism, war and film making.

    by rabid_republican

    I disagree with Verhoeven's decidely dim view of what he sums up as the "gung-ho" attitude to bomb our enemies, spurred on by propaganda the likes of which Goebels created. Then again, what did you expect from a Euro? In that regard, I like Starship Troopers because it plays like a Goebels propaganda film, with the holocust footage intercut (through buckets and buckets of gore and lines like "He had his brain sucked out." war hardly looks attractive, no?). Very wicked.___________ Whatever his political views, (be they ever so misguided) I think Verhoeven has a firm grasp of providing stark and somewhat provocative imagery, given the right subject (NOT Showgirls). What's more I'm glad to see even at 63, Verhoeven thinks there's more in him and he wants to take further risks rather than play it safe. Pity he won't make Crusade because if the script is any indication, it'd be a masterpiece.

  • April 12, 2002, 3:32 p.m. CST

    sithlord

    by RickP66

    Not only are you offtopic, you're off your rocker. No, I don't HAVE to apply the logic of hitting our enemies' bases in Afghanistan after the WTC attack to Israel because I do not LIVE in Israel. Our country doesn't set Israel's policy. We can encourage them, possibly withhold funds from them if we want, but in the end, THEY have to deal with THEIR terrorist problem. And we have to deal with ours. I like how we're dealing with it and I hope to hell we continue to deal with it just as we are, without paying one scintilla of attention to limp-sausage Eurotrash illiterati like Verhoeven.

  • April 12, 2002, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Man, that interviewer kicked ASS!

    by Pallando Blue

    Never, never have I (or you) seen, nor will see, such a pull-no-punches interview in the suck-up American press, print or TV. Way to back him into the ropes! And not in an asshole-ish manner for "shock-value" or calling attention to the interviewer, but in genuine interest and bullshit-calling. Possibly the most honest interview we'll ever read with a filmmaker. Don't let em off the hook!

  • April 12, 2002, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Starship Troopers was Brilliant / Jesus, Hitler and Crusades --

    by NoCureForFools

    Starship Troopers was absolutely brilliant. best satire of American militarism and propaganda machine i have ever seen. this, of course, is why many American critics and viewers didn't like it. the truth is often hard to face (i say this as a proud american who can admit that we tend towards the facist side... especially when the economy is bad and we want to build an oil pipeline in the Middle East / control heroin trade). anyways, at the time of it's release, i thought the whole desert planet bug genocide thing applied more to Iraq, but it is even closer to the current NewWar / WAR AGAINST EVIL / Operation Infinite Blitzkrieg. very interesting. it even begins with a bombing of an Earth city (but, if you pay attention, the Earth Forces were already colonizing/terroizing the bugs, hence the attack). the best satirists are always able to project the future before it happens. ******** it will never happen, but, dear god, a Verhoven-helmed Jesus pic, Hitler pic and Crusades pic? Holy Shit! they would totally rule! hell, maybe he should just role the whole thing into one long epic diatribe on the human race. what a great way to end a brilliant, trashy, totally misunderstood career in film.

  • April 12, 2002, 4:26 p.m. CST

    that interviewer was kind of an ass

    by rev_skarekroe

    How many times does he have to say he's not really a bankable director before the guy believes him? Also, I was under the impression that H.G. Wells' "Invisible Man" was public domain by now. Perhaps someone has some kind of movie rights somewhere. Even so, I don't see how "Hollow Man" was particularly similar to Wells' story, except for the bare-bones concept. sk

  • April 12, 2002, 4:29 p.m. CST

    ARRRGHGHG...I screwed up my last post

    by lostoptimist

    But it's not like it really matters anyway. As for issues with STARSHIP TROOPERS, well, it's an extended Beverly Hills 90210 episode filled with glib dialogue, trite emotions and callow youths--With some gratuitous violence thrown in. Mind you, I didn't mind the violence. What I couldn't stand was the story, plain and simple. And that's why it's near the top of my list as one of the best "bad" movies of all time. And if you say "that's the point", that Verhoeven meant it to be soap-opera surrounded by violence (basically, a precursor to "PEARL HARBOR" but without the historical context) then Verhoeven is a blooming idiot for creating a sci-fi version of 'Joanie Loves Chachi' under the delusion that that's what the public wanted to see. I mean, seriously, leave that shit to Corman.

  • April 12, 2002, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Wait a minute . . .

    by erichg

    Starship Troopers gets kicked around not because of the themes it hits upon, but by the presenation of those themes. Just because you didn't enjoy the film, does not mean you failed to grasp its intentions. Like I stated before: the movie is loaded with overly long action sequences lacking any element of suspense, surprise or sense of adventure; the performances are shallow and underdeveloped (at times, the characterizations are the complete antithesis of proper conduct given experience and setting); the movie's developments are poorly plotted and lacking any degree of internal logic. It's on these points that I dislike the film. In terms of my persoanl politics -well, I could go on forever. I don't think the war on terror has been fought exceptionally well. Does anyone recall that in the aftermath of 9/11, America set it's sights upon capturing Bin Laden (not toppling the government of Afghanistan)? Last time I checked, our military machine let Public Enemy #1 get away. That guy was on death's door and he escaped. Why? Who knows - the Bush administration moved the dialogue away from that subject. Also, there are indeed reasons for American hostility in the world. We are suppossed to be the defenders of freedom in the world, yet how many times have we supported hostile regimes that oppress people and wage terror campaigns (El Salvador comes to mind)? Isreal for example has not helped themselves. Not that I am a huge Arafat apologist. However, Isreal did take land, occupy it with hardline settlers and then engage in policies designed to alienate the minority segment of thier population. They are not innocent. Yes, our ties to Isreal have hurt us in terms of Arab/US relations. Okay, moving on - part of the problems we now have in Afghanistan are due to the USA abandoning that region following the end of the cold war. Remember, Bin Laden and his cronies were once the good guys - fighting the Russian invaders. Finally, I don't simply believe in every line the government hands me. I don't think the Bush people have the right to take away our civil liberties (Freedom of Information Act, Presidential Archives Act etc) - using 9/11 as an excuse to do so. I find that deplorable . . . So don't tell me that I didn't like Starship Troopers because I "didn't get it." Don't say that I can't see beyond my blind political convictions - I'm just a stupid American. It's just not true. My critique in regard to the above-mentioned film was solely based upon the movie itself.

  • April 12, 2002, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Verhoven is a hack

    by NIVEK

    Am I the only person on the planet who HATES Starship Troopers? I find that I am definately of a minority on that one. The characters in that movie are SO dumb. They spend two hours hand combat fighting these freakin' bugs only to figure out they can blow them up with planes at the end... This is how Verhoven wastes your time. Oye.

  • April 12, 2002, 5:39 p.m. CST

    sithlord again

    by RickP66

    sithlord arrogated: "Sometimes I feel like one of a very few who read the whole context of a situation and refuse the pablum I see willingly accepted by so many joe sixpacks." This is exactly what I am talking about. This sort of elitist, fanboy attitude is all too prevalent in the world of academe and on the internet. Thank God that REAL people living in the REAL world don't buy into this crap. People who spout this stuff are what I like to call the "illiterati." They think of themselves as somehow smarter than everyone else, more discerning and more intelligent. Many of them reject what is popular out of hand to seem more intelligent, but all of them have this false image that somehow they are part of an "elite." It's ridiculous and self-deluding of course, but if they could see that they wouldn't be self-deluding, would they?

  • April 12, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Sith Lord

    by erichg

    Thanks for responding to my post. I didn't automatically think that you were targeting me - I just wanted to make my point clear. You see, it is possible to have a film debate without things getting personal and nasty. I suppose it's really about with whom your having the dialogue. We probably won't come togethr over Starship Troopers. But that's okay. As long as we state our respective points clearly and illustrate an informed mindset everything is cool. Lastly, I took Starship Troopers to be less about the specific Viet Nam experience (much like the way Aliens utilized Viet Nam as subtext). Verhoeven's film was more abstract. It attempted to update the World War Two-inspired tonality of the source material and give it a neo-satirical spin. However, I don't think it really ever hit the mark. Mostly, I saw the failure to explain the troopers lack of overall military strategy or appropriate use of technology in these terms: 1) The filmmakers couldn't reasonably find a manner through which to juxtapose the human's military might against the bug's lack of harware. 2) I don't think the producers wished to spend the money to give the troppers a futuristic makeover. You see, I feel Starship Troopers contains problems due to tangible shortcomings (both creatively and budget-oriented). I don't feel that the eventual movie is a product of inspirational thought and political observations. Certainly, there are themes inspired by the Heinlein novel. Still, I don't think they were adequately grasped, re-interpreted and presented very well. Anyway, thanks for the engaging discussion.

  • April 12, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST

    asinine commments

    by Damer1

    "America orchestrated the WTC attacks" When you are given the choice of death or praying towards Mecca don't come crying to me. Back to moviedom. Audiences didn't take to ST because it was hokey. No one bought psychic Doogie Howser.

  • April 12, 2002, 6:56 p.m. CST

    I forgot

    by Damer1

    The acting in ST was horrible. I've seen episodes of 90210 with better acting... wait... Was ST an episode of 90210? Teen angst... in space... with killer insects... and boobies... What a combination!!!

  • April 12, 2002, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Starship Troopers: Heinlein vs Verhoeven

    by The_Fredo

    Let's be honest: ST-The Movie is a very different beast from ST-The Book. This does not mean that both cannot coexist. It does mean, though, that Verhoeven was interested in making HIS version of ST, not necesarily the one written by Heinlein. It's also important to remember that Starship Troopers was not as much a study on socio-political changes and structures, as it was a study of a soldier's character. That's why it's so amusing to see Heinlein put that much political and philosophical rhetoric into Johny Rico's thoughts. Because, his reason for joining wasn't some grander one. He wasn't looking to "make a difference" or become a true member of society. Rico joins the military because of a girl. Heinlein is saying that, as much as the world may change, the basic reasons for living, fighting and forging ahead remain the same. (At least, that was my take on it).

  • April 12, 2002, 9:20 p.m. CST

    i love Verhoeven...

    by a goonie

    the guy really does rock. he just does. he has such a beautiful, mature, intelligent understanding of what he's doing, and how to react to it all. his comments about Showgirls are VERY interesting, as is everything he says about Hollow Man. i've been a fan for quite some time now, but this interview puts him even higher on my list. and no matter what anyone says, Robocop and Starship are great movies.

  • April 12, 2002, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Paul Verhoeven is supposedly a mad Dutchman...

    by FD Resurrected

    ...and this interview completely changed my view of him as not only a director but a human being discussing his works and how Hollywood system works. Marvelous. Now I'm waiting to see what's next he's gonna churn out, even though his directorial style is exaggerated and whacked-out bizarre & scary (see the making of ST video for that evidence). I loved Robocop (strictly as a violent satire on urban decay and Big Brother-ish corporate culture), Total Recall (strictly as a sadistically violent and occasionally humorous action sci-fi) and Starship Troopers. I defended ST upon its Nov. 1997 release, despite obvious deviation from Robert A. Heinlein's novel, poor acting and cheesepuff dialogues - it's a hilariously satire on fascism while inducing the masses of children into coma from nightmares. Basic Instict was a taunt but marginal and absurd thriller, Hollow Man sucked bad and Showgirls just plain BLOW, even as unintentionally hilarious cult camp film notable for its classical but glaringly bad dialogues, hilarious sex/rape scenes and nasty acting. Didn't I read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino defended Showgirls as a "great" film years ago? Paul and Joe would be proud to have adamant defenders of their collaborated trash films!

  • April 12, 2002, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Starship Troopers was the BOMB, YO! N/T

    by Z0D

  • April 13, 2002, 12:46 a.m. CST

    I can not believe there is a nerd in all christendom that does n

    by Woody Tobias Jr

    Yes, it's 90210 in space with nudity and gore and fascistic overtones. That's why it's so fucking great! Doogie Howser's in it, for god's sake. Everyone I know loves it, even people who are normally impatient with science fiction. It's a brilliant movie, easily Verhoeven's masterpiece. It's just unreasonably, absurdly entertaining. How could anyone not love 'Starship Troopers'?

  • April 13, 2002, 3:14 a.m. CST

    The answer to Odietamo

    by Noell

    The answer to Odietamo's long comments about Starship Troopers being a dumb film is simply that it is.The story makes no sense. In a real war,the easiest options are taken.If you have obvious superiority,you use it. Take for example the US bombing in Afganistan which decimated the Taliban's forces.They mopped them up with airpower and then carefully moved in.They bombed the caves without going down them. In doing so,The US suffered only small casualties whereas the enemy suffered large losses. In Starship troopers,the Earth forces have obvious and vast superiority over the bugs.Where was the air support for the troops when confronting the bugs?Why no naplam and more bombs?Nooooo,let them shoot useless bullets at bugs that they could have even gassed.Laughable! Starship Troopers is just a big and dumb film made by a bad and violent director,but what annoyed me was Verhoven's ridiculous criticism of America's defence against the Sept 11 attacks. His comments were ill-informed and ignorant.He is on the terrorists side,the man is a fool.

  • April 13, 2002, 3:22 a.m. CST

    starship troopers was awful

    by johnnysunshine

    I know you have to take liberties when turning a book into a film, but you don't just throw it out and turn it into an action movie. As for his others films, Basic Instinct is okay, but most of them are horrible.

  • April 13, 2002, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers was a cool monster pic

    by FilmCollector

    What you folks who are saying that Starship Troopers is a terrible movie don't seem to understand is that it's a great monster movie, in the tradition of Ray Harryhausen and the classic giant bug pics. The wide shots of the horde of alien insects swarming over hills and fortress walls are amazing, and the bloody combat scenes are excellent. The character scenes are as good or better than a lot of movies, and the political satire subtext gives it a nice, offbeat edge. Monster movies just don't have the respect they used to have. Audiences are too "sophisticated." But you're all wetting your pants to see Star Wars: Send in the Clowns, aren't you? (I'm sure I'm not the first person to call it that. What was Lucas thinking with that title?) Anyway, monster films have been cool since the silent era, and more should be made. Eight-Legged Freaks looks like it might be a fun movie in that tradition.

  • April 13, 2002, 3:58 a.m. CST

    kingink123...

    by Noisybast

    Seriously, man: "They fail to recognize that these are tyrant controlled military countries who's people are too ignorant and short sighted and propogandized to ever free themselves."? You're being ironic, right?

  • April 13, 2002, 6:37 a.m. CST

    some words from the author....

    by robblok

    hi everyone, i've been reading all your comments on my interview with paul with enormous joy, to be quite honest - i never expected two hours talking would lead to so much compliments and criticism. :-) first of all, thank you so much for translating those ten pages, dearest friend stief, and thank you for placing my interview, dear harry! all who enjoyed it, thank you so much for the praise you guys gave me - it really flatters me so many people enjoy reading it :-) i just wanted to reply on a couple of suggestions and comments which have been given the last two days. - Robocop 4: Verhoeven never even INTENDED doing that sequel, so that really was all gossip :-) - Hollow Man & Wells: this it the story Verhoeven told me, and I have no reason to doubt his version. - About Hollow Man being a succesfull sf-film: it's not a masterpiece the way Robocop, Total Recall and perhaps Starship Troopers are, but it's an enjoyable film with great special effects, which never gets boring and has the ever as good Kevin Bacon in it! In between the sf-rubbish which Hollywood is giving us generally, I really loved the movie, and have the guts to call it a 'succesfull', and yes, 'a great' sf-film. Did anyone here see 'Memoirs of an Invisible Man'? No need to say more... :-) - About the Flesh + Blood-dvd: Verhoeven really tries to give his audience the best he can, and he also tries to release all his films on dvd's which do the fans right... whenever he is asked to give his comments, he'll do it. So I suppose there will be a Flesh + Blood (GREAT film!) dvd in time... don't know when, but I really expect it to be released in the near future. - About Turkish Delight: whoever doesn't understand that story, is a senseless dumbass, and should find himself a really good psychiatrist.... seriously. Beautiful, meaningful and true film. Nowadays, there not often made that masterpiece-way anymore. - About Verhoeven and his political statements. It's so funny to read a couple of American, patriotic comments about Verhoeven being wrong on his point of view about the war in Afghanistan. The point he wants to make, about some Americans being manipulated by the American government and the American media, is proven every time one writes "it's a stupid idea he suggests because we Americans are always right and never fight a wrong, bad war!" Just try to imagine the other side of the story... for once in your life. Without making any judgment, and without neglecting or ignoring or denying the terrible events on September 11, every story (even September 11) has got TWO sides, not one. And I think Europeans usually are more eager to search for both sides of a story then Americans. By saying "all the other opinions are so stupid and dumb!", you refuse to take at look at the other parties involved, you refuse to reflect your own ideas, and radicalism is born. Radicalism leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering - as we all know... - About the script: I haven't got his e-mailadres, sorry. Maybe there's a suggestion at www.imdb.com? with kindest regards, Robbert Blokland, The Netherlands

  • April 13, 2002, 6:38 a.m. CST

    some words from the author....

    by robblok

    hi everyone, i've been reading all your comments on my interview with paul with enormous joy, to be quite honest - i never expected two hours talking would lead to so much compliments and criticism. :-) first of all, thank you so much for translating those ten pages, dearest friend stief, and thank you for placing my interview, dear harry! all who enjoyed it, thank you so much for the praise you guys gave me - it really flatters me so many people enjoy reading it :-) i just wanted to reply on a couple of suggestions and comments which have been given the last two days. - Robocop 4: Verhoeven never even INTENDED doing that sequel, so that really was all gossip :-) - Hollow Man & Wells: this it the story Verhoeven told me, and I have no reason to doubt his version. - About Hollow Man being a succesfull sf-film: it's not a masterpiece the way Robocop, Total Recall and perhaps Starship Troopers are, but it's an enjoyable film with great special effects, which never gets boring and has the ever as good Kevin Bacon in it! In between the sf-rubbish which Hollywood is giving us generally, I really loved the movie, and have the guts to call it a 'succesfull', and yes, 'a great' sf-film. Did anyone here see 'Memoirs of an Invisible Man'? No need to say more... :-) - About the Flesh + Blood-dvd: Verhoeven really tries to give his audience the best he can, and he also tries to release all his films on dvd's which do the fans right... whenever he is asked to give his comments, he'll do it. So I suppose there will be a Flesh + Blood (GREAT film!) dvd in time... don't know when, but I really expect it to be released in the near future. - About Turkish Delight: whoever doesn't understand that story, is a senseless dumbass, and should find himself a really good psychiatrist.... seriously. Beautiful, meaningful and true film. Nowadays, there not often made that masterpiece-way anymore. - About Verhoeven and his political statements. It's so funny to read a couple of American, patriotic comments about Verhoeven being wrong on his point of view about the war in Afghanistan. The point he wants to make, about some Americans being manipulated by the American government and the American media, is proven every time one writes "it's a stupid idea he suggests because we Americans are always right and never fight a wrong, bad war!" Just try to imagine the other side of the story... for once in your life. Without making any judgment, and without neglecting or ignoring or denying the terrible events on September 11, every story (even September 11) has got TWO sides, not one. And I think Europeans usually are more eager to search for both sides of a story then Americans. By saying "all the other opinions are so stupid and dumb!", you refuse to take at look at the other parties involved, you refuse to reflect your own ideas, and radicalism is born. Radicalism leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering - as we all know... - About the script: I haven't got his e-mailadres, sorry. Maybe there's a suggestion at www.imdb.com? with kindest regards, Robbert Blokland, The Netherlands

  • April 13, 2002, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Verhoeven, Eurotrash?

    by Wild At Heart

    Man, this guy is dumb like a fox. If you honestly think this man has no intelligence then you are too dense for words. You may think he is a fascistic sadist ( a lot of you do ), you may think he is a boorish pervert ( a lot of you do ), but don't question the man's intellectual cpabilities. Come on, he knows what he's doing to a T! He's an iconoclast for god's sake - he'll piss in your coffee and watch, poker-faced, while you drink it. What Verhoeven has done in mainstream American cinema is unique. He's taken the public's repressed lust for sex and violence, cranked it up a thousandfold and thrown it in our faces, all in the name of "entertainment". If he's a whore sucking on the tit of the Beast, then basically everything he's done in the last 17 years amounts to a big crap on the beast's head while it wasn't looking. That's the "magic of cinema" for you. It's a whore's game. I don't begrudge Verhoeven for the compromises he's had to make. Frankly Mr. Verhoeven has elevated the "Big Dumb American Action Movie" to a level that it has no right to be at. It's true that Non-Americans ( and that doesn't just mean Europeans, kids- the world's a big place )are probably more receptive to Verhoeven's films than are Americans. Verhoeven is not taking "cheap shots" at American culture in his films, but he does infuse them with a high level of cynicism as the Outsider looking in. Verhoeven may not have got the kinds of projects that he would have preferred, but I am glad that things have turned out this way. Mainstream cinema just wouldn't have been the same without his contributions between "Robocop" and "Starship Troopers". I for one FREAKING LOVE "ST" because it is, to me, such an obvious satire of American culture and its obsessions. It's a wonderfully spectacular and bloody cinematic cartoon. It's T&A and blowing shit up in space. It's grotesquely, gratuitously violent; cheesily scripted and performed ( DELIBERATELY! ), and sardonically hilarious throughout. Why people get so upset about its so-called "politics" is beyond me. It's propaganda parody for heavens sake, not propaganda itself. There's a subtle difference, and believe me, beneath the booming explosions, the tearing of flesh and the screaming of the damned, there's a world of subtlety going on in this film. Believe me, this film will be viewed a hell of a lot more sympathetically in 50 years time than it is now. It's just too close to the bone for some people. To lovers of Heinlein's book who decry the film I would say that while I have not read the book it would probably been a different kind of novel thematically had it been written post-Vietnam rather than post-WW2. I'm not saying that you don't have a point, I'm just saying that, contextually, there's been a lot of socio-political water under the bridge since then. I am glad that Verhoeven didn't "play it straight" on this one, and turn it all into an exercise in high-and-mighty didacticism. That would have made ST a much lesser film in my opinion, despite all evidence to the contrary. Finally, I'm not going to get into an extended debate on the whole "September 11/war on terror" issue, but I believe that Verhoeven's position is a defensible one. Justified or not, the world at large has reason to be concerned at the way the US exercises its military might, and what the longterm consequences will be. Even if the US succeeds in its shortterm objectives in Afghanistan it must be careful not to create a situation that leads to longterm regional political instability, otherwise what happened on that awful day in September will be doomed to happen again. That is what horrified me most about Sept.11- not merely the act itself but, knowing the way that the stakes have risen in global conflict over millennia, I am too afraid to imagine how they might escalate further when next "the shit", as they say, goes down. I am afraid that what we are seeing is a mere dress rehearsal for unspeakable horrors to come. I hope to God that I am mistaken.

  • April 13, 2002, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Allow me to rebutt, Noelle:

    by odietamo

    "The answer to Odietamo's long comments" I don't recall asking for "an answer". YOU asked questions. I knew the answers. -- "about Starship Troopers being a dumb film is simply that it is." Well, how can I possibly argue with genius like that? -- "In a real war,the easiest options are taken.If you have obvious superiority,you use it." Okay, this should be my last post debating with you as you are clearly neither bright nor much into reading comprehension. As I'd stated earlier, read some military history before spouting off about how the military always uses it's superiority. And as another poster put it, watch Black Hawk Down. Ah, but why bother with facts when a hearty "nu, UH" works so well for you. -- "Take for example the US bombing" A terrible example as the bugs are far more numerous and deeper into the planet. But we'll go with it. And as you pointed out, air power is done. And we've now moved in with, you guessed it, ground troops. -- "Where was the air support for the troops when confronting the bugs?" I dislike repeating myself to the willfully ignorant. This will be the last time. The bugs had anti-air. Pilots and machinery = expensive. Troopers = cheap. I don't know how much more simple I can make that for you. --"Laughable!" Tell me about it! That part where Luke fashions some kind of laser sword? And in Jabba's lair they never searched the captured droids for the sword? And those big expensive Death Stars being so easy to kill. What a lame film! (I like SW, BTW. I'm pointing out you're a nitpicky ass.) -- "just a big and dumb film" Now there is an intellectual argument. What are you, twelve? Why am I debating with you? -- "criticism of America's defence against the Sept 11 attacks" I don't give a rat's ass what bothered you. I didn't discuss his comments because I didn't feel this was the place. -- "His comments were ill-informed and ignorant." Two things YOU are INTIMATELY familiar with.

  • April 13, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST

    And Sleazy_G,

    by odietamo

    Well said!

  • April 13, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Military History and Starship Trooper

    by erichg

    I don't really want to get sucked into this debate any further. In fact, I think I've made my case against Starship Troopers as clear as possible. However, there is something a bit odd with the notion of juxtaposing the troopers' battle tactics against strategies utilzed by the United States over the course of past conflicts. I understand the idea concerning infantry being "meat for the grinder." Sadly, that is a tragic reality in regard to warfare. Still, the implementation of said infantry always corressponds to overall objectives which give a particular side the best chance for victory. This is true of any army regardless of the political mindset of the state to which they serve. Now, taking a few historical scenarios into consideration . . . The Normandy invasion was not just a case of mindlessly dropping soldiers along well-fortified beaches, allowing them to battle greater numbers, all the while hoping for the best. The Americans and British held mumerical superiority over the Germans at Omaha, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword. Secondly, the invasion was supported by tactical bombers and ship-to-ship bombardment. Lastly, technical ingenuity (in the form of landing craft, makeshift docks and gasoline pipelines) helped ensure victory. After the Germans were defeated, the war still waged in the Pacific. President Truman was faced with a choice: risk more American lives with the invasion of mainland Japan or drop a weapon of mass destruction upon the enemy. He decided upon the second option. Viet Nam: once again, stating that troops in the field were left to their own devices and not supported by other facets of military progression is not true. Granted, it was a conflict without clear fronts. But units on the ground did indeed have the ability to call in air support. Jets dropped napalm and made strafing runs against the enemy. Bombers leveled tracts of land. Helicopters ran reconnaissance missions, evacuated the injured and provided cover. Black Hawk Down: the situation depicted in the Ridley Scott movie and the Marc Bowden book doesn't apply to the type of combat visualized in Starship Troopers. Black Hawk Down examines one specific mission that went horribly wrong for many reasons. Not only that, the before-mentioned mission is a search and capture operation, not a combat scenario in the "engage the enemy" sense . . . Basically, you can reference military history to support the actions of the armed service in Starship Troopers. However, keep in my mind, the further exploration of that same history can be used against he movie as well.

  • April 13, 2002, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Hey Robblo....

    by JQuintana

    Hey Blokland, Congratulations on your great interview with Verhoeven and your TV debut on RTL4 news a few weeks ago talking (in your infamous verbal prose) about E.T.! I notice you (and all the other regulars) don't post on the filmforum anymore...Is there another forum that you're using these days????? Let me know! Greetz from Lambik

  • April 13, 2002, 5:17 p.m. CST

    troopers

    by johnnysunshine

    Maybe Starship Troopers could be considered a good monster movie where the performances don't matter. I can understand looking at it that way if you never read Heinlein. However, the point is that the book wasn't about monsters. The bugs didn't even have that much to do with it. It was about politics and the story of one man's struggle. Maybe the movie did make a few vague references to some of Heinlein's ideas, but pretty much the whole book was thrown out in favor of a popcorn movie about giant aliens. And as far as the illogical things in the movie, everything was explained in the book and made sense. The bugs were an advanced race with technology. Exactly how in the movie did they attack earth from across the solar system when they can't even get off their planet? It's the films biggest oversight, but not at all the only one.

  • April 13, 2002, 7:56 p.m. CST

    delving into military history_even further_

    by kojiro

    I nearly wrote this yesterday, but it became a lengthy dissertation, and upon review I realized it bore little relation to the discussion in progress, so in the trash it went. But now parts are relevant, so here I go. So here we go, why did the military ignore their technological superiorities in favor of mass ground attacks. This hinges on the fact that the government on ST is not fascist, it is a military beauracratic-authoritarian government, which is basically fascist but is run by the military (a fascist gov. is not). To maintain its control over a society a mil. BA gov. is forced to allow the institutional military (concerned with external defense)to degrade in favor of the military as government (concerned with internal security). When the time comes for the armed forces to deal with external threats they tend to find themselves overmatched. Either that or the commanders in ST were peawits, which is not uncommon either.

  • April 13, 2002, 10:22 p.m. CST

    VERHOVEN!

    by TomVee

    This talkback proves what a great and powerful force AIC has become. Simply amazing! Anyone in Hollywood not following this website won't be in Hollywood very long. As for PV, he made a great and violent film, ROBOCOP. He then made a very good and over-the-top comic-book movie, TOTAL RECALL. And he made a wonderful satire-cum-big-bug movie, STARSHIP TROOPERS. Nothing else matters. The guy made three quasi-masterpieces. Doesn't matter what he does now. He could churn out sequels to his films for the next 10 years, or whatever time he left. By the way, the CGI work in ST has never been topped. I am not the first one to point that out. But is definitely true. This may have nothing to do with PV or it may have everything to do with him. The rest of the film is obviously underbudgeted, from the amateurish cast to the erratic script. The money clearly went into the CGI scenes. Otherwise, this film could have just as easily been a Roger Corman quickie. BASIC INSTINCT is already forgotten, and it doesn't matter. It was not a good film to begin with. SHOWGIRLS is a joke, slightly redeemed by the excessive nudity. Who knows about HOLLOW MAN? The previews alone were enough to keep me from ever seeing it. It's those three sci-fi efforts in the middle that make this man's reputation.

  • Ok, out of Paul V's films, I also liked Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers.=====>Robocop: Over the top gore, violence, language, and drug use. If this movie were to be made today, 65% of it would end up on the cutting room floor due to the fools at the MPAA. This film shows us the utter hell humanity can stoop down to. The first time I saw 'pre-cyborg' Murphy get mowed down by the druggies, I was scared chicken shit because it was so fuckin horrible. My god what a kick to the nuts. =====>Total Recall: What do you get when you combine Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sci-fi? This movie, of course! This is another masterpiece showing us how corrupt and misguided human beings can be. It seems corporations rule the world (and Mars), not the government(s). The element/question of a total brainwash (or was it a dream?) was smart. Is humanity really that bad, or is this all a dream? I love talking philosophy! =========>And then Starship Troopers: This movie was made with a '90210' cast because it would only work this way. Would you say that they should have had Arnold play Rico, Harrison Ford play Carl Jenkins, Jane Fonda play Dizzie, and Elizabeth Taylor play Ibanez? Shit, you fools! The young and nieve fit this story because the grownups are either rich fucks living in luxury in Argentina or sky marshals who make dumbass decisions. The young people join the military because they want to become 'citizens' of Earth. If they don't become citizens, they don't have the privilege of giving birth or showering coed. The propaganda in this film worked because it showed how they (OUR nations in reality) use the media to influence the masses. 'It's an evil planet, a BUG PLANET...Aggghhhhhhughhhh!!!!'

  • No need to spit the dummy Odietamo. You say you "don't recall looking for an answer" after posting 4 posts directly answering mine? Come now,that really is a childish attitude.What are you,12 years old? As for the Black Hawk Down poster,I don't recall the troops there using nukes. There is no comparison with the cartoonish Starship Troopers film. Starship Troopers has a dumb premise as the troopers have vast superiority over the bugs.they could gas the bugs,nuke the planet,continually firebomb it or AT THE VERY LEAST,equip their troops with flamethrowers and more bombs(which are hardly used),not just bullets. for example,the fort is surrounded by bugs.Why do they use just one grenade,and not until a bug gets into the fort. Why doesn't the incoming craft drop a bomb on the bugs? How could a starship not stop an asteroid hitting the Earth and,at any rate,one that big would cause far more damage to Earth than was portraed on the film. You see,it IS a big dumb film.

  • April 13, 2002, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Paul Verhovens dumb politics

    by Noell

    Make that 5 post in your first answers to me Odeitamo. My real reaction to Mr verhoven,which you didn't comment on,was his attitude to the US reaction to the Sept 11 bombings where he is clearing on the terrorist side. One last thing,have you ever seen a war film where the troops stand withing feet of the enemy when shooting at them? Of course if the Starship Troopers fired from a hundred yards away or more(as real troops do)then the bugs couldn't get them.As I said,a big,extremely violent and dumb film which flopped,as Pauls films are now doing.Filmgoers are rejecting his pornographic violence.

  • April 14, 2002, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Spelling Lesson

    by Damer1

    It is in fact "asinine" as are your comments. Good bye.

  • April 14, 2002, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Silly little boy...

    by odietamo

    "What are you,12 years old? " Ah! The PeeWee Herman Defense! "I know what you are but what am I?" Nice work, kid. I've had my say. Those reading can judge which arguments had merit.

  • April 14, 2002, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I liked Starship Troopers

    by magic_ninja

    Goddamn people, it's just a fucking movie. Oh well, leave it to the nerds of the AICN talkback to find SOMETHING to piss and moan about.

  • April 14, 2002, 6:23 p.m. CST

    noell you shitwit

    by kojiro

    The movie was not about the fucking tactics they used it is about manipulation of the masses...and gore. Now if you really want to get into the tactics I'll explain them to you. They were the doctrine of the day. That's it. They were horribly inappropriate? What's your point fuckwit! Mass attacks weren't appropriate during WWI were they? Lining up 100 feet from yuor enemy and getting shot at with RIFLED weapons sure as Hell didn't make sense during the Civil War. There are hundreds of examples of the doctrine of the day being completely inappropriate. Your ignorance was amusing at first, now it is not so why don't you just shut the fuck up.

  • April 14, 2002, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Showgirls

    by JabbaDac

    Did anyone notice that Showgirls essentially had the same plot as Flashdance? Why did showgirls get trashed and Flashdance do well? At least you got some boobies in Showgirls

  • April 15, 2002, 1:27 a.m. CST

    SHOWGIRLS still can give me a hardon everytime i watch it!

    by mooncake

    Paul Verhoeven rocks! & bring back elizebeth berkely!!!

  • April 15, 2002, 2:41 a.m. CST

    by shnogul

    I haven't been posting for a long time, but I couldn't miss that TB! As you said, ST is more talking of media use than tactics... the problem with most people that don't like the movie is that they just didn't get it. BTW it's interesting to notice how so-called "clever movie critics" weren't able to use their brain while watching this tricky film and didn't get it either. That's the problem with ST, if you go and watch it like a Michael Bay flick were the greater effort asked to your brain is to chew popcorn, well with this film you miss everything! Starship Troopers is a false war movie, or a parody... but it's not written on it! the studio did not marketed it that way, and because many people can't make the effort to judge by themselves, understand by themselves, they found it a dumb non realistic war movie... like if war-movies were realistic! all critics made against ST could be applied to most action or war movie (very few exceptions). idiotic heroic behaviors, good looking heroes, we-dont-give-a-shit love stories , spectacular weapons instead of effective weapons... cinema is so full of this crap! Now when a director crosses the line by pushing this stupidity just a bit further, it becomes too clear and people refuse to admit it's just the same shit that before. PV has played a dangerous game with the public, not telling them what kind of genre it was and letting them figure out by themselves... for me too it has been disturbing at the first viewing, but I used my brain and watched it a second time. Then I found it brilliant. Cause not only the script, but the form of the telling, the direction, pushed me to think "it's fascinating, but how can I look at such a plastic shit? what's the topic?", and the questioning was the answer!... (which is a question Noell should ask himself when he looks at other action movies he considers better.) Indeed, PV is a machiavelous cynical bastard! He pushed every cinematographic and TVnews cliches just to a point where you feel unconfortable to dive in the story, but not far enough to completely take back and classify the movie as a pure joke... He makes you look at youself as a viewer, and in a way, judge yourself (as a childish consumer of tv pictures, gory news, pre-chewed stories, propaganda believer... etc)... most people do not like to be judged, including by themselves. they prefer to pretend blindness... so they can just don't get it. and eat Michael Bay's next shit, or CNN flashes light heartedly.

  • April 15, 2002, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Why You Guys Beating Down On the Man?

    by AlphaAlfa

    I dun understand why you're beating down on the guy.. granted some of his films were pretty bad.. but not all of them were as bad as you put it.... I mean when I watched Starship Troopers you could immediately tell it was a parody of a propaganda video.. you'd have to be stupid not to pick that up.. and even so.. even if all his films are garbage, at least the man admits it and takes his lumps fer it.. I have never seen any other director go "Yeah that film was pretty bad.." (eg. Dare I say George Lucas and his Star Wars.. he shoulda stopped making em.. this second trilogy is a complete cash-grab job...)

  • April 15, 2002, 6:25 a.m. CST

    "sithlord"

    by Sceleratos

    I see VErhoven as a silly director, who wants to be seen as "Intectual" because his films suck. But since some here have veered off the topic, I feel i must correct some ignorant statements, primarily by "Sirthlord". BAsically Israel does Not murder Palestinians with "Tanks America gives them" they make their own tanks. I've seen those Ignorant fantatics over there who want to blame America for their lot in life cmplain about the same thing, while standing near an israeli tank..not made in the USA. The Small Israli army uses tanks they designed and make called a Merkava, which has a survival capability that (in some cases) excedes that of Our M-60(obsolete tanks, which had a great record in the Gulf war) and our M-1 Abrahms. Since Palestinians probably could not tell an israeli tank from an American tank, it's easy to excuse their ignorance. Whats your excuse? I often wonder why EVERY time one of those idiots is on TV they complain about the f-16's? it's like they have an F-16 fetish. Being who they are I assume they don't understand It's an obsolete short range defensive fighter. The US Gov. Allows General Dynamics to sell them to non-treatening nations. WE GIVE them to beggar nations like Egypt and Jordan. Anyone else can buy them. But why do they complain? Would they prefer if the JEws used even more obsolete weapons purchased from Russia? Wow those would be even MORE innacurate. BEsides why would people who love to blow themselves up be complaining about innacurate bombings? When Free World Countries make military strikes, Civilians sometimes get in the way of Military targets, when Muslims attack, the Military somethimes gets in the way of their civilian targets. ..and People are Rarely "Murdered" or however you want to characterize it By Blackhawk helicopters. It's an ineffective weapons platform, and the israelis have Actual helicopter gunships(Obsolete cobras and Apache's). But you'd know that if you knew what you are talking about.

  • April 15, 2002, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Personally I loved Starship Troopers

    by minderbinder

    Corny dialogue and acting? Of course, and it was hilarious. Great action movie and great satire.

  • April 15, 2002, 8:31 p.m. CST

    sithlord

    by RickP66

    The Jews FLED??? Goddang, boy, you really don't know a damned thing about history, do you?

  • April 15, 2002, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Wow, rarely have I seen so much crap in one place...

    by Mastadge

    And I'm not talking about the interview but about the comments. I am American, and I think it's amazing, and at times terrifying, how few Americans even notice the media machine at work. When I talk to people about the was in Afghanistan, or about what should be done about bin Laden, I'm am usually amazed and appalled by the people who want to do things to him so grotesquely un-American. But I digress. I love Paul Verhoeven's films. So far his only Dutch film that I've seen is Soldier of Orange, but I love Flesh+Blood and am eagerly awaiting the DVD. RoboCop is one of my favorite flicks. Total Recall isn't great; it seems to me to be the least personal of his movies, but I can always watch it. Basic Instinct was cool, Showgirls I liked at first but can't stand anymore. Starship Troopers I love, but for Denise Richards' absolutely awful performance (and why is it that she's the one girl in the movie who DOESN'T bare her breasts? Hollow Man was cool, could've been better but could've been much worse. Either way, I am absolutely looking forward to seeing whatever Paul does next. He's one of my favorite directors, and his ability to rouse his audience is almost unparalleled.

  • April 15, 2002, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Amazed?

    by RickP66

    You're AMAZED that some Americans want to do bad things to Bin Laden? Are you a fruitloop? The guy was responsible for an act that killed THREE THOUSAND Americans, most civilians. Do you expect people to be rational every time they talk about it? The great thing is, however, that this is a nation of laws, not men...so no matter how angry people get, the right thing will be done if Bin Laden is captured. So your "amazement" is patently stupid.

  • April 16, 2002, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Oh Odietamo you silly little girl

    by Noell

    So Odietamo thinks that "what are you,12 years old" is a Pee Wee Herman defense,which is kind of funny because I took it from her previous post as a sendup. Scroll up a bit Odietamo and read your post,one of many. Look at it this way-in Paul Verhoven's "Total Recall",he has Arnie breating the poisonous Martian atmosphere for a minute and yet survives with his eyes popping back in. In "Starship Troopers" Paul has a girl being impaled by a bug and yet "somehow" minutes later she sprints up the cave and,to top that,she's walking around as if nothing happened. In "The Hollow Man",Paul has the villian suddenly developing super strength by lifting men off the ground,surviving all sorts of hits that would kill a man AND to top that off,surviving an explosion that would kill anyone. As I said,Paul makes big dumb films with holes in the plot that you could drive a truck through.

  • April 16, 2002, 3:34 a.m. CST

    kojira,take your medication.

    by Noell

    Kojira,your violent reaction suggets a crazy person.Take it easy or at least loosen the straight jacket.

  • April 16, 2002, 7:25 a.m. CST

    WWII

    by stackpointer

    "President Truman was faced with a choice: risk more American lives with the invasion of mainland Japan or drop a weapon of mass destruction upon the enemy." DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS SHIT?? As far as I informed, in August of 1945 Japan was about to quit. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were NOT military targets, but cities with women and CHILDREN. IMO Truman wanted to show their power to the World, especially Sovietunion. Once upon a time (in 1956) a small middle Europian country (wich was guilty in WWII) wanted to fight for it's freedom, to be free from SU. They asked the "defenders of freedom" for help, but US refused. PS: Sorry my spelling.

  • Aug. 26, 2002, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Paul verhoeven is just the best !!!

    by SebastianKaine

    Paul verhoeven is just the most brilant movie maker of the 2 last decade !!!