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The Onion AV Club explores the landscape

The Onion AV Club explores the landscape of underrated media and comes back with The Underrated List and a whole decade-full of underrated movies. How can anyone have misunderstood Starship Troopers? It was so over-the-top.

Reader comments

andreOct 19, 2005 at 8:19PM

My wife and I adored Starship Trooper (yeah I know, and she's gorgeous too), not only because of the cool effects but also because it's such a great political satire. Of course when we say that most people look at us like we're nuts because they can't see past the gore.

devanOct 19, 2005 at 9:21PM

I'm 100% with andre. Starship Troopers is subversive. Looks like the worst Hollywood schlock, but think about director Paul Verhoeven growing up in Nazi-occupied Europe and it makes more sense.

Jack SmitheeOct 19, 2005 at 10:31PM

Starship Troopers - check - funny, funny movie.
Josie and the Pussycats - check - woefully mismarketed, it's pop fun with great music.

Jason ColemanOct 20, 2005 at 12:14AM

I suppose the fact that so many people didn't get Starship Troopers as political satire means that even over-the-top movies by Verhoeven don't go far enough to shock us. I suppose no one had ever read Heinlein's novel besides Verhoeven?

Stefan JonesOct 20, 2005 at 12:19AM

Die-hard Heinlein fans can't stand Starship Troopers because:

i) it dispenses with the novel's major adolescent jerk-off fantasy element, powered armor, and . . .

ii) it gleefully dismisses -- nay, mocks -- the whole only those who serve deserve the vote idea. I know a lot of SF fans who think this is a wonderful, wonderful idea, even though they personally would have trouble walking a quarter-mile uphill, much less make it through basic training.

Jeff HarrellOct 20, 2005 at 1:20AM

Satire? Pfft. "Starship Troopers" was clearly a coming-of-age teen love story that was woefully mismarketed as an action flick. (Linked trailer requires QuickTime 7.)

nexOct 20, 2005 at 2:53AM

it gleefully dismisses -- nay, mocks -- the whole only those who serve deserve the vote idea.

Actually, Stefan, it gleefully and dismisses the whole novel 'Starship Troopers'. This movie is not an adaption of the novel, it rather makes use of Heinlein's license and shreds it to pieces. Of course die-hard Heinlein fans can't stand the movie, they were never meant to like it.

For the same reason, Jason's speculation that "no one had ever read Heinlein's novel besides Verhoeven" is also beside the point.

bmhleeOct 20, 2005 at 3:43AM

actually verhoeven made a point of saying that he never read the novel prior to making the movie. he already had an idea of what kind of movie he wanted to make and didn't want to be obligated to heinlein's version of the story.

MarkOct 20, 2005 at 10:04AM

Office Space is underrated?

DanOct 20, 2005 at 10:58AM

Whoever thinks that Last Call with Carson Daly is underrated in any capacity needs to be checked into Bellevue. He can't tell a joke and his "interviews" are boring and stupid. He's like the anti-talk show host.

BrianOct 20, 2005 at 1:08PM

"Underrated badass: Elijah Wood" immediately invalidated that list for me.

DanOct 20, 2005 at 1:40PM

Brian: Ha ha, I forgot about that too. Every time I see Elijah Wood, I always think he looks like a little lesbian.

JackOct 20, 2005 at 6:34PM

Full-Disclosure: I used to work for the Onion from 1995-2001.

Now that that's out of the way, the A.V. Club has rarely had anything to do with main crew that creates The Onion's content. Even moreso nowadays with AV Club staff still centered in the midwest and the main writing staff is here in NYC. Case in point: It's simply called the A.V. Club nowadays. And the divergence in taste is quite evident.

This list is interesting in a vanilla way, but it's a tad pathetic. I completely agree with "King of the Hill" & Kurt Russell being on the list, but "Last Call With Carson Daly"? Good lord! Any explanation about why that's wrong is not needed. Yes, he "...knows what he's talking about..." but he has the carisma of a publicity agent. Maybe the 'cool' agent that you'd hang out with on roof at some party with, but he's just a putz. It's as if he's been put on that list just to 'stir the pot' of discussion and seem 'scintillating'. Which is a bit sad.

The film list is a bit better--probably because only one writer (Scott Tobias) wrote it--but the assessment of "Starship Troopers" is a bit of a revisionist history as the film review for it that originally ran in publication was not a glowing assessment of post-modern ironry that's now presented in this list. Too bad a search of the A.V. Club's archives does not turn up the original review because comparing and contrasting the 1997 review and the 2005 revisionism would be quite hilarious to say the least.

kirkarachaOct 21, 2005 at 2:18PM

The Feelies are great, especially their Only Life album.

I don't see how they can call George Roy Hill underrated; he directed The Sting, which won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. He also directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The World According to Garp.

emilyOct 22, 2005 at 11:06PM

So glad to see "Clockers" on that list -- a great novel turned into Spike Lee's best movie aside from "Malcolm X." Delroy Lindo at his best, Mekhi Phifer in his debut burns up the screen.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.