be_themoon: I want a better world. By me. (GK: Nate&Brad: it's hard to save the wor)
[personal profile] be_themoon
Disclaimers/Warnings: I do not own Generation Kill, etc. All screencaps are from Oxoniensis, found here. Quotations will likely include profanity and content that is either offensive, graphic, or both.

Generation Kill

Basic Premise: Generation Kill is a 7-series HBO miniseries, based very very closely on the book of the same name by Evan Wright. It is a fairly factual look at Evan Wright's time as a reporter for Rolling Stone embedded in the 1st Reconnaissance Marines Battalion during the invasion of Iraq. In short, it's an apolitical look at the lives of the soldiers as they were. The show made a strong effort at keeping close to the truth - one Marine played himself, another played a small role. Both (plus others) acted as military advisers. The result is pretty amazing, and I think the cinematography is pretty gorgeous too.

There are some important things to know before you start the show. First off: you know how you have to be really, really good to be a Marine? Well, the Reconnaissance Marines are the best of the Marines. There's two types - the ones who go a hundred miles or more ahead of the Armed Forces, and the ones we're following, who are generally not far ahead. They are very, very good at what they do. The second thing to remember is that you honestly don't have to memorize all the character's names. It's a little confusing at first, but just watch. You'll get it. And the third thing is to just deal with the offensive shit they throw around. It's there. Live with it.

This is Sergeant Brad Colbert, Team Leader of Humvee 1 in Platoon 2. Their callsign is Hitman 2-1 - Hitman is Bravo Company's callsign, two stands for Platoon 2, 1 because they're the first Humvee in line. They call him Iceman, because (among other good reasons) he sings under his breath, completely calm, while they drive into ambushes. A lot of the first episode, while they're still at Camp Mathilda, he spends his time trying to force a shield for his gunner through the mail through sheer force of will. Sixteen pounds, titanium, about this big, he tells the PX man. It's custom made. I need it so my gunner doesn't have to stand completely exposed on top of these shitty Humvees, he tells the reporter.

What I mean to say is, he's looking for a guarantee of safety for his men, and it doesn't come.

This is Brad flying. I cannot explain this scene, because you just have to see it. It comes in Ep. 6, which coincidentally has as it's title his catchphrase ("Stay Frosty"), and it is a thing of beauty and wonder, only a small part of which comes from him not wearing a shirt, and a great deal of which comes from why he is flying and the look on his face. He doesn't get that look often (or ever). There really is no way to do justice to it in words.

This is not Brad's happy face. This is Brad's "I'm considering murdering you all in your sleep" face. (He has a good reason.)

Brad is awesome during sand storms, and everybody listens to him. This might have something to do with how he is like twenty feet tall. And when Brad goes under the Humvee to hide, you know something really bad happened.

Brad spends a lot of time being alternately charmed, irritated, and impressed by Ray Person, his RTO and driver. Let me show you.

"Are you making all this up?" "Shit yeah, it passes the time!"

Ray is a special, special person. He spends most of his time caffeinated out of his mind on Ripped Fuel, to the extent that at one point his words literally slur completely together. Like, you can hear him doing the omgIamtalkingsofasttherearenospaces thing. He also yells a lot, and says really weird things and swears all. the. time. It's a little weird how he's still adorable. I think it has something to do with that he's pretty smart, and he's actually a really nice guy. There are some really bad moments that make you want to cry - I have three that I have trouble watching at all. One is Brad with the bombs in Episode 7, and Nate pulling him out, and you have to see that for yourself. (You have to see all of them for yourself, really.) One I'll talk about later. The other one is Ray, at the end of the seventh episode. It's really heart-breaking, and like all the rest of Generation Kill it's also horribly mind-screwy, because these things actually happened to actual men. You don't get the luxury of walking away afterwards and saying "Well, that was really sad but at least they're fictional characters!" In a way, they are, but mostly they aren't.

Ray sings a lot with Brad, in high falsettos, in the Humvee. It's hilarious. He's also the one who apparently knows everything about Brad. Seriously, everything. He also eats messily on purpose to make Walt smile, and sings Avril Lavigne while he pisses, and makes really funny faces.

This, however, is not a funny face. This is Ray as he realizes that this mission is kind of a fucked-up one, and that the odds are horribly against them, and that Brad is worried.

This is Lieutenant Nate Fick, commander of Platoon Two, attempting not to laugh his ass off as he tells Ray that he has no "sit rep on J. Lo's status", after a rumor goes around the camp about J. Lo having been murdered. Nate is amazing. He's young, and idealistic, and wonderful, and he walks this fine line between knowing that command is kind of messed up sometimes and that he can't tell his men that because he's part of command, so he has to try to justify it to them instead. Once they get snarled up in their own traffic during an ambush. After Ray calmly gets out of his Humvee and attempts to yell at people before getting back in in disgust, Nate comes out from cover and walks to every single Humvee and gets them straightened out. With bullets flying. On foot. It's pretty awesome.

Nate spends a lot of time with Brad. Brad makes Nate smile occasionally, or they exchange meaningful glances. They do that last one a lot.

No, really.

No, seriously. A LOT.

Of course, there's also the meaningful stare combined with smiling!

They're like the mom and dad of the platoon, which means that when they fight everyone gets scared. They do a lot of planning together, and being giddy over how Brad managed to beg/borrow/steal/buy nice things for them.

The third man is Gunny Wynn, Nate's right-hand man. You don't see a lot of him, but he's pretty cool too.

This is Trombley. He's the third guy sitting in the Humvee. I'm... not going to talk much about him, because he scares the shit out of me, while occasionally managing to invoke my sympathy. Mostly he's too psychotic for me to do anything but back carefully away. He's the FNG (Fucking New Guy) of the Battalion.

This is Evan Wright, the reporter, who rides in Brad's Humvee. He's pretty cool, and he reacts really well to pressure comparatively. He cooperates, and he helps, and apparently even picks up a gun when necessary though we aren't shown that (that I can remember). The Marines respect him by the end, even though they still consider him a total newbie.

This is Gabriel Garza. Initially he was the top gunner for Brad's Humvee, but he got traded out for Walt pretty early on. Garza's cool - he's a good gunner, he's funny, and were it not that he is replaced by WALT and that we still get to see him I would wish he'd stayed with Brad. But he is replaced by Walt.

This is Walt Hasser. He is amazing and adorable.

This is Walt, going "FUCK YEAH" with victory.

This is Walt in the first episode, smelling the letter someone wrote to him. It is a beautiful, easily missed moment in the midst of Ray's hilarious and horrible monologue. I love the look on his face, and that he smells it twice, and that he's mostly ignoring the others. We never find out who wrote that letter. I kind of wish I knew.

This is the first time Walt has smiled since the end of Episode Five. You see, he killed a man.

This is the other heartbreaking, I almost can't watch it moment I was talking about earlier. It's not a soldier that he kills, you understand. Walt understands war. He killed soldiers during the ambush, and he doesn't regret that. This was a civilian. "The car just kept coming." He hadn't had enough sleep, and he shot someone.

He tries to explain it to Brad - Brad, who had made him sleep even the two hours he managed to get - because Brad'll understand. And he does, but that doesn't mean Walt understands.

Walt can't look away, and he can't not remember.

This is already kind of crazily long, so I'm just going to touch on the other characters that were important in my viewing.

Captain America, which isn't his real name, commander of the Third Platoon. "God fucking speed!" he yells. He's paranoid, and sad, and he's gotten this far through climbing the ranks, most likely, and on one hand I hate him and on the other I feel sorry for him, because occasionally he tries.

The man talking is Doc Bryan. He's a Navy Medic and a certified Badass Doctor. I really, really love him. He holds children and he chews out incompetent officers (that would be what he's doing in that .gif), and. You just have to watch him. He is a force of nature.

This is the man Doc Bryan was chewing out, commonly known as Encino Man. He's Second Platoon's commander, and therefore Nate's direct superior. His version of Gunny Wynn is someone everyone calls Casey Kasem, who really hates Nate. Nate chews him out, twice, in one of the later episodes, and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing to watch.

Encino Man's mostly just clueless.

This is Sergeant Antonio Espero, most commonly called Poke. I <3 him and his (pretty accurate) remarks on The White Man and his need to conquer everything. He's a pretty awesome guy, and he's also tough. He leads on one of the Second Platoon's Humvee's.

This is Lilley, his driver, and his ever-present video camera. Lilley sleeps with his gun, like a good Marine, and is really cute and also he is played by Kellan Lutz, who I am always pleased to see in anything remotely good.

This is Pappy, who leads another Second Platoon Humvee. He's a sweet guy.

This is Rudy Reyes, Pappy's driver. He is played by himself, acts flamboyantly gay, is really good-looking, and pretty much awesome. When the Marines want to make a gay joke, they make one about Rudy. He takes it all in even stride with good humor. He makes them espresso, and occasionally walks around naked before gearing up to go run a couple miles with a pack of rocks on his back. He and Pappy are really close friends. Rudy helps Pappy shave, and also they're apparently the default sniping team.

This is Captain Patterson, who commands one of the other two Platoons. He's pretty cool normally, and then he full on bodyslams Encino Man and becomes flat-out AWESOME.

This is Colonel Ferrando, codenamed Godfather, commander of the Battalion. I don't like him very much.

There are like twenty other .gifs and lots of quotes and pictures I could spam you with, but you should just watch the show now, and then head over to [ profile] generation_kill and hang out there.

*falls over*

Date: 2010-05-06 02:06 am (UTC)
nextian: From below, a woman and a flock of birds. (Default)
From: [personal profile] nextian
PSST, your cut broke :(

Date: 2010-05-06 06:59 pm (UTC)
snacky: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snacky
You are making me want to watch this, you know.

Date: 2010-11-03 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Reading through your GK tags because, hi, I AM 100% IN THIS FANDOM NOW, OMG.


Cussing = appropriate in GK-related comments.

Date: 2010-11-03 11:46 pm (UTC)
marycontraire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marycontraire
This was me, btw. God, I hate that DW fucks it up when I try to log in on a comment page.


be_themoon: I want a better world. By me. (Default)
I can learn to stand alone

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