Roughnecks - Starship Troopers Chronicles: The Tesca Campaign [DVD] [2002]

Roughnecks - Starship Troopers Chronicles: The Tesca Campaign [DVD] [2002] from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Product description

In Volume 2 of Roughnecks--Starship Troopers Chronicles, Johnny Rico, Lieutenant Razak and their computer-animated squad embark on the Tesca campaign, once again fighting the bugs in all their myriad forms, shooting anything that moves and generally causing chaos and mayhem. Inspired by Robert Heinlein's sci-fi classic and executive-produced by Paul Verhoeven, who made the big-screen version, Roughnecks is cutting-edge TV animation that's more for grown-ups than kids. The neat equipment, combat suits and weapons are as deadly as they are cool, and even though the extreme gore and violence of the movie has been toned down the endless threat from all manner of nasty bugs is still pretty terrifying (the Giant Spider Bug, for example, really is the stuff of nightmares). As with Volume 1, the five 20-minute episodes are here spliced together into a movie-length feature, which makes for a satisfyingly lengthy story arc instead of the more usual self-contained individual episodes. The show's structure also allows for plenty of character development: this time the squad are joined by an alien "skinny" called T'Phai who, as might be expected, has to work hard to bond with the rest of the team and earn their respect. Like all good war stories, at its heart Roughnecks celebrates that "Band of Brothers"-style bonding in extreme circumstances which we viewers can only experience vicariously.

On the DVD: The 4:3 picture is good, although it's better to watch with the lights off to see all the detail in the moody (i.e., "dark") CG animation. The 5.1 sound shows off explosions and gunfire, but also the almost incessant techno soundtrack. There's a good commentary from cast and crew members, who talk about their various movie inspirations (from the D-Day landing sequence of Saving Private Ryan to, of course, Aliens) and their desire to parallel real war situations. There's also a photo gallery of the human actors and a trailer. This is a stylish show, and a good DVD.--Mark Walker

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