Embedded is a ripped-from-the-headlines satire about the madness surrounding brave men and women on the front lines of a Middle East conflict. It skewers lapdog embedded journalists, scheming government officials and the m... more »edia's insatiable desire for heroes. Beautifully captured (by 9 cameras) directly from the controversial Tim Robbins' play in New York City, Embedded Live puts the audience in the front-row to this thought-provoking and timely production.« less
Hits the mark with a mix of sardonic humor and biting satire
Nicholas Carroll | Portland OR United States | 07/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Currently, this dvd is only available through netflix, but when it is released to buy, I will order a copy to add to my film collection. This dvd is a must have for anyone who appreciates a good satire about the people in power and the ways they try to fool the masses. Unfortunately, our only means of leveling the playing field is through the arts, as has always been the way since the days of ancient Greece. "Embedded: Live" continues that great Greek tradition, complete with their own chorus of neo-conservatives!
"Embedded: Live" is a dvd of the off-Broadway stage play production by Tim Robbins "The Actor's Gang" group, about the early days of the war in Iraq. The story covers a few soldiers in their experiences and the tag-along media lapdogs who are all too willing to report what the military tells them, regardless of the reality on the ground. In between certain scenes are the brilliant "chorus" scenes of our favorite neo-conservatives: Dick, Rum-Rum, Pearly White, Woof, Gondola, and Cove. In their scary-looking masks, they laugh and trade barbs about the stooges who fall for their lying scheme. With their intellectual superiority, they disdain the little people who are duped by their sinister plans for Iraq. It is quite a jab at the audience and viewers, and a great satire and representation of the neo-cons, especially when they all hail Leo Strauss, a creepy forefather to the neo-conservative philosophy (he's induced the way Hitler and the Nazis induced Wagner and Nietzsche). To me, their scenes are the best thing about this play.
The other character I loved in this play is the guy who plays the drill instructor type Colonel. With his gruff voice, underhanded wit, creative use of language, and surprise talents, he simply steals the show. Its amusing to watch him whip the newsreporters in shape like they were in boot camp.
The play centers around the well known propaganda piece of this war: the Jessica Lynch rescue. The play follows the story by the book, puncturing a hole into the delusion the military tried to put us into. If they make a sequel to this play, it would make sense to add the Pat Tillman story into the plot, as the same thing happened with him (in the desperate attempt to create a heroic story, the Army lied about the actual facts surrounding Tillman's death. Tillman is a hero, but his fraticide death was tragic and a major embarrassment for an Army desperate for recruits).
See this dvd. Watch, learn, be outraged, laugh, then do something. I must warn people though...you are watching a play, not a movie, but it is a play quite spruced up with images on screens in the background. We get glimpses of the audience, and at one point, I swore I saw actor Bill Murray. Anyhow...the quality is excellent. The only regret is that I didn't get to see it in person, but it is definitely nice to own to watch again and again."
Great! Tim Robbins rocks.
Ben | Sacramento, CA | 07/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I planned to see this off-Broadway play when it was first out but missed it. I'm so happy it's on DVD. Tim Robbins wrote a really strong satire and also directs and acts. The scenes with the government officials are the best in terms of humor, but the soldiers add resonance and gravitas to the play.
I hope people get a chance to see it because it is just as apt today as it was a couple of years ago when it was first staged, and I foresee that it will stand the test of time."
Brilliant !! Historic !! A Meticulous Documentation of the
B. Douglas | Kansas City, USA | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mr. Robbins not only entertains with humor, powerful music, and deeply moving emotional scenes, but also does the hard work of using historically accurate recitations of the United States media corps. shameful adulation of war, in spite of the reality they became aware of.
Robbins brilliantly shows how our American media was an accomplice in the destruction of so many American and Iraqi lives. I doubt people working in the media will have the stomach to watch this . . . but they should. For only repentant souls can find peace in this life.
Our media has much to repent for. If they cannot see the error of their ways, then God help us, for as Mr. Robbin's play suggests again and again . . . Gomorrah (Iraq) was only the first in the series of oil rich lands the powers that be plan to invade with fictitious reasons delivered special delivery by our own media corp.
This play may actually change the direction of humanity !!"
Very good, but unsurprising
Mr Murray | New Jersey | 02/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Tim Robbins' play about the Iraqi conflict of 2003 onward. It is a live performance of the play, with the audience visible. It is not shot FROM the audience, but constantly shows a variety of angles, including close-ups.
The thing that struck me most about "Embedded" was the fact that its ideas were just those that are obvious to reasonable people who are not somehow deluded by the spin the Administration has managed to put on Iraq. I expected the ideas to be more radical somehow. It is actually a bit sad to think that perfectly common-sense and "safe" ideas are as marginalized as this film/play is. One might have expected from all the controversy surrounding Robbins there must be some scandalous inside information here that reveals once and for all the evil plot behind the whole conflict-something like "Fahrenheit 9/11." Yet, there is little more here than perfectly healthy skepticism about politicians and the media, coupled with humanitarian concern for soldiers (recognizing that they are largely the American underclasses.) Remember Nixon? We are SUPPOSED to distrust politicians. If this is counterculture, we are living in a very, very sad time.
The plot involves the contrast between mainstream reporters and independent ones. It shows reported in a kind of bootcamp in which they are trained to deliver "appropriate" stories. Meanwhile, a chorus of neocon elites meets in a smoky room, plotting their next steps in world domination and giving a running comic commentary on recent events. It is fairly heavy-handed Brechtian theater. Since most Americans will think that is "weird," this is likely to stay marginalized. "
Good but obvious
ruvi | Ann Arbor | 06/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Embedded/Live is a play that details journalistic aspects of the war and the difficulty of obtaining and reporting (truthful) information during wartime. It also shows 3 soldiers going off to war, including a barely-disguised Pfc. Jessica Lynch as "Private Ryan;" it also shows a thinly-veilded caricature of the current administration as they plan the next move in the war. The journalists are first put through a sort of bootcamp where the basic gist is that they cannot report anything the military does not approve. Embedded/Live goes on to follow the lives of the journalists as they try to report the war, the 3 soldiers, including Jessica Lynch's capture, rescue, and the intense media coverage that followed, and the admistration. Embedded/Live is good, but not incredibly well-done or subtle. There are quite a few very obvious jokes, and the administration, wrong or right as it may be, is portrayed in such a ridiculous manner that the audience cannot take it seriously and see it as a satire. Additionally, the following of the soldiers is scattered and abrupt, the play would have done better to focus much more on the journalists' part; indeed, those were the strongests points of the play. All in all, not terrible, not great."