FOLLOWS THE ADVENTURES OF RICO, CARMEN & CARL, A TRIO OF HIGH SCHOOL BUDS, LURED TO ENLIST BY THE THRILL OF ADVENTURE ONDISTANT PLANETS, THESE UNSUNG HEROES ARE UNAWARE THAT THE BATTLE OF THE BUGS IS ABOUT TO RE-ERUPT, SEN... more »DING THEM ALL TOTHE FRONT LINES OF THE FIRST INTERSTELLAR WAR.« less
"This is a television series based both on a book by Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers, and a movie of the same name, directed by Paul Verhoeven. The movie was problematic in several respects. On the director's commentary of that movie, Verhoeven explains that he did not have enough money to create the alien insect warriors and create the human military technology in Heinlein's book. He decided to create the aliens and present the human soliders without the weapons that they had in the book, making it appear implausible most of the time that the humans had any chance in the battles at all. This series corrects this problem by providing the troopers with weapons that give them that chance. The other problem with the movie was that Verhoeven disagreed with the political theory advanced in the book, in which only those who serve in the military can become full citizens and can vote. Apparently having lived through World War II as a Dutch child, Verhoeven has a very low opinion of any militaristic society. He therefore satirizes Heinlein's views and fills the movie with military uniforms based on Nazi uniforms, often making it hard to sympathize with the defenders of humanity. Verhoeven's satire was great in Robocop, but produces an uneasy effect in the movie. Happily, the military philosophy is hardly mentioned in the series and the military uniforms are not based in any obvious way on German World War II dress. The series actually resembles most closely the cable mini-series Band of Brothers produced by Tom Hanks for HBO. In the Hanks series a group of soliders train, fight their way across Europe, and end up in Germany. Like Hanks series, Roughnecks is organized into a series of campaigns, beginning with battles on Pluto (there is nothing much about basic training until episode 20) and ending up with a defense of Earth on the ground. People die; the ones who don't are affected and change in various ways, for better or worse. With regard to the animation, it was incredible CGI 3-D style animation for its time. It is not quite as good as Toy Story or Shrek in many respects, but the main reason is that it was operating on a television budget, not a major motion picrure budget. Plus it was trying to animate characters that looked like real people rather than cartoon characters. The goal of the series in terms of animation was the same as that of the creators of the film Final Fantasy that appeared about a year or so later. This series does not miss the quality of Final Fantasy by much and it did it first. Because the series was canceled four episodes before the end of the season, the title of the DVD, suggesting that it is complete, is controversial. The four episodes that should have completed the forty episode season, 33, 38, 39, and 40, are still missing. The DVD gets to forty with four clip show episodes, which summarize past events with voice over narrations. The last of these is a court martial of the Lieutenant Rasczak, reshowing events and questioning whether he acted properly. These four clip shows allowed the producers to meet their obligations to produce 40 shows without having to create new CGI images. The series is not actually complete in that four planned episodes were never finished. However, The series does have considerable unity. In truth, the series could have been tied together nicely if it had ended one episode earlier with the funeral of Lieutenant Rasczak and the elevation of Johnny Rico, the main character in the book, to lieutenant to replace him. There is actually no end to the war in the book, and no plan to end the war in the series. Presumably the creators of the series meant to continue the war for many seasons. Thus, the final episode can be regarded as a hint of what would have come in the future with Rico now functioning as an officer. The series is a worthy tribute to Heinlein's book and will most likely be regarded as an important step along the way in CGI animation. I have given it five stars because technically is probably more of an achievement for television than Final Fantasy was for the big screen. One regret is that it is not in widescreen. The opening scenes in each episode are in widescreen, suggesting that it would have been possible to produce widescreen much as Babylon 5 was reformated from 4:3 to 16:9. It is sad that this fine animation project was never given an opportunity to find an audience on television the first time aournd, since it was scheduled at such a poor time of day (very early morning), when sci-fi fans were unlikely to be awake. Hopefully, it will do better as a DVD collection."
Good show, but dated
MildCritter | Rome, GA United States | 06/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Starship Troopers Chronicles is a continuation/retelling based on the original Starship Troopers movie by Paul Verhooven. The series adds considerably to the variety of the Bugs, shows the Skinnies for the first time, and treats the cameraderie, training, and discipline of the soldiers with the utmost seriousness, not with the vicious mockery of the movie. They are followed through several campaign story arcs that take them to widely varying planetary environments, even eventually back to Earth to fight off an invasion of their homeworld. The characters and their relationships show great interplay and tremendous growth as the stories unfold. Unlike the movie, the power armor introduced in the book is everywhere, and the major characters of the book are there, along with quite a number of excellent new folks.
STC was an excellent show for its time, but it was never given proper treatment by U.S. television. The characters, designs, artwork, and stories were excellent. This was one of the earlier shows done with motion capture technology, so much of the animation is not up to current standards, but so what? It's still a good series, far better than the abomination of a movie that inspired it, and much closer to the spirit of Heinlein's superb original book.
It's very unlikely that new episodes have been produced for it. The producers said several years ago that there was effectively zero chance that the missing four episodes would be produced, so it's probably just a repackaging of the earlier material, maybe with some decent extras. It would be wonderful if those extras included the scripts and preliminary art from the unproduced eps."
The Lowdown on the Roughnecks: STC Boxed Set
Mr. Hook | Omaha, Nebraska United States | 07/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Purchasing the Roughnecks DVD boxed set will not only save you money, but it will easily clear up any confusion surrounding the proper play order since the 4 volume set is clearly sequenced and labeled. The disc breakdown looks something like this:
Disc 1: The Pluto Campaign / The Hydora Campaign Disc 2: The Tophet Campaign / The Tesca Campaign Disc 3: The Zephyr Campaign / The Klendathu Campaign Disc 4: Trackers / The Homefront Campaign / 4 Bonus Episodes (the clip shows)
There is no new material here, still no conclusion to the series. In fact, there is LESS material than you will find on the individually packaged campaigns. The "Extras" have been paired down considerably and there are no foreign language tracks or subtitles of any kind. The only extras included in the boxed set are the same Photo Galleries you will find on the original releases and an exclusive illustration insert. The artwork on the insert is fine and I liked the fact that it listed the titles of the individual episodes on the inside, but the chapter breaks on the DVDs are still identical to the original releases and don't necessarily match the original episode transitions (although some do).
So in summary, here are the Pros and Cons of owning the Roughnecks: STC Boxed Set:
PROS: ------------------------- - You will save nearly $100 (or more) compared to the price you'd pay if you buy each campaign disc individually. - The campaign order is clearly labeled and already sorted out for you. - There is a pretty fold-out picture included. - It takes up less space on a shelf.
CONS: ------------------------- - No foreign language tracks - No subtitles - No filmmakers' commentaries - No technical commentaries - No filmographies - No easter eggs
So if you want to save money and shelf space, by all means, get the boxed set! If, on the other hand, you are a true fanboy like myself, you will cherish the commentaries on the original release discs and bask in the additional replay value.
RE: Drunik: My discs played just fine - you should send yours back to Amazon.com for a free replacement set - pronto! "
Might not be complete
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 06/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read a press release saying this DVD set will have 40 episodes. If you include the four clip shows there were 40 episodes released already. Interesting thing is there are four missing episodes that were never produced. The big question is whether or not the four never made episodes have been made and are included and they took out the clip shows, or is it the other way around? They have had the voice scripts recorded and lots of motion capture material so theoretically it can be done... if Sony was willing to pony up the funds.
Unfortunately I doubt those four episodes were made. I have heard absolutely nothing about them being done and you would think that would be a major selling point of this DVD set. Since 40 episodes have been made (with the clip shows) and I doubt they would take away the clip shows on a "complete" set anyway. My thought is we won't have what all of us Roughnecks fans really want... a complete series.
I'm also wondering what extras we would be getting here. This is just a four disk set and it's going to hold 40 episodes. You figure 22 minutes is the standard running time and that's over three hours per disk of just the film. How much more can be put in? It sounds like some of the extras you get from the single disks now might be taken out. Namely the commentaries. Again this is just speculation since hardly any information has been released so far.
I can't tell the future so I could be totally wrong on this. However all signs are pointing to just a rehash of what we already have. Maybe it's a good way for new fans to get the series without looking for all of those DVD's, but if you have a collection already I wouldn't forsake those old disks just yet folks."
War in a Box
Francisco J. Piņa | Calama, Chile | 08/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I think enough has been said about the series itself, so I'll limit my review to the present Complete Campaigns set. The box is pretty nice and sturdy, with great hand-painted artwork based on the series. Also included is a collector's illustration with the episode guide on the other side.
As for the discs, the hwole series is presented in only 4 discs with slim cases, 2 campaigns a piece, and the bonus episodes on the final one. A nice production touch was to link the episodes of each campaign in one long feature, giving the sensation of been watching a full-length movie, and enhancing the continuity feel of the series.
The downside of this set is the total lack of any subtitles and additional audio tracks available in the individual sets, so non-english speakers and ear-challenged folks are warned. Well, this can also be said of a couple of campaigns in the original discs (Zephyr Campaign and Trackers, to be precise). The good things are, the photo galleries are still there, and you can get the complete series for a quarter of the price! That's something many Roughnecks fans will really appreciate (me included).
All in all, this set will give you hours of thill and fun. If you like good sci-fi, non-stop action, and bugs, this is a series you won't wanna miss."