*** Official "BASIC" Discussion Thread

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
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This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Basic" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

All HTF member film reviews of "Basic" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Crawdaddy
 
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Sep 18, 1999
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I saw Basic yesterday and thought it was pretty good. There were definitely some holes, but what movie doesn't have them. Overall I enjoy military "who done it" films. I didn't really care for Giovanni's character though.

I only have one question:
Was the set up done to recruit Osbourne or to cover up the Section 8 unit? Is Section 8 the good guys or are they drug dealers. I got the impression that the whole thing was a set up to recruit Osbourne. Any thoughts?
 

Alex Spindler

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No, the planting of Section 8 members was to catch the drug ring in the military.

I was trying to work my way through the logic of the movie, but I'm pretty sure there isn't any point.
 

Marc Carra

Supporting Actor
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Aug 31, 1997
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The biggest problem I had with the movie was the switched dog tag thing. Wouldn't the interogator/investigating offier have a file and photo on these guys? How could they just switch tags and no one know the difference????


Marc.
 

Alex Spindler

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Just for fun, I finally went back and tried to make sense of Basic. I won't even pretend that the movie was intended to be looked at logically, but this is a shot at it.


Total spoilers to be had!

Samuel L. Jackson is an instructor who leads a dual life. He both trains people normally as well as identifying people for his undercover Section 8 group. This undercover group apparently performs Internal Investigation as well as black ops.

Sam trains Travolta long ago and recruits him. Travolta eventually splits and joins the DEA, but he is still in the Section 8 program. He succeeds in being the most conspicuous undercover agent in the history of the world, putting James Bond to shame.

Now, many years later, Sam Jackson suspects that a drug ring is running through his unit. He seeds his next bunch of recruits with members of Section 8, with the intention that they will be able to ferret out the bad apples. He narrows the search down to just a handful of people and decides to set up their higher ranking connections.

The base commander(?) (Tim Daly) finds out and convinces the drug users to kill Sam Jackson. Sam figures it out and has his Section 8 plants play along and develop a wildly elaborate setup so that the druggies think everyone is dead. I assume that they replace most of the bullets with blanks or something. However, they do seem to be able to kill one suspect and wound the other. Maybe they're just very lucky. They convince Giovanni Ribisi that he saw everyone kill each other after they shoot him.

The undercover guy, Dunbar/Pike, carries one suspect out, but needs to have the higher up connection identified. To do this, he decides to do some extremely retarded things. First, he dreams up changing names with Pike (who is also undercover). Why? I think it was supposed to be to hide any fake animosity to Sam Jackson for some reason. Maybe it was the only thing he could think of to get Ribisi to go along with it. I suppose he knew there was no way they would catch the race/ethnicity or photo ID elements of their personal records being wrong.
Secondly, he decides to use the most convoluted method for getting Travolta. He says he'll only talk to a ranger and writes an 8 to indicate Section 8. Somehow, he expects that Travolta will be brought in to figure out who the higher ups are.

Now it is in the base commander's best interests to have this case be examined by the most inexperienced person possible. So what does he do? He enlists the help of his genius interrogator friend. So he gets the person best able to break the case open in under the most irregular ways, him being a civilian. Why does he care? Sam Jackson is dead, so he got everything he wanted. He has a suspect, so why does he need a confession? Because he too is retarded.

The Travolta proceeds to waste a ton of time putting on a show for Connie. The only time that he is actually doing something is when he questions Ribisi or his doctor friend. Any other time, he's just wasting time.

Then Ribisi dies. Why? Who? The movie doesn't care, so I don't care. So now there are no remaining suspects, so he decides to stop playing and takes the doctor down. He use the doctor to get the Dunbar/Pike name switching foolishness out in the open. He then runs down Pike/Dunbar and holds him up to a propeller. Why? I think he's showing off for Connie, but I can't be sure.
He then finds out his friend was running the whole thing, which seems to surprise him. Connie saves his butt, in the only twist that shouldn't have surprised him at all.

So, now Sam Jackson and crew have killed three suspects and come away with just a doctor. They celebrate and then offer a job to Connie just because she could keep up. Perhaps all the wasted time was Travolta seeing if she was worth wasting time with. Sam has decided that he would like to retire his old identity. Everybody shares a good old A-Team laugh and credits roll.


Is this what really happened? I have no clue, but its as close to any sense that I could make out of it.
 

Steve_Tk

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Some of that is wrong. No spoilers because this is discussion.

The base commander is running the drugs. He has ribsi and that other guy helping him do it.

Section 8 goes in to try and figure out who is doing it. Not knowing who it is, including the base commander.

John Travolta is not in the DEA. He is a Colonel in the Army and is in section 8. He lives above where section 8 was meeting remember. They plant that info in the paper from the beginning.

Ok so Sam Jackson finds out, and his planted recruits, that a couple of the members in his ranger training team are running drugs. He then tells the base commander about it. The base commander does nothing about it, so this lead Jackson to have a hunch that he is involved.

So they do the scheme in the woods and that no named guy get's killed. Ribsi comes home and they think up that whole scheme to try and get info from Ribsi to confirm the Base commander is in on it. The base commander then kills Ribsi to cover his own ass, didn't you catch this when travolta tricks him about poisoning Ribsi? The base commander also pulls in travolta from beginning because he believes that he will take bribes if something about drugs comes up, because he is in DEA, all a lie.

Then the base commander dies. Investigation is over because the 3 drug runners are dead. Her finding out really had nothing to do with the story. That was just there to let us know that they were all section 8.
 

Brett_B

Supporting Actor
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Oct 26, 1999
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Alex & Steve,

After reading your responses, I have just one question. If Ribsi is one of the drug users, how did he know about "section-8" remember he "drew" the figure 8 on Connie's hand when he was dying.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Not going to see the movie, and thanks to this thread, don't need to


Just a military note.

Section 8 is shorthand, medically, for mentally unstable, disturbed, or what-have-you.

If you are section 8, it means you are crazy


Just a cute FYI,
Chuck
 

Eric Fisher

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Apr 22, 2002
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Just a note from a former soldier here. The immersion factor was kind of blown for me with Samuel L's introduction as the big bad sergeant.. why? because prominently displayed on his collar is your run-of-the-mill "specialist" rank. oh well


oh.. and there are no female Rangers as of this current time.
 

SteveMc

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Feb 3, 2001
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I thought this movie was horrid. I just saw it tonight. The first 3/4 of the movie is full of witty banter and military cliches. By the end, you're just praying for an end to all the logic twists and turns they try to throw you. I stopped trying to follow half way through. The dialog is lame and as I said, cliche. And how dumb is the military on this base...apparently no one knew what these guys looked like and had no files with photo ids. As Marc said, the tag switch is crazy and makes no sense. The flashbacks seemed like a rehash of Courage Under Fire. I don't know which movie is more obsurd, The Core or Basic...
 

Scott Van Dyke

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Jan 21, 2002
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I just rented and saw this thing. I was entertained, but my fiance and me were left very confused.:b

I think this thread helped out though.
 

Albert Noel

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Sep 22, 2002
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Albert Noel
i hate to bump old threads, but this is the only thread i could find about this movie.

i just picked up this dvd the other day as a blind purchase, and am watching it right now.

i was all immersed in the story line and then something caught my eye. i can't even watch the rest of the movie now, i'm having a hard time.

there are at least two seperate occations where Osborne is driving the hummer and both the exterior of the vehical and her hands are moving in sync BUT the steering wheel doesn't move an inch. it's so fake looking that it just puts the movie off as totally unbeliavble to me.

has anyone else noticed this?
 

Paul_Sjordal

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10 PRINT "I haven't actually seen this movie."
20 REM Yes, I'm being stupid,
30 REM but someone had to make this joke.
40 END
 

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