The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Edge Of Tomorrow

Posted on | June 27, 2014 | 24 Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

I may be one of the few people in America who hasn’t seen Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, but I feel fairly comfortable in asserting that at no point in that movie does Andie McDowell shoot Bill in the head. This happens a LOT in Edge of Tomorrow, where Tom Cruise’s character, Marine PR major William Cage, finds himself condemned to participate in the invasion of Europe as a buck private after turning down an assignment to serve as an embed in the invasion force. Unfortunately for Cage and his squadmates, the aliens occupying Europe know they’re coming, and the invasion is a spectaularly bloody debacle in which Cage and war heroine Sgt. Rita Vrataski (the “Full Metal Bitch”) both die – but not before she tells him “Look for me when you wake up!”. Cage does wake up, repeating the day over and over again in a hideous real-life rendition of first-person shooter videogames. The reason why this is happening, and how Cage and Vrataski use the loopback to sharpen Cage’s combat skills and eventually figure a way out of the no-win situation they’re in, make for a fascinating if frequently horrible movie. I am given to understand that the movie has a different ending from the original Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, which I guess isn’t too surprising; the manga version in turn differs from both on various plot points. It was a very good movie, and I may go see it again before it disappears from the theaters.

Aside from that, I’ve been working my way through Gene Wolfe’s Shadow & Claw and Sword & Citadel, which together contain the four novels that make up Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. I’d passed this up when it first came out, being allergic to things that were popular, and I have to say I’m sorry I waited. The tale of Severian the torturer is an interesting one; while set in the far future, it often feels like a mythic tale set in the distant past, perhaps in some era of Classical Greece. This is partly due to Wolfe’s choice of language: he deliberately chooses archaic and obscure words to describe people and things, and by doing so manages to evoke a sense of wonder while paradoxically precisely describing the people and things he is writing about, in much the same way the late William F. Buckley Jr. would often use one fifty-dollar word in place of a dozen cheaper words. I am enjoying them tremendously, and if you haven’t read them, I suggest you pick them up.

Since I got paid today, next week I’ll be talking about the International Lord of Hate’s Monster Hunter Nemesis, Tom Kratman’s The Rods and the Axe, and Andy Weir’s The Martian.


24 Responses to “Edge Of Tomorrow”

  1. joethefatman
    June 27th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

    I’ve been stuck reading technical type stuff. Bleck.

    I’ll get to read something fun soon. I hope.

  2. JeffWeimer
    June 27th, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

    Reading Nemesis now, it came out early on kindle.

  3. RKae
    June 27th, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

    I liked “Edge of Tomorrow.” But I don’t think I need to see it again, as that would be a repeat viewing of a guy repeating a day over and over. And that’s just overkill.

    For a lunatic, Cruise sure is picking damned good projects recently!

  4. M. Thompson
    June 27th, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

    As has been said about “Edge of Tomorrow” it’s the movie that every opinion on Cruise works. For those who hate him, he dies, a lot.

  5. JadedByPolitics
    June 27th, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

    So you haven’t seen Groundhog Day? here is spoiler alert, turn on the news when you get up and it will be as it has been since 2007 and the MTV Obama hit the screen, over and over and over again.

  6. richard mcenroe
    June 27th, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

    The best part of EoT was losing count of how many times Tom Cruise gets butchered. Are they planning a sequel with George Clooney I hope I hope?

  7. richard mcenroe
    June 27th, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    Needs more violence.

  8. The Edge of Tomorrow | Batshit Crazy News
    June 28th, 2014 @ 12:26 am

    […] Wombat: The Edge of Tomorrow […]

  9. richard mcenroe
    June 28th, 2014 @ 12:41 am

    Embrace the metafiction!

  10. Proof
    June 28th, 2014 @ 2:26 am

    Take the time to see G-hog Day. Aside from the familial connections between wombats and groundhogs, it is a well crafted movie and you don’t have to be a big Bill Murray fan to like this one.

  11. Eric Ashley
    June 28th, 2014 @ 2:39 am

    I find myself often in the contrarian seat to uber popular movies, where I haven’t watched them. But eventually do, and like them.

    It took me a long time to get around to watch Forrest Gump. But GHog Day is better.

    Books….read the story ‘Awake in the Night” by John C. Wright. Very strange place, good story.

    Reading ‘Like a Mighty Army’ by Weber. Safehold series. Its decent.

    Read Parrallel U. on Kindle. Worth the .99???. Girl from nuked America goes to cross time university. It was ok. A bit YA.

    Reading ‘Seventh Magi’ which is kinda like a Christian Harry Potter so far. Its kinda cool, and free.

  12. Wombat_socho
    June 28th, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    We’re talking Larry Correia here. Is that actually possible?

  13. Wombat_socho
    June 28th, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    I did read “Awake In The Night” and am planning on picking up the whole novel soon. I got burned out on Weber’s Safehold series around the third novel. Might look into the others.

  14. roy_batty
    June 28th, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    Went to EoT without any expectations and left happy, it was a very good film. I too may see it again on the big screen. The battle scenes were terrific and so was Bill Paxton’s performance.

    Re: Gene Wolfe, a must read is The Fifth Head of Cerberus. It is 3 stories about 1 specific thing in book length. No one can bring about a haunting atmosphere like Wolfe, Cerberus is something very special.

  15. Quartermaster
    June 28th, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

    Wombats are marsupials. Groundhogs are not.

  16. Quartermaster
    June 28th, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

    My better half and I have read all of the Safehold series that’s out. We have a wait of a couple years before the next one comes out, so I guess we won’t get burned out.

    The last one was getting to be a bit of hard read, although it isn’t any worse than previous installments. Tedious might be a better word, but only because we had read them so close together.

  17. richard mcenroe
    June 28th, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

    He’s still typing, isn’t he?

  18. Proof
    June 28th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    Potato, Potahto.

  19. K-Bob
    June 28th, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

    Urth of the New Sun is one of those long-form revelations that isn’t really about a particular story as much as it is about what the future could be like, both in the form of what the total environment cold be like as well as what it might be like for the folks living in it.

    I read the first two books twice and finished the set and honestly, I couldn’t tell you what the story was about. Nevertheless, I’ve found myself flashing on scenes from the books many years after reading them.

  20. K-Bob
    June 28th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    Same here. Worse, it’s related to porting everything from XP to Win 8.1. I’d rather read specs for a CNC Lathe. In German.

  21. K-Bob
    June 28th, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

    I had a son who basically said the same thing about Nicholas Cage movies: “You get to see him get the sh*t kicked out of him over and over.”

  22. K-Bob
    June 28th, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

    Yeah, but neither species has fins. So they have that in common.

  23. davidherr
    June 28th, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

    Andy Weir’s The Martian is a great read — sort of a Robinson Crusoe, but on Mars and minus the cannibals and pirates. I read this very shortly after it first came out as a cheap Amazon self-published book, typos and all. It has been fun to see it gain a well-deserved following.

  24. Eric Ashley
    June 29th, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    You can get the special July the 4th Version which comes with its own M-80 firecracker.