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I Declare War hit iTunes on July 26th. The Indy hit opened in selected cinemas on August 30th. summarizes the movie thus: “Summer war games between neighborhood kids turn deadly serious when jealousy and betrayal enter the mix.” Hello? When real guns enter the mix. Think Lord of the Flies with a belt-fed machine gun. Our pals at have yet to catalogue the featured firearms, but this trailer reveals a heady mix of guns. (I could do without the Krypton eye laser thing, but that’s just me.) I declare that I’m going to review I Declare War this week; ironically enough it’s playing at a cinema on Slaughter Lane. Suffice it to say, ha! Will the chattering classes elevate the anti-war movie to coffee table debate? Watch this space. And watch a clip from the movie after the jump . . .


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  1. You said clip!

    Seriously, though, when I was growing up the words neighborhood and game had somewhat different meanings to those above depicted.

    • EDIT: Not that we didn’t play hard.

      I participated in a three day long game of “full contact” Capture the Flag — strategy, feints, patrols, pincer movements and so on over four square miles of dunes and brush — which included a couple broken bones, some serious sprains and one concussion with consequent MEDVAC, but there was a conspicuous lack of homicidal intent.

      There were nearly a hundred of us, a half dozen of whom “crashed their bike” during that long weekend while “camping with friends,” and we none of us came clean with our parents for years.

      Ahhh… California in the ’70s.

  2. Since Im illiterate and never read Lord of the Flies or much of anything else in skool.
    I don’t get it???
    Make believe with imaginary real thing??
    Or imaginary thing with real consciences??

    N/M I read some reviews, antigun stuff Im sure.

  3. Stephen King pulled his book “Rage,” (which depicts a school shooting from the POV of the shooter, who is the book’s hero,) from publication after two incidents in which real life school shooters seemed to have been influenced by his writing.

    I am not in favor of censoring anything or restricting no anyone’s 1st or 2nd Amendment freedoms, but I believe artists have a duty to hold themselves to the same level of responsibility as we in the armed intelligentsia hold gun owners.

    From the trailer, this film appears irresponsible. You might even say exploitative. You might even say dangerous. I won’t see it. I don’t want a penny of mine going to a work such as this.

    • “From the trailer, this film appears irresponsible. You might even say exploitative. You might even say dangerous. I won’t see it. I don’t want a penny of mine going to a work such as this.”

      No, no. Don’t push that bullshit off on me. You are saying those things, not me. Don’t hide behind what other people might say. Own that shot.

      Your last five words (“a work such as this”) sound pretentious as hell.

      This movie is fantasy. The kids are playing with sticks and water and balloons, that are real only in their imagination. Y’know, just like kids do in real life.

      • “This movie is fantasy. The kids are playing with sticks and water and balloons, that are real only in their imagination. Y’know, just like kids used to do in real life.”

        Ftfy. Unfortunately most kids don’t use their imagination anymore.

      • Hi, Matt. Sorry if you felt I was evading. So let me state more clearly. In my opinion, the trailer for this film looks irresponsible. The trailer for this film is definitely exploitative. Judging by the trailer, in my opinion, this film may even be dangerous. The people who made this film might have taken a few minutes to consider if what they were doing was a good thing or not.

        I won’t go see this film. As someone who works in the entertainment industry, I feel strongly that we need to be responsible for what we put out to the world. Go read “The Hunger Games” books, written for teenagers. You may love them. I found the level of violence and brutality sickening.

        Love your posts, by the way.

        • I don’t know the back story behind the film, like whether they meant it to be some sort of social statement or indictment, or whether it was supposed to just lean more towards fun. Maybe the filmmakers did think hard about what they were doing. I don’t expect it’s going to be some big moral play, with the characters coming to grips with their own humanity, because the kids are just too young for that. I do still think calling it dangerous is a rather large overstatement.

          I did read the Hunger Games, at least the first two books. I didn’t find the violence shocking, but perhaps that was simply because the books seemed extremely juvenile, and I had a hard time seeing past that.

        • The one other thing I’ll add is that working in the business, I know that few really care about any negative consequences their movie (or book or record) might have on the world. They want the next big thing. Period. (Both for profit and bragging rights.) If that means it’s “The Hunger Games” great. If that means Grand theft Auto, fine. if it means kids killing each other in the woods with firearms (even fantasy killing) then that’s cool.

          Me? Not interested.

        • Hey, Matt

          Replying out of order here because there’s only one level of reply on the site.

          Read Hunger Games number three, the most gruesome of the three. I also agree the books are juvenile. However remember they won’t seem that way to a teenager.

          Looking at the trailer again, I think I went a little far. I’ve done a lot of video work for a major publisher and have to read a lot of the extraordinarily violent and brutal work that is directly marketed to teens these days and am definitely over-sensitive to the issue. I also have a son about the age of the kids in the film, and seeing kids his age shooting each other made me queasy.

          I remember about 20 years ago, I was writing spec scripts for a show called “Are you Afraid of the Dark.” Rule was that no harm could ever come to a child, not even fantasy harm. Boy have things changed! It seems like anything goes these days, and I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

          Then again, I may just be an overly sensitive prude.

          You comments are appreciated.

          Be well.

  4. Drawing any conclusions from this one tiny clip will leave you woefully wrong about the entire set-up and tone of this flick.

    No I haven’t seen it, but I have seen much better trailers. Try HULU or something. This is a fantasy piece, with kids being kids and playing war. As far I a can ascertain from the clips I’ve seen, the “real gun” stuff is a riff on the heady imagination of young boys, with these “real gun action” scenes interwoven into their game of capture the flag being played with the usual accoutrements of broomsticks and what not.

    I have no guesses as to the message one way or another, just that the clip above is not what the movie really is. At all.

  5. Gee, what’s not to like? A group of white children running around playing war.
    In this age of PC diversity, doesn’t the cast seem a little…well, monochromatic?
    Are we really willing to suspend belief that the choice of cast was unintentional?
    If this was really a pro-gun film, would it be praised at the Toronto Film Festival?
    Would people of the gun conceive of a movie where children were killing children
    with real guns, and skate by with calling this portrayal simply movie make-believe?

    Captain, there’s a propagandaberg dead ahead!

  6. When I was a kid in the 90’s, living in New Jersey mind you, my friends and I would run around my back yard blasting cap guns at each other for hours with nothing more than a scrape or bruise here and there. I was the only one who owned an extensive arsenal of toy weaponry. Friends flocked to my house to play when their control freak parents threw their toy guns in the trash post-Columbine. We’re all sane, hard-working young adults today with clean criminal records. Only a few of us gun owners, but all of us hold the Bill of Rights in high regard.

    I will see this movie regardless of its use as propaganda by progressives and radical feminists who call for widespread emasculation of young boys by age 12 via school systems and “modern parenting”. I will see it and bask in the thankful reflection on my awesome childhood, and what I see as the very tail end of a time when “boys will be boys” still meant something to a lot of parents.

  7. I watched the movie yesterday and it’s actually pretty cool. Myself, I find the language that the the kids use is much more offensive than the guns. But one kid shoots frickin’ laser beams from his eyes, IT’S NOT REAL!

  8. Hah! Of course it’s not until you mention Slaughter Ln. that I realize, throughout the whole time I’ve been following this site, I have somehow missed that anyone from TTAG was from Austin. I miss living there. Also, the Alamo Drafthouse on S. Lamar is still eleventy times better than the one on Slaughter, and that is an indisputable fact.

  9. That clip looked like a saturday afternoon in my neighborhood growing up, or a trip to visit the cousins each summer for a week. It was always about playing Army and making fake guns to go shoot each other or the imaginary Nazis(it was always Nazis). Not a single one of my friends growing up or my cousins ever went out and killed anyone let alone even spent any time in jail. That is a large amount of people who turned out to be perfectly normal.

  10. We watched it on Xbox video last night, and I thought it was pretty damn clever!
    I don’t think it had a very strong pro-or-anti gun message at all. It was really just about kids who weren’t as clever as they thought they were. The actual “gun play” was surprisingly a small amount of the movie. There were some nice shots of some Sig 552s and an AK underfolder, but I honestly got distracted enough by the movie to catch them all.

  11. As a parent and someone who’s seen their share of dead children in real life, I’m not a big fan of seeing it on the big screen, least of all as ‘escapist’ entertainment.


    • As a different parent who has been burying friends for various reasons since he was 15, I’m a fan of seeing an escapist flick that blends fantasy with reality.

      As is my teen who well knows the difference betwixt and between.

      Pass if you want. “Free Country” and all that…

      • “Pass if you want. “Free Country” and all that”

        Not that anybody cares what I think, but I’m a little leery of the term “free country” in that it kind of implies that the country is free to run roughshod over our rights if it wants to.

        How about, “Land of the Free?”

  12. supplier commented:
    (in response to foghorn5950)
    “I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.”

    I just start writing and stop when I’m done. On occasions when I’m not in a hurry, I read it back at least once, and edit it if I need to, and then sometimes I just save what I wrote to a text file and forget all about it! But my advice is, if you want to write. write.

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