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Even the jungle wanted him dead.


All those years since I first saw this movie - in its original version - and it still hits me in a lot of the same ways. The additional 49 minutes don't add that much to the film, and I rather miss the Arc Light strike on Kurtz's base that originally played behind the credits, but it's interesting to see the film the way Coppola originally wanted to do it. That having been said, I don't think the original release lost anything by omitting those 49 minutes/additional scenes. Sure, the subplot where Willard steals Kilgore's surfboard is funny, but the rather sad scene with the Playboy bunnies at the medical base was purely gratuitous, and the whole plantation sequence also did nothing to advance the plot. It's an okay movie, but not really worth 200+ minutes of your time.


I met James Daniel Ross at Balticon this year, and his free samples of The Chimerium Gambit were intriguing enough to get me to buy the book, which is available through Barnes & Noble. It's not bad, the sort of brain candy that Ace and Pyramid used to churn out back in the day, and that Baen still puts out occasionally. Basically, the plot involves a company of mercs (the Radiation Angels) hired to capture a planetary dictator, but things start to go sour during the attack on the dictator's castle. A rival unit attacks the Angels and inflicts serious damage before being defeated, and partially as a result of this intramural dustup the Angels' employers refuse to pay the whole bill and deny them their salvage rights to boot. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the Angels have salvaged something much more valuable - a billion-dollar stash of Chimerium. The commander and a small team flee to the anarchic shithole that is Mars, to serve as bait for their former employers, and an extremely tense battle ensues between the team and a composite force of scum soldiers which is very well done. This is a decent book, unfortunately only available in small press, but worth taking a look at. Recommended.

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