Those go-getters over at MTV have the trailer premiere for Stop Loss, the flick starring Ryan Philippe as a solider given new marching orders back to Iraq on the day he was meant to be discharged.

If you’ve missed the past couple years of news, ‘stop-loss’ is the name for a policy which retains troops beyond their scheduled term of service. A lawyer might fight stop-loss by claiming the clause that powers it, which specifies that "In the event of war, enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until
six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner
by the President of the United States
" based on the fact that we’re not officially at war right now. From the trailer, it looks like Philippe is no lawyer, but he does take his fight to the top, and to the streets.

Having already spent the day thinking about the current on-the-nose war film, Robert Redford’s Lions For Lambs
(Exclusive interview with Michael Pena coming soon, to
be followed by the review. Hint: the movie is the greatest waste of
talent in 2007.)
this trailer’s unwillingness to disguise it’s issue-minded nature is tiring, but the construction is perhaps honest. The MTV metal doesn’t help, though.

Redford’s film at least has an artful title. Stop-Loss could be changed to Policy: The Movie!, but then I’d expect to see the name Zucker somewhere in the credits. When will we get to see Improperly Armored Hummer? Or maybe a Fugitive-type series called IED, told from the persepective of a different bomb each week?

Not that this isn’t a worthy basis for a film, or that we shouldn’t embrace message movies, at least on a provisional basis, but I hold out little hope that this will actually be a movie instead of a thinly-veiled expose. Not that we’ve ever lacked for obvious, audience-rousing message movies in past times of war. And Stop Loss does feature Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so that might be a bright spot.

By heading over to MTV, you can catch a few shots of old Joe, and maybe decide that G.I. Bill isn’t the way to fund an ejamacashun after all.

(I’d like it known, too, that since this evening is officially Francis Ford Coppola night at Chud, I tried to work a Gardens of Stone reference into this. Then I decided that wasn’t such a good idea after all.)