Friday, May 24, 2013


In Tank, Sgt. Major Zack Carey (James Garner) and his family relocate to a base just outside a small town in Georgia, where, if all goes well, he plans to retire and spend some quality time with his family. Unfortunately, the sergeant major drunkenly befriends the only prostitute in town and winds up giving a shiner to her pimp, who also happens to be deputy sheriff (James Cromwell), landing his family in hot water with the ah-thor-I-tays. Fortunately, Sgt. Major Carey has recourse to the only sensible tool for combating injustice: a Sherman tank.
  • Opening credits: that guy you like, that lady who’s real pleasant, and in the title role…. = +5pts 
  • When the opening music consists of drum and fife, duty and honor will be served. = +2pts 
  • Your “personal belongings” include a Sherman tank. = +20pts 
  • Reporter: “Why in the hell would anyone want a Sherman tank?” Carey: “Because it’s very hard to shoot yourself while you’re cleaning it.” = +25pts 
  • Using “Jesus Christ” as a curse even more times than in most non-family oriented movies. = +7pts 
  • James Garner has reached the age where they only show him starting to take off his shirt. = - 5pts 
  • Shirley Jones: “G.I. want a good piece of ass?” **shudder** = -7pts 
  • Sgt. Major insults rag bags everywhere by repeatedly enjoining his soldiers to not look like one. = -12pts 
  • Yellow jump suit banana army. = +12pts 
  • You know the Sheriff is really evil because he spanks his prostitutes. = - 13pts 
  • Evilness of sheriff is further evinced by his failing to come to a complete stop at stop sign. = +2pts 
  • Best method for confronting domestic abuse: shove perp against wall, scream, “You will get some counseling! Dismissed!” = +15pts 
  • The Law: framing teenagers for possession of pot and indiscriminately beating prisoners. = -20pts 
  • Sheriff’s office has great bong collection. = +7pts 
  • 1984: Using a tank to destroy the town jail makes you a folk hero. 2013: Using a tank to destroy the town jail makes you…not a folk hero. = -13pts 
  • Go ahead and invite the town whore on your destructive rampage. Your wife will understand. = -12pts 
  • Tank is apparently quiet enough to sneak up on all the guards at the correctional farm. = - 5pts 
  • ‘80s comedies were not complete until someone gawked, “Hoooly shit!” = +7pts 
  • Sheriff: “I’ve got a 52 year-old sergeant who’s gone crazy, a 16 year-old dope fiend, and a hooker in a tank.” Governor: “Sorry, I can’t help.” = +6pts. 
  • Sheriff: “Did you call me a pussy communist?” = +6pts 
  • Lose ‘em by driving your tank through the woods! There’s no way, absolutely no way, anyone would be able to track your tank as it crashes through the underbrush. = -7pts 
  • That governor is clearly not Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Governor, 1984. = -2pts 
  • Governor: “In all candor, Mrs. Carey, I would find it very difficult to put the full prestige and honor of the governorship behind a crusade led by two men in a tank with a 20-year-old prostitute.” = + 12pts 
  • We’re pretty sure firing a machine gun at a sheriff and his deputies didn’t make you popular, even in the ‘80s. = -17pts 
  • Tank is rescued, suddenly everyone has balloons. = +20pt
Total Score = +33pts
Available on: Netflix instant, YouTube, Amazon rental

Was it ever socially acceptable to even fantasize about going on a rampage with a tank? Was it ever socially responsible to cast C. Thomas Howell? We’re leaning towards no on both counts. We can’t recommend watching Tank at all, at least not without a scorecard and some heavy narcotics, but it does stand as a curious artifact of a time when movies and TV shows recklessly fantasized about sticking it to The Law by any means necessary. We could argue that post-9/11 security consciousness changed all that, but when it comes to tanks, it was really this guy in 1995 who ruined them for everyone.

Score Technician: Alex Pearlstein

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