Deluxe version Blu-ray review. This film seems to disturb people, partly because it does not take the strongly polarised position that other war films take, and they cannot categorise it. Is it pro-war, or is it anti-war? Its ambiguity lets us make our own minds up, but I don't think that is clear-cut enough for many people, so it disturbs them. The film is essentially split in two; a long look at the nature of Marine training, and the dehumanising nature of preparing people to kill, and then a move to Vietnam to see what happens to some of them next. Interestingly, most of the fighting, which never took over from the characters, took place in cities or towns, rather than in the jungle, which is the norm in Vietnam war films.
I hadn't seen the film for a long-time, the last time being on late night TV, so this was a fresh look. I really liked it, particularly its portrayal of human frailties, without judging them. The best thing for me though was the pace. It maintained a steady almost rhythmical pace, with events often well telegraphed, but it drew me in and kept my attention throughout nonetheless.
Full metal Jacket was a very early Bluray transfer and was widely criticised at the time. Warner Brothers took the criticism on the chin, and they redid the transfer for this deluxe version. It is presented in 1.78:1 format, giving full-screen on a widescreen TV. Detail was good, well focused without being pin-sharp, with good saturated colours, particularly the green of the uniforms. Some of the colours appeared just slightly off to me, which may have been a deliberate effect.
Audio Quality was good, with an uncompressed PCM 5.1 track in English. It wasn't quite as good as the picture, with a lot of the noise from the front, but dialogue was clear and some of the sound effects were very good. The soundtrack was very carefully chosen and seemed a bit incongruous at times:- watch out for Nancy Sinatra singing "These boots are made for walking." I deliberated over the rating for some time. In my view it is very close to five stars, but in the end I went for four.