8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well -paced
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...
Published on 19 Jun 2010 by Mr. James West
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT VERY HIGH DEFINITION
Although this is a fantastic film, I have to say I was very very disappointed with the 'supposed' Blu-Ray high definition. This film was supposedly remastered in 1080p Blu-Ray in this version of the disc I bought, but i cannot see any signs of the HD effect....did they actually forget to remaster it? It looks no different to my original DVD copy. Playing back through my...
Published on 1 Jan 2008 by W. G. Weir
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well -paced,
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.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Blu Ray conversion....,
This is, of course, a classic film and we all know the quality of casting and the cinematography however, you cant help but wonder how it's going to look when put on to Blu Ray. The good news is, you're not going to be disappointed!
It's been remastered in to full 1080p which brings a great depth of colour and added realism to the film. Like with The Shining, it makes an old film look like a recent production. While you cant always see a difference between DVD & Blu Ray, this is a great film to show you just how much more vibrant it really does look. The improved sound also helps, you can now watch it on any decent surround sound system and not have to keep turning it up or down depending on the scene.
I'd highly recommend this version of the film. If you enjoyed it originally, this will definitely improve your viewing pleasure and it'll be a great addition to your ever growning Blu Ray collection!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great HD release,
Never mind the other comments, they are for the 2007 Blu-Ray. This 2008 edition has a great 1080p image that feels very natural, with a pleasing amount of grain. It looks very close to how the film looked in theaters.
Unlike the previous edition this one has a couple of interesting extras, above all a very good commentary. Especially Vincent d'Onofrio offers a lot of insight into the making of the film.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...classic, gritty and very raw ...",
'Full Metal Jacket' is definitely a classic, gritty and very raw interpretation of military service during the Vietnam War. The film is essentially split in to two distinct parts: 1. boot camp where we first meet the recruits (also where we meet real life Marine R. Lee Ermey whose performance is intense to say the least as the Drill Instructor); 2. conflict in Vietnam itself. This division creates two distinct stories that, whilst relevant to one another, could be completely stand-alone but instead ground each other nicely and develop the stories of several of the characters far more.
There are a lot of good war films, but `Full Metal Jacket' falls into the same category as `Apocalypse Now' in that it is such a milestone. Sadly it's not as grand in scale as the epic that is `Apocalypse Now' and not nearly as rounded, but it does explore the psyche of your average soldier unprepared for war to a much greater degree and could easily be argued to be far more "real" than the aforementioned.
It is a must see and deserves to be hailed as one of the best war films of all time, but you'll be sorry when it ends far too soon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous,
Realistic is a word used far to often to describe Films these days and whilst I don't want to get into the 'back in my day' mentality it is something I do find a little frustrating. Full Metal Jacket is however an example of a film being so fantastic that you can believe that something very much like this happened. The film is told in such a brutally realistic way that you could be forgiven for believing this was a documentary at times. The acting is first rate, the story well paced and thoughtful. Full Metal Jacket doesn't dumb itself down or sell its soul simply to allow the masses to appreciate it. Its a film that just does things very well in an adult themed environment thats not for kids. Ironically, the main characters are American youngsters who are followed throughout their basic training in preperation for the Vietnam conflict. Harrowing at times but always magnificent Full Metal Jacket is without a doubt one of the finest films ever made. Lee Ermey is just superb in this and gives a lesson to any would be actors. Words almost fail me. You must see this. Its just brilliant.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, horrific Vietnam film,
A horrific but brilliantly made film about the Vietnam War by Stanley Kubrick. Full Metal Jacket is split into two parts with the first 44 minutes covering the training of a new group of marine recruits and the remaining 76 at the war itself.
In the first act, the rookies are introduced to the sadistic, fowl-mouthed Sergeant Hartman (real life ex-marine Lee Ermey) who gradually dehumanises them into killing machines. Among the men are Private Joker (Matthew Modine), the only soldier who retains something of a conscience and Private Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio), overweight and slow to learn. Pyle soon becomes the victim of Hartman's relentless bullying but, under Joker's wing, he begins to get things right and is an excellent shot.
The marines all pass their training but, on the last night before they go their separate ways, Pyle loses his mind with catastrophic results.
Cue to Act Two, Joker is now in Vietnam working for the heavily biased Stars & Stripes newspaper which is distributed to the troops. On a reporting mission he comes across his old training camp friend Private Cowboy (Arliss Howard) and, with Cowboy's platoon, they try to apprehend a sniper hiding in a nearby building. The atmosphere and tension created in Full Metal Jacket is superb as the platoon try to catch the lone gunner with a climax in which Joker arguably comes to terms with what he solely witnessed with Pyle and is able to move forward as a killing machine.
Full Metal Jacket is an excellent film, enhanced by superb cinematography and some typical darkly whimsical Kubrick touches such as the opening credits during which the new recruits have their heads shaved. The first act is incredibly powerful and disturbing and the second part tense and (I imagine) realistic. Another classic Kubrick film.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT VERY HIGH DEFINITION,
This review is from: Full Metal Jacket [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Although this is a fantastic film, I have to say I was very very disappointed with the 'supposed' Blu-Ray high definition. This film was supposedly remastered in 1080p Blu-Ray in this version of the disc I bought, but i cannot see any signs of the HD effect....did they actually forget to remaster it? It looks no different to my original DVD copy. Playing back through my Tosh 37X3030 (which has proven to be a simply stunning Full HD TV on other Blu-Ray titles I bought), there is lots of video noise, there is little evidence of 1080p remastering. If you have watched the Blu-Ray version of, say, Casino Royale, or Planet Earth at 1080p, with its pin-sharp picture and sound, then you will be very disappointed with this version of Full Metal Jacket. I realise its an older film, but it does not even LOOK like HD to my eyes. This means I will probably be avoiding all old 'remastered' films....Not the High Definition treat I was hoping for when I took the HD plunge.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Kubricks Finest Hour.,
This film is based on the novel "The Short-Timers" by Gustav Hasford.The first half of this film is set in boot camp on Parris Island.The second half is then set in a war stricken Vietnam.The film sparks into life straight away with the magnificent Sgt Hartman questioning his new recruits about their home place and so forth.The most intresting of these characters would be Gomer Pile who is picked on from the start.The way Kubrick builds up Pile is sheer excellence.Sgt Hartman Is cruel but brilliant.For example the way the group get punished for Piles mistakes.And for this the group begin to resent PIles and bully him.The film now builds to an amazing climax...... Its off to Vietnam next where you begin to realise this is an anti-war film.This film is far better than its closest rivals "Platoon" and "Hamburger hill" ."Full Metal Jacket"dispels Vietnam myths and is rich in black humour which serves to undercut any possible air of pretension. The claustrophobic feel to the film adds to the the tension and atmosphere. Overall this film is a true masterpiece and should be bought by any war or Kubrick fan.This is without a doubt one of thre greatest war movies ever made.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Metal Jacket,
This review is from: Full Metal Jacket - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
The story behind it is quite simple. Why on earth were young Americans fighting a war that a). was never winnable and b). against a percieved enemy that posed no strategical threat to the USA. The dvd also exposes the harsh realities of the brutality of war and the way in which humanity is often relegated to the sewer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great filmmaking but not a great film,
With Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick delivers some great film-making but not a great film. Divided into two unequal halves, the first (and by far superior) section follows the dehumanising Marine training regime at Parris Island, the second the fragmented experiences of one of the recruits (Modine) as a correspondent for the G.I. propaganda paper Stars and Stripes. If it has improved with age and altered expectations - and with only two films a decade, people always tended to expect too much from Kubrick - it still doesn't quite cut it.
The most obvious feeling you get from the film is that Kubrick cut himself off from the real world - more from a generation gap than the exaggerated tales of his reclusiveness - a fatal mistake for any film-maker. Perhaps the most perfectly insulated and zealously protected filmmaker since the birth of the medium (though Terrence Malick seems eager to go one better these days), to his credit his denial does not take the mainstream form of appealing purely to the visceral but rather errs to the side of cold intellect. His characters do not exist of themselves. They have no life before or after the film, and precious little during it either. They are there to make a point, but in the case of Full Metal Jacket it is one that has been made before, and better.
The training sequences recall the gladiator school in Spartacus, bullied simpleton D'Onofrio's revolt just as futile. He is Spartacus, Humbert Humbert, Hal 9000 and the Doomsday Device all rolled into one malfunctioning package, conditioned and programmed by society in such a way that their confusion between what is expected and what is in their nature leads to their inevitable destruction. Totally dehumanised, he is no longer bound by any moral code or any human feeling - the perfect Kubrick protagonist.
Yet the other characters don't seem too wound up by their experiences once they reach Vietnam. There's no sense of people adjusting their morality to deal with the daily atrocities of war. Indeed, there's no sense of real human behaviour. Despite the presence of war correspondent Michael Herr as co-writer, it seems uninformed by reality or experiences of veterans and is always emphatically just a movie. There is a hint that Kubrick sees Vietnam as the first war where soldiers did not willingly subjugate their individuality - the first war that dehumanises or de-programmes its fighting units through trauma and the lack of a just cause - but not much more.
Point made, Kubrick has nothing left to say. The impressive camerawork that takes the place of one of the platoon on point soon becomes as repetitive and over-used as the obsessive steadicam shots in The Shining. The clichéd and protracted finale neither convinces or adds anything to the argument and is frankly so old hat it could have easily come from a forties programmer.
Compared to the relentless cynicism and disillusionment of films like the all-but-forgotten The Victors or Anthony Mann's Men in War, it is positively romantic in its idealism. The Marines are morally clean (especially compared to the atrocity laden source novel), spouting cliches to hide their inarticulacy while the officers are parodic, reinventing language into a form of Newspeak for sake of appearances. The politics are simplistic to the point of non-existence, with too many obviously stage-managed speeches for credibility.
Too many of the images are second-hand and devoid of subtext - at least when Coppola had a newsreel cameraman turn up on a battlefield, he acknowledged his own exploitation of Vietnam by playing the director. Kubrick is just another tourist in this war. There but not there, taking a few good snapshots as he passes through but never truly understanding the suffering and confusion behind them, he's never really involved and, once we reach Vietnam, neither are we.
There is still much to admire. Abigail Mead's hostile, unnerving synth score works in direct contrast to traditional film music, keeping emotion and individuality at bay and forcing the characters into disciplined rhythmic behaviour. Performances are generally better than the norm for Kubrick and production designer Anton Furst's transformation of the then-derelict London Docklands into Vietnam is truly astonishing. But it still has that coldness of the heart that blocks a truly emotional response. Whereas Paths of Glory moved you to anger and tears, Full Metal Jacket is so carefully and intricately choreographed and devoid of spontaneity that it is merely of technical, not even academic, interest. The tragedy of war is the tragedy of loss, but Kubrick's cinema of dehumanisation is so complete that loss is impossible: his characters are barely human to begin with, his filmmaking mere displays of technique and precision from a virtuoso technician who repeats all his best tricks too many times.
While earlier video and DVD releases were in fullframe (as Kubrick preferred ion pre-widescreen TV days) with only a trailer as extra, the remastered Blu-ray is in 1.85:1 widescreen and boasts a stunningly good transfer (the first BD release was less than impressive) and throws in a couple of extras. There's a half hour featurette about the film, the trailer and a cut-and-past audio commentary with Adam Baldwin, Lee Ermey, writer Jay Cocks and Vincent D'Onofrio - the latter inclusion enough to have Kubrick rolling in his grave since he always specifically requested he have nothing to do with the promotional campaigns for the films video releases after their extremely combative working relationship on the set.
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Full Metal Jacket - Special Edition [DVD] by Stanley Kubrick (DVD - 2002)