- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £1.26 UK delivery
Full Metal Jacket [Blu-ray]
|Additional Blu-ray options||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Stanley Kubrick's first film for seven years details the dehumanizing effect of military combat, as experienced by a bunch of Vietnam conscripts under the training of the sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey). The second half of the film follows one of the recruits, Joker (Matthew Modine), onto the battlefield as he is thrown into the war at the height of the Tet offensive. The entire movie was shot on location in East London.
One of a series of revisionist Vietnam cinema released in the late 1980s, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket is essentially split into two stories linked by a number of characters. The film follows new recruit Joker (Matthew Modine) and his fellow soldiers through their basic training and into combat in Vietnam. The first half is a chilling portrayal of military brutality and de-humanisation, mainly at the hands of Sgt Hartman (played at a level of staggering intensity by ex-Marine Lee Ermey), that centres around the tragic character of Private Pyle, a young man pushed to the edge of his endurance. The tone of the film is no less harsh when transported to the combat zone as we see the results of the training process in action: the young men turned into unquestioning killing machines. Joker is perhaps the one exception, a soldier with "Born to Kill" written on his helmet who also sports a peace sign on his lapel. But the film finds itself caught in the trap of many of the war movies of the time--how to create audience empathy with characters who are essentially in the wrong. It's a dilemma that Full Metal Jacket never really solves, although as a spectacle the film is a masterpiece. Made in the days before CGI became the norm, the battle sequences--filmed, rather bizarrely, in London's Docklands before its redevelopment--are hugely realistic and are perhaps the key moments of the movie, heightening the disorientation and fear felt by the soldiers. By offering no more than a snapshot of the Vietnam conflict (the action deals with one individual skirmish), Kubrick cleverly leaves any judgement on the war to the audience, although clearly attempting to influence them. The fate of the characters who survive is also left in the balance, but we can perhaps imagine what awaits them.
On the DVD: Part of a series of Kubrick DVD reissues, Full Metal Jacket has been treated to the full remastering and restoration treatment. The battle sequences have benefited the most, gaining a new audio and visual crispness and clarity that adds to their already impressive sense of realism--you can almost feel the heat searing from the screen and the explosions detonating around you. Maybe not the best war film ever made, as some may claim, but certainly one to take you right to the heart of the action. --Phil Udell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed this film which scored very highly on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, though not quite so well on Roger Ebert’s site.
The film won no major awards though it was nominated. The highlight for me (and many others I would guess) was the Marine, drill sergeant, Hartman – played by R L Emery. That was some performance, (it deserved an Oscar IMHO), and no one else in the film gets near to that level, though they all do a first class job.
The role draws an immediate comparison with ‘Emil Foley,’ the drill Sergeant, in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman.’ However, this was five years earlier in 1982, which goes to show that you can reprise a hit role quite quickly, but it has to be very, very, good!
Emery is now 71. He had four children – all very well behaved apparently!
On a more serious note, he was in fact a drill instructor in the Marines and toured Vietnam – no wonder he was so damned good!
The first half of the film is just brilliant, as the young marines are put through their paces by the uncompromising Hartman. There’s a lot of humour in here too. The second half doesn’t quite keep to that high standard but is never less than totally watchable. The fighting is a snippet of the ‘Tet offensive, which was about halfway through the war.
I think I enjoyed ‘Platoon’ a little more. Maybe it was the jungle warfare as opposed to the fighting in the City? Maybe it was because of the ‘seen it all before’ syndrome? Maybe ‘Platoon’ had a wider scope about what happened in Vietnam and therefore covers more of the salient points? In any event, It was Platoon that won the Oscar?
They are both very good films for sure and great viewing.
Perhaps a weaker part of the film is the continuity. It is almost like two different films spliced together. The first half including the amusing and surprisingly dramatic life of the marines as they train for war. This was Lee Ermey's debut as an actor and he is a natural. His insults and humor are superb and spontaneous. We also see the sensitive recruit, Pte Pyle struggling as a 'useless fatbody'. The relationship between Pyle and the lead (Pte Joker) is quite heart warming. Although that particular sub-plot does not have a good ending.
The second part of the film is more centered around combat. After all what war film would be complete without some shooting. My favorite scene here is when the marines are tracking a Viet Cong sniper (who to the protagonists dismay starts racking up American kills). There are underlying themes regarding the duality of man. The troopers are one minute putting their lives at risk for a comrade but then the next are making jokes about an enemy soldiers corpse.
For me the strongest part of the film was before we travel to Vietnam. However there are lots of great little sequences throughtout that will typical of Kubrick keep you awake and alert. The film is also not particularly long. Which can be seen as a positive in the sense of 'quality over quantity'.
No matter how authentic the film is, it is very entertaining and a good appraisal of the typical testosterone filled young soldiers and their achievements and struggles.
It is not in the top ten of all time but probably in the top ten of all war films. Worth a look at the least.