Published on August 11th, 2012 | by Chris0
Full Metal Jacket (1987, Blu Ray)
Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket is one of those Vietnam movies that really doesn't get old to me. Unlike Platoon, which (for whatever reason) seems to get more dated and cliched each time I see it, FMJ seems to provide me with new interpretations and new thoughts....
I still think my original review of Full Metal Jacket is pretty spot on. That is, that the picture is a tongue-in-cheek parody of every other war movie that has come before it. But that's not all there is.
Underneath that humor, that "this is sick, why am I laughing" humor, is an undercurrent of seriousness and anger and fear that's just wanting to get out. From Private Pyle's (and Joker's) unfortunate transformation from innocent kids to killing machines, to the general absurdity and complete nonsense of war itself. Which becomes evident in the final scene, for me at least.
The remastered Blu Ray presentation here is excellent from start to finish. You once again won't get any fancy-schmancy 7.1 remixes, but rather a very well done 5.1 mix of the original Dolby Surround. It never comes screaming out of the rear surrounds at you, but provides enough ambience to make things real enough. The picture is equally crafted, although if you look very (very) carefully there are still lots of "specks" to be found. The grain has also been somewhat mitigated and toned down here. While still visible, it looks to have possibly been "flattened". I give this a 9/10 for a "faithful" reproduction.
Also of note is the packaging for this re-release. The included "book" packaging is exact in dimensions to the "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" books. Inside, you'll find a short and concise booklet with plenty of production stills, trivia, and actor bios to get your mouth watered until the disc goes in the tray. I actually found myself wishing this had more content!
On the first disc you'll find the requisite "making of" feature, "Full Metal Jacket: Between Good and Evil." It's a marginally interesting look at the process behind FMJ, even if it does at times turn into a "Kubrick worship" piece, with the actors rambling on about Kubrick and his idiosyncracies. If nothing else, this gives you some enlightening insights into R. Lee Ermey's character and how it came to be (and almost didn't!) Also there is the theatrical trailer, and a commentary audio track (which I have yet to take in!)
The second disc, is Jon Robson's "Stanley Kubrick's Boxes" documentary. This is actually more of a piece on Mr. Kubrick himself than it is on FMJ, but I found it very interesting as well. Basically, the Kubrick estate called on Mr. Robson to come explore the myriad of boxes that Mr. Kubrick had collected over the years. Full of notes, memos, photos, research, auditions, and the like, these boxes paint a telling picture of Mr. Kubrick, and one that we really didn't understand until now. Like I said, mostly about the man, there is a section which deals specifically with Full Metal Jacket, so I suppose it isn't completely off-topic. I was hoping for a bit more in the way of extras with this set, but I guess given the way that Kubrick worked, we are lucky to have what we do here.
If you already have the previous Blu Ray release of Full Metal Jacket, I can't say that this is a "must have" upgrade, unless you're interested in the extras. Despite being properly remastered and cleaned up. If you don't have this at all, or still holding onto that DVD (or worse, VHS!) then you really should consider adding this to your collection.
Full Metal Jacket (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary (BD Book)Marine recruits endure basic training under a leather-lunged D.I., then plunge into the hell of Vietnam. Michael Modine heads a talented ensemble in this searing look at a process that turns people into killers...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Mathew Modine
- Adam Baldwin
- Vincent D'Onofrio
- Run Time: 152
- Release Date: 7/23/2013
Summary: Underneath that humor, that "this is sick, why am I laughing" humor, is an undercurrent of seriousness and anger and fear that's just wanting to get out. From Private Pyle's (and Joker's) unfortunate transformation from innocent kids to killing machines, to the general absurdity and complete nonsense of war itself. Which becomes evident in the final scene, for me at least.