Full Metal Jacket (DVD)
Starring Adam Baldwin et al
Discovery Miles 590
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Neil, Goodwood. 5 December 2002
I got to see Full Metal Jacket again last night on DVD, and I am happy to report that the movie did not date much at all. For those who might not have seen the movie, FMJ is a Vietnam war movie which is made up of two sections. The first section deals with young raw recruits as they are transformed from everyday normal youths, into state sponsored killing machines for the US Marines. The first section is arguably the best part of Full Metal Jacket with standout performances from R. Lee Ermey, as the sadistic drill instructor tasked to dehumanize these fresh new recruits, and a young Vincent D'Onofrio as Private Pyle who can't cope with the physical and mental strains heaped upon him. For those who experienced the "joys" of army live in the SADF, I'm sure some of the scenes will bring back some good and bad memories.
The section part of FMJ is set in Vietnam right at the start of the Tet offensive. Since Stanley Kubrick chose to make his movie in England, some of the scenery seems a bit out of sync with what we have come to expect from movies set in Vietnam. Still since the second half deals mostly with the Marines flushing out North Vietnamese infiltrators from an abandoned city, this is not such a real problem. Matthew Modine (Private Joker) is a reporter for Star & Stripes and is sent to cover the events as the Marines retake the city.
For me the best Vietnam movie is still Platoon, but Full Metal Jacket would be a close second.
Andy, Rondebosch. 9 May 2005
The film is unquestionably one of the icons of Vietnam film genre, made by one of the icons of film making.
From the moment where you are introduced to the boot camp and their severly less then friendly (read sadistic) Drill Sergeant played with gusto and skill by R Lee Ermey. In fact he almost steals the film from the stars Mathew Modine and (early film appearance of) Vincent D'Onofrio.
The film is split betwixt boot camp and Vietnam and cuts across in a very abrupt manner that some find stange but the transition elements are there to be seen (and discovered) as Stanley Kubrik is nothing if not complicated in his film making. But at all times, you are left with the feeling of being that invisible observer which just adds to the immersion of the film.
That being said, the DVD does leave things to be desired. For all the excellence of the film making the actual disc is below par.
First of all, note that it is in 4:3 format (formatted for normal televisions) and not as it appeared in the cinemas. Some research suggests that Kubrick, for the DVD release specified using the full 35mm frame for this edition. With no information to suggest otherwise in the DVD menu section you are left wondering if that 16:9 widescreen is all for naught? Framing changes can lead to sense of cognitive dissonance and should be explained. The quality of the print transfer could be better too.
The sound is good but not breathtaking in the DTS sense and the little extras that can make/break a DVD are non existent with only the trailer offered as a special feature.
But in this case, they don't break this DVD because the film itself is outstanding. Required viewing...
Region 2 - Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories.