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DVD Shopping Bag: Full Metal Jacket Blu-ray

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DVD Shopping Bag: Full Metal Jacket Blu-ray

Commentary from the cast and this critic

By Robert T. Trate     August 07, 2012
Source: Mania.com

The first time I ever came across Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, I only saw the second half. I figured it was some Platoon rip off or one of those Nam Movies like Hamburger Hill or Casualties of Wars. I’m not knocking those movies, they’re just not Platoon. The second, longer half of Full Metal Jacket has no political motives or even message about the war. It is simply the life of these men. We witness their social structure and the terrible situation they are living in. It’s an incredible piece of cinema that really could take place during any war. 

One night, much later and unbeknownst to me, I sat watching a film about life in the Marine Corp. You can see where this is going. I was blown away (pun intended) by the performances. It was a terrific tour de force of acting and I immediately became a fan of that drill instructor. This was long before the internet, digital cable, and IMDB so I had no way of knowing what the movie was (outside of picking up a TV Guide, which we never had). After the climatic ending, the power cut out and I never saw what happened next. 

Flash forward a couple of years and I am working my first (of six) video store jobs. I had just tackled A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Looking for some more Kubrick, I picked up Full Metal Jacket. My head nearly exploded as I watched this film for the first time chronologically. It really is two different stories only told with two of the same characters. Does it help to know Joker (Matthew Modine) and Cowboy (Arliss Howard) ahead of time? My answer is no. I got their story and their dilemmas fast enough in only watching the second half first. Kudos to Kubrick, again, for telling a story in which every moment and frame mattered. 

Now, years later, I was working a celebrity charity event for the United States Marine Corp. I was brought in as an outside party to help the Marines coordinate a golf tournament. Guess who was the spokesmen and poster boy? Yep, the Gny. Sgt. himself, R. Lee Ermey. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with him and took the opportunity to ask about working on Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. What I learned about Full Metal Jacket coincided with my experience of the film. I asked him about the disciplining of the actors as Marines. Was it tough for them to go from these killing machines at basic training to the more lax seasoned veterans? R. Lee informed me that they filmed the second half of the movie first. The reason being they had to shave their heads for the opening shots. We then chatted some more about Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, and his new action figure that was coming out. It still brings a smile to my face about how he really feels about his dress blues, “so damn uncomfortable”.

Today, Warner Brothers has released Full Metal Jacket in their special Blu-ray hard cover book packaging. I personally love these editions as they are truly for the serious film collector. Included is commentary by the cast, tons of production photos, and a new behind the scenes featurette. I dove right into the commentary and was dumbfounded by what I learned. The impression that I had of Stanley Kubrick is that he was an Auteur who demanded perfection. He had a set vision for his project and that is the way it was going to be done. Each and every cast member on the commentary said the same thing, “Stanley wanted to know what we think about the scene”. Apparently, the Auteur was incredibly open to suggestion and trying things out. There were always multiple takes and it was here that Kubrick truly shaped his movie. Ermey said Kubrick loved editing his pictures and it was his true passion for the project. 

Oddly enough it is Vincent D’Onofrio who does most of the talking on the commentary track. One would think his part would be over after the first part of the film. Apparently D’Onofrio was around for the filming of the Nam scenes as he was fattening up for his role as Pyle. He credits his final scene as the one that launched his career. Without it, it probably never would have happened. That scene also gave him ability to take chances in other roles where many directors would have told him not to go so dark. D’Onofrio is also quick to point out the scale in which Kubrick worked and how today everything would have been done with computers. 

The Blu-ray’s picture quality and sound does not disappoint. Every, real life, detail is accented here to the point where one can count stones on the obstacle course and the hairs on Adam Baldwin’s face. Here 1080p has never looked better. This edition is a no brainer and a must-have for any fan of Stanley Kubrick and film in general.

Top 5 Picks of the Week
1. Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary (Blu-ray Book Packaging)
2. Spaceballs (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
3. Incredible Mr Limpet [Blu-ray]
4. Bound [Blu-ray]
5. Rio Grande [Blu-ray]

Action Adventure

Bound [Blu-ray] Starring Jennifer Tilly, Gena Gershon, Joe Pantoliano and John Ryan

Bound Starring Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano and John Ryan

Born 2 Race [Blu-ray] Starring Joseph Cross and John Pyper-Ferguson

Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season Vol. 1 Starring Milburn Stone, Dennis Weaver, James Arness and Ken Curtis

Heroes and Demons Starring Chris Hemsworth, Kirsten Dunst, Andrew Garfield

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt

Liquidator Starring Vinnie Jones

Long Memory Starring John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars and Eva Bergh

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale [Blu-ray] - 4 1/2 hour International Version Starring Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya and Masanobu Ando

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale - 4 1/2 hour International Version Starring Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya and Masanobu Ando

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale Starring Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya, Ando Masanobu and Vivian Hsu

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale [Blu-ray] Starring Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya, Ando Masanobu and Vivian Hsu

Anime

Classroom of Atonement Starring Chizuru Toyoda, Eiji Sakamoto, Kyouko Shinozaki

Hooligan Starring Koiichi Okada, Roman Candle, Eiko Kanno and Fifi Barcelona

One Piece: Season Four, Voyage One Starring Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian and Eric Vale

Parasite Dolls: Complete Collection

Rental Magica DVD Set Pt. 1 Starring Jun Fukuyama, Kana Ueda, Mikako Takahashi

World God Only Knows: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (2012)

World God Only Knows: Season 2 (2012)

Cartoons

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax 3D Combo Pack (Three Discs: Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron and Betty White

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Combo Pack (Two Discs: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Starring Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift

Family Guy: Blue Harvest [Blu-ray] (2012)

Looney Tunes Show: There Goes the Neighborhood Starring Jeff Bergman, Bob Bergen, Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig

Squidbillies 5 (2012)

Classics

Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary (Blu-ray Book Packaging) Starring Michael Modine, Adam Baldwin and Vincent D'Onofrio

Highly Dangerous Starring Margaret Lockwood, Dane Clark, Marius Goring

Johnny Guitar [Blu-ray] Starring Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge

Johnny Guitar Starring Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge

Rio Grande [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.

Rio Grande Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr

Yellow Rock Starring Michael Biehn and James Russo

Comedy and Love Mania Style

Adventures in Babysitting: 25th Anniversary Ed [Blu-ray] Starring Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp and Calvin Levels

Clue: The Movie [Blu-ray] Starring Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn

Evan Almighty [Blu-ray] Starring Graham Phillips, Morgan Freeman, Steve Carell

Grosse Pointe Blank: 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Alan Arkin, John Cusack and Dan Aykroyd

High Fidelity [Blu-ray] Starring Jack Black, John Cusack and Todd Louiso

Spaceballs (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis and Bill Pullman

Horror

Boogens [Blu-ray] Starring Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin

The Boogens Starring Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin

Cursed / Hellraiser: Hell Seeker / Halloween VI [Blu-ray] Starring Donald Pleasence, Joshua Jackson, Paul Rudd

Devil Seed Starring Vanessa Broze, Michelle Argyris and Shantelle Canzanes

Killjoy Scarecrow: Complete Series Starring Eric Roberts, Angel Vargas, Tim Young and Todd Rex

Knock Knock 2 Starring Alexander Popovic, Jordan Elizabeth, Gina Sorell

Ladda Land (2012)

Mr. Hush Starring Stephen Geoffreys, Brad Loree, Steve Dash

Mr. Hush [Blu-ray] Starring Stephen Geoffreys, Edward X. Young, Jessica Cameron

Steve Niles' Remains Starring Miko Hughes, Lance Reddick and Grant Bowler

Steve Niles' Remains [Blu-ray] Starring Miko Hughes, Lance Reddick and Grant Bowler

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Crow Starring Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson and Michael Wincott

Incredible Mr Limpet [Blu-ray] Starring Don Knotts, Carole Cook and Jack Weston

TV Land

Dennis the Menace: 20 Timeless Episodes Starring Jay North, Herbert Anderson and Gloria Henry

Grimm: Season One Starring Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby, David Giuntoli

Grimm: Season One Starring Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby, David Giuntoli

Parenthood: Season Three Starring Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson and Peter Krause

Strike Back: The Complete First Season (Cinemax) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Richard Armitage, Andrew Lincoln, Jodhi May and Shelly Conn

Strike Back: The Complete First Season (Cinemax) Starring Eva Birthistle, Philip Winchester, Richard Armitage

Box Sets

Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 5 Starring James Cagney, Warren William, Barbara Stanwyck

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 11
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DarthoftheDead 8/7/2012 6:28:03 AM

 "What is your major malfunction, Private Pile!!!!!! Did'nt mommy and daddy show you enough love as a child!!!!!!"

Awesome movie!!!! 

redhairs99 8/7/2012 8:20:48 AM

Love Full Metal Jacket!  It's funny because the movie really does feel like 2 completely separate films The Boot Camp film and the actual War film.

Bob, I know your shopping bags are generally just a list, but it would be really great to list a handful of titles with maybe a little more info like is Spaceballs 25th Anniversary worth buying if you own it on Blu already? Like are there brand new bonus materials, etc.  

This week I've been curious about Spaceballs, Clue (I won't put "The Movie" after it) and Adventures in Babysitting (okay that's just a guilty pleasure leftover from my childhood, but still a fun one).  But honestly I don't care to upgrade unless the features are worthy.

Still, I always look forward to the list and you're highlight of the week!

aegrant 8/7/2012 10:03:12 AM

I plan on getting FMJ and Spaceballs.

My dad served in Nam with the Marines and tells me the boot camp portion in FMJ is the most authentic he has ever seen and says Platoon well represented what it felt like when he was actually in Nam.

Favorite scene in Spaceballs is when they were combing the desert and the brothas had the Ace Pick, Dark Helmet: "you guys found anything?" Brothas: "we ain't found s#!t" -  that scene always got past the sensors on free tv.

 

redhairs99 8/7/2012 10:57:25 AM

aegrant, Spaceballs is probably my number one favorite comedy of all-time!  I used it watch it over and over and over when I was 8-18 years old.  Think I pretty well got it memorized.  But I have it in my Mel Brooks bluray set, so I may be passing on this unless there's enough special features to warrant the new purchase.

aegrant 8/7/2012 11:23:51 AM

I don't have that set,  but my three favorite Mel Brooks movies are Blazin' Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Spaceballs - I have the first 2 on DVD (which is good enough for me) but I don't own Spaceballs so I figured i get it on Blu Ray

jppintar326 8/7/2012 12:37:23 PM

Loved Spaceballs and the underrated Clue.  My cousin one time summarized the movie like this:  "First something happenedin the Hall.  Oh Come on, come on, let's go, let's go, to the Hall.  Then something happened in the kitchen.  Oh Come on, come on, let's let's go. let's got to the Kitchen.  And so on.  Very funny movie.

hanso 8/7/2012 1:25:16 PM

 WTF happened to Kubrick after Full Metal Jacket?  The guy went like 20 yrs without making a movie and then shows up with Eyes Wide Shut.  Why did he stop making flicks, he could done at least 4 movies in those 20 yrs.

RobertTrate 8/7/2012 4:04:49 PM

 Guys I got Spaceballs here at the office, I also got it on Monday. Rest assured... the review is coming!

redhairs99 8/7/2012 7:55:23 PM

Come on, Bob!  Hop to it!  Ludacris Speed....GO!

A little cross-country move doesn't mean you can slack off!  :)  Just kidding, man!  Been amazed with all the news you were able to post on the road! 

RobertTrate 8/8/2012 8:22:25 AM

 thanks Shelton... it has been tough... the last night in Indiana was the worst... the wifi was as slow as Dial up

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