Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Full Metal Jacket

Stanley Kubrick, 1987 (8.8*)
This film of the Vietnam war era is in two distinct parts. In the first, a group of Marine recruits are punished in basic training by real army vet R. Lee Ermey as Sgt. Hartman. Vincent D'Onofrio is an overweight and slow recruit who becomes the target of everyone's ire, with unforeseen consequences. This half of the film is pretty basic, and goes on far too long.

The second part follows one of those recuits, Matthew Modine as Pvt. Joker, who now covers the war for the Stars and Stripes military newspaper. His squad is sent into the harrowing streets of Hue during the Tet offensive. This half of the film is much better than the first, which is similar to The D.I. with Jack Webb. The photojournalistic approach works really well with a city war controlled by snipers. There's some terrific war footage here, as well as some riveting and tense scenes.

You're made to feel like a part of this squad from the beginning, so in that regard it's one of the more realistic war films. I would have loved to have seen more of Vietnam and a lot less of basic training, and it would have perhaps been a perfect war film.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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