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Full Metal Jacket [4K Ultra HD+Blu-ray+Digital]
(Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / (1987) 2020 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: A superb ensemble falls in for Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant saga about the Vietnam War and the dehumanizing process that turns people into trained killers.

The scathing indictment of a film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

‘Joker’ (Matthew Modine), ‘Animal Mother’ (Adam Baldwin), ‘Gomer’ (Vincent D’Onofrio), ‘Eightball’ (Dorian Harewood) and ‘Cowboy’ (Arliss Howard) are some of the Marine recruits experiencing boot-camp hell under the punishing command of the foul-mouthed Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermy).

The action is savage, the story unsparing, and the dialogue is spiked with scathing humor.

Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the simply brilliant 'Full Metal Jacket’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this September 22nd, 2020.

For my money, this 'Full Metal Jacket: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Full Metal Jacket' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Native 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 and Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable.

For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; such as the 'Gomer Pyle' scene, where the new recruits are all put through their collective paces, some passing out, some breaking down, but the dawn breaking through to the new day skyline is just wondrously pristine in its contours here now. It just all comes more vividly to life, which is amazing to see, in truth.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the now infamous Boot Camp/Basic Training scene, where Private Pile is verbally berated by a brilliant, if not manic, foul-mouthed Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermy), and is called everything from being a "major malfunction” to "numb nuts" during his close quarters tirade! Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps) and French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps).

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, for me, 'Full Metal Jacket' is a war drama that accurately displays the hardship of the military - in this case the Marine Corps, during the Vietnam War.

The film is through the perspective of Private Joker, played by Matthew Modine, as he navigates basic training and the war. The film is very versatile in that there is obvious drama, but there are moments of comic relief mostly to those who were in the military.

I feel the point of this film was to shed light on the actualities of the military during training and war time, which have been improved since Vietnam. According to some veterans I have spoken with in my years, the nail was hit smack on the head.

The director, Stanley Kubrick, paced this film perfectly. Even though the pacing was unable to keep my teenage son intrigued, knowing what happens in basic training and having done my time in a war, the pacing couldn't have been better.

When the story is being told from the service members point of view, the pacing all revolves around how that member absorbs their surroundings.

The payoff is unfortunate, but it is the truth of war. The loss of characters you get attached to during the film is a direct depiction of any war where friends and family are lost, but the end is just as heart warming as it is sad.

Technically, 'Full Metal Jacket' isn't as showy and attention grabbing as some of Kubrick's other films, however it still retains a lot of his characteristic visual touches like the use of one-point perspective and the use of steadicam, etc.

The urban, ground level combat scenes are very well staged and directed. The production design has to be admired a lot for those scenes too.

From an acting standpoint, I have already mentioned R. Lee Ermey for his brilliant performance. I think Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio deserve special mentions too for coming up with contrasting, yet equally compelling performances respectively.

In conclusion, I'll say 'Full Metal Jacket' doesn't quite achieve greatness due to the flawed second half of the film. But it's still an exceptionally good movie that comes close to greatness due to the incredibly brilliant first half; which I think is as good and as powerful as anything Kubrick has ever done in a visceral scene.

It's a film that can be directly connected to 'Paths of Glory' and 'Dr. Strangelove' in terms of Kubrick's criticism of institutional authority, dogmatic patriotism and toxic masculinity. It's most certainly worth recommending.

In closing, I would recommend 'Full Metal Jacket' to anyone, especially those interested in the military.

As for the Special Features included here on this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, they are all previously-released assets, with the stand out being for me personally the Commentary by Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey and Critic/Screenwriter Jay Cocks.

Together, all those names would have been a formidable platoon of steely eyed commentators come together, but here recorded separately though, they never really gel as a unit.

That said, they do give a their various, and personal reflections on the film and its notorious director, for better and for worse, and explore their very own characters wholly too.

In fact, both D'onofrio and Ermey disappear at the halfway point, for some strange reason, but it still makes for a highly passable commentary worth sampling - even if only during 'Full Metal Jacket's now infamous boot camp sequences!

In Between Good and Evil, Modine steps in with his castmates to unravel the film's development, casting, performances, behind-the-scenes conflicts, shooting challenges and, of course, Kubrick and his approach to the material, his actors and the production as a whole.

The 4K remastering was done using a new 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. Stanley Kubrick’s former personal assistant Leon Vitali worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. during the mastering process.

Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

The 'Full Metal Jacket' Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc with the film in high definition and the previously released special features in high definition, and a Digital version of the movie.

Fans can also own Full Metal Jacket in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on September 22nd, 2020.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary by Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey and Critic/Screenwriter Jay Cocks
Featurette Full Metal Jacket: Between Good and Evil
Theatrical Trailer

Official 'Full Metal Jacket' 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Trailer

'Full Metal Jacket: 4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray Amazon Purchase Link