Full Metal Jacket (1987) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 8

directing 10

effects 9

editing 9

writing 10

SW SCORE: 46

5 out of 5 🐙

++

This is going to sound like a copout, and maybe it is. According to the multiverse theory, it definitely is, somewhere. But I’m gonna do it, anyway. I have nothing to add with regard to the analysis of this film that hasn’t already been done ad nauseam by far superior writers. It’s nothing new to say this film is a devastating entry in the canon of Vietnam War movies and another masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick. 

Back in the before times, before the coronavirus changed everything, I would go to my local fancy movie theater. They would show a mix of indie flicks and mainstream joints. On Saturday, they would also show a classic film. It was an amazing way to see classic movies on the big screen. These Saturday screenings would often be packed. People using some of their precious free time to go see a movie they have probably seen many times before. These are my people. The other thing that is remarkable about these Saturday screenings is that the audience is quiet and respectful. It’s the only time that I was spared from hearing people talk on their phones, scroll through their phones with their screens distracting me, and late comers showing up well into the movie. It was a church service for a congregation devoted to celluloid. I can’t wait til they come back. I hope they come back.

This screening of Full Metal Jacket was no different.  It was something else to see R. Lee Emery’s unmatched introduction to his new recruits. It’s spectacularly toxic, profane, and a master class in acting. There have been an untold number of films focusing on the military and war, and none of them can claim a scene like Emery’s monstrous bravura monologue. Getting to see Emery scream his attack wisdom in a modern theater with a high end sound system shook me in the best way possible. All the times I experienced it on television screens before almost constituted an entirely different film. I’m so grateful. 

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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