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Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review

Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: September 17, 2020, 08:12:00 PM »

Studio: Warner Brothers
Release: Date: September 22, 2020
Rating: R
Film: 4.5/5
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 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. 
My Thoughts
I first watched this movie about 10 years ago when it debuted on HD DVD and Blu-ray and didn’t love it at the time. Sure, there were some laughs to be had—especially in the first act, but I found the second half of the film to be a bit too anti-American for my taste upon my first viewing. With this in mind, I sat down to watch this on UHD I didn’t expect it to be that enjoyable, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. First, my tastes have changed over the years and after going nearly 20 years with one pointless war after another (or military engagements—i.e. regime change in Libya), my view on these matters have changed. I get where Joker is coming from in his criticism of Viet Nam. Furthermore, I had forgotten how damned funny the first act of this film is—R. Lee Ermy should have been awarded an Oscar for his role. His portrayal as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is timeless and simply hilarious.
I was never really impressed with the HD DVD of this film but found the UHD to be a marked improvement specifically in regard to how it handles the natural film grain. There are some occasional scenes that are out of focus, especially on the edges, but this is due to how the film was shot. Nighttime sequences really highlight how HDR brings out the detail in the shadows.
The audio track is a mixed bag. Out of the gate, there’s definitely more ambience that the original mono and I found the stereo spread across the front and various pans to be in sync with the action on the screen. Unfortunately, the dialog can be somewhat harsh and it makes me wonder if the EQ was set incorrectly. I did some comparisons between the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track on the UHD to the Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM 5.1, and Mono track found on the included Blu-ray. All have some degree of the issue, but the high resolution track on the UHD is the worst of the bunch. I think it’s a case of garbage in, garbage out and the extra bandwidth just highlight the shortcoming.
Video 9/10 
Audio 7/10 (DTS-MA HD 5.1)
Special Features:
  • 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

I guess the second time was the charm for this Kubrick film and I have to say it’s something I see myself grabbing off the shelf when I want a good laugh. Granted, the second half of the film is very serious and is somewhat depressing, but it does tackle a serious subject and makes one think. The video presentation is excellent and despite some strained dialog, the audio track expands the soundstage over the original mono.
Reference Review System:
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor 
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels 
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player 
System Controller: URC MX-980
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)
JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner

Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 11:16:04 AM »
I was on the fence whether to replace my Blu-ray of this, but you pushed me off it. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 03:26:30 PM »

Nice review Dave. 8)

Craig, most definitely feel free to upgrade. The difference in video quality isn't subtle.



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Re: Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 03:37:17 PM »
I as on the same fence, but Dave and his twin Ralph, pushed me over too!

Stanley Kubrick became one of my favorite directors, but, not unlike you, I had an interesting experience.

2001 is one of my favorite movies.  But when I first saw it, I was so puzzled I had to see it twice. And then I fell in love with it. I saw it at the Ziegfeld Theatre in NY in 70mm and 6 channel sound!  I now have seen it at least 25 time. Also, for the first time, I realized that Kubrick tends to make "chapters" in his movies...or maybe even separate movies. Her does that here and in the rest that follow.

When A Clockwork Orange came out, I had never seen a movie like that ever. So I had to see that TWICE and then thought it was great for what it tried to. I had never seen anything like it.

Kubrick never did the same movie twice and when I saw Barry Lyndon I was struck by it's beauty and pacing and, again, had to see it twice to get it.

Full Metal Jacket: I did not see the beginning as a comedy, I saw it as dehumanizing men so they could got out and kill. But you are right, R. Lee Ermy was fantastic.  The surreal effect of the second half, again, took me until the second time to understand what Kubrick was doing.

So I left out Dr Strangelove. Well, almost.  Today, just minutes ago. I got the 4K Columbia Package at it contains that movie.  So I will report back on that!!!!!!

McIntosh MX170 Controller: Projector JVC DLA-RS4100; Screen: Stuart StudioTek130: Amps: McIntosh MC-611(center),MC1.25KW (lf&rt);  Krell S-1500 Atmos/Surround; 4kDVD Panasonic UB9000; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Ultima Voice 2, (Surround) W 990, Atmos C763L; Subs: SVS SB-13 Ultras;  Cable: 4K Verizon; Broadcast: Mediasonic HW-150PVR; Wiring: Shunyata; Apple TV,


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 11:43:36 PM »
I hadn't viewed this title since what seemed forever.  Watching it again now, the young Vincent D’Onofrio was perfect casting as Private "Pyle". 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 11:48:56 PM by claw »
JVC RS500/LG OLED/Denon X6400H 7.2.4/Panasonic UB820/Oppo 203/AppleTV 4K/FireStick 4K/HDfury Diva/MadVR RTX2080Ti


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
I finally had a chance to sit down and watch this tonight. This is an excellent remaster - I thought it looked great. Also, I thought it sounded really good considering the age of the movie ( maybe recalibrating with Audyssey and a new center channel speaker helped ). I like this movie more than ever. The older Blu-ray isn't even close ! 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

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