A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a twelve-year-old prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
A two-segment look at the effect of the military mindset and war itself on Vietnam era Marines. The first half follows a group of recruits in boot camp under the command of the punishing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The second half shows one of those recruits, Joker, covering the war as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, focusing on the Tet offensive. Written by
Scott Renshaw <email@example.com>
The Charles Whitman shootings (which Sgt. Hartmann describes to the recruits as an example of "what one motivated Marine and his rifle can do") took place August 1, 1966, presumably a few months before the recruits arrive on Parris Island. Though only one person (Cowboy) raises his hand when the recruits are asked who Charles Whitman was, the Associated Press and United Press International called the shootings the second most important news story of 1966--trailing only the Vietnam War. See more »
Throughout recruit training, Joker wears wire framed glasses instead of government issue glasses like Cowboy's (although it is true that recruits with special prescriptions may have to wait for spectacles to be supplied). See more »
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:
I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir". Do you maggots understand that?
[In unison in a normal speaking tone]
Sir, yes Sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:
Bullshit I can't hear you. Sound off like you got a pair!
[In unison, much louder]
SIR, YES SIR!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:
If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying ...
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"This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine."
Legendary Stanley Kubrick - probably the most ingenious film-maker of our time - directed only two movies in the 80's. Someone could thoughtlessly claim that it was a very bad and a slow decade for him but on the contrary: the films happened to be "The Shining" (1980) - the darkest, the greatest and most frightening, superb and impressive horror movie ever made - and "Full Metal Jacket" (1987) the finest war movie in the history of motion picture. The fact that he directed the most beloved classics of two completely different genre is simply unbelievable.
First half of "Full Metal Jacket" is spectacular. Lee Ermey's Drill Instructor Hartman ("I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless") is probably the most hateful, forbidding and repulsive character in the history of Kubrick's movies. Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" was like a kitten compared to him. The fact that he is so overdone and the dialogue written to him is so sarcastic, biting and clever makes him also the funniest part of "Full Metal Jacket". Even though this is one of the most pressuring Kubrick movies first half can also be seen as an extremely dark comedy.
Rest of the cast is just as excellent. Matthew Modine in the leading role as Private Joker is simply fabulous but I guess most of the sympathies goes to Vincent D'Onofrio's unforgettable Private Pyle. Audience really feels sorry for him because he's the most regrettable victim of the training period that turns perfectly ordinary nice blokes into merciless killers. Actually I'm not sure if this is the greatest war movie ever made. I've always had my difficulties of choosing between "Full Metal Jacket" and Francis Ford Coppola's outstanding "Apocalypse. Now." Both of these films really shows what war is really about. War is never justified, war is never good. Therefore I think war movie should never glorify war but rather show it as what it really is: nightmarish hell. Second half of "Full Metal Jacket" does it. That makes it probably the most pacifistic war movie I've ever seen.
Interesting fact: at the end of "Full Metal Jacket" soldiers walk on the battlefield and sing an absurd and silly Mickey Mouse marching song. Childish and senseless marching songs of the first half were very comical. This one should be rather funny too but at this time the audience has already seen way too much. This kind of humor no longer amuses and makes you laugh. Song is the final crown of "Full Metal Jacket". It gives the last touch to all this irrationality and I'm positive that was also Kubrick's intention. I'm pretty sure that this is Stanley Kubrick's greatest movie right after excellent "A Clockwork Orange". Magnificent Masterpiece with a capital M. 10 out of 10.
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