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Thread: Full Metal Jacket - LGK Movie Discussion #1

  1. #31
    Just listen. darby's Avatar




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    Okay. So I re-watched it tonight. And while it was better than I remember, I didn't think it was the end-all-be-all some people tend to think it is.


    Looking at it as two films as most people in this thread have done (which is pretty much a spot on way to look at it), I'm of the opinion that the SECOND half of the movie does more for the film's "message" than the first part, so I'll address that first.

    Without going into the actual plotpoints, that second half basically sets up two parallel attitudes - the bravado and the fear - then overlaps and tangles them for a second, then abruptly separates them again. I imagine it gives a great (though probably only slight) indication of the soldiers' dilemma and it leaves you with that unsettled feeling of "what the hell just happened?"

    As for the boot camp opening, it leaves me wanting. It had me asking "Why?" too often, but probably not in any way that was intended. My problem with it was this - If Pyle was such a dumb s*** (and indications were that the guy was borderline mentally retarded), then how does he go so overboard? Is he supposed to be a simpleton who take the message to kill too far? Is he a simpleton who's basically made too unhappy to want to go on? Is he a simpleton who's so confused he doesn't know what he's doing? Or is he just f***ing crazy?

    The problem is, it's structured to play a little bit like all of those and maybe it's supposed to be. But in any case, the resolution doesn't make sense. If he was just a giant f*** up the entire time, well, then s***, yeah he'd be miserable and off himself under the pressure. Or if he were full of bad wiring, I'da thought you'd've seen that from the beginning. But as the segment goes on, he improves. He gets to be better physically. He becomes a better soldier. He begins to find his place as a soldier. And one would think that the pressures he was under at the beginning were relieved.

    But instead, when the pressure is off, that's when it goes to s***. I can't find a particularly good explanation for that. If it's just supposed to be a tragic thing, then what the hell was all that build up for? It was just a cop out, storywise. If it was to show how brutal training could be, then give me someone strong who's broken down. Or at least someone with a fully developed brain. Even if it is gonna get splattered on a bathroom wall.


    Behind the camera, I felt like it did some good things. Some of the edits and the camera work really served the story well. There were some wide shots that made for really interesting transitions and the jarring juxtaposition of some of the music to the visuals was interesting (though it may have been overused a bit, becoming a bit of a "device").

    As far as the acting went, I thought Modin did a pretty good job. He's basically playing the entire movie as a set up for the one scene, and when he goes back to it in the final Mickey Mouse Club scene, he goes right back into his previous set up mode, only now you see it in a totally different light (and speaking of light, the fact that this is shot at night makes the reversion even more cryptic).

    D'Onofrio does a great job with each scene individually. I think my problem with that part on the whole lies more with the structure of the character than D'Onofrio's talents.

    And R. Lee Ermey is, well, R. Lee Ermey.



    Overall, I think it's fine as a film, but I'd pass on it as a movie.
    eddieshack23 and jerseydevil like this.


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  2. #32
    King of all Kings Byatch1979's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by darby View Post
    The problem is, it's structured to play a little bit like all of those and maybe it's supposed to be. But in any case, the resolution doesn't make sense. If he was just a giant f*** up the entire time, well, then s***, yeah he'd be miserable and off himself under the pressure. Or if he were full of bad wiring, I'da thought you'd've seen that from the beginning. But as the segment goes on, he improves. He gets to be better physically. He becomes a better soldier. He begins to find his place as a soldier. And one would think that the pressures he was under at the beginning were relieved.

    But instead, when the pressure is off, that's when it goes to s***. I can't find a particularly good explanation for that. If it's just supposed to be a tragic thing, then what the hell was all that build up for? It was just a cop out, storywise. If it was to show how brutal training could be, then give me someone strong who's broken down. Or at least someone with a fully developed brain. Even if it is gonna get splattered on a bathroom wall.
    Good post... I think the point of having Private Pyle as he was served all of those things you just mentioned. He was slow, but kindhearted; a doofus if you will. Had he been handled with gentler gloves, he wouldn't have snapped and gone off the bend. What does that say about how the military is trained? What does that say about the draft? Some people just can't handle being treated a certain way, and if you try to hammer a square peg into a round hole, but it will break.

    I get your point about someone strong getting broken having more meaning, but then you might have trouble creating a believable and memorable sympathetic character. Even though he's a screw up, who doesn't feel bad for him when even Joker turns on him and he's crying into the night? You have to admit, Private Pyle is an unforgettable character.

  3. #33
    Let's hug it out, bitch! NastiMarvasti's Avatar




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    Don't have much more to add but like every Kubrick movie, it takes a couple of viewings to really enjoy this one. But like most have said, the first half is the more entertaining half. I don't know if it's because we've seen so many war movies or if it's just the fact that you have a better chance of developing characters when they're not in combat, but the second half doesn't stand out to me as anything special. Not that I don't still like it.

  4. #34
    waxing poetic Hipcheck's Avatar




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    Thanks for the 1/2 ass review Darby....next time can you do us a favor and put some thought into it?
    "How Dare You Trump My Clever Witticism"

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  5. #35
    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    That movie is chalked full of great quotes...

    "Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who stands still is a well disciplined VC"
    "How can you shoot women and children?
    Ya just don't lead them as much. Aint war hell?"

    "Me so horny.. Me love you long time"

    "We are jolly green giants walking the earth with guns"

    Any movie with Surfin Bird is gonna be a classic.
    And thats how you get ants!

  6. #36
    PJ Harvey is God adgy-san's Avatar




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    A hell of a post, Drew.

    Quote Originally Posted by darby View Post
    As for the boot camp opening, it leaves me wanting. It had me asking "Why?" too often, but probably not in any way that was intended. My problem with it was this - If Pyle was such a dumb s*** (and indications were that the guy was borderline mentally retarded), then how does he go so overboard? Is he supposed to be a simpleton who take the message to kill too far? Is he a simpleton who's basically made too unhappy to want to go on? Is he a simpleton who's so confused he doesn't know what he's doing? Or is he just f***ing crazy?

    The problem is, it's structured to play a little bit like all of those and maybe it's supposed to be. But in any case, the resolution doesn't make sense. If he was just a giant f*** up the entire time, well, then s***, yeah he'd be miserable and off himself under the pressure. Or if he were full of bad wiring, I'da thought you'd've seen that from the beginning. But as the segment goes on, he improves. He gets to be better physically. He becomes a better soldier. He begins to find his place as a soldier. And one would think that the pressures he was under at the beginning were relieved.

    But instead, when the pressure is off, that's when it goes to s***. I can't find a particularly good explanation for that. If it's just supposed to be a tragic thing, then what the hell was all that build up for? It was just a cop out, storywise. If it was to show how brutal training could be, then give me someone strong who's broken down. Or at least someone with a fully developed brain. Even if it is gonna get splattered on a bathroom wall.
    With regards to this, I think you might be making it more complicated than it really is.

    The way I looked at it, Pyle was, as Byatch said, a well-meaning doofus who was even less prepared for the strains of bootcamp than the rest of the platoon was. As the film goes along, his anxiety level increases as he is continually abused and harassed. It's a gradual thing. And I've actually watched the first half of the movie specifically to watch D'Onofrio's physical and facial language because, at times, it seems like you can see the increased amount of stress in his reactions. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it isn't (as far as I can tell). I don't know if that's due to editing or what. Or maybe he was mostly playing it the same the entire time and I'm reading WAY too much into it (honestly possible).

    And then he gets the soap.

    The soap doesn't completely snap his rational mind. It maybe cracks it some, but you'll notice that the initial changes in his demeanor come in the form of talking to his rifle and bringing a focus to him so that he can actually accomplish the things he's asked to accomplish because he no longer has any desire for jelly donuts and ****.

    But it's gradual. He doesn't go from one extreme to the other.

    Now, you could ask why would something like that focus his mind in that way. Why, all of a sudden, is he now "born again hard" and that's a worthy question. I don't know the answer. I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility, though, and it's stretching enough to take me out of the movie. But I don't really know enough about things like PTSD and mental well being to say.

    Anyway, it just so happens that the final cracking comes at the end. Clearly, during the scene where Hartman is telling everyone what position they've been assigned to, he's fully gone. Presumably, it was just a matter of time and it all happens to come to a head in the... uh... head. Great timing, fantastic coincidence, sure. But it serves the story well.

    Anyway...

    He's basically playing the entire movie as a set up for the one scene, and when he goes back to it in the final Mickey Mouse Club scene, he goes right back into his previous set up mode, only now you see it in a totally different light (and speaking of light, the fact that this is shot at night makes the reversion even more cryptic).
    I agree with this and I like it. Well said.
    Last edited by adgy-san; June 17th, 2011 at 12:10 PM.

  7. #37
    is busy cogitating. Winsomemore's Avatar




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    Anybody else? Maybe time to move on to the next movie?

    If so I'd like to nominate The Fifth Element.

  8. #38
    I put the D in RICHARSON Luc SkyBomba's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Winsomemore View Post
    Anybody else? Maybe time to move on to the next movie?

    If so I'd like to nominate The Fifth Element.
    excellent choice

  9. #39
    All Star Fisch's Avatar




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    My introduction to the great scene-chewing ability of R. Lee Ermey.
    jerseydevil likes this.

  10. #40
    Iím sicka the high hat!! santiclaws's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Winsomemore View Post
    Anybody else? Maybe time to move on to the next movie?

    If so I'd like to nominate The Fifth Element.

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