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FULL METAL JACKET no longer does it for me
#36

BARRY LYNDON is the best.



I can't really take THE SHINING on its own anymore because it's so iconic and drenched in years of parodies.  Everything about it ends up being funny to me.

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#37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


I think Kubrick never really figured out what the film was supposed to be and just kinda got lost in the discovery process. It's a striking, iconic movie, but it lacks the clarity of vision and form that makes 2001 and BARRY LYNDON pinnacles of cinematic achievement.

It's a movie where the technique is the entire thing, the whole reason for the movie's existence, and I'm okay with that.  Kubrick is clearly uninterested in the characters as human beings, but he is interested in creating an unbelievable, eerie sense of place, and he absolutely achieves that.  The level of mood and dread that ramps up in that movie is pretty much unequaled in the horror genre (I think THE EXORCIST is the better film, but it's going for a more docudrama approach than THE SHINING does).



It's funny you also mentioned 2001 and BARRY LYNDON because, along with THE SHINING, that's my Kubrick Top 3.  LYNDON just gets better and better the more I see it (as does EYES WIDE SHUT, actually).

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#38
APATHS OF GLORY rounds out my top three with 2001 and BARRY in the 1 and 2 spots, respectively.

EYES WIDE SHUT is brilliant, though it suffers from not having gone through the full-length Kubrick editing process (he edited movies right up until, and sometimes after, their theatrical debut, and they were always better for it).
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#39

I think there's plenty of weirdness in the Vietnam section, if not more.  Most the film's satire seems to come out of it, anyway.  Those who write off that material as expendable shouldn't forget that much of the film's pop culture footprint comes from those scenes, not just boot camp.  "Me love you long time" and "Git some!" are quotes that even people who haven't seen the film recognize.  On the subject of influence, let's also not forget that Kubrick used "Paint It Black" before that became the most clichéd needle drop of all time.



I also think the common complaint that the climactic fighting scenes look unrealistic is largely based on our being trained by other movies to associate Vietnam warfare with jungle warfare.  People in a position to know have called the Hue sequence quite accurately rendered, for what it's worth.



FULL METAL JACKET is not my favorite Kubrick, but like the rest of his oeuvre I find it gets better with each viewing.

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#40
Quote:

Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

I think there's plenty of weirdness in the Vietnam section, if not more.  Most the film's satire seems to come out of it, anyway.  Those who write off that material as expendable shouldn't forget that much of the film's pop culture footprint comes from those scenes, not just boot camp.  "Me love you long time" and "Git some!" are quotes that even people who haven't seen the film recognize.  On the subject of influence, let's also not forget that Kubrick used "Paint It Black" before that became the most clichéd needle drop of all time.



I also think the common complaint that the climactic fighting scenes look unrealistic is largely based on our being trained by other movies to associate Vietnam warfare with jungle warfare.  People in a position to know have called the Hue sequence quite accurately rendered, for what it's worth.



FULL METAL JACKET is not my favorite Kubrick, but like the rest of his oeuvre I find it gets better with each viewing.


To be totally fair, I haven't watched the second half in probably six or seven years.  Maybe some of the points you make would strike me as valid if I gave it another look.  I've just always found that stuff to be boring on a cinematic level; the "cinema" of it all has never compelled me the way most of Kubrick's other movies do.



But I'll give it another shot!

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#41
AI probably won't.

War films are incredibly draining for me.
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#42

It's a challenging movie, for sure.  I was surprised to find it was only two hours long after I finished watching it yesterday.

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#43
Quote:

Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


I have always suspected that Kubrick never really figured out what THE SHINING was supposed to be and just kinda got lost in the discovery process. It's a striking, iconic movie, but it lacks the clarity of vision and form that makes 2001 and BARRY LYNDON pinnacles of cinematic achievement.

It doesn't help that the US theatrical cut on home release is inferior to Kubrick's tighter, stronger European cut. I might change my tune if I could see the European version again.


Stephen King said that Kubrick would do things like call him up at midnight and ask him if he believed in God. When King said "yeah I think so" Kubrick replied "no I don't believe in it".



So you had someone who considered himself supremely rational and an Atheist trying to portray supernatural events. (Which IMO don't necessarily go hand in hand. In King's novel the force animating the Overlook isn't a traditional Ghost at all).



Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

BARRY LYNDON is the best.



I can't really take THE SHINING on its own anymore because it's so iconic and drenched in years of parodies.  Everything about it ends up being funny to me.



Agree on Barry Lyndon.



The Shining changes for me everytime I see it, sometimes playing like a comedy, sometimes a domestic drama/thriller, sometimes like a true Horror movie. It's unique among Kubrick's films for that reason.

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#44
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

I think there's plenty of weirdness in the Vietnam section, if not more.  Most the film's satire seems to come out of it, anyway.  Those who write off that material as expendable shouldn't forget that much of the film's pop culture footprint comes from those scenes, not just boot camp.  "Me love you long time" and "Git some!" are quotes that even people who haven't seen the film recognize.  On the subject of influence, let's also not forget that Kubrick used "Paint It Black" before that became the most clichéd needle drop of all time.



I also think the common complaint that the climactic fighting scenes look unrealistic is largely based on our being trained by other movies to associate Vietnam warfare with jungle warfare.  People in a position to know have called the Hue sequence quite accurately rendered, for what it's worth.



FULL METAL JACKET is not my favorite Kubrick, but like the rest of his oeuvre I find it gets better with each viewing.



Kubrick was trying to make a movie "about what War IS", i.e. what is the "Platonic" experience of War.



I think he choose that battle deliberately because it could as easily have taken place in some European city in WWII, or WWI for that matter.



Or course there was also the practical consideration that it was easier to replicate that environment vs trying to create a jungle on a soundstage.



Even though it's very stylized, I think Apocalypse Now is the ultimate film about Vietnam specifically.

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#45
AA significant part of the reason why this is my favorite war movie is that the process Joker goes through - the loss of his fear of verbal confrontations, the replacement of his own vocabulary with that of his drill instructor when he's under duress - mirror what I saw in myself and in others in boot camp and in the war zone. Apocalypse Now is wonderful for completely different reasons. That movie's a phantasmagoric fantasy. Full Metal Jacket was based on a semi-autobiographical novel, and it shows, to me.
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#46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 


Stephen King said that Kubrick would do things like call him up at midnight and ask him if he believed in God. When King said "yeah I think so" Kubrick replied "no I don't believe in it".



So you had someone who considered himself supremely rational and an Atheist trying to portray supernatural events. (Which IMO don't necessarily go hand in hand. In King's novel the force animating the Overlook isn't a traditional Ghost at all).


I actually think Kubrick's rational and analytical point of view with respect to the depiction of the paranormal in THE SHINING sets it apart (in a very good way) from what we would conventionally expect in the genre.  The apparitions are presented in an almost matter-of-fact way, no transparency, no dissolving in and out of reality.  They're there, in the same lighting conditions as everyone else, and then they're gone.  The fact that they visibly appear to be solid and physically present always really chilled me, especially in moments like this one...




 There's something so threatening about this image that I don't think you'd get if they were more obviously "ghostly."



Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

A significant part of the reason why this is my favorite war movie is that the process Joker goes through - the loss of his fear of verbal confrontations, the replacement of his own vocabulary with that of his drill instructor when he's under duress - mirror what I saw in myself and in others in boot camp and in theater. Apocalypse now is wonderful for completely different reasons. That movie's a phantasmogoric fantasy. Full Metal Jacket was based on a semi-autobiographical novel, and it shows, to me.

I've heard this perspective from others, too.  Having never been in anything even remotely close to a combat situation, I'll certainly take your word for it with respect to the movie's verisimilitude.  It still doesn't work for me as a satisfying, complete film.  I think Kubrick tackled the subject of war to much greater effect in PATHS OF GLORY.

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#47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post


I think Kubrick tackled the subject of war to much greater effect in PATHS OF GLORY.



PATHS OF GLORY is fantastic, but it's also a fairly straightforward anti-war movie.  Kubrick's playing on a whole other level of the chessboard with FULL METAL JACKET in that it doesn't seem to have an agenda other than examining the loss of individuality required to turn boys into weapons.



This is why you can't end the movie at boot camp.  Pvt. Joker's arc hasn't even really begun.  The way I see it, Pvt. Joker and Pvt. Pyle make the same journey; Pyle just gets there much faster.  Joker spends the majority of the movie clinging to his individuality, distancing himself from the madness through wisecracks, irony and anti-authority noises.  But it's all denial and posturing - he facilitates the propaganda of the Stars & Stripes even while mocking it, and he beats Pyle more viciously than anyone else in the platoon during the blanket party.  When he kills the sniper in the climax, it is in a sense a murder-suicide, just as Pyle's demise was.



You couldn't tell a story like that with the PATHS OF GLORY characters.  Colonel Dax is honorable; Generals Broulard and Mireau are slimebags.  Its morals are much more clear-cut.

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#48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

Stephen King said that Kubrick would do things like call him up at midnight and ask him if he believed in God. When King said "yeah I think so" Kubrick replied "no I don't believe in it".


I know this version of the story has received a lot of circulation, but I believe it's an exaggeration.  It is true that Kubrick had preliminary phone calls with King about the project and these would in fact occur at weird hours of the day/night from King's perspective because of the time zone difference between the two (Kubrick lived in London).  Apparently, at one point Kubrick argued that ghost stories were inherently optimistic because they imply that we "survive death" rather than face oblivion and there's nothing more optimistic than that.  When King brought up Hell as a counter-argument, Kubrick responded that he did not believe in Hell.



The "IMDB Trivia" version makes it sound like Kubrick would call up King in the taunting voice of the SCREAM killer, say sinister things and hang up on him.



Here's a video of King mockingly recalling a Kubrick phone conversation in front of an audience.





It's worth noting that King may not be totally reliable here.  He claims that he chose not to work on the screenplay of THE SHINING because he had heard horror stories about working with Kubrick.  In fact King turned in a draft of the screenplay - pages from it exist - and it was swiftly rejected.

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#49
Quote:

Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

This is why you can't end the movie at boot camp.  Pvt. Joker's arc hasn't even really begun.  The way I see it, Pvt. Joker and Pvt. Pyle make the same journey; Pyle just gets there much faster.  Joker spends the majority of the movie clinging to his individuality, distancing himself from the madness through wisecracks, irony and anti-authority noises.  But it's all denial and posturing - he facilitates the propaganda of the Stars & Stripes even while mocking it, and he beats Pyle more viciously than anyone else in the platoon during the blanket party.  When he kills the sniper in the climax, it is in a sense a murder-suicide, just as Pyle's demise was.



Bingo.



The movie's main message which the loss of individuality only sort of gets at is that war is dichotomous insanity that BREAKS everyone eventually, regardless of your morals or values as a person. If you end the movie at the boot camp you're not seeing the hero of the story go through the same thing he hated Pyle for.



I'd even say that same theme extends to Cowboy's squad. They're all bugfuck crazy same way Pyle was. The only difference being they're psychos that can still follow orders. When we're introduced to them, one guy is literally talking to a corpse and it's played like absurd comedy. Which is what war is, absurdly comical in the darkest sense. Punctuated perfectly by the final shot of soldiers marching through a burning city while singing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song.

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#50
AThe Mickey Mouse ending is as chilling as anything in the Kubrick canon.
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#51

I was a "First half perfect / second half just okay" acolyte for years, but I came around in a big way after a recent rewatch. I recall being horrified by Animal Mother's racism. Thank God Adam Baldwin is nothing like that!

I liked this essay by Grant Nebel on the movie. Granted, it's his favorite movie, but I think he makes some interesting points.

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#52
Anyone here read Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers or Michael Herr's Dispatches? The former is what the movie was explicitly based on, but the latter was as much a touchstone. At any rate, they both come highly recommended.
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#53
This is supposed to get a UHD in June.  I blew it when APOCALYPSE NOW got a big screen re-release to accompany THE FINAL CUT last year, and I don't intend to repeat my mistake when JACKET gets its hopefully inevitable theatrical run alongside the 4K Blu.
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#54
I saw Apocalypse Now on the big screen last year, and yes, you did blow it!
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#55
I saw it too!

looked and sounded fantastic!
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#56
I ended up watching the theatrical cut (currently streaming on HBO) just last night. What would John Milius say.
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#57
I recall that Full Metal Jacket arrived in the wake of Oliver Stone's Platoon, which was completely unexpected when it was released just before Xmas the previous year. I had seen Salvador approx. six month previous but Platoon still took me completely by surprise. I remember my brother and I walking out of our first screening of of Platoon: my heart was literally pounding and I told him that "I need a fucking drink right now". His response: "I agree with you." Looking back years and years later and despite its flaws, Platoon remains the most 'in the gutter, to the gut' portrayal of the Vietnam experience. Apocalypse Now, which I originally saw in a 70mm premiere presentation during its initial releast, is the Disney Park equivalent of the same: loud, brash and garish; but enhanced by Michal Herr's memorable narration and the John Milius' screenplay. As for Full Metal Jacket, after numerous revisits (it's part of my Blu-ray collection BTW) I still have trouble reconciling the structural 'split' of the two sides of the story; which makes it emotionally distant for me. I LOVE Kubrick but I still see two challenging and revolutionary Vietnam-era films in there; but merged together, the mechanics still do not mesh.
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#58
PLATOON ended up beating FULL METAL JACKET to release even though the latter started shooting earlier, partially because of Kubrick's methods and partially because production went on a significant hiatus after R. Lee Ermey got in a bad car accident.

I like PLATOON but don't consider it in the same league as APOCALYPSE NOW and FULL METAL JACKET-- though admittedly all three movies are up to very different things.  It's hard for me to get past Stone's abuse of Samuel Barber, though I agree that despite the melodrama he, as a veteran himself, does a good job of providing a gut level perspective.  It packs a wallop but is by far the most conventional of the three films.

APOCALYPSE NOW is astonishing and undoubtedly a great film, but it is also pretty much AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD with scope creep. And I find it much more successful as a vision than as a meaningful examination of ideas. I count myself among those who cite the entire Colonel Kurtz act as a bit of a downgrade. Madness was the correct way to end the movie, so I do not hold the anticlimactic nature of the final stretch against it, but I object to its turn toward the literal and to the seemingly earnest attempts to explain Kurtz once he’s presented in flesh and blood.   The nightmarish visuals when we reach Brando’s upriver fiefdom are amazing (as are the audio/visuals of rest of the movie...it’s what happens when you have Vittorio Storaro as your DP and Walter Murch as your sound editor), but the movie's satirical bent is nowhere to be found when the character is giving speeches and reciting poetry, so you're left with the disappointing sense that we're meant to be impressed by that malarkey. The finale ends up working anyway on atmosphere alone, but it’s a phonier section than what came before, even given the movie’s mythic, hallucinatory vibe; the dorm room philosophizing (complete with an insert shot of The Golden Bough!) comes off as a facile grope for "meaning" after the more powerful and less didactic first two hours. And as great a kissoff as "The horror...The horror..." is, it ain't a patch on Klaus Kinski ruling a raft of monkeys.

I find FULL METAL JACKET the most substantial film because I think its exploration of the process of programming boys into becoming killing machines, and where that programming takes them, is followed through on with a certain clarity and without resorting to predigested morals, messages or “wisdom.”  I think that, like APOCALYPSE NOW, it is a sophisticated movie prepared to see the ironies, contradictions, humor, madness, hellishness and beauty of war, but it's more disciplined without falling into PLATOON's pretentiousness.  Everyone raves about boot camp, but the sniper sequence is masterfully staged, the final image is haunting, and the movie overall rewards follow-up viewings.  It would have been nice if Kubrick had been able to pull off age-appropriate Marines, and apparently he wanted to out the outset, but I guess he came to the same conclusion as every other director who initially tried to cast seventeen-year-olds in their war film.  I roll with it the same way I roll with Malcolm McDowell as a twenty-seven-year-old teenager in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
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#59
That convo you posted a few years back has some fun FMJ vs Platoon chit chat Fatherdude, cheers for posting that.

I'm one of the non-fans of Pyle's final scene though unfortunately, for pretty much the reasons Greg David laid out when he started the thread even more years back. I'm definitely due for a rewatch though, it's probably been a decade or so since the last time for me.
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#60
I was 15 when I first saw Full Metal Jacket, and it kept me from ever joining the military.

Thanks, Mr. Kubrick!
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#61
I get finding Hartman and Pyle more engaging characters than Joker and the Lusthog Squad, but Greg loses me when he says that with Pyle's suicide, "the point of the film has been made very well. Once we actually get to Vietnam, the rest feels like wheel-spinning by comparison, as the story's theme is restated and reiterated with new characters."  I'm not entirely sure what "the point of the film" and "the story's theme" amounts to in this view, but the view is a complete dismissal of one of the film's major concerns, to find out how that training serves the marines once they're in the field.
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#62
For what it's worth, my personal third-person Vietnam: In 1969 my parents somehow managed to pull our family out of school for two full weeks - in February - so they could take us to Honolulu. Let me assure you that my parents were not rich individuals and that they did so so for some reason I cannot still contemplate; except that it was an experience of my life I will never forget. One day, while walking from our hotel to the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, we passed Fort DeRussy, which was apparently being used at the time as some sort of recuperative centre for Viet vets. After observing a few individuals sitting outside with missing legs or arms, i had an experience that shook me as as I had never see anything like this in my life. I gripped my father's hand even tighter and asked him what was going on. He turned down to me and said with strong emphasis, as if to shut me me up there and then:"that is not OUR war". Upon discussion with him years later, I learned he lost family in WWII and though Canadian involvement in the 'Korean Conflict' and considered US interventions in SE Asia at that time to be a complete waste of time and humanity.
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#63
Thanks for sharing that.  What's interesting about all three films under discussion is that they don't really deal much with the political context of the Vietnam War.  Which isn't so much an indictment of any of the movies but a reminder of how vast and complicated a subject it really is, and how focused any movie has to be with its approach to such a subject in order to fit a roughly two hour canvas.  While an elaboration on it would be outside the scope of his story, I do think Kubrick's reveal of the sniper as a teenage girl is beautifully subtle way of implying all sorts of contrasts in the motives of the opposing sides of the conflict.  This child is every bit as much of a killer as the marines are, and she didn't need eight weeks under Gunnery Sergeant Hartman to get that way.

PLATOON happens to be on Prime right now, to whom it may concern.  It was the one I was the least fresh on, so I re-watched it since my last post.  While I can understand how it might have played better for an audience upon release than FULL METAL JACKET, I find that Kubrick's subtle approach holds up way, way better than Stone's hamfisted sermonizing.  Those narrations of Charlie Sheen's letters to his grandma...awful writing.  I think there was a sense from the Kubrick camp that PLATOON kind of swooped in and ate their lunch (and I think it rankled for a long time -- Kubrick's brother-in-law has suggested that part of the reason Kubrick abandoned THE ARYAN PAPERS at the last second in the wake of SCHINDLER'S LIST was to avoid another PLATOON situation), but I guess that's karma for what Kubrick did to Sidney Lumet's FAIL SAFE when DR. STRANGELOVE came out.  JACKET stands the test of time for me, though: I find it reveals new things with every re-watch, while PLATOON weakens the more it's scrutinized.
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#64
Quote: JACK stands the test of time for me, though: I find it reveals new things every time I watch, while PLATOON weakens the more it's scrutinized.

[Image: 41dDq4HQ3%2BL._SY445_.jpg]

I know what you were trying to say, but the mental image of Robin Williams' man-baby traipsing through the Mekong Delta gave me a chuckle.
I was in a horror-comedy called BLACK HOLLER. It's now on Prime Video. Check it out!
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#65
I knew I would never correct that fast enough!
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#66
My reflexes are never more finely tuned then when it's time for me to be a smartass!
I was in a horror-comedy called BLACK HOLLER. It's now on Prime Video. Check it out!
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#67
(03-29-2020, 03:51 PM)fatherdude Wrote: Those narrations of Charlie Sheen's letters to his grandma...awful writing.

A 19 year-old army private isn't Faulkner?

Que surpresa.

(Wink)
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#68
(03-29-2020, 04:22 PM)Bucho Wrote: A 19 year-old army private isn't Faulkner?

Is the voice of either represented in that gobbledygook?
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#69
I remember my writing at 19, so I related to it.

Heck, my writing now isn't much better.
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#70
The story of Tim Colceri, the actor who was originally hired to play the boot camp drill instructor and ended up playing the machine gunner in the helicopter:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-v...ak-1241107
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