A Few Words About A few words about...™ Full Metal Jacket (25th Anniversary SE) -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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In typical Warner Bros. fashion, their home video alchemists seem to have taken a piece of what is now a creaky old Blu-ray edition, The Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition Collection, released back in May of 2011, fashioned it with eye of newt, finger of mummy and ear of flea, and created a totally new release, forever to be known as the Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary Book.

I like the name. The words flow rather nicely. The new book is cute, 44 whole pages of terrific stuff. And then there's the super-special extra disc -- DVD by the way, and not Blu-ray, of the 2008 48 minute documentary, using lots hof footage we've seen elsewhere -- or have I seen this before? -- and that's it.

Here's the rub.

You can buy, and I'm using Amazon prices, The SK Collection - virtually every film made by SK - 9 in all, and all quality Blu-ray discs, with the exception of Spartacus, which is garbage, for $100. That's about $11 a disc. And not a bad deal.

Of course, if one is a true collector and collector of all things Kubrick, there the HD-DVD from 2006, the original Blu-ray, also 2006, the Full Metal Jacket Limited Edition Collector's Set (2001), the Full Metal Jacket Deluxe Edition HD-DVD (2007), various and sundry other DVDs and boxed sets, and now the super-special 25th Anniversary Book Edition.

Funny thing is, Warner Bros. has myriads of other films that should be out on Blu-ray, which aren't showing up.


It has a really pretty cover, same as the 2007 Blu-ray, but I'm just not seeing what he's seeing. There's new artwork on the disc, which makes no difference to me one way or the other.

But here's what my eyes are telling me about this splashy new edition, labeled by the way as "All-New Remastered Feature on Blu-ray for the First Time!"

I'm going to use a highly technical archival term, and I don't want anyone to get lost.

Bul**hit!

To these eyes, the transfer looks precisely like the previous Blu-ray. I tried to look for a single frame bit of damage in the "I love you sooo long" scene, but didn't want to waste the time. Bottom line is that if you already own any of the previous high definition releases, you don't need this one. If you've not purchased the Kubrick boxed set (please don't admit it publicly, if you've not) and you still have a desire to own FMJ, buy the 2007 edition for $15.

Did I mention that the feature disc has different artwork than that of the boxed set?

Here's a trick. Please don't try it at home, without professionals standing by. The ownership of HTF denies all potential liability.

Take the old disc, place it carefully in your Blu-ray player. Don't scratch it, and please make certain that you're using a new thorn.

Play it for a bit. Move forward a few chapters. Just let it play.

And then pop it out of your player. Set that disc aside, take the brand new disc, and place that in the same player. Don't go to a different player. It must be the same one.

Allow it to spin up.

Funny thing about the newly re-mastered Full Metal Jacket. It goes to precisely the same spot at which the older disc was removed, as if the very same disc had been removed and then replaced. See where this is going?

Same menus, same content, same transfer, same master.

Now here's the kicker, and my final thoughts and recommendation.

Great film. Nice transfer.


I can think of no reason why Warner would waste their time on a release like this one.


RAH
 

Doctorossi

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Robert Harris said:
If you've not purchased the Kubrick boxed set (please don't admit it publicly, if you've not)
For shame, Robert!
Any true Kubrick fan should not admit publicly if they did buy the boxed set- they will have acquired all of its contents, upon their initial (and individual) release, months and months previously.
 

Robert Harris

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Warner releases, such as this, are merely a form of pink noise, filling shelves with more garbage, and confusing consumers.

RAH
 

DSmith1984

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Since it appears most of Kubrick's films are gonna get Anniversary re-releases in the next few years, will this be the norm or will it be the exception? Honestly, save for Spartacus, I'm perfectly satisfied with the releases in the Kubrick box set and I have no intention of buying any of these re-releases.
Now I hear that Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind are getting re-released. Again, why? Both blu-ray releases were excellent and unless they split GWTW over 2 discs, I don't see anything that could be done to either film to improve it.
If WB is gonna re-release stuff, how about giving us a blu-ray of Unforgiven with a lossless soundtrack? I'm not in favor of this re-release nonsense unless it offers a significant upgrade of some kind. Be it lossless audio or a tremendous remaster of the video.
 

Scott D S

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DSmith1984 said:
Since it appears most of Kubrick's films are gonna get Anniversary re-releases in the next few years, will this be the norm or will it be the exception? Honestly, save for Spartacus, I'm perfectly satisfied with the releases in the Kubrick box set and I have no intention of buying any of these re-releases.
I realize supplements aren't a high priority for everyone but if WB is going to revisit the Kubrick titles, Lolita and Barry Lyndon can use some documentaries, commentaries, etc. Production designer Sir Ken Adam isn't getting any younger!
And I doubt this will happen but it'd be nice if they let Doug Trumbull produce his 2001 documentary. Last I heard (a year or two ago), it had been cancelled.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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With all due respect to Mr Harris regarding his review..I am a Kubrick collector of sorts. I had all the single BD's and I own the box set (and the SK Archives book). I traded in the standard BD releases and am now keeping the box set and collecting the digibook releases as I think they're nice looking on my shelf and something more 'collectable' as he only made 13 features. I figured since WB is going to release an anniversary digibook for all his films I might as well buy them - even if the transfer is the same and there are no new features. Call me crazy. So far there have been some new features on each of these (even though ACO is repeated with the box set). I have the 2 Criterions. I have Columbia's Dr Strangelove - maybe next year for the 50th we'll get another release with the 'pie fight' sequence as a bonus. It still exists, unlike most of Kubrick's outtakes. Lolita and Barry Lyndon were great looking but bare boned releases so hopefully something new will be included. (Why can't they get Sue Lyon or Ryan O'Neal to sit down for an interview?) I also bought a Swedish import of a Sparatcus digibook from Universal - and if Criterion or any better remaster comes out, well, maybe I'll put the new disc in the digibook. Anyway, I also collect all the films on blu-ray of Hitchcock, Welles, Spielberg and Nolan...regardless of packaging. (no double dips, though) :)
 

SD_Brian

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To be accurate, in 1987, Richard Corliss said the MOVIE was "a technical knockout." Presumably, at that time, he had not yet seen this "new" Blu Ray edition.
 

bugsy-pal

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That's what I thought - I didn't think he'd be commenting on this particular bluray issue...
 

Rob LoVerde

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Robert Harris said:
Warner releases, such as this, are merely a form of pink noise, filling shelves with more garbage, and confusing consumers.
RAH
Hello Mr. Harris,
Have you had a chance to audition the new USA Blu-ray of Mean Streets?
Being a WHV product and, in light of this review, I'm curious...
 

Robert Harris

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SD_Brian said:
To be accurate, in 1987, Richard Corliss said the MOVIE was "a technical knockout." Presumably, at that time, he had not yet seen this "new" Blu Ray edition.
Be nice if WB somehow acknowledged that fact. That, along with the re-mastered tag, make it appear that he's discussing this release as a new technically superior Blu-ray.
 

Robert Harris

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Rob LoVerde said:
Hello Mr. Harris,
Have you had a chance to audition the new USA Blu-ray of Mean Streets?
Being a WHV product and, in light of this review, I'm curious...
Just received. I'm also curious.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Originally Posted by Robert Harris /t/322728/a-few-words-about-full-metal-jacket-25th-anniversary-se-in-blu-ray#post_3957102
Just received. I'm also curious.
Get ready for a shock as the films audio unfolds over a new Wb's CGI logo. I am going to import the French release that start in darkness for the voiceover.
 

Kurosawa

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Thanks, P&P. I payed an outrageous fortune for the French release of Mean Streets two years ago and started kicking myself when WB's cheap stateside release was announced. Now I can give my poor bottom a rest.
Back to RAH's original point, WB is especially fond of sucking from the seemingly inexhaustible tits of its cash cows over and over again while allowing some of its less popular catalog masterpieces to languish in darkness. I predict that the most recent Casablanca release, the 70th anniversary UCE, will not be the last we shall see of this venerable warhorse.
 

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Robert Harris said:
But here's what my eyes are telling me about this splashy new edition, labeled by the way as "All-New Remastered Feature on Blu-ray for the First Time!"

I'm going to use a highly technical archival term, and I don't want anyone to get lost.

Bul**hit!

To these eyes, the transfer looks precisely like the previous Blu-ray. I tried to look for a single frame bit of damage in the "I love you sooo long" scene, but didn't want to waste the time. Bottom line is that if you already own any of the previous high definition releases, you don't need this one.
If I'm not mistaken, the 2007 "Deluxe Edition" was a new transfer compared to the previous Blu-ray/HD DVDs from 2006. Every copy that Warner has released since then have just been repackagings of the Deluxe Edition disc.
 

Dave H

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JoshZ said:
If I'm not mistaken, the 2007 "Deluxe Edition" was a new transfer compared to the previous Blu-ray/HD DVDs from 2006. Every copy that Warner has released since then have just been repackagings of the Deluxe Edition disc.
I believe that is correct. I seem to recall a few original Warner titles that had a similar issue where they stemmed from 1080i masters or something?
 

JoshZ

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Dave H said:
I believe that is correct. I seem to recall a few original Warner titles that had a similar issue where they stemmed from 1080i masters or something?
Yes, the 2006 HD DVD and Blu-ray of Full Metal Jacket came from that batch of Warner titles that were sourced from old 1080i masters and deinterlaced at the studio. As a result, the image had a lot of jaggies and shimmer, among other problems associated with just being a really old master. Other affected titles were Enter the Dragon, The Fugitive, The Perfect Storm and the first two Lethal Weapons. There were possibly others. Those are the ones I recall off the top of my head.
The 2007 Deluxe Edition for Full Metal Jacket was a new (at the time) 1080p24 master with better colors and contrast, and no jaggies.
 

Cameron Yee

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Additional indicators:

The movie starts up after the FBI warning, instead of going to the disc menu.

Audio defaults to the DD 5.1 track instead of the LPCM 5.1.

The LPCM track.



Take the old disc, place it carefully in your Blu-ray player. Don't scratch it, and please make certain that you're using a new thorn.



Play it for a bit. Move forward a few chapters. Just let it play.



And then pop it out of your player. Set that disc aside, take the brand new disc, and place that in the same player. Don't go to a different player. It must be the same one.



Allow it to spin up.



Funny thing about the newly re-mastered Full Metal Jacket. It goes to precisely the same spot at which the older disc was removed, as if the very same disc had been removed and then replaced. See where this is going?



Same menus, same content, same transfer, same master.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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What I did find interesting is that the Boxes doc was about 10 minutes longer than what I had seen before on YouTube. There were segments that I hadn't seen, even a few new FMJ making of clips.
Regarding the film, mine didn't resume play as indicated above. It started from the beginning when I put in the new disc. After a quick glance at a few bits it does look identical, though. I saw the same white specks in the same places. That sticker is a lie.
 

Ray H

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It's hardly a surprise this is the same disc as the previous release. Another one if WHV's useless digibook re-releases like Unforgiven and Goodfellas. At least A Clockwork Orange's re-release made an effort to include new extras even if they shamefully reused the old encode from the previous BD (despite creating a newer master!).
As a Kubrick nut, I purchased the individual 2007 BDs of his films. I then purchased the Kubrick box set from last year for Barry Lyndon and Lolita. With the announcement of this FMJ digibook I decided to sell the box set. I figured these films would get re-released again and again and I could just upgrade each one as they come along. I bought the Clockwork Orange digibook and the Barry Lyndon disc. I no longer own Lolita (waiting to see if WHV announces an anniversary release for this year, though it seems unlikely at this point) or Spartacus on BD (I have the Criterion DVD of Spartacus). As for FMJ, I sold my old disc and plan to pick this one up. Why? Because I'm a sucker. The Boxes documentary is fascinating and well worth owning for any Kubrick completist. A shame it's not in HD (though did anyone expect it from WHV?).
 

mikeyhitchfan

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Ray H said:
It's hardly a surprise this is the same disc as the previous release. Another one if WHV's useless digibook re-releases like Unforgiven and Goodfellas. At least A Clockwork Orange's re-release made an effort to include new extras even if they shamefully reused the old encode from the previous BD (despite creating a newer master!).
As a Kubrick nut, I purchased the individual 2007 BDs of his films. I then purchased the Kubrick box set from last year for Barry Lyndon and Lolita. With the announcement of this FMJ digibook I decided to sell the box set. I figured these films would get re-released again and again and I could just upgrade each one as they come along. I bought the Clockwork Orange digibook and the Barry Lyndon disc. I no longer own Lolita (waiting to see if WHV announces an anniversary release for this year, though it seems unlikely at this point) or Spartacus on BD (I have the Criterion DVD of Spartacus). As for FMJ, I sold my old disc and plan to pick this one up. Why? Because I'm a sucker. The Boxes documentary is fascinating and well worth owning for any Kubrick completist. A shame it's not in HD (though did anyone expect it from WHV?).
I sold my regular WB single discs, kept the box set and 2 Criterions, and have digibooks for FMJ, ACO, Dr Strangelove, and imported a Spartacus digibook from Sweden. I too will collect them as they come out. Lolita (and FMJ) digibooks were announced a year ago as it's 50 this year, and I would suspect a December release announcement soon.
 

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