Todd Erwin

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Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket makes its UHD debut, but other than a new scan, there is really nothing new here.



Full Metal Jacket (1987)



Released: 10 Jul 1987
Rated: R
Runtime: 116 min




Director: Stanley Kubrick
Genre: Drama, War



Cast: Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey
Writer(s): Stanley Kubrick (screenplay by), Michael Herr (screenplay by), Gustav Hasford (screenplay by), Gustav Hasford (based on the novel "The Short Timers" by)



Plot: A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.



IMDB rating: 8.3
MetaScore: 76





Disc Information



Studio: Warner Brothers...
Continue reading...
 

WinstonCely

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One wonders if there is some new box set coming with new features... Probably not. I suppose as more and more people turn to online sources for titles, the money and time spent in creating special sets with new features are going to become less likely. It is odd that they didn't create a new BD for this if they have a newly restored master to pull from. Can someone "in-the-know" offer an explanation as to why it would be so cost-prohibitive to produce a new BD if they went through all the trouble to make a new UHD version?
 
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dpippel

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One thing that might be going on - they could have a large stockpile of the old Blu-ray on-hand. So, using it for this 4K release is a cost-effective way to move that aging inventory AND they save money by not mastering and pressing a new one.
 

Dave Moritz

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I first purchased this movie on DVD and was happy to replace it with the HD-DVD when it came out. But now since my Toshiba HD-DVD player is ether glitchy or doesn't play well with the version of HDMI on my Marantz SR-8012 receiver. I can not wait to upgrade to the 4K release as I love this movie!

Full Metal Jacket.jpg
 

PMF

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One thing that might be going on - they could have a large stockpile of the old Blu-ray on-hand. So, using it for this 4K release is a cost-effective way to move that aging inventory AND they save money by not mastering and pressing a new one.
How very clever of Warner’s to save money where they can. I guess this means that we should also do the same. No sale until the holiday discounts.

MIA: Boxes Documentary & BD Upgrade.

FILE UNDER: Eyes Wide Open
 
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Kaskade1309

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Like Dave above, I own and have been watching the full screen DVD of FMJ (the Warner snapper case variant sourced from the Kubrick Collection of years back; I also owned The Shining in this DVD variant but upgraded to the UHD Blu) but never bought into HD DVD when the format war was going on, so that full frame DVD was all I ever knew in the world of FMJ...

I may pick up this UHD Blu-ray just because I didn't care for the 4:3 presentation of the DVD I recently revisited as played through my Panasonic UB9000 disc player and Samsung 4K display...which leads me to something I've been itching to talk about with regard to this.

I know it's complete blasphemy on hobbyist forums like this one, but I was actually one of the few who preferred full screen content -- i.e. full screen DVDs -- to be stretched by a disc player so they filled a 16:9 screen. I had and still have a collection of 4:3 DVDs in my library, amassed over the years when I used a small Sony 4:3 TV during the DVD craze, so when I got my first widescreen HDTV and upgraded to a Blu-ray player (the first generation Panasonic DMP-BD10A -- which is STILL in use in our bedroom), I was able to set the player to automatically stretch these discs so they filled the screen (albeit with that slight "fattening out" effect that never really bothered me).

I then moved on from the Panasonic to the legendary Oppo BDP-83, which had much better SD upconversion courtesy of its Anchor Bay VRS chipset (I still say that was the best DVD player I've ever used in any system; I still have that player, too, but it needs repair) -- but the Oppo ALSO allowed me to set the aspect ratio to one that kept 16:9 content original and stretched the 4:3 SD stuff.

In getting into 4K hardware, we first purchased a Panasonic DP-UB820 which I returned because I didn't care for the build quality for $500, and because Oppo was no longer making the UDP-203, we moved on to the next best thing: Cambridge Audio's CXUHD, which was basically a clone of the Oppo. The CXUHD, as the MediaTek-equipped players all do, allowed for manipulation of the aspect ratio, so I was able to stretch those 4:3 DVDs again, per my preference.

Fast-forward to when the Cambridge began making noises when playing back DVDs -- and the subsequent inability of the repair center to fix it -- and we ended up going WAY out of our budget and buying Panasonic's flagship UB9000 (a premium-built disc spinner was a priority, and we couldn't get Pioneer's LX500 anymore, either, which was the closest competitor).

Unfortunately, this player does a TON of things we don't like, either -- from the lack of a standby light on the power button to a non-defeatable automatic shutoff protocol after 20 minutes of player idling, unnecessarily confusing menu adjustments, subpar DVD upscaling and more...but the REAL kicker for us that we've been having a hard time living with is the unit's lack of any kind of aspect ratio control. The player (and all Panasonic UHD decks) is locked into a fixed widescreen output -- so this means we no longer could have our 4:3 DVDs stretched to fill, nor could I use any kind of zoom function to blow up non-anamorphic transfers to their near-correct ratios (which I could do with the Oppo and Cambridge).

We have a TON of non-anamorphic titles in our collection alongside the full screen discs, so this has forced us to begin replacing these films with their Blu-ray versions, as when we attempt to play back non-anamorphic discs, the films are shown with that horrendous windowboxing around them.

Now -- I know a workaround to this could be using my display's picture zooming controls to manipulate these discs, but I tried that, and it just becomes a mess because I'm basically guessing at to what the right aspect ratio should be as I manually zoom in and up with the Samsung's controls...I'd rather just let a disc player do this, which the Panasonic does not.

That leads me to this, as it relates to films like Full Metal Jacket: Should I just accept that 4:3 content is SUPPOSED to be shown on a 16:9 display with the pillarboxing and get over the whole "I prefer it stretched!" thing, and when I view content that was filmed in this format (old films we have on DVD such as House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax, Night of the Living Dead, et al) just view it with the pillarboxing?

In other words, is it time to get over the whole "4:3 content looks better filling the screen" perspective in this era of widescreen 4K displays? Should I just accept certain DVDs -- like Full Metal Jacket (if I don't replace it with the 4K Blu-ray) that were SHOT by the filmmaker or INTENDED TO BE SHOWN by the filmmaker in 4:3 -- will play back with the black bars on the sides of the image?

Of course, we have already begun replacing a bunch of favorite titles in our collection that are either in full screen (by purchasing decision back when I had the small square TV) or which don't have anamorphic enhancement with Blu-ray versions (titles like Daredevil, The Day After Tomorrow, Dawn of the Dead 2004, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Shining), but I suppose I'm wondering how to view the films that are actually IN 4:3 by design or because of their vintage...

Any thoughts?
 
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PMF

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Like Dave above, I own and have been watching the full screen DVD of FMJ (the Warner snapper case variant sourced from the Kubrick Collection of years back; I also owned The Shining in this DVD variant but upgraded to the UHD Blu) but never bought into HD DVD when the format war was going on, so that full frame DVD was all I ever knew in the world of FMJ...

I may pick up this UHD Blu-ray just because I didn't care for the 4:3 presentation of the DVD I recently revisited as played through my Panasonic UB9000 disc player and Samsung 4K display...which leads me to something I've been itching to talk about with regard to this.

I know it's complete blasphemy on hobbyist forums like this one, but I was actually one of the few who preferred full screen content -- i.e. full screen DVDs -- to be stretched by a disc player so they filled a 16:9 screen. I had and still have a collection of 4:3 DVDs in my library, amassed over the years when I used a small Sony 4:3 TV during the DVD craze, so when I got my first widescreen HDTV and upgraded to a Blu-ray player (the first generation Panasonic DMP-BD10A -- which is STILL in use in our bedroom), I was able to set the player to automatically stretch these discs so they filled the screen (albeit with that slight "fattening out" effect that never really bothered me).

I then moved on from the Panasonic to the legendary Oppo BDP-83, which had much better SD upconversion courtesy of its Anchor Bay VRS chipset (I still say that was the best DVD player I've ever used in any system; I still have that player, too, but it needs repair) -- but the Oppo ALSO allowed me to set the aspect ratio to one that kept 16:9 content original and stretched the 4:3 SD stuff.

In getting into 4K hardware, we first purchased a Panasonic DP-UB820 which I returned because I didn't care for the build quality for $500, and because Oppo was no longer making the UDP-203, we moved on to the next best thing: Cambridge Audio's CXUHD, which was basically a clone of the Oppo. The CXUHD, as the MediaTek-equipped players all do, allowed for manipulation of the aspect ratio, so I was able to stretch those 4:3 DVDs again, per my preference.

Fast-forward to when the Cambridge began making noises when playing back DVDs -- and the subsequent inability of the repair center to fix it -- and we ended up going WAY out of our budget and buying Panasonic's flagship UB9000 (a premium-built disc spinner was a priority, and we couldn't get Pioneer's LX500 anymore, either, which was the closest competitor).

Unfortunately, this player does a TON of things we don't like, either -- from the lack of a standby light on the power button to a non-defeatable automatic shutoff protocol after 20 minutes of player idling, unnecessarily confusing menu adjustments, subpar DVD upscaling and more...but the REAL kicker for us that we've been having a hard time living with is the unit's lack of any kind of aspect ratio control. The player (and all Panasonic UHD decks) is locked into a fixed widescreen output -- so this means we no longer could have our 4:3 DVDs stretched to fill, nor could I use any kind of zoom function to blow up non-anamorphic transfers to their near-correct ratios (which I could do with the Oppo and Cambridge).

We have a TON of non-anamorphic titles in our collection alongside the full screen discs, so this has forced us to begin replacing these films with their Blu-ray versions, as when we attempt to play back non-anamorphic discs, the films are shown with that horrendous windowboxing around them.

Now -- I know a workaround to this could be using my display's picture zooming controls to manipulate these discs, but I tried that, and it just becomes a mess because I'm basically guessing at to what the right aspect ratio should be as I manually zoom in and up with the Samsung's controls...I'd rather just let a disc player do this, which the Panasonic does not.

That leads me to this, as it relates to films like Full Metal Jacket: Should I just accept that 4:3 content is SUPPOSED to be shown on a 16:9 display with the pillarboxing and get over the whole "I prefer it stretched!" thing, and when I view content that was filmed in this format (old films we have on DVD such as House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax, Night of the Living Dead, et al) just view it with the pillarboxing?

In other words, is it time to get over the whole "4:3 content looks better filling the screen" perspective in this era of widescreen 4K displays? Should I just accept certain DVDs -- like Full Metal Jacket (if I don't replace it with the 4K Blu-ray) that were SHOT by the filmmaker or INTENDED TO BE SHOWN by the filmmaker in 4:3 -- will play back with the black bars on the sides of the image?

Of course, we have already begun replacing a bunch of favorite titles in our collection that are either in full screen (by purchasing decision back when I had the small square TV) or which don't have anamorphic enhancement with Blu-ray versions (titles like Daredevil, The Day After Tomorrow, Dawn of the Dead 2004, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Shining), but I suppose I'm wondering how to view the films that are actually IN 4:3 by design or because of their vintage...

Any thoughts?
Others here at HTF can answer you in a technically far superior way than myself. But, on a quick gut level, I can only say two things:

a) Us purists demand and revel in the viewing of an accurate ratio as composed, discussed and shot by both the director and cinematographer in concert.

b) I gave up a long time ago trying to tell others about the benefits and gains of such accuracies. If seeing a movie with incorrect ratios; in order to fill ones screen; is how someone enjoys their evening, then who am I to impose on ones pleasures or preferences?

We can only open the door, but no one should force another to walk through it.
 

Kaskade1309

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Adam
Others here at HTF can answer you in a technically far superior way than myself. But, on a quick gut level, I can only say two things:

a) Us purists demand and revel in the viewing of an accurate ratio as composed, discussed and shot by both the director and cinematographer in concert.

b) I gave up a long time ago trying to tell others about the benefits and gains of such accuracies. If seeing a movie with incorrect ratios; in order to fill ones screen; is how someone enjoys their evening, then who am I to impose on ones pleasures or preferences?

We can only open the door, but no one should force another to walk through it.
Thank you for your response.

I totally understand where you're coming from -- and I would like to think of myself as one of the crowd that believes artistic intent should be respected. I never touch widescreen presentations -- I'm not one of those who scream about the letterbox areas in scope films and needing to fill the entire area -- but the issue comes down to these 4:3 presentations on 16:9 displays (so I'm just reiterating that I'm with you on the preservation of intent with regard to the filmmakers and cinematographers, notably with modern-esque widescreen content :)) because I own so many of them and it's become daunting and expensive to replace them as we go.

Here's the thing: We had/have a lot of 4:3 and non-anamorphic DVDs in the collection that I used to prefer be stretched to fill the 16:9 frame from side to side (for whatever reason, pillarboxing annoys me in a much larger sense than letterboxing ever did), but since owning this new Panasonic disc player and not being able to zoom or stretch these films in any way, I'm trying to mentally "justify" watching genuine 4:3 content with the pillarboxing and needing to move on from having to see such content stretched.

Of course, there ARE ways around this issue -- we could have our Oppo Blu-ray player repaired and install that in our primary system to watch DVDs on (the Panasonic 4K player isn't that great of a DVD machine anyway, as none of their BD players were IMO), and I could, as stated, use the TV's picture controls to stretch out these 4:3 discs...but my preference was to have ONE primary player in the system that does it all (native 4K Blu-ray and upscaled DVD/Blu-ray) and not needing to have to touch the display's aspect ratio controls.

Like I said, we have begun replacing favorite titles in the collection that either had no anamorphic enhancement or that were PURCHASED as full screen versions (with their Blu-ray counterparts), but we have many more to go and it's getting expensive. On the other hand, the discs without anamorphic enhancement didn't look all that great, even zoomed up to their near-proper ratio (as I discovered when trading up my non-anamorphic DVD copy of John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. for the Scream Factory Blu-ray; the difference in quality was pretty stark) so...

Here's something else to chew on: My wife, who knew nothing about this home cinema stuff before me, even mentioned that since we've been watching some old classics in 4:3 with the pillarboxing -- such as the original House on Haunted Hill and House of Wax -- instead of them being stretched out, she can definitely see improvements in terms of characters who once looked "fat and bloated" to her (this was, of course, due to the stretching of the full screen content the player was doing). My point is that even SHE sees the characters as "more correct" now when we watch old titles encoded for full screen and they play back with the side pillarboxing.

At this point, should I just "accept" that 4:3 content is going to show with pillarboxing (on the old discs we have of some classics)?
 

PMF

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Thank you for your response.

I totally understand where you're coming from -- and I would like to think of myself as one of the crowd that believes artistic intent should be respected. I never touch widescreen presentations -- I'm not one of those who scream about the letterbox areas in scope films and needing to fill the entire area -- but the issue comes down to these 4:3 presentations on 16:9 displays (so I'm just reiterating that I'm with you on the preservation of intent with regard to the filmmakers and cinematographers, notably with modern-esque widescreen content :)) because I own so many of them and it's become daunting and expensive to replace them as we go.

Here's the thing: We had/have a lot of 4:3 and non-anamorphic DVDs in the collection that I used to prefer be stretched to fill the 16:9 frame from side to side (for whatever reason, pillarboxing annoys me in a much larger sense than letterboxing ever did), but since owning this new Panasonic disc player and not being able to zoom or stretch these films in any way, I'm trying to mentally "justify" watching genuine 4:3 content with the pillarboxing and needing to move on from having to see such content stretched.

Of course, there ARE ways around this issue -- we could have our Oppo Blu-ray player repaired and install that in our primary system to watch DVDs on (the Panasonic 4K player isn't that great of a DVD machine anyway, as none of their BD players were IMO), and I could, as stated, use the TV's picture controls to stretch out these 4:3 discs...but my preference was to have ONE primary player in the system that does it all (native 4K Blu-ray and upscaled DVD/Blu-ray) and not needing to have to touch the display's aspect ratio controls.

Like I said, we have begun replacing favorite titles in the collection that either had no anamorphic enhancement or that were PURCHASED as full screen versions (with their Blu-ray counterparts), but we have many more to go and it's getting expensive. On the other hand, the discs without anamorphic enhancement didn't look all that great, even zoomed up to their near-proper ratio (as I discovered when trading up my non-anamorphic DVD copy of John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. for the Scream Factory Blu-ray; the difference in quality was pretty stark) so...

Here's something else to chew on: My wife, who knew nothing about this home cinema stuff before me, even mentioned that since we've been watching some old classics in 4:3 with the pillarboxing -- such as the original House on Haunted Hill and House of Wax -- instead of them being stretched out, she can definitely see improvements in terms of characters who once looked "fat and bloated" to her (this was, of course, due to the stretching of the full screen content the player was doing). My point is that even SHE sees the characters as "more correct" now when we watch old titles encoded for full screen and they play back with the side pillarboxing.

At this point, should I just "accept" that 4:3 content is going to show with pillarboxing (on the old discs we have of some classics)?
The ratio supplied on each disc is the accurate way to go; but your personal preferences remains up to you. Experiment. Revisit a handful of favorites. See each one through from start to finish. Only then will you and your wife fully know which is the most enjoyable viewing experience.
 
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PMF

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On the upside; and aside from what’s absent within this FML release; I am quite encouraged in seeing that the Kubrick catalogue continues to receive the 4K/UHD treatment.

Hopefully, A Clockwork Orange will be next.
 
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Kaskade1309

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Adam
I know it's almost universally shunned throughout the HT community, but I actually have no issues with Warner's first Blu-ray release of Clockwork Orange; I believe the subsequent digibook release and others since the release of the single-disc BD are based on that same transfer.

Reviewer Josh Zyber kind of crapped all over the look of this transfer for Clockwork, but I still don't have an issue with it. It's not gorgeousness and gorgosity perfected, but I wouldn't see a personal need to upgrade to 4K on that one.
 

Jeffrey D

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I have the original BluRay release of FMJ, and it’s good enough for me- I like the film, but wouldn’t put it on my list of desert island films.

A Clockwork Orange is definitely on my desert island list, and I would happily upgrade to UHD, provided the colors and contrasts are an improvement.
 
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Kaskade1309

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Adam
The ratio supplied on each disc is the accurate way to go; but your personal preferences remains up to you. Experiment. Revisit a handful of favorites. See each one through from start to finish. Only then will you and your wife fully know which is the most enjoyable viewing experience.
Pardon; I probably didn't explain myself to the fullest extent in my reply.
 

PMF

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Pardon; I probably didn't explain myself to the fullest extent in my reply.
As a newer member, you will come to discover this forum’s many valuable resources on every conceivable topic that concerns home theater; and heck, along the way, you might even find yourself wanting to adopt a cat or canine, to boot.

But for today, and your questions concerning ratios, I would encourage you to read “Behind the Mask: aspect ratio solutions for projector and screen”; which is an HTF thread that was authored by Martin Dew. I trust that you will find this article to be of great interest, highly informative and also far more helpful than I could ever dare to be.

BTW, when Warner’s comes around with their 4K/UHD restoration of “A Clockwork Orange” you will find yourself salivating to own it. Bye, bye DVD; hello coaster.:cool:
 
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Bryan^H

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This has to be one of the most disappointing releases of the year for me. No BD upgrade as with previous Kubrick releases, and no inclusion of the Boxes documentary that was out of reach for many fans in the prior double dip.
Do you plan to get a 4K BD player? The benefit of having one is well worth the reasonable prices they have come down to.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Do you plan to get a 4K BD player? The benefit of having one is well worth the reasonable prices they have come down to.
It’s one of those distant nebulous plans. I run a dual display (TV and projector) setup and the PJ is 1080p, and the AVR also can’t handle 4K signals. I never watch movies on the TV (which is 4K capable) so it’s just not a priority at the moment. And twins plus pandemic has put all of my plans on hold, turns out babies are expensive :D. I do get the merits of getting the player first (that’s how I got into BD way back when) but what I’ve got is working perfectly for me 99% of the time so it’s just one of those wishlist daydream items.
 
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Bryan^H

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It’s one of those distant nebulous plans. I run a dual display (TV and projector) setup and the PJ is 1080p, and the AVR also can’t handle 4K signals. I never watch movies on the TV (which is 4K capable) so it’s just not a priority at the moment. And twins plus pandemic has put all of my plans on hold, turns out babies are expensive :D. I do get the merits of getting the player first (that’s how I got into BD way back when) but what I’ve got is working perfectly for me 99% of the time so it’s just one of those wishlist daydream items.
I watch 4K discs on my 1080P projector, I just set the resolution to 1080P on the player and the projector plays them fine (they look fantastic). But I understand, kids are expensive, and the pandemic has put some of my purchase plans as a far off dream.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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The hope is to upgrade the receiver next (I can tell from recent behavior that it’s going to be the first component in my system to go), and then the player as the next purchase after that. I’m thinking I might ask/hope for a new AVR for Father’s Day next year instead of the typical socket wrench set that seems to be the thing new dads are destined to be gifted. :)
 
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