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Full Metal Jacket April 9, 2008

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

I guess it has been about 20 years since I watched the Full Metal Jacket movie all the way through. I am sure it has cropped up on cable some time or other, and I have probably caught some fragment again. However, I am pretty sure last time I saw the film, in full, was the original theater release. I know that I have heard it quoted many times, particularly in whatever that weird song was that captured the raw sales pitch of the Vietnamese prostitute (“me so horny”) and turned it into a repetitive lyric. If you haven’t seen this movie, it is a good film that I hope you will also enjoy. I have always said that it felt like TWO movies, each of half normal length, and I think you may find that you agree.

When I got my PS3 over the Xmas holiday, it came with an offer for some free Blu-ray DVDs, and with the choices I was given I took Full Metal Jacket as one of my five picks. With all of the work I was doing on writing projects, I didn’t get around to watching it until this evening. Even 20 years later, the film captured my attention again. I can’t help but wonder if any of this stems from the immediacy of our current occupation of Iraq and the daily deaths this brings our soldiers. If the film derives no strength from current circumstances, then it has thus far survived the test of time and held the power to affect me again. If modern events have tapped into the same message, then the story is perhaps one reflected shard of the universal tales of mankind.

The phrase from the movie that remained with me when the credits rolled, this time, was: “We have nailed our names in the pages of history enough for today.” I am not sure I was wielding a hammer today, but I am tired and some vague echo of this will accompany me into my dreams tonight.