Full Metal Jacket 4K Blu-ray review

Sep 21, 2020- Permalink

Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket examines the inhumanity and horrors of war, from the cruelty inflicted by a drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey) on recruits like Joker (Matthew Modine) and Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio) to the war itself in Vietnam. Who will pass and who will crack? Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now released this iconic film on 4K. WBHE provided me with a copy to review, but the views below are my own.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265-encoded HDR10 digital transfer is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The original theatrical ratio of the film was 1.85:1 but Kubrick wasn’t a fan of black bars on the screen, so the 1.78:1 ratio allows it to fully fill the current standard for widescreen TVs. The clarity on the image is amazing, with hair, facial features, clothing and environmental elements showing a great amount of detail. Black levels are equally good, down to the darkest scenes with no sign of crush. The colour palette in the opening half of the film in Parris Island training camp is full of drab greens, beiges, and harsh fluorescent lighting, while the scenes in Vietnam pop with colour. The HDR10 really accents the highlights and nighttime scenes. There’s a light, subtle film grain, but no sign of digital noise or compression artifacts.

The audio choices include a lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track as well as the original Dolby Digital Mono track. Foreign dubs include French, German, Italian, Castilian Spanish, and Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks, and a Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Subtitles are available for English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, and Thai. It’s a pretty good remix of the original mono track, using the surrounds to place you into the scenes. The low frequency elements give the track some added heft and the rock soundtrack has some punch to it. Dialogue is clear and centred.

The combo pack comes with a Blu-ray copy as well as a digital code. The extras, located on the Blu-ray disc only, are carried over from a previous release. They include an audio commentary from Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, and Jay Cocks that also appears on the 4K disc. There’s also interviews with members of the cast or production and the theatrical trailers.

The Full Metal Jacket 4K has an excellent video presentation. A very good audio presentation. A great cast and Kubrick overseeing the whole thing. Highly recommended.