Monday, July 09, 2007

Army Times picks their 10 Best Military Films

And number one is:

1. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Private Joker, are you trying to offend me?

Our pick for the best war movie of the past 20 years, if not all time, and it didn’t even crack the Top 400 ballot. Words fail to express how wrong that is.

“Full Metal Jacket,” directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio and R. Lee Ermey (in the role that made him a star), could be considered two great war movies for the price of one. The first half of the film shows Marine recruits at boot camp, preparing for Vietnam, while the second half deals with the violence and uncertainty of that war.

Perhaps it was the vulgarity and brutality of the film that made it such a tough sell for the voters. Or the vulgarity. Maybe the racism. Did we mention the vulgarity?

Not for the faint of heart, “Full Metal Jacket” is about as real as it comes without signing a contract. Even today, many of the themes still ring true.

And that’s all we have to say about that.

Full text of the article here


russell said...

Writerfella here --
1. writerfella did not know that Gus Hasford died in 1993, until he read this blog that mentions writerfella.
2. The Art Cover "interview" both is mistaken and incomplete. When Gus attended his first Clarion Workshop, most of what he contributed at first were Viet Nam war stories that were hated by most of the rest of the student writers because they were against the war. writerfella and a few others recognized Gus' merit but the rest wanted him to be ejected from the workshop. Their rationale? Not that he was writing 'war stories' but that Gus was writing other-than-science-fiction stories. Himmel!
The workshop director finally decided to resolve the matter democratically -- the workshoppers would vote on whether Gus stayed or was kicked out. But first, those for his removal and those for his retention could speak their points of view. Amazingly, those who spoke against Gus fastened on the fact that he wasn't writing SF, not saying one word about their Viet Nam war opinions. writerfella cannot remember who was the guest writer that particular week, but the whole crowd of 32 people fell silent when it was writerfella's turn to speak.
And writerfella said, "You all should be ashamed of yourselves. We are here as writers, not SF or fantasy or supernatural or whatever. Period. The words 'Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop' belie their true intention: writing. This man who stands so accused of writing other than science fiction or fantasy STILL is a writer. And none of you even come close to being worthy of carrying his pencil box. So, vote him out, send him away, fall prey to your own stupid opinions. But remember one thing: facts never are opinions, and opinions never are facts!"
Others spoke, but the vote then came up quickly. Gus Hasford got to remain in the workshop by two votes. The upshot is that his student manuscripts constitute a sequence of short stories that contain the vital segments of THE SHORT-TIMERS, almost identical to the pieces of the novel that they later became. writerfella still has those Xeroxed copies and they forever will be a part of his own legacy, that he knew and defended a fellow writer against others who would have denied him the freedom to be himself...
All Best
Russ Bates

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