Full Metal Jacket vs Platoon vs The Deer Hunter vs Apocalypse Now

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Edited 3 months, 20 days ago

Poll: Full Metal Jacket vs Platoon vs The Deer Hunter vs Apocalypse Now (28 votes)

Full Metal Jacket 36%
Platoon 25%
The Deer Hunter 7%
Apocalypse Now 32%
You don't know many, you weren't there 0%
Obi-Wan Kenobi 0%

The 'Nam bunch, give me your favorite and why.

GO!

Personally, Apocalypse Now. The atmosphere is top notch, and the descent into madness as the movie progresses is amazing. One of the best movies ever. Platoon is also amazing, but sometimes hard to keep up with since there are so many characters dying, getting wounded and so much confusion in the fighting scenes. The Deer Hunter was also pretty eerie, though didn't really work so much with me. Full Metal Jacket has some of the best dialogue ever, but the structure of the movie is a bit oddball. A lot of times it feels like an exposition of "war is hell" scenes stitched together, while a general storytelling thread is somewhat vague.

#1 Edited by Master_Live (14206 posts) -

I would rank them:

  1. Apocalypse Now
  2. Full Metal Jacket
  3. The Deer Hunter/Platoon

I will elaborate later.

#2 Posted by AFBrat77 (24087 posts) -

Platoon and Apocalypse Now are a virtual tie, I gave the edge to Platoon for realism from a director (Oliver Stone) who was there.

That being said, the entire basic training scene at the beginning of FMJ is as good as anything, and Ermey was spot-on as the Drill Instructor (I believe he was one in real life at one time).

#3 Posted by PannicAtack (21021 posts) -

@AFBrat77 said:

Platoon and Apocalypse Now are a virtual tie, I gave the edge to Platoon for realism from a director (Oliver Stone) who was there.

That being said, the entire basic training scene at the beginning of FMJ is as good as anything, and Ermey was spot-on as the Drill Instructor (I believe he was one in real life at one time).

He was. He was actually originally there for, like, consulting or something, but Kubrick was so impressed that he cast him.

#4 Posted by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

@AFBrat77 said:

Platoon and Apocalypse Now are a virtual tie, I gave the edge to Platoon for realism from a director (Oliver Stone) who was there.

That being said, the entire basic training scene at the beginning of FMJ is as good as anything, and Ermey was spot-on as the Drill Instructor (I believe he was one in real life at one time).

He was. He was actually originally there for, like, consulting or something, but Kubrick was so impressed that he cast him.

And the whole thing was basically improvised :D

#5 Posted by RadecSupreme (4640 posts) -

1.Full Metal Jacket

2.Platoon

3.Apocalypse now

4. The Deer Hunter

All 4 are amazing but Full Metal Jacket has to be my favorite due to it's satire.

#6 Edited by Aljosa23 (24760 posts) -

Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films of all-time, so that. The others merely range from okay (Platoon, FMJ) to good (The Deer Hunter).

#7 Posted by Lord_Daemon (24234 posts) -
  1. Apocalypse Now
  2. The Deer Hunter
  3. Platoon
  4. Full Metal Jacket
#8 Edited by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

Hey, you stole my list of favorite war movies! I don't think I could rank them, but my favorite of the bunch is Platoon. Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times (and particularly near the end), and lacks emotional impact for a war film. The Deer Hunter is a difficult movie to fully appreciate due to its pacing. Full Metal Jacket feels too much like two different movies put into one (on the surface), and is too subtle and dense to satisfyingly grasp on initial viewings. For me Platoon had very accessible pacing, the best action scenes, as well as the biggest emotional impact. It might not have the best writing, directing, atmosphere, or cinematography of the listed movies, but Platoon delivered my ideal preference of a war movie.

"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I've felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life."

Usually where I find reflective V/O at the end of the movie to be contrived, Platoon's really hit the mark for me.

#9 Edited by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

Hey, you stole my list of favorite war movies! I don't think I could rank them, but my favorite of the bunch is Platoon. Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times (and particularly near the end), and lacks emotional impact for a war film. The Deer Hunter is a difficult movie to fully appreciate due to its pacing. Full Metal Jacket feels too much like two different movies put into one (on the surface), and is too subtle and dense to satisfyingly grasp on initial viewings. For me Platoon had very accessible pacing, the best action scenes, as well as the biggest emotional impact.

"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I've felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life."

Usually where I find reflective V/O at the end of the movie to be contrived, Platoon's really hit the mark for me.

Platoon's ending is really amazing, can't believe Charlie Sheen went from that to what he is now to be honest.

Otherwise Apocalypse Now's ending felt really good to me, I liked how the further into the jungle they went the crazier and surreal everything started becoming. I always thought it was more about how war impacts human psyche, I'd say that through the movie what you see is how the characters mind's become corrupted, not actually everything being so crazy.

#10 Edited by Jolt_counter119 (3972 posts) -

1.Platoon

2.Full Metal Jacket

3.The Deer Hunter

4.Apocalypse Now

#11 Edited by Aljosa23 (24760 posts) -

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

#12 Posted by sammyjenkis898 (28039 posts) -

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

#13 Posted by Aljosa23 (24760 posts) -

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

>Punch-Drunk Love avatar
>Anna Karina sig

c'mon, son. be more subtle :>

#14 Edited by bowchicka07 (1073 posts) -

Full Metal Jacket for me. It was intense for me and that's what I like in my war movies. Platoon was a close second because of the great casting.

#15 Posted by sammyjenkis898 (28039 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

>Punch-Drunk Love avatar

>Anna Karina sig

c'mon, son. be more subtle :>

But it's Coppola and he's a hipster.

Plus it was once in the Criterion Collection.

#16 Posted by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

#17 Edited by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

#18 Posted by sammyjenkis898 (28039 posts) -

lol random

#19 Posted by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

lol random

Hipsters collect VHS tapes, film buffs praise Apocalypse Now

#20 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

#21 Posted by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

#22 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

the ritual killing of the ox, the killing of kurtz, and vietnam are all being compared through the editing and dialogue. coppola is saying that vietnam wasn't an act of self defense (we lost vietnam and communism eventually stopped spreading anyway) or for any moral high ground. he reflected the belief at the time that the war was just this dark ecstatic period we build up to. i can understand his sentiment after the string of wars america was in leading up to vietnam.

#23 Edited by uninspiredcup (7874 posts) -

Full Metal Jacket is the best movie imo.

Didn't think Platoon was good at all to be honest. Oliver Stone in general is someone I don't particularly like very much.

#24 Posted by lensflare15 (6174 posts) -

Platoon happens to be my favorite war movie. It had it all really; a suburb and emotionally powerful story, intense battle scenes (the final one at the end of the movie is one of my favorite battles in cinema history), and the atmosphere of the Vietnam jungle was mesmerizing. Full Metal Jacket would be my second favorite from the list (I enjoy the symbolism and filming style that is typical in a Kubrick film), and then Apocalypse Now (I haven't seen the Deer Hunter yet).

#25 Posted by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

the ritual killing of the ox, the killing of kurtz, and vietnam are all being compared through the editing and dialogue. coppola is saying that vietnam wasn't an act of self defense (we lost vietnam and communism eventually stopped spreading anyway) or for any moral high ground. he reflected the belief at the time that the war was just this dark ecstatic period we build up to. i can understand his sentiment after the string of wars america was in leading up to vietnam.

I never disagreed with the symbolism of ritualistic killing - I simply think the way that it's done is pretentious. It's forced symbolism and it goes over 99% of the audience's head. Aside from that, killing animals for film is another mark of pretentiousness.

#26 Posted by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

the ritual killing of the ox, the killing of kurtz, and vietnam are all being compared through the editing and dialogue. coppola is saying that vietnam wasn't an act of self defense (we lost vietnam and communism eventually stopped spreading anyway) or for any moral high ground. he reflected the belief at the time that the war was just this dark ecstatic period we build up to. i can understand his sentiment after the string of wars america was in leading up to vietnam.

I never disagreed with the symbolism of ritualistic killing - I simply think the way that it's done is pretentious. It's forced symbolism and it goes over 99% of the audience's head. Aside from that, killing animals for film is another mark of pretentiousness.

Dunno, I wouldn't call that pretentious. I mean if movie symbolism is pretentious than what can you really even do at the end.

#27 Edited by uninspiredcup (7874 posts) -
@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

the ritual killing of the ox, the killing of kurtz, and vietnam are all being compared through the editing and dialogue. coppola is saying that vietnam wasn't an act of self defense (we lost vietnam and communism eventually stopped spreading anyway) or for any moral high ground. he reflected the belief at the time that the war was just this dark ecstatic period we build up to. i can understand his sentiment after the string of wars america was in leading up to vietnam.

I never disagreed with the symbolism of ritualistic killing - I simply think the way that it's done is pretentious. It's forced symbolism and it goes over 99% of the audience's head. Aside from that, killing animals for film is another mark of pretentiousness.

Sort of Agree. I remember watching "Cannibal Holocaust" a while back. Constantly flashing images of real animals killed through archive footage as well as several animals killed on set to try drive a point down your throat with gratuitous shock spam.

One of my favorite movies "Ran" (feudal japan war movie) the opening has the warlord hunt down and kill an old pig. But then go on to explain they will not eat it because it's hide is old and tough. It works perfectly into the theme of the movie and the character. It's easily comprehensible without being gratuitous, you see them hunting with arrows and then jumps to a quick shot cut to the (pre prop) dead pig.

No reason in the world to real animals and butcher them. Not even sure you can get away with it now thanks to animal rights groups.

#28 Posted by KingsofQueens (2176 posts) -

I prefer: When We Were Soldiers (I'm surprise not mentioned), Deer Hunter and Full Metal Jacket

Didn't like the "anti-war message" and the "inner turmoil" between Barnes and Elias and between the platoons they represented in Platoon. Ok movie.

Apocalypse Now, another good movie, but it was too much "fantasy-Adventure" in it. Go kill murderous psycho Kurtz! Eh....ok. Nice quotes in the film, though, as well cinematography.

#29 Posted by Iszdope (9679 posts) -

1. Make love not war.

Full. Metal. Jacket.

#30 Edited by Iszdope (9679 posts) -

Love.

Metal.

#31 Posted by sukraj (22177 posts) -

Platoon

#32 Edited by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

@KingsofQueens said:

I prefer: When We Were Soldiers (I'm surprise not mentioned), Deer Hunter and Full Metal Jacket

Didn't like the "anti-war message" and the "inner turmoil" between Barnes and Elias and between the platoons they represented in Platoon. Ok movie.

Apocalypse Now, another good movie, but it was too much "fantasy-Adventure" in it. Go kill murderous psycho Kurtz! Eh....ok. Nice quotes in the film, though, as well cinematography.

We Were Soldiers isn't really the same style of movie. Apoc, FMJ, Platoon and Hunter are all much more psychological movies, all of them are more of a psychological thriller in a war backdrop or something. The most "war-movie" of the bunch is Platoon and even that mostly concentrates on soldiers psychology. Also all of them are to a great degree openly satirical and/or critical of war.

We Were Soldiers is more along the lines of Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line etc., a more straight forward war movie that tries to realistically depict a war situation and how the soldiers react/fight. They depict war in a very objective manner, they don't really do FMJ's satire, Apoc's atmosphere and surrealism, Platoon's depiction of morality in desperate situations and The Deer Hunter's representation of war's consequences on "regular" people.

#33 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:

@LoG-Sacrament said:

@KHAndAnime said:
@Aljosa23 said:

@KHAndAnime said:

Apocalypse Now felt pretentious at times

lollllllllllllllll

what does this even mean, man?

Graduate high school and you'll find out breh

@sammyjenkis898 said:

Apocalypse Now isn't pretentious. It's hipster trash.

Nothing hipster about it in the least.

Intercutting a random ox being butchered on film, for film, with the assassination of Col Kurtz, is practically defining pretentiousness.

eh, i think the ox and vietnam comparisons have proven to be fairly accurate over the years.

No idea what you're talking about. I have never heard of an ox being compared to Vietnam once in my life.

the ritual killing of the ox, the killing of kurtz, and vietnam are all being compared through the editing and dialogue. coppola is saying that vietnam wasn't an act of self defense (we lost vietnam and communism eventually stopped spreading anyway) or for any moral high ground. he reflected the belief at the time that the war was just this dark ecstatic period we build up to. i can understand his sentiment after the string of wars america was in leading up to vietnam.

I never disagreed with the symbolism of ritualistic killing - I simply think the way that it's done is pretentious. It's forced symbolism and it goes over 99% of the audience's head. Aside from that, killing animals for film is another mark of pretentiousness.

how do you feel it is forced? i mean, that was just my interpretation and there are others that feel the scene contrasts rather than compares the ox and the kurtz sequences.

also, what is your definition of pretentious? it seems like it's not the common one. still, if you don't like animals being killed on screen then fair enough.

#34 Edited by KingsofQueens (2176 posts) -

@chaplainDMK said:

@KingsofQueens said:

I prefer: When We Were Soldiers (I'm surprise not mentioned), Deer Hunter and Full Metal Jacket

Didn't like the "anti-war message" and the "inner turmoil" between Barnes and Elias and between the platoons they represented in Platoon. Ok movie.

Apocalypse Now, another good movie, but it was too much "fantasy-Adventure" in it. Go kill murderous psycho Kurtz! Eh....ok. Nice quotes in the film, though, as well cinematography.

We Were Soldiers isn't really the same style of movie. Apoc, FMJ, Platoon and Hunter are all much more psychological movies, all of them are more of a psychological thriller in a war backdrop or something. The most "war-movie" of the bunch is Platoon and even that mostly concentrates on soldiers psychology. Also all of them are to a great degree openly satirical and/or critical of war.

We Were Soldiers is more along the lines of Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line etc., a more straight forward war movie that tries to realistically depict a war situation and how the soldiers react/fight. They depict war in a very objective manner, they don't really do FMJ's satire, Apoc's atmosphere and surrealism, Platoon's depiction of morality in desperate situations and The Deer Hunter's representation of war's consequences on "regular" people.

You NEVER mentioned PSYCHOLOGICAL. You simply stated "'Nam bunch".

And We Were Soldiers (or war movies in general), do have psychological themes in them, whether an audience picks it up or not. From shell shock violence to the brutality of war, which are all part of war films, almost all characters in war films have a reaction to war, both psychological and trauma. If you watch Saving Private Ryan, in the Omaha beach scene, Hanks' hands begin to shiver, that's a pure case of Post Traumatic Stress and Dehydration. I know, because my grandfather (RIP), suffered through all that when he was in Italy and post war.

Even in The Thin Red Line, a film I haven't seen since 1999, have a sort of psychological theme, where Malick includes numerous "dream-like" scenes.

#35 Edited by GamingTitan (520 posts) -

#36 Edited by Shottayouth13- (6755 posts) -

1. Full Metal Jacket

2. Platoon

3. Apocalypse Now

Never seen Deer Hunter.

#37 Edited by Renevent42 (5136 posts) -

Full Metal Jacket

Platoon

Born of the Fourth of July

Apocalypse Now

Deer Hunter

Full Metal Jacket - By far my favorite. As a former SGT and veteran (Afghanistan) this movie really nails it as a military focused on not only the horrors of war, but the life of soldier from boot camp to being thrusted into a conflict zone with your brothers-in-arms. The basic training scene, IMO, is damn near of the finest sequences in motion picture history. I can (and have) watch this movie over and over again.

Platoon - My 2nd favorite, and does a better job showing the emotional and moral toll of both war and the humans involved (even on the same "side"). I've watched this one a bunch too.

Born of the Fourth of July - Obviously wasn't a choice but always loved this movie. It's more of a redemption story than a true war movie, but I think it has a lot of the same elements as the other choices and is an exceptional picture.

Apocalypse Now - I tend to agree with some of the other folks in the thread regarding this one...I don't want to call it pretentious but it's pretty far out there. It's a good story, but it's really weird and doesn't resonate with me like the others. I'd say Apocalypse Now is like an extremely violent acid trip while going through Pirates of the Caribbean (the Disney ride) Vietnam style.

Deer Hunter - Weakest of all of them IMO, roulette scene is awesome of course though.

#38 Posted by coasterguy65 (5883 posts) -

Of the ones listed:

  1. Platoon without a doubt. So much talent in that movie. Dafoe, Berenger, Whitaker, David, Sheen, Depp, McGinley and others.
  2. Full Metal Jacket
  3. Apocalypse Now
  4. Deer Hunter

I would also add:

  1. Hamburger Hill
  2. Bat21
  3. Casualties of War
  4. We Were Soldiers

#39 Posted by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

@chaplainDMK said:

@KingsofQueens said:

I prefer: When We Were Soldiers (I'm surprise not mentioned), Deer Hunter and Full Metal Jacket

Didn't like the "anti-war message" and the "inner turmoil" between Barnes and Elias and between the platoons they represented in Platoon. Ok movie.

Apocalypse Now, another good movie, but it was too much "fantasy-Adventure" in it. Go kill murderous psycho Kurtz! Eh....ok. Nice quotes in the film, though, as well cinematography.

We Were Soldiers isn't really the same style of movie. Apoc, FMJ, Platoon and Hunter are all much more psychological movies, all of them are more of a psychological thriller in a war backdrop or something. The most "war-movie" of the bunch is Platoon and even that mostly concentrates on soldiers psychology. Also all of them are to a great degree openly satirical and/or critical of war.

We Were Soldiers is more along the lines of Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line etc., a more straight forward war movie that tries to realistically depict a war situation and how the soldiers react/fight. They depict war in a very objective manner, they don't really do FMJ's satire, Apoc's atmosphere and surrealism, Platoon's depiction of morality in desperate situations and The Deer Hunter's representation of war's consequences on "regular" people.

You NEVER mentioned PSYCHOLOGICAL. You simply stated "'Nam bunch".

And We Were Soldiers (or war movies in general), do have psychological themes in them, whether an audience picks it up or not. From shell shock violence to the brutality of war, which are all part of war films, almost all characters in war films have a reaction to war, both psychological and trauma. If you watch Saving Private Ryan, in the Omaha beach scene, Hanks' hands begin to shiver, that's a pure case of Post Traumatic Stress and Dehydration. I know, because my grandfather (RIP), suffered through all that when he was in Italy and post war.

Even in The Thin Red Line, a film I haven't seen since 1999, have a sort of psychological theme, where Malick includes numerous "dream-like" scenes.

I pointed out why i didn't include them.

And like I said, We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line present wars effects pretty objectively, it shows you how it looks like in a war situation. Platoon, FMJ, Apoc and The Deer Hunter use war as a backdrop, they aren't really war movies as much as movies set in a war scenario. I mean look at the combat in all of these movies, it's over the top, dramatic, chaotic and assaulting for the senses. Even Platoon is very unrealistic in it's combat scenes and just uses them as a backdrop to further character development. By psychological I didn't mean that they depict PTSD or something, I meant it as how psychological thrillers are defined: they concentrate on the emotional state of the characters, their instability, moral ambiguity, dissolving reality and relationships between basically pathological characters.

Don't know if I'm really making sense here, basically WWS, SPR and TTRL emphasize authentic portrayal of combat and it's effects on people while Platoon, FMJ, Apoc and Hunter emphasize how people act in a war situation in a very surrealistic way. They concentrate on satire, absurdity and critical depiction of war.

#40 Edited by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament said:

how do you feel it is forced? i mean, that was just my interpretation and there are others that feel the scene contrasts rather than compares the ox and the kurtz sequences.

also, what is your definition of pretentious? it seems like it's not the common one. still, if you don't like animals being killed on screen then fair enough.

"characterized by assumption of dignity or importance"

Shoving symbolism, that is 100% unrelated to the plot (killing of the ox), in the audience's face = pretentious. The majority of movie-goers aren't movie analysts, they aren't searching for symbolism in their movie going experience. If the Ox were relevant to the plot in any way, then it would be less pretentious, but there just so happens to be a ceremonial slaughter of an animal when he kills Kurtz - so it comes across as obtuse. I couldn't care less about the killing of animals - I eat them. Killing a living being for a film is pretentious. If you don't understand why, I can explain it more in depth - though I feel like this should be fairly obvious where I'm coming from.

#41 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament said:

how do you feel it is forced? i mean, that was just my interpretation and there are others that feel the scene contrasts rather than compares the ox and the kurtz sequences.

also, what is your definition of pretentious? it seems like it's not the common one. still, if you don't like animals being killed on screen then fair enough.

"characterized by assumption of dignity or importance"

Shoving symbolism, that is 100% unrelated to the plot (killing of the ox), in the audience's face = pretentious. The majority of movie-goers aren't movie analysts, they aren't searching for symbolism in their movie going experience. If the Ox were relevant to the plot in any way, then it would be less pretentious, but there just so happens to be a ceremonial slaughter of an animal when he kills Kurtz - so it comes across as obtuse. I couldn't care less about the killing of animals - I eat them. Killing a living being for a film is pretentious. If you don't understand why, I can explain it more in depth - though I feel like this should be fairly obvious where I'm coming from.

the movie isn't about plot so whether or not a sequence has anything to do with it is irrelevant. it's not a thriller; apocalypse now is a series of horrific scenes strung together only by a trip down a river. the ox is relevant to the themes of the movie so it's in there. and by your standard, symbolism could never be part of the plot anyway if the ox isn't.

#42 Posted by ChiefvsGordon (1085 posts) -

I've never seen the deer hunter. But of the other 3 Full Metal Jacket is my favorite. My favorite war/military movie is Saving Private Ryan though.

#43 Edited by KHAndAnime (13462 posts) -

@chaplainDMK said:

Dunno, I wouldn't call that pretentious. I mean if movie symbolism is pretentious than what can you really even do at the end.

Symbolism should be tied into a movie and relevant to the plot.

Random ox slaying is not relevant to the plot. It's symbolism for the sake of symbolism - to make itself seem deeper for the sake of seeming deeper.

For something to not be pretentious, it can be symbolic, but not just for the sake of having symbolism. You can have symbolism without it being completely random and seemingly irrelevant - in fact, that's the way symbolism is usually done.

@LoG-Sacrament said:

"characterized by assumption of dignity or importance"

Shoving symbolism, that is 100% unrelated to the plot (killing of the ox), in the audience's face = pretentious. The majority of movie-goers aren't movie analysts, they aren't searching for symbolism in their movie going experience. If the Ox were relevant to the plot in any way, then it would be less pretentious, but there just so happens to be a ceremonial slaughter of an animal when he kills Kurtz - so it comes across as obtuse. I couldn't care less about the killing of animals - I eat them. Killing a living being for a film is pretentious. If you don't understand why, I can explain it more in depth - though I feel like this should be fairly obvious where I'm coming from.

the movie isn't about plot so whether or not a sequence has anything to do with it is irrelevant. it's not a thriller; apocalypse now is a series of horrific scenes strung together only by a trip down a river. the ox is relevant to the themes of the movie so it's in there. and by your standard, symbolism could never be part of the plot anyway if the ox isn't.

There is loads of symbolism tied to the plot in Apocalypse Now. For example, the helicopter scene with the music. It's symbolic, exciting, and actually is relevant to the plot of the movie - it's not symbolism just for the sake of having symbolism. See the difference between that and the ritual ox killing?

A movie can't attempt to be art just for the sake of art - it has to have a little bit of everything for everyone to keep it grounded. Begotten, for example, is an extremely pretentious film because it's attempting art just for the sake, with no entertainment value for the common viewer. For something to NOT be pretentious, it has to attempt to be appealing on more than just the grounds of its artistic factor.

I'm not saying Apocalypse Now is a pretentious movie - I'm simply saying it's an amazing movie with some pretentious moments. Notice the other 3 movies talked about in this thread contain loads of symbolism without actually focusing on the symbolism themselves?

#44 Edited by chaplainDMK (6751 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

@chaplainDMK said:

Dunno, I wouldn't call that pretentious. I mean if movie symbolism is pretentious than what can you really even do at the end.

Symbolism should be tied into a movie and relevant to the plot.

Random ox slaying is not relevant to the plot. It's symbolism for the sake of symbolism - to make itself seem deeper for the sake of seeming deeper.

For something to not be pretentious, it can be symbolic, but not just for the sake of having symbolism. You can have symbolism without it being completely random and seemingly irrelevant - in fact, that's the way symbolism is usually done.

But it's not "just a random ox slaying". The Ox is given to the tribesmen by Kurtz as he prepares for his execution. In a way you can connect that Kurtz is sacrificing himself for the good of these people, so the US would leave them alone. Kurtz was specifically targeted for an assassination by the US, so he really has no hope of surviving and he is complacent with that. So he just let's Willard kill him without resisting. The Ox is in a similar way given to the people by Kurtz so they have something to eat. You can also see the tribe also understands all of this as they let Willard go again without resisting.

Basically Kurtz sacrifices himself for the good of the tribe the same as the Ox is slayed and eaten for the good of the tribe. It emphasizes the vague morality of the entire movie even more as Willard basically traveled all the way here to kill a man who really has nothing to do with the war, basically portraying that the war and it's insanity will catch up with you (which I think is why Kurtz's dying words are "the horror, the horror"). This also contrasts with the fact that at the start of the movie you think Kurtz is the the loon, running away with some tribes people, but through the movie you see everyone else is just as insane. And again, this is where the Ox killing can come in, as we might see it as completely insane, but in reality it was just a local tribe slaughtering an Ox to eat. Even after everything the whole movie shows us, all the killing, the fear, the horrific imagery, at the end of the day we are still the most shocked by the fact that a bull is killed to be eaten - likey a few hours after eating meat ourselves.

That's at least how I interpreted it.

#45 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15922 posts) -

BAT-21 and Air America? Forrest Gump?

My dad went there and saw his share of action. Yet, he was never close to being a psycho as in those movies.

#46 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

@chaplainDMK said:

Dunno, I wouldn't call that pretentious. I mean if movie symbolism is pretentious than what can you really even do at the end.

Symbolism should be tied into a movie and relevant to the plot.

Random ox slaying is not relevant to the plot. It's symbolism for the sake of symbolism - to make itself seem deeper for the sake of seeming deeper.

For something to not be pretentious, it can be symbolic, but not just for the sake of having symbolism. You can have symbolism without it being completely random and seemingly irrelevant - in fact, that's the way symbolism is usually done.

@LoG-Sacrament said:

"characterized by assumption of dignity or importance"

Shoving symbolism, that is 100% unrelated to the plot (killing of the ox), in the audience's face = pretentious. The majority of movie-goers aren't movie analysts, they aren't searching for symbolism in their movie going experience. If the Ox were relevant to the plot in any way, then it would be less pretentious, but there just so happens to be a ceremonial slaughter of an animal when he kills Kurtz - so it comes across as obtuse. I couldn't care less about the killing of animals - I eat them. Killing a living being for a film is pretentious. If you don't understand why, I can explain it more in depth - though I feel like this should be fairly obvious where I'm coming from.

the movie isn't about plot so whether or not a sequence has anything to do with it is irrelevant. it's not a thriller; apocalypse now is a series of horrific scenes strung together only by a trip down a river. the ox is relevant to the themes of the movie so it's in there. and by your standard, symbolism could never be part of the plot anyway if the ox isn't.

There is loads of symbolism tied to the plot in Apocalypse Now. For example, the helicopter scene with the music. It's symbolic, exciting, and actually is relevant to the plot of the movie - it's not symbolism just for the sake of having symbolism. See the difference between that and the ritual ox killing?

A movie can't attempt to be art just for the sake of art - it has to have a little bit of everything for everyone to keep it grounded. Begotten, for example, is an extremely pretentious film because it's attempting art just for the sake, with no entertainment value for the common viewer. For something to NOT be pretentious, it has to attempt to be appealing on more than just the grounds of its artistic factor.

I'm not saying Apocalypse Now is a pretentious movie - I'm simply saying it's an amazing movie with some pretentious moments. Notice the other 3 movies talked about in this thread contain loads of symbolism without actually focusing on the symbolism themselves?

the helicopter scene could be cut from the movie before the ox scene could. if they never stopped with that unit, the central conflict would be largely intact. that central conflict is killing kurtz and the ox sacrifice enriches that moment.

the helicopter scene is gorgeous in its horror and the choice of wagner evokes the imperialism of the nazis who embraced the german composer. of course, this conversation would be a lot more productive if you offered your own analysis of the scenes you're talking about rather than simply calling them "pretentious" or "not pretentious." i agree with you that it is an amazing movie and a big part of the reason why is because coppola assumed that he had our attention and we would be willing to do some of our own reflection. i'd much rather watch that kind of movie than one that cynically assumes everybody won't get it.

#47 Edited by Ozias (15 posts) -
#48 Posted by Master_Live (14206 posts) -
  • Full Metal Jacket: As it has been alluded before in this thread I think the first half was exceptional, second not so much.
  • Apocalypse Now: I liked the whole further into the jungle/madness theme.
  • The Deer Hunter: Fine movie, roulette scene is heart breaking but I couldn't help being taken out of the scene by De Niro's crying, it seems awkward. Same thing happened to me in Goodfellas when Tommy gets wacked.
  • Platton: Saw it a long time ago, kind of forgettable. The one thing I remember noticing at the time which stuck with me was the overuse of this. By the end I was just basically laughing trying to predict when the song would re-appear.
#49 Posted by Kperron45 (6 posts) -

1. Platoon

2. Full metal jacket

3. Deer hunter

4. Apocalypse now

Platoon was put together really well and was just a great movie. Full metal jackets basic training scene made the movie, and so did R Lee Ermey, but afterwards there tended to be a lot of sitting around. The deer hunters Vietnam scenes were intense and great but the wedding scene is what sort of made me lose interest. Lastly I believe that apocalypse now was a very overrated movie. It was just boring for me and I didn't like the plot of going to kill Marlin Brando, spoiler alert. But that is just my opinion

#50 Posted by SaintLeonidas (26055 posts) -
  1. The Deer Hunter
  2. Apocalypse Now
  3. Full Metal Jacket
  4. Platoon