After a couple week absence, I’m back with the Sunday Showdown: The American Film Institute’s Top 100 vs. the Internet Movie Database’s Top 100. This week we’re at #85: AFI’s A Night at the Opera vs. IMDb’s Full Metal Jacket.
Everybody might want to mark this day on their calendar. I actually enjoyed a Stanley Kubrick film. Okay, maybe “enjoy” is too strong a word. But I was very pleasantly surprised by Full Metal Jacket.
I liked it better than The Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera . I am not a Marx Bros fan, and A Night at the Opera is not nearly as good Duck Soup anyway.
But moreover, to compare apples to apples, I enjoyed Full Metal Jacket more than last the last comparison, #86’s Platoon. I had never really watched either of them before – too young when they came out in the movie theater in the mid-80s, too apathetic all the years after. War movies aren’t my favorite.
I liked Platoon, but was mildly irritated that the real fighting and betrayal was between the U.S. soldiers. (Although I get it: that was the point… we are our own enemy). But I thought the story was fine, acting was fine, everything was fine.
But there was nothing even close to Vincent D’Onofrio going absolutely nuts like he did in Full Metal Jacket. It was so painful to watch but impossible to turn away. Plus Adam Baldwin (not a Baldwin brother, for those of you not in the know) was in it, looking exactly the same as he did in Firefly – my Jayne hasn’t changed much over 20 years.
Kubrick makes it onto the lists seven times – more than any other director (Spielberg and Chris Nolan both come close with five apiece). So I guess I might as well make my peace with him.
So the score stands at AFI – 11; IMDb – 5.
Next week is Easy Rider (AFI) v. The Green Mile (IMDb). Believe it or not, haven’t seen either.