Full Metal Jacket/ Benji the Hunted/ Spaceballs/ Roxanne (1987)

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Comments (32)

Jason (4 years ago)
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Thanks! Um, do you have anymore 1987 episodes?
ebertfan788 (6 years ago)
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Roger: "You should be ashamed of yourself."

Gene: "No, I’m not."

Lol, classic argument!
theaisleseatcom (6 years ago)
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Jason, I don’t think I have a lot more from 1987. I do have some from 88 and many after that, and I will be uploading more in the next few weeks.
Julian McBam (6 years ago)
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Ah, the classic Full Metal Jacket review. Hilarious.
TheRedBaron1985 (6 years ago)
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Ah, yes the famous battle episode between "Full Metal Jacket" and "Benji, the Hunted"! Even though, I really love both of these films. My favorite episode and in high quality too!

Also, "Spaceballs" is one of my favorites from comic legend, Mel Brooks and "Roxanne" was stunningly good and funny with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah.

clem0822 (6 years ago)
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This was a classic! "Roger, look at your thumb over the weekend", very funny line by Gene. Whom for the record, i agree with i thought Full Metal Jacket was quite brilliant. It was great television, and another example of the passion these two men had for film. Great stuff as always, please keep them coming. Bravo theaisleseat.com thank you so much.
theaisleseatcom (6 years ago)
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Glad you guys are enjoying it! This one was a real pain to transfer. My old VHS tape had tracking issues, so I needed to get an additional VCR in which liked the tape better. After I transferred it to DVD, for whatever reason, the disc structure wouldnt convert the entire episode...so I had to make a small MPEG1 transfer off the DVD itself so I could upload it here. Ugh! I probably wouldnt have done it for any other episode, but this one was a special one obviously. :)
SiskelLives (6 years ago)
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Probably the best "episode" of Siskel & Ebert, ever!

Beware of Benji, the Hunted!
AndersS (6 years ago)
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A great, classic clip.
One thing though: you write in your description that Gene should be ashamed of how he reviews FMJ against other movies. Shouldn’t that say Roger, instead of Gene? Roger is the one who’s incapable of judging the movie on its own merits, and who comes across as being biased against it for no good reason.
theaisleseatcom (4 years ago)
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Roger simply didn’t like the film -- so did a lot of people who felt it was a major disappointment at the time of its release given Kubrick’s body of work. Even now, I don’t think the film is a classic -- some people feel that way, but certainly not the overall critical consensus.

Where Gene went crazy was how he brought in BENJI THE HUNTED and then comparing it to FULL METAL JACKET. That is the cardinal sin of film reviewing, because as Roger says you need to judge each film on its merits. That’s how most film criticism functions and Gene kind of went off the deep end there.

Let’s put it this way: there aren’t a lot of critics who feel FMJ is as good as Gene felt it was. The movie he saw is the one others were hoping to see, but didn’t.
AndersS (6 years ago)
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I don’t know about the critical consensus. Certainly, critics over here (Sweden) tend to laud the film as one of Kubrick’s best, and the Top Critics at Rotten Tomatoes all think highly of it, with one notable exception.

I guess that I can’t say that Gene’s completely innocent in light of the Benji incident. If anything, this is definitely one of the episodes that perhaps doesn’t show them from their best side, but that really brings home how much like brothers they really were.
theaisleseatcom (6 years ago)
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Anders, all fair points, though Rotten Tomatoes for me is a seriously misleading indicator of how good a film actually is -- BRIDESMAIDS is at 89% "fresh", but it’s not exactly a cinematic masterwork on any level, lol.

When FMJ was released initially in the US, there were some mixed reactions along with critical praise. Roger was certainly not the only one who felt as they did. It never reached the critical or commercial popularity of PLATOON, which won numerous Oscars, film critic awards and was a breakthrough smash. FMJ didn’t come close to matching it and I think was viewed as "too little too late" and especially given Kubrick’s standards, whether that was fair or not.

Either way, I think it’s a classic episode!
AndersS (6 years ago)
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Yes, the percentage alone is perhaps not enough to go on. Though Vincent Canby, for instance, did seem to consider it on par with Kubrick’s earlier work.

That’s fascinating. Like I said earlier, I’m too young to recall it
ever having been viewed as anything but a classic. And the comparison with Platoon was definitely unfair.

Yes, certainly a classic episode. And at least they were mature enough to desist from starting up with the "baldie" and the "fatty" jokes :)
gluserty (6 years ago)
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Great episode; I also enjoyed the "Adventures In Babysitting" ad!
jflower (6 years ago)
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Siskel should be ashamed of trying to needle Ebert for giving thumbs down to Full Metal Jacket by comparing it to Beni the Hunted
DistingFlyer (5 years ago)
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I don’t know that Ebert has much ground from which to lord over Siskel on this one if you look at why he’s giving Full Metal Jacket a negative review.
starwarsjoker (5 years ago)
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Full Metal Jacket, as a movie, is a near-masterpiece. It’s not on the level of Dr. Strangelove, but it’s still a great film.
firstmagnitude (5 years ago)
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I had problems with the look of the film FMJ. The set and the lighting looked very sparse and barren. Vietnam is heavily vegetated and very humid. Filming the Vietnam scenes in England was silly!
crheath (3 years ago)
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The one thing I always liked about Siskel was he gave his own opinion. All thru FMJ, he’s saying "I think..." and "to me ..." "I have never felt a kill quite like that". Ebert on the other hand kept acting like his opinion was fact.
ryan49er (5 years ago)
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Always have loved reading the comments from viewers praising either one or both if they liked a movie that was personally one of their favs....but when one disagrees about a movie, that’s when the viewer says..."this critic doesn’t know how to critique movies!!!"
Panorama1981 (5 years ago)
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I don’t think it’s on the site but they had a similar quarrel about Double Dragon. Roger said kids would like it, Gene said it’s garbage. Gene was funny by saying "Hey kids, Uncle Roger said the movie is trash but you’ll like it"
trilaanus (2 years ago)
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Wow wow wow, what a show, what a show, what an amazingly fun duo to watch and listen to. And the banter, whether complimentary or insulting, some of the greatest interplay between two or more people of all time.
hoitoider (2 years ago)
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It’s interesting how Roger said ’Full Metal Jacket’ wouldn’t hold up over time. I remember seeing it in 2004 during the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq and thought it held up brilliantly.
Carl (2 years ago)
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To me, that was the line that made Ebert’s voice on this matter a little too self-assured. Assuming upon arrival that a Kubrick film won’t hold up over time - when surely it was known in 1987 that every single one of his movies were all greeted with mixed reviews when they arrive only to be considered masterpieces some 10 years later - is seriously dangerous and (I’d say) even a little dim-witted. Then again, Ebert’s occasional dimness is what makes him kind of cute at times, specially paired against the sly, philosophy major Siskel.
Ninjacat (4 years ago)
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Pretty common cause for their disagreements. Siskel doesn’t rate things relative to audience expectations, and Ebert does. I’ve seen that happen before, but this is one of the funniest examples.
Packman1294 (4 years ago)
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Filming Full Metal Jacket in England may seem silly, but Kubrick wouldn’t set foot on an airplane for the last 30 years or so of his life. Therefore his choices were pretty limited. With that in mind, and the fact that most of it takes place in a city, it really doesn’t bother me too much....even the Parris Island scenes that plainly show British traffic signs.
swatch71 (3 years ago)
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Full Metal Jacket has a much stronger first half than second. Once they get to Vietenam, while the film still has striking images and thoughts, it gets far too diffuse.

Roxanne is one of the most quotable films ever, a great comedy character study. And Spaceballs just hits one of my funny bones (the one that likes quick, sometimes obvious, Airplane!-style humor) really well, even if it is about 7-8 years too late.
TURKEYSANDWICH (2 years ago)
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I’ve never thought that the title Benji: The Hunted is such a bad title, although much like their take on the title "Back to the Future" since the title has always been part of my conciousness since I was a little kid, it just sounds like a normal to me.
ragger07 (2 years ago)
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A great episode - It’s the first time I’ve seen them (especially Roger) genuinely angry at each other. But, as usual, it’s a well-reasoned, articulate argument that shows their passion over film. You never see that now.
JediJones (2 years ago)
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Siskel was so competitive that you can tell he actually loved it when Ebert disagreed with him on something where he felt Ebert would be "proven wrong." He loved the opportunity kick Ebert when he was down.

I think Ebert was definitely wrong about FMJ not being remembered in 30 years. On IMDB, FMJ has a higher rating than Platoon and also received many more votes.
JediJones (2 years ago)
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Spaceballs is another movie where the timing was an issue. 1987 and 1988 were probably the lowest point in Star Wars’ popularity since the first movie’s release. When 3 years passed after Jedi and another movie didn’t come out in the series, people psychologically felt like it was a thing of the past. The childrens’ Ewoks and Droids cartoons ended in 1986. But around 1989 the movies finally came out on low-priced VHS, and the nostalgia for them and their popularity began to build steadily throughout the ’90s. Similarly, Spaceballs has far more votes and a higher IMDB rating than Roxanne.
JediJones (2 years ago)
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Benji the Hunted is, of course, almost completely forgotten. It’s very strange how the Benji franchise has remained dead for so long (albeit with one attempted movie made in 2004). I would think someone would try to revive it at least as a TV show.

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theaisleseatcom
6 years ago
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This is one of the classic Siskel and Ebert programs, with Gene and Roger getting into a heated debate over FULL METAL JACKET thats carried over into their BENJI THE HUNTED review. Also includes...

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