Full Metal Jacket Diary is a media-enhanced journal created from notes and photos that actor Matthew Modine kept while playing the role of Private Joker on the set of Full Metal Jacket as it was filmed.
Modine was encouraged by director Stanley Kubrick to keep a record of his experience, taking photos and keeping a journal. In 2005, Modine published a book, and from the book, came the Full Metal Jacket Diary app, which has been re-imagined as an interactive, audiovisual experience.
I’m a fan of Full Metal Jacket, which I’ve seen several times, so I was excited to get an in-depth look at the movie and the man behind some of the film’s best lines. It’s brilliant that Modine plays a journalist in the movie and was also instructed to document the entire filming experience.
Full Metal Jacket Diary has a great layout, along with impressive graphics, but the real gem here is the content. The app is organized into sections, including Private Life, Vietnam, Boot Camp, On Leave, and Bootcamp Redux.
Each section has both text and photos, and let me tell you, this is a great read. While you can read the content yourself, there’s also an option to have Matthew Modine narrate everything while you view the photos that are associated with each chapter, which will be displayed automatically.
I thoroughly preferred listening to the narration, and it was fascinating to hear about Modine’s early life, but my favorite section of the app was the Boot Camp part. The boot camp scenes in the movie are some of my favorite, especially whenever R. Lee Ermey is involved.
Modine goes into detail about R. Lee Ermey, and it was fascinating to find details about his breath and what it was like to be slapped by him for two days straight. There are also details on the intense scenes that Modine filmed with Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Private Pyle.
A lot of these sections are organized into a journal format, so you get a play by play of what was happening as each scene was filmed. There are so many details about every person and every scene in the movie that you can’t help but be amazed and enthralled with the depth of the content.
I’d also like to mention the photos. This app contains hundreds of never before seen photos, each of which is associated with different passages in the journal. It’s meticulously organized and each photo comes with a caption explaining it. You can double tap to see more photos in full screen, and you can even tweet your favorites.
It’s all very slick. I’ve read quite a few of these interactive books on the iPad, and Full Metal Jacket Diary is definitely one of the best that I’ve checked out. The app is brilliantly put together and absolutely teeming with content, making it more than worth the purchase price.
I will warn that the app is on the large side with all of the audio narration and the photos. It’s 1.35GB and will take quite some time to download, but the wait is worth it.
If you are a fan of Full Metal Jacket, this is a must have app. Veteran’s Day is also the perfect day to download the app, because it is currently on sale. The app normally retails for $14.99, but you can get it today for just $4.99.