5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Masterpiece That Doesnt Loose Its Sting!
Most of the older war films, like with John Wayne, loose their sting after a couple of decades. It doesnt seem the case with Platoon. The movie still makes you feel the effects of the Vietnam war as you cringe and end up with shell shock. Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July, JFK) takes what he seen in Vietnam and implies it into a two hour, gritty, guts and glory...
Published on Jun 26 2002 by Jason
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars crap blu ray
if i knew that this Blu ray copy of platoon was printed over seas i never would have order it the picture is chopy and there is no special fetures not worth 40 dollars very disapointed amazon
Published on Jan 31 2011 by logan
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't give 5 stars often,
I never served in war, so how real Stone's depiction of the Vietnam war is I can't say. However, comments in the commentaries (where else?) indicate that though most vets might quibble with minor details, they give high marks to the authenticity and verisimilitude. It is pretty scary when you are 6 feet in front of an enemy bunker but do not see it.
As with all Oliver Stone movies, there is some blur between fact and fiction, but he was in Vietnam, so I can only assume he knows what he is talking about. Made on a budget of only 6 million, Stone manages to lead his platoon of actors through an ensemble performance that would capture oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Editing, and Sound, plus nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Other unknown or rising stars (including Johny Depp, John C. McGinley, Kevin Dillon, Mark Moses) were excellent as well.
Some unforgettable images and scenes, least of which is the one on the DVD cover (which was the main movie poster, too). In Stone's commentary, he says he might have "gotten a little operatic" with Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" in this scene. I beg to differ - this is the best music/visual combo in film, although some of "Apocalypse, Now" is close. This piece of music has been used in tons of films, but never more emotionally than here.
Some might say the ending narration is a bit sappy - but I think it made the film - and certainly it is an honest evaluation of an unreal situation by a young kid who really has seen it all.
Besides a 5-star movie, there are two insightful commentaries (Stone, and technical adviser Dale Dye), and good behind-the-scenes series of cast comments.
3.0 out of 5 stars standing the test of time...?,
On the other hand, i think what the film lacks in those categories it makes up for amply with the performances of Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger as the grizzled, warring Sergeants who have seen it all before. The direction from Oliver Stone is also first rate, as ever, as he takes us into the jungle, through the mud and bugs and into the panic, confusion and desperation of the frenetic war scenes.
Yes, at times, the monologues from Sheen's character are a little irritating and, no, the story isn't complex, or particularly well constructed, but what Platoon lacks in depth, it compensates for with atmosphere (by which i mean tension and not all-out action scenes).
On a broader note, I suppose the whole concept of the war movie has become somewhat cliched in recent years also. The golden oldies saw war as a setting for heroes and tales of miraculous deeds, with the only recent example springing to mind being Memphis Belle. Of late, we have had to get used to the view that all wars are bad, fought for the wrong reasons and that a war movie must be a sidewards protest at the whole event. Black Hawk Down et al, have taken the message out of Platoon and made it standard. They say the highest form of flattery is imitation, but it is also true that the original then loses some of its edge, loses that uniqueness.
Platoon is a great movie, but all ground-breaking films grow up into btroken ground and Platoon is not the exception any longer, rather it has become the rule.
4.0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that, watched it again,
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Movie About the Vietnam War,
This review is from: Platoon (VHS Tape)Director Oliver Stone has assembled an all-star cast for this fine film about the life of an Army platoon in the Vietnam war. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris Taylor, a privleged college drop-out who volunteers for infantry duty in Vietnam. He believes that its unfair for the poor boys to be fighting the war while the rich get to stay at home. Once in Vietnam, he is assigned to a platoon commanded by Sgt. Barnes, played magnificently by Tom Berenger. Barnes is a hard-drinking, hard-fighting soldier who, according to the film, had been shot seven times and survived. Barnes' only thought is to destroy the elusive Viet Cong. Also in the platoon is another sergeant, Sgt. Elias, played by Willem Dafoe. Elias is the polar opposite of Barnes. He has grown tired of the war after several tours of duty, but he still believes in the fighting man himself.
What occurs throughout the movie can only be described as a "civil war". Half of the men side with Barnes and his gung-ho attitude, while the rest side with Elias and his compassionate style. The friction between Barnes and Elias reaches a boiling point when the group burns down a suspected V.C. village. Elias believes that Barnes acted too quickly and threatens to report him to the C.O. A fear begins to exist for Taylor and the rest of the platoon from both outside and inside.
The fighting in the movie is very realistic and graphic, while the army life in general is accurately portrayed. The fire fight at the end of the movie between the Americans and the V.C. is especially well-done.
I've seen this movie several times, and I enjoy it each time I see it. The acting is excellent, and the realism is first-rate. Berenger and Dafoe were both nominated for Academy Awards for their fine performances, while the movie itself won for Best Picture. Other movies released during the same time (Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill) were good, but Platoon stands out as the best in my opinion. Watch and feel the power of Platoon; a gripping film about a war we may not want to remember, but one we must never forget.
5.0 out of 5 stars What an incredible movie!,
As Chris fights his battles and serves his country, he is constantly faced with the consequenses of his decisions. Some good, some not. He grows as a person from the naive, barely out of high school, teenager to a mature and understanding young man.
This brilliantly made film is the pit of Stone's acheivements. It won the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year in 1987, as well as the Oscar for the Best Director. If you like movies such as Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fouth of July, The Deer Hunter, or even Forest Gump or Saving Private Ryan then I highly reccomend Platoon to you. It's an extrordanary film that definatly is the best depiction of war that I have ever seen. Also starring Johnny Depp.
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Film, But...,
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie, solid DVD,
What makes this movie work is that it avoids the trap of being self-indulgent and does not pontificate. You aren't being beat over the head with a morality tale. Which is what would have happened in the hands of a less capable director. It relies on fully realized and highly watchable characters and what they do in the environment that they are in to tell the story. It's one of the best war films for this reason.
The DVD features are great. The widescreen presentation adds to jungle locale of the film and makes you realize what you have missed on veiwing pan & scan versions of VHS and/or cable. "Tour of the Inferno" the making of documentary is exceptional and is one of the more enjoyable ones I have seen. Not only do you see Sheen, Stone & Berenger, but you also get to see Johnny Depp and Forrest Whitaker as well. All of them a great when telling thier stories about the making of the film. The audio commentary by Stone is also a standout.
The movie is great, the features are valid and the price is right. There is no reason to hold out for a two-disc uberversion. A staple in any collectors library.
4.0 out of 5 stars This is one tough movie....,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great,
This review is from: Platoon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)The truth of the movie was unbelivable. The action was amazing and charlie sheen did a great job. I esspecially liked the music for it was very movie. I can' even put into words how good this movie is. It is by far the best war movie passing even the greats like saving private ryan and a thin red line
5.0 out of 5 stars The first casualty of war is innocence,
This review is from: Platoon (VHS Tape)It is an historical fact that the United States never lost a war until it set its feet into a country called Vietnam. That is what is at the root of writer/director Oliver Stone's masterpice PLATOON, a portrait of that protracted "police action" against communism in southeast Asia that sent 58,000 American soldiers and almost two million Vietnamese citizens to their graves.
Largely semi-autobiographical, since Stone served in Vietnam as the war was beginning to reach a fever pitch (1967-68), PLATOON places Charlie Sheen as a green Army recruit into the middle of the war, realizing after only one week of service that he made a very bad mistake. The battles he faces are not just with the elusive Vietcong, but also within his own platoon--the conflict between the more level-headed and humanistic Elias (Willem Dafoe) and the vicous, cold-blooded Barnes (Tom Berenger). Sheen's character is a survivor, but something is clearly taken from him during his Vietnam sojourn, as it was for hundreds of thousands of our soldiers and the Vietnamese people caught in the crossfire. And that something is Innocence--always the first casualty of war, as the movie's slogan says.
It took ten long and frustrating years for Stone to get this from the writing stage to actually making the movie itself, but the film's completion paid off in dividends. In PLATOON, Stone shows that the Vietcong were tremendous fighters and willing to take chances, not the sitting ducks depicted in Sylvester Stallone's "Rambo" movies or, even more infamously, in John Wayne's THE GREEN BERETS. It also shows how American soldiers bought their racial prejudices from home over to Asia and how, under the right conditions, young men can snap and engage in atrocious and barbaric behavior. The film doesn't depict this as right or wrong; it just depicts things the way Stone remembers it. The haunting imagery of death and pain in the film is magnified by Stone's decision to famously use Samuel Barber's masterpiece "Adagio For Strings" as this movie's musical calling card.
Sheen gamely follows in his father Martin Sheen's footsteps as Stone's alter-ego Chris Taylor; and Dafoe and (particularly) Berenger are excellent as sergeants in conflict. Berenger's famous quote sums up why he is what he is: "I got no fight with any man who does what he's told. But when he don't, the machine breaks down. And when the machine breaks down, WE break down."
PLATOON justifiably won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for Stone, making him a bankable, if often controversial, Hollywood powerbroker from here on in. In later years, he would explore other aspects of the Vietnam conflict, especially in BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and HEAVEN AND EARTH. PLATOON is HIS story, and it is one of the most powerful films ever made in Hollywood history.
Most Helpful First | Newest First