Platoon Blu-ray

Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1986 Platoon revisits the Vietnam War after 25 years on this Blu-ray special edition that shows the real horror of the war.

Film making 23/25
Video 20/25
Audio 18/25
Bonus Features 20/25
Total 81/100

Platoon Blu-ray

Platoon stars Charlie Sheen before he went off the deep end as new replacement for Bravo Company but the platoon is in trouble before he even arrives. The two sergeants of the platoon have it in for each other and this rift between the leaders is tearing the company in half.

Sheen plays Chris Taylor, fresh college graduate who volunteers for the Army even though he knows he will get sent to the war. Upon arrival the usual horrors of war quickly introduce themselves to Chris and the other replacements.

No one even wants to learn your name so they don’t get close to the new recruits as they probably will not live long, one even dies on his first night ambush. Chris sides with the less popular Sergeant Elias played by Willem Dafoe as he just does not like how Sergeant Barnes handles just about everything.

Two scenes really bring the feud to a front with a questioning during a raid on a Vietnamese village and some troops molesting villagers. Elias wants Barnes to respect the villagers at least some and not point guns at a little girls head to force the villager to answer him.

In the end Barnes winds up leaving Elias for dead and this splits the company apart at a time when they need to band together. When out on ambush the company is being overrun and Barnes tells Chris that Elias is dead and they need to leave.

While the last helicopter with Barnes and Chris on board is circling overhead they witness the encircling North Vietnamese Army kill Elias as he runs toward the helicopters hoping for a rescue. After the incident the entire company is in for one big fight as an entire regiment or division or some such is heading their way and they need to fight them off.

The next morning Chris finds Barnes and needs to decide if he will let him live and go find help for the wounded sergeant or if he will take matters into his own hands. Platoon is one of the finest films ever made for its pinpoint look at the Vietnam War at a time when even the soldiers fighting the war knew it was a hopeless cause.

Platoon shows the stark realities of war from the point of view of the lowest soldier, a new recruit freshly tossed into the thick of the fight. Rape of Vietnamese by soldiers, killing a Vietnamese villager during questioning and leaving Elias behind to die all show the realities soldiers see and witness.

One pointed moment among many of the film is one soldier talking about the futility of fighting a people who have been in wars before but guerilla warfare their main tactic. The futility of the war is among the most demanding emotions and keeps the soldiers down most of the time they are in combat during their yearlong tour.

Platoon is an emotional film and well deserving of the many awards including Best Picture and Best Director from the Academy Awards. Great acting, a well-made story and terrific direction all add up to a film that is a must for any film collection.

Platoon is a great film and for a switch the audio is not as good as video, the audio had quite a problem with many small issues that add up to a lower rating. Video is great and just about as good as you’re going to get from a film shot before Blu-ray was even a dream to film makers.

Scenes in Platoon just make you wish we never went to war, bloodied and ragged men right after a devastating attack or tramping through a war torn jungle scene seems so realistic. The video is clear with great transfer to high definition for its Blu-ray debut but this also makes a few scenes look too clean.

Audio is a mixed bag and at times can be disappointing, while I did notice a few scenes that music sounded off I attributed this to hearing the radios the men were listening to. Clear vocals was the main issue I had with the film and at times you can clearly hear what is going on and others you have to struggle to make out words.

Another issue with the audio is a few times the voice did seem a bit mistimed to the film and it almost seemed like problems with the original rather than the Blu-ray transfer. Audio and video aside the film does great with what it had, a great story by a veteran of the war with enough in combat experience to relate this to a highly emotional film.

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Platoon includes the Blu-ray edition and the DVD with a lot of bonus features including several audio tracks and several making of features. Features include the audio commentary by actor and war advisor Dale Dye, a three part feature about the film and the war as well as a nice two part documentary from the screening of Platoon for veterans.

The 25th Anniversary of Platoon has enough extras and is good enough quality that this edition is well worth a purchase.