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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, with a lot of reality
I watched this film from the perspective of someone who has served in the Armed Forces, in a war zone. I found it to be completely real. Mel Gibson instantly reminded me of the few commanders I have served under, for whom we would have gone to the gates of hell and beyond. The relationship between him and his staff, both commissioned and non-commissioned was entirely...
Published on 20 Oct 2009 by John

versus
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Poor Blu Ray Quality
This is one of my favourite war movies and was thrilled that it was on Blu Ray, but unfortunetly the picture is not of HD/Blu Ray quality.

It didn't diminish my enjoyment of the film, as it was like a slightly better DVD, but in comparison to others Blu Ray conversions, this rates bottom of the pile in the few that I have seen.

5 for the movie/ 1 for...
Published on 18 Aug 2009 by Adam Bird


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, with a lot of reality, 20 Oct 2009
By 
John (Yeovil, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Were Soldiers [DVD] (2002) (DVD)
I watched this film from the perspective of someone who has served in the Armed Forces, in a war zone. I found it to be completely real. Mel Gibson instantly reminded me of the few commanders I have served under, for whom we would have gone to the gates of hell and beyond. The relationship between him and his staff, both commissioned and non-commissioned was entirely believable.

Given that one of the advisors was the reporter we see in the film, its not surprising that the portrayal of this battle as frightening, disjointed at times and completely alien in many ways comes over so well.

I don't 'love' this film, I respect it. It reminds me of both the nobility and horror of war both of which retain their own authenticity in this portrayal. In that sense, it is a great film.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Poor Blu Ray Quality, 18 Aug 2009
By 
Adam Bird (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of my favourite war movies and was thrilled that it was on Blu Ray, but unfortunetly the picture is not of HD/Blu Ray quality.

It didn't diminish my enjoyment of the film, as it was like a slightly better DVD, but in comparison to others Blu Ray conversions, this rates bottom of the pile in the few that I have seen.

5 for the movie/ 1 for the Blu Ray, total score = 3.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit like the film "Zulu" only with helicopters!, 29 Jan 2006
Ive seen many of the other Vietnam war films and in my judgement this ranks as one of the best. While other films dwell on the futility of war, cynicism about why they are there, an indifferent high command to the plight of the men, along with the brutalising effect (all very true) which war has on the soldiers themselves, this film tends to dwell more on the professionalism and strong comradeship of the soldiers as a unit without being overtly gung ho. The soldiers realise that they are in a situation where they are caught between the hammer and the anvil, and that they can do little about it, but get on with the job at hand and knowing that they can rely on one another to with their lives as their training has taught them.
What gives this film such strength is that the basis of the story is true - with around 400 american soldiers outnumbered ten to one by the North Vietnamese army in the ensuing battle which is to follow. You feel the rising tension of the situation as the soldiers move into the military zone, coupled with the helplessness of the soldiers wives, some of them with babies who are left behind to wait, and the clumsy even callous way in which the army delivers telegrams of those killed using taxi-drivers.
While I am very wary of the Hollywood war/propaganda machine punching out films depicting the american soldier as good true and invincible, all of which is a huge turn off to me. Its worth remembering that most soldiers (reflective of the communites they come from) are ordinary decent people with wives and families who try to live good lives according to their understanding, and that good is expressed through the comradeship and loyalty to one another and to their unit.
I dont doubt for a second there is a lot of poetic license in this film and "hollywoodisation" of much of what happened, so remember when watching, that the basis of Hollywood is first to entertain and later to educate
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Were Soldiers - Gibson does Moore proud., 17 Mar 2003
By 
Holly Rose (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
I have read the book, 'We Were Soldiers Once.... And Young' and it had me in tears. I watched the movie for my Media Studies Coursework and I was in more tears than when I read the book.
Admittedly, it is obvious it is an American movie, obvious in the sense you hate the Vietnamese people after ten minutes of watching it, but the emotions felt as you watch the families and the soldiers suffer during and even after the war is over really touches the heart.
I personally loved the film. I'm thinking about doing it as a coursework piece at university, and I'll study the book as a comparison piece.
CLever camera angles and lighting techniques make the viewer feel like part of the action, and the shots of the families receiving telegrams pulls even the toughest of heart strings.
Five out of five, no doubt about it.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We Were Soldiers - UK Blu-ray - avoid, 16 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. Gary Nash (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although the UK version has improved video & audio compared to the USA release, it has several problems:

1. Major problem with the Opening Credits having been completey omitted! The montage of scenes is still there but the film title, cast & crew credits are not overlayed as per the original DVD.

2. Scene captions are also missing - these normally appear as overlays to identify the location, date and time that an event or battle is taking place (I'm not talking about the captions that appear when you fire up the scene selection menu, but the overlayed text that should display as the film progresses). This is also evident in the opening scene when the first line of the narrator's comments appear as typewritten font across the screen, then disappear as if blown away like sand.

3. Special feature documentary plays inside a window approx one-quarter the size of the available screen, rather than filling the entire screen as per the DVD release.

4. Missing the 10 deleted scenes and collection of trailers & TV spots from the DVD (and US Blu-ray).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot better than it is given credit for, 9 Mar 2004
By 
Kentspur (Er...Kent) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This film is an easy one to hate. Put together 'jingoistic', 'flag-waving', 'Mel Gibson' and 'Vietnam' and instantly a lot of people are prepared to say it's awful without seeing it or, if seeing it, without seeing beyond those words.
Actually it is a very serious movie about combat and fighting soldiers. There is a genuine attempt to develop characters and explain not so much why the Vietnam war was fought, but how men can fight at all, what sticks them together. It is actually a very exciting movie - more so than some other modern war films that are flashy, expressionistic and more cynical. I like it, but Black Hawk Down springs to mind. There is a sense that not all the US troops are getting out and you actually care about that.
The Gibson character has some good lines and I just don't agree with some of the reviewers here that he is wrong for the role. The kind of insouciant bravery and indifference to incoming fire that he shows, that Plumley shows, is what happens with certain leaders in combat. You read the same thing about divisional commanders on Omaha Beach. They didn't die. Therefore it's accurate. In his acting, his sense of purpose, shines through. This is not a star faxing in his performance.
The deleted scenes are interesting as they show that the film-makers were contemplating widening the debate about Vietnam involvement, about the NVA will to win. So a scene with Hal Moore (Gibson) and General Westmoreland - officer commanding Vietnam - ends up of the cutting room floor, and I think they were right. The intensity of the combat experience is what this is all about.
Ok, Madeline Stowe's role is under-written (she's had no good parts since Last of the Mohicans) and the civil rights reference is clumsy, but the film is about combat. It's in combat it works.
I've got them all on my shelf - Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far (even Enemy at the Gates, I am ashamed to say). We Were Soldiers is the one I play again and again.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Horrors & Sacrifice Of War., 17 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Having watched this film now on two occasions I felt compelled to write a review. Yet having sat down I felt lost for words. How does one do justice to such a film as this ?
As a Christian I abhor war and all that it stands for. Yet having served in the military I appreciate all the values depicted here, not least the sacrifice and the bravery of all those who suffered and died on both sides.
This is a story that must be told. It must be told to the American and Vietnamese people whose soldiers fought on that November day in 1965 and the world must be made aware of the horrors that were faced on the battlefield in the Ia Drang Valley, known as 'The Valley of Death'.
Many might be unaware that this film is indeed based on a true story. A true story of a place in Vietnam where some 400 US soldiers found themselves isolated and surrounded by an opposing force of roughly 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers and the ensuing conflict.
This is not a film for the squeamish. War is horrific, barbaric and full of butchery and the scenes depicted in this film portray these properties in no mean measure.
The film proceeds at heart-racing pace from beginning to end. The acting is absolutely superb. This film will no doubt rank as a classic amongst it's genre. The battle-scenes are as realistic as they come.
This is not a film that glorifies war, or that seeks to do so. It clearly seeks to tell a story. A story of the men who were there and the horrors that they endured & suffered and the casualties that were sustained. To it's credit it also includes the stories of the families, wives and children left at home whilst their loved ones faced the ultimate sacrifice..
One of the characters in the film, notably the battle scenes, is depicted as a photographer. Might I respectfully suggest that anyone with an interest in the historics of this battle, this war and the suffering of those involved, take some further time to examine a book entitled "REQUIEM". It is a book entirely devoted to the story of combatants such as these. A book devoted to the photographs of those war photographers who did not return. Photographers whose lives were also sacrificed in the process of bringing us the story of those soldiers who suffered.
This film will choke you and might very well bring a tear to the most hardened of viewers. We need to be aware of the horrors of such conflicts and ensure that we do all we can to prevent them. Highly recommended viewing.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overseen by Lt.Col. Hal Moore US Army(Ret) himself no less, 15 Jan 2008
This review is from: We Were Soldiers [DVD] (2002) (DVD)
The battle seen in this film takes place in the La Drang Valley, Vietnam known to the North Vietnamese soldiers as the Valley of Death,over a period of only 3 days although on watching it I never realised this at first.The film begins as usual with the formation of the squadron from mainly raw recruits, trained up by Sam Elliot, who plays an RSM answerable only to Lt.Col Moore played by Mel Gibson who states from day one he will lead from the front with Elliot, a battle-hardened sergeant of many campaigns.Before the men finish their training properly they are sent off to Vietnam but not before the most experienced third of the squad are taken away,a decision made by those in higher authority who play with other peoples lives.The group are lifted into the battle zone and fight against N.Vietnamese veterans where many lives are lost on both sides.The heartlessness of war is seen clearly when the wives of the fallen American soldiers are informed of their husbands deaths by telegrams from the Secretary of State of the War Office delivered by The Yellow Cab Company.This task is one then undertaken by Madeleine Stowe,playing Gibsons wife. Much good acting from Greg Kinnear,Keri Russell,Don Duong and producer Randall Wallace has done a good all round job. The computer work is excellent and Music by Nick Glennie-Smith,an important often ignored facet is spot on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Vietnam War film, 7 July 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: We Were Soldiers [DVD] (2002) (DVD)
This was another one of those "hmm shall I bother" purchases as I browsed the DVD selection of a local shop. Personally I have no time at all for non realistic and yellow ribbon patriotic films for any period (Platoon changed that for many people), I like to see things from both sides and some good action scenes. The film portrays the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965 which is the first major conflict in Vietnam.

Fortunately We Were Soldiers avoids too much ribbon stuff (there is a bit but not overly so) Instead we get a surprisingly effective film with some excellent performances from Gibson (as Colonel Hal Moore) The film delivers some effective battle scenes which are convincing and portray the intensity of the battle, but there are also "at home" sections with the wives of the servicemen and some strong supporting roles esp Madeleine Stowe as Julia Moore, don't be put off by this they do add to the film and bring another side to the tale.

The battle itself is a good one and though there are some differences between real events (and the book) esp the ending battle, it evidently does capture the conflict well, and Hal Moore himself praised the film for "getting it right". Strong action sequences and good camera work, we also have some good cast members esp notable is Sam Elliott who plays Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley very well.

I also like the way the Randall Wallace (who Directs and Produces) shows both sides with balance and is able to connect viewers to the main characters (all of them including non combat ones), which is critical in any film production and yes even War films. We Were Soldiers is a polished production and should be high up the watch list of most, even non War film fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the end you'll ask yourself: What was the point?, 20 Mar 2005
By 
Andrew J Brazier (Aberdare, South Wales United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I think this is possibly one of the few unbiased movies about the Vietnam War (Which was the most pointless one ever, hell what war wasn't pointless?)
What is different about this movie to other war movies?
It focuses more on the indivdual soldiers then on the actual war. I won't spoil the movie for anyone but the bits that make you think; why? what was the point of it? are as follows:
The following 10 mins from Photographer talks to Jimmy Nakagawa to the helicopter lifting off.*
The soldier who is in the army to get medals reacts after a bloody battle (In war movies I can never keep track of some of the actors but I think it was him).*
The photographer is asked by other reporters about what happened when they land after the battle ends.
When General Moore talks to the photographer about the story he has to write.*
And the Vietnamese General's thoughts on the events at the end of the 3-day battle at Landing Zone xray.*
------------
If anyone has seen it and wants to talk about what they thought about it they may.
*(These parts may bring some to tears if you are sensitive or realise the suffering people went through)
------------
Mel Gibson: One hell of an actor as are the other co-stars
What tops this movie off is the mix of celtic and oriental music it really goes together. This movie requires at least 2 or 3 viewings to take it all in. First viewing will make you think: Wow what a great action movie. 2nd viewing you'll look more at the characters and the 3rd will make you...well watch and see.
After the third viewing I will admit that I cried at the * marked spots. I don't care that I did. Vietnam was real and should not be forgotten. Those first 3-days that the movie is based on is barely the tip of the ice berg of the next I don't know how many years of that war.
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