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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Were Soldiers - Gibson does Moore proud.
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...
Published on 17 Mar. 2003 by Holly Rose

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15 of 16 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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8 of 8 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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23 of 24 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)   
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 16 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 review is from: We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explosive, both in action and characterisations., 14 Mar. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
On Sunday November 14th, Lt. Col. Hal Moore {Mel Gibson} and his 400 strong regiment touched down at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam. Surrounded by around 2000 North Vietnamese soldiers who were well trained and well versed with the terrain, Moore's troopers fought for 56 hours. It was a bloody and brutal battle that was the first major engagement of the Vietnam War. It was "The Valley Of Death" in more ways than one.

Directed by Randall Wallace, We Were Soldiers is based on the book "We Were Soldiers Once... And Young" by Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway. As always when a War film comes out you get the usual statements trundled out. Things such as "the most realistic yet" and "finally a film to tell it as it was," both of which were applied to Wallace's movie. If they happen to be true I have no idea, what with not being a combat veteran myself. What I do know is that personally, We Were Soldiers hits many many high points in its running time of 138 minutes.

After a crucial 30 minute build up of the characters, the film switches to the landing of the "boys" in Vietnam. From here the action never lets up, with Wallace and his team stunningly recreating the brutality and harshness of this bloody engagement. But crucially the action does not detract from its characters, having been engaged with them at the start of the film, the makers ensure that we stay with these men throughout the battle. Also of note is that the film shows the Vietnamese side of the battle, the fair treatment of both sides a most rewarding thing to see in a War film. There's brilliant cut aways to the Women and families at home, themselves fighting a battle to not lose their minds as their men fight in some faraway land. The emotional aspect significantly racked up high as the dreaded telegrams start being delivered by nameless, faceless yellow cab drivers.

The men of the cast are uniformly strong, particularly Gibson, Sam Elliott, Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper & Ryan Hurst. While Madeleine Stowe & Keri Russell deliver heartfelt and believable turns on the Women's side. Dean Semler's cinematography is done justice by the new High Definition age and Nick Glennie-Smith's score is just a wonderful, emotive arrangement that taps into the psyche of the viewer. It's looking like it is a divisive film now, certainly in the context of Vietnam War films. So with that it is in danger of becoming the forgotten "Nam" movie. Which would be a crying shame for this is a tip top dramatisation of an horrific historical event. Point made, nobody forgotten, great great film. 8/10
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27 of 30 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)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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17 of 19 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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17 of 19 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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9 of 10 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The passion of the grunt, or: Mad Max: Beyond Rolling Thunder., 17 July 2014
By 
Olav "?" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
Having read the book, and being a veteran from a war zone myself, I found this film to be an appalling piece of propaganda.

****WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!****

I've read Galloway's book, "We were soldiers once... and young". The book depicts, unflinching and unwavering, the battles in Ia Drang valley in November 1965. Yes, battleS! The fight for LZ X-Ray was but one engagement in what would prove to be, up to that time, the bloodiest battle for the USA in Vietnam.

There is little to be said about the training footage and portrayal of the soldiers. They were often true believers and dedicated to the task at hand, and the training footage is a great way to get to know the men.

Then we get to Vietnam, and it looks good. The uniforms and equipment looks authentic. We get a simplified account of the events leading up to the battle which is fair enough, though irritating. It would have cost maybe five or six more lines to flesh out the why's and wherefore's. The bombardment of the LZ is spot on, and I love the way they use proper hand signals to maintain sound discipline. (Although that's a bit redundant after first bombarding the LZ before landing in noisy old Hueys and opening fire 'just in case'.) Then the movie starts going south in my opinion.

First off, 2nd Lieutenant Herrick is portrayed (by Marc Blucas) as something of a reckless... idiot. He spots a vietnamese scout and goes tearing after him with his whole platoon. They fly smack dab into NVA soldiers and are promptly surrounded. What really happened (according to the book) was this: Herrick didn't land with his platoon in the first wave. When they DID land they were sent to fill gaps in the lines. Due to miscommunication, Herrick charged through the american lines with his platoon and got cut off as a consequence.

Why, oh why do they feel the need to tell us beforehand that Jimmy Nakayama will meet a grisly end? The facts in the film are true: he was killed by american napalm, and his baby was born the same day he got injured. Joe Galloway really did carry him to the helicopter, and he still has nightmares about Nakayama's flesh being instantly cooked by the napalm and sliding off his bones. I find it bordering on disrespectful manipulation of the audience when Nakayama is introduced thus:

- Hi, I'm Jimmy Nakayama! My baby's being born today!
- (Joe Galloway answers) Oh wow congratulations! (They shake hands)

Bear in mind that this little exchange takes place with bullets whizzing over their heads...
That's all we get to see and hear from Nakayama before he gets cooked and gravely wounded.
Top marks for make-up of the burns, by the way.

I always wondered about the civilian in the operations centre. The guy with the weaselly voice that states that losing a bunch of draftees is a bad week while losing a colonel is a massacre. When Moore calls "Broken Arrow", the civilian, after being told what that means, growls: "My God. There's no hiding it now!" Hiding what, exactly? People KNEW they were fighting a war in Vietnam by then. An unnecessary and ridiculous addition that adds nothing to the film.

Finally, there's that idiotic bayonet charge. It never happened. What happened was that another battalion had to go in on foot to relieve Moore's 1/7 battalion. When Moore and his men had been flown out, the relieving battalion (2/5?) had to march back the same way they came in because the area was supposed to be bombed by B-52's to root out the remnants of the NVA units in the area. The relieving battalion walked right into an ambush, bringing the final american death tally of the Ia Drang campaign up to 239 KIA.

All in all, I was disappointed. I especially loathed how each american death was its own little passion play while we witness them slaughtering hundreds and thousands of vietnamese. If you want to watch a good Vietnam movie, I'd recommend A Bright Shining Lie with Bill Paxton, 84 Charlie Mopic, or The Odd Angry Shot. The latter is an australian movie about SAS troopers in the jungles of Vietnam.

Steer clear of this film.
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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 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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