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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!
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...
Published on 29 Jan 2006 by A reviewer called

versus
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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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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22 of 23 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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6 of 6 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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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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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)   
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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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
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 Brilliant, 11 Aug 2014
By 
A. F. Wallace "Grandad" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Having first read the negative reviews about the film, there are a couple who are obviously anti-american/Mel Gibson, others who describe the characters as flimsy and refer to the film as confusing with no story line and over sentimental, I felt that I needed to get my pennysworth in. First of all you have to remember that this battle is factual and actually happened, There is the book 'We Were Soldiers Once And Young' written by Harold G. Moore (Mel Gibson's character in the film) and Joseph L. Galloway (the journalist played by Barry Pepper) that give a true account of the battle. There is also a second book by the same authors entitled 'We Are Soldiers Still' which is a return to the battlefields of Vietnam many years after the conflict ended. I would like to add that at no time do the authors belittle the enemy and had great respect for their fighting tenacity. Anyway back to the film, yes there are some scenes which the director used his hollywood poetic license on however this does not detract from what happened on the 14-16th November 1965 in the Ia Drang valley of Vietnam. The fighting scenes are very intense and very realistic and you have to ask yourself what ilk of men could endure such ferocious fighting as they did. The film does not only concentrate on the battle itself but what the wives of the soldiers went through back home. One negative reviewer said the film was too sentimental however after two-three days of bitter fighting, with adrenaline running high, with little or no sleep and your comrades being killed around you then soldiers do show emotions in differing ways. I would like to add a footnote that the two helicopter pilots portrayed in the film, Bruce Crandall (Snakeshit) and Ed Freeman (Too Tall), were both awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honour (USA equivalent to the VC) in 2001 (36 years after the event) for their part in getting wounded men out and supplies in to the battle zone. Sadly Ed Freeman died on 21st August 2008. You must make your own mind up about the film however try and remember that most of what is portrayed was factual and that the men (from both sides) were soldiers fighting a political war for their countries. My opinion is that this is probably the best Vietnam war film I have watched to date and I have watched most of the others like Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, The Boys in Company C, Gardens of Stone et al.
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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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We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray]
We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray] by Randall Wallace (Blu-ray - 2008)
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