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Platoon: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Surround 4.0,  Czech Dolby Digital 2.0, French DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1,Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian DTS 5.1, Portuguese (Brazilian) Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian DTS 5.1, Spanish (Castilian) DTS 5.1, Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Thai, Turkish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: MGM
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • List Price: $29.99

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Platoon - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Platoon is Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone’s 1986 semi-autobiographical account of his time spent in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968. Unlike Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which plays almost like one long hallucination or dream, Stone’s film was and is heralded for being the first to capture the reality of that war with brutal realism that neither heroized nor vilified the actions of the men involved. Stone went all the way to the jungles of the Philippines and cast actual Vietnamese in some roles to create the realism of the Asian jungle and the oppressive heat faced by the soldiers.

A relatively low budget production for its day starring an at-the time ensemble of unknown and newcomer actors with names like Charlie Sheen, Willem Defoe, Johnny Depp, Tom Berenger, Forest Whitaker and Keith David, the film follows the onerous and undesirable task of an army platoon as they fight their way through the unfriendly jungle.

As narrated by the young and naïve college student who volunteered for his time in Vietnam, Chris (Sheen), we quickly discover the divides building in the ranks across racial and moral lines. Things worsen when the platoon comes across a village suspected of housing enemy VC, and an illegal killing occurs. Then, the platoon splits down the middle taking sides behind the non-commissioned officers, the irascible Staff Sergeant Barnes (Berenger) and the more morally centered Sergeant Elias (Defoe). Caught in the middle, Chris begins to emotionally break down, so far from home and fighting a war on two fronts – the enemy Vietnamese and the enemy within his own ranks.

Platoon would go on to win four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Directing, Film Editing and Sound, all worthy acknowledgments to this powerful film.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Platoon was a relatively low-budget effort, so it won’t ever look like reference HD material, but that works to its advantage in this AVC 1080p transfer from MGM. This is a gritty, realistic view of war, and the image reflects that. It doesn’t particularly stand out and it is often heavy with grain, but it looks filmic and shows little in the way of source damage or electronic noise.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The soundtrack is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track that fills up the surrounds mainly with ambience and atmospheric sound effects. There is some occasional panning of discrete sounds front to back and back to front, but it’s rare. There is a good dynamic range and clean, intelligible dialogue as well. MGM has also provided a Dolby Surround 4.0 soundtrack for a more authentic experience.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

The supplements on here are great for getting not only the story about how this film came together, but some of the true history of the war in Vietnam. There are numerous accounts from actual veterans in the extras, plus the two audio commentaries, one from Stone, a veteran of the war himself, and the film’s military advisor Dale Dye, another Vietnam veteran, both offer their personal experiences during the war while offering up tidbits on the filming of Platoon.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Oliver Stone
  • Audio Commentary with Military Advisor Dale Dye
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary (1.85:1; 480i/60; 0:11.31)
  • Flashback to Platoon (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • Snapshot in Time: 1967 – 1968 (0:19.15) – Historians and scholars offer their opinions on the significance of this period of U.S. history and its impact on the war effort.
    • Creating the ‘Nam (0:12.04) – Oliver Stone discusses creating the feeling of Vietnam for the film.
    • Raw Wounds: The Legacy of Platoon (0:17.19) – The impact the film had on bringing the pain and emotions of the war to the surface and allowing them to finally be discussed are brought forth in this brief segment.
  • Documentaries (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • One War, Many Stories (0:25.32) – A focus group of Vietnam veterans are questioned about their feelings after a screening of the film.
    • Preparing for ‘Nam (0:06.36)
  • Vignettes (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • Caputo & the 7th Fleet (0:01.38)
    • Dye Training Method (0:03.23)
    • Gordon Gekko (0:01.06)
  • Television Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
  • DVD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Platoon shall live on forever as not only one of Oliver Stone’s greatest pieces of work, but as the film to finally bring the pain of Vietnam into the light for a nation still wounded by it, over a decade later. This Blu-ray release does the classic film justice. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004TJ1H2S[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Platoon - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase Platoon on Blu-ray+DVD at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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