We Were Soldiers...second hand impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck Mayer, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    FYI...I have not seen this movie. But I have a family friend who has. He attended the West Point premiere.

    He is no movie reviewer. He served several tours in Vietnam and was a career army officer. He did like BHD very much.

    I'll just put out the bullets I heard:

    Didn't like it.

    When told directed by the writer of PH, he said "It figures."

    Too cheesy.

    Action scenes well done.

    "Home" scenes not well done.

    Apparently, it jumps from Vietnam to "home" to Vietnam to "home", etc. He called it jarring.

    That's about it. Most of the stars were at the premiere.

    He didn't hate it, he just didn't care for it.

    Just wanted to share in the one opportunity where I claim to know someone who caught an early review.

    Take care,

    Chuck
     
  2. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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  3. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    From what i've read it flashes back to the families when the soldiers are in war just too show what happens to the people at the ar and what it does to the people away from it. Best example I can think of for this would be Apollo 13. I see this film being a cheesy feel good story. Kind of like Pearl Harbor. Why go see this film when the Olver Stone Vietnam Trilogy is probably some of the best examples of the Vietnam war.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  5. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    The trailer seemed pretty forced to me and some of the dialogue was really groan-inducing. Normally I wouldn't judge a film by it's trailer, but then I read this review in the UK Guardian (a critic I generally agree with) that compared it unfavorably with The Green Berets, both morally and artistically. Yikes!
    - Guy
     
  6. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I heard that Oliver Stone is going to make another Vietnam film. Can anyone confirm this?
     
  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    >Why go see this film when the Olver Stone Vietnam Trilogy is probably some of the best examples of the Vietnam war.
     
  8. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I've seen another review that compared it to The Green Berets as well. That one said something like, "Other than the Green Berets, this is the only Vietnam movie in memory that doesn't even question why we were there." They were quite critical about that. I guess we can't have an opposing viewpoint. I guess two movies serving as a counterweight is two too many.

    And, yes, Robert, I'll drop politics now. Not that that link to the ultra-left Guardian doesn't violate the principle anyway.
     
  9. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    I'm not sure why anyone would think that any war movie is particularly "realistic". While I've never been in a war, and thus can't speak with authority here, I'd like to think that no movie can truly capture the feeling of combat. Movies are inherently an artistic representation of their subject, even documentaries. Perhaps certain parts of the aesthetic systems of certain movies lead us to believe that they are more "realistic" than others, such as the use of pseudodocumentary aesthetics in fiction films (like Stone's, or Full Metal Jacket and Saving Private Ryan) or when the onscreen world seems to have more elements in common with our "real" world. Often I think we make such judgments by comparison to films with more "artistic" aesthetic systems and seem to take place in world not quite the same as our own (Apocalypse Now serves as an excellent example here with its heavy stylization and symbolism). So I would hesitate to call any particular war film "realistic" and instead label it more realist in style.

    - Guy
     
  10. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I've heard Vietnam veterans say that Apocalypse Now is the most "realistic" Vietnam film ever made.
     
  11. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Bill-

    I find that interesting, and I think it backs up my point that literal realism isn't always desirable. Apocalypse Now has many factual inaccuracies and is so hyper-stylized (especially the sound) that I don't think too many people would exactly call it "realistic". But (and I'm guessing here since like I said I've never been in a way, heck I wasn't even born at the time of Vietnam) I suspect that Apocalypse Now is very truthful in a more spiritual or psychological way about the American soldier's experience in Vietnam.

    - Guy
     
  12. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Yup. The Vietnam experience was surreal.
     
  13. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    Guy, I also remember them giving an explanation of why they felt that way about Apocalypse Now being the most realistic Vietnam film. I wish I could provide more, but I don't seem to remember it. I think it was something about how surreal the war was, which is pretty much what you already said.
     

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