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    About This Item

    Unique ID Code: 0000046483
    Added by: DVD Reviewer
    Added on: 19/3/2003 07:23
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    We Were Soldiers (UK)

    7 / 10
    2 votes cast
    Rate this item
    Inline Image

    Fathers, Brothers, Husbands & Sons
    Certificate: 15
    Running Time: 133 mins
    Retail Price: £19.99
    Release Date:

    Sunday 14 November, 1965 at 10.48am. Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) and his regiment of 400 men touch down at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, a place in Vietnam known as "The Valley of Death". They find themselves surrounded by over 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers and the ensuing battle becomes one of the most savage in US history. Heroism, bravery, sacrifice, the butchery of battle - We Were Soldiers is a gruelling exploration of war with all its horrors.

    Special Features:
    Feature length commentary from director Randall Wallace
    10 deleted scenes with optional commentary
    `Getting It Right` making of documentary
    TV and radio spots
    Theatrical trailer

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital 5.1 English

    Subtitle Tracks:

    Directed By:
    Randall Wallace

    Written By:

    Chris Klein
    Sam Elliott
    Greg Kinnear
    Madeleine Stowe
    Mel Gibson

    Casting By:
    Cathy Sandrich
    Amanda Mackey Johnson

    Soundtrack By:
    Nick Glennie-Smith

    Director of Photography:
    Dean Semler

    William Hoy

    Costume Designer:
    Michael T. Boyd

    Production Designer:
    Thomas E. Sanders

    Steve Zapotoczny
    Randall Wallace
    Stephen McEveety
    Danielle Lemmon
    William Hoy
    Bruce Davey
    Eveleen Bandy

    Executive Producer:
    Arne Schmidt
    Jim Lemley

    Your Opinions and Comments

    7 / 10
    This much-maligned war film was a surprise to me. This isn't nearly as bad as most critics say. To be honest I get tried of critics reviewing war films. Why? Simple, according to them every single war film is bad because they are all patriotic. Hell, they even criticize "Saving Private Ryan", and the only reason they give- there's only American soldiers. Of course, "We Were Soldiers" got that too, but in bucket loads.

    "We Were Soldiers" isn't a great film or will it be remembered in the annuals of war films. But it is an interesting 2-hour diversion. What I particularly like about "We Were Soldiers" is the unpredictability of the war scenes. Bullets will fly onto screen from nowhere and kill someone without time for you to register it. While "We Were Soldiers" lacks the grueling intensity of "Saving Private Ryan", it is still a very violent film.

    Video: A very steady transfer. Devoid of defects and full of the lush greens of the Vietnam land, this is a very fine transfer. There are some compression signs and chapter 3 has an overbearing amount of noise. But overall a very nice transfer. Blood is Peckinpah blood, ie light. The effects are generally good, despite one devious scene of napalm setting fire to someone's face. Dean Semlar's cinematography is very good and makes the war scenes come alive.

    Audio: This is an excellent soundtrack. Once the gunfire starts, you are engulfed into a strong an incredibly multi-layered soundtrack. You really are put smack bang in the middle of the action. Surrounds are aggressive and are use constantly. Bass is also very strong during explosions. It's not just the fighting were this track excels. You can hear birds chirping in the woods. And listen to Mel's speech on the loudspeaker before they leave, excellent stuff.

    Extras: Up first is a Randall Wallace commentary. He has very interesting comments on both the film and the real life events. Listening to this commentary will give you a good insight into the history of the event. Like the film, it's quite boring during the first 30 minutes. But once the war starts the commentary become interesting. Sadly, he doesn't apologies for his Pearl Harbor script. He also offers commentary for the "Deleted Scenes", which are presented in good quality.

    "Getting It Right" is a nice 20-minute documentary about the extents the makers went to making the film realistic. It also includes a look at the film's sound effect. TV spots and trailers round off the disc.

    Overall: Although occasionally over-melodramatic (the wife's story, the "tell my wife I love her" last lines), "We Were Soldiers" is a fine film and Gibson is on fine form. Great presentation and nice, if lacking extras, make for a good buy.
    posted by directorscutIMDb on 21/3/2003 19:29
    7 / 10
    There have been all to many war movies in recent times. Sadly in my opinion, what needed to be said about war has already been said and It just isnt worth making more movies about them. Fair enough each movie has different settings or whatever but the end theme is the same: War is harrowing and bad. True war heroes deserve to be acknowledged but there are other ways other than making a movie and trying to milk money by portraying many deaths.
    After watching this movie, I just felt tired of war movies and I will probably never watch another one again. This is however not the fault of the movie and if you havent seen many war movies, you might like this. The movie is about the vietnam war and focuses on one battle in the valley of death where american soldiers were outnumbered by vietnamese soldiers but overcame them with their patriotism, courage, loyalty and bravery. The movie also shows a different side, the side of the wives of the soldiers who went to war. This was quite interesting but they never went too much into it.
    The visuals are pretty good but that is what you expect from a newly released movie. The battle scenes were well shot in great detail. The sound is terrific especially during the battle scenes.
    There are some decent extras including a trailer, commentary and a documentary about how they had to make the movie correct and true.
    Overall this is not worth purchasing and only worth renting if war is your genre.
    posted by dicanio on 2/10/2003 00:54