Sunday, September 9, 2012


Platoon (1986)

Written and directed by Oliver Stone

Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Francesco Quinn, Mark Moses, Kevin Dillion, Johnny Depp and John C. McGinley

Currently #144 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)

Platoon is one of those movies that should be seen and studied by any film buff. I had this movie in my DVR for the longest time without seeing it. I thought it was time to see the film. I'm glad I did. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four including Best Picture and Best Director. I think that the movie should have won more. I want to shower this movie with more awards.

To rinse the taste of the previous movie out of my mind, this movie is not the typical Vietnam War movie. Based on some director Oliver Stone's own experiences in the war, the film follow Bravo Company in Cambodia. Most of the attention is shown on Chris Taylor (Sheen), a grunt that volunteered to go into the service after dropping out of college. He gets ragged on by his fellow soldiers. They are counting the days until they leave. There is trouble within Bravo Company between the asshole Sgt. Barnes (Berenger) and the level headed Sgt. Elias (Dafoe) that might endanger them from the Vietcong.

I have seen a lot of Vietnam War movies. Some are good and some are bad. This movie is a thing of beauty. I have never been so engrossed in a story before. I cared for the characters. I wanted them to survive the countless clashes that they have with the Vietcong. I was happy that Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger were nominated for Best Supporting Actor for their work. They were fantastic in the film. They lost out to Michael Caine. He must have been an acting clinic in that movie to trump these two.

It was weird to see Forest Whitaker pop up, Kevin Dillon from Entourage, Mark Moses from Desperate Housewives and Johnny Depp in a bit role as a translator.

There was one thing that bothered me about this movie is the sound. The sound of the gunfire were very muddled in my opinion. The movie won the Oscar for Best Sound. I guess by 1986 standards, it was good. I thought it was muffled gunfire. That was my only gripe with this movie.

My Rating

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