Download Formats: M4V, AVI, MTS, MKV, M2TS, 3GP, ASF
original title: We Were Soldiers
duration: 2h 18min
tags: Father. Husband. Brother. No man is just a soldier.
keywords: battle, soldier, vietnamwar, helicopter, frenchsoldier, frenchmilitary, wound, puss, battalion, nametag, infantrycharge, slug, jet, aircraft, round, ammo, hill, cliff, precipice, footsoldier, catholic
Personal thoughts on the Viet Nam war notwithstanding, this IS the era that America turned from care-free and innocent to cynical and selfish. The decade that started with Kennedy and the Camelot Administration and ended with Watergate, Kent State, the Chicago Convention, and Altamont were the years that Americans should mourn more than any in their history. We went from "Can-Do" to "Screw You", and this was the main reason.
While most people alive today weren't even born at the time the events in this movie took place, their prejudices and mind-sets are those instilled by the last "innocent" generation (their parents usually) ..... and those who howl most and roll their eyes at "yet ANOTHER Viet Nam movie" would also do well to remember that what they are really peeved about is not that another movie has been made about a war, but that a movie has been made that points out just what was lost to America and the world during this conflict.
Until the events depicted here took place, Viet Nam was just another place where America was deploying troops. The days surrounding these events and the subsequent distress-call of "Broken Arrow" brought home to the America and the world just how real the conflict was and how savage savage it would become.
Having said all that, I was actually prepared to hate this movie just on account of who was in it and how much I disliked their more recent disastrous forays into the big-screen.
Looking at the cast list, I was half-expecting this to be another garbage, high-budget movie whose cast was only there for their box-office appeal (Titanic, Braveheart, Signs, Vanilla Sky, etc.) and this was one of the reasons I resisted watching it.
I was impressed with the choices for the main players - Sam Elliot as a tough old Sergeant-Major was quite a treat, and Mel Gibson has always been better in action-flicks. Seeing actors one usually doesn't associate with action/war movies wearing uniforms is something of a shock, and at first I thought that they would appear out of their depth, but Greg Kinnear gave a good performance as Major Crandall - I've always thought helicopter-pilots were a little unzipped anyway, and I found his performance to be the most believable of all.
There were moments that the movie didn't really need, and the syrup was laid on a little thick at the beginning, but all that aside, I enjoyed this flick. Rarely have Gibson's tears seemed more fictional than in this supposedly authentic account of a historical event that's far too tragic to merit such superficial treatment. When the VC soldier runs into the hollowed out tree, he checks the magazine in his AK-47, which was empty. He is pondering what he should do, when he fastens his bayonet on his rifle. His objective was likely to take out the Commanding Officer. But considering he had no ammo left, he ran the risk of dying trying to bayonet the Colonel or live and not complete his objective. This is done to make sure the rounds are properly seated in the magazine (so that the back end of the casing with the primer is flush against the back end of the mag). This reduces the risk of the weapon jamming. You can see Private Reiben do it in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan (1998) with a magazine for his BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and Cowboy do it in Full Metal Jacket (1987).
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