Blu-Ray Review: 25th Anniversary of Oliver Stone’s Devastating ‘Platoon’

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CHICAGO – Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” is easily one of the most important films in my life. It came out in theaters when I was eleven and I saw it not long after that on VHS. My parents decided that, despite the intensity of the film, its subject matter was important enough that I could handle it even at a young age. I remember being simply blown away by the movie for numerous reasons. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

The film is a technical masterpiece with a personal touch. Not only did it open a chapter of history for me in new ways but it showed me how film could be used to deal with personal demons, as Stone so clearly does with this work. Winning several Oscars, including Best Picture, the movie stands as one of the best war films ever made and it makes its HD debut this week in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.

The 25th anniversary of “Platoon” includes hours of special features and a stellar transfer. Sometimes Fox can be a bit hit-and-miss with their catalog titles (a few recent releases have been disappointing), but this one is strong. There’s just the right amount of grain, the line detail is consistent, and the colors aren’t overly polished or too muted. The memorable score (which has been used in previews for the quarter-century since) has also been very nicely mixed.

Platoon was released on Blu-Ray on May 24, 2011
Platoon was released on Blu-Ray on May 24, 2011
Photo credit: Fox Home Video

As for special features, the commentaries by Stone and the great Dale Dye are both fantastic. Sure, most of this material has been available before and so it’s hard to give this edition too much praise, but the fact that the film has been well-supplemented in the past shouldn’t be a demerit on a new version of a great piece of work. Having said that, if you own “Platoon” already on standard DVD and are happy enough with the transfer, then you probably don’t need to upgrade right now simply because you may be disappointed by the lack of new material.

“Platoon” doesn’t get the love of some of its ’80s peers like “Raging Bull,” “Blue Velvet,” or the works of Steven Spielberg, but this is unquestionably one of the best works of that decade. Don’t miss the war movie that could change your life.

PLATOON tells the extraordinary journey of Private Chris Taylor (Sheen), a young, naive American who arrives in Vietnam and quickly discovers he must battle the Viet Cong alongside the gnawing fear, physical exhaustion and intense anger growing within him. His two commanding officers (Oscar-nominated Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe) draw a fine line between the war they wage against the enemy and the one they fight with each other. Meanwhile, the conflict, chaos and hatred permeate Taylor, suffocating his realities and numbing his feelings to man’s highest value: life.

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary with Director Oliver Stone
o Audio Commentary with Military Advisor Dale Dye
o Deleted & Extended Scenes
o Flashback to Platoon
o Creating the ‘Nam
o Raw Wounds: The Legacy of Platoon
o One War, Many Stories
o Preparing for ‘Nam
o Caputo & The 7th Fleet
o Dye Training Method
o Gordon Gekko
o Action
o Critical Acclaim
o The Director
o Theatrical Trailer

“Platoon” stars Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe. It was written and directed by Oliver Stone. It was released on Blu-ray on May 24th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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I really want to see the extra!

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