Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
We Were Soldiers DVD (2002)

One day Hollywood will recognise the contribution of people able only to sit and stare, with the movie "We Were DVD Reviewers". Until then, "We Were Soldiers" attempts to do justice to an important battle in the Vietnam conflict. Those of you who found the interviews and insights of the "Platoon" DVD interesting may well appreciate some of the extra materials on this latest 'Nam disc.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

Picture The film's deliberate grainy veneer transfers to DVD with the type of raw freshness that's startlingly effective.

Sound There are moments in this sound mix that have been composed from over a thousand simultaneous tracks. It makes for a busy 5.1 mix that sucks you right into the combat, although "Saving Private Ryan" still has the edge on gut-churning effects.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Audio Commentary Speaking about his movie, director Randall Wallace says that "almost every moment is a favourite of mine". He's clearly a fan of what he's achieved, and it lends his commentary a confident tone that's certainly preferable to some of the meandering efforts you'll find on other DVDs. He discusses the various positive collaborations he enjoyed, including working with Mel Gibson. He also points out the scene where his own son, playing a bugler, gets shot in the neck. Randall's reason for this was to have an experience that would connect him personally to the film.

Getting it Right This 25 minute behind-the-scenes featurette opens with archive footage of Colonel Hal Moore describing the men he commanded in Vietnam. It's an undoubtedly moving piece of film, and lends weight to his comments recorded for the making of the movie (for which he was an advisor). Until "We Were Soldiers" came on the scene, Hal felt he'd "not seen a movie that has captured the love that American soldiers have for one another". By which he means that, in a situation like Vietnam, they end up fighting for each other, rather than for the US Army, or even their own families.

Deleted Scenes There are ten deleted scenes, all with commentary from Randall Wallace. He was very reluctant to leave some of them out, but is pleased that we can see them thanks to DVD. Amen to that.

Additional Extra Features Also on the DVD are trailers, TV spots, and radio spots.

Region: 2
Chapters: 20
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, English subtitles, and English captions for the hearing impaired.

This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.

End Credits

Director: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace

Stars: Mel Gibson, Sam Elliott, Madeleine Stowe, Barry Pepper, Greg Kinnear, Chris Klein, Josh Daugherty, Edwin Morrow

Genre: Drama, War

Length: 138 minutes

Cinema: 08 March 2002

DVD: 2 September 2002

Country: USA