Platoon: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-Ray]
Directed by Oliver Stone
Directed with plucky, youthful idealism by then nascent director Oliver Stone, detailing a schematic of wartime hell rather than something more literary and didactic, like The Deer Hunter or Apocalypse Now, Platoon, at the time of its release, cut through much of the patriotic, ignorant enthusiasm dominating the culture, which helped America confront the less savoury realities of the Vietnam War. It's actually quite a clumsy film, featuring over-the-top performances with actors that all seem to be on different pages and an abundance of overly maudlin, pat dialogue, apocryphal for the era and class of the soldiers. But context is everything and Oliver Stone's seemingly unassuming cry of political outrage, candidly detailing the death of innocence and duality of man, hit the mark in the Conservative '80s, giving a different voice and perspective to an issue treaded on lightly, for the most part. Charlie Sheen's young and inexperienced character, partly apotheosizing and obfuscating the nature of war, provided an ideal vessel for the layman, excitedly championing the rugged authority of Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), only to question it later when such a prestigious archetype has its core humanity revealed for what it is. This traditionally stoic imagery was deconstructed and left exposed in all its grotesque glory, channelled in advertising and marketing through that one key moment where Willem Dafoe's character is left behind, arms raised in the air while gunfire takes his last moments of life. These moments and this partial truth are analyzed in great detail throughout the extensive "Flashback to Platoon" supplement included with the Blu-Ray, wherein the timeframe is analyzed in relation to the film, as are the challenges of creating a slightly irreverent independent film under the radar. There are also two documentaries included with this release, expanding on some stories from the war and the wartime climate, along with commentary tracks with Oliver Stone and Military Advisor Dale Dye. And in case these hours of highly detailed supplemental material weren't enough, there are vignettes and extended scenes included, along with original promotional material.
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