Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2011


"Platoon" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson



It's the late 1960's, and the Viet Nam War is going full force. Young Chris Taylor (Sheen) decides that the war may be more interesting than going to college, so he signs up, arrives in Nam, and the first thing he sees when getting off the troop carrier jet is a pile of body bags, being used for their intended purpose. It's hotter than blazes, the bugs are ferocious, and digging fox holes and trenches just isn't as much fun as he imagined. Now, all he can think of is getting through the year on the front line without ending up in a bag himself.

To the other soldiers, Chris is just another inexperienced recruit, whose life expectancy is short. So, they don't want to get to know him. Sgt. Barnes (Berenger) is as bad as the heat and insects, and to him, the soldiers are expendable tools; when killed, more will replace them. They are nothing to him. Chris is nothing to him. He is dead already.

Sound like a good alternative to college, sitting on the steps of the library, sipping a cola with your girlfriend?

It was a war filled with horror, misery, and death, as all wars are. This movie shows it like it really was. Not like the John Wayne versions. Best Picture® , and well deserved. Also, Best Directing®, Best Film Editing®, and Best Sound® (although that did not come through so well in the 5.1 surround sound for some reason).


  • MGM
  • 1986, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC @ 28 Mbps
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David, Forest Whitaker
  • Directed by Oliver Stone
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Graphic
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad


Very few war movies show the conflict not only between one army and their enemy, but the inner battle with one's own sense of morality. The illegal (war crime) killings in the village portray this vividly. Soldiers come home as different people. Recent studies indicate a huge number of them (the current war in the Middle East) suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and that they have a higher rate of eventual heart disease and psychiatric disorders.


The image quality is very good, but not quite as sharp as I would have hoped. For a movie that won an Academy Award®for Best Sound, I didn't hear much of a surround sound experience.


These include the Director's Commentary, Deleted and Extended Scenes, Creating the 'Nam, One Way - Many Stories, and Vignettes.