Platoon Blu-ray and DVD Combo Set review

Willem Dafoe in Platoon
Willem Dafoe in Platoon

On May 24th, MGM Home Entertainment released Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War classic Platoon in an incredible Blu-ray and DVD combination pack for the first time.

Platoon may be the most important war film ever made, and this treatment by MGM supports that statement. The picture quality on the Blu-ray edition is phenomenal, exposing the realities of war, and how it can affect a person physically, as well as emotionally. Oliver Stone told a deeply personal tale, crafting an enduring piece of cinematic history.

The film centers on Chris Taylor (played by Charlie Sheen) is recent college graduate-turned-Army volunteer who’s completely unprepared for the experiences that are about to redefine his life. His fellow recruits know that within the one year of service they have promised their country, their lives can be completely transformed…or taken. Taylor finds himself in the middle of a growing rift within his platoon, as the death toll mounts from nighttime ambushes and jungle traps, leading to a senseless revenge attack on a village suspected to be an enemy stronghold. Tensions flare into a fistfight between Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) and Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), after Elias reprimands Barnes for overtly violent behavior towards the villagers. A mentally unwinding Chris goes from the extreme of torturing a Vietnamese civilian, to breaking up a gang rape on a young villager.

Platoon is a poignant and disturbing movie, and in the end transformative and enlightening. This set is a must-have for fans of movies, especially war movies.

Writer and Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Francesco Quinn, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGinley, Reggie Johnson, Mark Moses, Corey Glover, Johnny Depp, Chris Pedersen, Bob Orwig, Corkey Ford, David Neidorf, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Richard Edson, Tony Todd, Kevin Eshelman, Terry McIlvain, J. Adam Glover, Ivan Kane, Paul Sanchez, Dale Dye

Platoon Bonus Material Includes:

  • Director Oliver Stone provides an informative audio commentary that covers a diverse amount of information about his experiences in Vietnam and his work on Platoon. He also talks about the film’s budget, music, the ensemble cast, shooting locations, and more.
  • A second must-hear audio commentary by Military Advisor Dale Dye starts with his training of the actors for their roles in Platoon, his own on-screen role in the movie, moving on to a comparison of the shooting locations and Vietnam, the performances of the cast, set design, his own experiences in war, and more.
  • The bonus materials also include a series of 10 deleted & extended scenes including; Chris’ First Time, Love and Hate, Dream Sequence, No Regrets, When I Get Home, Look for a Target, Life of the Party, This New Guy, Later, and Barnes Lives. All of these scenes are available with an optional Director’s Commentary discussing how the scenes fit into Stone’s own Vietnam experience. He also speaks over an alternate ending he wanted to use in the final cut of the movie.
  • The three part featurette Flashback to Platoon includes Snapshot in Time:1967-1968, Creating the ‘Nam, and Raw Wounds: The Legacy of Platoon, and offers a powerful overview of Platoon and the war, starting by examining the time period in which the film takes place, the changes along the way, the politics of the time, and the general difficulties in fighting with no clear objective.
  • The documentary One War, Many Stories features Vietnam veterans reacting to a screening of Platoon, along with Oliver Stone discussing his experiences in Vietnam.
  • A second documentary, Preparing for ‘Nam, features Stone and other veterans discussing their decisions to enlist during the war, and what basic training was like back then.
  • The featurette Caputo & the 7th Fleet features author Philip Caputo recalling the 1975 evacuation of Saigon.
  • The featurette Dye Training Method features military advisor Dale Dye talks about what it takes to prepare actors for their roles in war films.
  • The featurette Gordon Gekko looks at how the name of Stone’s Wall Street character Gordon Gekko was hatched during the making of Platoon.
  • There are also three television spots and the theatrical trailer for Platoon included in the set.
  • And finally, there is a DVD copy of the movie for even more viewing options, making this a truly complete set for fans.