Saturday, May 28, 2011

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)

I'm a trekie, my first experience was a VH1 documentary called When Star Trek Ruled the World and I saw Oprah along with millions of unnamed women being empowered along with this unquestionable equality of races within the show, while Starwars seemed to only really influence smart white guys. Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo were incomplete compared to the well rounded- bad ass that was Captain Kirk, or the logically awesome Spock; these besties had a much more meaningful relationship because they didn't need each other, they choose each other. Also, not that it’s a huge deal or anything, but without the original space western’s success, "the wars" wouldn't exist.

(Actual dialog from this movie)

This film, credited with saving the Star Trek franchise after the initial lack of critical success for the first movie, is about Kirk’s midlife crisis. He was promoted to a position that no longer involved exploring the space frontier and it took a toll on his friendly drinking habits. He joins Spock on a test mission for upper level Star Fleet Cadet Trainees, including the future captain hopeful Lieutenant Saavik (Kristi Alley’s first role was a sexy Vulcan). There is a project genesis and Kahn commandeers another Star Fleet ship to try and steal it tries to get a hold of it. Kahn is successful and detonates the matter rearranging life bomb. The enterprise gets out of genesis’ range just in time. Add a few awesome fight scenes between Kirk and Kahn plus one really upsetting death of an original enterprise member and you have The Wrath of Kahn.

Now for the updates: Star fleet is wearing a rust colored jumpsuit with different colored turtle necks to show rank. I preferred the obvious colored shirts and will miss the random red shirt jokes (random off white collar is just not the same). The insides of the ships are a light blue and cream. The updates are certainly not as effective as J.J. Abrams Apple store version and actually date the movie more than the show’s original style. Luckily, staying true to every other Star Trek scientist previously, the genesis project is run by a beautiful blonde scientist. Kirk’s new perm definitely adds to the space porno feeling.

I liked the film, the addition of Saavik definitely implies Star Trek’s later female captains and there full competency at more than just linguistics (especially since this becomes obsolete in later seasons thanks to a universal translator). The movie really sets up some of the later technological advances through project genesis, and its interesting to see that the concept didn’t really have to update its ethics for the 80’s; the standards already in place were fine.

Kirk’s perm can take Kahn’s grey hat head any day!

Darlin', darlin', stand by me-e, stand by me

When I was looking through the blogs trying to think of a movie to write about it hit me. No one had written about Stand By Me. Stand By Me is a favorite in everyone’s books. Girls cry, boys cry, everyone cries at some point during this heartfelt film. Stand By Me is a true coming of age film, which follows four boys on their adventure in search of the body of a boy who went missing. Like many films of the 80’s such as The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me is the story of four boys who you would never have guessed to be friends due to their different backgrounds. Gordie Lachance, played by Will Wheaton, is the quiet one of the group who loves writing and telling stories all while dealing with neglect from his father due to the death of his football star brother. Then you have Chris Chambers, played by a very young River Phoenix, who comes from a criminal family of alcoholics and is the rebel of the group who is usually found smoking a cigarette. He’s the one who brings a handgun on the adventure. You then have Teddy Duchamp, played by Cory Feldman, who is the eccentric one but is also physically scared after his father held his ear over a stove, resulting in his having to wear a hearing aid. Finally, there is Jerry O’Connell, who plays Vern Tessio, the overweight timid kid who is usually picked on by everyone. Despite their different backgrounds and different personalities, the boys set out on a life-changing trip in which they all learn to have one another’s backs and learn the value of friendship.

Lucas (1986)

On my quest of diving into Sports films of the 80s, I have struck another film where the sport at hand takes a backseat in the movie. The film focuses on Lucas, a boy genius who has skipped several grades, and is a sophmore in high school. He immediately befriends new comer Maggie (also in the goonies), and they bond in the first weeks of school. Like the typical nerd to hot girl friendship in movies, Lucas broadens Maggie's perspective by teaching her about nature and classical music. Lucas starts to think he has a pretty good chance with Maggie, until she starts falling for the hot shot football player Cappie (Charlie Sheen). Cappie isn't like any of the other jocks who torment Lucas because of his runt size, and acts as Lucas's main protector. It was actually quite refreshing to see Sheen as the good guy in the movie. He makes an effort not only to be nice and protect Lucas from his football friends, but also includes Lucas in his nightlife. However, Lucas becomes extremely jealous of the obvious Chemistry between Cappie and Maggie. In a desperate attempt to win her over, he tries out for the football team. It is apparent that Lucas is out of his element, but being juxtaposed against the football players in the locker room magnifies this truth. Even though he is the runt, he still stands up to those that torment him. Notably Spike (Jeremy Piven) and Bruno (Tom Hodges). The torture that Lucas endures from the football players is personally the most embarrassing scene I have ever witnessed. Although, Lucas still fights on. Besides the stupidity of Lucas, you have to respect his moxy in the film. Everyone is against him playing football, and with good reason. At 5'2, 90 pounds, I'm surprised he didn't die. However, he fights and fights with the coach to let him in. "Don't call me a pissant, you dumb fucking jock! When he finally gets in, it is apparent that he does not belong and is getting in the way with everyone. He runs around on the field aimlessly, and even takes his helmet off mid play, which results in his hospitalization. When he returns to school the next day, everyone stares at him, and the scene sets up the fact that Lucas is about to get pounded by the football players. To his surprise, he opens his locker, with fellow football players looking on, to find a letterman jacket with his name on it. A slow clap ensues and everyone cheers his name.
The movie served as a kickstart to several booming careers. It acted as the first role for Wynnona Ryder and Jeremy Piven, and gave serious momentum to Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim's careers. However, my favorite appearance in the movie is the role of Bruno, played by Tom Bridges. Eight Years Later, Tom went on to star in one the most underrated Ben Stiller movie of all time, Heavyweights. "Please put your fat finger down.... you have broken my camera!"
Lucas in essence is about an outsider who refuses to give up, even when against the greatest adversity. This is not a movie about someone who overcomes all odds and succeeds. At the size of an average 10 year old, it is physically impossible for Lucas to become a stud football player. However, he refuses to take no for an answer. He knows what he wants, and does not stop until he gets his way. This movie is the epitome of the old saying, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

Risky Business (1983)

Sometimes, you've just gotta say "what the fuck".
Boy, does our main character from Risky Business say this or what? When teenager Joel Goodsen's parents go out of town things get crazy. Joel is a senior in high school who is working toward two main goals. The first, mainly a goal set by his father, get into Princeton. The second, a goal set by his friends, get laid. One night, Joel makes a call to a girl, a call girl. When Lana gets there, his second goal is essentially complete. When Joel cannot pay her, Lana takes his mother's crystal egg, worth way more than Lana's services.
Joel finds Lana and is able to get the egg back but not before her pimp chases them in an intense car race. Joel of course is able to win because he is cruising in his fathers Porsche. Next thing you know, Lana and her other call girl friend have moved into Joel's house. This is when we start to question if Lana is merely using Joel for selfish reasons or if she actually does like him.
A big shocker occurs when Mr. Goodsen's pride and joy, his 1979 Porsche 928, wheels itself into Lake Michigan. In desperate need of cash, Joel takes Lana up on her suggestion to set up their friends while making a profit at the same time. The two manage to make $ 8,000 in one night. At the same time this party is going on, Joel has his interview with Princeton.
The next morning Joel returns home to find all of his furniture has been stolen. He knows it was Lana's pimp and manages to get it all back moments before his parents arrive home.
Risky Business is the ultimate teenage dream. This kid manages to throw a party while making huge cash, get himself into Princeton, get a girlfriend, lose his virginity, and have the best weekend of his life, all without getting caught. What s great story for the grand kids.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ghostbusters (1984) "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!"

“I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.” -Peter
Well, I won’t abuse you! I was not sure if I would like this movie, but I actually did! I assumed that a movie about four men starting a business to catch ghosts and having to save their doubting city in the end might be kinda dull, but it turned out to be humorous and had enough action to keep me watching. Basically, three scientists get fired from their job, so they start their own ghost-catching business, at the exact same time that a giant spike in ghostly activity occurs because a demon that is supposed to end the world is on its way. They become very popular, hire a fourth member, and save the day from a giant marshmallow monster.

This movie had a great soundtrack, and the theme song did not leave my head the rest of the day. The characters also had great chemistry together, playing well off of each other’s oddities. Peter, the flawed, calm, woman-chasing character whose non-genuine traits bothered me(Bill Murray) was contrasted by the child-like Raymond (Dan Aykroyd) and the intelligent, knowledge-seeking Egon (Harold Ramis). They were really a cute trio, especially in scenes like the one where they are running in unison through the streets with these comedic serious faces and their ghost zappers. The two less than positive aspects that I can remember are minor, but did stick out to me. First, their car’s siren was really annoying! Then, some of the special effects were noticeably added to the movie. This is a product of the technology of the time, but seams were still present between the real actors and animated parts.

Most importantly, I learned quite a bit from this movie. To list some new knowledge I have acquired: eggs can foam, ghosts that can fly through walls can eat and keep solid food, ghosts do not necessarily haunt people but will use little, irritating, sneaky, pestering methods such as rearranging library books, when a person is possessed, they put on more make-up, ghosts are comparable to Twinkies, and “if someone asks if you are a god, you say, ‘yes’!" Oh, and do not forget that the three main groups of people on earth are Christians, Jews, and punks; it was very nice to see them all coming together to worry about their lives. I have learned more personally about myself, too. Not only do I want a fireman’s pole in my house to slide down, but I firmly believe that it should rain marshmallows, and if I am going to be killed by a ghost, I hope it is a giant, smiling marshmallow man. I did not realize that there were so many things I did not know, so I am certainly glad I watched this film!

This movie is definitely worth watching and not just for the life lessons and education value! It is clearly a movie made in the past based on the quality, but this does not really matter because the humor and those characters, who stay true to themselves no matter what is staring back at them, come out on top.

Oh…and for those of you who think all dogs are cute….there are some ugly dogs in this movie…really ugly, ugly demon dogs!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Robocop (1987)

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Summary (taken from IMDb): In a dystopic & crime ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him. SIDENOTE: If you’ve ever seen Inspector Gadget, then you know the basic storyline of Robocop.

I was a little put off by the title – incase you didn’t notice, it’s quite lame – but I was relieved to find that the film was actually great!

Besides the fact that Detroit had an unnatural amount of crime and the Detroit Police Department was taken over by a private company, I thought the premise of the story was cutting edge, ahead of its time. The moment I knew the film would be great was when Murphy—the cop that gets turned into Robocop—gets gunned down in the steel mill. At first, Clarence Boddicker—ultra bad guy—shoots Murphy's hand off with a shotgun, but the audience only witnesses Murphy’s reaction, which I thought was very powerful.

I liked how they portrayed Officer Anne Lewis: she was strong, didn’t take any crap, and helped Murphy. Instead of Lewis depicted as the usual damsel in distress or the working woman trying, but not succeeding in a man’s world, Lewis holds her own.

I felt like the movie had a tinge of Western in it, especially because of Murphy spinning his sidearm on his fingers, a move he learned from a television show that his young son watches. I could almost hear someone saying “There’s a new sheriff in town” when Robocop (Murphy) is unleashed on crime-ridden Detroit.

The moment Robocop (Murphy) takes his helmet off is like the moment Darth Vader takes his helmet off…very intense, almost suspenseful. I have never watched a movie (besides Star Wars, of course) where I felt that nervous about what lay underneath a helmet. Robocop (Murphy) stays uncovered throughout the rest of the film, which, I thought, was quite disturbing—the make-up was unsightly.

Lastly, there is a great story-telling element of the plot coming full circle, which, as an English major, I appreciated. Murphy was gunned down in the steel mill; thus, it seems only fitting that he faces the criminals who took away his life back in the steel mill. I only had one issue with the last sequence: one of the bad guys drives headlong into a toxic waste container, and goes rolling down the road in the toxic waste. When he emerges, his skin looks like it’s melting off and he’s deformed; even his fingers look monstrous. Then, the man meets his end when Boddicker runs him over—but, when he gets run over he disintegrates or explodes (?), his remains splattering the windshield like green goo. I thought that part was unrealistic, or more exaggerated than the rest of the movie.

In the end, the people you wanted to die, died and the people you wanted to live, lived. I highly recommend this movie.


(NOTE: Trailer features the same theme music from The Terminator)

Rocky IV (1985)

Rocky IV portrays the fears and tensions between the USA and the USSR in the Cold War, and the movie is filled with metaphorical and symbolical representations of these fears. A red glove emblazoned with a golden hammer and sickle, the sign of the Soviet Republic. The next scene it is shown violently smashing into a glove covered with the colors of the American flag. This represents the war that could suddenly erupted between the two nations at anytime.

When Apollo Creed fights Drago why doesn't Rocky throw in the towel. Drago is beating Apollo down to a pulp. The camera goes from Apollos face to Rockys face as Rocky is about to throw the towel Apollo says No! The next punch from Drago Kills Apollo Creed. How should Rocky feel about this? If he throw the towel Apollo would still be alive.

Ivan Drago, the 6'4" 261 pound “Siberian Express”, is portrayed as a goliath of a man who “destroys everything he hits.” His size implies that he cannot be defeated and in Drago’s words “I defeat all man!” The movie portrays the enduring spirit and hope of the American people. The American willpower, symbolized by Rocky.

Rocky’s victory over Drago symbolizes the desired outcome of the American people. Apollo said “it’s Us verses them.” In this case, we won and the Russians changed. Rocky’s words of wisdom were “ if I can change, and you can change.....we all can change.” This shows America’s desire to end the conflict and begin a new era of peace. When you watch this film you'll be able to experience the emotions of the Cold War and to understand what it was like to live in a time of such tension and conflict.

Risky Business (1983)

It wasn't until this class that I discovered the famous Guitar Hero commercials were influenced by Tom Cruise's Risky Business. I know, shoot me later. Due to my lack of knowledge of 80's films, I naturally related Risky Business to the nerdy sexually frustrated, angsty teen film movies like Kick Ass and Superbad.

Paul Brickman has a major case of auteurism. For those of you who don't know, auteurism is when a director has a specific trademark "stamp" they use in their films. It could be editing, or a cameo. For example, one of Alfred Hitchcock's bits was to appear in his films. M. Night Shyamalan's is to base his movies around his hometown, Philadelphia. Brickman's is to just show off that he's an awesome director. Rather than a teen movie about a college oriented student, it seems Brickman enjoys taking advantage of the fact that he's a director. Yeah, you're movie was cinematically smooth, but I want Joel's story. I didn't feel like there was much depth between Joel and Lana. In fact, there were lots of scenes where there wasn't much dialogue, or there would be one line, and the characters would just stare at each other.

Brickman has a playful humor to his style, which I would have probably appreciated in some other movie. The character Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) had too many outfit changes and was just plain annoying. Although I sympathized for Joel, I really wanted him to kick her out. Prostitutes, as we have learned from Pretty Woman, are just plain needy. Also, I wasn't completely sure about what the film was trying to say. Originally, I thought it juxtaposed sex with college. Too much indulgence in your teen fantasy can affect your future? What did Joel even learn from this experience? I mean, he got into Princeton and has his parents are only on his back for a crack in the egg, so his life hasn't been made any more difficult with any consequences. Risky Business wasn't an awful film, I just recommend watching it on a day where you have nothing better to do and a lot of patience to spare.

One of many Risky Business parodies!

Back to the Future!!

That's me and Doc

Woof!  Woof!  Hi everyone, my name is Einstein.  As a dog, most of the things that happen around me are far beyond the scope of my mental comprehension.  However, I have a feeling that most dogs with normal masters aren’t put through the type of shenanigans that I am.  First of all, Doc Brown has raised me since I was a puppy.   I love the guy, but I’ve always felt like there was him.  He was, to say the least, an unconventional master.  He’s always fumbling around with electrical equipment and experimenting with chemicals and wires.  I can’t even walk around my own house without being afraid that something was about to blow up or catch on fire.  Regardless, I love the guy.  He’s always taken care of me, so I don’t really have reason to complain. 

That's us with the time-traveling car!  (Marty is on the left)

I do have one normal friend though, Marty McFly.  He’s just a kid, though.  Doc has taken a liking to him so Marty is allowed to stop by often to say hello to me and Doc.  Marty makes sure I get enough to eat (since Doc doesn’t feed me, a robotic machine does) and he also looks after Doc.  Just the other day we were in the mall parking lot and Doc was going crazy about this “time machine” car he invented.  So, he decides to strap me into the thing and send me a minute ahead in time!  I was terrified!  I’ve never travelled so fast, but I guess it’s kind of cool to be the first time-traveling dog.  After I tried out the car, Marty jumped in and started speeding away from bad guys.  I just watched from the trailer.  I have no idea what happened after the car disappeared but a minute later Marty chased away the bad guys and I was able to go home with Marty and Doc.  Like I said, I live a very interesting life.  Woof!

As you can tell, my favorite character in Back To The Future was Einstein, the dog.  I am so happy that I listened to my classmates and watched this movie.  It was very, very entertaining.  I see it playing on television all the time, so clearly it has withstood the test of time.  It gives us a really interesting and unique plot as we are brought back and forth in time.  It was funny and different than many other 80s flicks so if you’re up for some time-traveling fun, this movie is for you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Caddyshack (1980)


Bushwood Country Club is the perfect place for rich white people to congregate. It has a golf course and plenty of old people. Danny (Michael O’Keefe) works as a caddy for both easygoing, suave golfer Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and the rich Judge Smails (Ted Knight), who might be the key to Danny getting a scholarship. It’s not easy being Judges caddy, as his temper gets plenty of fuel from the talkative, obnoxious Al (Rodney Dangerfield). Danny wins the Caddy Day golf tournament and seals the deal for his scholarship. This earns Danny praise from the Judge along with an invitation to a party at the Judge's yacht.



Al encounters Judge in the club's bar Al tells him he wants to buy the country. Ty helps the two men to agree to a golf match for $20,000. Judge and Dr. Beeper against Al and Ty. Judge chooses Danny to be his caddy. With Judges team winning the front 9, Al decides to double the stakes to $40,000. But he's having his worst game ever, so when a ball strikes him, he pretends to be hurt in hopes of having the game declared a draw. Al must find a substitute or his team would forfeit. Ty chooses Danny, causing Judge to threaten his scholarship; Danny realizes that award has too many strings for his liking, especially when Judge is tugging on the ends of them. Al promises to Danny that he will make it "worth his while" if he wins. At the final hole, the score is tied. Judge makes his putt; his team is ahead by one shot. Danny must sink his long putt to force a tie. Al raises the stakes to a double-or-nothing $80,000 on Danny making the putt, which Judge accepts. Danny's putt reaches the edge of the cup and stops.


“I smell varmint poontang"

But while the match has been going on, Carl has been escalating his attempts to destroy the gopher, and he has now wired much of the course with plastic explosive shaped to look like small, harmless animals. As Danny's putt hangs on the edge of the cup, Carl pushes the detonator and explosions shake the whole course. The force of the explosions causes Danny's ball to drop, thus scoring a birdie so Ty-Danny-Al team wins the $80,000 bet.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Conan the Destroyer (1984)

Tagline: The Darkest Side of Magic. The Strongest Side of Man.

So you all know that Arnold Schwarzenegger has won a few Oscars and has been nominated for more awards than you can count on two hands… NOT. Yea, this movie was a waste of 1 hr. and 40 minutes of my life. Read this to get a laugh, but otherwise, don’t even think about watching this horrendous movie.

Summary: Short and Sweet à Conan, this really fit barbarian, gets enlisted by Queen Taramis to take her niece on a magical journey. The purpose: acquire a magical crystal and enchanted horn, which are, of course, surrounded by mystical obstacles. The Queen’s niece, Princess Jehnna, is an integral part of a ritual: she will be sacrificed to their god, who will be awakened with the enchanted horn. Conan, standup guy that he is, saves her and the world from the vengeful demon-god.

I have issues with nearly every character in this movie. But I’ll start with our hero.

Conan’s intro shot is just beautiful, with the close-up panning shot of Conan’s ripped physique. (special emphasis on his furry-speedo-undies which barely cover his muscular crotch area) He loves wielding his sword, an obvious phallic symbol, and speaking with a nondescript accent…oh wait, that’s just Schwarzenegger’s regular speaking voice. Now, he’s persuaded to go on this journey because Queen Taramis promises that she’ll bring his love—Valeria, which sounds like a type of STD—back from the dead. Mr. Schwarzaenegger’s acting in this film is quite terrible, between the surprised faces to his determined face to his macho face… I’m pretty sure they all look the same. I had a real problem will these OBVIOUS shots of Schwarzenegger’s sword wielding accentuating his LARGE guns – I almost feel like they told him to flex every muscle he could while he was on camera.

Conan’s loyal sidekick, the memorable what’s-his-face, is so terrible I don’t know what to do with him. Besides being the stereotypical sidekick who screws up everything, the actor portrays him as almost a lost hippie, with his stupid-looking faces. I have settled on the conjecture that the actor was on drugs or something.

Princess Jehnna: Well, she looks sweet enough and oddly, she’s the only character with a posh British accent – not sure where she learned that one. I laughed at the fact that her virginity is made such a huge deal, especially because her costuming is distinctly sensual and feminized with major cleavage and exposed skin. I thought the actress was way too young to play opposite Schwarzenegger.

There is this other problem of an Amazonian-like woman who sports less clothes than Lady Gaga, with the only thing covering her butt-crack a hanging squirrel tail. There is also a magical Asian man who comes complete with his own stereotypes, my favorite being the way he says incantations: a flurry of arm-waving, clasping hands, closing eyes, and humming. Really?

The last thing I will say is that there is no shortage of demon-sorcerer creatures throughout the film. My favorite was the demon-gorilla who stole Little Red Riding hood’s red cape.

Overall, the film was just a weird combination of fantasy and bad acting. I’m not sure it contributes much to the 80s decade of film. It’s not visually stunning, did not spark a generational phenomenon (I’m sorry to say, it did spark sequels and other Conan stories), nor did it impact my life in any way, shape, or form. It has just taught me to avoid Schwarzenegger movies…other than The Terminator, of course. J


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is a classic teenage horror film where stupidity of the kids is the base of the film. When a group of college students rent a cabin in the middle of the woods for the weekend it is obvious that something bad is going to happen. What bothers me in most horror movies is when they enter a dark space and you sit there watching knowing how stupid of them it is to go in there. That is how they find the book that raises demon spirits in the surrounding woods. I found that the pop-out scenes were scary but the acting and make-up made the movie more funny than scary. With this movie it was easy to tell who was going to be killed first and who was going to survive the horrors of the night. I liked the twist on the film that in order to survive they had to kill their friends because they were possessed by the demons and you knew when the demons were coming when you heard a deep voice echoing through the woods saying "Join us, Join us" repeatedly. They made every horror film classic mistake of entering a dark space, going somewhere where there was no one around, listening to the tap that rose the demons, and not listening to the girl when she told them to leave. If you enjoy horror films you will get a scare out of this movie but you will be disappointed by the movie as a whole.


Poltergeist a movie by Steven Spielberg is a classic horror film. It begins with a little girl talking to a fuzzy TV, now I have found that any scary movie with little kids in it freak me out its scarier for some reason maybe because the kids are so innocent yet they are talking to ghosts. When a storm arrives the next night with an earthquake the classic line that is now said all over the world by the little girl carol Anne "Their here" was said. The house becomes a host to multiple poltergeists or haunting ghosts and the terrors of the movie begin. Furniture moves and the music intensifies to the watchers suspense on what is to come next. I found the scariest part of the movie to be when Carol Anne is sucked through the television and taken by the poltergeist and the family can hear her voice through the television. Spielberg uses the closet in the kids room as a portal to the other world, and trust me if you aren’t already terrified from stories of your childhood of something haunting your closet you will be now. I found the ending to be a little ridiculous and dramatic with bodies all over town and graves dug up, I think that the movie should of stayed in the house with the horrors. If you enjoy scary movies this is a classic film to watch, but I do recommend one not to watch it alone.


I love to watch war movies and I have found that Platoon is one of the best war movies especially depicting Vietnam. Oliver Stone brought his own experience and memories into this film. The scenes are so realistic that you feel the fear, loneliness, how homesick they were, and the feelings the men felt during battle. You see the brotherhood that is created during this war and how it was destroyed with so many men killed. One sees the fear in these young men not knowing how to shoot a gun or never killing anyone before. Oliver Stone brings in realism to this film to make the audience realize how terrible and gruesome the Vietnam War really was. Although at some points the movie is hard to follow when it switches from battle ground to battle ground and figuring out who is in what scene, it shows how the confusion of the movie is how the soldiers felt on the ground. My favorite part of the movie was when the photographer was given a gun and he states that he doesn't even know how to shoot one of these things and the man replies that war is the perfect time to learn. You realize that everyone who went to Vietnam had to fight no matter their position and everyone there suffered. This movie even shows the Vietnam leaders discussing war tactics and how to win this battle, showing both sides of the war where most film show the Americans as heros.

I am usually not impressed with Charlie Sheen but in this movie he was able to show vulnerable while at the same time being a leader for these men. Sheen's character was so excited in the beginning to go to war, but once he gets there "somewhere near the cambodian border" he sees all the dead bodies and reality begins to hit him. He realizes that he is here to survive a war.