We Were Soldiers
Mel Gibson, Madeline Stowe, Sam Elliot
Director: Randall Wallace
On Sunday, November 14, 1965 at
10:48 a.m., Lt. Col. Hal Moore and his young troopers touched
down at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, a place in
Vietnam known as "The Valley of Death." A man of his word, Lt.
Col. Moore set foot on the field of battle first only to find
himself and approximately 400 of his men surrounded by roughly
2000 North Vietnamese soldiers. The ensuing battle was one of
the most savage in U.S. history, and the first major encounter
between the soldiers of North Vietnam and America.
We Were Soldiers is a tribute to
the nobility and uncommon valor of those men under fire. It
honors their loyalty to their country and to each other, and it
brings to light the heroism and unimaginable sacrifice of men
and women both home and abroad.
Soldiers, is just another graphic war film illustrated in
practical detail. The film is well conceived, but the
story seems excessive, stuffy and tedious at times.
Soldiers is certainly not a bad film, the story is pretty
impressive and does contain some worthy moments, yet I felt the
film seemed to get lost within the warfare. Gibson offered a
decent performance, but I didn't find him to be terribly
influential or commanding. As a result, We Were Soldiers remains
a solid film that does a fairly admirable job of portraying the
horrors of war, but I remain somewhat muddled by it.
Soldiers appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this
single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced
for 16X9 televisions. I thought We Were Soldiers offered a truly
impressive picture. Sharpness came across well.
usually displayed excellent clarity and definition. A few wide
shots displayed a minor amount of density, but those issues
appeared infrequent. No signs of jagged edges, and the film
seemed almost totally free of print flaws. I did notice a tiny
bit of light grain, but other than that, the movie seemed clear
and recent. Colors appeared positively marvelous.
Soldiers boasted a brilliant palette that favored many bright
and lively colors, and the DVD replicated them with incredible
pep. The tones always looked accurate and distinct, and they
showed no signs of bleeding or noise. The colors appeared to
jump off the screen. Black levels also seemed very deep and
rich, while shadow detail was appropriately heavy but not
Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack suffered from essentially no
flaws. The soundfield presented a lively and involving sound.
All five channels worked vigorously through most of the film.
The elements blended across the speakers suitably and the
surrounds contributed lots of particular audio. Effects appeared
distinct and accurate and packed a vigorous punch. As a whole I
thought the DD EX 5.1 mix provided a fine complement for the
action that accentuated the material; the sound presented a very
active mix, with some powerful tight bass.
Director/Writer Randall Wallace
Right: Behind-The-Scenes Of
We Were Soldiers
Scenes w/ optional commentary
offered a decently entertaining experience, but I couldn’t help
but think it was a disappointment. I felt the movie was too
predictable to merit a strong recommendation, but fans of this
genre might want to give it a look. We Were Soldiers offers
commendable picture and sound yet lacks substantial extras.