Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Chris0
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987, Blu Ray)
I remember when this movie first came out back in '87. Robin Williams "act", if you want to call it that, was just coming into its own, and the reviews were all thumbs up.
And you know what, they were all correct. It's been a long, long time, since I'd seen GMV, and I have to say, its really held up well. Not to mention that it seems even more of a tragedy than a comedy to me at this point.... But no less funny, that's for sure.
The story, if you don't know it already: One Air Force radio personality, Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) gets sent to AFR for his next gig, and completely turns the place on its ear. The movie would be nothing much to speak of, if it weren't for Williams' monologues at the microphone. Some of his best material, there's no doubt about that.
But, as I watched this again after so long, and having seen so many more war movies now.... There are undertones here that are really, really dark and twisted. The entire story with the girl and her brother/Cronauers' friend, who turns out to be a VC operative.... The recurring teletypes indicating the war's direction is *not* going as planned, but yet Cronauer must continue to shovel the BS.... That wonderful scene where he's stuck in traffic and gets to put faces to all the people he's talking to every day....
And not only that, but just the "in between" scenes, where you're shown just little snippets of various armed forces personnel going about their daily work, positioned against the backdrop of the city.... It all falls together in a really complete way. That's about the best way I can describe it.
Then it ends, with Cronauer (and everyone else for that matter) wondering if what he did over there was really worth it, to anyone but him (and maybe the few civilians from the English class)....
The blu ray release? I can't really say that its worthy of the moniker of "25th anniversary special edition." Don't get me wrong here, the picture and sound are pretty much flawless. I couldn't see anything that made me cringe, and the typical 1980's grainy "look" has been cleaned up to modern standards quite nicely, really nicely. Not sure if that had to do with the source material or advances in processing, but when it was over I had to stop and think, "yeah, that actually looked pretty damn good!"
The audio? Well, this isn't a sound effects spectacular type of picture, but there again, the DTS soundtrack is flawless to my ears.
Extras? Not a lot to speak of. The only thing really of note is the "Raw Monologues" which really weren't at all what I was expecting. After a brief introduction and explanation from director Barry Levinson, we get to see Williams' methodically and mechanically pare down some of the jokes in the "on air" segments. I was expecting much more of a slapped-together ad-lib segment of takeouts and whatnot from Williams. But here, he shows that he takes his job quite seriously as he eliminates the wheat from the chaff before you see the final result. Interesting from a "here's the process" perspective, but not nearly as entertaining as a full-on improvisational circus...
Worth it? Absolutely if you're a Robin Williams fan, or a fan of classic 1980s films. If you've already got this, I don't think it'd be *that* much of a step up, unless you're a real perfectionist.
I still have to give this one an 8, just because the entire package really is that good. Matter of fact, here's that scene in the traffic jam....
Good Morning, Vietnam (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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For the first time in stunning Blu-ray High Definition, Academy Award(R) winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997) delivers a tour-de-force performance in the 25th Anniversary Edition of the hit comedy GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM! Enjoy the unsurpassed digital sound quality of Blu-ray Hi-Def as military deejay Adrian Cronauer (Williams) spins a red-hot soundtrack of '60s hits...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
Manufacturer: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Robin Williams
- Forest Whitaker
- Tung Thanh Tran
- Chintara Sukapatana
- Bruno Kirby
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: But, as I watched this again after so long, and having seen so many more war movies now.... There are undertones here that are really, really dark and twisted.