Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Chris0
Vietnam in HD (2011, Blu Ray)
Its no secret that I was torn on the History Channel's WWII in HD. I thought it was a borderline near-celebration of gore and violence. "OOhhh, lookit all the death and blood and carnage and destruction! Isn't it terrible!" All the while selling tickets outside the tent... and leaving parts out that American audiences might find objectionable....
Thankfully, Vietnam in HD is quite the opposite, and its actually an interesting and insightful look into the Vietnam War. Is it a complete picture? No, but I don't think it claims to be. Does it still contain a fair amount of HD violence and death? Yes, but its not presented in the same way, or in the same quantity. Here its part of the documentary aspect. Shown, but not with that "reality TV" sort of feel to it....
For example: There's that one infamous scene where the suspected VC collaborator gets shot right in the head and left on the street. When this scene started playing I was like "I wondered when they'd trot this one out." But to my amazement, and satisfaction (for lack of a better word), they cut it short of showing the nastiest bits. This kind of restraint is what separates the two. If you've seen this clip in its entirety, you know what I am talking about. Necessary to show, but we don't really *need* to see *all* of it.
It's also not as long as the WWII version. This probably helped a lot to avoid that same feeling, keeping with only what was necessary to get the points across, rather than trying to cram as much remastered footage as they could.
And the footage, its really some impressive stuff. Some of it you've likely seen before. A lot of it you haven't, I hadn't. And all of it (well OK most of it) looks like it was shot yesterday.
Another aspect of this documentary that I found incredibly interesting, was the inclusion of the story of Joe Galloway, along with interview footage from Joe himself. If the name sounds familiar in the context of war movies, it should. He was the author of "We Were Soldiers Once, and Young", which is of course what the movie "We Were Soldiers" was based off of. Once again I've had to re-examine my opinion of *that* movie based on the footage and story told in this one. One of these days I will have to revisit it, with all this new context in mind.
As a documentary it comes across much better than WWII in HD. It tries to paint a picture of the war from start to finish, but only in the context of a few people and their stories. Because of this there are a lot of events and stories that *aren't* told, but hopefully someday will be.
I'll have to go 8/10 on Vietnam in HD. I would go higher, were it longer and more in-depth... but it is after all a much more refined and focused picture than its counterpart.
Vietnam in HD [Blu-ray]
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Their story is in danger of being lost to history. The men who came home from the Vietnam War represent a second silent generation. These are the men who won every battle in a lost war. Using the same experiential approach to storytelling as WWII in HD, HISTORY gives these veterans a voice...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: LIONSGATE FILMS
Manufacturer: A & E Home Video
Original Release Date:
Summary: Vietnam in HD is quite the opposite, and its actually an interesting and insightful look into the Vietnam War. Is it a complete picture? No, but I don't think it claims to be.