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:
- Factory sealed DVD
95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
The History Channel Serves Up A Fitting And Personal Six Part Miniseries Tribute To Those Who Served During Vietnam,
This review is from: Vietnam in HD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Emulating the formula that worked so successfully with its impressive "WWII in HD," the History Channel set its sights on a new generation of hero with "Vietnam in HD." All of the trademark production values are present including actual footage shot by soldiers in battle as well as high profile actors incorporated into dramatic vocal recreations. While all of the newly filmed material looks stellar in its HD presentation, the real Vietnam filmstock quality varies depending upon the source material. It has, however been cleaned and restored to an admirable degree and many of the images (as they were culled from private sources) have not been utilized before in other Vietnam projects. This found footage provides "Vietnam in HD" a real intimacy. The six part miniseries is both a harrowing and realistic look at the Vietnam conflict as well as a fitting tribute to the men who served. While few documentaries can hope to cover every angle of this complicated situation (and I'm sure... Read more
76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Controversial War, Honorable Soldiers,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Vietnam in HD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Vietnam is my generation's war. It is hard to comprehend the young kids shooting the video presented in this DVD are now, like me, in their sixties. This DVD is not an in depth study of the war. It does not get into the reasons why this country became both mired in it, and torn apart by it. The Gulf of Tonkin is mentioned as the first step toward increasing U.S. involvement, but it does not discuss the controversy regarding legitimacy of the Tonkin incident. It doesn't mention Mai Lai, nor does it spend a lot of time discussing the reasons why the American public turned against the war. It is not meant to. This is the recollections of the young Americans who were on the ground, a nurse who served there and a P.O.W.'s wife. It does a great job of describing all the different hard fought engagements with the NVA, and the horror of it all. Many who went to Vietnam were volunteers,but many were draftees with no say in the matter. These young men served without caring about the politics... Read more
155 of 189 people found the following review helpful
A Series That Starts Out Strong, But Finishes with A Whimper,
This review is from: Vietnam in HD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)The series starts out strong with some vivid images and compelling stories that bring back strong personal memories of the early years of the Vietnam War. We really thought that once the U.S. military arrived in force it would be over within a year or so. I was in the fifth grade in 1965. Seven years later, in 1972, I was graduating from high school and facing the prospect of being drafted to fight in what appeared to be a never ending war.
I was impressed with the early episodes of this series, but it goes down hill beginning with episode 3. First, though the producers come up with some very good images of the war, they did not do their research very well. They show images of US Army infantrymen in combat while telling a story concerning the Marines on the DMZ. There are many examples of the film not matching the story being told. Second, by episode 3 they are starting to repeat the same film images over and over again. Third, there is virtually no mention of the other... Read more
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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.