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: LIONS GATE HOME ENT.
Manufacturer: A & E Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Region A/1
- Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
- 282 minutes
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
lots of good war footage; but almost no history, and too much like a movie,
This review is from: Vietnam In HD [DVD] (DVD)I really enjoyed WWII in HD, so I was looking forward to "Vietnam in HD".
"Vietnam in HD" starts with 1964. The USA went to war to kill commies. That's just about as much history as you get. The rest is war footage. The lack of history prior to 1964 was disappointing to me.
Unlike "WWII in HD", the footage in "Vietnam in HD" was produced more like a movie than a documentary. It seemed like its purpose was more to entertain than to educate. This was also disappointing to me.
At the end of the Battle of Inchon episode, they described that battle as a triumph and huge success for USA forces. Really? That screamed propaganda to me. That was about 50 minutes into DVD #1. Based on the footage and narration, it was not a huge success.
Things I liked about this DVD:
*... Read more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mixed feelings about this video,
This review is from: Vietnam In HD [DVD] (DVD)This video doesn't add a whole lot new to the interview genre of Vietnam documentaries. The interviews are fairly well done and somewhat sequential, but they jump around a great deal. I was sort of expecting more from the History Channel. I would recommend this as a solid addition to any Vietnam collection, but don't expect any stunning revelations or personally moving recounting of events of a soldier in the war. One of the reasons that I can't/won't talk about my time there is that it brings back too much of a feeling of loss and only aggravates the PTSD. The loss in the lost youth, the lost friends, the lost innocence and the loss of faith in the leadership of our country and the loss of the US public to at least care when we came home. The PTSD in that when you think about the few people that you let into your guarded psyche and then lost them with either horrible deaths or even worse wounding, and the other events that shook you to your mental core that the person you thought you... Read more
85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Controversial War, Honorable Soldiers,
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
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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.