Platoon (1986) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from John of 501 Must See Movies Project . He also reviewed Amadeus HERE. Thanks for the reviews, John! šŸ™‚ Now let’s hear his thoughts on Platoon, IMDB rank 144 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. I’ve stopped receiving so many guest reviews now so if you send yours soon, it should post soon. I only have enough for the next month.

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The first casualty of war is innocence.

Charlie Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a green, fresh to arrive recruit in Vietnam. Ā PlatoonĀ follows Taylor and his company as they cope with the hardships of war, and the film brings back the reality of what went on over there to the big screen for the first time sinceĀ Apocalypse NowĀ (1979).

The unit breaks into two contrasting camps: one with Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), who believes in total war and winning at any cost, and Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who is battle-tested but gracious in contrast to Barnes. Ā Each side as plenty of support, and they battle, Ā as Taylor puts it, “for possession of my soul.”

PlatoonĀ features a whole slew of familiar faces (Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd, Mark Moses), many of which were at the beginning of their careers.

A couple of things added to the authenticity of this film. Ā Oliver Stone’s experience in Vietnam, woven throughout the characters Taylor encounters, and theĀ preparation the actors went through in making this film. Ā They trained for two weeks before filming began, buildingĀ camaraderie as a unit, digging foxholes, encountering “night attacks” to get used to the special effects that would be used. Ā The familiarity these actors had with their weapons made the actions and emotion seem genuine.

The acting in this film is top-notch. Ā The characters evoke strong emotions in the audience: you either really like or really hate what a person says or does. Ā I found myself completely disgusted with some of the men in the Barnes camp as they abused and mistreated both Vietnamese peasants and their fellow soldiers. Ā An interesting commentary on this came from Taylor as he was airlifted out at the end of the film. Ā He describes that the Vietnamese weren’t the enemy, instead we were our own enemy. Ā There is a lot of killing, granted, but more of it being American killing American than one would expect.

I believe I’ve said it before, but Willem Dafoe is probably one of my favorite actors. Ā This film is one of the reasons for that opinion. Ā He is a strong, committed character whose performance I felt stood above all the others.Ā I also found it interesting that he never wear a helmet. Ā Ever. Ā Tom Berenger, though I don’t agree with his characters outlook and way of carrying himself, brings that type of soldier to life and it fully committed to his character.

Charlie Sheen does very well in this movie as well. Ā The contrast and how quickly his idealized or unaware outlook at the beginning of the film is quickly shredded and almost gone by the end of the film. Ā He quickly loses the label of ‘new meat’ and becomes one of the guys. Ā His judgement and discernment remain, though, which is refreshing and relieving.

It’s interesting seeing John C. McGinley in a role like this after watching him at Dr. Cox onĀ Scrubs, but hey that might just be me.

PlatoonĀ is considered one of the best films of the 1980s, it won the Best Picture Oscar in 1987. Ā It’s authenticity and superb acting both contribute largely to its success. Ā It’s one I enjoyed, andĀ I’d definitely recommend seeing.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

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Se7en (1995) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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For today’s IMDB Top 250 guest review, we have the very tall, boob-loving Eric of The IPC. Eric is awesome and his blog is scarily funny (or funnily scary? funnily is such a weird word. say it ten times fast! weird). Anyway! I’m very annoyed that I will now have a Gwyneth Paltrow image on my blog. Luckily (funnily?), Brad Pitt makes up for that slightly. I also hate films that try to be all clever and put a number in the middle of the word. It’s Seven, dammit! But I digress… Go visit The IPC if you haven’t already – there’s always a party going on there! With lots of beer. šŸ™‚

Warning if you’ve not seen Se7en – Eric’s review is SPOILERIFIC from the start!

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE.

Now let’s hear Eric’s in-depth analysis of David Fincher’s Se7en, IMDB rank 23 out of 250

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SE7EN… who hasn’t seen this movie?? I mean, I suppose some people haven’t but – why?? This movie is excellent. Totally. It is a little gruesome, I suppose but we can grab ourselves by the nuts and tough it out. I guess – if you haven’t seen it, it’s a balls out gritty take on the seven deadly sins with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and an excellente Kevin Spacey. Oh – and I’ll go on record and say Gwynneth Paltrow is hot. If, for some reason, you haven’t seen this, there’s going to be a big time spoiler down below so… in any case – this movie is awesome and the big finale finds Pitt getting a postal delivery out in the desert. Morgan Freeman is nearby and figures out what the delivery is and he screams “DON’T OPEN THE BOX!!!! JOHN DOE HAS THE UPPER HAND!!!” and Pitt famously whines ” WHAT’S IN THE BOXXXXXXXXXX??” So – what’s in the box??

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About ten years ago the company I work for merged with another company and I had to fly all over the country going to meetings about this and that and do fucking work 15 hours a day and it was a real drag but I made a couple of friends and etc. etc. One of these guys was a real wise-ass and we had some yucks and some beers and one day I decided I would send him a gift for his birthday. I don’t know about the dudes who read Cinema Parrot Disco but guys I know (including myself) ten to wear their underwear until the backside is riddled with holes and the front is just a couple pieces of thread that barely covers their dingaling.

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So I took one of these underwears and poured a can of chili in it and put it in a box out in my garage in the 120 degree heat for a few weeks one August and then I put on a hazmat suit and wrapped the stinking thing in tin foil, sealed it up and sent it to him. When he got it he started texting me “What’s in the box???” and I was all “You’ll love it” and he opened it (with his son, poor kid) and didn’t exactly love it but – is that what’s in Brad Pitt’s box???? Not exactly.

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Is it David Fincher’s fucking balls??? What happened to the guy that did SE7EN and FIGHT CLUB??? I’ll give him PANIC ROOM and maybe even BENJAMIN BUTTON but what the fuck with THE SOCIAL NETWORK and the miserable DRAGON TATTOO remake?? PISS, FART, POOP. Let’s go Fincher – let’s get your shit together. Come back to us!! So – is it Fincher’s stones in Pitt’s box? Nope.

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In a burst of cinematic brilliance, the big reveal is that John Doe has fulfilled that last of the seven sins – Envy – by cutting off Pitt’s wife’s (Paltrow’s) head and sent it to him in a fucking box!! WHO SAW THAT COMING???? NO ONE, that’s who!!! What a fucking deal that was!!! AMAZING!!! Come on Finchy!! Let’s get back to it!!! Here’s some cookies. Oh well – there you go – WOO HOO!!! SE7EN!!!