GOOD MORNING VIETNAM
Review by Mark Wiechman
Director: Barry Levinson
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 121 Minutes
does a disc jockey do when he is suddenly transferred from
Williams’ monologues were based on written material but obviously he
improvised continuously. Not only
is he brilliantly funny, but instead of just complaining about war and life in
general as actors do on MASH, he made jokes about well-known figures of
1965. It is revealed in the extras
that most members of the production crew were either Asian or British, and they
had no idea who most of the jokes were about.
Williams assumed he was bombing every day since no one laughed other than
the Americans. He earned his first
well-deserved Oscar nomination for the role.
While the film can be seen as a vehicle for his talent, it is a profound
story of soldiers trying to keep sane in the madness of war.
It is also about censorship, hypocrisy, and the good and bad in every
is also different from MASH in that it has a fantastic 1965 soundtrack.
Many lesser-known hits such as “Game of Love” “Sugar and Spice”
also get to meet the real Adrian Cronauer in the extras, and he reveals that
almost all of the movie is fictional, but that he did in fact play rock ‘n
roll on Armed Forces Radio and was indeed very popular as a DJ.
though the comparisons to MASH seem obvious to me, they were not obvious
to most movie studios, and the writers had to endure many rejections of their
of the actors and other production team members say in their interviews that
making this movie presented many challenges but was more than worth it, and a
very pleasurable experience. This
movie also proves that assembling a great team to work on a great project and
then leaving them alone yields excellent results, just as it did with the
original MASH movie.
menus are also interesting if only because we get to hear highlights of Alex
North’s hauntingly beautiful score, which was usually overwhelmed by the
film’s monologues and rock ‘n roll soundtrack.
have not viewed the original DVD release so I am unable to compare them, but I
see no flaws in this serviceable transfer.
the rear channels are used mainly just for ambience, the sound mix overall is
excellent and shines in 5.1.
extensive production diary is marred by hyperactive editing in which one
interviewee barely gets to say more than a few words before moving to the next
one. Director Barry Levinson
obviously knows his stuff but also does not seem to like being interviewed.
We do get to meet most of the production team and Cronauer himself, but
the extras are not necessarily well-produced themselves by modern standards.
No commentary track.
highlight of course is the “Raw monologues” which show bits of the brilliant
Williams which did not make it into the film, such as his speculation that
Nikita Khrushchev was one of the three stooges and news about an unmanned probe
of Uranus. He also mentions how a
cease-fire occurred between
included is the original theatrical trailer.
It has a great monologue
which was not in the movie and includes
One of the best movies of the 1980s and its great soundtrack finally arrive in a presentation worthy of DVD release that will please previous viewers and new ones as well.