Friday, September 24, 2010

92. Platoon (1986)


I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possession of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

I know I said that "From Here to Eternity" is my favorite war movie of all time. That was kind of cheating because only the last 15 minutes or so actually take place during a "war". With this in mind, I submit that this movie is my favorite movie "about" war of all time. It really feels wrong calling it a "favorite" though because in my opinion there is nothing good that can come out of war. Oliver Stone seems to share my views though and, with this movie, he uses the excitement and thrill of realistic war to force the viewer to question why they are excited and thrilled at all by the horrors presented. Charlie Sheen has a perfect breakout role as he takes the viewer along with him on his tour of duty in Vietnam. The "two fathers" he mentions in the quote above are portrayed flawlessly by Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger who play the roles of the two sides of the viewers' conscience.

As many know, along with my love of movies, I also have a deep love of movie award shows. I host an Oscar party every year (at which I get more excited than the Super Bowl, easily). Still, my favorite awards show is the Independent Spirit Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences usually nominate my favorite films of the year, but rarely pick them for their premiere awards. On the other hand, the winner of the Spirit award is usually in my top two or three for the year. I say all of this because "Platoon" was the only movie in the history of these awards won both the Spirit award and the Academy award for best picture. This will forever be known (in my mind, at least) as the year Oscar got it right...

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