Born on the Fourth of July [HD DVD]
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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What we have here is the true story of a man whose birthday coincides with that of his country, a young man who was properly raised to love all things American. His patriotism led him to volunteer for the Marine Corps and the Vietnam war in the late 1960s, where everything he had ever believed was challenged in the strongest possible terms. The watershed events that finally moved him from traditional all-out American patriot to an American who loves his country but distrusts the government and opposes war, however, were events that mostly followed that famously horrifying war, and said events were often as horrifying in their own way as the things he experienced in Vietnam.
This truly is an excellent film, no doubt about it. Stone, a Vietnam vet himself, frames his story expertly, brings out superb performances from all of his players, and included Mr. Kovic (on whose autobiographical book this film is based) at every stage of the production.Read more ›
Well, my preconceptions were wrong.
First of all, for those who think that Tom Cruise is just another pretty boy (which was basically my opinion), this movie sets that mistaken notion to rest. He is nothing short of brilliant in a role that is enormously demanding--physically, mentally, artistically, and emotionally. I don't see how anybody could play that role and still be the same person. Someday in his memoirs, Tom Cruise is going to talk about being Ron Kovic as directed by Oliver Stone.
And second, Stone's treatment of the sex life of Viet Vets in wheelchairs is absolutely without sentimentality or silver lining. There are no rose petals and no soft pedaling. There was no Jane Fonda, as in Coming Home, to play an angel of love. Instead the high school girl friend understandably went her own way, and love became something you bought if you could afford it.
And third, Stone's depiction of America--and this movie really is about America, from the 1950s to the 1970s--from the pseudo-innocence of childhood war games and 4th of July parades down Main street USA to having your guts spilled in a foreign land and your brothers-in-arms being sent home in body bags--was as indelible as black ink on white parchment.Read more ›
This movie, however, is not for the younger kids nor for the weak of heart, but for older members of the family, especially kids who might have fallen for the "John Wayne is cool" view point of war (or in our day, perhaps Mortal Kombat is cool view point of life) OR the young pacifist who believes that those who go to war are bad.
We're all so tenderly human, and that's what this movie shows. The reason some find this depressing, I think, is that it shows the loss of innocence of the man who wrote this autobiography, Ron Kovic, who goes to war during the Vietnam era longing to be a hero, and returns damaged emotionally and physically, and receives the welcome of a baby-killer.
Note: When the book version of this movie was due to come out, back in the 70's, I was working in a bookstore. Long-haired ex-vets would come in, looking for the book and I (duh) didn't understand why they were so enthusiastic. The book was the first attention given to what the war experience did to those who fought in it, which later opened the doors for WWII veterans to be able to talk about the emotional horrors of war.
I read the book, and years later watched the movie - either of these are incredible experiences - if you like Saving Private Ryan, you will want to watch this movie, too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie sucked. You get a guy who is all gung-ho about joining army, dances with a girl for a song, joins the army, gets shot, changes his mind, and spends the next 10 years... Read morePublished 4 days ago by AllUpInYoGrill
Awesome, powerful, thought-provoking film. Outstanding performance by Cruise.Published 1 month ago by Daniel Haurey
Nice emphasis on the emotional and mental impact from the war.Published 1 month ago by Alyssa Marie Larsen
This is easily Tom Cruise's best film - he is remarkable in this role. A must see for anyone who wants to learn about the Vietnam War and what it did to both the Americans who... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dylan R. Cramer
The disillusioned American…this is why you don't fill your kids heads with BS. Not every veteran's life is going to turn out like this. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. Wiese
A very serious film about the Vietnam War and its casualties on both sides. This story is mainly about the realities of a wounded veteran's return home to hospitalization and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dreamquest
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