Hamburger Hill – 20th Anniversary Edition

Hamburger Hill celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. For those individuals that were not cognizant or knowledgeable about the film when it first came out, it discusses the attack that the U.S. Army’s 187th Infantry (part of the Screaming Eagles) made against the Vietnamese army on the Ap Bia Mountain (which is close to Vietnam’s border with Laos). The film itself features both Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) and Dylan McDermott (Steel Magnolias, Jersey Girl), and their times before, during and after the battle. The film does not pull any punches, especially in its portrayal of the reality that the U.S. troops had to deal with when they were coming home: one individual is given dog feces in a bag, while another has eir girlfriend stop writing eir since the girlfriend’s friends tell eir that writing a soldier is “immoral”.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of this film gives individuals a number of added features. Aside from cleaning up the picture for the film (it was digitally mastered), the added featurettes and other bonus additions make watching this DVD a day-long exercise. First off, individuals can learn more about the specific context in which the film was created through the included commentary with a number of actors and producers. The amount of information that viewers can draw from this movie further increases with “Hamburger Hill: The Appearance of Reality”. This featurette goes behind the lens to show some of the nitty gritty facts surrounding the filming and creation of the film.

Finally, the shorter piece about “Medics in Vietnam” shows the value of these soldiers along with some of the atrocities that each of them had to go through while stationed in Vietnam. The action scenes present still stand out as solid, believable descriptions of reality even 20 years after the film originally came out. The cast’s acting is superb, and the film itself still stands as one of the most compelling and accurate depictions of that era that has yet been placed on movie theater screens. With the number of war films that are being re-released by Lionsgate, I can definitely smell a great present for a history buff or individual that finds themselves to be a fan of these types of films. The package is solid and has practically everything that an individual could conceivably want from the film.

Rating: 8.2/10

Hamburger Hill – 20th Anniversary Edition / 2008 Lionsgate / 110 Minutes / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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