Blu-ray
Recommended
3 stars
List Price
$14.99
Amazon
$9.39 (37%)
3rd Party
$7.94
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Overall Grade
3 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4 Stars
HD Video Quality
3.5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
2 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Good Morning Vietnam

Street Date:
January 17th, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
October 18th, 2012
Movie Release Year:
1988
Studio:
Disney/Buena Vista
Length:
121 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated R
Release Country
United States

Editor's Notes

Please welcome Bryan Kluger to High-Def Digest! Bryan has worked in the film and tv industry as an actor, producer, and casting director. In 2003, he made a comic book convention documentary 'Nerds Gone Wild.' In 2008, he opened a comic book store called Boomstick Comics, specializing in rare comics and action figures. He collects horror soundtracks on vinyl and writes movie, music, and video game reviews.

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Twenty five years later, 'Good Morning Vietnam' still holds up as one the best films about Vietnam and most certainly one of the top Robin Williams films of all time. I can’t believe it has been twenty-five years. I actually remember seeing this in the theatre with my parents and just loving Robin Williams' performance as Adrian Cronauer, the real radio disc-jockey. Over the next couple of years I memorized and performed all of Cronauer's radio monologues. I can still recite them to this day. Needless to say, 'Good Morning Vietnan' holds a special place in my heart, and this 25th anniversary blu-ray is a hit. There are some decent extras and great audio and video presentations on this disc. In my opinion, this is definitely worth picking up.

You’ve most likely seen this movie, and if you haven't, you’re in for a real treat. 'Good Morning Vietnam' follows radio deejay Adrian Cronauer (Williams), who is assigned to do the morning show for the US troops in Vietnam. Cronauer's ultra-unorthodox music choices and comedy bits quickly earn him the love and respect of the troops, but put him on the proverbial "shit list" with the conservative military officers. While in Vietnam, Cronauer becomes also entranced by a local Vietnamese girl and immediately puts the moves on her. He fails on almost every attempt.

He ends up following her to a classroom where a group of natives are learning English. Cronauer takes over as teacher to get closer with the girl, but is stopped short by her brother. Cronauer becomes friends with her brother, but later on realizes there is something more afoot. On top of that, he is hassled at every corner by two military superiors for his non-conformist radio show...

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is where an emotionally drained and beaten Cronauer has given up trying to fight the asinine rules of the military officers, and one of his assistants (a young Forest Whitaker) tries to get Cronauer back on the air. While in traffic in Vietnam, they pull up to several military convoys transporting US troops. Cronauer’s assistant yells to the troops that he has Adrian Cronauer in the car.

So Cronauer gives his famous “Gooooooood Morning Vietnam” line and the troops go insane with joy. Cronauer proceeds to do some comedy for the troops and he realizes he really is making their days better in the crude world of war. It's an amazing scene. Maybe in the top scenes in cinema if you ask me.

The soundtrack for the film is out of this world. Featuring rock n roll hits from top artist from the period, the tunes will make you get up out of your seat and groove. Some of the music includes James Brown, The Beach Boys, and Wilson Pickett. 'Good Morning Vietnam' is packed with plenty of laughs and some real drama. This is one of the better Robin William’s films as he was clearly free to let that famous Robin Williams style loose.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

The video comes via a glorious 1080p/AC-encoded transfer presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

The movie looks great. It seems that this film was cleaned up quite a bit from its last release. There is a tiny bit of noise reduction, which in some cases crushes some of the better textures.

Also there has been a small bit of some edge enhancement thrown in, which gave way to very minor halos and aliasing. With that said, even though, that is not a good thing, this is still the best Good Morning America has looked. The colors pop and are vibrant throughout. The blacks are deep and inky. The skin tones are natural and well-saturated. The shadow detail looks good on this release. The movie looks polished and clear. The exterior shots of the jungle with the greens and browns just pop. This is a very solid video transfer.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The audio has a DTS-HD 5.1 mix and sounds good. It seemed like the soundtrack was more front heavy for being a 5.1 track, but some of the heavier action sequences and the explosions made all the speakers rumble. And while they rumbled, it was not as full as it could have been. That being said, this is more of a dialogue driven film than anything which mostly comes through the front speakers.

The dialogue was crisp and clear and the ambient sounds of the jungle sounded amazing over all the speakers. The directionality could have been a bit livelier, paying attention to more movement and channel pans. The best part is the score and music in the film. This is a faithful if unimpressive audio presentation.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • "'Production Diary"(SD, 35 mins) -This half hour series of features includes a variety of little segments including; the music of the film, shooting overseas, the origins of the film, interviews, and a great little piece on the real life Adrian Cronauer who talks about his time in Vietnam and how it was really nothing like the movie. Great little series of extras.
  • Raw Monologues (SD, 13 mins) - A little over ten minutes of Robin Williams being Robin Williams amped up to 11. Williams improves the radio show, and it is some of the funniest material I've seen on an extra in recent memory. Basically, they just turned on the camera and said, "Go." This is my favorite extra on the disc.
  • Original Theatrical Trailers (SD, 4 mins) - Here you get the original theatrical teaser trailer and the regular theatrical trailer. Nothing more, nothing less.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no HD exclusives.

Final Thoughts

'Good Morning Vietnam' was an instant hit back in the 80s and remains a classic today. Robin Williams is fantastic in this film. It’s got wit, heart, soul, and enough laughs to go around for everyone. The film's soundtrack is filled with some of the best musicians of all time playing some of the finest rock n roll music from the period. This is the best the film has ever looked, and the extras, while slim, are a lot of fun. I recommend 'Good Morning Vietnam' to everyone. It's currently selling at a great price too!

Technical Specs

  • BD-50 Blu-ray Disc

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/TBA

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.85:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French

Supplements

  • How The Movie Came To Be
  • Actor Improv
  • Music Of The Movie
  • Origin Of The Good Morning
  • Vietnam Sign-On
  • Shooting In Thailand & Overview Of The Film A Year Later
  • Raw Monologues
  • Original Theatrical and Teaser Trailers

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List Price
$14.99
Amazon
$9.39 (37%)
3rd Party
$7.94
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»

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