Plot: What’s it about?
As the conflict in Vietnam pushes on, the troops have lowered morale thanks to the longer than expected campaigns and broken promises. In an attempt to boost spirits and provide some entertainment, the Army brings in radio personality Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams). As it turns out, he was just what the troops needed, as the men love his show and can’t get enough of his humor. Cronaeur is over the top and wild, never afraid to speak up or play the hottest new rock & roll from back home. As much as it pleases the troops, some of the officers disapprove of his humor and choice of music. Will he be forced to tone down his show, be taken off the air, or be allowed to do what he does best?
I tend to check out films based in the Vietnam conflict, as that event is of great interest to me, but this is one I could never appreciate. Good Morning, Vietnam was showered with praise and star Robin Williams was even nominated for an Oscar, but I’ve never cared for the picture. Although based on a real life story, the movie never tries to stay grounded in realism for even a moment. Williams is too over the top in the lead, as if the filmmakers just told him to improvise for hours and hours on end. If you like Williams’ brand of humor, then you’ll like those scenes, but when the film tries to be dramatic, it sinks like a stone. We’re left with a very uneven balance of manic and disjointed elements. Even in this Special Edition release, I can’t recommend Good Morning, Vietnam, save only as a last choice rental option.
Video: How does it look?
Good Morning, Vietnam is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The original release of this movie looked mediocre, to be kind. This time around, we have an improved presentation, but it isn’t that much of an improvement. The print still has a lot of grain and frequent debris, but at least the anamorphic enhancement adds detail, right? So the image comes off a little sharper and clearer the second time, while colors and contrast remain on about the same level. So yes, Touchstone has made this one anamorphic now, but the improvements are not that impressive.
Audio: How does it sound?
Same old, same old. But the Dolby Digital 5.1 track was acceptable then, so it still sounds good, if on the unremarkable side. I found dialogue to be clear and clean, so no vocal issues arise. That’s good, but if you don’t like to hear Robin Williams ramble, then I suppose that’s bad news. In rare instances, the surrounds kick up and sound off, but that doesn’t happen often. You’ll hear some presence from time to time, including good bass use, but don’t expect a lot here. The music sounds good though, which spices up the soundtrack. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You’ll find a total of six featurettes here, but none run ten minutes and all are mere promotional tools, not even worth the effort. This disc also includes some outtakes of Williams’ radio rants, as well as the film’s teaser and theatrical trailers.