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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Touchstone/Disney - 1987
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Robin Williams, Forrest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, J.T. Walsh, Robert Wuhl, Tung Thanh Tran, Noble Williams
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Music by: Alex North
Written by: Mitch Markowitz
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 17, 2012

"The wrong man. In the wrong place. At the right time.."

Film Synopsis:

Enjoy the unsurpassed digital sound quality of Blu-ray High Definition as Army deejay Adrian Cronauer (Williams) spins a red-hot soundtrack of 60s hits. His sidesplitting comedy and rapid fire wit make him a hero to the troops, but quickly get him in hot water with his by-the-book superiors.

My Take:

Good morning Vietnam features Robin Williams in the role he was born to play: the irreverent, non-conformist deejay Adrian Cronauer. Imported by the Army for an early a.m. radio show, Cronauer blasts the formerly staid, sanitized airwaves with a constant barrage of rapid-fire humor and the hottest hits from back home. The G.I.s love him--but the brass is up in arms! Riddled with sidesplitting comic bombshells and studded with hot '60's hits, the film depicts Cronauer's raucous Saigon adventures amid a world gone mad.

If you enjoy Robin Williams' flair for ostentatious blather, quit wit and vivacious oration, Good morning Vietnam represents some of his best work. Based on real life Air Force Disc Jockey Adrian Cronauer who served in Saigon during the mid nineteen sixties, Williams is at his manic best as a system bucking, hilariously funny, Army radio show host, brought in to boost morale during one of the darkest military conflicts in U.S. history. There isn't any factual basis in screenwriter Mitch Markowitz's script which keeps the narrative relatively light with conventionally drawn characters and a bit of flavor adding drama. Williams is clearly the focal point however there are some really great moments featuring the late Bruno Kirby whole stole nearly every scene every as the tight-assed, completely disrespected LT. Hauk. Of course honorable mention has to go out to the late J.T. Walsh who plays hard-ass Sergeant Major Dickerson, the type of role that he excelled at. Good morning Vietnam is a fun film to watch. It is perfectly paced, simply but effectively written, and aptly directed by the always reliable Barry Levinson. It has been years since I have seen it but 25 years later it hasn't lost its luster.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language brief violence and thematic material.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 76

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Good morning Vietnam comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.

I watched Good morning Vietnam right after Dead poet's society and found the presentations to be quite similar. A review of notes confirmed this so many of my comments from that review are contained herein. By design this film doesn't boast vibrant colors are eye popping visuals but the encoding appears solid. Colors have a reserved level of saturation and those used are rarely bright which give the perception of a limited palette. Overall they are naturally rendered and appear to fall within the visual range intended. Depending on the lighting some of the interior sequences have a sepia splashed aesthetic. Fleshtones look natural with warm highlights that vary depending on complexional characteristics. Blacks are respectable with above average delineation. Shadow detail is good which enhances visual perception during scenes shot in low lighting. Resolution is adequate but the video isn't razor sharp or dimensionally strong. Grain is prevalent with stronger emphasis here and there which can make it appear uneven at times. This presentation seems to coincide with the creative decisions of the filmmakers and results in stable imagery that lacks the eye popping definition that some may expect from high definition.

The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack delivers crisp dialogue in a mostly frontal presentation that offers a few splashes of ambience through the surround channels. There is minimal low frequency detail mixed to the subwoofer but in this film there really is no call for it. The blend of music, dialogue and sound effects through the front channel speakers is rendered with discerning clarity, limited but appreciable dimensional perspective and average depth. Considering its age I found this to be a decent audio presentation that faithfully rendered the recording's elements.

Bonus Features:

  • Production diary (6 segments):

    1. How the movie came to be - 6 minutes
    2. Actor improv - 9 minutes
    3. Music of the movie - 6 minutes
    4. Origin of the Good morning Vietnam sign on - 3 minutes
    5. Shooting in Thailand
    6. Overview of the film a year later - 2 minutes
  • Original theatrical/teaser trailers

Final Thoughts:

Good morning Vietnam features Robin Williams in the role he was born to play as the irreverent, non-conformist and real life deejay Adrian Cronauer. While there isn't any factual basis in screenwriter Mitch Markowitz's script there is plenty of entertainment to be found in his relatively light, straight forward narrative that features conventionally drawn, well enacted characters and a bit of flavor adding drama. It makes its debut on Blu-ray featuring faithful high definition audio/video quality and includes the same bonus supplements found on the 2006 Special Edition DVD release. If you already own the special edition DVD this may not be a significant upgrade. However for those who don't or have never seen it this offering from Disney is well worth considering.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

1 Posts
I haven't seen that movie in years. I remember watching it as a child (my parents were big fans- - I know I'm showing my age there). I don't think I appreciated the humor (which is a good thing) until I was a teenager starting college.

896 Posts
This movie is what a comedy should be. One of my all time favorites....in any genre.
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