College Essentials – History 101

This collection goes a long way towards proving that History does not have to be boring. Three eras/events in human history are examined in these three films: World War II, Vietnam and the settling of the American Frontier. There are only two drawbacks to the collection. One is that it is entirely from an American perspective and two, is that you have two Oscar Award-winning films coupled with a weaker film in "Windtalkers".

Platoon: Special Edition directed by Oliver Stone:

Winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Oliver Stone's "Platoon" is a great film. It is powerful, intense and direct.

Chris Taylor (played by Charlie Sheen) volunteers for the army and is shipped to Vietnam. He soon realizes that the Viet Cong are not his only enemies but fear, exhaustion and a growing anger become part of his daily battles.

Chris's commanding officers wage a war against the enemy and each other that puts everyone in danger. The danger and chaos going on around him results in Chris beginning to really devalue human life. Innocence was lost in the jungles of Vietnam for many American soldiers.

Special Features: Tour of the Inferno, Photo Gallery, Original Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots

Dances With Wolves directed by Kevin Costner:

Kevin Costner directed and starred in this film that won 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Lieutenant John Dunbar (played by Kevin Costner) is sent to defend a United States outpost on the frontier. Dunbar is alone in this vast and wild place. Or so he thinks.

Dunbar soon realizes that he is surrounded by Sioux Indians. They who the government finds so threatening. He soon makes friends with those very people he is supposed to be defending the outpost from. Due to his daily contact with them Dunbar begins to respect the Sioux.

Once the white Americans arrive Dunbar is forced to make a choice between allegiance to his country and the people he has come to love and trust.

Special Features: Theatrical Trailer

Windtalkers directed by John Woo:

Based on a true story, during the battle of Saipan fought in World War II, Sergeant Joe Enders (played by Nicolas Cage) is assigned the duty to protect a young Navajo Indian who has been trained in the one code never broken by the enemy, the Navajo Code. The Navajo cannot fall into enemy hands (the Japanese) or the viability of the code would be compromised and American secret communication in jeopardy.

Ben Yahzee (played by Adam Beach) is treated poorly by the other American soldiers, but he and Sergeant Enders begin to bond due to the situation and a growing respect each is beginning to form for the other.

Special Features: Theatrical Trailer

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