• ERIC BUTLER

With all this talk of Red Dawn lets look at 5 war movies the Sheens you need to see.

With all the talk of WW3 just around the corner, many people have referenced one of the most entertaining movies of the 80s, Red Dawn. Now we aren't there just yet, but I wanted to give you 5 other war movies to watch staring members of the Sheen family - since Charlie is a part of this American classic. Hope these can distract you.

First up is my favorite Vietnam War movie, Platoon, which stars Charlie Sheen.

Blurb - Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good and the other evil. A shrewd examination of the brutality of war and the duality of man in conflict.


Written and directed by Olive Stone, this movie was an Oscar darling. He was the first Vietnam vet to direct a studio movie about the war. He wrote his first script for the film in 1971 and gave it to Jim Morrison to read. He hoped to cast the singer in the role Charlie Sheen eventually earned.


The cast was filled with some of the top talent of the day, and a number of up-and-comers. You had Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David(The Thing), Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon(The Blob), John C. McGinley, Johnny Depp(Nightmare on Elm St), and Tony Todd(Candyman) to name a few.


Stone cast Berenger(usually the hero) & Dafoe(usually the villain) against type, and they delivered. This earned them both Oscar nominations. you can check it out on Prime



Next up is Navy Seals. Charlie Sheen & Orion Pictures team up again to give us straight 90s gold.

Blurb - A battle-hardened SEAL Team sets off on a mission to destroy a shipment of US-built Stinger missiles that have fallen into terrorist hands.


This is another over-the-top action movie like the many that dominated the mid-to-late 80s. It's also another ensemble cast, bringing Sheen, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, and Denis Haysbert. I think Clerks summed it up best ...


That said - turn off your brain, get some popcorn, and enjoy a good shoot-up flick. You need Max to stream it, or it's a rent/buy movie.


Next up is Cadence. It's more of an Army movie than a war movie, but both Martin & Charlie Sheen are fantastic. This movie also gives us a Larry Fishburne Martin Sheen reunion.

Blurb - Charlie Sheen plays a rebellious inmate in an Army stockade.


Originally the role of McKinney was supposed to be played by Gary Busey, but he had a bit of an issue back then that led to erratic behavior. Martin Sheen, who was directing the film, stepped in to fill the role. I'm glad he did. It gives the relationship dynamic between his character & Charlie's character that would have been missing with Busey in the role. There's an underlying vibe of family disappointment and distrust that really hums between the two.


I think this movie spoke to me because I always have felt a bit like the Sheen character - a fish out of water. As a military brat, you can find your whole life changed in a blink of an eye. You can go from one situation in life to another, and if you can't adapt ... well, life can get difficult quickly. Sometimes that means embracing people different than you, or standing up to people you thought were on your side. It's a rent/buy movie, but I've seen it pop up on HULU.


Not to be outdone, Martin Sheen's other son, Emilio Estevez, directed and starred with his pops in a Vietnam movie that dealt with the soldier's life after he came home called The War at Home.

Blurb - Haunted by his experiences in the Vietnam War, a young man returns home and has trouble adjusting back to civilian life, his family and his stern father.


To get funding for the film, Estevez appeared in Mighty Ducks 3 for free. This ended up backfiring as the studio did little to no advertising, and Estevez had to call in a number of favors to get the movie where he wanted it. The trailer doesn't do it many favors, making it look like a made-for-TV movie from the 80s.


If I'm being honest, I always thought it was a made for Showtime movie since that's where I saw it and vaguely remember it being billed as such. It's not on any service right now, but it's worth a watch when it does pop up.


Last up is the classic Apocalypse Now - Redux. Estevez's cameo was cut so it only has Martin Sheen.


You have 3 versions of this film you can enjoy: the original, the Redux version from 2001, and the 2019 Final Cut. I prefer the Redux version, but they are all good. In fact, if you've already seen this movie but love movie lore, there is a documentary that is must-see, Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. You can watch the original on Netflix.



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