My late father was on the front lines as a soldier in some of the heaviest combat in the war -- Army 1st Cavalry Airmobile, 66-67.
Whenever he and I watched Vietnam movies usually he would mention how silly they were and how they always falsely portrayed American troops as cold-blooded killers (no doubt to get across a pro-communist political point).He hated Oliver Stone, Jane Fonda, and all the rest of those Hollywood types.I think you will find that most Vietnam Vets share a similar sentiment -- heck most people who ever served in the military share it.
He would also point out some of the technical inaccuracies in the films.For instance, many of the films portray a bunch of loose canons running around the jungle without their helmets on.He told me that if you took your helmet off (at least in the 1st Cav) you were instructed to put it back on.He also mentioned how in real life you don't fire your rifle on full-auto and how you never stand up in a firefight (unlike these Rambo characters in the movies).
He told me that most of the guys he saw get killed were usually doing something risky that they had been trained not to do in AIT (like standing up, etc.)
Lastly, he always pointed out to me how thick the jungle was and how you VERY rarely ever saw who was shooting at you (I am not sure where all he was in Vietnam, but I do know he was in Bong Son for a while, but since he was Airmobile, they moved around a lot).This "invisibility" of the enemy likely changed in the highlands/mountains a bit, but in the jungle regions, he told me it was his experience that you never saw 'em until they were on top of you.He also told me he never saw a single American tank the whole time he was there -- the jungles were too thick.That's not to say tanks weren't there, they were, but they were rare in the dense regions.
I remember him saying that the enemy feared most was the NVA, which were more traditional and better organized than the VC, but the VC were more stealthy.
Interestingly, he told me that the most realistic war movie he saw was "Saving Private Ryan."Of course, it wasn't a Vietnam movie, but he told me he thought the effects, gunfire, and combat scenes were pretty realistic, especially the sniper scenes.
At any rate, my description is second hand, but my father discussed this stuff enough that I remember it clearly.
I would like to hear from other vets who were in forward combat in Vietnam (preferably 1st Cavalry or Infantry divisions).Since my father has passed away, I have become more curious about the war and wish I would have asked more about it.I know there was a lot he didn't tell me.