Saving Private Ryan

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By: The Dweeb

DVD Features

Video: 1.85:1 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Exclusive Message from Steven Spielberg
Saving Private Ryan – “Into The Breach”,
2 Theatrical Trailers,
Production Notes,
Cast and Filmmaker’s Bios

Theatrical release: 4/24/1998
DVD released on 11/02/1999 by Dreamworks
Running time of 169 minutes

Starring: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore

Director: Steven Spielberg

Plot: Seen through the eyes of a squad of American soldiers, the story begins with World War II’s historic D-Day invasion, then moves beyond the beaches the men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer – and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.

Spielberg delivers yet another ground breaking film, this time its not about special effects, or some child’s fantasy film. He brings us the harsh reality of war. I don’t think anyone is able to sit through the first twenty minutes of this film and not feel it. I was in shock the first time I saw this, and I still feel numb watching it every time. Ever since this film came out, it has had many attempted imitators. This is new standard for the war genre, long gone are the days when John Wayne ran around on the battlefield. I can’t help but compare this film to every other war film that comes out now, this one still sits in the back of my mind.

Steven Spielberg is a definite master filmmaker. He knows how to tell the story and immerse the viewer. His use of the high grain film, washed out colors and hand held perspectives throw you right onto the European battlefield. Superbly done.

The battalion of actors he employed in the film do an outstanding job. It wasn’t cheesed up. Tom Hanks as usual plays perfectly in his role as Captain Miller, steering his young troops across the fields, providing guidance. He runs the show like the classroom he came from. Tom Sizemore is perfect as the tough Sergeant Horvath. So good in fact that he reprises his role in Black Hawk Down.

The video on this DVD is rather dark and grainy, as done on purpose to provide atmosphere. It gets a little pixilated at certain points, but does not become overly distracting. The sound on here is another story. Holy cow, its a great mix. The Omaha Beach invasion scene is reference material for sound. You can imagine they utilize a lot of the subwoofer and side channels in this mix.

Being an older DVD, there isn’t much to the packaging, but it is enough. Its a serious film so they don’t have a lot of the usual Hollywood fluff that’s found on a lot of discs. There is only a brief commentary by Spielberg, and a documentary about the soldiers of World War II. You can also find the various trailers and production information on here. Overall, its a small package.

If you can stomach it, I highly recommend this DVD.

Reviewer’s Opinion: BUY IT!!

2 Responses to “Saving Private Ryan”


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