Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns. An explosive WWII drama in which Private James Ryan becomes the object of a desperate and dangerous rescue mission in war-torn Germany after authorities learn his three other brothers already have been killed in combat. 2 DVDs. 1999/color/169 min/R/widescreen.
In many ways, the extras from this 2004 version could have been included in the initial 1999 DVD release. Laurent Bouzeraeu, the usual director of Spielberg DVD features, smoothly creates several segments on the making of the film, a refreshing change after Spielberg's other lauded World War II DVD, Schindler's List
, did not give fans anything on the film's craft. About 90 minutes of new material is here, showing how the famous D-Day invasion was created, the historical facts of the story, and how the actors were trained through an abbreviated "basic training." There are plenty of interview snippets with Spielberg and his cast, but all of them were shot on the film's set; there is no years-later retrospection about the film. Only a new interview, with Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, puts the film in perspective--and hails the arrival of DVD. The same excellent DVD presentation of the film is on this new set; however, a DTS soundtrack can only be found on the World War II Collection
. --Doug Thomas