Saving Private Ryan (Single-Disc Special Limited Edition)
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A stalwart Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller, a soldier's soldier, who takes a small band of troops behind enemy lines to retrieve a private whose three brothers have recently been killed in action. It's a public relations move for the Army, but it has historical precedent dating back to the Civil War. Some critics of the film have labeled the central characters stereotypes. If that is so, this movie gives stereotypes a good name: Tom Sizemore as the deft sergeant, Edward Burns as the hotheaded Private Reiben, Barry Pepper as the religious sniper, Adam Goldberg as the lone Jew, Vin Diesel as the oversize Private Caparzo, Giovanni Ribisi as the soulful medic, and Jeremy Davies, who as a meek corporal gives the film its most memorable performance.
The movie is as heavy and realistic as Spielberg's Oscar-winning Schindler's List, but it's more kinetic. Spielberg and his ace technicians (the film won five Oscars: editing (Michael Kahn), cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), sound, sound effects, and directing) deliver battle sequences that wash over the eyes and hit the gut. The violence is extreme but never gratuitous. The final battle, a dizzying display of gusto, empathy, and chaos, leads to a profound repose. Saving Private Ryan touches us deeper than Schindler because it succinctly links the past with how we should feel today. It's the film Spielberg was destined to make. --Doug Thomas
Top Customer Reviews
There are no features on the first disc, not even a commentary track (Spielberg is well known for his dislike of commentary tracks). The special features are included on the second disc and all are presented in standard definition with the exception of the two film trailers. This is disappointing but not surprising, as it's something of an industry trend. There were no new features produced for this release, which is especially surprising considering the wealth of new high definition features that were produced for the "Minority Report" Blu-Ray. The positive side is that it pulls the features from all previous DVD editions. So even if it is all in standard definition, at least the consumer is presented with the complete special features collection.Read more ›
Excellent film though - the most realistic combat scenes you will ever see on celluloid by far, and the plot is at least believable.
By the way, thanks very much to the US armed forces for doing a fantastic job as our allies in WW2, and other times. Long may Britain and the US continue to stand up for freedom.
There are many other scenes that have stayed with me during the years since I last saw this unforgettable film, perhaps Spielberg's best ever. Perhaps the most poignant one that comes immediately to mind is the woman whose sons are all away at war. She's on a remote farm, washing dishes, and thru her window she sees the dust of approaching cars. She goes outside to meet the visitors, tenses as she sees military brass and a chaplain step from the cars, then crumples wordlessly to the worn boards of her front porch as she tries to take in the news: all her boys have been killed, except for one: Private Ryan.
Another related scene, the one that came just before this one, is equally gut-wrenching (and in both scenes, there is no dialogue, just heart-stabbing visuals that are more powerful than any words could have been) as a woman charged with sending out letters of the We Regret to Inform You variety realizes that she's seen three letters with the same address within the past few days, and she takes this terrible proof to her supervisor - and thus is born the search for the surviving son, to bring him home to his momma.
Tom Hanks, with his own persona of morality and honesty, is perfectly cast as the good Captain Miller, a soldier's soldier charged with this onerous task, and of course there is terrible cost.
Saving Private Ryan is the film Spielberg HAD to make. Outstanding, in every possible way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Honestly who does not like this movie? Gives you a glimpse into what it might have been like being in the trenches of World War Two in a very realistic way. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by Nathan
This movie should be required for all high school students along with the movie Roots.Published 13 hours ago by Angel J. Delao
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