Saving Private Ryan - (Import DVD)

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R 94

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Steven Spielberg's Oscar winning, epic, World War 2 drama is set against the backdrop of the Normandy landings. A squad of American soldiers, led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), receive top-level instructions to undertake an unusual mission: to rescue Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have all been killed in action. As the soldiers forge deeper into enemy territory, they begin to question the sense of risking life and limb for the sake of one man.
Number of Discs
TV System
Saving Private Ryan [DVD] [1998]
Paramount Home Entertainment
Running Time
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Jason, Bellville. 26 February 2010

This is the war movie against which all others must be judged. It forgoes the sensibilities of movies like "Where Eagles Dare" or "The Dirty Dozen" where war is a playing ground for the bravado of macho manly men. It's portayal of war as hell is spot-on. Here we see the things that were left off the newsreels; I mean, the newsreels showed only the succesful aftermath of the Allieds invasion of Normandy, but not the sense of dread of the soldiers as they were marched into hell itself. Atmosphere aside, the casting was perfect, the acting laudible on a superb production.

My favourite moment of the movie? You'd think it would be the opening invasion, wouldn't you? Actually it's the moment of reflection before the final battle in the wartorn village, with Edith Piaf bellowing through the gramaphone to keep the soldiers occupied. It lends a humanity to the proceedings, reminding us that these soldiers are no supermen but ordinary mortals.

Audio and video quality is top-tier material. Big bonus is the DTS soundtrack, good enough to rival Blu-Ray output in terms of three-dimensionality, spatiality and directionality. Case in point, the opening invasion scene left me drained, in a good way.

As did the rest of the movie.

R 94

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