on 14 October 2011
Simple story, wonderfully told - just the way you'd expect from Mr. Eastwood. Morgan Freeman, almost a fixture in Clint's work, comes up with another superlative performance.
Matt Demon is another BIG star in the making.
He has been extending his comfort level across genres, with every new film! It is no wonder Clint chose him for Hereafter.
I felt good after watching the movie & watched it again with family, within a week. Not many movies are that good!
The script is pretty tight and production values are just about ok. In order to take the viewers back by a few decades, Clint has maintained a certain graininess throughout, which is, at times discomforting in HD (as you'd normally expect a flawless canvas).
Though fairly predictable, anecdotal dramas play out with regularity in the storyline, which keeps you glued.
The Invictus poem is out of this world & that jail sequence can be watched over and over again.
Thanks Mr. Eastwood, once again.
on 5 July 2010
I really enjoyed Invictus. Being a big Rugby fan I was drawn by the fact that the 95 world cup was the backdrop and could remember the building passionate support for the Springboks but of course there was so much more behind it. I though t Morgan Freeman played Mandela superbly and Matt Damon was also good (if you could overlook his size as a supposed International Lock / Flanker). The script was very well written and although Rugby was seen as the link to uniting society, I just wished (as a Rugby fan) the actual game scenes could have been a bit more realistic as they had the feel of a Sunday league match rather than a hard hitting international.
This is a great film, and i very much enjoyed it, however this is not a "review" as such but a warning / note of caution to anyone buying this version AFTER June 2011.
The digital copy that comes with this film has a code that Expires on 14/06/2011 which means that you will be unable to transfer the digital copy after this date. I bought my copy on 12th July 2011, I tried it anyway and had the "code is expired" message - no joy in trying get around it either as it connects to the Warner Server to authorise the transer/download. The Warner Bros support site is not much help either as it simply states that the digital copy is a "bonus" and the code should have been redeemed by the cut off date. Aparently this is what Warner do to "reward" people who buy the film early on dvd/blu ray. I have emailed them about it, asking for a new one off code, but again they simply told me it was a bonus that has expired there was nothing they could do and that was that. A bit harsh, but there we go.
So, while you do get the Blu ray and DVD versions of this great film at a pretty good price, you won't (sadly) be getting the digital copy if you buy it from after 15th June 2011 making this a "double play" not "triple play" version.
on 3 July 2011
Unfortunately the Digital Download version of the movie that is included with this package does not work - it expired on 14 June 2011 and is no longer available
I suggest the product description be amended to reflect this as what I recieved does not deliver a working Digital download
The Blu Ray itself is fine - love the quality of the HD version
and it's a GERAT movie!
Invictus shows how you can make a very enjoyable film that says something about politics while being also about sport, a nation, and individual people, from leader to bit player, all embraced in the sweep of the camera. It is quite an achievement, and uses its budget to inject as much visual life into the story as possible. Air shots, huge crowd views, close-ups of the action, Mandela in private, many bits of conversation of every type, and the South African landscape and vivid colours all go to make up its bright visual style. I don't think I've ever seen sport shot so well, from the point of view of someone who doesn't follow rugby. I know some people object to this aspect, especially those who actually play the game ... but for those of us who don't, and could never survive it, this gives a good idea, keeping well into the action with close-ups and body collisions, and not too much running around seen from a distance, as football always looks on TV (again to someone who isn't into it). You don't need to be into rugby to get caught up in this - but you feel the adrenaline, and the building excitement through this 1995 World Cup. What is particularly good, apart from the excellent balance Clint Eastwood achieves, is the way he shows Mandela to use rugby for very positive political ends, and at the same time to get quite involved as it goes along. You sense the way he sees a chance here, and acts in a very clear-sighted way in opposing many black people who want to see the name Springbok removed because of its past associations. Mandela sees its retention as symbolising forgiveness, of embracing the Afrikaners in the new inclusive vision of South Africa, and overriding any residual resentment. At the same time his fundamental respect for the players is never in doubt, even before he gets into it, but he's clearly someone who has great regard for everyone. Certain scenes really stand out - the Springboks going into a township and working with the young boys, who immediately mob Chester Williams, the only black player on the team, sadly. Or one of these boys turning up at the stadium and trying to listen to the final on a police car radio, where initial hostility gives way to him being lifted high over the white officers' heads at the moment of victory. It's a great image of a new society, one of those turning points in a country that it is great to see captured with the immediacy of film. Both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon (as Springbok captain Francois Pienaar) are outstanding, which adds greatly to its pull on the viewer.
'Clint Eastwood' rarely delivers disappointment with the films he directs....this film i can assure you does not 'buck' the trend.
The film starts with 'Nelson Mandela's' (Morgan Freeman) release after '30' years imprisonment and of his rise to President.
However, how does he convince a nation to unite,he sets out to integrate both white and black in within his new Government.
But, many problems lie ahead, the white population are suspicious, and many of the black population remain less than equall.
The national 'Rugby' team are primarily supported by the white population, the opposition are usually cheered on by the black community.
So much division, 'Nelson Mandela' see's an opening that might get the whole country backing the national team during the World-Cup, the team do have a habit of losing however.
'Nelson Mandela' makes it a priority to befriend the 'rugby' captain 'Francois Pienar' (Matt Damon)and get to know the team by name.
This is a brilliantly up-lifting movie, and has obviously been researched to offer authenticity.
'Morgan Freeman' one of today's most respected actor's gives a convincing performance as the man who has the courage to forgive those who done him wrong.
'Matt Damon' an inspiring role as the 'Springbok' Captain who's team along with the presidents support helped unite that which had been divided---a Nation.
Clint Eastwood' has surely directed another 'classic in waiting'
on 4 January 2011
This movie centres around the development of a relationship between recently released Nelson Mandela and the captain of the Springbok rugby team, Francois Pienaar and the preparations and winning of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I was there and well remember the excitement and fantastic impression of Nelson Mandela wearing Francois Pienaar's Springbok jersey at the final. This was typical of the statesmanship which he displayed and did much to win over many previously critical white rugby fans. The movie was inspirational and Morgan Freeman gives a great portrayal of Nelson Mandela.
on 2 April 2013
"Whilk," said my PE teacher, "you hardly seem to be playing rugby at all. You just wander around the field like some nomad who's lost his camel."
I venture this autobiographical self-indulgence only to demonstrate that you really, really don't need to be a sports fan to enjoy this extraordinary film. What it's fundamentally about is the great Nelson Mandela, and how, released from a quarter-century's imprisonment to save his country from the septic trauma of apartheid, he saw how the Springboks might help to heal South Africa's terrible injury.
The invaluable Matt Damon, surely as reliable a star as any, gives a powerfully eloquent performance as the Springboks' much-burdened captain, but the film is dominated by Morgan Freeman's masterly portrait of the president. A more perfect conjunction of actor and role it's difficult to imagine: this, I feel, is the part Morgan was born to play. The rest of the huge cast is without a weak link, and Clint Eastwood's direction is as assured as I've come to expect, whether capturing minute nuances of character, putting us amidst the violent drama of the rugby pitch, showing us the beauty of Table Mountain and the poverty of a shanty town or celebrating the splendour of a crowd of sixty thousand in an ecstasy of patriotic fervour.
Warner Brothers have done a fine job of preparing their film for blu-ray. Although the picture doesn't quite match the startling sharpness of the very best demonstration discs, neither does it have any grungy grain to complain about, and the audio gives an equally good account of some magnificent music and the thuds and roars of rugby action. The extras are very generous.
This is, I think, as uplifting a film as I can remember. The tale of Mandela's heroism, wisdom and magnanimity is surely one of the most inspiring of our era. I doubt whether anyone could reach the closing credits of this disc without feeling very, very lucky to have watched it.
on 13 June 2015
If you are not a Rugby Fan, watch it anyway, because the focus of the Film is on the effect the World Cup had on a Nation still reeling from the changes post apartheid, and the rebirth of a common cause amongst the whole Population. Lots there for the mainstream Rugby Fan as well, indicating a well crafted film that had a delicate tightrope to walk. It did the latter superbly bringing the viewer along with the rising Tide of Emotion as the Finals drew ever closer.
Morgan Freeman as Mandela was an inspired casting, and its clear both he and Matt Demon (as the Springboks Captain) under the wise Directorship of Clint Eastwood, both did a fine job portraying the emotion of the period and the rising furfur that gripped a Nation still suffering growing pains from its Re-Birth. Even non Rugby Fans cant help but be swept along in the portrayed emotion of the time. Wonderful Film fully deserving of the Forrest of 5 Star ratings it has received on Amazon. As a slice of History in that troubled Country, it doesnt get much better than this. A superb watch for all the family, both as an emotional record of the Historical times, and a wonderful memorable World Cup Final. Not to be missed by anyone, Rugby Fan or not.
on 10 June 2010
This is a hugely enjoyable movie which charts the rise of Nelson Mandela and his role in bringing in the nation of South Africa together during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It would be considered corny if it didn't happen to be true. I'm not sure about all the details but the basic facts are there, that Mandela, newly elected to the presidency of South Africa chose reconciliation rather than confrontation with the white minority who had so long oppressed the people he represented. One gesture was to support the Springboks - a major symbol of white supremacy in the past - and to bring the nation together around them in spite of what many of his own supporters who wanted them for ever abolished.
This is steering stuff with Morgan Freeman giving a stunning performance of Mandela. Just why he didn't receive an Oscar for this performance is something only the vagaries of the Academy award system can tell us. He looks like and sounds like the great man himself - it's worth watching the movie just for this one performance. Elsewhere the movie is solidly cast with one unfortunate exception. Well as Matt Damon acts as the Springbok captain François Pienaar, he is simply not physically big enough to be credible in the role. Pienaar was a huge man in every respect and Damon just doesn't have the size to convince. The rugby scenes are quite well done but not in the same league as, say, the action scenes in Friday Night Lights.
However, the rugby is actually incidental to the main action of the film which is about a great statesman rising above the prejudice and hate that were fundamental to the country he inherited. Do see this movie and be inspired.