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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to war films, honest and realsistic.
Spielberg has broken from the norm with this film and has the courage to depict war as it really is. Previous war films have been heavily sanitised to 'protect' the viewer, and Saving Private Ryan acts as a wake up call to the public, especially to myself and the younger generation, who have never experienced a major conflict in our lifetime. This film acts as an antidote...
Published on 14 Nov 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed (heavily) masterpiece
Book ended by some seriously outstanding film craft, we get an utterly predictable Spielberg-by-numbers wet tissue. However, the DVD is worth owning for the technically brilliant, peerless pro/epilogue alone.
Published on 15 Dec 2000


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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most realistic war film yet ., 13 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Surely no film-maker has come as close as this to recreating actual combat. The hand held cam puts you face down on the beach, then up again zigzagging though obstacles. It actually looks like an old colour WW2 newsreel at times, such is the realism. Instead of perfect choreography and theatrical deaths seen in many older war films we see limbs and heads blown off,bodies dismembered, blood and intestines everywhere. This is quite shocking and exhausting to watch - and its only the first 20 minutes.
If you do get any pleasure out of the opening it has to be the best surround sound on any current film. Bullets zip past and ping off beach obstacles left to right; waves crash resoundingly against landing craft; other later highlights include the distant groaning of tiger tanks as they approach the village.
Hanks is again superb in this film and plays a respected leader secretly cracking under the strain. Other notables include Tom Sizemore as the "rock" of the platoon and Wimpy Uphum, whom I suspect most of us would identify more with if placed in the same circumstances.
Although an American film about American soldiers, anyone ignorant about D-Day would assume Uncle Sam flew the flag alone. This was one of the most important events in history and the other countries that took part do deserve some recognition. None is accorded here although Montgomery does get a spiteful and unneccesary attack. Apart from a few too many fluttering flags and over-the-top cemetery ending, this is a truly great film, hopefully showing the largely ignorant younger generation something of what their grandfathers had to go through.
This film was made for the DVD format and it doesn't disappoint, although a commentary from Spielberg would be appreciated.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a film!, 2 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Saving Private Ryan finally gets the treatment it deserves with this superior DVD release, now complete with a DTS soundtrack. The special features on the discs are minimal, with only a few trailers and some notes; but there is an interesting, if not fascinating documentary on the making of the film which includes interviews with D-Day veterans.
However, you probably wouldn't buy a film like this for the features. You would buy it for the intense, unrivalled and spellbinding combat sequences - most notably the acclaimed D-Day landing recreation. But it doesn't stop there. Spielberg takes us into a debate about the war through the eyes of eight stereotypical soldiers (although nonetheless powerful or resonating for it). The soldiers lay the different views, reasons and arguments before the audience about the war that were shared by so many at the time.
The film climaxes in what can only be described as a brilliant battle between the platoon in peril and Nazi tanks and infantry. The film is improved with the DTS soundtrack, which completely immerses you into the experience. This is a great transfer onto DVD of a great film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest to god best war film ever, 27 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Saving Private Ryan - 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Saw this film in cinemas in September of '98. Bought on VHS. Then DVD. And now blu ray. Jeremy Davies is excellent. The entire cast is superb. Even vin diesel. Unrelenting excellence. Gruesome war wounds. Believable performances. Makes me cry every time I watch. Truly heart rending stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as everyone makes out!, 21 July 2013
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I can't say its one of my favourite films. I know everyone raves about it but I kind of found it dull. I like war movies normally so was really disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Action !, 6 Jun 2011
By 
Michael Davies (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saving Private Ryan - 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I was familiar with the film having seen it in the Cinema and having a DVD, though I lent this out without it being returned so when I saw the Blu-Ray version was around I did'nt hesitate !
It is an excellent film and the initial D-Day Landings sequence are very graphic and show the pity and futility of war. The picture (as has been said before) is good quality though some
scenes are in washed-out colour with a grainy aspect, this is deliberate. If you know about this beforehand its ok ! The sound is good too and with the 5.1 DD benefits a decent Blu-Ray
system. This film does not glorify war - it is almost an anti-war film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed (heavily) masterpiece, 15 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Book ended by some seriously outstanding film craft, we get an utterly predictable Spielberg-by-numbers wet tissue. However, the DVD is worth owning for the technically brilliant, peerless pro/epilogue alone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War is hell, 12 Jun 2011
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Saving Private Ryan - 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
In the late-90s there were two particular films that redefined their particular genres. Saving Private Ryan was one of them (the other, unfortunately, was The Matrix). Almost every war movie that followed SPR, right down to 2008's Rambo, seemed to be no more than a pastiche of Spielberg's hectic style.

SPR proves what an inconsistent filmmaker Spielberg can be. The man has had his fair share of misfires (Hook, anyone?) but this was his last truly great effort. War of the Worlds and Munich were good, though hardly as revolutionary, but The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, and the movie that called itself Indy IV were all just too gutless and inoffensive. You'd never believe they were from the same director if you didn't know better.

A lot of critics have repeatedly praised SPR over the years, but they all praise the same things (the documentary style, the realism, etc.) Simultaneously, a lot of people have dismissed it as shallow, badly-written, and void of any thrills beyond the 30-minute mark. But look beneath the surface and you'll find that SPR does actually have a tight screenplay, despite going through the motions on few occasions. The wide and diverse cast (including Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, and Dale Dye) do good with the material. It's refreshing for a war movie to move beyond the 'point of view of one man' cliche.

Janusz Kaminski's desaturated, gritty, high-shutter-speed photography is full of deep blacks and high contrast. This look has been imitated to death over the years, but coupled with Spielberg's hurried, almost unscripted approach to the action it adds an element of authenticity to the film that the copycats have not been able to emulate.

You really have to feel for all those poor soldiers who were massacred on Omaha Beach (all men, I should point out). But what a badly planned mission. No flack jackets, no smoke screens to cover their landing...warfare has come so far in 65 years, it would be insane to send so many hundreds off to die like that now. Many of them were pure cannon fodder and the Military knew it. The film certainly does not hold back on the bloody carnage. Most WWII movies up until that point were sanitized and bloodless. Hardly realistic at all!

The 169 minute running time passes fairly quickly. The film certainly doesn't deserve the criticism that nothing interesting happens after the beach invasion. As it has been imitated many times since, some of then innovative moments (such as the silent 'war is hell' amid battle chaos - which this film does three times!) have become cliches, but don't judge SPR for it.

The film won 5 Oscars, but lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare in Love, which is absolutely insane. I mean...what were they thinking??? SPR is most certainly a classic, and one of the most innovative and important war films of the past two decades, while Shakespeare in Love is largely forgotten.

The Blu Ray looks superb in 1.85:1 1080p. Janusz Kaminsi's photography looks just brilliant, and the sound design has to be heard (preferably at a high volume) to be believed. Loads of extras are included too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have purchase!!!, 26 April 2010
By 
Having seen the other reviews on here i would totally agree with some of the comments already expressed. Iam very impressed with the Blu Ray picture quality although it is a little grainy in places but it does not detract from the overall viewing experience. I too noticed detail in the film that i had not previously been able to see in my DVD copy and the colours are more richer. As for the 5.1 DTS sound it is absolutely mind blowing on my set up. It really puts you in the action with the explosions and bullets flying around the room. This is a must have purchase for your Blu Ray collection and a real step up from the DVD version.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu Ray Transfer, 27 April 2010
By 
P. Morgan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This film is argulably the greatest war film ever made and looks fantasic on blu ray. I had this film originally on VHS, then DVD and now blu ray and it's never looked as good as this. Those complaining of grain within the picture should bear in mind that the grainy, saturated picture is exactly as Speilberg intended. This is how it was purposely filmed to give it a specific look and feel. That aside, the level of detail previously unseen is stunning and demonstrates how great blu ray is - can be - over it's DVD counterpart. An absolutely stunning film to be sure with some of the most devastating and realistic combat scenes ever filmed, most notably the celebrated opening sequence, and is more than recommended on blu ray.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate well crafted flag waver, 2 July 2008
By 
Hood1941 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
For a whole young generation this film is probably the most profound depiction of the second world war. The by now well known opening 20 minutes are a master class by Spielberg in the direction of an action movie (with some thanks to Stanley Kubric I suspect). The movie is also filled with memorable vignettes including the kangaroo court martial of the German machine gunner and the death struggle between the Jewish Ranger and the SS Panzer Grenadier. It's a shame that after the beach landing the whole of the rest of the film is a total fiction. Like so many others I hate the slander against Field Marshal Montgomery, (architect of every successful operation carried out by the western allies) and the airbrushing out of the Anglo/Canadian part in the operation. It remains a terrific testament to the GI's on Omaha beach and is a brilliant all action war film. But be warned, it has all the historical accuracy of First Knight and should by no means be treated as a documentary.
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