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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saving Private Ryan
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...
Published on 9 Jun 2005 by John Corbett

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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
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...
Published on 2 July 2008 by Hood1941


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing realism - The finest war film ever made, 7 Nov 2010
By 
Dave (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Private Ryan - 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The first 20 minutes of this stunning Blu-Ray DVD depict the D-Day landings with such harrowing reality that it leaves the viewer exhausted, both mentally and physically - I almost felt as if I had been there. This DVD shows us that the realities of war are grim and bloody, horrifying and unforgiving, and that even just being there took more courage than many of us will ever have to find in our easy peacetime lives. For me, it gives an illustration of both the raw courage of the combatants, the strong sense of dutythat drove them on, and the futility and waste of it all. A fantastic film, harsh, gritty, and awful - But I am glad I found the resolve to watch it. The picture is deliberately grainy in places, to give a vintage newsreel effect, and the punishing and explosive soundtrack adds to the vivid 5.1 surround sound reality, and make "Saving Private Ryan" a gripping and immersive experience to watch. Buy this DVD, and you will add the finest war film ever made to your collection - But it's not for the faint hearted!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "See You On The Beach!", 7 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saving Private Ryan - 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
As I not overtly an historical expert on the basis of World War 2 and the battles that took place, I know enough about the era, the politics and the sides of good and evil to appreciate and understand the power behind this monumental war film, the greatest war film ever made in my opinion. Serving as an educational tool and a harsh reminder to all generations just what our relatives fought for, and the horror that experienced, this will be a film that many will fail to top in the relation to realism, brutality and emotion.

Tom Hanks turns in a role that only he could; you forget him as the wide eyed Josh Baskin from ‘Big’, the loveable Forrest Gump and comedic Pep Streebeck from ‘Dragnet’. Here he is a soldier, leading a band of men without any false heroics to his name. Hanks is more human than ever here in the role of Captain Miller that embodies the thoughts and emotions of all those he leads; fear, doubt, compassion and hope. It’s also testament to the cast around him like Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi and even Vin Diesel as his company of men who all have their own hopes and fears, their own motives for fighting, but are all brought together by men who simply want to go home after their duty is done.

As the narrative of the film is a simple “men on a mission” journey across enemy lines, we are treated to a number of bold battle sequences ranging from ones you see and even ones you don’t, and also nice character development without being obvious and a “who’s who” of the cast. What makes it stand out from other war films is the authenticity of it all. From the cinematography using harsh colours, ominous diegetic sounds and of course the openly visible war wounds and injuries, everything the soldiers do and everyone they encounter seem brilliantly real. There doesn’t need to be a loud bombastic soundtrack behind them because there wasn’t one in reality and this isn’t a film to glamourize their actions. The battles take place without music and we simply have the harrowing sounds of gunfire, explosions and battle cries, and even they are muted and realistic, not loud and OTT as fuelled by the usual blockbuster action set pieces with CGI enhances.

Of course the stand out 25 minute opening sequence of the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach is probably the greatest on-screen battle in cinema with his harrowing reality and brutality. Young bodies are torn apart by gunfire and explosions (all this happens in seconds; nothing is lingered on or enhanced by big sound effects or musical motifs), the landscape is war-torn and the diegetic sounds heard of the things of nightmares. You can’t take your eyes away from the relentless battle faced to take the German stronghold from the beaches and it has to be seen to be believed. There may be some inaccuracies in the portrayal of the landing, as with the film itself, but simply for the fact no-one involved with the film-making was actually there, I feel the footage we are provided will be one of the most accurate depictions of what our relations actually had to experience on D-Day on any of the 5 beaches.

Mirrored with the fictional Battle of Remelle at the finale of the film, this again is a long battle which takes its time to plot, execute and conclude. Spielberg doesn’t rush the battles to wrap it all up in a matter of minutes with an heroic ending, he makes sure we see how drawn-out and dangerous it really was from working with a small band of men in an environment littered with danger to stop an enemy just as tactical as you, and for that authenticity it comes across far more entertaining, if that is the right word, to watch the characters we’ve travelled with for the last 2 hours.

A film that will never be topped for accuracy, realism and brutality in depicting the most important day of World War 2, but also the war as a whole, this will be often imitated but never bettered as you wouldn’t have the film-making team that Spielberg assembled or the mighty acting talent as Tom Hanks, to make such a powerful film now without being bitten by the “summer blockbuster” bug, and that is something that makes this film so much better because it has nothing that the “blockbuster” clichés offer us nowadays.
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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
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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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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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, 22 Nov 2005
This is the story of a group of soldiers in the 2nd world war, who are sent on a mission to find a soldier ( the Private Ryan of the film title).
However, this film is about alot more than just a rescue mission. Here we have director Steven Spielberg showing his mastery as a film maker. The opening scene of the Omaha beach landings still stays vividly in my mind as the most realistic & terrifying depiction of combat I've ever seen. There cannot be a more apt way of showing the futility of war, as Spielberg has shown here.
All the other aspects of the film are magnificent. The cinematography, moving music score & sound effects. Above all, I loved this film because it shows the strength of the human spirit,& the selfless sacrifice that someone is willing to make to save a fellow human.
This film deserved all the 5 oscars it received & the fact that it was the most successful film of 1998.
For me, the best war film ever & possibly the greatest piece of cinema ever made.
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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
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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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