Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

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Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

Director Steven Spielberg's World War II tour de force chronicles the journey of a GI squad on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Led by Captain ...

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Review of "Saving Private Ryan (DVD)"

published 31/10/2001 | Mouldy_Cheese
Member since : 11/04/2001
Reviews : 40
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Pro Historicly accurate, Good use of sound, Amazing battle scenes
Cons The Cheese
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"Saving Ryans Cheese"


That got your attention, didn’t it? Saving Private Ryan uses the same technique I just used, but much more effectively. Within the first two minutes, Saving Private Ryan grabs your attention by showing you one of the most brutal, realistic scenes in cinema history – The D-Day landings at Normandy (directed by Steven Speilburg).

This scene goes on for about twenty minutes, and shows hundreds (if not thousands) of people dying at the hands of German gunners. The camera follows Tom Hanks make his way up the beaches, witnessing a good many people dying. The sound is amazing – the constant clacking of German guns mixes with screams and explosions, creating hellish noise to accompany hellish visuals. You don’t really notice it whilst the scene is playing, but once things quiet down you really notice how much sound has been coming out of your speakers. Another prime example of how music is the most important thing in film

Colour trickery is also used – the entire film is played in a gritty, low colour picture that adds a lot of aptnosphere to the proceedings. Again, you don’t notice it until you compare it with other films, but it has a subconscious effect on you.

Once this unbelievable scene is over, however, it’s a mixed bag. Some awesome visuals (such as a tank getting blown up) and some tense scenes (A soldier lying bleeding to death from a snipers shot, with a medic just meters away that could save him if it wasn’t for the sniper) are in with some typical Speilburg style cheeseyness. We have the classics – men not leaving their companies, the prisoner that Hank’s team spends ages deliberating over, the men listening to music and reminiscing, and the obligatory ending with old people crying.

This cheeseyness is the only thing that lets the film down. The aforementioned sound and picture are spot-on, and the acting is top notch. Hanks is simply brilliant, despite being involved in most of the cheesy scenes.

The film (as you may have been able to guess by now) is about a group of post D-Day WWII soldiers under the command of Tom Hanks. They are given a ethically debatable mission – they must go and rescue Private Ryan, whose 3 brothers have already been killed in the war. It is effectively a PR mission, which means 6 men have to risk their lives for one. There are actually very few mentions of this, which is rather surprising, but then it is Speilburg who did this one, not Kurbrick.

As for characters, there are a few worth mentioning. There is the sniper, who recites some sort of prayer whilst shooting peoples heads off. Naturally, he is a stereotypical twisted, Leon type sniper (as opposed to our own nice, happy sniper), but again I need only to point to Speilburg.

The whole thing is supposedly true to life. Which is, quite frankly, shocking to me – that any real life situation could have been that horrible is something that I cannot fully comprehend. This makes the film much more poinget and effective; sometimes, the truth is more horrible than the worst fiction.

It’s quite an epic, at three hours long, but this is for the better. It isn’t a throwaway movie – it’s a top-notch classic that will keep you thinking after it ends. It has a message as well – War Is Hell. Ignore the cheese, and you’ll enjoy this one immensely.


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Comments on this review

  • yilllllllled published 29/07/2006
    great film indeed
  • MAFARRIMOND published 23/12/2005
    A well-directed and acted film. Maureen
  • Sarah_B published 23/11/2001
    Ayuh - War IS Hell. I was in the United States Army for six months (discharged just before the September 11th attacks)...even though I was active service, training to listen in to enemy communications and such...even though I had all of that wonderful Basic Combat Training and crap...I still can't comprehend just how horrible it must
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Director Steven Spielberg's World War II tour de force chronicles the journey of a GI squad on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), the unit is under orders to track down a soldier, Private Ryan (Matt Damon), so he might return home to his mother in America, where she is grieving the unimaginable loss of her three other sons to the war. The first unforgettable 20 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN realistically and horrifically depicts the Normandy invasion as Miller. his second-in-command, Sergeant Horvath (Tom Sizemore), and the others in the unit land at Omaha Beach. Before the film began shooting, Hanks and the actors in his squad went through a one-week boot camp in the woods. All the actors, except Hanks, wanted to quit, but Hanks rallied their spirits by reminding them of the incredible tribulations endured by the real veterans of World War II. Production designer Tom Sanders found a beach in Ireland that perfectly matched the landscape of Normandy's. Spielberg gave great credit to the Irish army who helped re-create the Omaha Beach scenes.

Product Details

Video Category: Feature Film

Production Year: 1998

Plot: A war epic which tells the story of four brothers from the same family who are all fighting in the Second World War. On Washington's orders Captain Miller is sent behind enemy lines to bring back the sole surviving brother, Private Ryan. Winner of five Academy Awards.

Country Of Origin: United States of America

Classification: 15 years and over

Genre: War

Colour: Colour

Director(s): Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg

Actor(s): Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Davies, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Davies, Paul Giamatti

Release Details

DVD Region: DVD


Catalogue No: PHE 8600, PHE 8362, PHE 8040

Barcode: 5014437860033, 5014437836236, 5014437804037

No of Discs: 2, 1

Release date: 01/11/2004, 01/09/2003, 06/11/2000

Executive Producer: Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg

Featured: Steven Spielberg

Editor: Michael Kahn, Michael Kahn

Screenwriter: Robert Rodat, Steven Spielberg, Robert Rodat

Producer: Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg, Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg

Production Designer: Thomas Sanders, Thomas Sanders

Director of Photography: Janusz Kaminski, Janusz Kaminski

Composer: John Williams, John Williams, John Williams

Special Effects: Neil Corbould, Stefen Fangmeier, Roger Guyett


Main Language: English

Subtitle Language: English

Hearing Impaired Language: English

Technical Information

Dubbing Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1<br>Dolby Digital Surround<br>DTS, DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 English

Special Features: An Inside Look With The Filmmakers, Looking Into The Past The research The Screenplay And The Vision, The Making Of A Platoon, Boot Camp For The Cast, Recreating DDay Omaha Beach

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround, DTS

Aspect Ratio: 1.78 Anamorphic Wide Screen, 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Award Information

OSCAR: Best Director 1999 (Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg)

BAFTA: Best Achievement In Special Effects 1998 (Stefen Fangmeier, Roger Guyett, Neil Corbould)

Professional Reviews

Review: Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." (Entertainment Weekly, 2000-04-01)<br><br>Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." (Entertainment Weekly, pp.159-60, 01/04/2000)<br><br>...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances... (Movieline, 1999-06-01)<br><br>"...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances..." (Movieline, p.91, 01/06/1999)<br><br>...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home... (New York Times, 1998-07-24)<br><br>"...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home..." (New York Times, p.E14, 24/07/1998)<br><br>...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist... (Sight and Sound, 1998-09-01)<br><br>"...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist..." (Sight and Sound, p.34-52, 01/09/1998)<br><br>


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