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Saving Private Ryan (Special Limited Edition)
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DVD Dreamworks, Region, 1 1998 170 mins
When Steven Spielberg was an adolescent, his first home movie was a backyard war film. When he toured Europe with Duel in his 20s, he saw old men crumble in front of headstones at Omaha Beach. That image became the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, his film of a mission following the D-day invasion that many have called the most realistic--and maybe the best--war film ever. With 1998 production standards, Spielberg has been able to create a stunning, unparalleled view of war as hell. We are at Omaha Beach as troops are slaughtered by Germans yet overcome the almost insurmountable odds.
A stalwart Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller, a soldier's soldier, who takes a small band of troops behind enemy lines to retrieve a private whose three brothers have recently been killed in action. It's a public relations move for the Army, but it has historical precedent dating back to the Civil War. Some critics of the film have labeled the central characters stereotypes. If that is so, this movie gives stereotypes a good name: Tom Sizemore as the deft sergeant, Edward Burns as the hotheaded Private Reiben, Barry Pepper as the religious sniper, Adam Goldberg as the lone Jew, Vin Diesel as the oversize Private Caparzo, Giovanni Ribisi as the soulful medic, and Jeremy Davies, who as a meek corporal gives the film its most memorable performance.
The movie is as heavy and realistic as Spielberg's Oscar-winning Schindler's List, but it's more kinetic. Spielberg and his ace technicians (the film won five Oscars: editing (Michael Kahn), cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), sound, sound effects, and directing) deliver battle sequences that wash over the eyes and hit the gut. The violence is extreme but never gratuitous. The final battle, a dizzying display of gusto, empathy, and chaos, leads to a profound repose. Saving Private Ryan touches us deeper than Schindler because it succinctly links the past with how we should feel today. It's the film Spielberg was destined to make. --Doug ThomasSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The story follows Captain John H. Miller and his team, including a sniper, a medic, an Arab, a surly private, and an acceptable Vin Diesel, to rescue James F. Ryan, a private in a paratrooper squad whose three brothers have been killed in action. A mission susceptible to much protest, and ultimately one that will cost many lives.
Everything about the movies feels as if it was done right. The overall atmosphere feels right, and it makes you feel as if you're sitting inside the movie--you can almost feel the moisture of the air seething through your clothes or the subtle sunshine warm your shoulders and forehead. The acting is very good as well, although you can spot some parts where improvement wouldn't hurt and it at times feels tacky and stunted. The direction is done well, as the actors can easily pass as soldiers, but the aforementioned cut corners could bring you away from the total immersion and feeling.
Saving Private Ryan is very worthwhile, and any war movie buff in his right mind would praise it as innovative and a revival of the genre.
Guy Sager, in his "Forgotten Soldier," documented that Wermacht soldiers like himself intentionally sought out Americans for the purposes of surrender. To suggest otherwise is fallacious. Also, Edward Burns character seems more suited to the post-sixties "question authority" environment than to WW II. America was different at that time. This was the Greatest Generation. Not the "me" generation. Burns is misplaced. I also thought the cowardice of Ryan at the end was contrived. He was an experienced soldier by June of 1944 and was unlikely to behave as he did, but, even with my misgivings, I'd be a fool not to recommend this film.
Next to a parachute drop the most confusing entry into a battlefield is across a hostile beach. No where is this better portrayed than in Saving Private Ryan. Throughout the film the character, courage and depth of American fighting men is exemplified and respected.
The plot is taken from fact. A soldier in the 101st Airborne lost a brother in the China-Burma-India Theater, another on Utah Beach and a third with the 82nd. In reality a message was sent to the commander of the 101st, General Max Taylor, and the soldier was evacuated across the beach. In Saving Private Ryan, the story becomes a metaphor for the war itself. In what seems a confusing statement Hank's sergeant says 'This could be the best thing we've ever done.' The viewer is uncertain if he is referring to the last, frantic battle to defend a bridge - a critical invasion choke point - or saving Ryan. Or both. That is just one of several mysterious facets that keeps you coming back to the film. What does he really mean here?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a superb movie, truthful and as accurate a war movie as I've ever seen. Great for opening old wounds, and teaching upcoming generations the true face and coin of war. Read morePublished 29 days ago by dragonworks
In perfect condition. No scratches or dust on disc, DVD case was in good condition as well.Published 1 month ago by Courtney Vivian
This movie is guaranteed to stir your emotions. Saving Private Ryan is one of the best war movies ever made and it is one movie that should have won Best Picture. Amazing film. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jason Hutton
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