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4.7 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
You're not reading this because you want a review of Braveheart, the movie, you're reading this because you've already fallen in love with this spectacular film and you want to know how it looks and sounds on Blu Ray. The answer: amazing! This is one of the best blu rays I've had the pleasure of watching. The picture is crystal clear and the colours pop. The sound is glorious. Braveheart showcases everything that makes Blu Ray great.
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on June 2, 2004
I watched Braveheart again over the weekend and this is truly an excellent epic drama. But let's get one thing off the table first. I do not view this movie as an accurate portrayal of William Wallace or Robert the Bruce - nor is it what the rating is based on. Obviously plenty of liberties were taken with history. The movie is great because it's a good story well told.
Braveheart is about the war for Scottish independence in the 13th century and the historical William Wallace who led the initial phases of the revolt. Wallace is portrayed as a man of deep principle who wanted peace but wanted freedom for his countrymen more.
The large battle scenes and the leadership of Wallace are awesomely portrayed, as is the untenable position of Robert the Bruce. Bruce is caught between the Scottish nobles who prefer land, wealth, and favoritism from the British crown to freedom and safety for their Scottish brethren, and William Wallace, whom he could ally with to fight for freedom, but at the potential cost of his life, land, and status. Robert the Bruce's internal struggle was well captured on screen.
The only problem I had with the movie and story - but a minor one really - is the unlikely liaison between Wallace and the Princess of Wales. Even in a fictional account of William Wallace, this seemed like a terribly unlikely event. But in the scheme of things, this is a minor quibble.
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on April 21, 2004
Is it accruate? Don't know. Is it Entertaining? Yes! I watched Braveheart, The Patriot and Gladiator back to back. I would rank them in that order 1,2 & 3 starting with Braveheart. I would rate it a 4.5 to a 5 starts.
As you might already know, these are not "chick flicks". They include too much  fighting, blood, guts and death to be considered a date movie. You know what I mean, at the end of the night when it is a question of what to watch these usually get pushed to the bottom of the list because they don't have a happy ending. 
I think movies like these are viewed for the feelings you experience while rooting the characters on to victory not just the gore of battle.  I picked up on the general themes of bonding, team work, fraternity and living for a higher purpose.  It must be a guy thing I guess.....Overall, the story is told in an engaging manner and the sets in addition to the costumes are done VERY well. One negative: I must say it is quite long, so put the kids to bed early and disconnect the phone if you want to get through it in a single evening. Add it to your collection.
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on April 16, 2004
This was a fantastic film, period. A lot of people are criticizing the movie for not being 100% historically accurate. Well, just to save you some time, no, this movie is not historically accurate. This film is about a 13th century Scottish freedom fighter named William Wallace. Wallace is a national hero in Scotland and to this day is attributed by a massive statue that stand there.
The movie is a bit on the longer side, however these days, with all of these new epics coming out, three hours really isn't that long anymore. The cinematography is fantastic, and the shots of the lush landscapes of Scotland and Ireland are breath taking. The battle scenes are realistically gory, and the love scenes are often. The film does a nice job of portraying Wallace's chilodhood adding some character development. This film is great for those who love the hardcore brand of violence and for those who have a softer side as well. I loved this movie.
However, as you may have read from other reviews, this movie is not 100% accurate. I think this is a ridiculous reason to not like this movie, because nothing is really that accurate. I know the LOTR movies weren't all accurate with the books, but no one complained about those. And in the second century A.D., there was no Gladiator that defied the emperor Commodus. Commodus did in fact partake in the Gladitorial games, but as opposed to the movie, he won every match he fought; man or beast. Everyone seemed to like Gladiator. Braveheart is fiction, and a damn good fiction at that. Don't be persuaded not to see this magnificent film because it's been to Hollywood. As for the Scots upset at the inaccuracy of this film, get over it. The American revolution wasn't won by a malitiaman running up a hill flying an American flag either. (The Patriot)
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on April 12, 2004
First off - this movie is superb. Absolutely phenomenal. I watched it again last night when I only had an hour to spare and ended up watching the whole thing. It's like a well written book that you can't put down until you get to the end. Now - on to the title of this review: Nearly every review which gives this movie less than five stars mentions historical inaccuracies as the reason for the lower score. Now, I'm not an expert on William Wallace or anyone else who was living in Scotland in the 13th century, but I do know that I wasn't watching this on the history channel. I was on a movie channel - it's a movie! Braveheart doesn't claim to be (and shouldn't be) a historically accurate representation of the life and times of William Wallace. It's a passionate love story about a pacifist who becomes a warrior because he can no longer accept the tyranny of the Britains. (And for you British folk who are tweaked by this - get over it. It's just a movie and "strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government" anyway). Bottom line: This is a really really really good movie and you should buy it instead of renting it because it'll save you money in the long run - but wait for the DVD because VHS will wear out too fast.
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on March 15, 2004
This is truly one of the most inspired films to come out in the last ten years. Mel Gibson has double-duty here as lead actor and director and acquits himself admirably at both. His performance is so heart-felt that many times during the film I was impassioned to cry out with the collective shouting of his men. He also uses nuance in the more intimate scenes between characters, using glances and gestures to propell the story. His acting is just one of the many splendid performances in this epic; and all the other actors feed off Mel Gibson's passion. His direction is also incredible for a first film, and it is remarkable how ambitious an undertaking this is. All concerned with the making of this spledid film should be congratulated. The costumes are extravagant and glow with authenticity, the art direction and set designs are all meticulously crafted, while the greatest star of this film is cinematographer John Toll. His work here recieved the Oscar for Best Cinematography, which made him a back-to-back recipient of the award, having won the previous year for "Legends of the Fall." The photography here is stunning and captures all the beauty of the landscape, and the subtlety of character emotion equally well. John Toll has continued to garner recognition for more recent work, including another Oscar nomination in 1998 for "The Thin Red Line." Another notable behind-the-scenes collaborator is screenwriter Randall Wallace. His writing is excellent, with impressionable, quotable dialogue and incredibly memorable lines that I've heard many times over in the years since this film's theatrical release. While I could nitpick and point out some obvious film editing flaws, those flaws are negligible when compared to the inspiration with which this film absolutely sparkles. This film has everything: romance, tyranny, hope, betrayal, epic battles with intense realism, love, passion, wit, and loyalty. This is an extraordinary film. Not altogether perfect, but perfectly inspired.
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on March 11, 2004
For those who don't know the story behind the film, it is a simple but affective one. Mel Gibsion plays a Scottish commoner named William Wallace, who leads an uprising against the cruel and tyranic king of England named Edward Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan)to free Scottland from English rule.
Very few films come close to Braveheart. It is perhaps one of the most inspiring and powerful films ever made. Mel Gibson could not have done a better job. He not only took on the difficult task of directing this film, but he also played the lead character. The passion and energy that he brought into the character of William Wallace is incredible, and watching him act out the role will amaze you. The rest of the cast was filled with talented actors who nailed their roles as well such as Angus MacFadyen ( Robert the Bruce), Patrick McGoohan ( Edward Longshanks), and Sophie Marceau ( Princess Isabelle). However, the performances given from the entire cast, is not the film's only strong point. The battle scenes are incredible. The sheer violence and authenticity of each battle scene is unreal. It is so realistic looking, that you will be made to flinch at times. The film also features a powerful soundtrack filled with beautiful bagpipe scores that really add to each scene. Last but not least is the film's ending. It is perhaps one of the best I have ever seen, and it brought the film to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.
Overall, Braveheart will go down as one of the best films ever made in my opinion. There are very few films that match its intensity, authenticity, and inspiring story. Mel Gibsion should be proud because he created a masterpiece. The DVD is definately the way to go in this case. First of all, the whole film is captured on one disk, and you do not have to worry about switching tapes. Secondly, you get a behind the scenes featurette on the making of the film and commentary from Mel Gibsion. The picture and sound quality is excellent as well.
A solid 5 stars...
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on March 2, 2004
Mel Gibson delivers a stunning performance as William Wallace in 'Braveheart', a tale of loyalty and courage. When we first see William, he is shown as a young boy, growing up on a farm with his father and brother in a persecuted Scotland. But when they are both killed in a squabble with the tyranncial english, William goes to live with his uncle, away from his homeland and all that he loves.
He returns some years later, now a grown man and skilled fighter. But war is not his intention. He means to settle down and raise a family, and finds a wife in his childhood sweetheart. They are married in secret (BEWARE, there is an innapropiate scene on their wedding night).
But when his wife is brutally murdered by the English, William is compelled to war and marches off to fight with his fellow noblemen, gathering an army as he goes. The Scottish people are encouraged by the actions of this brave commoner, and valiently rally behind him.
But the 'nobles' of Scotland are in the way. They are constantly trying to avoid war and 'make peace' with Britain. But that won't do. England must be defeated, or else Scotland will never taste what she really needs. . .freedom.
Beautifully acted on all sides, and featuring incredible landscapes, this movie is very moving. Not only that, but the emotional side of the story is compelling as well.
We are constantly feeling for William throughout his journey, and he is easy to root for. We are shown the magnitude of what he is fighting for, displayed again by Mel Gibson's performance (I know I keep saying that).

P.S. Not to get political here, but did you notice that such movies as this and 'The Lord of the Rings' clearly show that evil cannot be assosiated with. You cannot make peace with evil. It will either be allowed to conquer, or it must be completely destroyed. There is no inbetween.
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on February 13, 2004
Gibson does a spectacular job of portraying life in a time when there were no roads, houses were non-existent and cities were only in places like mainland Europe.
The life of the Scots and the life of Wallace as a hero of Scotland under the heel of the British monarchy is an epic tale that will entertain and enlighten you. There is a little bit of British bashing done here. Who knows if Longshanks was such a rat. However, the concept of Prima Nota and the over arching trouble that was caused the citizens of Scotland because the British wanted tribute and gave little in return.
This is a movie about bravery, of course, and about patriotism, which is so much not in vogue today. The question you ask yourself is when is it right to stand up for yourself, who do you look to for an answer? If someone stands up, do you know if it is appropriate to follow?
There is revenge in this movie, a hatred for the British, a desire for freedom.
At times the movie is a bit gorey, however, that is what makes it seem real. You sometimes feel you are in the battle with them. This is a movie definately to have in your video/DVD library.
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on January 18, 2004
"Braveheart" is quite simply, one of the best and most successful movies ever created and a huge part of that success comes from the efforts extended by Mel Gibson, as he wore three different hats for this masterpiece, those being producer, director and star. The one oddity about this movie for me was that I pretty much wore out my VHS copy of it and had, a couple years ago, purchased the DVD but only just recently took the opportunity to watch it again and no matter how many times you watch this movie, it is still a stunning, compelling and extraordinarily intriguing film that draws you in to the life of William Wallace despite already knowing how it's going to end.
The one thing that drives this movie is the spirit that Mel Gibson puts into his character of William Wallace and it is of no surprise that "Braveheart" won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1995 and Best Director for Mel Gibson. The only true surprise was that he wasn't among the top five nominated for or won the Best Actor award.
High praise also goes to the long list of supporting actors and actresses that starred in this superb film! Most notable was the performance by Sophie Marceau, one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Patrick McGoohan was absolutely incredible in the role of the villain Longshanks, King Edward I, delivering a memorable performance.
One of the most notable performances in this film, among the many, was the work done by James Horner who was responsible for the score. As is normally the case when his name appears in the credits, everything about the score, from the first reel to the last, is incredibly well blended into the movie and serves extremely well in enhancing the experience of the movie.
The Premise:
As the old saying goes, is it Hollywood or History? The truth is, of course it's a bit of history, put together Hollywood style to make one of the best films ever presented to an audience. The truth behind it is that we'll never know as recorded history from this era is circumspect as best. Where a huge portion of the credit for this film lays is in the hands of Randall Wallace, a descendant of William Wallace's.
As this historic film opens, we see a young William Wallace in Scotland as he's learning the harsh lessons of life in his era. After his family is killed in battle he's fortunate enough to have his Uncle Argyle (played brilliantly by Brian Cox) take him under his wing! Several years later he returns home to find that his countrymen are still suffering under the yoke of English oppression but he didn't come home for that, he came home for Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack), seeking her hand in marriage. Unfortunate events unfold from there and William loses the love of his life and goes on a rampage not only to avenge his love but to free his country...
What follows from there is not only one of the best films of the nineties but one of the best films of all times. I highly recommend "Braveheart" to any and all who are interested in seeing what true movie making is about! {ssintrepid}
Special Features:
-2 Theatrical Trailers
-Commentary by Director Mel Gibson
-A Filmmaker's Passion: The Making of Braveheart
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