Saving Private Ryan
Dreamworks / 1998 / 169 Mins / Rated R


MOVIE
What else is there to say about this picture that hasn't been said already. It's truly quite amazing. From it's dizzying imagery, excellent cinematography and outstanding acting, Saving Private Ryan is one of those few movies that still make it worth going to the cinema and is a wonderful change from your standard run of the mill Hollywood popcorn movies made to make money and numb our brains.

From the very beginning of this movie we know we are going to watch something very special. The haunting but beautiful music of John Williams lulls us into a false sense of security before we see the shocking realization of war and it's affect on people even today in one of the most realistic, brutal and shocking war sequences ever filmed.

But saving Saving Private Ryan is more than just a war movie. It is a movie about people, courage and sprit that is a true testament to the heroes of World War 2. Saving Private Ryan revolves around several soldiers headed by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) who have just landed at Normandy on June 6, 1944. After a God awful battle to get a stranglehold on a beach they have been assigned what they feel is a trivial mission. Find one man and bring him home. That man is Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), his 3 brothers have been killed in action and now he has to get home. Along the way we learn more about the central characters in this movie and discover the real sacrifices people will do to make a difference that really does matter.

Outstanding in it's scope & execution, this is one movie that will be remembered for a long time. Truly Exceptional.

VIDEO
Nothing short of outstanding. This is a reference quality transfer. At first viewing you may think, "But it looks washed out". This in a sense is true but the movie was specially created to look like an old war film and the cinematographer Januz Kaminski really did a lot of wonderful work to make it look this realistic and was more than deserving of it's Oscar last year. 

The colors in this movie are very rich but not to the point of over saturation. Contrast and shadow detail is spot on and looks perfect. The picture is also very sharp.

This transfer was absolutely amazing with no visible MPEG artifacts or noise on the original film.

Saving Private Ryan is framed at 1:85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is an RSDL disc. The layer change was seamless and was not visible.

AUDIO

WOW is really the only word to describe this soundtrack. Saving Private Ryan has a reference quality soundtrack like no other. Mixed in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 it is a soundtrack that would rate as the best DVD soundtrack I have ever heard to date. 

The 5.1 track certainly lacks no punch as my neighbor can attest to, he could even hear it next door! The mix itself is a joy technically with every little sound trick utilized by sound designer Gary Rydstrom, which he also got and Oscar for. The surrounds get an absolute thumping with accurate sound steering throughout the movie. The John Williams soundtrack is also a delight to hear in full 5.1 as well.

The .1 channel was also heavily used and required oxygen after the movie finished. 

There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which I listened to. This track is also very impressive for what a 2.0 soundtrack can achieve and it still highly commendable if you only have a 2.0 setup. 

EXTRAS
Quality not quantity is the keyword here.

Extras Include:
Theatrical Trailer:
Dolby Digital 5.1 framed at 1:85:1. This is an exceptional trailer that all marketers should look at to learn how to make great trailer. One of the best around.

Re-Release Theatrical Trailer: Dolby Digital 5.1, 1:85:1 ratio. Probably the best trailer I have ever seen. The haunting John Williams score playing to some of the more famous images from the movie.

"Into The Breach" Documentary: A full 25 minute documentary about the real soldiers of D-Day and the inspiration for Steven Spielberg and his movie talent. Top class.

Message From Steven Spielberg: A short message from Spielberg that starts after the movie. Limited value.

Cast Notes/Production Notes: Very extensive notes and cast info on the main stars.

Subtitles Include:
Closed Captioned

FINAL THOUGHTS
Nothing short of DVD Nirvana and should be in every self respecting DVD owners collection. It's a crime not to have it.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:

PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 25 May 2000 21:19:15 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 1
No of Discs: 1
MPAA Rating R
Running Time: 169  Mins
Case Type: Black Amaray
Release Date: 11/2/1999
Catalog Number: 84433
List Price: Personal Import
Distributor: Dreamworks
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: NTSC
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: SS-RSDL
Chapters: 20
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: DVCC
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround
2.0 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages: English
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: None
Theatrical Trailer: Yes (2)
Teaser Trailer: None
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: None
Collectable Booklet: Yes
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: Yes
Production Notes: Yes
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INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE INFO
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