Monday, September 1, 2008

Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg, 1998 (8.8*)

Best Picture (GG)
AFI Top 100
War doesn't get any more traumatic or realistic than the D-Day landing in Spielberg's infantry film. Many people actually left the theaters, not expecting the graphic horror depicted in the first half hour. After that the story settles into a routine war story of a patrol sent to find and bring out a private named Ryan, played by Matt Damon, whose brothers have all died in previous battles, so he's being sent home.
Tom Hanks, a captain, leads the squad (with a terrific Oscar® nominated performance by Ted Sizemore as a career sgt.) , and more importantly this collaboration with Spielberg led to their co-producing Band of Brothers, which takes this several steps further and deeper. Superb war footage, marred by routine slowness in between, "smoke em if you got 'em". It lost most major awards to Shakespeare in Loveas a result, though Spielberg got a Best Director Oscar®. The film won 5 Oscars® overall


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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