Seen through the eyes of a squad of U.S. soldiers, the story begins with World War II’s historic D- Day invasion, then moves beyond the beach as the men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer – and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage. Winner of 5 Academy Awards, this film is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
2018 (1998), 2160p with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, Rated R, 2 hours and 49 minutes
1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Tom Sizemore and Edward Burns
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Violence: Intense and graphic
Perhaps one of the most viscerally graphic depictions of war put on film, this movie manages to portray the horrors of war and man’s capacity for courage and heroism. This is my favorite Memorial Day movie that I watch every year to remind me of the sacrifice made by the “greatest generation”. A lot of brave men sacrificed their lives in this war and many were 18-20-year olds. I wonder if we could win a war like this with our current generation of young people? In any case, the opening D-Day invasion scene is a bit tough to watch, but thereafter, the movie settles into a rhythm of slogging through the countryside in attempt to find the titular character.
Each of the men ponder the reasoning in risking their lives for a person they do not know. Hanks portrayal of Capt. John Miller is played with a sense of duty and dignity that only he could pull off. The emotional ending still pulls at my heart and leaves me in wonder. How can it be that this movie is 20 years old? The important thing is that the story it tells is ageless. Highly recommended.
This film got a new 4K scan with a 4K DI with an HDR upgrade to Dolby Vision. The result is a crisp and detailed film that manages to retain the film grain that gives the movie a “old time” feel. The colors are a bit earthy and muted, but the details in the Army uniforms are resplendent. You can see the variations of greens and the fabric weave patterns. Skin tones are excellent throughout and the dirt and facial stubble is seen in all its gritty glory. HDR makes the flames and glints of sunlight really stand out and the increased contrast heightens the depth of field. The sound has always been of demo quality, especially in the battle for the bridge scene at the end. Every gravel crunch, bullet ricochet and explosion are heard in all the surrounds and mains, yet dialog is still intelligible over the din of battle. If you turn the volume up, be prepared to hold onto your couch, especially if your subwoofer is nearby!
This 3-disc set contains over 3 hours of extras, including: An Introduction, Looking into the Past, Miller and his Platoon, Boot Camp, Re-creating Omaha Beach, Music and Sound, Into the Breach, Trailers, Shooting War and Making of Saving Pvt. Ryan. The extras are on BD and a BD of the movie is included.