Pt Ryan

OK folks, i just got back from the pub after watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’ earlier tonight…normally i’m very sceptical about American films which win loads of American awards…but this time i was wrong…
What a film…i am still stunned by the realism…it was indescribable…i will be haunted by this movie forever and a day.

First time I saw SPR I was not impressed. Lots of good special effects and trick camera work but, basically, just another one of those ethnically diverse platoon movies that they’ve been cranking out since 1942.

Second time I payed more attention to the dialogue and characters and enjoyed it more. Where the film really shines is in the instances where it avoids or reverses the usual war movie cliches.

I kept waiting for Jeremy Davies (the twit clerk) to get heroic but he just kept getting worse and more cowardly until he ends up shooting a prisoner. (Granted the other guys have no problem shooting prisoners but they were angry…this guy is just a weasel.) Matt Damon (Pvt. Ryan) starts out heroic but ends up in the final battle at the bridge sitting on the ground and screaming.

And I really liked the bible spouting sniper (although maybe he really was divinely inspired considering how many rounds he could crank out of that Springfield without reloading). :slight_smile:

Generally, Tom Hanks gives me heartburn but he madeup for a lot here:

(stolen from the IMDB)

All things considered I think you need to watch this one a few times to appreciate it.

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

Personally, I thought Saving Private Ryan was way overrated. So many people were saying it was the greatest war movie ever made, maybe even the best movie of all time. Obviously, it would have been difficult to live up to that kind of hype, but I did expect it to be a great movie. Instead, I saw a movie that wasn’t bad, but I would describe basically as a average war movie. Take out the special effects, and you could name dozens of movies that were as good as this one. In fact, I consider The Thin Red Line, flawed as it was, to be a better movie.

I found SPR to be a truly moving and powerful movie experience. I think where this movie excelled was in its attempt to explore the impact of war upon the ordinary men who are called upon again and again to rise to extraordinary heights. Every major scene and a large percentage of the shots were focused to examine just that issue. Compare the main participants to the characters of so many other “great” war movies, Apocalypse Now, Patton, Bridge Over the River Kwai, even Thin Red Line. The focus of those movies is entirely different and, for me, less powerful as a result. Like any question of art, this boils down to subjective experience. But I would defend the artistry, skill and vision of this film without qualm.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.