Saving Private Ryan is one of the few films you can watch multiple times, never losing the impact it had the first time around. Today marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day and to commemorate the occasion, we get a new release of the Spielberg classic. This new 2-disc set isn't the most spectacular DVD release of all time, but the audio and video presentation is some of the best on the market. This disc is also available in a box set featuring two other documentaries.
Captain Tom Miller, played by Tom Hanks, leads his troop through the brutal D-Day invasion. As they make their way up the beach onto to calmer ground, Miller receives special orders to go into enemy territory to retrieve James Ryan (Matt Damon) who's three brothers have been killed in combat. Little do they know it's all for publicity. Not only must Miller keep up the spirits of his troops who are against the rescue mission, but fend off countless enemy bombardments on their way to try and get the Private back home.
This is, almost without any doubt, the greatest war movie ever made. This is not an action film, but a drama with some of the most horrific battle sequences ever put on film. Within the first ten minutes you'll see a man drown, watch a soldier look for his arm that has been blown off, and blood filled water soak the beach. None of the violence is glorified as the stunning washed out color tones don't allow for it. Amazingly, the best sequence in the film is not an action scene, but a moment when Miller and Ryan sit down in a war torn town. Here, Damon shows why this is his best performance as he recollects an incident with his brothers. Though he laughs telling the story, it's actually quite heart wrenching as you know deep down he's not sure why he was the only one left. This is a film that has no dull moments, never seems to drag on, and ends up being one of the best movies of all time. (***** out of *****)