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Saving Private Ryan (Special Limited Edition)
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Product Description

A small band of u.S. Soldiers are sent on a mission during the tumultuous battle at normandy to find the lone survivor of four brothers in steven spielbergs brutally honest world war ii epic. Special features: cast and filmmakers bios: production notes: interactive menus: two theatrical trailers and more. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 02/14/2006 Starring: Tom Hanks Tom Sizemore Run time: 169 minutes Rating: R Director: Stephen Spielberg

When Steven Spielberg was an adolescent, his first home movie was a backyard war film. When he toured Europe with Duel in his 20s, he saw old men crumble in front of headstones at Omaha Beach. That image became the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, his film of a mission following the D-day invasion that many have called the most realistic--and maybe the best--war film ever. With 1998 production standards, Spielberg has been able to create a stunning, unparalleled view of war as hell. We are at Omaha Beach as troops are slaughtered by Germans yet overcome the almost insurmountable odds.

A stalwart Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller, a soldier's soldier, who takes a small band of troops behind enemy lines to retrieve a private whose three brothers have recently been killed in action. It's a public relations move for the Army, but it has historical precedent dating back to the Civil War. Some critics of the film have labeled the central characters stereotypes. If that is so, this movie gives stereotypes a good name: Tom Sizemore as the deft sergeant, Edward Burns as the hotheaded Private Reiben, Barry Pepper as the religious sniper, Adam Goldberg as the lone Jew, Vin Diesel as the oversize Private Caparzo, Giovanni Ribisi as the soulful medic, and Jeremy Davies, who as a meek corporal gives the film its most memorable performance.

The movie is as heavy and realistic as Spielberg's Oscar-winning Schindler's List, but it's more kinetic. Spielberg and his ace technicians (the film won five Oscars: editing (Michael Kahn), cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), sound, sound effects, and directing) deliver battle sequences that wash over the eyes and hit the gut. The violence is extreme but never gratuitous. The final battle, a dizzying display of gusto, empathy, and chaos, leads to a profound repose. Saving Private Ryan touches us deeper than Schindler because it succinctly links the past with how we should feel today. It's the film Spielberg was destined to make. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews:

  • Great Movie
    This is one of my all-time favorites. It arrived in new condition as promised....more info
  • Very bloody movie
    This is a very bloody movie and thats why i like it!...more info
  • I'd pay $100 for the bluray
    "Saving Private Ryan" is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and definitely the best war film I've ever seen by far. It is probably my favorite movie at the moment. Tom Hanks does an excellent job in this role. The battle scenes are amazingly realistic, and the sound is fantastic. The opening scene (D Day invasion) will give you a whole new respect for WWII veterans. Seriously. I would pay $100 for a nicely mastered Bluray version of SPR. I have no idea why it hasn't been released on Bluray yet. The format will probably be obsolete and extinct by the time it's released on bluray......more info
  • Experience
    I remember working in the DotCom field in the Silicon Valley, going to see this movie on opening day. Like most hot-headed nerds in the valley, I ran my mouth off about accuracy in movie-making, nitpicking it, and generally being a loser after the movie was over while friends smoked cigarettes in the parking lot. An old Vietnam vet walked up to me, obviously shaken by what he had just watched and calmly, succintly, and tersely put me rightfully in my place. Now, nine years later, and two combat tours along the most hotly contested areas with the Taliban in Afghanistan later, I can say he was right. This movie touches so many nerves, makes things so real, I am at a loss for words. Languages - all of them - fail to express our emotions at their peaks and valleys alike, and as such, the feelings this movie bring forth of memories of loss, courage and brotherhood are all too real.

    I'm not a WWII historian, so obviously, not an expert on the accuracy there. But the portrayal of the men, while limited in depth compared to the intimacy of knowledge men have of each other in real combat, is accurate, and I am an "expert" on such a thing. It's like modern war video games in that the actual simulation of combat itself is NOT accurate, but the emotional experience that it offers you is. If you want to watch a movie and have a reaction that really is indicitive of what it's like to witness front-line combat, I don't think any movie ever made has really come close to SPR.

    What really got to me was the German captive. There's nothing quite as telling as the human face of the enemy, and the disastrous effects of sometimes doing the right thing - but it's still the right thing.

    I love this movie. Spielberg is a wonderful human being for making this movie. I can have my parents watch it; their fathers, who were there in WWII, and their son, now at war himself - this film puts it all in context. I don't even need to say a word.

    Thank you, Mr. Spielberg....more info
  • Deeply Flawed, Inaccurate Portrayal of World War II, But Entertaining As A Big Dumb Actioneer!
    Lately, when Hollywood produces war movies, they focus on the debacle of
    Vietnam. Not director Steven Spielberg! Instead, the incredibly versatile helmer of "Jaws," "Schindler's List," "The Color Purple," and "Jurassic Park" impales a patriotic chapter of American history on a bayonet with his graphically realistic but otherwise sappy "Saving Private Ryan." "Saving Private Ryan" ranks as a second-rate World War II movie with a first-class cast and top-notch production values that pass inspection with some of the most savage combat carnage ever lensed. As demeaning as this criticism sounds, "Saving Private Ryan" is one of the top 25 World War II movies. Unfortunately, the film contains so many glaring historical inaccuracies as well as wholly improbable plot contrivances that you wonder what Spielberg was thinking when he made it. Since "Saving Private Ryan" swamped moviegoers with cutting edge combat action, Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down" and Sylvester Stallone's "Rambo" have eclipsed it with even greater cutting edge violence.

    If the story had been as memorable as the kinetic, blood-splattered battle scenes, "Saving Private Ryan" might have been a classic. Essentially, "Saving Private Ryan" is a ten-star movie until the U.S. Army gets off the beach and into France where it devolves into just another standard-issue G.I. Joe war epic. Anybody who knows anything about combat movies will cringe the first time that they see the hero parading about in a helmet with the captain's bars painted on the front like a bull's eye. This is an egregious error! During World War II, officers didn't advertise their presence in this manner for fear that an enemy sniper would single them out for a bullet in the head. Okay, I'd dismiss this lapse of realism as a dramatic liberty except the filmmakers raise the same point. A seasoned dogface (Vin Diesel) warns a rank amateur to stop saluting the captain for fear that a sniper will shoot the captain down.

    Dispersed throughout the movie is the usual quota of Hallmark speeches about valor, loyalty, and redemption. These platitudes add little dimension beyond the obvious to the purely physical rat-a-tat-tat. Spielberg could have trimmed much of this sappy dialogue and upgraded his movie. Running nearly three hours in length, this rowdy, often profane World War II melodrama creates a deeper impression with is grotesque special effects than with its drab, sometimes improbable tale. Consider the scene in the town when the wall collapses between the Germans and the GIs and they stand with their arms brandished screaming at each like a Mexican stand-off. Come on, give me a break, in real life, either side would have opened up on each other. Similarly, letting Steamboat Willie go is another incredible lapse of believability.

    Told from the perspective of the infantry, "Saving Private Ryan" shares in the grand tradition of Louis Milestone's classic "All Quiet on the Western Front," Samuel Fuller's "The Big Red One," Lewis Milestone's "A Walk in the Sun," and William Wellman's "Background." Granted, none of them boasts the extreme combat that "Saving Private Ryan" commands, but they are solidly-made, engaging war movies with deeply personal stories. The muddled but high-minded screenplay by "Fly Away House" scenarist Robert Rodat follows a unit of U.S. Rangers on a dim-witted public relations mission to rescue an American paratrooper.

    Captain Miller (Tom Hanks of "Forrest Gump") assembles a collection of stock characters to help him locate 101ST Airborne Paratrooper Private James Ryan of Iowa. Ryan (Matt Damon of "Good Will Hunting") has gotten lost behind enemy lines in the pre-dawn parachute drops that preceded the June 6th D-Day Normandy Invasion. When the War Department discovers that Ryan's two brothers bite the sand at Normandy and that the Japanese have killed a third sibling a week earlier, General George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell of "Fargo") decides to pull the last Ryan out of action. Along the way, Miller's G.I.s complain about the irony of risking eight lives to save one guy.

    Before "Saving Private Ryan" grinds to its sanguinary conclusion, the Biblical theme of singling out an individual from a multitude for redemption grows tedious. Spielberg and Rodat, along with uncredited scribes Scott Frank and Frank "The Shawshank Redemption" Darabont, seem confused. Are they making a fiercely repellent anti-war movie? Or have the drummed up a gung-ho Hong Kong style, kick-butt actioneer? They
    pile on enough violence for a platoon of war movies. Bullets zip and zing by the hundreds giving death an impersonal omnipotence. Presumably, the filmmakers hoped their grisly depiction of combat would eviscerate the memories of those flag-waving John Wayne propaganda sagas. The sadistic horrors that occur in "Saving Private Ryan" seems more commercially than philosophically oriented. We don't think so much about how terrible war is as how miraculous it is to survive.

    The first 24 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" dwells on the famous D-Day landing at Omaha Beach. Spielberg shows the baptism by fire that befell the seasick G.I.s as they waded ashore into a murderous Third Reich shooting gallery. This is the best part of this movie and guarantees it an immortal place in the ranks of all great combat epics.
    After the scary, visceral D-Day prologue, the film settles down long enough for Miller to receive new orders. Eventually, Miller locates Ryan with a bunch of paratroopers guarding a bridge behind Nazi lines. Ryan refuses to leave his buddies in the lurch. Reluctantly, Miller and his squad prepare for the worst. This part of "Saving Private Ryan" has a lot of action, but it cannot compete with the 1960s ABC-TV show
    "Combat." Tom Sizemore makes a credible sergeant, but the usually dependable Edward Burns plays a soldier that would have been shot by his own men for disobeying orders. Tom Hanks' former teacher turned combat leader is a little too sentimental to be believable as is his inevitable demise. Many soldiers have commented--among them retired Joints Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell--that Miller and his men should have blown the bridge and retreated. Of course, had our heroes shown this much common sense there would have been no climactic battle.

    Spielberg relies on elaborate visual gimmicks to strengthen his screen activities. The astonishing combat sequences have the compressed look of a video surveillance camera. The only thing that saves Spielberg is the politically incorrect way that the G.I.s shoot the surrendering Nazi troops. "Saving Private Ryan," for all its obvious flaws, still qualifies a movie any die-hard World War II fanatic should watch at least three times.
    ...more info
  • war at its most sobering
    This is a fine war picture. I especially love its subtle moments of homage to the classic TV series, Combat! The extra features are very nice, too. I recommend this for anyone who cares to look at war through a reality lens.

    --Robert McDowell, author of the bestselling Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions (July 2009, Free Press). [...]...more info
  • Saving Private Ryan a Historic Epic
    Saving Private Ryan is a historic epic by Steven Speilberg paying tribute to those who participated in D-Day. With excellent cinemotography and sound editing, it was one of the most realistic portrayals of D-Day to date. A stellar cast led by Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, it's told through the eyes of those on a special misssion to bring a last living son home to his family during history's greatest invasion. I suggest everyone have this movie in their library as few can equal its totality of quality in filming and film making. Winner of several academy awards one cannot walk away from this movie without feeling the admiration of those heroes who participated in D-Day. This feeling is shown through the eyes of one of the soldiers throughout his life, and leaves us all with the same sentiments. Steven Speilberg out did himself on this one, and it's a great tribute to those fighting men who made our freedom possible. A must buy for every entertainment collection....more info
  • Great movie
    Great WWII movie. the best that depicts what the invasion of Normandy was really like for the United States....more info
  • An ok action film
    This was a pretty fun action movie, but not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg has done much better. Plus it was a bit too anti-German for my tastes. Some nice slam-bang action scenes, but overall not the roller coaster ride I was expecting....more info
  • Hands down the most harrowing movie ever made to epitomize the struggles faced by the veterans of WWII.
    Saving Private Ryan was one of the most neccesary films that has ever been made. It is the harrowing story of a squad of men led by John H. Miller {Hanks} and captures the very gritty realities of war. Set during the D-Day invasion into fortress Europe, it captures in the best possible sense the toll that war exacts upon those who are called upon to defend freedom. Spielberg also made Band of Brothers which is also an amazing story of heroism and sacrifice renowned the world over. No doubt in my mind that these works that Steven Spielberg has masterfully created will live on through the generations as some of the greatest war epics ever depicted on film. It will tell and retell to those who might forget the stories that should never be lost of the people who should never be forgotten. I give it A+,5 Stars and Two-Thums Up....more info
  • Saving Private Ryan (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
    Saving Private Ryan (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

    Great War story turned cinema depiction. A welcomed addition to my History films. I also recommend: Schedulers' List and Enemy at the Gate. The movie is a 8 of 10.

    Los Angeles, Ca.
    ...more info
  • Once Told Bits and Pieces
    Once told. Never forgotten. It will live in our memories forever. If you should remember one film about those who must fight, kill and die in war then remember this one. Parts of the dialog are fleeting and ponderous like bits and pieces of broken memories but they seem ever so important just the same. Bits and pieces. Is that all that remains? I hope not. A film can never represent what it was really like but pits and pieces are as close as we will ever likely come to that moment back then. Bits and pieces are true....more info
  • A very good movie
    This movie show you went really went on in WWII....more info
  • The Greatest War Movie Ever...
    This movie is what changed my life and also what open my eyes in having knowledge of WWII, it also got me playing PC games like Medal of honor and Combat Flight Simulator and IL2 flight sims and Battlefield:1942 games. I live in south Georgia, so were surrounded by alot of wooded areas and when I go out side when the sun is setting I hear the birds chirp and in some cases in the movie there are simular scenes. Over all great movie, all the actors are some of my favorite actors of all time. This movie is a must have. I don't have this special edition yet, but I do have the widescreen dts/Dolbysurround sound edition....more info
  • Is The Best War Movie Ever Made?
    My headline offers a subjective question, but I think most people would at least agree this is one of the best war movies they've seen, especially if they have a pretty decent 5.1 surround sound system. You can't fully appreciate this DVD and movie, in generally, without the great surround this disc offers.

    Sitting in a room surrounded by five speakers with bullets flying from all directions around you - as in that spectacular 22- minute opening scene or in the final 45 minutes of action against the Germans in tanks - is an astounding movie experience. The visuals are outstanding, too, and we'll see a Blu-Ray version of this film soon, making it even better.

    Since the film has been out for over 10 years, there is no sense going into the story. It's hard to picture the brutality of war being any worse than you see here, but it probably was. This is about as graphic as it gets. The violence and gore was shocking when this film came out in 1997 and still is today.

    It makes you appreciate what some of the WWII soldiers went through, but that can be said for any war. I believe the purpose of this film was to pay tribute to the sacrifices these men made, and it succeeds wonderfully. Hats off to Steven Spielberg and to Tom Hanks, the leading actor in here, both of whom have worked hard for WWII vets to get the recognition they deserve, not just on film but in a national memorial.

    Anyway, bad language and/or blood and guts aside, this is still an incredible portrait of WWII. The almost-three hour film is riveting start-to-finish, especially with that memorable beginning action scene, maybe the most dramatic in the history of film.

    By the way, is this the best war movie ever made: yeah, I think so....more info
  • Excellent film. Powerful. Keep your hands off it, Spielberg. Leave it alone.
    I first saw this in the theatres and have vivid memories of the elderly gentlemen (probably WWII vets) and their reactions to the film, certain scenes in particular.

    Powerful movie.

    How much you want to bet that Spielberg gets a wild hair up his posterior soon and decides to re-release this film with all the guns digitally erased and replaced with walkie-talkies?

    I'm only half-kidding....more info
  • Saving Private Ryan
    This is one of the greatest stories ever told. If your interested in military movies this one is a must. I have watched this movie over a hundred times. This movie is about sacrifice for mission accomplishment. This is a must have for any movie collector. ...more info
  • An historical mark for the ages.
    "Saving Private Ryan" is historical because it depicts the average WWII soldiers' sense of loss and regret. There are really two themes to this film. First, a small band of American soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) must find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) from his combat position as part of a public relations and humanitarian cause of the high command due to the fact that Ryan has lost all three of his brothers to combat death within a week of one another. Second, the real theme of this film is the depiction of WWII type combat action. Both themes run together quite well and what we end up with is the best war movie ever made.

    The combat in this film is grisly and terrible. A few of the scenes are so anti-Nazi, though, that there is little consideration for the average German soldier, who may or may not have been die hard Nazis. They are depicted as die hards so that Spielberg can set up his own storyline, which he pulls off very well.

    This film also broke new ground in the depiction of combat and there are so many films that have copied it since that it is clear that "Saving Private Ryan" set a special effects standard for Hollywood on a level that "Star Wars" did back in the 70s and early 80s.

    Even if you hate war films I recommend that you watch this movie at least once. It is a kind of a historical document and it will allow you to better appreciate the burden of the WWII soldier who gave so much to win freedom for the world in a time of dark tyranny.

    In my opinion, this movie is easily one of the top ten to fifteen movies ever made....more info
    I did not believe that anyone would ever make a film about World War II that could top SCHINDLER'S LIST. I was wrong. Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN edges his earlier classic by at least a nose, and though the graphic carnage is abundant, and so authentic looking that you can just about taste it, it is not excessive. This was D-Day after all, and every description I've ever heard, or read about Omaha Beach painted it, and the surrounding sea red. This is a glorious, inspiring, and well deserved tribute to those heroes ( our fathers, and grandfathers ) that literally saved the world.

    ...more info
  • buena pelicula de la 2da Guerra
    muy buena pelicula, lo demalo es que solo trae subtitulos en espa?ol en los adicionales y no en la misma pelicula. tengo que mejorar mi ingles...more info
  • excellent
    Was everything I wanted, I got it right away.I was extremely pleased from start to finish....more info
  • 63rd anniversary
    It's the 63rd anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy today so in honor of the fact, I watched this movie! Although I have seen it countless times and can speak every line from memory, this movie never ceases to amaze me. The only problem that I have is that the landing on Omaha beach, despite having some of the best special effects, still isn't accurate in terms of the gore (not that that matters anyway). You see, I watched this film with my mom's uncle who is a surviving veteran of the same opening scene on Omaha beach. He saw everything shown in the film 63 years ago and said that it does a great justice to the men who fought and died, but Spielberg got it all wrong. He was touched by the movie but told me that if I could only imagine it infinitely worse, the blood, gore, and death on a larger and more horrifying scale; I would barely be able to grasp what he had to go through. Nevertheless, I love this film. ...more info
  • I'd pay $100 for the bluray
    "Saving Private Ryan" is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and definitely the best war film I've ever seen by far. It is probably my favorite movie at the moment. Tom Hanks does an excellent job in this role. The battle scenes are amazingly realistic, and the sound is fantastic. The opening scene (D Day invasion) will give you a whole new respect for WWII veterans. Seriously. I would pay $100 for a nicely mastered Bluray version of SPR. I have no idea why it hasn't been released on Bluray yet. The format will probably be obsolete and extinct by the time it's released on bluray......more info
  • The Opening Scene Alone Makes It Worth It
    When I saw the movie originally the opening scene was one of the most memorable even put on screen and captured the horror, fear and determination in those 20 plus minutes unlike any other, with portions that would make you cringe.

    And yes the movie is not perfect, especially since it had to live up to the opening scene, but overall it was still very good with more scenes that worked than didn't. Yes some were poor, and the ending left something to be desired and did not live up to the rest of the film, but so many scenes, such as in the house where the one soldier whispered to another, was chilling.

    The cast did an outstanding job and Tom Hanks turned in a wonderful, low key performance. Other than the one resolution at the end, on rewatching the movie some of the minor things I thought about that were problematic when I first viewed the film were not something I noticed.

    If for nothing else, the opening half hour along of this movie is more than most can ever attain....more info
  • Saving Private Ryan
    A virtuosic, hard-hitting war film by Hollywood icon Spielberg, "Ryan" opens with an intensely violent 24-minute battle sequence that many claim is the most realistic ever committed to celluloid. (It's certainly powerful--reportedly, a number of WWII veterans experienced post-traumatic shock watching it.) But the film's true achievement, apart from its Oscar-winning editing and visual effects, is its charged storyline and debate over the merits of bloodshed. Aided by a first-rate cast including Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, and Giovanni Ribisi, "Ryan" honors the sacrifice of soldiers while acknowledging that war truly is hell-on-earth....more info
  • Excellent film. Powerful. Keep your hands off it, Spielberg. Leave it alone.
    I first saw this in the theatres and have vivid memories of the elderly gentlemen (probably WWII vets) and their reactions to the film, certain scenes in particular.

    Powerful movie.

    How much you want to bet that Spielberg gets a wild hair up his posterior soon and decides to re-release this film with all the guns digitally erased and replaced with walkie-talkies?

    I'm only half-kidding....more info
  • A decent film but it annoys me
    For some reason this film annoys me. The film has a great cast and it has some spectacular parts which are really intense. For example, the opening invasion was great. I heard one vet remark. "The only thing missing was the smell." The knife fight between Mellish and the SS soldier was intense and even bothered some people. I even liked the interaction between the soldiers during lulls.

    For me this could have been a better story if it was kept simple with the harsh realities of war. However, what started to annoy me was the layers of schmaltz that were added in. The premise sounds neat but I really doubt a veteran ranger unit would be sent to find one guy in the middle of a war zone. It's a waste of highly trained men.

    Corpral Upham to me was an infuriating character. I suspect that it's Spielberg injecting himself into the story as some story tellers sometimes do. I am finding people either love him or hate him. He annoyed me to no end and never mind the fact he got a few men killed. Mellish, the paratrooper that was with him, and Captain Miller.

    Steamboat Willie. This character became a blunder due to casting. Many people think that he and the man who stabbed Mellish are the same. They are not. One is SS and Willie I think is Luftwaffe. It gave the impression the Upham shot him for killing Mellish.

    Private Ryan. Now I wish they left Matt Damon off the credits. The fact I suspected he was Ryan took away from a great scene where the find a Private Ryan, tell him his brothers are dead, and learn it's not him. It was really sad to hear him cry. The shock factor was lost since I knew it was not him.

    One thing I noticed was wrong was the P-51 "tank busters" They really didn't do that often. That was usually the job of the P-47 Thunderbolts. The P-51 was an areal fighter and was not armored for that kind of duty. I read somewhere somebody looked up the unit from the insignia of the planes and said they didn't have P-51s at that time. They were still flying the P-47s.

    The second DVD is a "watch it once" thing. It's interesting to see how they made the film but it's not something you will return to often. I thought they could have done more with information about the battle itself.

    Overall, it's a good film. But as I said it annoys me due to the premise and the schmaltz factor.
    ...more info