Worth A Look: 12.97%
Pretty Bad: 5.78%
Total Crap: 7.5%
19 reviews, 526 user ratings
|Saving Private Ryan
Alright now. I'm gonna describe a big summer blockbuster, and you tell me which one it is. Okay?It opens like this... a big scene of mass destruction with many deaths with little or no explanation. haracterization? What's that?
"Fuck Ryan! Save me! Please! <--my response, slightly exaggerated"
Then there's a scene establishing the characters. They're doing what they do best, working their jobs. There's like seven of them, and they're used to working as a team.
There's then a brief scene in which it is explained what the movie is actually going to be about. None of the true main characters actually show up in said scene.
Then there's a scene in which the leader of the team gets an assignment from a higher up, a guy who works more directly for the government than he.
He then has to go explain the job to his team. His team objects to the idea of it, but then agrees to go along anyway.
There are then several scenes with faux-characterization that has been done before, followed by a tragedy. Then more faux-characterization and cliches, followed by another tragedy.
Then a lot of pseudo-action building to the final big scene, which is, of course, a tragedy. And somewhere in there, a lot of France is destroyed with a lot of hurt French people.
Oh yeah, and it has Steve Buscemi.
That's right, I was talking about "Armageddon". But it also happens to describe "Saving Private Ryan" perfectly (except for the Steve Buscemi part).
That being said -- pointing out the fact that Spielberg's "epic" is little more than another summer action movie in characters and plot -- it is extremely well acted. And it's direction was 'above reproach' to quote The Simpsons.
The one thing I hated was how predictable it was. I mean, aside from the opening scene (pre-battle) ruining it for me, I called every death waaaaaaay before they happened.
If this is "the ultimate war movie", then what of "All Quiet On The Western Front", "Apocalypse Now", "The Best Days of Our Lives", "Coming Home", "The Deer Hunter", "Full Metal Jacket", "M*A*S*H", "Paths of Glory", and "Patton"?
Guh. It wasn't even Speilberg's best war movie. (Though I've never seen "1941", so I can't say it's his worst either.)
And if Speilberg didn't steal something from every one of those movies -- not to mention "The Magnificent Seven", "The Searchers", and, from what I hear, "Davy Crockett and the Alamo", and lots and lots and *lots* of other movies -- then I'm wrong, and it was the most original movie ever.
[And was it me, or could the fake blood used in that movie have drowned a herd of elephants? Less is more! The deaths that meant something were the close ones, such as Goldberg's. And that's not a spoiler, 'cause you can tell it's coming a mile away. Less gore = more touching/moving. Like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Very little blood, for a title like that, very scary, acheived it's goal, which, for me, Private Ryan did not.]But, of all people, Ed Burns *was* good. Surprisingly.
Let's just hope "The Thin Red Line" is better.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8&reviewer=18
originally posted: 08/30/98 12:58:33