Saving Private Ryan

Reviewed By Guide2Film
Posted 10/28/98 04:39:36

"The year's best film."
5 stars (Awesome)

Spielberg has made a truly great masterpiece.

Saving Private Ryan

A simply horrifying masterpiece. A painting, made of screams, terror, blood and tears. Steven Spielberg has come through a year of truely dissapointing cinema with a war film that is truely like nothing you have ever experienced.
The opening scene alone is a whirlwind of pure horror. Soldiers land on the beach to try and overtake the enemy, to find themselves working against an enemy firing down upon them from above.
Through the use of handheld cameras, we are running with these men, up the beach. The next twenty minutes of film is purely terrifying, purely horrific, and pure chaos. As much as you can shield your eyes from what unfolds on screen, the sounds.....screams, bullets, agony, is only more horrifying. There is simply nothing that will prepare you for the opening scene of this film.
Spielberg has done a truely fantastic job in the film bringing battles like this one to life; the cinematography is mainly a swirl of hand held visuals; as much as the scenes are chaotic, I could tell exactly who was where and what was going on.
The violence in the films opening battle is the most graphic footage of war that I have ever seen. Men are dying all around the camera, screaming, crying. The water in the oceans laps up upon the beach, colored a crimson red. The oceans run red and the skys are on fire as the battle goes on.
Out of the chaos, we make out a familiar face; Tom Hanks, as the commanding officer, leads his men up the beach to try and overtake the beach.
The aftermath is simply horrifying. A massacre of insane proportions. Bodies lie tangled, washed in blood. They lie still as the beach slowly comes to calmness. Thus ends what is simply one of the most incredible scenes I've ever witnessed on film.
After the battle Hanks and his men find that they have been ordered to find the last surviving brother of 4, a private James Ryan(Matt Damon). Washington does not want the last of four brothers to be killed in action; Hanks and his men begin their march over the countryside, searching through battle fields and through camps. We get to know some of the men and who they are. The best performance of the group is Ed Burns, the actor/writer/director of films such as "The Brothers McMullen." It's the strong performances by Burns and also Tom Sizemore("The Relic") that have the most impact of the group. Some of the men are lost in battles along the way, only angering the soldiers more that they are all risking their lives for one man.
It all comes together in the third act, when Private Ryan is found, and the troops must plan what to do next after Ryan will not leave his men behind in the battle to keep the invading army from crossing one of the last bridges to not be taken.
Spielberg has brought together a work of genius in "Saving Private Ryan". He has made a complex film that speaks smartly about the horrific battles and terror through images, through feelings, through words. The actors do an incredible job, bringing feelings and actions behind the words that have been written for them.
There has not been a picture that contains this much fury, this much feeling, this much heart, and this much brilliance in quite some time. "Saving Private Ryan" is truely a masterpiece and one of the most powerful experiences that I have ever had.

A work of horrific terror. A painting made of blood, death and tears. Outstanding work.

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