6.35pm – I really loved this film when I first watched it the whole way through with my dad and brother back in England and that was a year or so ago so I can’t wait to watch this again with my dad tonight after dinner! However, I just know my review is going to be long so I’ll be needing a lot of Mountain Dew to keep myself awake and determined lol.
11.31pm – *yawns* Film was awesome as usual but I chose to watch South Park on TV instead of typing up all the notes I made [over a page] and now I can’t be bothered so I’ll type it up in the morning ^_^
NEXT DAY [11th]
5.05pm – Ok, I’ve been putting off typing this for too long now! I’ll type up my notes but my apologies if they don’t make sense, at least I’m not making you try to read my handwriting again lol.
Unfortunately I’ve grown up in an age where I see the DreamWorks logo and I think I’m about to watch Shrek.
Trumpet music + flag blowing in the wind = war film.
Great casting of the OLD!Matt Damon, looks exactly how he’s going to look in 40 or so years time.
It’s a horrible shot of all those white crosses [and Jewish symbols] in rows. It’s a perfect symbolism of all the lives that were lost because Hitler got a bit greedy.
I love the colouring of this movie, its got a kind of green tint to it. But what I love most of all is that whatever they’ve done or whatever camera technique it is, it makes the actor’s eyes so clear and their eye colour more vivid, its just beautiful. My favourite example is at the beginning where you look into the OLD!Private Ryan’s eyes which are a gorgeous shade of blue, just like the ocean and we hear the sound of the waves crashing onto a beach.
The classic beach scene. What a way to start a movie. You can sense the fear but also the pride. Even though I wasn’t there and have never been in the middle of an actual war [thank heavens], I think this is very accurate. As soon as they leave the boat they’re immediately shot and you can totally see the bullets hit them and body stuff flying everywhere. Must of taken forever to wire the actors up for blood and brain matter to fly out. I loved it when the camera went underwater and for a moment the sound is peaceful and then goes above water and it’s the horrible sounds of the bullets then back underwater for the peacefulness and then up again and so on. Obviously, the images under the water were horrible because the bullets still hit the men underwater but its all about sound, the sound is often worse than the visual. Then there’s people with guts hanging out and blood flying everywhere and its gross but that’s war for you. Unfortunately, South Park has warped my mind and I found this part a bit funny; one of the medics is trying to help a wounded soldiers and shouts “I STOPPED THE BLEEDING!!” then the wounded soldier gets shot in the head. And then another time I laughed when I know I shouldn’t of was when a bullet deflected off a guy’s helmet, he takes the helmet off to see where the bullet it, another soldier says “lucky bastard” then the first guy gets shot in the head. Anyways, at the very end when all the firing has toned down a bit, one guy says “what a view” then Tom Hanks says “yeah, what a view” and to be honest, it is one heck of a view; it’s a beach that’s filled with dead bodies and body parts and fish and the sea is red from human blood.
My brother’s reaction to the opening scene: “OOO!” “BAM!!” “NICE!” my reaction to my brother’s reaction; *eye roll*
I love how Tom Hank’s shaking hand can symbolize and tell so much, very clever idea.
The iconic scene where the sound is like we’re underwater or partially deaf but you see all the horror that’s around Tom Hanks. I keep thinking of Ice Age2 where they do this and I’m sure its been done a million times in other TV shows and movies, it’s a very iconic [powerful] scene now.
The whole movie feels like its got hand-held which makes it more personal for the audience, almost like we’re in the action which I think was a very smart move for Spielberg. There were also times when it felt like we were watching a home movie because there were times when there was blood or sand on the lens! There are also all different kinds of wonderful camera angles, there’s ones on the ground, some aerial shots, everything in the filmmaking manual.
An emotional scene for the audience when we see all the women typewriting letters to the family back home about their losses. My dad said that every letter was personal, not just the same one sent out but with a different name. I thought it was very powerful to see them type the letters then hear their commanding officers do voiceover of what the letters say. Then one typist notices that one mum will have to receive 3 letters in one day about 3 of her 4 sons. I had to look it up as I thought it was a bit BS that they’d send out soldiers to find another soldier just because his mummy wants him home; turns out there is a thing called Sole Survivor Policy where if one or more of your siblings or mum/dad dies in the war then you don’t have to serve anymore.
There’s some short shots of tea, bacon sandwiches and a man shaving which my dad said were signs of comforting hope.
There’s a pretty awesome [in a film way, not a content way] scene where Tom Hanks and this other soldier are walking through this camp thing and there are things happening in the background, foreground and… well, pretty much everywhere, there is a soldier in every single part on the screen which really shows just how many people were involved in this war.
If you’ve been reading some of my reviews, you’ll know that I love the use of silhouettes on film and this film is no exception. I love that you know exactly what’s going on and how the characters are feeling even though you only see an outline of their body. There is also a shot where they’re walking up a hill into shot and it’s a classic Western-film style shot which made me smile a smug smile because I knew it was Western-film style because I’d watched Western films.
Me and dad chuckled a little when it cuts from them in a death scene to them in a field with sheep. Quite a contrast.
This movie has perfect moments of humor which you need in war movies but you’ve got to be super careful where you put them because it could easily fall flat on its face. Good thing this film put the humor scenes in in the right moments. Its nice to see them joking and having a bit of banter amongst each other, makes the characters feel more human.
50 minutes went by so fast!! I normally look at the clock in a movie and wonder how must longer there is [which is a bad thought, I know] but with this film, I didn’t look at the clock till about 50min had gone! That’s the sign of a great movie.
Spielberg did a good job of showing that these men weren’t trained in the army for years, that they were drafted and once had ‘normal’ jobs.
I loved how me, my dad and my mum all laughed and cringed when they found the wrong Private Ryan. It was just perfect comical timing but it also had emotional depth too. Like, you really felt sorry for the wrong Ryan but also totally gutted that it’s the wrong one.
It was around this point where they’d found the wrong Private Ryan when Eddie Izzard’s voice came into my head and I remembered his skit on Saving Private Ryan about how you never see any English or French soldiers in this movie. “Maybe we could just look ’round the edge of the frame, “Hello! Hello, I’m a British soldier, this is a Canadian soldier here, three French, some Polish. There’s Australians and New Zealanders, there’s some Indian soldiers, South Africans. All been fighting here. What’s the name for us? Oh, The Allies, that’s it – The Allies.” Its funny because its true! There are no other soldiers in this movie!! It gives arrogant people the impression that only Americans fought this war.
The church scene was a very good scene because it was emotional and personal, just what a war film needs because its not just about bullets and killing people. I liked Tom Hank’s character saying that he has to think of it this way; if one soldier dies, that means that he’s saved 2 other soldiers. Then the other soldiers talk about their mum’s and the medic guy talks about his mum and its so sweet and yet so sad; he would try to stay awake when he was younger so he could talk to his mum when she got back from work but the harder he tried, the quicker he went to sleep. And then when she rushed home early to talk to him, he’d pretend he was asleep even though he knew his mum just wanted to know about his day.
I thought it was funny but also really good when a Jewish soldier laughed and mocked the German soldier prisoners. It showed that not all Jews were how they’re portrayed in most movies as being silent and stuff, so he just shouts at them and showing off his Jewish necklace.
Another ‘sign’ of all the lives that were lost during this war was the bag filled with dog tags of those who died.
“James Francis Ryan?” “Yeah! How d’you know?!”
I felt that Ryan was an ungrateful sod and they should of forced him to leave but alas, that wouldn’t be the ‘soldier way’ so they stay and fight with them. Ergh, damn American pride lol.
Sitcky bombs! That always make my dad laugh. “This is good, now we’ve got to surrender our socks.”
I really loved Matt Damon’s acting when he tells the story of the last time him and his brother’s were together. He laughs so much and it really feels like real laughter. And it’s the kind of laughter that happens when you’re telling a story that’s just so damn funny to you and probably you alone. I love those stories, I have them a lot with my old friend Jade. Oh, and Matt Damon has the whitest, brightest teeth I’ve ever seen!!!
I thought it was a little funny that the soldiers who were sent to find Private Ryan silently agreed to try and avoid him having to fight.
Back to modern times and OLD!Private Ryan salutes to the grave and I almost cried. I think I probably would of if my dad wasn’t next to me because I know he’d of said “man up” lol.
I’ve only one bad thing to say about this film and that was that it gives the impression that only the Americans fought in this war and I probably wouldn’t of thought that if I hadn’t been a fan of Eddie Izzard. Anyways, I recommend EVERYONE to watch this, it’s a fantastic movie that never gets dull or crap.
more notes on the way…