First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM HANKS! Today, July 9, 2012, is his 56th birthday. To celebrate his pure awesomeness, I've decided to make this a Tom Hanks week. I'll try to write as many Tom Hanks related movie reviews/commentaries this week. I've planned this a long time ago, and thought it will be a nice way to pay tribute to one of the best actors in the industry, and also my favorite. I hope I can keep it up considering I now have a job. But, I'll figure something out.
I decided to start with Saving Private Ryan, the movie that really made me a fan of Tom Hanks. It's one of my favorite movies and one of my first answers, if not the first, when someone's asking for a good movie to watch. I was literally amazed by it, and I became a huge Tom Hanks fan because of this.
Saving Private Ryan was a 1998 war film about the invasion of Normandy. However, the main idea of the film was the search for Private Ryan. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and was written by Robert Rodat. This movie validated that Spielberg is really one of the best directors for me. He became one of my favorite directors because of this movie, though I've been a fan of him ever since he made Schindler's list, my first Spielberg movie. The film was both critically acclaimed and a commercial success, earning more than 410 million dollars in profit. It starred, of course, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, and more.
A team was commissioned to find him after all his brothers died during the war. As the last remaining/surviving son of the Ryans, the team was tasked to locate the Private to be brought home to his family. Tom Hanks played Captain John Miller, who led the team for the search. They encountered and battled enemies along the way, lost some of his men, but he still stood by his orders. That's the basic plot of the movie. Simple enough? Don't worry, the execution of the entire movie would erase every ounce of doubt you have. I can bet you now (but of course, I won't) that you will find the movie one of the best films.
The first 27 minutes were the most intense 27 minutes of any movie I know. It was a hardcore depiction of the the events that happened that day many years ago. As a big fan of the movie, I've done a lot of research about the movie, and I've read a lot of positive feedback about the start of the movie. If you've seen the movie, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven;t seen it, you're going to have to see it to fully understand the gravity of the beginning of the movie. That scene itself brought me to that historic moment because the depiction was really realistic, and it begged the viewer's sympathy. It's clearly one of the best scenes to start off an epic movie. I was really left in awe when I saw this part alone, and I was not even halfway into the movie.
The rest of the movie, though not as bloody, was still intense. It focused more on the bulk of the plot which was about the attempt to locate Private Ryan and to bring him home to his mother. There's the formation of the team, the orders being given, the great lengths this particular team had to go through. It was filled with firing guns and deaths, which led it to being a sensitive dramatic movie. Steven Spielberg crafted the movie to be as authentic as possible, which was probably the reason why there were really nothing too overdone about it. It was as natural as it possibly could be.
The cast was also stellar and gave the finest performances this movie could ask for. Tom Hanks as the lead was commanding, firm, and still had that sensitivity to his men and comrades. There was also a great dynamic going on among the members of the team. The chemistry was so present that whenever someone got hurt, or anything, I could feel the tension. I could feel the paranoia, anxiety and suffering. The actors complemented each other very well and it all worked out well. I honestly can say that I can't see any other actor playing one of the roles in the movie.
There are not enough positive words to describe the movie, the performances and the brilliance of Steven Sielberg. At the end of the movie, there was nothing left to do but to take in the whole experience, be appreciative and be grateful that such a movie could be so inspiring. It's truly one of the best movies I've seen, and Saving Private Ryan will always remain as one of my top movies. In one of the scenes, Captain Miller said,"Things have taken a turn for the surreal. " It's the best culmination I could think of for this post, cause after watching the movie, it felt so surreal to have had the opportunity of watching this exquisite movie.
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