Anyway, thatís a small complaint in an otherwise perfect film that has brilliant performances from the obvious actors (Hanks, Sizemore and Damon) and also the ones you might have forgotten were in this platoon, namely Vin Diesel, Ed Burns, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi, whoís been a favorite of mine since his THE WONDER YEARS days. A few cool surprises are Dennis Farina, Paul Giamatti and ex-CHEERS owner Sam Malone who all make short, but impressive, appearances as well. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is an incredibly touching movie about sacrifice, dedication and the horrifying reality of what it can be like on the battlefield. If you havenít seen it yet, either get off your ass and rent it or join the armed forces. Either way, youíll learn a lot about what it really takes to fight for your country and be a heroÖ
Looking Into the Past (4 minutes): A featurette which delves into the inspiration writer Robert Rodat had to write this film, which is the true story of the Niland family who lost three sons in WWII in the span of a week and had their fourth son pulled out from behind enemy lines to return home. Both Spielberg and Rodat also speak about the importance of authenticity and research when making a war film like this. An interesting feature which also explores wartime policies regarding siblings serving togetherÖ
Miller and his Platoon (8 minutes): Spielberg, Hanks and almost all the members of the platoon discuss their characters, Stevenís style of directing, improvisation and much more. There is stronger focus on all the different platoon members/actors in this featurette.
Boot Camp (7 minutes): As in most war films, the actors had to endure 5-6 days of boot camp to get a small inkling of what itís really like to be on virtually zero sleep, sleep in freezing temperatures, live on rations and use military artillery convincingly. A retired army captain speaks about the experience he had with the actors and the importance of showing them what the men who fought in these wars went through. The ďplatoonĒ also chimes in with their take on the camp and what it gave them as far preparing themselves for the film. Good little feature thatís certainly worth a look.
Making Saving Private Ryan (22 minutes): Everyone gets in on this one including the actors, Steven, the producer, production designer and many others. Seeing how in control and "on the ball" Steven is on set directing is always a wonder to watch and there are many instances like that on here. Youíll also learn info on things as varied as costume design, locations and Stevenís different directing style during the war sequences as opposed to all the other moments in the film. This is a great behind-the-scenes featurette that takes you into the heart of the action.
Re-creating Omaha Beach (17 minutes): A wonderful feature that puts its focus on the long opening sequence of the film when the troops arrive on the beach and proceed to enter into the hellish nightmare of war as they see their friends and fellow soldiers get mowed down by the hundreds. Everything from the weapons they used to clothing the extras (who were virtually all members of the Irish army) to the actors' experiences actually being in that situation and living it out is covered here. This is an important and necessary addition to these extras.
Music and Sound (15 minutes): Undeniably, this movie has spectacular sound and music, but hearing John Williams and co. talk about it for a quarter of an hour is a real snooze.
Parting Thoughts: Some final poignant and wise words from Mr. Spielberg and Hanks.