Thoughts on Saving Private Ryan

24 hours as of this writing I have just seen Saving Private Ryan and I'm still trying to decide if it's a good movie. This is partially because it's one of those movies that makes you feel guilty if you were to ever find fault with it and because I'm still kind of reeling at what I just saw. In their attempts at making a faithful dedication to the hardships and bravery of WWII vets and soldiers in general, Steven Spielberg and company have made one of the most disturbing movies of all time. It's a kind of WWII battlefield simulator, complete with copious amounts of blood and gore, effective shaky-cam for added intensity and characters having mental breakdowns as they slowly bleed to death surrounded by a never-ending barrage of gunfire.

You know how they keep telling us that war is hellish and ugly? Well, you wanna know how to make that lesson really sick? Just show the Normandy landing scene from Saving Private Ryan and not only will they fully understand and appreciate the meaning of those words but they will never forget them as long as they live.

On a side note, I knew that after watching that scene I was a changed man. I felt like I would never find humor in slapstick comedy because it used violence to make people laugh. I thought I would never be able to casually watch an action movie again because it makes light of what real life people have actually gone through.

Other than mentally scaring our youth, however, I'm just not sure if the movie really works as a whole. I mean the sets are good, the acting is great and the screenplay is genuinely witty, but I can't seem to go any deeper. It's like the horrible images of graphic violence and the obvious love and respect that Spielberg took into making this movie have covered my brain with a thick layer of numbing gel, refusing to let me focus on things like story, screenplay structure, technicality and so on. It's like if I were to dig deeper into this movie and find fault I'd be disrespecting every veteran who fell at Normandy or something.


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