Discs Are Rated
review by Zach B.
Starring Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan,
Running Time: 177 Minutes
Written by Randall Wallace
Directed by Mel Gibson
Retail Price: 29.99
Features: Theatrical Trailers, Commentary with Mel
Gibson, "A Filmmaker's Passion: The Making Of Braveheart"
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital
English 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround,
English Subtitles, Chapter Search (22 Chapters)
"Every man dies, not every man really lives."
It's finally here. Ever since the DVD format made it's
debut, many movie fans wondered "When is Braveheart coming
out on DVD?". Braveheart is one of the most anticipated
titles on the format, right next to the Star Wars Trilogy,
The Godfather Trilogy and some beloved Spielberg films. Was
it worth the wait? I think so.
Braveheart was a pretty succesful movie at the box
office, and a critical favorite. It won five Academy
Awards®, including Best Picture. The movie also
established Mel Gibson, a great actor, as a great director
(with "The Man Without A Face" before this, which he did a
superb job with).
For those unfamiliar with the story, Gibson is William
Wallace, a Scotsman who was simply born to lead. Wallace is
an intelligent guy, as well as an excellent fighter. Through
the movie, we see Wallace grow up from child to man, and his
attempt to stop Edward the Longshanks and English rule.
This movie is long, but it needs to be to fully see it
all. "Braveheart" features some incredible battle scenes, as
well as some excellent drama. Mel Gibson's direction is
remarkable, he really did deserve that Oscar®. The way
things are staged and what he gets out of his actors is
amazing. The script is really well written by Randall
Wallace, and the cinematography is beautiful. The costumes
and makeup are excellent, as well as the sound effects and
James Horner's wonderful musical score. The performances in
this movie are incredible too, everyone in the film brings
depth to who they play.
This movie will become a classic over time, and deserves
a spot in your collection. The DVD is really nice, and
"Braveheart" has a really murky tone, so I think
Paramount puroposley elborated on this for the transfer.
Colors are bold and fleshtones seem to be accurate. This
transfer captures that muddy and somewhat darker tone of the
movie and scenery. Detail is excellent, everything looks
really good and I think it's sort of breathtaking to look
at. My only complaints are artifacts and dirt which seem to
pop up a good amount of time, and that there is some slight
shimmer. Other than that, this transfer is really good. I
wish they could have cleaned it up just a little bit more.
Equally as good is the English 5.1 Dolby Digital track.
This movie has some great action scenes, and with this
track, rear channels and surrounds are used to full force.
Sword swinging, screaming, slashes, it's all here and sounds
well. Dialogue is remarkably clear and easy to understand,
and the track sounds really good with James Horner's score.
Paramount does it again.
Though it's not a full blown out special edition (it
should be!), it's not bare bones either. The supplements
will please anyone who picks up this disc.
Most notably is the Commentary with Mel Gibson,
and it's not that bad for a first time commentary. Yes,
there are some long pauses of silence which do get
frusturating, and some of Gibson's comments are not so
insightful ("That girl was four years old at the time, and
she is pretty. Good performance too."), but Gibson seems
happy to be there and to talk about the film, and most of
what he says is fun to listen to and interesting to learn.
Though it's not perfect, it is one of the better
commentaries I have heard recently.
Next up is a 28 minute featurette entitled "A
Filmmaker's Passion: The Making Of Braveheart". This has
some good interviews with Gibson and others, and some nice
behind the scenes footage.
Finally, there are Two Theatrical Trailers. The
first one really could have been cleaned up, and the second
one is better looking, but still could have been cleaned up.
Either way, they are good trailers presented in two channel
sound and widescreen.
If you've been anticipating this title, you probably
already have it. Still, this movie is excellent each time
you watch it, and the supplements are in a good amount. The
transfer and sound mix just add to it. This one is one to
cherish and treasure, and if you've never seen "Braveheart",
what are you waiting for? Go out and get this!
(4.5/5, NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)