Saving Private Ryan – 4K UHD Review

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film that was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Road. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is notable for its graphic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. It follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen.

The film received widespread critical acclaim, winning several awards for film, cast, and crew, as well as earning significant returns at the box office. The film grossed $216.8 million domestically, making it the highest-grossing film of 1998 in the United States, and $481.8 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture; Spielberg’s direction won his second Academy Award for Best Director, with four more awards going to the film. Saving Private Ryan was released onto home video in May 1999, earning another $44 million from sales.

In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The Film Itself (5/5):

Saving Private Ryan is one of those films that, I personally feel, should be experience by anyone who has even the slightest interest in war films.  Being that it’s a film that is extremely action-packed doesn’t necessarily lie about combat, this film is one that has really stuck with me throughout my adolescence and one of the films that ultimately got me interested in following film as a whole.  The story that we’re given with this movie is one that is extremely impactful, and the performances by the cast and crew are just beautifully done.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Presented with its native 4K resolution, Saving Private Ryan looked absolutely jaw droppingly beautiful as it played out across my living room television.  With its utilization of HDR, it really did a great job at making the experiences that those in combat were going through feel all that more real, allowing for the overall true grit of what they were going through to be visually experienced, gaining an even deeper appreciation for what those who find themselves fighting a battle like this go through.  This particular release, I personally feel should be a nice feature piece for those of you who are able to make use of 4K with HDR.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Bundled with a freshly remastered Dolby Atmos audio track, the UHD release of Saving Private Ryan really offers an all out immersive experience for those of you who are able to make use of the technology.  Perfectly working with the camera placement, it does a fantastic job at putting its viewers right in the middle of everything, really making the experience an extremely noteworthy one.

The Packaging (3.5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Saving Private Ryan comes packaged in a three-disc 4K UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film, the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as a standard Blu-ray disc that contains all of the special features that have been provided with this release.  Neither the UHD nor the two Blu-ray discs feature any artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text and blue or black background respectively.  There are no DVD copies included with this release; but, there is a digital copy redemption pamphlet that has been included as well as a slipcover that’s been made available during the original pressing of this release that features the same piece of artwork that’s featured on the case art.

  

Special Features (5/5):

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of this film, the 4K UHD release of Saving Private Ryan comes bundled with a lot of special features that not only allow for a further exploration into the story that they’re telling with this film; but, a really nice look at the work that went into making this film; the film that ultimately cemented Spielberg’s reputation as a filmmaker.  Included with this release is:

  • An Introduction
  • Looking Into The Past
  • Miller & His Platoon
  • Boot Camp
  • Making Saving Private Ryan
  • Re-Creating Omaha Beach
  • Music & Sound
  • Parting Thoughts
  • Into The Breach: Saving Private Ryan
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Re-Release Trailer
  • Shooting War

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

German: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1

Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles

English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Runtime

Original Film: 169 minutes

Final Thoughts:

As soon as I saw that the 4K UHD release of Saving Private Ryan arrived at my door, I early looked forwarding to being able to sit down and re-visit this film because it had been a long time since I’d personally seen it, and this opportunity to see something that I knew would look great in 4K with HDR; and boy was I glad that this showed up.  The story of this film is one that has really stuck with me throughout the years and has was piqued my personal interest into film, and even the genre itself.  The presentation of this release is probably one of the best 4K presentations that I’ve seen to date and they couldn’t have done a better job at celebrating the release of this film with this release.  If you’re looking at picking up the 4K UHD release of Saving Private Ryan for your collection, I would absolutely recommend grabbing it, even if it’s an upgrade.  Saving Private Ryan will be available on 4K UHD beginning on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

 

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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