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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Biography > South Africa > Apartheid > Rugby > Invictus (2009/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Invictus (2009/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

 

Picture: B/C†††† Sound: B/B-†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: B

 

 

Some directors have so much to show and are so great that they have underrated periods where they make several strong films and they become films that do not get the critical or commercial success they should.When they are survivors like Clint Eastwood, quality work becomes so expected that some amazing work can be missed.After Changeling (one of his most underrated films he ever directed) and Gran Torino (which may be his last acting performance) arrived in 2008, he finally got to make his Nelson Mandela film and Invictus (2009) also turned out to be even better than you might expect.

 

Morgan Freeman is Mandela, just becoming President of South Africa after spending decades as a political prisoner of a country built on Apartheid.Freeman makes you forget he is an actor and embodies the role remarkably well.In an attempt to bring his country back together, he turns to rugby as a sport that could unite the country if the team can get its act together and win.In this, he turns to itís Captain, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) to help him make a world championship happen.

 

Anthony Peckhamís screenplay (based on the John Carlin book Playing The Enemy) is a character study of the people and the nation, as well as of the lasting damage of racism and hate in a culture built so much on it.Of course, there is still much violence in the country with old wounds still very much an issue for all involved, but this film tries to show a direction of unity and progress Mandela tried to bring in order to save the country.Had he not, things would even be worse now.No matter what the future brings, Invictus shows us a great nation battling its divide and that its problems and issues are shared by all nations big and small.It is one of 2009ís best films.

 

 

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray was shot by Director of Photography Tom Stern, who has been working with Eastwood for years now and this once again looks good (especially being shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision), but intentional styling choices hold back the detail a little bit throughout, but we get a very solid image otherwise all the way.I just liked the 35mm print I saw a little more.The anamorphically enhanced DVD is much weaker, basic and is challenged in detail and depth, as well as having micro-staircasing and even a little touch of breakup.

 

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix is dialogue based, but well recorded, features a score by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens (Gran Torino) and has a subtly good soundfield throughout.The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is weaker, but not bad for that older codec.

 

Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, a music trailer for the CD soundtrack, Matt Damon Play Rugby featurette, plus the Blu-ray exclusives include two more featurettes (Mandela Meets Morgan and The Eastwood Factor) and BD Live interactive features no DVD can do.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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