Yet another Mel Gibson movie...I don't know what it is with him, but I can't seem to get away from the Mel Gibson flicks recently! Don't get me wrong, I am always the first in line when it comes to Mel...he always seems to come up with something at least entertaining for the evening.
"The Patriot" is set in South Carolina during the Revolutionary war. Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) lost his wife years ago and now the British Army is tormenting him and his seven children. Though he is a patriot for the colonists, he is against going to war because he knows firsthand how brutal and close to home the fight would be. Then the war literally comes to his doorstep...his farm is burnt down, one of his sons is killed, and the eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), is taken to be hung. This leads him to seek revenge against Col. William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) and use his unique style of fighting to force the British back. Driven by passion and hope that his family can continue on, he leads a colonial militia group into battle against the British Army. With the help of Gabriel and other local farmers, "The Patriot" follows the militiamen through the turning point of the war.
I love movies about history. "The Patriot" is a fantastic movie that truly does a great job bringing us through a fictional story in a non-fiction world. It is amazing to see the Revolutionary War in such detail. Every detail is exquisite, from wardrobes to set design, "The Patriot" stands out among some of the best war movies of our time.
Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger do an absolutely fantastic job as the leading men. Gibson is an incredible actor, and he and Ledger work well together and really make us believe they could be related. With other names such as Jason Isaacs and Chris Cooper, it really makes it tough to dislike any moment of acting in the film. Each character does a fantastic job of drawing us in and leading us to believe in them, almost as if they are actually a piece of history.
"The Patriot" has been compared to other war films and held so high on a pedestal that many have rejected it. "The Patriot" is a fantastic film and unique in the way it is based on true historical events with fictional characters. It is not meant to be non-fiction; it is meant to tell a story of one family's struggles during war and what one man is willing to do for his family. That said, "The Patriot" is wonderful film and should not be passed up.
Here we get a beautiful AVC MPEG-4 transfer. "The Patriot" gets a very, very nice transfer that almost lives up to all the hype. I say almost because, the color isn't perfect and there is ever-so-slight grain that is present throughout. The color at times is a bit warm and although the grain not too distracting, it is still there. Besides these two minor gripes that I have against the transfer, everything else is outstanding. The detail is gorgeous and the colors are vibrant (especially the reds and blues). Each scene brings something new to the table and is extremely easy on the eyes. I truly enjoyed each battle sequence, seeing the fantastic detail of hundreds of men in the fields, and watching as cannonballs ricocheted off the ground splattering dirt (and other things) around everywhere.
Here we get a 5.1 PCM Uncompressed and a 5.1 Dolby Digital Track. This is by far one of the best tracks to date released on Blu-Ray. The surrounds are filled with gorgeous sounds in each scene. From bullets whizzing past our ears, to explosions mixed with the clanging of swords and screaming men, there is not a time when you will find yourself not 100% immersed into the world of the Revolutionary War. I don't even know what else to say...other then...WOW. Please, keep up releases like this!
The Art of War: This is an okay feature, but unfortunately it is quite short...all in all we get the cast and crew sounding off about the film, giving us some nice detail about the history behind the film. We learn about formations, weapons, actors, battle sequences...you know that sort of thing.
The True Patriots: This is again another fairly short feature that has a lot of detail, but is all about history. Overall, we see how they tried to relate actual historical happenings in the film to the story of Martin's family.
"The Patriot" is a fantastic film and I love everything about this movie. I love that I can fall for a character and believe that this actually happened in real life. The video quality is top notch with only a few things that make it not quite perfect. On the other hand, the audio sets this disc apart from others. Unfortunately the extras are extremely limited. If there would have been another disc of extras, I could have given this new release a higher rating...but I will go ahead and easily Recommend this one.