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“Invictus" - {Blu-ray} - (Wayne)
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
5/18/10
Special Features:

Featurettes, Picture-in-Picture Interviews/Commentary

Review:

Some claim that Clint Eastwood has gotten better as a director with age. I’m not going to push by claiming that but he has made challenging and interesting films since winning the Oscar for “The Unforgiven” nearly a decade ago. About half of his films I’ve enjoyed the other half have been so-so (including his big winner “Million Dollar Baby” an overrated weep fest that if not for its star power would have been a Lifetime TV movie). Nevertheless, his work has been varied and always interesting to Eastwood which I suppose is the most important thing for a director. ***

After spending 1/3 of his life in prison Nelson Mandella (Morgan Freeman) is a free man on the road to the presidency of South Africa, the economic crippling of his government and facing civil war. When members of Mandella’s own party suggest that the South African rugby team has outlived its usefulness and symbolizes the oppression of the government of South Africa; Mandella sees the team as symbolizing hope and he convinces the team’s captain Francois (Matt Damon) to help unify the country not by just playing but playing and winning. ***

Eastwood remains an old school filmmaker at heart; he finds a project he likes, doesn’t waste his time trying to recreate it only in his image (Michael Bay please take note)and creates memorable films that if they aren’t perfect after years of creating classics earns him the right to take an occasional misstep. Unlike “Million Dollar Baby” or “Gran Torino”, surprisingly “Invictus” more than earns the respect of the audience but, more importantly, ENTERTAINS something that can’t often be said of serious minded projects like this. ***

“Invictus” remains thoughtful and entertaining surprising for what is essentially a repurposed sports movie that in Eastwood’s clever hands becomes about something more than a simple game of rugby. ---

Image & Sound:

“Invictus” kicks a perfect goal with a very nice but surprisingly subdued looking transfer. Detail is solid throughout and blacks supple. ***

Audio sounds quite nice with an inviting 5.1 lossless mix that nicely involves the viewer in the action.

Special Features:

“Vision, Courage and Honor” is a terrific Picture-in-picture feature that has plenty of interviews with Eastwood and others discussing the making of the film. ***

“Behind the Story” gives us an HD short documentary on the historic “Mandela Meets Morgan”. We also get “Matt Damon Plays Rugby” a short that’s lighthearted and lets us see Matt take the field with his on screen teammates. ***

“The Eastwood Factor” gives us Clint in a candid discussion about his film career. We also get a music trailer for “Invictus”. ---

Final Words:

“Invictus” is an enjoyable but hardly earthshaking film with some strong performances and is well worth catching.

 

 
 
 
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