These feel good/true story sports films come out more often than not and always have the same sweet-tooth ending. So you must be asking yourself what is the difference between Invictus and every other feel good sports movie out there? The answer is acting and a story that is about more than sports.
Invictus is the story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) and how he brought his country together. When Mandela became the first black President of South Africa his country had been split into two factions: those who wanted revenge for their prior mistreatment, and people who could not let go of their old ways. In a way to bring his country together, Mandela decided to support the rugby team that many in the black community felt represented the ways of the past that they were trying to let go. Mandela used this out right support to show everyone that forgiveness is the first step to change. The only problem with this plan is that for it to work, the Springboks would have to win the World cup. For this achievement, Mandela looked to the Springboks’ team captain (Matt Damon) to lead the way to change. Continue reading movie review.
Video: In full 1080p, Invictus is stunning bringing out the the scenery of South Africa as Director Clint Eastwood had intended. The colors are as powerful as the the film itself, with it’s crystal clear image your eyes can embrace the overwhelming detail that went into making this film. Though Invictus isn’t the type of movie that you will bring out to show your friends the power of Blu-Ray, it is a pristine transfer and deserving of the same praise that the film received.
Sound: The DTS-HD Master Audio transfers you directly to the slums and soccer fields of South Africa helping the over all presentation shine. Along with stunning sound effects the sound track of Invictus never sounded better. The traditional music of South Africa makes the film what it is and you can definitely feel every drum beat. During the games and any of the many public appearances of Mandela are where the sound really shines. You can hear a mass array of applause and during the moments where the camera is immersed in the rugby action, the sounds of the game will fill your living room.
Special Features: Though Invictus isn’t one of the most feature-heavy movies I have ever seen it still holds it’s own due to the quality of the content. All of the exclusive features add to your over all enjoyment of the film. For film nuts like me there is nothing like watching how the filmmakers created a film and in that aspect Invictus is a power house. Features like “Mandela meets Morgan” and “The Eastwood Factor” can’t be missed as they add to your overall enjoyment and make the film even more powerful.
Vision, Courage and Honor: This Picture in Picture commentary track is definitely worth watching as it adds even more perspective to an already powerful film. With interviews with cast, crew, and just witnesses from the time, this PiP is a must see for anyone interested in the story of Invictus. I never had a hard time navigating the PiP controls as it was easy to shut them off to watch a favorite scene or skip ahead to a moment that held great interest.
Behind the Story: A series of vignettes that give an overwhelming depth to the film, you will see everything from Mandela’s thoughts of the film to the many different ways Eastwood shot the film. This is the part of the Blu-Ray that stands out as it brings you right into the directing chair with Eastwood and put’s you in the room as Morgan and Mandela discuss an actor’s preparation.
The Eastwood Factor: Definitely one of my favorite parts of the disc, we join Clint as he walks down memory lane at the Warner Brother’s lot. Eastwood talks about all the films he has acted in and directed with Warner’s and takes you to location’s on the lot where they were shot. The only problem with this feature is the fact that it’s not in HD and that it’s not the full length feature that will appear on the upcoming Eastwood collection.
Another strong addition to this disc is the placement of a DVD version of the film along with a digital copy. We live in the era of the multiple format so the features are almost a must and a definite selling point for any Blu-Ray. I have to say that the features of this disc have opened my eyes to the film, making it a more enjoyable experience. I definitely suggest that everyone rent Invictus on Blu-Ray but for fans of the film it is a definite buy it based on the additional content alone.