In 1776 South Carolina, widower and legendary war hero Benjamin Martin finds himself thrust into the midst of the
American Revolutionary War as he helplessly watches his family torn apart by the savage forces of the British
Redcoats. Unable to remain silent, he recruits a band of reluctant volunteers, including his idealistic patriot son,
Gabriel, to take up arms against the British. Fighting to protect his family's freedom and his country's
independence, Martin discovers the pain of betrayal, the redemption of revenge and the passion of love.
For more about The Patriot and the The Patriot Blu-ray release, see the The Patriot Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on August 10, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Roland Emmerich's work has always been a bit of a mixed bag for me. His films tend to veer into absurd territory - - Independence Day and Godzilla immediately leap to mind. The Patriot, on the other hand, a bit of a departure for Mr. Emmerich as he avoids his usual over-the-top style in favor of a more realistic historical film epic.
Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is a weary veteran who has embraced a peaceful existence after his involvement in the French and Indian war. As he attempts to find this peaceful existence in colonial America, his family is engulfed in the impending revolutionary war. A particularly nasty British colonel will put into motion a series of events that will eventually drag Benjamin back into the fight.
Mustering all of his acting abilities, Mel Gibson never cries out for "FREEDOM" in this very Braveheart-like film.
It seems pretty clear that The Patriot is fairly light on actual historical fact, but it does do an excellent job of portraying one man's fight for freedom. Mr. Gibson seems to be particularly well suited for these types of roles. Here he is a revolutionary war "William Wallace" - - fighting for his family and for his country's freedom. The battle scenes of The Patriot are extremely well choreographed and the film is presented in a way that makes these scenes very easy to dissect. None of these battles, however, would matter much if we didn't care about the characters. That's where The Patriot rises above being a standard war film and into something altogether more involving. I really did care about these characters and the melodramatic way that the story is presented really adds to the emotional impact of the film. For those of you with weak stomachs, the film can veer into almost gory territory from time to time. In this respect, the battle scenes in the film achieve a very gritty realism.
Presented in yet another phenomenal AVC encode, The Patriot looks outstanding on Blu-ray. Continuing the consistency that they have shown with their most recent Blu-ray releases, Sony has delivered another reference transfer that is remarkable to behold. It amazes me that this much attention has been given to a catalog release. The colors in The Patriot are bright and realistically saturated with rich reds and greens. Contrast and shadow detail is also superb. Fine detail is immaculate with skin and fabric details leaping off the screen. Pay particular attention to the wonderfully crafted costumes in the film. I'm sure costume designers in Hollywood are thrilled with high definition as it really highlights all of the intricate work being done. The Patriot is definitely a very natural looking film with a very earthy palette. If I could make a comparison to the look and feel of another recent Sony release, it would be that of Seven Years in Tibet. Both films are true to their source material and are a pleasure to view on Blu-ray.
The Patriot is quite remarkable from an audio standpoint as well. The uncompressed PCM 5.1 track features exceptional surround usage and an outstanding sense of dimensionality. Since this is a war film, I was very pleased with this track's heavy use of convincingly realistic directional effects as bullets whiz around the room and cannon fire is well represented with tight and heavy bass. The Patriot is a truly enveloping experience on Blu-ray. As has been the case with PCM releases thus far, dialog is also extremely crisp and always intelligible. I never had the sense of having to listen too hard to to decipher particular passages of dialog that is all-to-often the case with Dolby Digital tracks. Rounding out this top tier sound experience is John Williams' gorgeous musical score. The Patriot is yet another gem from the sound department at Sony.
I wouldn't bother wasting much time with the extras on this Blu-ray release of The Patriot. I was hoping for a bit of in-depth information on the historically accurate aspects of the film. Unfortunately, all that we have here is a bit of filler.
While there are no extras to speak of on this Blu-ray release of The Patriot, I found the audio and video quality to be of the highest quality. While some might find the story a bit melodramatic, I really felt that the dramatic aspects of the film contribute to a very emotionally involving experience. The Patriot is definitely worth checking out!