One of the things that doing the "Shelf Life" series has taught me is that almost as often as watching old films changes your opinion about them, it also reconfirms and even strengthens those initial reactions and feelings. Saving Private Ryan is an unusual case where both ends of that love-hate spectrum are represented because I really liked it when I saw it, but saw problems that I couldn't ignore. And then subsequently, I found myself reading articles and reactions, including a noteworthy one by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman, which colored my mixed feelings even as they strengthened some of my certainties.
The good folks at Paramount Home Entertainment released Saving Private Ryan on Blu-ray May 4, which is why the film's been on my mind. But having also recently watched Minority Report, a film which I felt decidedly more ambivalent about eight years later, it seemed like Steven Spielberg's '98 Oscar-winner (for Best Director, Cinematography, Effects, Editing and Sound) was in serious need of a revisiting, if for no other reason than to test my home theater with its presumably perfect picture and sound quality. (In spite of reports that there are audio problems on some copies, which Paramount pledged to fix, my particular Blu-ray delivered with flying colors – almost literally.)
In other words, Saving Private Ryan is the subject of this week's "Shelf Life."