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Braveheart 4K Steelbook Review

Brave

“Braveheart” is flawed, but admirable.

“Braveheart” chronicles the story of Scottish hero/martyr William Wallace from his tragic childhood to the horrific murder of his wife (Murron) that essentially spurred his rebellion against the brutal King Edward Longshank (and England) for Scotland’s freedom. Alas, Wallace’s actions cause a divide between the Scottish rebels and the nobles which lead to an unfortunate end.

25 years later, “Braveheart” is still a rather divisive film. Some find it to be a classic biopic film while others are put off by its historical inaccuracies and Mel Gibson. Strangely, I find myself agreeing with both sides. 

From a filmmaking perspective, this nearly 3 hour R rated Academy Award winning epic has so much to admire with its beautiful score by the late great James Horner, some of the greatest battle scenes ever put to film, lush cinematography by John Toll, superb performances by the likes of Patrick McGoohan, Brendan Gleeson, Sophie Marceau, David O’Hara and Angus Macfayden, its powerful story about freedom, and a fascinating historical figure in William Wallace.

On the other side of the coin, “Braveheart” is certainly far from accurate as certain character dynamics, timelines, and battle re-enactments are, well, fictional. There’s also Mel Gibson. He directs the hell out of this movie to be sure, but it can be hard to stomach him as an actor here (and it’s become quite clear that he’s a repulsive person offscreen which taints his career even further). He’s fine with the physical aspects of the role and the stirring speeches, but in intimate character moments with that garbage Scottish accent, he falls short. 

Flaws aside, “Braveheart” still works as a rousing piece of Hollywood entertainment and a tribute to a Scottish hero.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? The 4K transfer offers stunning clarity. You will undoubtedly notice so many more details (especially during the battles).

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? If it’s Atmos, you know it delivers. From the impact of arrows being shot to the house shaking battles, this track will please any audio aficionado. 

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* An informative solo commentary by Mel Gibson who provides details about the production
* “Braveheart Timelines” for the history, production and fiction.
* 2 theatrical trailers
* “A Writer’s Journey”- An involving 21 minute interview with screenwriter Randall Wallace.
* “Tales Of William Wallace”- A half-hour special on the real William Wallace
* “Smithfield: Medieval Killing Fields”- A 25 minute featurette on the history of Smithfield (past and present)
* “Battlefields Of The Scottish Rebellion”- An interactive feature exploring 4 batttlefields
* “Braveheart: A Look Back”- A 3 part retrospective 

June 27, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , ,

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